Amazon's new drama (out now!), about a coming war between good and evil, takes place in a world that firmly believes in reincarnation, thus the passage of time is a hot topic. The Wheel of Time is clearly confident in its tone and knows exactly what kind of show it wants to be — the next classic fantasy tale.
Spanning a whopping 15 novels, The Wheel of Time — which debuted in 1990 — seemed impossible to adapt before shows like Game of Thrones. Showrunner Rafe Judkins believes this show serves as a perfect bridge between Thrones and the earlier mythic saga The Lord of the Rings.
The stories also highlight their female characters differently. The world of Wheel of Time is essentially matriarchal. The largest kingdom is ruled by a queen who will pass her crown to her daughter rather than her son, and uneasy peace is maintained by the female-only mystic order known as the Aes Sedai.
The most prominent Aes Sedai is Moiraine (Rosamund Pike), who rescues a handful of young villagers after monsters attack their community of Two Rivers. Though the group of new refugees doesn't trust her, "Moiraine is the guide figure in this world," explains Pike.
Judkins and his team felt the pressure to get the story "right" and spared no expense. They hope it's embraced by fans. "I try to stick to the spine and the heart of the books, and bring that to the screen," Judkins says. "If I can successfully do that, the story and the characters will sell themselves."