The Wheel of Time (TV series)

The Wheel of Time is an American high fantasy television series developed by Rafe Judkins for Amazon Prime Video. The series is based on the book series of the same name by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson.

The Wheel of Time
Series logo shows the words The Wheel of Time on top of a coiled silver snake
Based on
Developed byRafe Judkins
ComposerLorne Balfe
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes16
Executive producers
ProducerRosamund Pike
Running time54–69 minutes
Production companies
Original release
NetworkAmazon Prime Video
ReleaseNovember 19, 2021 (2021-11-19) –
present (present)

The first season, consisting of eight episodes, premiered on Prime Video on November 19, 2021, with the first three episodes released immediately and the remaining five on a weekly basis after that, culminating in the season finale on December 24, 2021. The series was renewed for a second season in May 2021, before the first season premiered. The second season premiered on September 1, 2023. In July 2022, over a year ahead of the second-season premiere, the series was renewed for a third season.

Premise edit

Moiraine Damodred, a member of the Aes Sedai, a powerful organization of women who can channel the One Power, seeks a group of five young people from the secluded village of Two Rivers, believing one of them is the reincarnation of the Dragon, an extremely powerful male channeller responsible for the Breaking of the World. The Dragon Reborn is prophesied to either save the world from a primordial evil known as the Dark One or break it once more.[1][2][3]

Cast and characters edit

Main edit

Supporting edit

Episodes edit

SeasonEpisodesOriginally released
First releasedLast released
18November 19, 2021 (2021-11-19)December 24, 2021 (2021-12-24)
28September 1, 2023 (2023-09-01)October 6, 2023 (2023-10-06)

