The Wheel of Time 2021 Tv Series Review
STORY: The series is based on Robert Jordan’s 14-volume fantasy series of the same name, the first of which was published in 1990 and the last in 2013. The first season of the show centres around Moiraine (Rosamund Pike) — an Aes Sedai of a powerful organisation of women who can use magic — who takes four youngsters on a journey to the White Tower in the East as she feels one of them could be the reincarnation of the Dragon, a powerful person prophesied to save the world or destroy it.
REVIEW: The scale of the show is evident from the stunning opening credits in which threads are magically woven in a loom to make a design of the seven Aes Sedai in as many colours. The story starts in Two Rivers, a rural community where simple hardworking folk go about their lives without much ado.
It is only in the evening when Moiraine and her companion and ‘warder’ Lan Mandragoran (Daniel Henney) enter the village the action begins. She feels that one of the five youngsters — Rand (Josha Stradowski), Egwene (Madeleine Madden), Nynaeve (Zoe Robins), Mat (Barney Harris) and Perrin (Marcus Rutherford) could be the Dragon reborn even as she is mulling which one it could be, the village is attacked by Trollocs (hybrids of humans and beasts) on behalf of the Dark One.
While Nynaeve is taken by one of the Trollocs, Moiraine convinces the other four to travel with her to the White Tower. Even though skeptical of her, they decide to follow her on the journey.
Rosamund Pike is fantastic as Moiraine and perfectly conveys the different shades of her character. Whether she’s fighting off the Trollocs or being vulnerable and yet strong-willed when faced with Padan Fain of the brutal Whitecloaks who hunt Aes Sedai, she drives the series with her sheer performance.
Daniel Henney is effective as Moraine’s warder Lan. Josha Stradowski, Madeleine Madden, Zoe Robins, Barney Harris and Marcus Rutherford are convincing.
Given that the original work is a series of 14 volumes, the series does take time to showcase the various characters. However, quite often the narrative seems slow and meandering until an incident or the appearance of a new character sees the proceedings pick pace again.
The production values are fabulous and the beautiful locations of Prague and Bovec have been aptly used and fabulously shot. The background score heightens the drama and adds to the narrative.
Even for those who haven’t read The Wheel Of Time, the series is an interesting watch and with the second and third season reportedly renewed, we’re in store for more magic, scary beasts, blood and gore, and of course, the confrontations with the Dark One.