After decades of rumours and years of waiting, Robert Jordan’s epic fantasy series of 15 novels finally comes to screen this November. The series began with The Eye of the World, published in 1990. Sadly, Jordan passed away in 2007, and Brandon Sanderson posthumously completed the series with the final three books based on Jordan’s notes.
21 Years of Adaptation Troubles
A few years back, you would’ve needed Mat Cauthon’s own luck to bet on a live-action adaptation of WoT ever actually materialising. If you had, then perhaps you should try your luck again over on NetBet. After Red Eagle Entertainment’s failed 2015 pilot resulted in a lengthy lawsuit with Jordan’s widow, Harriet McDougal Rigney, things looked particularly bleak.
The series was first optioned by NBC back in 2000. In 2017, however, Sony Pictures Television announced that they would be the ones to produce the adaptation. In late 2018, it had been reported that Rafe Judkins would serve as showrunner and that Amazon Studios would be the production company.
Whose Story Are We Following?
As with the books, we will primarily see the events unfold through the eyes of our main protagonists; the Emond’s Field five, Moiraine, and Lan. In August, Entertainment Weekly treated us to a sneak peek of the cast on set via Twitter. The shot features a line-up of the main characters, with Moiraine leading the pack.
Left to right, we see:
● Zoë Robins as Nayneve al’Meara● Barney Harris as Matrim Cauthon● Daniel Henney as al’Lan Mandragoran● Rosamund Pyke as Moiraine● Madeleine Madden as Egwene al’Vere● Marcus Rutherford as Perin Aybara● Josha Stradowski as Rand al’Thor
The photos also give us a glimpse of the ruined city, Shadar Logoth, and the false dragon, Logain Ablar.
There are a whopping 2,782 named characters in Jordan’s novels. Only time will tell how many of them make it to the screen.
We have been assured that the first episode will be airing on Amazon Prime sometime this November. Uta Briesewitz directed the first two episodes, and showrunner Rafe Judkins revealed that the story would be told from multiple perspectives, as in the books.
Judkins also hinted that the Forsaken might make an appearance in this season and confirmed that the World of Dreams would play a vital part of the series on the whole. The Emond’s Fielders have been aged up, he said, to reflect the fact that this is not a YA story.
Season 1 will likely cover the first book’s events, but we’ll have to wait and see to what extent. The titles of the six episodes have been released as:
● Leavetaking● Shadow’s Waiting● A Place of Safety● The Dragon Reborn● Blood Calls Blood● The Flame of Tar Valon
The Wheel of Time is a hugely popular series and, at 14 books and a prequel, any adaptation would’ve been a monumental undertaking. However, Amazon’s decision to go with a TV series is a step in the right direction for such a long story. Let’s hope that they continue to do the books justice.