With all the enduring hype about Game of Thrones reaching proportions of mass hysteria, we sometimes tend to forget that George R. R. Martin isn’t the only fantasy author whose works are worth adapting for television and cinema and that HBO isn’t the only television network capable of making high-quality content. Thankfully, people from Amazon and Sony Pictures Television had decided to jog our memory a bit with a fantasy epic of their own. A few days ago, the head of Amazon studios Jennifer Salke officially confirmed that they will adapt The Wheel of Time, Robert Jordan’s celebrated fantasy series into a TV show. Of course, this is not an entirely unexpected decision. Judging by decades-long murmurs about the TV show that will introduce Jordan’s monumental work to small screens, it was only a matter of time when someone would do it.
To be sure, this is an occasion for jubilation for all those fans who devotedly followed the development of Jordan’s 14 books long saga about the eternal fight between the light and darkness. However, even those of you who haven’t read the books, won’t have a hard time to follow this exciting and twisting plot, because the TV show will obviously have to streamline the gargantuan content available from Jordan’s novels. These are still very early phases in the production of the series, so we still haven’t much tangible information to share with you. However, we know that, just like in the beloved books, the TV show will be centered on the fate of five young people as they are trying to flee before the forces of a rising darkness. They are accompanied by Moiraine, a legendary channeler (essentially, Jordan’s version of a mage) who tries to determine who among those five individuals is the Dragon Reborn, a foretold savior or destroyer of the world. Interestingly enough, it seems that the story of TV show won’t be told from the perspective of (spoiler alert!) Rand al’Thor, the main protagonist of the books, but from the Moiraine’s. However, this also might prove like a judicious decision, because this somewhat misleading emphasis on Moiraine will create necessary suspense, at least for viewers unfamiliar with the books – unless Amazon plans to make some radical changes to the original plot.
And, while that still remains to be seen, Rafe Judkins (whom you might remember from his work on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and Chuck) a showrunner, writer and executive producer of the upcoming TV show seems pretty reverent about Jordan’s books, which is certainly a good thing. For now, we know that he’ll be joined by Darren Lemke, Larry Mondragon, Rick Selvage, Ted Field and Mike Weber in the role of executive producers. Another key member of the team will be Harriet McDougal as consulting producer of the series. She might prove essential in making sure that the adaptation goes as it should and that show stays true to books and Jordan’s intentions. She’s an experienced editor who worked on Wheel of Time series, and also – no less important for her role here – the wife of the late Robert Jordan.
Of course, with several major projects on its agenda, Amazon has its hands full. However, since it isn’t exactly a secret that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos wanted a TV show that will become next Game of Thrones, there’s no doubt that The Wheel of Time will receive a royal treatment.