How Amazon’s ‘Wheel of Time’ is different from the books

A 100% trustworthy adaptation of The Wheel of Time was by no means going to be potential. Robert Jordan’s epic fantasy sequence spans 14 books — 15 in case you rely the prequel — totaling over 4 million phrases. That is merely an excessive amount of materials to suit right into a TV present. Understandably, Amazon Prime Video’s model of The Wheel of Time cuts a terrific deal from its supply materials. 

This primary season largely attracts from the first e book in the sequence, The Eye of the World. Nonetheless, showrunner Rafe Judkins confirmed that this primary season may even be masking parts of the second and third books, The Nice Hunt and The Dragon Reborn. 

Regardless of a big quantity of modifications, the story of The Wheel of Time stays the identical at its core. Moiraine (Rosamund Pike), a member of the highly effective all-female Aes Sedai order, embarks on a large journey with 5 younger women and men, any of whom could possibly be the highly effective Dragon Reborn prophesied to both save the world or destroy it. There is a bit extra to it than that. So, be sure you try our handy-dandy Wheel of Time information to get your full bearings.

Listed here are the largest modifications The Wheel of Time has made from the books to date. The next comprises huge spoilers for the books and the present, so contemplate yourselves warned.


The Dragon Reborn

Episode 1, “Leavetaking,” opens with a bit of voice-over that instantly modifications one thing about the central determine of the Dragon Reborn. Moiraine reveals that the Dragon — initially a person named Lews Therin Telamon — has been reincarnated, however nobody is aware of whether or not he has been reborn as a person or a lady. In the books, there is no uncertainty: the Dragon is (rightly) assumed to be a person. 

I doubt The Wheel of Time will change the id of the Dragon, as that might have huge repercussions down the line. All this deviation from the e book does is broaden the thriller of who the Dragon could possibly be by including ladies like Egwene (Madeleine Madden) and Nynaeve (Zoë Robins) into the combine — one thing that I am in no way mad about.

Different Views

Three women sit on a rock. One of them braids another's hair.

A beautiful scene we did not get in the books.
Credit score: Jan Thijs

Most of The Eye of the World is advised from the perspective of sheepherder Rand (Josha Stradowski), making it fairly apparent that he is the Major Character (aka the Dragon). To maintain us guessing, The Wheel of Time positions Moiraine as our lead, at the least for the first few episodes. This alternative permits us to know the stakes of her quest a bit higher.

By not solely specializing in Rand, we additionally get to study extra about different characters’ lives in the Two Rivers. We see Egwene’s induction into the Girls’s Circle, an addition that Rand wouldn’t have been in a position to narrate. We additionally get glimpses of Mat’s (Barney Harris) troubled dwelling life and Perrin’s (Marcus Rutherford) relationship together with his spouse. Talking of…

Perrin is married?

Sure, however not for lengthy! Perrin’s spouse Laila (Helena Westerman) is a brand new character, who shortly turns into a brand new corpse in a single of the present’s most pointless page-to-screen modifications. After we first meet Laila, it is clear that her marriage to Perrin is strained. Nonetheless, earlier than we will study any extra info and even get a smidge of decision, Perrin by accident kills her when the Trollocs assault. Her loss of life is a traditional instance of “fridging,” when a personality — most of the time a lady — exists solely to die or undergo with the intention to additional the emotional arc of a extra central character. It is an affordable tactic that would simply have been prevented. Perrin may have had a powerful emotional response to actually anything, like, I do not know, his dwelling being burned? Or Nynaeve being kidnapped?

Nynaeve being what now?

Don’t fret, Nynaeve is high-quality. She was simply carried off by a Trolloc, main everybody to consider she’s lifeless. In the books, she survives the assault with out being kidnapped, however she does not depart the Two Rivers with the relaxation of the group. She chases after them later, believing them to be in peril from Moiraine and reuniting with them in Baerlon. That is slightly more durable for her to do in the present as a result of…

Bye bye, Baerlon

The primary of many stops on our group’s journey to Tar Valon, Baerlon has been fully eliminated from The Wheel of Time. Since a lot of The Eye of the World is simply the group strolling from place to put, it is sensible that some of these locations bought reduce. Nonetheless, we’re lacking some key encounters in consequence, like the aforementioned Nynaeve reunion. Plus, the function of the shady Padan Fain (Johann Myers) appears to have reduce all the way down to only one look (to date). We additionally lose out on assembly Min, whose uncanny skill to learn folks’s auras offers massive hints about who the Dragon is. We’re positive to see Min sooner or later, although, on condition that Kae Alexander has been solid in the function.

Mordeth and Mashadar

Barney Harris as Mat, picking up a ruby-hilted dagger in a dark room.

Put that dagger down Mat!
Credit score: Jan Thijs

The Shadar Logoth sequence in episode 2, “Shadow’s Ready,” performs out a bit in another way in the present than it does in the books, however the principal beats stay the identical. We study the historical past of the deserted metropolis. Mat steals a ruby-hilted dagger, and the shadowy entity often known as Mashadar separates the group as they escape. In The Eye of the World, we get the added step of Mat, Rand, and Perrin assembly a mysterious man named Mordeth, who tries to get them to maneuver some treasure for him. He later assaults them, solely backing off when he realizes Mat has taken the dagger.


