This first season mostly draws from the first book in the series, The Eye of the World. However, showrunner Rafe Judkins confirmed that this first season will also be covering elements of the second and third books, The Great Hunt and The Dragon Reborn.
We meet mysterious gleeman Thom Merrilin (Alexandre Willaume) in The Wheel of Time's third episode, \"A Place of Safety.\" Jordan introduces Thom much earlier on in The Eye of the World. He arrives in the Two Rivers as entertainment for the Bel Tine festival and accompanies the group when they leave after the attack. He also advises Rand, Mat, and Perrin to hide their mysterious dreams from Moiraine. When the group splits up in Shadar Logoth, he escapes with Rand and Mat. So, introducing him now still means we could see how this trio interacts with each other. It also means that we had one less character to worry about remembering in the early episodes. Now that we're more familiar with our seven leads, we can devote some time to getting to know the supporting cast.
Wolves follow Perrin and Egwene after Shadar Logoth, chasing them all the way until they come across the nomadic Tuatha'an people. While this meeting occurs in The Eye of the World, it comes after Perrin and Egwene spend time with a character named Elyas. Elyas is a wolfbrother who teaches Perrin about his own connection with wolves. The Wheel of Time is clearly foreshadowing Perrin's own wolfbrother storyline. But since casting for Elyas has not been confirmed yet, it looks like he will not be a part of it.
Just like with the group's quick stay in Baerlon, Rand, Mat, and Thom's time in Whitebridge (and their prior journey with sailors on the Spray) is cut from The Wheel of Time. Although we miss out on seeing the town's very cool namesake White Bridge, the loss of this stage in the journey doesn't change much story-wise. That's because The Wheel of Time still includes one of the most important Whitebridge events. The only thing that changes is the context.
While The Wheel of Time has cut from its characters' journeys several destinations (like Baerlon and Whitebridge), the decision to get rid of Caemlyn entirely may come as a shock. After all, much of The Eye of the World is spent trying to get there. Plus, Rand's time in Caemlyn leads to some key encounters.
Episode 6, \"The Flame of Tar Valon,\" continues The Wheel of Time's trend of developing the politics of the White Tower early on in the series. It spends most of its time with the Aes Sedai and introduces their leader, the Amyrlin Seat Siuan Sanche (Sophie Okonedo), whose first appearance in the books, not counting the prequel, is in The Great Hunt. We get to see first-hand the decisions made about Logain, more of Liandrin's scheming, and Moiraine and Siuan's romantic relationship.
The Wheel of Time's seventh episode, \"The Dark Along the Ways,\" brings our heroes (minus Mat) to the city of Fal Dara. There, in keeping with The Eye of the World, they meet Lord Agelmar (Thomas Chaanhing) and learn that Lan is the uncrowned king of Malkier. However, there are still a few aspects of their time in Fal Dara that differ from the books.
While in Fal Dara, we also see Lan and Nynaeve's romance begin in earnest. In The Eye of the World, Lan actually rejects Nynaeve's advances even though he cares for her. We only see that scene through Rand's eyes though, so it's nice to witness their interactions up close and personal in the show. The Wheel of Time has definitely sped up their relationship timeline. But given Henney and Robins' excellent chemistry, I'm not complaining.
The episode ends with Rand and Moiraine following in Mat's footsteps and leaving everyone behind. Just like with Mat's exit, this is a new addition. And it's one that may take the season's climax in a completely different direction. In the book, Rand has his friends with him for this final portion of the journey, and he still doesn't know he's the Dragon Reborn. His in-show knowledge of his identity could drastically change his climactic showdown with the Dark One.
To understand how The Wheel of Time's season 1 finale, \"The Eye of the World,\" differs from its source material, it's important to say what, exactly, the Eye of the World is. In the books, the Eye of the World is a pool of enough untainted saidin (the male half of the One Power) to either seal the Dark One in his prison forever or break him out of it. It is guarded by the tree-like Green Man and only appears to those in great need.
Even by himself, Ishamael packs a punch. He cuts Moiraine off from the One Power and attempts to tempt Rand to the Dark with a vision of Egwene. Both are big changes from Jordan's books, with Moiraine's loss of power suggesting dire consequences in future seasons.
