Amazon is going into fantasy in a big way. The company already has their Lord of the Rings series currently in the works and they’re preparing to add another major fantasy world to their stable with The Wheel of Time.
The show is based on the groundbreaking novel series of the same name by James Oliver Rigney Jr., better known by his pen name Robert Jordan. The series adaptation promises to be an epic story of war, drama, and magic, rivaling works like Game of Thrones and The Witcher. The Wheel of Time is being produced by Sony Pictures Television and Amazon Studios and has been developed by Rafe Judkins (Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, The Last Amazons), who is also the showrunner.
The series has a massive, star-studded cast and it’s set in one of the most beloved fantasy worlds of all time. Jordan’s books have garnered legions of fans who are going to be very excited to see his works brought to life on screen. So we’ve put together this handy guide covering everything we know so far about The Wheel of Time, from the plot and casting details to updates on filming and release dates.
The Wheel of Time Trailer
Amazon just revealed the full-length trailer for Wheel of Time, which you can watch above. The full trailer come on the heels of three previously revealed promos. The first revealed the title treatment for the series, released on June 30, 2021. The other two are first-look teasers, one introducing Rosamund Pike as Moiraine (released March 17) and the other featuring Daniel Henney as Lan (released April 28). Additionally, the official The Wheel of Time Twitter account has released a whole bunch of short clips featuring props, locations, and audio from the series.
Fans can probably expect to see more trailers and teasers as we get closer to the release date. In the meantime, check out all the previously released teasers below, and keep an eye on this space because we will be updating it as and when more trailers are released.
When is The Wheel of Time’s Release Date?
The Wheel of Time’s first season will debut on Amazon Prime Video on November 19, 2021. Amazon has not announced an expected release window for Season 2, but production began in July.
Who is in The Wheel of Time’s Cast?
The Wheel of Time features a massive cast of actors, headlined by Golden Globe-winning actor Rosamund Pike. Besides her, Josha Stradowski, Marcus Rutherford, Zoë Robins, Barney Harris, and Madeleine Madden have also been announced as part of the main cast. Other cast members announced for the series are Daniel Henney, Michael McElhatton, Álvaro Morte, Hammed Animashaun, Alexandre Willaume, Johann Myers, Jennifer Cheon Garcia, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Daryl McCormack, Narinder Samra, Priyanka Bose, Emmanuel Imani, Taylor Napier, Kate Fleetwood, Christopher Sciueref, Juliet Howland, Mandi Symonds, Lolita Chakrabarti, Michael Tuahine, David Sterne, Abdul Salisb, Stuart Graham, Kae Alexander, Sophie Okonedo, Clare Perkins, Peter Franzén, Pasha Bocarie, Jennifer K Preston, and Darren Clarke.
Yes, that is a lot of actors. But the colossal cast is completely justified considering how many important characters there are in the books. To be honest, this is nothing compared to the full list of named characters that the source material actually has.
Who are the Confirmed Characters in The Wheel of Time?
The Wheel of Time books have 2782 named characters (take that, Game of Thrones). While not all of them are going to make it into the show, definitely not into the first season, we do have names and details about the 35 characters who have been confirmed so far.
Rosamund Pike plays Moiraine, a magic practitioner and member of the Aes Sedai, a powerful all-female organization. The Wheel of Time’s story kicks off with Moiraine searching for the prophesied reincarnation of the Dragon, a powerful individual with the power to save the world or destroy it.
Besides Moiraine, other members of the Aes Sedai appearing in the series are Leane Sharif (Jennifer Cheon Garcia), Alanna Mosvani (Priyanka Bose), Liandrin Guirale (Kate Fleetwood), Siuan Sanche (Sophie Okonedo), and Kerene Nagashi (Clare Perkins).
Josha Stradowski appears as Rand al’Thor, with Michael McElhatton playing his father Tam al’Thor. Rand is one of five people whom Moiraine takes under her wing, believing that one of them may be the Dragon Reborn. The other four are Perrin Aybara (Marcus Rutherford), Nynaeve al’Meara (Zoë Robins), Mat Cauthon (Barney Harris), and Egwene al’Vere (Madeleine Madden).
Daniel Henney plays al’Lan Mandragoran, Moiraine’s warder. Warders are warriors who are bonded to an Aes Sedai as their bodyguard and confidant. Other warders in the show are Ihvon (Emmanuel Imani), Maksim (Taylor Napier), and Stepin (Peter Franzén).
Maria Doyle Kennedy, Daryl McCormack, and Narinder Samra appear as Illa, Aram, and Raen, respectively. These three are part of a nomadic people known as Tinkers.
Abdul Salis and Stuart Graham play two Whitecloaks called Eamon Valda and Geofram Bornhald. The Whitecloaks, who prefer to call themselves the Children of the Light, are a militaristic band of warriors dedicated to rooting out evil at any cost.
Other characters announced for the series include Álvaro Morte as Logain Ablar, Hammed Animashaun as Loial, Alexandre Willaume as Thom Merrilin, Johann Myers as Padan Fain, Christopher Sciueref as Abell Cauthon, Juliet Howland as Natti Cauthon, Mandi Symonds as Daise Congar, Lolita Chakrabarti as Marin al’Vere, Michael Tuahine as Bran al’Vere, David Sterne as Cenn Buie, Kae Alexander as Min Farshaw, Pasha Bocarie as Master Grinwell, Jennifer K Preston as Mistress Grinwell, and Darren Clarke as Basel Gill.