Season 1 (2021) edit

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
11"Leavetaking"Uta BriesewitzRafe JudkinsNovember 19, 2021 (2021-11-19)
Moiraine is an Aes Sedai, who can channel an elemental force called the One Power. Years past, the male half of the One Power was corrupted, driving male channelers insane, and Lews Therin Telamon, a channeler known as the Dragon, tore the world apart in his madness. Some Aes Sedai wish to eliminate male channelers, but Moiraine and her Warder Lan Mandragoran search for the Dragon's reincarnation to defeat the Dark One, a force of primordial evil. Their search leads them to the Two Rivers and four possible candidates – villagers Rand al'Thor, Perrin Aybara, Mat Cauthon, and Egwene al'Vere – whom they plan to take to the White Tower, the center of the Aes Sedai. Rand, besotted with Egwene, is disappointed that she intends to become the next Wisdom, a village leader and healer who cannot wed. Trollocs, beasts following the Dark One, ambush the Two Rivers. Nynaeve al'Meara, the current Wisdom, is taken, and Perrin accidentally kills his wife, Laila. Moiraine battles the Trollocs with the One Power and is injured. The four villagers reluctantly join Moiraine and Lan on their journey to keep the Trollocs away from their loved ones.
22"Shadow's Waiting"Uta BriesewitzAmanda Kate ShumanNovember 19, 2021 (2021-11-19)
In a Whitecloak encampment, Eamon Valda burns an Aes Sedai. The Two Rivers villagers flee with Moiraine and Lan from pursuing Trollocs and a Fade. They flee across Taren's Ferry. To prevent the Trollocs from following, Moiraine uses the One Power to sink the ferry, incidentally killing the ferryman, disturbing the villagers. Along their journey, Egwene learns she has the potential to channel, Perrin encounters strange wolves, the villagers have disturbing dreams about the Dark One, and mistrust and tension between Moiraine and the villagers grow. Moiraine grows wearier and exhausted from her injury, and when Trollocs catch up, Lan makes the hasty decision to have them enter Shadar Logoth to escape. While in Shadar Logoth, the group is attacked and separated by Mashadar, the evil darkness that inhabits the city. The group is separated and disoriented. Nynaeve is revealed to be alive and confronts Lan about the villagers.
33"A Place of Safety"Wayne YipThe Clarkson TwinsNovember 19, 2021 (2021-11-19)
Nynaeve escapes, outsmarts, and kills the Trolloc that captured her. The Two Rivers villagers are separated from Moiraine and each other – Mat and Rand trekking across the wilderness in one direction, Egwene and Perrin in another, and an angry Nynaeve confronts Lan and an injured Moiraine, demanding to know the location of the villagers. Wolves follow Egwene and Perrin, and Perrin has a nightmare about the wolves and the Dark One. They find safety and rest with the Tuatha'an or Tinkers, a peaceful nomadic group. Mat and Rand argue about whether to go home or to the White Tower, with Mat showing darker tendencies that Rand dislikes. They encounter a gleeman, Thom Merrilin, in a village where he steals their gold. Later, Thom rescues them from a Darkfriend. Nynaeve and Lan argue about the villagers and whether Nynaeve should heal Moiraine. Eventually, Nynaeve concedes, using herbs to help the Aes Sedai while Lan scouts. Moiraine recovers enough to travel, and they encounter Red sisters on the road, including Liandrin, who have captured the self-proclaimed Dragon Reborn, Logain Ablar, a man who can channel the One Power.
44"The Dragon Reborn"Wayne YipDave HillNovember 26, 2021 (2021-11-26)
Moiraine is healed by the Aes Sedai and shown an imprisoned Logain, held by the continual channeling of several Aes Sedai. Liandrin and some Aes Sedai want to "gentle" Logain, permanently severing his connection to the One Power. However, Moiraine believes he might be the Dragon Reborn. Egwene and Perrin travel with the Tinkers, heading towards Tar Valon, and they learn that through "the Way of the Leaf", they have vowed never to use violence. Rand, Mat and Thom stay the night with a rural family. Thom tells Rand that he suspects Mat may be able to channel. His suspicious behavior resembles that of Thom's nephew Owyn, who could channel but killed himself after being gentled by Aes Sedai. That night, a Fade kills the family. Thom distracts it, allowing Rand and Mat to escape. Logain's army of followers arrives just as Logain uses the One Power to escape. Kerene Nagashi of the Green Ajah is killed protecting Moiraine and Liandrin from Logain's attack, while Lan's throat is slit. Nynaeve heals Lan and the injured Aes Sedai through a stunning display of the One Power. Liandrin and the Aes Sedai gentle Logain.
55"Blood Calls Blood"Salli Richardson-WhitfieldCeline SongDecember 3, 2021 (2021-12-03)
The Aes Sedai bury Kerene and Logain's army. Lan, Moiraine, Nynaeve and the Aes Sedai travel to the White Tower of Tar Valon for a month. Moiraine warns Nynaeve of the Aes Sedai's political machinations. The Whitecloaks waylay Perrin, Egwene and the Tinkers. With Aram's help, Perrin and Egwene initially escape, but are captured by Eamon Valda. Valda suspects Egwene can channel, torturing Perrin to force Egwene to channel. Egwene and Perrin escape when wolves attack the camp, seemingly connected to Perrin. Rand and Mat arrive at Tar Valon, where Rand is disturbed by Mat's odd behavior. Rand meets Loial, an Ogier, who notes that Rand resembles a foreign Aiel. Loial helps Nynaeve reunite with Mat and Rand. Logain is paraded around Tar Valon, laughing madly when he notices Rand and Mat watching. Lan and the other Warders console Stepin, Kerene's Warder. Moiraine and Alanna discuss Stepin's mental state. Alanna warns Moiraine of both Liandrin's motives and the impending return of the Amyrlin Seat. The following morning, Lan finds Stepin dead by suicide. Lan serves as the primary mourner at Stepin's funeral, overcome with grief.
66"The Flame of Tar Valon"Salli Richardson-WhitfieldJustine Juel GillmerDecember 10, 2021 (2021-12-10)
Siuan Sanche, the Amyrlin Seat, questions Liandrin for Logain's gentling and Moiraine's traveling for 20 years. Visiting Rand and Mat, Moiraine detaches Mat from the tainted dagger from Shadar Logoth. Moiraine has also found Egwene and Perrin. Maigan, a Blue Sitter, orders Moiraine to remain at the Tower and Moiraine tries to hide her motives from Liandrin. Moiraine asks Loial a favor. Moiraine and Siuan meet secretly, and the two lovers discuss their plan to find the Dragon Reborn. Moiraine takes a reunited Nynaeve and Egwene to meet the Amyrlin, where Egwene is awe-struck and Nynaeve is suspicious. In the Hall of the Tower, Moiraine is exiled by Siuan in a ruse, allowing her to leave the Tower with the Two Rivers villagers. Moiraine gathers the Two Rivers villagers and Loial at a Waygate where they will travel to the Eye of the World to confront the Dark One and uncover who the Dragon Reborn is. Mat hesitates, and the other villagers, Loial, Moiraine, and Lan enter the Ways without him.
77"The Dark Along the Ways"Ciaran DonnellyAmanda Kate Shuman & Katherine B. McKennaDecember 17, 2021 (2021-12-17)
The Two Rivers villagers who followed Moiraine into the Ways argue about returning for Mat but continue forward. Loial guides them along the Ways, which have been corrupted. The group encounters a Trolloc. Egwene repels the Trolloc, but the One Power attracts Machin Shin (Black Wind), which provokes their deepest fears. Nynaeve repels Machin Shin with the Power while Moiraine opens the Waygate to Fal Dara. A man also in the Ways follows them to Fal Dara. Once there, they argue with Moiraine, who reveals whoever is not the Dragon would die if they reach the Eye of the World. Moiraine visits the seer Min Farshaw. Nynaeve and Lan (the heir to the lost kingdom of Malkier) have sex. Egwene and Rand reconcile. Rand recalls that Tam was present at the Battle of the Shining Walls and encountered a pregnant Maiden of the Spear who died giving birth to Rand whom Tam raised. Machin Shin taunted Rand he is the Dragon. Rand had channeled to escape both an earlier Darkfriend and the Trolloc in the Ways. Rand and Moiraine leave Fal Dara to go to the Eye of the World, leaving the rest behind.
88"The Eye of the World"Ciaran DonnellyRafe JudkinsDecember 24, 2021 (2021-12-24)
3000 years ago, the Tamyrlin Seat warns Lews Therin Telamon of the dangers of his plan to imprison the Dark One. In the Blight, Moiraine gives Rand a sa'angreal, an ancient object to enhance his power to defeat the Dark One. At the Eye, Rand sees a vision of him and Egwene starting a family, which the Dark One tells him can come to fruition if he gives his power to the Shadow. The Dark One cuts Moiraine's connection to the One Power. As the Fal Dara army falls to an attack by thousands of Trollocs, five women – including Nynaeve and Egwene – channel against the attack and destroy the Trollocs. All but Egwene burn from excessive channeling. Egwene then heals Nynaeve. Perrin finds the Horn of Valere, which can summon history's greatest warriors. Padan Fain steals it, revealing he is a Darkfriend who visited the Two Rivers to find the five ta'veren. Rand resists the Dark One with the sa'angreal and fractures the unbreakable symbol he stood on. Fearing madness, Rand goes into hiding and informs Moiraine to remain secret. Lan finds Moiraine, who tells him this was not the Last Battle. In the west, great ships arrive, whose channellers generate powerful waves.

