Weekend Recommendation: The Wheel Of Time, On Amazon Prime Video, Is A Fascinating Tale Of Mystique And Magic
The concepts of birth and rebirth, good and bad have been long spoken about in folklores. It is believed that humankind, bound to a wheel of time, ends one story only to begin another; a life ends only to start afresh. But what does one do when they can't remember anything from their past lives? "They do better," says a man to one of the primary characters in Amazon Prime Video's new series, The Wheel Of Time.
Set in a fantasy world of magic and mystery, the series follows the powerful Moiraine (Rosamund Pike), a member of the Aes Sedai, an elusive organization of women who can channel the One Power – a divine force of power that can be seeked from the universe, but only by a chosen few. The show starts with Moiraine going on a quest with her trusted Warder, Lan (Daniel Henney). Their aim is to find the Dragon Reborn, a man or woman, who, in their past life, had successfully managed to cage The Dark One – a dangerous force with an aim to end the world – only to unleash it again. Moiraine speaks of the man with a twang of angst, while also acknowledging that his reborn, like himself, has the power to save the world – or end it. She aims to reach to the reborn before the darkness does, and so begins her journey to the small town of Two Rivers. Zeroing in on four young, 20-year-olds who seem to match the prophecy, she takes them along on a risk-filled path to the protective walls of The White Tower, the Aes Sedai headquarters. There begins their life-alternating journey to not only find themselves, but save each other and humanity in the process.
These chosen 20-year-olds have fascinating character arcs that expose their vulnerabilities to the situation they find themselves in. Having grown up together in a small town, they know each other and their experiences well enough to influence and care for one another. There's the young Rand (Josha Stradowski), who is smitten with Egwene (Madeleine Madden), his childhood sweetheart. The latter, on the other hand, dreams of becoming a Wisdom, a local healer who can "listen to the wind" when she channels her inner powers correctly. She is inspired by her mentor, Nynaeve (Zoe Robins), who motivates her to become one of them. There's the street-smart, Mat (Barney Harris), a gambler who carries a no-nonsense disposition but is, underneath it all, looking out for his two younger sisters, who otherwise have to live with their irresponsible, damaged parents. Finally, there's Perrin (Marcus Rutherford), a happily married, young blacksmith, now carrying the burden of a tragedy on his shoulders. Taking off to an unknown, uncertain world, they find themselves unable to make sense of the prophecy and how everything they had known was now crumbling. All they could do then is to somehow find a way to survive the menacing darkness that was now on a prowl for their lives.
Based on the late Robert Jordan's 14 novel series of the same name, the 8-episode epic is written and run by Rafe Lee Judkins, with each episode lasting about an hour. The lusty greens, the dewy, flowing rivers and the picturesque mountains are a balm to the eye, adding to the grandeur and old-world charm that the show creates. The danger of the dark is aptly depicted through large, poisonous Trollocs, headed by an eerie, monstrous Eyeless on a horse, who are hunting for the young men and women likely to be powerful enough to stop them. On the other hand, Moiraine's powers, which include eliciting fireballs and emanating a blue-whitish light (read a kind of electricity that has the power to decimate the monsters), are starkly different, making one wonder how beautiful the crafty CGI may look on the big screen.
Slowly and steadily, as the characters stumble across one location after another – and one obstacle after the other [watch out for the ominous presence of the Whitecloaks] – on their path to The White Tower, the mystery of the identity of the Dragon intensifies as the danger looms large, threatening to destroy it all.
The first three episodes of the series are now available to stream on Amazon Prime Video. The remaining five will release every Friday.
Recommendation in collaboration with Amazon Prime Video