There is something special about the fantasy genre that can transport you into the complex and colourful created worlds. This is the reason why we woke up at 3am to watch new episodes of Game of Thrones, why we learn Elvish, pick alliances and houses, and we why know all the different departments at the Ministry of Magic.
Especially in these times of uncertainty and strife, it helps to step into a world that is different to the one we're living in. This is why we enjoy binge-watching fantasy films and TV shows, it gives a bit of a reprieve, even if just for a few hours.
Based on the sprawling 14-novel series by Robert Jordan and completed after Jordan’s death by Brandon Sanderson, the series takes place in an area called the Kingdom of Andor, which is both in our distant past and in our distant future (because the wheel of time is always turning).
It follows a woman named Moiraine (Rosamund Pike), who is a member of the Aes Sedai, an organisation of powerful women who wield magic. Moiraine and her Warder, Lan (Daniel Henney) travel to the town of Two Rivers in search of the prophesised reincarnation of the Dragon, a person who is set to be able to either save or destroy the world.
In Two Rivers, she meets four likely candidates for the Dragon Reborn, all 20-years-old. There is a sheep herder named Rand (Josha Stradowski), his friends Mat (Barney Harris) and Perrin (Marcus Rutherford), and his love interest Egwene (Madeleine Madden) who Moiraine feels might be the Dragon Reborn. After an attack by evil forces called the Trollocs, Moiraine and Lan leave Two Rivers with the four candidates for the Dragon Reborn, to go to the Aes Sedai city of Tar Valon.
The books already have a huge following and fan base, which can add pressure to the producers to get it right and find the balance between satisfying the die-hard fans and making the show accessible enough for new viewers to be integrated into it.
If you’re one of the book fans, we’re happy to say that Amazon Prime Video has created a wonderful adaptation of Jordan’s epic, imaginative saga. Launched with rave reviews on twitter and social media from the fans, the series has managed to capture the richness of the books and unpack the expansive plot and complex characters while retaining the core of what has made The Wheel of Time so popular.
The first season (Fear not! It has already been renewed for a second season) which is based on the first novel in Jordan’s series, ‘The Eye of the World,’ sees the group being joined by the Two Rivers ‘Wisdom’ Nynaeve (Zoe Robins) and the group being separated from one another while they meet new people and go on separate quests.
Showrunner, Rafe Judkins has been cautious in his adaptation of the source material and has learned from the mistakes that his fantasy forerunners have made. Gone are the side-lining of female characters in Lord of the Rings, gone are the unnecessary and often gratuitous sex scenes from Game of Thrones, and it has not diminished the story that is being told. If anything, it has improved it.
The adaptation of The Wheel of Time is a compelling ride and will have you enthralled in the world that Jordan and Sanderson created, and that Judkins and his team brought to the screen. If you are fan of fantasy epics and that whole in your heart has not been filled since the finale of Game of Thrones, you should be binge-watching The Wheel of Time right now!
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This post is sponsored by Amazon Prime Video produced by BrandStudio24 for Channel24.