Season 2 (2023) edit

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date [14]
91"A Taste of Solitude"Thomas NapperAmanda Kate ShumanSeptember 1, 2023 (2023-09-01)
A secret meeting of Darkfriends takes place where Ishamael, the Dark One's most powerful servant and Forsaken, decides to observe Rand Al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn, instead of killing him. After the events at the Eye, Moiraine has been residing with Adeleas and Verin, her fellow Aes Sedai, gathering information while struggling to come to terms with the loss of the One Power. Egwene and Nynaeve have joined the Novice book at the White Tower. Egwene is determined to succeed but is frustrated by the lack of recognition, while Nynaeve is struggling with a power block, only channeling when she is angry or afraid. Liandrin offers to train Nynaeve, but the other Aes Sedai are hesitant because Liandrin's previous teachings had caused the deaths of novices. Perrin and Loial have joined a company of Shienarans led by Ingtar Shinowa to search for the Horn, which Padan Fain has stolen, joined by Elyas, a "sniffer" who shows interest in Perrin. Egwene and Nynaeve miss Mat, Perrin, and Rand, who they believe is dead. However, Liandrin has imprisoned Mat in the Tower at Moiraine's request while Rand is hiding. Moiraine leaves to follow up on her plans alone but is attacked by three Fades. Lan tries to save her, but they are both injured. Verin and Adeleas intervene, rescuing them.
102"Strangers and Friends"Thomas NapperKatherine B. McKennaSeptember 1, 2023 (2023-09-01)
Moiraine and Lan recover after the attack from the Fades, and prepare to leave for the White Tower despite Moiraine being exiled by the Amyrlin. While on their way there, Verin deduces that Moiraine found the Dragon Reborn, and intends to serve him no matter what. Rand has gone into hiding at the Foregate in Cairhien, and been taken in by an innkeeper named Selene whom he has developed a romantic relationship with. He works at an asylum and manages to gain access to the False Dragon Logain, a patient there. At the White Tower, Liandrin pushes for Nynaeve to undergo the testing and become an Accepted, which would allow Liandrin to train her. Alanna protests but leaves the Tower to aid Moiraine. Egwene befriends Elayne Trakand, the daughter-heir of Andor and fellow Novice. Nynaeve follows Liandrin through a secret passage in the Tower, and sees her caring for a sick man. Mat befriends Min, who Liandrin has also locked up, and Min has a vision of Mat stabbing Rand, which she keeps to herself. Moiraine releases Lan from her service, claiming that he can't protect her anymore, and has Alanna and her warders escort him to the Tower. Perrin and the Shienarans find the site of a massacre where innocent people have been slaughtered and a Fade nailed to a wall. They later arrive at a small village, which is attacked by a Seanchan force soon after. Perrin, Loial, and the Shienarans are captured, as the Seanchan leader Suroth arrives along with Ishamael.
113"What Might Be"Sanaa HamriJohn McCutcheonSeptember 1, 2023 (2023-09-01)
Rand asks Logain to teach him how to control the One Power without going mad. However, Logain agrees to help only if Rand brings him a bottle of Ghealdan wine. Rand accompanies Selene to a party for Cairhienin nobles to get the wine. After Rand receives the wine, Logain reveals that the Power can't be controlled. Later, Rand accidentally sets fire to Selene's inn with the One Power. Perrin and the Shienarans are commanded to swear fealty to the Seanchan. One of the Shienarans, Uno, refuses and is gruesomely executed, forcing the others to give in. Ishamael becomes interested in Perrin and encourages him to unleash his inner beast, but Elyas and a pack of wolves save Perrin. Nynaeve undergoes her Accepted test, which involves facing trials inside ter'angreal Arches. However, she seemingly fails after choosing a life with Lan inside the Arches over becoming an Aes Sedai. Liandrin and the other Aes Sedai believe Nynaeve to be dead, and Elayne has to comfort a grieving Egwene. Liandrin releases Mat, seemingly to comfort Egwene (which he opts not to do), but also has Min follow him. Inside the Arches, Nynaeve's life with Lan is ruined by a Trolloc attack, and she escapes back to the real world, where a shocked Egwene embraces her.
124"Daughter of the Night"Sanaa HamriDave HillSeptember 8, 2023 (2023-09-08)
Moiraine arrives in Cairhien, where she meets Logain, and offers to end his life if he first helps her train Rand. In the White Tower, Nynaeve has been raised as an Accepted following her trial in the Arches. Liandrin tells Nynaeve of Perrin's capture by the Seanchan, which leads to Nynaeve, Egwene, and Elayne sneaking out of the tower to mount a rescue. They are, however, quickly ambushed and subdued by Liandrin. Perrin and Elyas look for the Shienarans and Loial, and Perrin bonds with the wolf Hopper, and learns that he is what is called a Wolfbrother. Min is approached at an inn by Ishamael, who reveals he is working with Liandrin, and offers to rid her of her visions if she brings Mat to Cairhien. Lan stays with Alanna and her warders, who attempt to help him through losing his bond with Moiraine. Alanna finds a prophecy that reveals that the Forsaken Lanfear has returned to the world. Rand and Selene have left Cairhien for a trip to the countryside, where a Fade attacks them. Rand kills it with the One Power, and confesses his love for Selene, who chooses to stay with him despite his ability to channel, and eventually reveals that she also has the ability. Before she can do anything, Moiraine arrives (given Rand's location by her sister Anvaere) and stabs Selene, who she reveals is Lanfear. Rand and Moiraine flee as Lanfear starts to recover from her wounds.
