Brace yourselves, fantasy fans! It's time to get lost in the incredible world dreamt up by late novelist Robert Jordan, as Amazon Prime Video's The Wheel of Time adaptation has had its grand premiere.
The show kicks off with a bumper launch day, dropping three episodes that set up the complex lore behind the franchise, which has captured the imagination of readers around the world over the past three decades.
Academy Award nominee Rosamund Pike leads the cast as Moiraine, a member of the magical order known as Aes Sedai, who is seeking out the reincarnation of The Dragon – who will either save or destroy the Earth.
Amazon is keen for this to be their answer to Game of Thrones, green-lighting a second season in advance of the first's debut, while they have also invested in a series of animated shorts accessible via Prime Video's X-Ray function.
The special feature will give viewers an insight into the many years preceding the events of the series, enriching their understanding of how the world came to be this way.
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Read on to find out everything you need to know about The Wheel of Time, based on the epic fantasy novels of the same name, including release date, schedule, and cast, as well as that epic and experimental 360-degree trailer.
The Wheel of Time release date
The Wheel of Time is here! The first three episodes premiered on Amazon Prime Video on Friday 19th November 2021, with the series now shifting to a weekly release schedule.
There will be a total of eight episodes in the first season, with the finale set to be released on Friday 24th December, also known as Christmas Eve.
If you're a fan of the books who is keen to see more of the saga jump to live-action, you'll be pleased to hear that the show was granted an advance renewal for season two back in May.
"The belief Amazon Studios and Sony Pictures Television have shown in The Wheel of Time has been incredible to see throughout the entire process of making this show," said showrunner Rafe Judkins of the drama getting another season.
"Getting a second season order before the first season has even premiered is such a vote of confidence in the work we are doing and the property itself, and we couldn’t be happier to be able to continue to live and work in the world Robert Jordan created."
He added: "This property is one I’ve loved since I was a teenager, and seeing it brought to life with the resources to make it truly worthy of what’s on the page is something I can’t wait for the other fans of the books to see."
The Wheel of Time release schedule
Usually, new shows are available on Amazon Prime Video from 12:01am (BST) on the day of release, although on occasion this has shifted to later in the day.
For your reference, find the full The Wheel of Time release schedule below, so you know when to expect the sure-to-be epic series finale.
- The Wheel of Time episode 1: Leavetaking – Friday 19th November (out now)
- The Wheel of Time episode 2: Shadow's Waiting – Friday 19th November (out now)
- The Wheel of Time episode 3: A Place of Safety – Friday 19th November (out now)
- The Wheel of Time episode 4 – Friday 26th November
- The Wheel of Time episode 5 – Friday 3rd December
- The Wheel of Time episode 6 – Friday 10th December
- The Wheel of Time episode 7 – Friday 17th December
- The Wheel of Time episode 8 (series finale) – Friday 24th December
The Wheel of Time cast
Gone Girl star Rosamund Pike takes the lead role of Moiraine, a powerful magic user who has devoted her life to finding the mysterious being known as the Dragon Reborn, who prophecy foretells will be humanity's saviour.
Many of the other main roles are taken up by rising stars for whom this could be a major breakout project, including Josha Stradowski (Rand al'Thor), Marcus Rutherford (Perrin Aybara), Zoë Robins (Nynaeve al'Meara) and Madeleine Madden (Egwene al'Vere).
That said, viewers may recognise a few faces from the supporting cast, including Criminal Minds star Daniel Henney (as Lan Mandragoran), Game of Thrones' Michael McElhatton (as Tam al'Thor), and Outlander's Maria Doyle Kennedy (as Illa).
The European star takes on a very different role here, embodying the formidable Logain Ablar, whose incredible strength was showcased in a recent teaser from Amazon Prime Video. Watch below:
Also featured in the cast of the first season is Daryl McCormack (Peaky Blinders), Priyanka Bose (The Good Karma Hospital), Kate Fleetwood (Harlots), Lolita Chakrabarti (Showtrial), and Clare Perkins (The Outlaws).
Hammed Animashaun (Pls Like), Alexandre Willaume (COBRA), Johann Myers (Small Axe) and Jennifer Cheon Garcia (Van Helsing) have also bagged roles in the show's mammoth ensemble cast.
In a surprise move, Amazon has announced that one character will be recast heading into season two, with Barney Harris leaving the role of Mat Cauthon – one of the main characters in Jordan's books – to be replaced by relative newcomer Dónal Finn.
Recent Emmy nominee Sophie Okonedo (Ratched) has been cast in a recurring role as Amyrlin Seat Siuan Sanche, while another Game of Thrones alum, Kae Alexander, will also feature in the role of Min Farshaw.
Viewers can expect to see relative newcomer Ceara Coveney take on the important role of Elayne Trakand, while Natasha O'Keeffe (Peaky Blinders) and Meera Syal (Broadchurch) will also be joining The Wheel of Time cast in undisclosed roles.
The Wheel of Time plot
Amazon Prime Video's The Wheel of Time is based on the epic fantasy novels by Robert Jordan, which unfolded across 14 volumes released between 1990 and 2013, with the final three being completed by author Brandon Sanderson following Jordan's tragic death.
In the sprawling world of The Wheel of Time, magic exists but can only be accessed by certain woman, such as those from the powerful Aes Sedai organisation of which Rosamund Pike's Moiraine is a member.
The story begins with Moiraine's arrival in a quaint town called Two Rivers, where she embarks on a perilous journey with five companions, one of whom is prophesied to either save or destroy humanity as the so-called Dragon Reborn.
It's hard to do justice to the story of The Wheel of Time in just a few paragraphs, as it draws upon a richly detailed mythology inspired by elements of European and Asian culture.
But rest assured, this series should go down a treat with fans of recent fantasy hits like Game of Thrones, with Amazon boss Jeff Bezos reportedly looking to replicate the success of the HBO epic here, with the budget for season one said to be in the region of $80 million (via GQ).
That should allow for some epic action sequences, as Moiraine and her companions take on the terrifying monsters known as Shadowspawn, who are the focus of this creepy teaser video.
- For the latest news and expert tips on getting the best deals this year, take a look at our Black Friday 2021 and Cyber Monday 2021 guides.
The Wheel of Time trailer
In October 2021, Amazon Prime Video debuted the main trailer for The Wheel of Time in a rather novel format, uploading the video as a 360-degree "experience", allowing viewers to look around a computer generated environment. Check it out below:
Previously, the streaming service had released a shorter teaser trailer, which gave us our first look at Rosamund Pike in action as lead character Moiraine. Watch below.
There is also an extended clip available from the series premiere, which sees the powerful magic user arrive at the Winespring Inn in ill-fated village Two Rivers.
The Wheel of Time premieres on Amazon Prime Video on Friday 19th November. The Wheel of Time novels are available on Amazon.