It's been 30 years since the release of Eye of the World and the series is finally getting a television adaptation. Let's take a look at the latest news.
It seems like only yesterday that Harriet McDougal, the wife, and editor, to the late Robert Jordan, announced to the world that The Wheel of Time, one of the best-selling fantasy series of all time, would finally be adapted into a high-budget television production. Of course, that was actually April 2016 and we have come a long way since the announcement.
Over the past two years, we've followed the announcement of a production studio in Amazon, a showrunner in Rafe Judkins, casting announcements, and finally information on the filming. It's been a fun ride and we are getting closer and closer to finally seeing The Wheel of Time on our televisions.
There have been a number of major announcements over the past month that are certainly worthy of discussion. Here at TheGreatBlight.com, we will be covering all of the latest news and this past month has certainly been eventful in terms of information about the series. We're going to summarize all of the major information in this article and you can see a more detailed report by watching Nae'blis' video below.
Make sure to subscribe to Nae'blis YouTube channel for more Wheel of Time content and follow him here on TheGreatBlight.com.
Filming Has Resumed
The Wheel of Time production had been shut down due to COVID-19 since March 13th, but it had been rumored that production would be starting again soon. There had been reports of many of the production staff members as well as cast members being back in Prague for filming.
This was finally confirmed by WoTseries.com, one of the best Wheel of Time news websites out there. They have confirmed that filming on the show resumed on September 7th, 2020 in Prague. This comes very close to the 1-year anniversary of the start of principal filming on September 16th, 2019. Of course, with the 1-year anniversary of filming, the WotOnPrime Twitter and Instagram accounts did not disappoint, giving us a great teaser showing the Winespring Inn. You can watch the short clip below and Wheel of Time video creator Unraveling the Pattern made an excellent video breaking down all the parts from the trailer that is certainly worth a watch!
You can watch Unraveling The Pattern's video here:
Before filming had shut down, we had learned that only the first 6 episodes of the first season were filmed to completion. As production starts back up to finish the remaining 2 episodes, we have also learned that filming is expected to continue until mid-December, leading to some speculation that there may be some re-shoots from the first 6 episodes as well to cover that length of time for continuous filming.
Wheel of Time headliner Rosamund Pike, the actress selected to play Moiraine Damodred, gave an interview to The Collider in which she was asked about Wheel of Time. She commented that she had been back to work for a week at the time filming and that the production was "epic" in scope. With the previous shutdown in production due to coronavirus, she tells Steve Weintraub of The Collider of the precautions and complications that come with filming a major production during a pandemic. With over 500 people present onset and the difficulty of maintaining social distancing while acting, it sounds like they have quite a task ahead of them.
You can watch the entire interview below. The part that references the Wheel of Time starts around the 10-minute mark in the video. You can also read the article here.
We have also learned in the past few weeks that Kae Alexander, the actress cast to play Min Farshaw, has arrived in Prague to begin filming as well. It was also leaked that this would be her first time on set (this is unconfirmed, but seemingly coming from her own agent). If this is the case, that would
certainly have implications on the timeline for the story. It would seem Min is to be introduced much later in the first season and possibly not in Baerlon as in the books. This would make sense if they want to give her a larger role in the story to keep her from having what would otherwise be a cameo role in the first season.
New Filming Locations
According to WoTseries.com, two new filming locations have been found near Prague.
The first of the locations mentioned is a walled town outside Prague called Terezín. According to WoTseries.com, the filming primarily took place near a bridge and entrance that is for pedestrian traffic only.
The second location mentioned is another small fort town called Josefov Fortress. This is another walled town and the filming here took place at night and at the same time as the filming in Terezín.
Both of the filming sites appear to be Fal Dara at our best estimation. The lack of pomp looking at the walls and the utilitarian nature of the forts seem to indicate a fort city like Fal Dara over a beautiful capital city like Caemlyn or Tar Valon.
While we still don't know anything about the planned release schedule for The Wheel of Time and whether the show will follow the streaming service staple of releasing all of the episodes at once, or going with a more traditional weekly release schedule, there has been some indication that Amazon is open to weekly releases.
The Boys, Amazon's farcical take on what superheroes would actually be like if they were real, has been a smash hit since it was released last year. In its first season, The Boys released in the binge-watching format with all 8 of its episodes coming out at once. With the second season, however, The Boys producer Eric
Kripke decided to go in a different direction. The second season released the first three episodes to be binged but then has followed a weekly release schedule since with the season finale coming this Friday, October 9th. Kripke is on record saying that this change was his call and his intention was to let fans generate more buzz around the show and anticipation for the following episode. The thought is that this would keep the buzz around the show going longer.