135"Damane"Maja VrviloRohit KumarSeptember 15, 2023 (2023-09-15)
Perrin and Hopper leave Elyas to save Loial and the Shienarans. Perrin then returns to the town where they were attacked, which has now been seized by Whitecloaks led by Dain Bornhald and Eamon Valda. During the following fight, Perrin saves Aviendha, a young Aiel woman they had imprisoned, and spares Bornhald's life. Aviendha pledges to help Perrin rescue the others as she is indebted to him for saving her. Suroth is demoted for disobeying the orders of the Seanchan leader Turak. However, Ishamael gains his favor by delivering him the Horn of Valere. Later, Suroth receives Nynaeve, Elayne and Egwene as damane from Liandrin, who acts on Ishamael's orders. However, Elayne and Nynaeve manage to escape and are taken in by Ryma, an Aes Sedai hiding in Falme. Egwene is leashed and presented to Turak by Suroth. Verin arrives at the White Tower to investigate the disappearance of the three girls. This leads her to evidence for the existence of the Black Ajah, Aes Sedai sworn to the Shadow. Rand and Moiraine manage to escape Lanfear and take refuge with Anvaere and her son Barthanes. Moiraine decides to have Rand enter Tel'aran'rhiod, the World of Dreams, where he might be able to learn what Ishamael is planning. Upon entering, Rand finds himself immediately captured by a waiting Lanfear.
146"Eyes Without Pity"Maja VrviloRammy ParkSeptember 22, 2023 (2023-09-22)
In Falme, Renna, a sul'dam, tries to break Egwene and make her understand that she is nothing but a damane, a magic user who needs to be leashed and controlled by sul'dam through the a'dam, a collar used to control damane. Renna demonstrates to Egwene how sul'dam control damane, and slowly breaks her through physical and psychological torture. Nynaeve and Elayne hide with Ryma in Falme, and they try to open an a'dam to rescue Egwene. Unfortunately, Nynaeve channels too much during their attempts, alerting the Seanchan, who come for them. Ryma fights the Seanchan to protect Elane and Nynaeve, but is captured as a damane. In Tel'aran'rhiod, Lanfear tries to convince Rand to join her by promising to protect him from Ishamael and showing him that Egwene is in Falme. She also tells Rand that she will kill Moiraine if she sees them together. At the same time, Mat and Min arrive in Cairhien, and Rand and Mat meet in the Foregate and catch up on their adventures. Rand tells Mat that Egwene has been captured in Falme. However, Min warns Mat that Ishamael intends for him to go to Falme with Rand, where he may try to kill Rand. This causes Mat to avoid leaving with Rand. Siuan Sanche, the Amyrlin Seat, summons Moiraine for an audience after Lan warns Siuan of Moiraine's actions. Before Rand can leave to attempt a rescue mission, he is intercepted by Lan, Alanna, and her warders, who tell him they can't let him leave.
157"Daes Dae'mar"Sanaa HamriJustine Juel GillmerSeptember 29, 2023 (2023-09-29)
Mat is abducted from Cairhien by Lanfear and brought to Ishamael in Falme, who gives him a tea that shows him visions of himself as a murderer. Nynaeve and Elayne manages to use the a'dam to take a sul'dam captive after learning from Loial that only sul'dams can approach the kennels where Egwene is held. Perrin and Aviendha meet up with two other Aiel warriors, Bain and Chiad, who join them in their journey to Falme. In Cairhien, Rand is brought to Siuan Sanche, who takes him captive, intending to use him as a weapon against the Dark One. Barthanes is revealed to be a Darkfriend, and tasked by Liandrin with killing Moiraine, but Anvaere uncovers the plot and locks him in a cell. Lan learns from Logain that Ishamael didn't still Moiraine, but shielded her. Rand persuades Lanfear to help him get to Falme, and she assaults the Foregate to distract Siuan, allowing Moiraine and Lan to escape with Rand, who uses the One Power to cut the shield around Moiraine, allowing her to channel again. Siuan finds them as they are about to leave Cairhien through a Waygate, but she is ambushed by Lanfear, who easily defeats her and opens the gate, allowing Rand, Moiraine and Lan to leave for Falme.
168"What Was Meant to Be"Sanaa HamriRafe Lee Judkins & Timothy EarleOctober 6, 2023 (2023-10-06)
Lanfear throws Moiraine and Lan out of the Ways outside of Falme. She then transports herself and Rand into the city, where Rand confronts and kills Turak and his men. This causes Ishamael to learn of Rand's presence and realize that Lanfear has betrayed him. Ishamael orders Padan Fain to deliver the dagger from Shadar Logoth to Mat, in an attempt to kill Rand. However, Mat refuses to take the dagger and escapes. The Whitecloaks led by Dain and his father Geofram attack Falme in an attempt to eradicate the Seanchan. During the chaos, Ingtar, Loial, and Masema escape with the Horn of Valere and join the battle alongside Mat, Perrin, and the Aiel. Ingtar is killed in the process. Egwene manages to break free from her a'dam and kill Renna. Mat is forced to blow the Horn, summoning the Heroes of the Horn and turning the tide of the battle. At the same time, Perrin kills Geofram out of rage due to him killing Hopper. Rand, Egwene, Nynaeve, Perrin, and Mat reunite and are confronted by Ishamael. Ishamael has Rand shielded from the One Power and tricks Mat into wounding Rand. While Egwene and Perrin fight Ishamael, Moiraine frees Rand from the shield, allowing him to slay Ishamael. Rand is then proclaimed the Dragon Reborn before the whole city. After the battle, Lanfear is confronted by Moghedien, another of the Forsaken. She learns that all the Forsaken have been set free.

