Fans got their first look at The Wheel of Time TV series on Wednesday in photos of the cast and locations first published by Entertainment Weekly. The Amazon Prime series is based on the novels by the same name, written by Robert Jordan and finished by Brandon Sanderson. For long-time readers, this was a dream come true.
The Wheel of Time has been in the works for years, and so far only tiny glimpses have emerged in 6-second teasers, title cards and set photos. Finally, this week we saw Moiraine (Rosamund Pike), Egwene (Madeleine Madden), Lan (Daniel Henney), Perrin (Marcus Rutherford), Nanaeve (Zoë Robins), Mat (Barney Harris) and Rand (Josha Stradowski). The teasers include one group shot of the characters, a photo of Rand and Egwene in an epic landscape, and a few photos that hint at the broader story.
For those new to the franchise, The Wheel of Time takes place in a sprawling fantasy setting where women can be trained to use magic — known here as "The One Power" — but men cannot do so without going insane and becoming violent. Women using the One Power known as Aes Sedai hunt down these men, but the series builds gradually towards a great standoff between the forces of good and evil to fix this fundamental imbalance in the world.
In addition to the photos mentioned above, another shows Álvaro Morte as Logain, a man caught using the One Power and imprisoned by the Aes Sedai. He is bound in a cage en route to the Aes Sedai headquarters, the White Tower, in the hands of other women with the power.
The last photo in the set shows Lan protecting Moiraine in the cursed city of Shadar Logoth — one of the first major events of the series. The eeriness comes across even in this still image, though showrunner Rafe Judkins told EW that the city will only be featured for about 15 minutes of screentime.
Judkins is a long-time fan of The Wheel of Time, which was first published in 1990 and continued until 2013. There are 14 books in the main series plus one prequel novel written by Jordan. Jordan passed away before completing the series but left behind extensive notes to show where the story was heading. His widow, Harriet McDougal, selected Sanderson to write the ending, which came out to three novels.
The Wheel of Time is an epic expected to match or exceed the scale of Game of Thrones, and to push the fantasy series adaptation craze even further in popular culture. The show premieres in November of 2021, and has already been renewed for a second season which is now in the works. All 15 books are available in print, digital and audiobook formats for those looking to get ahead.