The Wheel of Time, a Fantasy Show with Utah Connections
Last Thursday night the second season of Amazon’s The Wheel of Time wrapped up. Filming for season three began in the spring of 2024.
The adaptation's first season was a hit according to Amazon. In statements distilled in a Reddit post that I’ll link here, in 2021 it was the most-watched series premiere of the year and one of the top five series launches of all time for Prime Video.
Season one had tens of millions of streams in the first three days of release and logged some of the highest completion rates on the service ever.
The series is based on the fourteen-book series by Robert Jordan and finished by Brandon Sanderson after Robert Jordan’s death in 2007.
The series has Utah connections with local author Brandon Sanderson finishing the series and acting as a consulting producer along with Robert Jordan’s editor and widow Harriet McDougal. Utah-born Rafe Judkins is acting as showrunner and executive producer for the series.
Season two also has more room to breathe with longer episode runtimes and an increased production budget. Season two also has more room to breathe with much of the character introduction and worldbuilding done in season one.
Season two of The Wheel of Time mostly covers The Great Hunt and The Dragon Reborn, books two and three in this mammoth series.
I’ll leave a link to my review of the first three episodes of season two here and I’ll also warn you that from here on out there be spoilers.
Episode Four: The Daughter of the Night
“Blood feeds blood. Blood calls blood. Blood is, blood was, and blood shall ever be.” -Ishamael
Episode four opens with the audience being introduced to another of the Forsaken and being introduced to the home life of the Aes Sedai. The look into the home life of the Aes Sedai shows the stark differences between Alanna’s and Moiraine’s families.
We also get a look at Liandrin and Nyneave’s relationship. It’s so much fun watching the characters I read about years ago be brought to life by world-class actors.
This episode had me with the reveal of Lanfear with the rest of the episode just being icing on the cake.
Episode Five: Damane
“Perrin Aybara...do you like to dance?” -Aviendha
In episode five, we are introduced to Lanfear as Lanfear and get a glimpse of her mastery of the Dreamworld.
In this episode, we’re introduced to Lanfear as a master of Tel’aran’roid, the world of dreams. We’re also introduced to Hopper, who is the bestest boi, and Aviendha who is a total badass and a part of the Aiel.
This episode would have made me a happy camper with just the introduction of the Aviendha, but on top of that, we saw Hopper and Tel’aran’roid and that made the episode just that much more awesome.
Kate Fleetwood has done such an amazing job bringing Liandrin to life and she needs to be given all the awards.
Episode Six: Eyes Without Pity
“It must be hard to grow up thinking you’re a person only to find out you’re damane.” -Renna
In episode six we’re introduced to the horror of becoming damane and the relationship between the damane and sul’dam. We also get an introduction to another Aes Sedai named Rima and her warder who were absolute scene stealers and a Mat and Rand reunion that was absolutely heart-warming.
Just for this episode alone, Madeleine Madden should be getting all the awards.
Episode Seven: Daes Dae’Mar
“The Dragon is born again. I feel it. It’s happening now. The baby lies in the snow and cries like the thunder. It burns like the sun.” -Gitara Moroso
This episode starts off with a flashback to Moiraine and Siuan twenty years ago witnessing the foretelling of the Dragon being reborn by Gitara Moroso played by Haley Mills. We also get to see Lan prepare Rand to meet Siuan, Barthanes showing his dark side, and Rand helping Moiraine be able to embrace the one power again.
By far the most heartbreaking scene is towards the end of the episode when Siuan commands Moiraine to close the Waygate.
Episode Eight: What Was Meant to Be
“Softly, softly from the shadows.” -Moghedien
This episode begins with an Age of Legends cold open. The Age of Legends is some of my favorite lore from The Wheel of Time and I’m always happy to see more of it brought to life. We also see the bond between Lan and Moiraine restored, Egwene battles Renna, and the Heroes of the Horn.
I would happily watch a spinoff series or ten on the Hereos of the Horn and could watch the beautiful moment Lan and Moiraine’s bond is restored on repeat. My heart was broken by Hopper, which I knew was going to happen and still wasn’t ready and the Heroes of the Horn scene gave me chills.
We ended the episode with the reveal of Moghedien and holy cow she was creepy, and I loved it. I can’t wait to see the rest of the Forsaken.
This adaptation has leveled up the villains of the series. The Forsaken, Seanchan, Whitecloaks, Fades, and Trollocs have been terrifying and I’m here for it. This season was a solid 9.5 out of 10 for me and I can’t wait for season three.
Here are a few Utah-based YouTubers you can follow for more about The Wheel of Time.