When sounded, the Horn of Valere will summon heroes to fight, so it's the kind of powerful object you'd want on your side in a battle against evil. Unfortunately, Padan Fain steals it out from under Perrin's nose, setting us up for the events of book 2, The Great Hunt. In Jordan's series, Fain's Horn heist happens after he spends some time in prison. The show knows it's got a lot of ground to cover and wisely cuts right to the chase.
However, in cutting to the chase so quickly, the show rushes the Fain reveal in one of the finale's weakest scenes. Fain has barely been given any time this season, so non-book readers may find this storyline to be too much of a surprise, and not a particularly exciting one. In this scene, The Wheel of Time also makes the dubious choice of possibly killing off Loial. Yet, his death is never confirmed. So, I'm holding out hope that he's wounded, not gone.
We'll definitely be seeing more storylines from The Great Hunt, including the search for the Horn of Valere. After their displays of power throughout the season, Egwene and Nynaeve will likely travel to the White Tower to begin their journey as Aes Sedai. Another hint for the future comes from the season's final scene, which shows the fearsome Seanchan army arriving on the Western shores. Looks like we'll be seeing the Seanchan invasion sooner rather than later.
The Wheel of Time set itself a seemingly impossible task: bring a dense fantasy series that is over 4 million words long to the small screen. Luckily, it understood which elements were truly needed to tell a good story and cut any material that would have bogged down a season of TV. It also expanded on its source material when needed, giving all its characters their own perspectives and fleshing out the world of the Aes Sedai. The result is a richly political and character-driven world.
The first season of Amazon's Wheel of Time has come to an end, and radically rewritten Robert Jordan's novel The Eye of the World in the process. In 1984, celebrated fantasy author Robert Jordan approached publisher Tor Books with a proposed trilogy he called Wheel of Time. Tor's editors knew Jordan tended to write long, and so instead they commissioned him for a series of six novels. In the end, the series spanned no less than 14 novels (plus one prequel), and it was only finished by Jordan's fellow writer Brandon Sanderson after the original author sadly died in 2007.
Many fans had assumed it would be impossible to create a live-action Wheel of Time. The success of Game of Thrones changed that, however, because it proved there was a real demand for long-form, high-budget fantasy drama. With Game of Thrones now at an end, networks, studios and streaming services are competing to find the next hit within that market. And so Amazon green-lit Wheel of Time, with the first season now complete and the second already in production. Reception has been mixed; there's been a backlash from some lovers of the books, while others have been rather more understanding that content has to change shape when it's being translated from one medium to another.
Adaptations are best viewed placed on a spectrum. At the one extreme there are adaptations that perfectly reproduce the source material - think Zack Snyder's Watchmen as the classic example. At the other are adaptations that honor the themes and concepts, but deviate from the details. Wheel of Time sits closer towards the thematic and conceptual end of the scale, with its characters aged up, its magic visually different to the One Power Jordan imagined, and its plot rushing through the narrative at speed. But Wheel of Time episode 8 is the ultimate example of a story that has changed shape considerably, to the extent that the end of Wheel of Time season 1 is almost unrecognizable.
This dramatic change naturally affects everything else that happens in Wheel of Time season 1, episode 8. In the Amazon series, Moiraine believes anyone who gets between the Dark One and the Dragon Reborn is destined to die. This leads her to leave Lan and the rest of the Emond's Field Five outside the Blight. She only accompanies Rand herself because she wants to be on hand in case he falls to the Dark One, and she planned to kill him should that happen. In contrast, in Robert Jordan's book The Eye of the World Moiraine took the whole group to battle against the Dark One, hoping the combination of three ta'veren and the vast pool of saidin would be enough to change the Pattern. There, they found themselves in a battle involving three major characters cut from Amazon's Wheel of Time, including two members of the Forsaken - the Dark One's closest allies.
Padan Fain makes his much-anticipated return in Wheel of Time season 1, episode 8, successfully stealing the Horn of Valere, a precious item that can be used to summon the heroes of old at the Last Battle. Again, this runs very differently to Robert Jordan's novels, where Padan Fain was actually exposed and captured. The Horn of Valere was found secreted at the Eye of the World, and thus wound up in the hands of the heroes. But the most striking change in this arc is seen when Padan Fain and his Darkfriends kill the Ogier, Loial, who plays a major role in J