Production edit

Background edit

In 2000, NBC optioned the screen rights to Robert Jordan's fantasy novel series The Wheel of Time but did not ultimately proceed with the production.[1] In 2004, Jordan sold the film, television, video game, and comic rights to the series to production company Red Eagle Entertainment.[1] In 2015, Red Eagle Entertainment paid air time to cable network FXX to air Winter Dragon, a 22-minute pilot for a potential The Wheel of Time series starring Billy Zane and Max Ryan that allowed Red Eagle to hold on to the rights to the project.[15] Subsequently, the company sued Jordan's widow, Harriet McDougal, for her comments about the pilot;[16] the lawsuit was settled in 2016.[17] In April 2016, McDougal announced that a major studio was undergoing contract negotiations for production on a TV series.[18]

Development edit

A new adaptation of the series was announced on April 20, 2017, produced by Sony Pictures Television in association with Red Eagle Entertainment and Radar Pictures. Rafe Judkins was expected to serve as showrunner for the series and executive produce alongside Rick Selvage, Larry Mondragon, Ted Field, Mike Weber, Lauren Selig and Darren Lemke. McDougal was set to serve as a consulting producer.[19] By October 2018, the series had been in development for a year, and Amazon Studios had agreed to produce it.[1][20][21] In January 2019, Judkins announced that two additional writers, Michael and Paul Clarkson, had joined the production's writing team.[22] By April 2019, Kelly Valentine Hendry had been attached as casting director.[23]

In June 2019, it was announced that Rosamund Pike, who portrays Moiraine Damodred, would also serve as a producer. Brandon Sanderson, who had completed the book series following Robert Jordan's death, was also confirmed to be serving as consulting producer along with McDougal.[24] On various occasions, Sanderson wrote about his contributions to the production, which he described as "reading the scripts and offering feedback directly to Rafe, the showrunner".[25][26][27] Judkins has said that Maria Simons, a long-time editorial assistant to Robert Jordan and McDougal, also provides feedback on scripts.[28] The lead characters from Emond's Field were written as older than their book counterparts. The production team thought that television shows with seventeen-year-old lead characters could feel like young adult fiction, which was not a genre they felt was suitable for the series.[29]

Uta Briesewitz was confirmed as the director of the first two episodes in February 2019.[30] Salli Richardon-Whitfield was confirmed to be directing episodes five and six in November 2019,[31] and Wayne Yip was confirmed to be directing episodes three and four in December.[32] The director of episodes seven and eight, Ciaran Donnelly, was revealed in February 2020.

On May 20, 2021, Amazon renewed the series for a second season ahead of the series premiere.[33] The script for the second season's first episode was posted in May 2021, six months before the series' premiere.[34] Thomas Napper, Maja Vrvilo, and Sanaa Hamri have been reported to be directing episodes of the second season, with Hamri directing half of the season and serving as an executive producer.[35][36] The second season combined elements from both The Great Hunt (1990) and The Dragon Reborn (1991), the second and third books in the series.[37]

On July 21, 2022, ahead of the second-season premiere, Amazon renewed the series for a third season.[38] The third season will cover the fourth and fifth books, The Shadow Rising (1992) and The Fires of Heaven (1993).[37]

Casting edit

Rosamund Pike stars as Moiraine Damodred.

Rosamund Pike was cast as the lead Moiraine in June 2019.[4] Further main cast members were announced in August 2019: Daniel Henney as Lan Mandragoran, Josha Stradowski as Rand al'Thor, Marcus Rutherford as Perrin Aybara, Zoë Robins as Nynaeve al'Meara, Barney Harris as Mat Cauthon, and Madeleine Madden as Egwene al'Vere.[6] Michael McElhatton was announced to be playing Tam al'Thor in early November 2019.[39] Irish actor Daryl McCormack was said to have been cast in an undisclosed role in mid-November 2019,[40] later revealed to be the role of Aram.[41] Several more main cast members were announced in December 2019: Alexandre Willaume as Thom Merrilin, Johann Myers as Padan Fain, Hammed Animashaun as Loial, Alvaro Morte as Logain Ablar, Priyanka Bose as Alanna Mosvani, Taylor Napier as Maksim, and Emmanuel Imani as Ivhon .[42][43]

In January 2020, Kate Fleetwood posted on her Instagram page that she had been cast to play the role of Liandrin Guirale.[44] In March 2020, Jen Cheon Garcia announced that she had been cast as Leane Sharif.[45] In June 2020, eight additional roles were announced: Lolita Chakrabarti as Marin Al'Vere, Michael Tuahine as Bran Al'Vere, David Sterne as Cenn Buie, Christopher Sciueref as Abell Cauthon, Juliet Howland as Natti Cauthon, Mandi Symonds as Daise Conger, Abdul Salis as Eamon Valda, and Stuart Graham as Geofram Bornhald.[46][47] In July 2020, Darren Clarke was revealed to be playing the role of Basel Gill.[48] That same month, Maria Doyle Kennedy and Narinder Samra were cast as Illa and Raen, respectively.[41] Sophie Okonedo as Siuan Sanche, Kae Alexander as Min Farshaw, Peter Franzen as Stepin, and Clare Perkins as Kerene Nagashi were all announced in August 2020.[49]

In September 2021, it was announced that Harris would not be returning for the second season and that Dónal Finn would be playing the role of Mat going forward.[7] In October 2021, Ceara Coveney, Natasha O'Keeffe and Meera Syal joined the cast as series regulars for the second season, with Coveney confirmed to be playing the role of Elayne Trakand.[50] In December 2021, three recurring cast members were announced: Guys Roberts as Uno Nomesta, Arnas Fedaravicius as Masema Dagar, and Gregg Chillingirian as Ingtar Shinowa. The role of Ingtar was originally to be played by Amar Chadha-Patel, but due to scheduling conflicts his role was changed to "Lord Yakota". Thomas Chaanhing was confirmed for the role of Lord Agelmar and Sanra Yi Sencindiver was confirmed for the role of Lady Amalisa.[51][52] In April 2022, it was announced that Ayoola Smart would play the role of Aviendha.[53]

