The platforms rely heavily on fantasy, hoping to rediscover some of the magic of the phenomenal success of Game Of Thrones. Netflix drew The Witcher, adaptation of The Witcher Saga by Andrzej Sapkowski and preparing that of the works of CS Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia. After bringing to the screen the trilogy of Philip Pullman His Dark Materials: At the Crossroads of Worlds, HBO will show in 2022 the prequel to House of the Dragon. Disney + is counting in 2022 on Willow, the spinoff series of the cult film of the 1980s.
Before the future adaptation of the Lord of the Rings and the reboot project of Conan the Barbarian, Amazon Prime Video unveils this Friday the first three episodes of The Wheel of Time, adaptation of another monument of its kind, The wheel of time, a cycle of fantastic novels by the late American author Robert Jordan.
New to this work, or read the books a long time ago and need a refresher? Everything you need to know about the saga before embarking on the series.
What is this fantasy saga?
The wheel of time is a fantasy saga made up of 14 novels and a prequel published between 1990 and 2013. On the death of Robert Jordan in 2007, Brandon Sanderson finished writing the last three books, from notes entrusted to him by Harriet McDougal, the writer’s widow and editor. Brandon Sanderson is a consultant on the Amazon series.
Sold between 80 and 90 million copies worldwide, depending on the sources, The wheel of time is one of the most widely read sagas of all time. To compare, The iron Throne had sold 15 million copies worldwide before the series launched in 2011 on HBO, and now has some 90 million copies sold.
Why is it little known in France?
In France, the saga remains confined to the circle of fantasy fans because of a chaotic progress since three publishers have followed one another with three different translations. Moreover, the end is still not translated into French.
Showrunner Rafe Judkins has indicated that the first season of the series will cover parts of the first three novels of the saga.
What world does it take place in?
The fantasy world of the saga is a vast world that includes many continents and kingdoms. This world itself has no name. The saga is populated by nearly 3,000 characters and creatures.
In this world, we meet Humans, Aes Sedai (humans endowed with powers), Ogiers (builders), Trollocs (hybrid monsters), Myrddraals (monsters without eyes) or even Draghkars (flying creatures).
Okay, but what is this famous Wheel of Time?
The Wheel of Time, created by the Creator, weaves the Lace of the Ages and assembles the threads of everyone’s destiny.
The magic that spins the Wheel of Time is called True Source. It is divided into two closely related parts, one male, the Saidin, corrupted by the forces of Evil, and the other female, the Saidar, which can be used without fear. The two work both together and against each other to turn the Wheel of Time. The True Source is the source of magic, called One Power.
Only women are allowed to channel the One Power. Those who do form the powerful organization of the Aes Sedai, divided into seven orders, called Ajah. Each Ajah is identified by a color worn by the Aes Sedai. The men able to channel this force are hunted down and neutralized by the Aes Sedai of Ajah Rouge.
Who is Moiraine, played by Rosamund Pike?
The first season of the series follows one of these magicians called Aes Sedai, Moiraine (Rosamund Pike) upon her arrival in a small village in the Deux-Rivières region. She is accompanied by her Guardian, a devoted warrior named Lan (Daniel Henney).
Moiraine is looking for the Reincarnated Dragon, a being able to make Good or Evil triumph depending on which side gets his hands on him first.
When this village is attacked by an army of Trollocs, hybrid monsters half-Trolls, half-Orcs, Moiraine and Lan embark the villagers they suspect to be this hero on a long journey to the headquarters of the Aes Sedai, the Tour Blanche: Rand (the red shepherd with his bow in the trailer, Josha Stradowski), Mat (the brown prankster with a dagger, Barney Harris), Perrin (the great blacksmith, Marcus Rutherford) and Edgwene (Madeleine Madden) and Wisdom Nynaeve (the healer, Zoë Robins)
One of these villagers is the real hero of the adventure, but the series, unlike the novels, decides to maintain the suspense by making Moiraine the protagonist, as if, for the Lord of the Rings, the hero was Gandalf and not Frodo Baggins.
And what role will Álvaro Morte play from “La Casa de Papel”?
Álvaro Morte, alias the Professor in The Money Heist, camp Logain Ablar, an Asha’man, the male counterpart of the Aes Sedai, a very powerful magician.
Who is the villain of the story?
The main antagonist of The Wheel of Time is called the Dark One, a cosmic force of evil and chaos, the antithesis of the Creator. He’s known by many other names, but his real name – and the one you shouldn’t say out loud – is Shai’tan.
With its political intrigues, its conspiracies and its alliances, its history and its mythology spanning several millennia, its creatures and its monsters, its heroes and its traitors, The wheel of time contains all the ingredients to last. Amazon Prime Video believes it, a second season is already in preparation.