Why The Wheel of Time changed The Dragon Reborn story
The Amazon Prime Video series adapts the Chosen One myth from Robert Jordan’s 14-book fantasy series. **CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR EPISODE 4**
Ahead of The Wheel of Time’s grand premiere, the first poster for the new Amazon Prime Video series led fans to suspect that two new characters would be getting roped into the mystery surrounding the Dragon Reborn’s identity.
Sure enough, the release of the first four episodes has now confirmed that Egwene and Nynaeve are among Moiraine’s primary suspects.
The series follows Moiraine (Rosamund Pike) as she searches for the Dragon Reborn, a reincarnated hero fated to both save and destroy the world.
On her travels, Moiraine and her bodyguard Lan discover five potential young adults who fit the bill, all from a single village.
But how does the TV adaptation differ from Robert Jordan’s epic 14-book fantasy series about a war between humans and a deity called "the Dark One", upon which the show is based?
Read on for everything you need to know about The Wheel of Time’s main changes from the book.
How has The Wheel of Time changed The Dragon Reborn story?
In Robert Jordan’s fantasy series, the focus of the story is on the Dragon Reborn, whose identity is a mystery at the beginning of the series.
As clues begin to emerge, Moiraine and Lan are able to narrow the list of possible candidates down to three young adults: Rand al’Thor, Perrin Aybara and Mat Cauthon.
In addition, given that the original Dragon – Lews Therin – was male, Moiraine automatically knows the same must be true for the Dragon Reborn.
However, in Amazon’s Wheel of Time narrative, it is unknown whether the Dragon has been reincarnated into a boy or a girl, enabling Egwene (Madeleine Madden) and Nynaeve (Zoë Robins) to join Rand (Josha Stradowksi), Mat (Barney Harris) and Perrin (Marcus Rutherford) as the potential Chosen Ones.
In other words, the Amazon series differs from the books in that it has changed the number of options for the Chosen One to five instead of three.
Why has The Wheel of Time changed The Dragon Reborn story?
Talking about how adding more people to the list of Chosen One suspects gives the story more mystery than the books, showrunner Rafe Judkins told RadioTimes.com in an exclusive interview: “I think for us, one thing that was really important for us is that, in the books, you know who the Dragon Reborn is, really, the whole way through the first book. It gives us a great mystery for the first season of 'who is the Dragon Reborn?' – it’s really an ensemble show, and you want to meet these different people, and be able to invest in them, like: 'Oh, could it be them? Could it be them?'.
“We’ve seen a lot of shows now that are like: 'This person is the Chosen One' in the pilot. And you’re just following their story. I think it’s actually really important, because The Wheel of Time is such an ensemble piece, that we are able to tell that ensemble story from the beginning, and that you really do invest in each of these characters, as they could be the Chosen One,” Judkins continued.
"I feel like we’ve done a good job of: people who don’t know the books at all, and have either read the scripts or watched the episodes now back to back to back, are usually surprised by who the Dragon Reborn is. Or they expected it at a certain point, and get surprised at a different point, and figure it out by the time. Everyone wants to be like, 'I knew the whole time.' But a lot of them didn’t."
Is Nynaeve the Dragon Reborn?
The identity of the Dragon Reborn is yet to be revealed.
However, in episode four of The Wheel of Time, Nynaeve is revealed as the fifth potential Chosen One in spectacular fashion, and it is heavily suggested that she could be the Dragon Reborn.
The episode sees Moiraine tells the False Dragon Logain that the real Dragon Reborn will have such amazing strength that it will be like 'the raging sun'.
Shortly after, Nynaeve gives a powerful show of channelling the One Power (the force that drives the turning of the Wheel of Time) as a light as bright as the sun bursts out of so that she can heal everyone in the vicinity following battle.
Additional reporting by Huw Fullerton.
The Wheel of Time premiered on Amazon Prime Video on Friday 19th November. The Wheel of Time novels are available on Amazon.