The Wheel of Time Spins Onto Amazon

Fans of literary fantasy can sink their teeth into another epic Amazon Prime adventure

Fans of literary fantasy can sink their teeth into another epic Amazon Prime adventure

The Wheel of Time, based on the novels by American authors Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, is set in a sprawling world where magic exists, yet only certain woman have access to it. It’s in this world where Moiraine (Emmy-winner and Oscar-nominee Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl), a member of a powerful organization of women known as Aes Sedai, sets forth from the small town of Two Rivers on a dangerous, globe-spanning journey to stop the “Dark One.” Her companions are five young men and women, one of whom is the “Dragon Reborn,” prophesy ed to be either the saviour or the destroyer of humanity.

The series was shot over the past two-plus years, primarily in Prague, with a large cast that includes Sophie Okonedo, Zoe Robins, Madeleine Madden, Marcus Rutherford, Daniel Henney, Barney Harris and Josha Stradowski. It features spectacular mountain landscapes, ample special effects and the performance of Pike, who executive producer/showrunner Rafe Judkins reports was an easy sell to take on the role of Moiraine.

“She called me and said, you know, ‘This character is me, like I feel her in my bones…’ ” he recalls with a laugh. “She just understood the character so fundamentally and had such an amazing grasp of her. And in all of her work previous to this as well, she’s done such a nice job of balancing warmth and coldness, balancing the softer sides of her characters with the very hard edges of her characters… So having an actor that can move really seamlessly between those two things has been amazing for us.”

Also a character in this show is the village of Two Rivers. The set construction here, Judkins notes, was elaborate and painstaking and the location of it in the Slovenian Alps only added to the show’s mystical, otherworldly atmosphere.

“They’re a little bit more raw,” Judkins explains, “like they’ve seen less use over the centuries than the Swiss Alps that we’re used to; so they have this really raw, new feeling to them that was perfect for the Two Rivers… You really understand it and why our characters miss it.”

The Wheel of Time streams Fridays on Amazon Prime Video