I saw the first three episodes of The Wheel of Time: here’s why you’ll love it

Amazon’s highly anticipated arrival The wheel of time The series, based on the epic fourteen-novel by Robert Jordan, is just days away and the hype is strong both for longtime fans of the books and for those who have never read them. . With Amazon hoping for the next one Game Of Thrones-style hit and epic fantasy fans keen to see what kinds of larger-than-life landscapes, settings and stories await them, everyone wonders how well the series will live up to a bunch of expectations almost as high as Dragonmount.

As a fan of the books myself (you can check out my current reading of the series here), I’m happy to say that the first three episodes of The wheel of time are indeed excellent. They bring a lot of what I love to the screen, and dare I say it, make a few improvements along the way. And if you didn’t get that Dragonmount benchmark, fear not, the series does a great job of immersing new viewers into the world, finding that balance between giving you the information you need to understand the quest without too much information dump or long voice. on explanations.

I mean, there’s a voiceover, but it works well, and it’s nicely reminiscent of Galadriel’s voiceover in the opening of The Fellowship of the Ring. (More on that later.)

I’m so happy with the decision to drop the first three episodes simultaneously and then switch to a weekly format. Although I’m a great marathoner myself, a streak loses a lot when you run an entire season in just a few days. This is especially true if it’s a fantasy series, with an entirely new and rich world to explore along the way. The wheel of time is a complex story with an intricate world build and huge cast of characters, and the weekly episodes allow you to connect with the material and reflect on what you just watched. There is a lot of mystery in The wheel of time too, and it’s often more fun trying to figure out the answers yourself rather than getting a new episode right away.

So I’m very happy with the attention and respect given to a series that I love so much. Dropping three episodes in a row was also a great idea, as you can really immerse yourself in the story from the first session. (You do not have watch all three at the same time, but be honest you’re going to do it.) And while I already knew the story, it took the first two episodes to get me under my feet and connect with the actors’ versions. of the characters rather than the ones in my head. My partner, whose only knowledge of The wheel of time just listened to me talk about it, I needed it even more. By the end of episode three, we were both crazy that there weren’t any more!

Yeah, I know what I’ve said before to praise the weekly episodes. I am not above being a hypocrite.

What do we say about a good dessert? That you had to let yourself wish there was just one more bite? Well, that’s definitely how I felt when the credits for episode three rolled out.

Now, the first thing you look for in fantasy on the big or small screen is the scenery. It was true even before Peter Jackson The Lord of the Rings, but this trilogy has really changed the level to which all other fantasies aspire. And The wheel of time does not disappoint in this area, far from it. Most of the series was shot in Prague, and there is no shortage of sweeping vistas of mountains, ethereal forests and bluer-than-blue mountain streams to delight viewers. All the hallmarks of the traveling quest are there, visually speaking, with panoramic shots that show how far our heroes have to travel, how high their world and the stakes really are.

I also loved the costumes. Promotional images have been quite a hit on the internet, but I’ve seen people complain that they look too new, modern, or artificial. And I admit that I noticed it myself when looking at the photos. But it’s a lot less noticeable while you’re watching the show. Most of the time, the clothes move well and the lighting complements everything. (Yes, there is a casual sweater that looks like you could find it at Old Navy or ASOS, but I didn’t find it distracting.) And the way the lines and colors of some clothes were more modern than what one would expect. made the series feel Following fantastic for me. My eye is used to raw realism, and it was new and different. It set her apart from other shows and made the actors feel like they were almost jumping off the screen. It made my brain happy.

The cast of this show is excellent. Moiraine and Lan are the most notable characters from the first three episodes (and speaking of costumes, I have to especially salute Moiraine’s, who feels as intrinsic and natural to him as anything I’ve ever seen a hero wear) , and I can’t praise Rosamund Pike and Daniel Henney enough. But every actor, including those in smaller roles, seems very well placed, and the show does a really good job of making everyone you meet feel like a real three-dimensional person. This is not an easy task.

I have a few complaints. Most importantly, there’s a change to Perrin’s story that I think belittles his trip. Certainly much of Perrin’s struggle in The wheel of time, especially for the first five books in the series, is very internal, cerebral, which is more difficult to show on film than in text. However, it’s the only change so far that feels very Hollywood-style; worse, it’s an overused (and sexist) trope that’s often used as a quick shortcut to start a hero’s journey.

I was also surprised not to be attracted to the character of Thom Merrilin. We meet him at a different point in the series than in the books, which is good, but I found the character to be kinda flat and overly serious. Thom has a very serious side to it, but fans of the book know he’s a lot of fun, too. It is dramatic and poetic and flashy to the point of flamboyance. This change worries me mostly because I know that the majority of fantasy shows these days (and books for that matter) tend to overlook the fun side of things, focus only on the dreary. I do not want The wheel of time lose the jokes and the joy that permeates the characters even as they struggle against terrible dark forces and unfavorable odds. The character of Mat Cauthon also suffers a bit from this problem, and I hope the series will of course correct itself a bit as it goes.

That being said, the show brings some big changes as well. Some of the outdated genre tropes have been changed and updated very well. A few changes in the course of the books that were made to speed up the story also improve it tremendously (Jordan tended to get bogged down at times). And in a few places, the show seems to be making comments about the world that, frankly, Jordan should have thought about making himself. This is the best advantage of adapting a novel for film or television; more pairs of intelligent eyes and minds working on the story.

These new to The wheel of time will notice how the first episodes remind them to watch The Fellowship of the Ring. This is intentional, because the first novel in the series, Eye of the world, pays great tribute to Tolkien’s work. I felt the show struck a really good balance with its visual references, even though it confused my partner at times. Existing fans who share my special love for Nynaeve, Lan, and Moiraine will be especially excited, I think.

The first three episodes of The wheel of time fall on November 19. I can’t wait for you all to see it.

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