The Wheel of Time is a series written by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson. The first book, “The Eye Of the World”, was published in 1990; the final novel, A Memory of Light, was completed posthumously after his death in 2007. Set predominantly around magic-wielding humans called channelers who can enter an alternate dimension known as ‘the world of dreams’, their quest to unite with all other channelers across various worlds spins into a terrifying battle between opposing forces for control over everything within creation. Join us every week on our journey through this epic fantasy story!
The “Wheel Of Time Season 1 Episode 1 Review: Leavetaking – Wheel of Time” is the first episode of a new television series based on Robert Jordan’s fantasy epic, “The Wheel Of Time”.
The hoopla surrounding Amazon’s The Wheel of Time has its own set of cliches, much like TV shows. If you’ve been following the story at all, you’ll know how essential this adaptation is to lovers of the books. Robert Jordan’s fantasy is a massive work of fiction that covers 14 volumes, the last three of which were finished after his death. And comparisons to Tolkein’s The Lord of the Rings and George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones abound, the latter especially so because it’s one of the most well-known big-budget fantasy series based on a book to exist as a TV show, as well as having a significant impact on studio executives’ understanding of the importance of one uber-successful show. Fans, on the other hand, aren’t interested in such things. They want a series that stays true to the novels while still being as excellent and popular as possible, so the network will stick with it until the finish. Rosamund Pike, the show’s producer, stressed how important it is that they do this right.
The Wheel of Time, unlike Game of Thrones, is finished, allowing creator Rafe Judkins free control over how the series concludes. Unfortunately, like the previous books, I haven’t read The Wheel of Time, which has made me wary of tackling it. I couldn’t decide if I should attempt to study every part of it before plunging in, or just read the absolute minimum and allow the show lead me to the intricacies. Part of it arose from apprehension about coming out as uneducated in my evaluations and maybe offending or upsetting community members. Fortunately, I was able to overcome that problem and, instead of doing study, I decided to leap directly into the program, one episode at a time, like I did with Game of Thrones. Of course, this means I’ll always be a few steps behind and have little information of how the series will go in the future, but if the program is excellent, it should at least provide for an interesting TV experience.
So, if you’re seeking for book comparisons, you won’t find them in my reviews. You won’t likely uncover any indications about future arrangements, simply educated assumptions. But, if you’re like me and haven’t read the novels yet and are debating whether or not to watch the program, these reviews should help you make a better decision. Similarly, for anyone inquisitive about how accessible the program is, you’ll get a better insight here than in some of the other reviews done by book enthusiasts, since I’m writing from the viewpoint of a curious TV Show viewer without criticizing the show’s fidelity. So, without further ado, let’s get started.
The Wheel of Time pilot episode does a good job of establishing out the broader story’s basic conflict and stakes while also presenting the kinds of things that neophyte fantasy aficionados would anticipate from a program of this caliber. The Aes Sedai, a formidable organization made up of women capable of channeling great magic, hunts out anyone remaining with the capacity after the world was broken, leaving males unable to wield the power of magic without being driven insane. Moiraine, the most powerful of them all, is on a journey to locate the Dragon Reborn, a chosen one who will put an end to the growing evil that has been trapped by the “Dragon” for years and threatens to resurface.
Her journey takes her to Emond’s Field, a tranquil town in the Two Rivers, where she encounters five individuals, any of whom may be the chosen one. Rand Al’Thor, Perrin Aybara, Mat Cauthon, Egwene Al’Vere, and Nynaeve Al’Maera, our show’s leads, are introduced here. The rest of the episode takes place in Emond’s field, where we witness the aforementioned individuals go about their daily lives until all hell breaks lose with a Trolloc assault that demands everyone’s combined efforts and some heavy channeling by Moirane to fight off.
The most significant flaws of The Wheel of Time debut are the erratic pace and what seems to be an information dump at moments. Given the massive amount of setup the show needs to establish for viewers like me, the latter is to be expected, but it could have been done slower and smoother; I found myself rewinding and rewatching Pike’s Moirane’s opening likes multiple times just to fully grasp the bits of history it contained. The episode begins quickly with the Aes Sedai pursuing two men, then alternates between frenzied pace and banter before returning to fantastical action with the Trolloc assaults. With so little build-up, the stakes are exceedingly low, and it’s difficult to feel anything other than going through the motions.