Thom Merrilin

We meet mysterious gleeman Thom Merrilin (Alexandre Willaume) in The Wheel of Time’s third episode, “A Place of Security.” Jordan introduces Thom a lot earlier on in The Eye of the World. He arrives in the Two Rivers as leisure for the Bel Tine pageant and accompanies the group after they depart after the assault. He additionally advises Rand, Mat, and Perrin to cover their mysterious goals from Moiraine. When the group splits up in Shadar Logoth, he escapes with Rand and Mat. So, introducing him now nonetheless means we may see how this trio interacts with one another. It additionally implies that we had one much less character to fret about remembering in the early episodes. Now that we’re extra acquainted with our seven leads, we will commit a while to attending to know the supporting solid.

A brand new Darkfriend

Episode 3, “A Place of Security,” sees Rand and Mat threatened by a Darkfriend, a human who has been influenced by the Darkish One. This Darkfriend is Dana (Izuka Hoyle) — to not be confused with Dena, Thom’s lover from the books. She’s a totally new character. However the run-in has roots in The Eye of the World, the place Mat and Rand encounter Darkfriends like service provider Howal Gode on their journey.

Assembly the Tuatha’an

Wolves comply with Perrin and Egwene after Shadar Logoth, chasing all of them the method till they arrive throughout the nomadic Tuatha’an folks. Whereas this assembly happens in The Eye of the World, it comes after Perrin and Egwene spend time with a personality named Elyas. Elyas is a wolfbrother who teaches Perrin about his personal reference to wolves. The Wheel of Time is clearly foreshadowing Perrin’s personal wolfbrother storyline. However since casting for Elyas has not been confirmed but, it appears to be like like he won’t be a component of it.

Liandrin and Logain

A group of women in red stand outside, some on horses

The Crimson Ajah is right here, and so they’re out for blood.
Credit score: Jan Thijs

In The Wheel of Time’s third episode, Moiraine, Nynaeve, and Lan (Daniel Henney) cross paths with Liandrin (Kate Fleetwood), an Aes Sedai of the Crimson Ajah, and Logain (Álvaro Morte), an imprisoned man claiming to be the Dragon Reborn.

Liandrin is not launched till The Wheel of Time’s second e book, The Nice Hunt, which means this complete scene is new materials. Nonetheless, elements of it are based mostly on occasions that occur in The Eye of the World. The Aes Sedai do imprison Logain and produce him to the metropolis of Caemlyn, however we by no means see the precise imprisonment or journey to Caemlyn ourselves. One of the many benefits of adapting The Wheel of Time is that we get to expertise battles and scenes that occur off the web page — like Logain’s expertise with the Aes Sedai — for the first time.

The battle in Ghealdan

The Wheel of Time’s fourth episode, “The Dragon Reborn,” opens with a flashback of Logain attacking — after which becoming a member of forces with — the King of Ghealdan (Miguel Alvarez). In The Eye of the World, the battle in Ghealdan is one thing we solely hear about in passing, and Ghealdan’s king Johanin truly strips Logain of his the Aristocracy as a substitute of becoming a member of up with him. This modification from web page to display screen finally ends up being notably efficient. We see Logain’s channeling of the One Energy in motion and may perceive how some might discover his trigger interesting.

Some new Aes Sedai

Apart from Liandrin, Moiraine reunites with two different distinguished Aes Sedai: Kerene (Clare Perkins) and Alanna (Priyanka Bose). Each are members of the Inexperienced Ajah, also called the Battle Ajah. Neither exhibits up in The Eye of the World. Kerene is a personality in the Wheel of Time prequel New Spring; she dies whereas trying to find the Dragon Reborn. Alanna additionally options in New Spring, in addition to The Nice Hunt and the relaxation of The Wheel of Time.

Moiraine, Lan, and Nynaeve spend a lot of The Eye of the World trying to find their misplaced companions, however the shift in the storyline to include Logain and different Aes Sedai is a sensible transfer. It permits us to study extra about the different varieties of Aes Sedai in addition to the conflicts between the Ajahs. The change is different sufficient from the supply materials that e book readers can be pleasantly stunned. But it makes use of acquainted characters, so these new scenes do not feel fully eliminated from Jordan’s world.

The place’s Whitebridge?

Identical to with the group’s fast keep in Baerlon, Rand, Mat, and Thom’s time in Whitebridge (and their prior journey with sailors on the Spray) is reduce from The Wheel of Time. Though we miss out on seeing the city’s very cool namesake White Bridge, the loss of this stage in the journey does not change a lot story-wise. That is as a result of The Wheel of Time nonetheless contains one of the most necessary Whitebridge occasions. The one factor that modifications is the context.

