'Wheel Of Time' First Look: Rosamund Pike Leads Amazon's Ambitious Fantasy Series

Amazon's The Wheel of Time series will become the latest high fantasy adaptation amid a sudden groundswell from various studios and streamers. Based on the ever-popular books by author Robert Jordan, the fantasy epic has left fans of the source material waiting in anticipation for our first real glimpse at what the show has in store. Today, those fans are finally getting their wish with a new batch of first-look images.

Thanks to the magic of Entertainment Weekly reports, we now have a taste of what to expect from the highly-anticipated series, as well as how the cast will look while inhabiting the world of Wheel of Time. Check out the ensemble below:

Showrunner Rafe Judkins touts this series as the definitive adaptation of the novels, words that'll reassure any longtime fan nervous about seeing their favorite story adapted for television.

"Wheel of Time is the first fantasy series that really dove into the political and cultural worlds of all these different characters. It was also one of the first to dive into multiple POV characters, so you're following an ensemble, with each of them having their own agendas and approaches to everything. That's always felt to me like the missing piece of the fantasy-literature landscape that hasn't been brought to TV or film yet."

The Characters

Rosamund Pike leads the sprawling cast of characters as Moiraine. In a marked divergence from the books (where Rand Al'Thor is the "Chosen One" and the main protagonist), the show will follow her after rescuing some villagers under attack by monsters. Pike describes her character as "...the guide figure in this world, the mysterious stranger who comes to town and changes their lives forever. They leave with her on a journey that will either save or destroy humanity." But that's not to say that Rand Al'Thor won't be present and accounted for: he'll be portrayed by Josha Stradowski alongside Madeleine Madden as Egwene al'Vere.

The unique wrinkle added to The Wheel of Time's fantasy setting is that, as a result of the insidious actions of the Dark One, any male able to perform magic is now hunted down by members of the Aes Sedai. Logain, played by Álvaro Morte, finds this out the hard way. Judkins further explains,

"Just as men are often trying to shut down female power in our world, the Aes Sedai are trying to stop this man from becoming too powerful. If, hypothetically, one of our male characters were able to use the One Power, they understand the stakes of it from what they see of Logain."

The World

Filming for The Wheel of Time commenced over the last two years in Eastern Europe, though with a significant pandemic-induced delay in between. Judkins and the rest of the creative team felt an added pressure to get every detail of the novels as faithfully recreated as possible. For example, take a certain abandoned city that plays an integral role in the story. According to Judkins, "We literally built Shadar Logoth from scratch just for 15 minutes of airtime, because it's that important to the series. That's where it becomes very clear it's not just the forces of good and evil. There are lots of different angles."

The series will expand beyond the first book, having already been commissioned for a second season by Amazon. There's even a prequel film in the works, taking place long before the events of this series. But as for the present, Judkins is content to let the world and the characters speak for themselves. "I try to stick to the spine and the heart of the books, and bring that to the screen. If I can successfully do that, the story and the characters will sell themselves."

The first season of The Wheel of Time will air on Amazon Prime in November 2021.