Filming edit

Season 1 edit

Table reads with the cast had begun by early October 2019.[54] Principal photography for the first season started on September 16, 2019.[55] Filming in Prague was halted in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic[56] but had resumed by April 2021[57] and concluded in May 2021.[58] Jordan Studios in Prague, constructed for the production,[59] served as the primary production base. Other filming locations included parts of the Czech Republic; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Segovia, Spain; Slovenia; and the Canary Islands. Judkins has said that shooting in the Canary Islands was intended to be more extensive, but "because of COVID-19 we were not able to do that. It had been scouted, so we sent our drone and visual effects teams to build where we were going to go into a 3D digital world that we could then put our actors into.".[60] In a behind-the-scenes video, Ciaran Donnelly, who directed the first-season finale, said that scenes taking place in the Blight were supposed to be shot on Gomera, but COVID restrictions prevented traveling there.[61] He credited production designer Ondrej Nekvasil with designing an artificial forest that could be built in Jordan Studios as a replacement.[61]

Filming in the Czech Republic qualified the production for the Czech Film Fund's incentive program, making available CZK 352 million (US $16.3 million) in incentives.[62] Executive producer Marigo Kehoe said that "For us shooting here in the Czech Republic was the only choice".[62] Filming in Slovenia similarly qualified the production for tax incentives of $314 thousand.[63] Prague's Z Molu Es Kennel provided wolfdogs for the production between October 2019 and February 2020.[64]

Season 2 edit

Filming for the second season began on July 19, 2021,[65] and filming in Prague was scheduled to conclude by February 2022.[66][67] Jindřichův Hradec, Calanchi Di Aliano, Ginosa, Letohrádek Hvězda, Barrandov Studios, CLA Studios in Ouarzazate, Morocco,[68] Masseria Lo Spagnulo, Masseria Borzone, and Chateau Karlova Koruna were reported as filming locations, along with Jordan Studios in Prague.[69][70][71][72] More than 500 of the production crew's 600 members are reported to be residents of the Czech Republic.[62]

Music edit

Showrunner Rafe Judkins said that for the soundtrack he "did not want to be what the cliché is, i.e., typical, what one would expect of that genre".[73] Composer Lorne Balfe instead referred to "a big hot pot of different styles" such as Balinese, Celtic, Southern, and Cajun, feeling that it was important to give the soundtrack more modern touches and "not to make it just traditional 'medieval folk music'".[73] In incorporating the fictional language "Old Tongue" into the soundtrack, Balfe worked with a dialect and language coach to ensure lyrics were grammatically correct and had them written out phonetically for singers.[73] He said that "when watching the show the vocals are the narrative of the scene…They're to do with actually supporting the storyline of the scene and the character's development."[73]

The first of four albums for the first season, titled "The First Turn", was released on November 12, 2021, by Milan Records in digital, CD, and vinyl formats.[74] The album contained fourteen tracks that were largely conceptual but contained key themes that spawned variations in the final score.[74] Balfe said that "The score to this series is a re-imagination of fantasy music, doing away with the genre's reliance on large, traditional orchestras in favor of more modern colors while retaining the strong melodies and bold harmonies that fans can expect from such an epic."[74]

Season 1 edit

The Wheel of Time: The First Turn
Soundtrack album by
ReleasedNovember 12, 2021 (2021-11-12)
LabelSony Music
ProducerLorne Balfe
The Wheel of Time music chronology
The Wheel of Time: The First Turn
The Wheel of Time: Season 1, Vol. 1
Lorne Balfe soundtrack chronology
Black Widow
The Wheel of Time: The First Turn

All tracks are written by Lorne Balfe

"The Wheel of Time: The First Turn"
1."Mashithamel (Young Love)"3:33
2."Moiraine Sedai"4:08
3."Ta'maral'ailen (Web of Destiny)"4:01
4."Aes Sedai (Servants of All)"2:24
5."Ost Ninto Shostya (On Your Knees)"2:29
6."Mashiara (Lost Love)"6:19
7."Al'Naito (The Flame)"4:08
8."Al'Cair Sei (Goldeneyes)"2:57
9."Caisen'shar (Old Blood)"3:34
10."Aman Syndai (Dragon Reborn)"2:48
11."Noriv al Zaffid (Two Halves of One Whole)"2:00
12."Al'Dival (For the Light)"3:36
13."Wab'shar (Bonded)"4:39
14."Mordero'Sheen (Bringers of Death)"6:28
Total length:53:07
The Wheel of Time: Season 1, Vol. 1
Soundtrack album by
ReleasedNovember 19, 2021 (2021-11-19)
LabelSony Music
ProducerLorne Balfe
The Wheel of Time music chronology
The Wheel of Time: The First Turn
The Wheel of Time: Season 1, Vol. 1
The Wheel of Time: Season 1, Vol. 2
Lorne Balfe soundtrack chronology
The Wheel of Time: Season 1, Vol. 1
The Wheel of Time: Season 1, Vol. 2

A second album, "The Wheel of Time: Season 1, Volume 1", was released on November 19, 2021, featuring music that was largely used in the first season's first three episodes.[75]

All tracks are written by Lorne Balfe

The Wheel of Time: Season 1, Vol. 1
1."The Wheel of Time"1:35
2."The Hunt"3:29
3."Trust the River"2:41
6."Trollocs Attack"2:56
7."The Battle at Bel Tine"4:12
8."The Aftermath"3:28
9."Leaving Home"2:59
10."Pyre for Light"2:54
11."Closer to You"2:15
12."Shadar Logoth"3:42
13."The Wisdom"2:46
14."Traversing Planes"2:08
16."The Choices We're Given"3:20
Total length:46:44
The Wheel of Time: Season 1, Vol. 2
Soundtrack album by
ReleasedDecember 3, 2021 (2021-12-03)
LabelSony Music
ProducerLorne Balfe
The Wheel of Time music chronology
The Wheel of Time: Season 1, Vol. 1
The Wheel of Time: Season 1, Vol. 2
The Wheel of Time: Season 1, Vol. 3
Lorne Balfe soundtrack chronology
The Wheel of Time: Season 1, Vol. 1
The Wheel of Time: Season 1, Vol. 2
Silent Night

