My first copy of the Eye of the World, the first book in the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan, came to me as a gift from my parents. The blue cover with Moraine and Lan on the front leading the intrepid characters off on a quest immediately caught my attention.
Once I opened the book I was hooked. It has been my favourite series so far. I’ve read the Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter (which is a close second), Game of Thrones and many other major series, but The Wheel of Time takes the cake.
For years the main characters were my best friends. I would not have been able to get through parts of my life without that series. Jordan’s death before completing the series was heartbreaking. Thankfully Brandon Sanderson stepped in to do a great job finishing it off with the help of Jordan’s widow, Harriet McDougal, and his final notes.
I have been hoping and praying for the day when it would be adapted as a TV series. The rights had been purchased by Universal, but nothing had come of it. In 2015, a mysterious pilot for the series, called The Winter Dragon, was released on FXX TV in the wee hours of the morning. McDougal and Universal had absolutely no knowledge of this production and had not participated in any way.
Many fans scoured the internet to see this program. I was one of them. I finally had some small glimmer of hope that this would be a televised series.
It was awful. Don’t take my word for it, you can still find it on YouTube.
In less than 25 minutes, all hope of a decent series evaporated. It was unbelievably disappointing to see.
When Amazon announced in 2019 that it had greenlighted the project, I was hesitant. It took a lot of digging around to make sure it was actually going to take place. The next step was to download the streaming service and see if they had the capabilities to create this kind of show.
Naturally I subscribed to Prime right away and I haven’t been disappointed. If you watch shows like Good Omens and Carnival Row you can see they have the budget for decent CGI and they can adapt a book without completely alienating the audience. There are always going to be people who are disappointed with how a book is interpreted into film, but I don’t think there is really any way around it.
The casting has caused a bit of controversy so far. It was bound to. I, personally, don’t care if the actors match the descriptions in the book down to the last detail. I just hope we are gifted with some quality acting and that this program doesn’t end up like The Sword of Shannara did.
Filming is set to start this month in Prague. There are some beautiful cities there that I think will do the series justice and I’m eagerly awaiting the first photos that come from the shoot.
With the show expecting to debut in early 2021, there is nothing to do but wait. There are fourteen books in the saga. If you haven’t read them, you should pick them up beforehand and familiarize yourself with the tale of the Dragon Reborn.
I envy anyone reading it for the first time. I wish I could do that again.
The Beguiled Bibliophile