The Wheel of Time is right around the corner and based on the first three episodes, longtime fans of the iconic series should like what they see. More importantly, the show should also draw in people who have never read Robert Jordan’s books. The epic story has been brought to television in a way that will not leave anyone out. The casting and story will entice everyone.
The scenery is absolutely beautiful. The Randlands are gorgeously described in the books and Amazon’s The Wheel of Time makes sure to capture that feel. From the lively mountain home of the Two Rivers to scenic forests to barren wastelands, the series takes viewers to an entirely new world. Some shots come off as self-indulgent, but this may be based on the sheer beauty of what the story is conveying.
In an epic story like The Wheel of Time, the characters are incredibly important. If they do not draw the audience in, then the sprawling story becomes uninteresting to watch. Thankfully, this is not the case here. The people of the Two Rivers have a toughness to them that instantly makes them likeable.
There is also a freshness to them. In many adventure tales, those that are unexpectedly thrown into the chaos bemoan the fact they are not good or skilled enough to be a part of the bigger journey. There is some of that in The Wheel of Time, but there is also a sense the group are prepared for anything. There is a longing for home and a sense of disbelief, but the episodes never give the sense they are in over their heads.
What The Wheel of Time does convey is there are greater things happening the world over that no one is quite prepared for. The world building is excellent. The show pulls off the hard task of introducing the characters without feeling like it is filler. Meanwhile, the action begins from the first episode, and while the Two Rivers folk are tossed into the turnings of the Wheel, it never feels like those watching are in danger of getting lost.
This is especially noteworthy since the first three episodes introduce a number of characters and factions along with the prejudices and philosophies of the land. There is no way someone watching will immediately know everything. Instead the world opens up organically as it does to those in The Wheel of Time. It keeps things interesting as there are constant developments in the series.
There are also some great action sequences that showcase impressive special effects. A large battle in the first episode is filled with enemies that get more frightening with each episode. The Wheel of Time can be surprisingly bloody, with some kills holding nothing back. That being said, nothing ever seems out of place. The show is off to a great start for fans of the new books and people coming on board for the first time.
The first three episodes of The Wheel of Time premiere November 19 on Amazon Prime Video with new episodes weekly.
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