How Many Episodes Does The Wheel of Time Have?
The first season of The Wheel of Time will have eight episodes. Amazon has currently only announced the titles for the first six of those episodes and here’s what they are:
“A Place of Safety”
“The Dragon Reborn”
“Blood Calls Blood”
“The Flame of Tar Valon”
The show has already been renewed for Season 2 and the first episode of the second season will be titled “A Taste of Solitude”. Uta Briesewitz is the director of the first two episodes of Season 1 (the other directors haven’t been announced yet). The pilot episode was written by showrunner Rafe Judkins. The subsequent episodes were written (in order) by Amanda Shuman, The Clarkson Twins, Dave Hill, Celine Song, and Justine Juel Gillmer. Judkins has already confirmed that the show will be combining events from multiple books. And that’s just as well considering the novel series spans fifteen books, one prequel, and two companion books.
When is The Wheel of Time Filming?
Principal photography for The Wheel of Time Season 1 began in September 2019. The series was filming in Prague until March 2020, when it was halted due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Production then resumed by April 2021 and concluded in May 2021. The second season is currently in production. Filming on the sophomore season began on July 19, 2021.
The Wheel of Time has taken a long, long time to get to this stage. The series was first optioned by NBC all the way back in 2000. In the end, they didn’t go ahead with the project but there have been multiple attempts to adapt the series since then. The current project was first announced in 2017 but it didn’t seriously get started till 2018. So it has been a long wait for the fans but thankfully, there’s just a little further to go.
Is There A Wheel of Time Movie?
Jordan’s Wheel of Time novels appear to be having a bit of a resurgence in recent times. Besides the show, there’s also a prequel movie trilogy that’s reportedly in the works. The first film in that trilogy will be called Age of Legends and is being written by Zack Stentz (Thor, X-Men: First Class). Age of Legends will take place several millennia before the books and the show, narrating the origins of the Aes Sedai. It will probably be a while before the movies get to theaters but for right now, the show is enough reason for Jordan’s fans to celebrate.
What is The Wheel of Time’s Setting?
Unlike Middle-Earth or Narnia, there is no official name for the world where The Wheel of Time takes place. Fans generally refer to the world as either the World of the Wheel or the Randlands. Whatever you may choose to call it, this world has a vast and complex geography divided into many countries, each with its distinctive history, philosophy, and general approach to the world.
As the title of the series suggests, time is cyclical here. Events in the story are happening simultaneously in the distant future and the distant past, as compared to Earth. The novels take place in a time period called the Third Age, which lasts for about 3,500 years. Reincarnation is a normal thing and quite central to the story.
The world is home to many species, human and non-human, and there are also parallel worlds that may be visited. There’s a whole complex cosmology involving a grand cosmic pattern that determines the destinies of all living things and individuals who can alter this pattern.
One of the more practical elements of this intricate high-fantasy world is the use of magic. In the story, magic is called “channeling” and practitioners like Moiraine are called channelers. Those on the side of good tap into a power source known as the One Power. This power has two aspects: “saidin”, which is used by men, and “saidar”, which is used by women.
The Aes Sedai, who are among the foremost channelers in the world, have strict rules about using magic. Only the Aes Sedai (and therefore, by definition, women) are allowed to channel. Men who display the ability to channel are subjected to “gentling”, a process that cuts off their ability to do magic. However, the rules of the Aes Sedai are not universally acknowledged and different cultures have their own approaches to channeling.
Apart from the One Power, there is another power source called the True Power. This power is darker, more mysterious, and is used by followers of Shai’tan, The Wheel of Time’s equivalent of the devil.
There are also a number of beings with special abilities, the most important of whom are the Ta’veren. These individuals are focal points for the greater pattern of the world. This causes the world around them to warp in ways that further the Ta’veren’s destiny. In practice, this might appear as unusually good luck.
What is The Wheel of Time’s Story?
The majority of The Wheel of Time’s story concerns a prophecy that states that a being called the Dragon shall be reincarnated. This reincarnation, known as the Dragon Reborn, has the power to either destroy the world or save it.
In the books, Moiraine and Lan go looking for the Dragon Reborn and come into contact with three young men, Rand al’Thor, Perrin Aybara, and Mat Cauthon. Unable to figure out which of them is the prophesied warrior, Moiraine takes all three of them with her on a journey. They are joined by Nynaeve al’Meara and Egwene al’Vere and together they make their way around the world.
It’s currently unknown how closely the show will follow the events of the book but that’s the general gist. Here’s the official synopsis from Amazon:
“Set in a sprawling, epic world where magic exists and only certain women are allowed to access it, the story follows Moiraine, a member of the incredibly powerful all-female organization called the Aes Sedai, as she arrives in the small town of Two Rivers. There, she embarks on a dangerous, world-spanning journey with five young men and women, one of whom is prophesied to be the Dragon Reborn, who will either save or destroy humanity.”
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