Note: this will mainly be based on the TV show and, as a result, there will be spoilers! There is a lot that is missing from the books in the show, but it is something that should be expected from an adaptation. I will also not be using names because I am using Dragon dictation and I know it will make a mess of them! Except Rand, Matt, and Perrin, which I already know it can handle. He
Names, and what I will use instead:
Moiraine Damodred https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moiraine_Damodred an Aes Sedai who is searching for the Dragon Reborn (I shall call her magic user)
Lan Mandragon,] are Moiraine’s Warder and companion (I shall call him warden)
Nynaeve al’Meara https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nynaeve_al%27Meara,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wheel_of_Time_(TV_series) Wisdom of Emon’s d’s Field (I shall call her wisdom)
Egwene al’Vere https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egwene_al%27Vere, a villager from Emond’s Field in Two Rivers, suspected of being the Dragon Reborn (I shall call her sheep)
Rand al’Thor https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rand_al%27Thor, a villager from Emond’s Field, suspected of being the Dragon Reborn
Perrin Aybara https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perrin_Aybara, a villager from Emond’s Field, suspected of being the Dragon Reborn
Mat Cauthon https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mat_Cauthon, a villager from Emond’s Field, suspected of being the Dragon Reborn
Liandrin Guirale, an Aes Sedai (I shall call her red)
Loial, an Ogier (I shall call him builder)
Siuan Sanche, the Amyrlin Seat (I shall call her boss magic user)
Min Farshaw (I shall call her vision)
They released the series of books a long time ago. There are 14 of them in total and they are quite long, but they are also grouping and well worth the time to read! As a result, fans have been patiently waiting for someone to try adapting this into a film or TV programme. It is quite a long and complicated story which is mainly told in the first person, from several points of view, so includes a lot of thought and description. Because of this, adaption would form very difficult but I am happy that somebody finally took on the challenge.
The series differs from the books, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. Controversial as many people really did not like the adaption because of the differences, but I accept them because it makes for a more interesting piece of viewing than a completely loyal adaption would have been. (Not that I am saying the books I’m not worthwhile reading because they really are and give more of an insight into the unique characters – and the way they think).
So, the storyline of this show moves along quite fast as it just goes from one an action sequence to the next without showing all the travel and thinking along the way. The first thing it impressed me with was how visually stunning it was. Opening credits, the sets, the costumes, the use of magic, everything. The characters are immediately recognisable for the people who read the books and everything seems to have been well thought out.
The first thing that happens is the attack on Winters’ night. I thought they did extremely well this and you could feel the fear in the characters. (A major change here is the inclusion of Perrin’s wife, although she is not in it for a long period!) It is the morning after the attack that magic user gathers them together to explain that one of them is the Dragon reborn and that all of them should go with her. Wisdom is missing presumed dead, so is left behind. They do not state it which one would be the Dragon reborn, although if you had read the books, then you already knew, and it felt a secret that the insiders knew! However, what they do not explain because they have changed the folklore about this, is that the Dragon is usually a male who can touch on the true source and use its power. This is because in many times over the years the men have corrupted the power and it will drive them insane. In the series, the Dragon can be male or female, leaving the viewer to question who it could be.
From this point, it may be over the long quick and so it is quite difficult to cover in a chronological order. They cover these significant plot points and there are only a few things that have been left out, sadly. They include the characters of Elyas, who were very important for explaining the connection that Perrin has with the Wolves. This is mainly done visually in the series, which means some of this is lost. A missed opportunity for sure.
However, the white cloaks are done extremely well and make for some extremely disliked characters, which is just how they are written in the books. Their entire execution and dialogue is absolutely perfect!
One character they introduce for a short time as the gleeman, Thom. In the book he is a pretty major character that is there from the start and so when they leave him to run away from a fade the loss is felt much more than it was in the series way he had literally just appeared. I hope they will bring him back in next season and make him a more major character (as he should be).
There are a good few elements that have been made up for the series, but I rarely have a problem with those. They have given a false Dragon some of a back story which is missing from the books. However, the portrayal of the way he uses the magic (mixing both black and white) is absolutely stunning and shows the way men have tainted the power over the years. There are also a few deaths in the 10 in the book, but they do not detract from the story. In fact, they add to it and show the importance of the bond between any of the magic users are now warder. They also progress the story of the wisdom and the warden showing the chemistry a lot more than it was on the page. In the books, the chemistry comes as a bit of a surprise.
Then the group split, meaning that Matt was no longer at the end of the show and, apparently, this was because of the restrictions around my coronavirus. It was a shame, but in the end it meant little a loss story wise.
Everything is progressing nicely (although some locations change) and they find the builder exactly like he is in the book, which I was quite happy to see. Then we get introduced to vision because magic user wants to know which one of them is the Dragon reborn. Unfortunately, vision cannot tell her who that will be. Magic user explain to the group that she asked because anyone who went to the eye of the world and wasn’t the Dragon would die.
They all decide that they will go anyway, but Rand has worked out that there is the Dragon reborn, and he explains this to magic user and they go alone. I missed another major character, which would be the green man who is the Guardian of the eye of the world. There are a lot of major changes in the last episode and some of them left you scratching your head a bit. Admittedly, if it had been done exactly like the book, I would have been quite dull as basically Rand does everything by himself and they have split this up for the show. Any girl with the ability to channel goes outside of the city to defend it, which they do by linking. Unfortunately, this leads to death, which is not something they had been told. Wisdom protects sheep who appears to resurrect the wisdom. This is not something she should have been able to do, so it seemed a strange idea to add. Meanwhile, in the castle, Perrin finds the peddler from their village stealing a box and a dagger (last seen with Matt). It looks like the builder is dead (which I hope is not the case). Back at the eye of the world, Rand and the dark one enter a battle of minds in which Rand eventually emerges victorious. Meanwhile, magic user has been prevented from touching the source.
The last scene is the only one that makes any sense if you are a reader of the books. If not, then it probably makes no sense!
Well, adaption wise, it was doing very well until that last episode. Mind you, I am curious to see what they are going to do now, so I will wait for the next series. The second half of the second book has some scenes that I am eager to see and from the way they left it, I want to see what happens. This is not a bad adaption even if it doesn’t follow the books religiously. There is no actual way they could be fair.
I would still recommend watching this and still sitting time aside as you read the books. Best of both worlds.