"The Wheel of Time: Season 1, Volume 2", was released on December 3, 2021.[75]

All tracks are written by Lorne Balfe

The Wheel of Time: Season 1, Vol. 2
1."Storm the Castle"2:25
2."Balance of Power"3:10
3."No Bond is Closer"2:00
4."The Woven Shield"3:06
5."The Way of the Leaf"3:19
6."Tuatha'an Tales"4:14
8."Arrows Fall"3:15
9."Like a Raging Sun"3:00
10."Tar Valon"2:43
11."Breaking the Leaf"2:25
12."Wolf Ambush"2:15
13."Humble Beginnings"3:46
14."Clouded by Greed"2:25
15."Beyond the Hidden Door"2:53
17."The Path Forward"4:09
Total length:51:01
The Wheel of Time: Season 1, Vol. 3
Soundtrack album by
ReleasedDecember 17, 2021 (2021-12-17)
LabelSony Music
ProducerLorne Balfe
The Wheel of Time music chronology
The Wheel of Time: Season 1, Vol. 2
The Wheel of Time: Season 1, Vol. 3
The Wheel of Time: Season 2, Vol. 1
Lorne Balfe soundtrack chronology
Silent Night
The Wheel of Time: Season 1, Vol. 3

The final album, "The Wheel of Time: Season 1, Volume 3", was released on December 17, 2021.[75]

All tracks are written by Lorne Balfe

The Wheel of Time: Season 1, Vol. 3
1."A Mother's Strength"2:08
2."Assaulted By Voices"3:43
4."Follow Your Heart"2:12
5."You Won't"2:37
6."Cracks of Light"2:24
7."War Council"5:10
8."Call to Arms"2:29
9."Sisters United"2:42
10."Life or Death"7:24
11."False Promise"5:57
12."From the West"3:47
Total length:43:35

Season 2 edit

On January 12, 2022, Balfe confirmed that he would be returning to score the second season.[76]

The Wheel of Time: Season 2, Vol. 1
Soundtrack album by
ReleasedSeptember 8, 2023 (2023-09-08)
LabelSony Music
ProducerLorne Balfe
The Wheel of Time music chronology
The Wheel of Time: Season 1, Vol. 3
The Wheel of Time: Season 2, Vol. 1
Lorne Balfe soundtrack chronology
Gran Turismo
The Wheel of Time: Season 2, Vol. 1
The Wheel of Time: Season 2, Vol. 2

"The Wheel of Time: Season 2, Volume 1", was released on September 8, 2023.

All tracks are written by Lorne Balfe

The Wheel of Time: Season 2, Vol. 1
1."The Desert Warriors"3:23
2."The Hailene"3:09
3."Darkness and Shadows"3:59
4."Liandrin Guirale"2:23
6."Mat Cauthon"3:15
7."The Dragon's Heart"2:41
8."Egwene al'Vere"3:02
9."Nynaeve al'Meara"3:10
10."Last Light"3:19
11."Coming Home"4:24
Total length:35:05
The Wheel of Time: Season 2, Vol. 2
Soundtrack album by
ReleasedSeptember 22, 2023 (2023-09-22)
LabelSony Music
ProducerLorne Balfe
The Wheel of Time music chronology
The Wheel of Time: Season 2, Vol. 1
The Wheel of Time: Season 2, Vol. 2
Lorne Balfe soundtrack chronology
The Wheel of Time: Season 2, Vol. 1
The Wheel of Time: Season 2, Vol. 2

"The Wheel of Time: Season 2, Volume 2", was released on September 22, 2023.

All tracks are written by Lorne Balfe

The Wheel of Time: Season 2, Vol. 2
2."The Well"3:39
3."Family Reunion"3:31
4."The Bond That Cannot Break"2:22
5."Evil Has No Limits"2:54
6."New Beginnings"4:31
7."Face It On Your Feet"3:24
8."Making Plans"2:11
9."A Daring Rescue"2:25
10."Desert Dreams"2:44
12."The Thrill of Battle"4:10
13."The Test"2:10
14."The Horn of Valere"2:52
15."Echoes of the Past"2:55
16."The Source of Power"3:42
Total length:49:28

Visual effects edit

In early 2020, Julian Perry was attached to the series as Overall Visual Effects Supervisor.[77] Special effects company Cinesite was revealed to be working on the visual effects of the series in April 2020.[78] Additional VFX work was done by MPC Episodic, Outpost VFX, Automatik VFX, Union VFX, RISE, DNEG, Framestore, Scanline, Zelda VFX, and Ombrium VFX.[79][80][77][81] In an interview, Perry discussed how the challenging nature of the show and a more limited post-production period resulting from the 2020 production halt required them to work with a large number of VFX studios to "help spread workload".[77]

Release edit

The series premiered on the streaming service Amazon Prime Video on November 19, 2021, with the first three episodes available immediately and the rest debuting on a weekly basis.[82][83] The first two episodes premiered in theaters in London, UK, and select cities across the US on November 15, 2021, ahead of the streaming release of the first three episodes.[84] The series was the most-watched Prime Video premiere of 2021 and among the most-watched Prime Video premieres on record;[85] the premiere was also the most-pirated television program of the week.[86] The series had "the greatest average audience demand in the US in the first 30 days after its premiere of any new series" in 2021.[87] According to Nielsen, the first season accumulated 4.91 billion viewing minutes, making it the second-most watched season of a Prime Video original series on Nielsen's records.[88]

