Skip to content
Pursuits
Critic

Amazon’s Big-Budget Fantasy Has One Thing Game of Thrones Didn’t

The Wheel of Time adaptation, based on the cult-favorite fantasy series by author Robert Jordan, brings together politics, adventure, and lots of magic.

Rosamund Pike plays Moiraine, a magic-wielding adventurer who upends the lives of five young people in a small town.

Rosamund Pike plays Moiraine, a magic-wielding adventurer who upends the lives of five young people in a small town.

Photographer: Jan Thijs/Amazon Prime Video

You could be forgiven if you watched the first few episodes of the Amazon Prime Video series The Wheel of Time, and thought to yourself, “Wait, I’ve seen this before.”

Here’s what happens, and I’m not spoiling anything, because you have seen it before: A pod of innocent, grubby pals live in a small farm town minding their own business, clanking tankards in poorly-lit pubs, and flirting heavily with each other despite all the obvious body odor. Then, suddenly, an enigmatic wizard shows up, followed almost immediately by a bunch of nightmarish monsters. The wizard scoops up the friends, tells them, Surprise!it’s YOUR fault that the monsters are in your small town, and they all flee together into the big wild world outside.