A Fade walks right into a barn…

In The Eye of the World, a Fade hunts Mat, Rand, and Thom down in Whitebridge. Thom battles it and urges the boys to go away him behind and run. On the highway from Whitebridge to Caemlyn, they keep at a range of inns and farms, one of them belonging to the Grinwell household, who kindly provide them lodging. The present takes these occasions and twists them in a different path. As an alternative of the Fade showing at Whitebridge, it seems at the Grinwells’ farm and massacres the household. The remaining of the encounter performs out the way it does in the e book, with Thom combating the Fade and telling the boys to run. 

Whereas the addition of Laila’s loss of life felt pointless, the Grinwells’ newly tragic destiny is key to the story. Right here, the brutality of the Fade’s assault is horrific, emphasizing the hazard Rand and Mat are in and the extent of the Darkish One’s evil. The bloodbath additionally forces Mat to doubt himself. Did he kill the Grinwells together with his mysterious dagger? Is he the Dragon Reborn, doomed to go mad and destroy the world?

The Aes Sedai vs. Logain

Álvaro Morte as Logain, who is sitting in a cage.

The False Dragon is ANGRY.
Credit score: Jan Thijs

A lot of Moiraine, Lan, and Nynaeve’s storyline has been altered from the books. Nonetheless, the Aes Sedai’s battle towards Logain’s military deserves a particular point out. This combat is a brand new addition to The Wheel of Time, however it helps flesh out the Aes Sedai’s powers and their relationship with their Warders. It additionally leads to Logain being gentled. In the books, that does not occur till he reaches Tar Valon.

One other massive change is Nynaeve therapeutic all the wounded Aes Sedai and Warders, together with a nearly-dead Lan. Nynaeve is a extremely highly effective Channeler, however her energy does not present itself this strongly or this early on in the books. Her huge blast of magic in the present not solely works as a misdirect about the id of the Dragon Reborn but in addition is only a nice new second to showcase how robust she is — and to trace at her emotional connection to Lan.

Reducing Caemlyn

Whereas The Wheel of Time has reduce from its characters’ journeys a number of locations (like Baerlon and Whitebridge), the determination to get rid of Caemlyn solely might come as a shock. In spite of everything, a lot of The Eye of the World is spent attempting to get there. Plus, Rand’s time in Caemlyn results in some key encounters.

Do not be too fearful although: The Wheel of Time has merely shifted a lot of the e book’s Caemlyn motion to Tar Valon, which means that we additionally get a glance inside the Aes Sedai’s White Tower. In the present, Rand nonetheless meets up with Loial the Ogier (Hammed Animashaun), and he nonetheless sees Logain being paraded via the streets by the Aes Sedai.

The Logain scene diverges a bit from the books as effectively. Logain is now gentled, and Rand sees him with Mat. In The Eye of the World, Logain can nonetheless channel, and Rand sees him alone. In The Wheel of Time, Logain sees Mat and laughs maniacally as effectively, a strong addition to the misdirects about the Dragon Reborn’s true id.

Just a few characters have not made the transfer from Caemlyn to Tar Valon. Elayne and the Daughter-Inheritor of Andor, chief amongst them. Excellent news for all the Elayne followers on the market: Judkins confirmed that she can be in Season 2, performed by Ceara Coveney.

An encounter with the Whitecloaks

Madeleine Madden as Egwene, dressed all in white and tied to a chair

How will Egwene get out of this one?
Credit score: Jan Thijs

Egwene and Perrin’s seize by the Whitecloaks in episode 5, “Blood Calls Blood” goes slightly in another way in The Eye of the World. By this level in the novel, Egwene and Perrin have left the Tuatha’an. After torture and questioning, they’re rescued from the Whitecloak camp by Moiraine, Lan, and Nynaeve.

The Wheel of Time permits Egwene and Perrin to rescue themselves with the assist of the former’s channeling and the latter’s connection to the wolves. It is a possibility to higher perceive their talents, and a terrific style of issues to come back for each characters.

Questioning them is Whitecloak Eamon Valda (Abdul Salis), who doesn’t initially seem in The Eye of the World, however who does play a task in the later books. The present by no means confirms whether or not he dies when Egwene and Perrin escape, leaving the door broad open for him to proceed antagonizing our heroes.

The tragedy of Stepin

A lot of “Blood Calls Blood” focuses on the aftermath of the Aes Sedai’s battle with Logain, which resulted in the loss of life of Kerene. Her Warder, Stepin (Peter Franzén) grieves her all through the episode earlier than dying by suicide. The episode ends together with his funeral. Kerene and Stepin’s each die in Wheel of Time prequel New Spring, so this is new materials. Nonetheless, it is new materials with a transparent objective: establishing the significance of the bond between an Aes Sedai and their Warder. Although quick, Stepin’s arc finally ends up being one of The Wheel of Time’s stronger and most emotional storylines to date.

We’ll replace this submit as extra episodes of The Wheel of Time stream on Amazon Prime Video and doubtlessly deviate from Jordan’s books much more. 

The Wheel of Time is now streaming on Amazon Prime with new episodes each week.

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