The Wheel of Time is Amazon’s first big swing in the fantasy space, an adaptation of Robert Jordan’s 14-book strong fantasy series about a group of a rural teenagers who go on a world-spanning journey. It’s a big project, and after listening to a Comic-Con@Home discussion with showrunner Rafe Judkins, we know when it premieres: See you in November.
The Wheel of Time has an expansive cast, but this poster spotlights Moiraine Damodred, played by Oscar nominee Rosamund Pike. Moiraine is an Aes Sedai sorceress, and kind of serves as the Gandalf of the story, collecting the other characters at the start and leading them on an adventure.
Pike impressed Judkins from the start, starting with a phone call where she said simply, “I know this woman. I can be this woman.”
"When I talked to her I knew she was the only option for this character because she kind of understood Moiraine in her bones in a really fundamental way."
The Wheel of Time will be “the most diverse fantasy TV show that’s been on television before”
Not only is the cast of The Wheel of Time huge, it’s also very diverse. Judkins talked about his thinking when it came to casting:
"The Wheel of Time has always sat as the most diverse fantasy book that came out in its time…We also need to do that, in order to honor the books that are there and make this the most diverse fantasy TV show that’s been on television before…Bringing in all these people from these different parts of our world is letting us build the worlds within the show."
The Wheel of Time show will have “a lot of things that are different from the books”
It’s clear that Judkins has a lot of passion for this story, which should please fans. That said, this is a tricky one to adapt, in no small part because it’s so huge. Judkins seems to have found a balance. “Obviously I want to stay as close to the books as we possibly can,” he says. “This really is a true adaptation of the series. So there will be a lot of things that are different from the books, certainly, but I think it always stays true to the heart of the books and the spine of the storytelling.”
"The challenge that we face is how do you tell this story the most cohesively and the most coherently in what is a reasonable number of seasons of television…I sat down and broke out what I thought eight seasons of the show might look like before I started writing the pilot, because I thought you had to build in this knowledge of where you’re going and how you’re getting there from the very beginning in order to tell the story as best you can."
We don’t have an exact premiere date for The Wheel of Time yet, but the month is good enough for now! Surely a trailer can’t be far behind.