At this point, comparisons to Game of Thrones are unavoidable, so I’ll say it. With the limited budget that Game of Thrones had (due to the fact that it was only getting started on fantasy television), it had to make sure that every combat was worth watching. As a result, every battle and combat scene on the show became notable for doing something new, whether it was in terms of epicness, fight choreography, visual effects, size, or chess moves. Every battle featured a long build-up, which, combined with the show’s propensity to kill off any character, dramatically increased the stakes. In comparison, the premiere’s last assault seemed terribly conventional, with standard choreography that lacked any feeling of originality, which is not something you’d anticipate from such a significant translation. It’s also too soon for us to develop any kind of connection to the main characters, much alone the relationships they cultivate, but that’s hardly a criticism of the debut. I’d watch a couple more episodes to see how much I can identify with and connect with the protagonists and their problems.
The sudden changes in speed tend to detract from the overall experience. Normally, a slow-moving series would be criticized, but there is much too much that occurs far too rapidly in under an hour for it to register emotionally. It’s difficult to think that a few hours with Moiraine, the Aes Sedai, is enough to convince the four leaders to abandon their family and merely assume that one of them is the Dragon Reborn. They don’t even get to say their goodbyes to their families; only minutes before, Thom Al’Thor was being cared for by his son Rand and Egwene, and we’re expected to assume they just parted ways for forever. Also, as filmmakers, you’ll have a hard time persuading me that any of the main characters are disposable in the first episode, so the urgency and gravity of the Trolloc danger will be difficult to sell.
That isn’t to say that everything is horrible. Regarding the aforementioned scenario, I like the impression of anarchy that the Trolloc assaults attempted to convey. It was difficult to acquire good, solid views of these orc-like animals, but maybe that was the point: to emphasize the attack’s suddenness and unpredictability, as well as the villagers’ lack of readiness. Moirane’s channeling phases in the assault, as well as the way she braided the magic threads, seemed epic on some levels, giving us a taste of what we might anticipate in more substantial and game-changing battles. While the combat itself was chaotic, the episode as a whole included some stunning cinematography and images that helped to convey a great feeling of scale for the planet we’re in. It’s a mind-blowing reality to realize that graphics that were previously only seen in a Peter Jackson picture have suddenly made their way to the tiny screen.
Lorne Balfe’s music is also responsible for the show’s epic quality. There are a lot of new themes presented, and I’m sure we’ll hear them again in future episodes. I was especially taken aback by the symphony and chanting surrounding the channeling moments, which, in my opinion, contributed much more to their epicness than the images. The music that accompanies the huge vistas is also enjoyable, but I’d want to hear it more in order for it to sink in. The only thing that’s lacking now is a big start sequence that introduces us to the show’s main theme tune. I’ll wait to see if the series has any plans for an opener after the series premiered with merely the show’s logo animated with the title.
The element about which I was most concerned was whether or not I would be able to follow the show. How accessible might the performance be to novices with so much history and 14 volumes worth of material? While some sections felt like they would be more beneficial to book readers, I found the proceedings to be pretty approachable, even for a complete beginner like myself. A little Google will almost always come in handy. If you’re viewing this on Amazon Prime, don’t miss out on The Wheel of Time Origins, an animated series of webisodes that delves further into the origins of various events. It has its own distinct animation aesthetic, but the webisodes are developed in the same manner as the Game of Thrones blu-ray extras, which filled out more of the universe with each season.
But, in general, I’m happy to report that not only is the show accessible, but it’s also a lot of fun. It’s too early to say how well the characters develop and if we’re on the verge of seeing the next Game of Thrones, but there are certainly some intriguing setups for the show to follow. Perrin, in particular, now has to live with the enormous guilt of an unintentional death during the chaos surrounding the assaults. Egwene still has a long way to go in terms of conquering her self-doubt and confusion about herself and her position in the world. And, despite her hatred for Moiraine for what happened to her parents years ago, Nynaeve will have to cooperate with her while Moiraine hunts for the Dragon Reborn. There are certain to be conflicts, and with 14 volumes worth of material, they won’t be the only themes or people we see or meet on the program.
Despite the difficult beginning, I am optimistic about The Wheel of Time as a series. And, as an outsider to this work of fiction, I’m jumping on board for the time being. After getting over my apprehension of beginning my watch, it’s time to go on to the next episode and take it one episode at a time.
Season 1 Episode 1 of The Wheel of Time received a 7.5 out of 10 rating.
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The “wheel of time episode 1 reddit” is the first episode in a 10-episode series based on Robert Jordan’s “The Wheel Of Time”. The show will be released on Netflix.
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