Ah the race to find the next big fantasy epic! After the unprecedented success of Game of Thrones, we sit waiting for what will follow in its wake as well as what will be able to fill those big shoes. On October 2nd, 2018 Amazon announced the production order on a new TV series adaptation of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time (WOT) Series and as a big fan of the books myself the anticipation and expectation is high!
WOT is a story with incredibly complex fleshed out characters of all genders and races. I am not saying that there aren't strong female leads in shows like Game of Thrones or Vikings but this series has close to a 1:1 ratio of male to female leads, not to mention the female warrior societies “Maidens of the spear” or the mystical Aes Sedai, the woman who holds the most power and respect in this world. The story travels to many different lands in which we see an array of different cultures coming together and being represented. I think this will create strong diversity within the series. This is, hopefully, what will set this series apart from so many others if the writing of the screen adaptation matches the book.
Any fans of fantasy are sure to get hooked into this series. if you enjoyed shows and movies like The Lord of The Rings, Game of Thrones, Vikings, The Last Kingdom, and The Witcher I think WOT will be worth checking out. I put the world in which the story takes place closest to The Witcher purely because of the stronger magical overtones, mystical characters and medieval european style setting.
The Wheel of Time puts the EPIC into fantasy epic! aA15-book series with over 4 million words and over 2200 named characters (beating the Game of Thrones character list by roughly 200 names). The story is set far in the future during a time known as the Third Age in a society very similar to medieval Europe. Season 1 will follow the plot line of the first book, introducing us to our core characters from a small village called the Two Rivers as they are taken out of their humble society and thrown into the intricate world around them with responsibilities to match Frodo and the gang destroying the ring!
The series tells the story of darkness slowly taking hold of the land while the Dragon Reborn, a prophesied leader of the people who can wield the power known as Saidin, desperately tries to unite the people of both land and sea to prepare them for the final fight. Sounds familiar right? The story line of “The Chosen One” plucked from anonymity and given the weight of the world to carry has been seen many times in the most popular stories of this century and this story does not disappoint. The general theme of the Wheel of Time may seem similar to other stories but the way it unfolds, and the intricacies involved in this unravelling are what really sets it apart!
For anyone that found following characters' names and plot lines in Game of Thrones difficult… BUCKLE UP!!! One of the biggest challenges WOT will face in transposing to a television series will be streamlining the characters so we can actually follow what’s going on and who is who. This, I’m sure has kept the scriptwriters busy, attempting to keep as close to the books as possible to appease the already established fan base of the book series.
With no release date in sight the show has currently halted production due to the world pandemic. It has been said that 6 of the 8 episodes have finished filming and the production team are using this time to workshop the season 2 scripts although the second season has not received the green light just yet. The general rumours surrounding the production put the release date some time in 2021 and hopefully this will still be the case.
To stay up to date on production and dates follow @wotonprime the official account for the Amazon prime series.
I know what you're thinking.... "Will this be as big as Game of Thrones?"
There are many factors that will obviously come into play here; a saturated market that has streaming services churning out more content than we can possibly binge watch, even with all the added spare time indoors at the moment, which means the competition for WOT is much higher than back in 2011 when the first season of Game of Thrones was released. Scripting and character development will play a massive role. Will we fall in love with the actors interpretation of the main characters? Will the script trim too much of the original story and lose its core fan base? It is hard to tell but for me it’s a no-brainer to give this series a watch and if it's good… Well… There are still another 14 books to go!