The fact that The Boys is a show that is not only produced by Amazon, but also Sony Pictures Television, the same two production partners that are behind The Wheel of Time, certainly gives credence to the idea that Rafe Judkins will have the power to decide how the show will be released.
The past few weeks have brought us a couple of new hires for the production team and cast as well.
According to Redanian Intelligence, Michael D'Cruze has been cast to play a character named "Zahir". Given that there is no character named Zahir in the books, this could be a character created for the show or it could simply be a name given for auditions and the real character's name has not yet been confirmed. D'Cruze is most known for his work on the television shows Tyrant, Saracen, and Eastenders.
Jan Petrina has been hired as the Stunt Coordinator for The Wheel of Time. Jan has had a distinguished career as a stuntman and coordinator, having worked on a number of films in the MCU like Captain America: The First Avenger, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Guardians of the Galaxy. He has also worked on television shows like Game of Thrones, Carnival Row, and Whiskey Cavalier.
Leaked Audition Videos and Scripts
A number of audition tapes have surfaced on Vimeo that showed auditions for roles on the Wheel of Time television show. Most notably, for the characters of Liandrin and for Egwene al'Vere. The videos were quickly taken down, but not before transcripts could be taken. While none of these audition scripts mention any of the characters by name, it is clear that they are using false names to read for Wheel of Time parts.
Be careful reading further if you do not want any spoilers for the first two books of The Wheel of Time.
Disclaimer: These are audition scripts, which are not guaranteed to be actual excerpts from the television show. While it can be fun to speculate if these scripts do prove to be true, these can't be taken as actual leaks from the show.
The first scripts that we are going to show are for a character named "Leona," but based on what we can see in the context of the scripts, this appears to be Liandrin. There are 5 scenes in total for "Leona," so lets dive on in.
This scene appears to be between Liandrin and Moiraine Damodred, who has been referred to as "Myara Sheera" in other leaked audition scripts in the past. This scene appears to be a discussion of the capture of Logain Ablar as a false Dragon. What is interesting here is that Moiraine and Liandrin don't meet in the books until the opening chapters of The Great Hunt, but it appears here that they will meet during the events of the first season (if these leaks are to be believed).
In this much longer scene, we see Liandrin speaking with Moiraine and two other Aes Sedai. They appear to be discussing Logain's strength in the One Power and whether or not he is the real Dragon Reborn.
It is not likely that the "Elaine" mentioned here is Elayne Trakand, but rather more likely that it is another Aes Sedai like Alanna Mosvani.
What is most important here is that it appears Moiraine is traveling with the group of Aes Sedai that have captured Logain, something that breaks from the events of the books.
This very short scene is between Liandrin and Nynaeve. In past leaked audition scripts, "Nadie" has been the name for Nynaeve. This interaction shows a brief conversation as they discuss Moiraine.
This scene shows Liandrin explaining the Ajahs to another person. The sects she mentions are the Ajahs and the Dretch Wars are most likely a reference to the Trolloc Wars, which took place roughly 2000 years prior to the start of the story.
The final Liandrin scene is between her and another Aes Sedai. They appear to be arguing about whether to gentle Logain now or to wait until they arrive in the White Tower. "Asgard" is likely a port like Aringill and the "stone temple" is the White Tower.
After the Liandrin scenes, WoTseries.com (they seem to be coming up a lot, right? - GO CHECK THEM OUT) discovered more leaked audition scripts for Egwene al'Vere. There are 3 in total and they seem to focus on Egwene's relationships with Rand and with Moiraine.
This first scene is just a conversation between Rand and Egwene and there seems to be a conscious intention to build their relationship early on in the series.
This interaction between Rand and Egwene seems to revolve around Egwene being asked to become Nynaeve's apprentice and eventually become Wisdom.
This scene appears to be between Egwene and Moiraine and occurs after the sinking of the ferry at Taren Ferry. Here Moiraine explains the Three Oaths to Egwene and explains that she did not kill Master Hightower and that she wouldn't be able to had she wanted to. This scene appears to take place at the same resting location the party stopped at after departing the Two Rivers in the books.
One thing of note here is that we already know from leaked metadata on a photo months ago that Master Hightower will die trying to save his ferry from being sunk. If that is true, that certainly lends to credibility to these leaks.
You can find a lot more discussion surrounding these leaks on an episode of The Dusty Wheel that aired a few weeks back where these leaks were discussed in detail.
Whew! That's a lot of news to get through, but its certainly an exciting time to be a Wheel of Time fan.
Make sure to check back on TheGreatBlight.com regularly for more Wheel of Time news and lore content.