The first volume in the book series, The Eye of the World, saw a spike in sales that has been attributed to the series release.[89] For the week of November 28, 2021, it was the second-most sold book across all formats on[90] It also made the January 2022 The New York Times Best Seller list in the mass market fiction category list and was number one on the audio fiction list.[91][92]

The second season premiered on September 1, 2023.[93]

Reception edit

Critical response edit

For the first season, review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports an 81% approval rating and an average rating of 7.0/10, based on 94 reviews. The critics' consensus reads, "The Wheel of Time's revolutions can be a bit creaky as it tries to stand out from other fantasy series, but it succeeds admirably in making Robert Jordan's epic approachable for the uninitiated."[94] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 55 out of 100 based on 24 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[95]

For the second season, Rotten Tomatoes reports a score of 88% and an average rating of 7.65/10, based on 26 reviews. The consensus reads, "The Wheel of Time keeps spinning on a steady track in a rousing second season that deepens its characters."[96] On Metacritic, the series holds a score of 69 out of 100 based on nine critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[97]

Ed Power of The Daily Telegraph gave the series 4 out of 5, writing: "In its early episodes this big Wheel has enough sweep, mystique and momentum to suggest that it can keep on turning and give Amazon the global hit it dearly craves."[98] Keith Phipps of TV Guide gave the series 4 out of 5, writing: "Most importantly, it works as a piece of storytelling, creating an elaborate fictional universe but also reasons for viewers to care about that universe's fate and intrigue about what happens next."[99] Lucy Mangan of The Guardian gave the series 3 out of 5, writing: "It's absolutely fine. It's got brio, it's got style and it's got enough portentous voiceover book-ending events to make everything feel high stakes."[100] John Doyle of The Globe and Mail wrote that the series had "a certain charm in its depiction of ordinary people living in this beautiful but fraught place", but criticized it for what he described as "an overreliance on special effects and spectacle, to the point where you'd rather get back to the people involved."[101] Preeti Chhibber of Polygon stated, "The Wheel of Time is a very strong start to a much-awaited series and created by someone who has a clear understanding of how adaptations can soar when complementing their source material rather than just copying it."[102] Mini Anthikad Chhibber of The Hindu described watching the first two episodes of the series as "a fun experience", and praised the visuals and action.[103]

Alan Sepinwall of Rolling Stone gave the series 2 out of 5, praising the show's visuals and writing that it "may bring in some fantasy fans starved for any morsel of magic and wonder", but added: "the whole thing is empty, if expensive, calories."[104] Fiona Sturges of the Financial Times gave the series 2 out of 5, writing: "While there is enough violence and faux-mysticism to keep genre fans happy, convincing human interactions are harder to find."[105] Chancellor Agard, writing for Entertainment Weekly, noted a lack of character development despite the series' overall watchability.[106] Variety criticized the series for speeding through too much story.[107] Brian Lowry of CNN described the series as "Amazon's poor-man's version of The Lord of the Rings", and wrote: "the characters simply don't possess enough pop to draw in those who don't come immersed in the mythology, and the special effects are uneven."[108]

Writing about the second season, Helen O'Hara of Empire gave the season 4 out of 5, remarking that "the cast seem more comfortable now and the stakes ever higher in a smart, complicated adaptation that is taking worthwhile risks, while still holding on to what fans love about the books."[109] Carly Lane, writing for Collider, gave the season 4 out of 5 and stated that "The Wheel of Time Season 2 continues to embrace the riches of its source material's lore and worldbuilding, diverting from the books when it makes the most sense to but never sacrificing depth of character and overarching plot."[110] Following the season finale, Kathryn VanArendonk of Vulture wrote that "In its second season, the Amazon fantasy series Wheel of Time, based on the unending Robert Jordan novels that start out like a Lord of the Rings rip-off, is a TV series that has figured itself out."[111]

Accolades edit

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2022 Actors and Actresses Union Awards Best Actor in an International Production Álvaro Morte Nominated [112]
Hugo Awards Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form Salli Richardson-Whitfield and Justine Juel Gillmer (for "The Flame of Tar Valon") Nominated [113]
Saturn Awards Best Fantasy Series (Streaming) The Wheel of Time Nominated [114]

Animated shorts edit

Six animated "Origins" shorts were released alongside the release of the first season which provide additional context about the show's fictional world. These three-minute videos are titled "The Breaking of the World", "The Fall of Manetheren", "The Greatest Warder", "Saidar, Saidin, Stone", "The White Tower", and "An Ogier's Longing".[115] These shorts were written by Rammy Park and directed by Dan DiFelice with Judkins, Craig Muller, and Mike Weber serving as executive producers. Rupert Degas, Ida May, Steven Hartley, and Evelyn Miller served as narrators.[116]

In writing the episodes, Park wanted each to be focused on concepts that tied in thematically with the main show, might be of interest to series newcomers, and that long-time readers of the books might like to see visually. After Muller and Weber approved each script, Judkins gave the final approval, ensuring that an episode did not spoil information the writers intend the main show to convey later on. Director Dan DiFelice said that he wanted to take full advantage of the animated medium and not "just take live action and paint over it", and that he wanted to capture a "certain grittiness, mood, and texture" in the art style and direction. His team consisted of a "huge team from MPC but then all these freelancers, globally..."[117]

During a panel at San Diego Comic-Con 2022, it was announced that more episodes of Origins would be released starting in August 2022. The first of these was to be focused on the character of Lan Mandragoran.[116][needs update]

Notes edit

  1. ^ Bose is credited as part of the main cast from season 1, episode 3.
  2. ^ Animashaun is credited as part of the main cast from season 1, episode 5.
  3. ^ Okonedo is credited as part of the main cast from season 1, episode 6.
  4. ^ Alexander is credited as part of the main cast from season 1, episode 7.
  5. ^ Fares is credited as part of the main cast from season 1, episode 8

References edit

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