My entire personality is based on being the person who read the book before the movie came out. So, when Amazon announced The Wheel of Time series, I should have been elated: another fantasy series based on a popular and highly lauded (and super long) book series. My jam.
But instead, I panicked. Because Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series has been on my book list for ten years … my to be read book list. I hadn’t gotten to them, and based on all the ever-expanding titles on said list, I wasn’t likely to anytime soon.
But … A SHOW. A fantasy show. Rosamund Pike. I needed to read them. I needed to know. I already decided to forego reading Dune; I couldn’t do it twice in the same month ffs.
A Wheel of Time Virgin
So, here comes the inevitable question of my time: do I watch the show without reading the source material, or do I set all obligations aside and dive into a(nother) 800-page high fantasy tome so I can be prepared to dissect all the ways the adaptation fails to produce the same experience? (I would never.)
Readers, I read it.
Barely scraping by the deadline of the show premiere on November 19th, I assiduously read The Eye of the World. Thankfully, my good friend Jamie lets me hang out in her Audible account, and I had an entire week of painting the outside of my house, ie hours of drudgery, to listen. I highly recommend the audio book; fantastic narrators.
Going in mostly cold, (I had seen the trailer), I wasn’t sure what to expect, but as a Tolkien nerd, I definitely wasn’t expecting SO MANY clear connections to Lord of the Rings. So many, in fact, that it’s obvious that Jordan was paying homage to Tolkien directly. There’s no other way around it.
The Look of the Series
I can’t deny that the trailers made a significant impact on how I viewed the characters and settings as I was reading. This one especially kept crossing my mind’s eye because the soundtrack SOUNDS LIKE TWILIGHT.
But I was already stunned by comparisons between what I was reading and what I had seen of the series: Why is Rand the one with the bow instead of Mat, and where is his heron-marked sword? How is there so much exposition and exposure of the Aes Sedai when in the book we are faced almost exclusively Moiraine?
The second question has an easy answer, even without a more extensive knowledge of the world outside of Book One: there is clearly an entire world building surrounding the One Power, the True Source and the Aes Sedai that no one who has only read Book One would be aware of yet. Including it in the series, even if an adaptation of Book One, makes perfect sense and stunning visuals. No doubt, I should probably read on ASAP (ugh, I’m so busy).
And then there is this one, that looks EXACTLY like the book (except for that BOW).
All of it makes me extra anxious for the show to begin. Who’s watching with me?
The Wheel of Time premieres on Amazon’s Prime Video on November 19th.
Beth is the proud sponsor of two little women and a huge fan of fandom. She took 3 years of Latin in high school and now speaks fluent pretension, which fully explains her current preference for gay wizard regency novels. She will roll over for a giant book with a map in the front. She takes comic book recommendations every day but Wednesday and TV recommendations never (she knows what's good).