The Wheel of Time TV adaptation is almost upon us, but if you were hoping for a decade and a half of TV with seasons for each book, you might be slightly disappointed. The original book series consists of 14 novels in the main storyline plus one prequel novel But in a press junket ahead of the premiere, executive producers Marigo Kehoe and Mike Weber were hesitant to speculate about how many seasons the TV show might go. They mentioned getting to 10 seasons, indicating they would be happy to wrap up the story with fewer seasons than it had books.
"We've taken elements of book two and put it in book one, but only small amounts," Kehoe confirmed. "It's making sure that we keep the show running - that it's always exciting, but we're never missing out on really key moments. But in each episode, obviously, there are choices to be made. We can't show everything that is in the books, but I think [showrunner Rafe Judkins] is such a fan of the books, and... making sure all the time we're doing the right thing, not only for the fans but for his integrity to the show - the meaning, where we travel to, who we follow."
"But the key characters are there, that's what I would say," she went on. "And, obviously, hopefully, we'll go for 10 seasons and be able to do all the books."
To some fans, this might seem like a grim outlook as a fantasy adaptation typically needs more time, not less to cover each successive book in a series. On the other hand, The Wheel of Time is a unique case since it is famously repetitive, as author Robert Jordan wrote it in such a way that a new reader might stumble across any volume and get something out of it.
Still, every nook and cranny in this expansive story is the absolute favorite part of at least one fan out there, so there's no doubt that some viewers will be disappointed by the things that get cut from the show. The trailers have already given fans some hints about what is changed, but so far the response has been generally positive. Both Kehoe and Weber remarked on how kind and welcoming the Wheel of Time fandom tends to be.
It's also worth noting that even 10 seasons might be pushing the practical limits of a fantasy adaptation. If the show goes on for a decade, the actors playing the main characters could age out of their roles, since only a few years pass in the books. This would require even bigger changes to the story or else a daunting amount of de-aging animation, which is not always popular.
Thankfully, Amazon has renewed The Wheel of Time for Season 2 already, and production is underway. The reception of Season 1 may determine how soon work can start on Season 3. The series premieres on Friday, Nov. 19, on Amazon Video.