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Wheel Of Time Season 1 Release Date, Cast, And Plot - What We Know So Far

Ever since "Game of Thrones" became a major hit for HBO, networks have been searching for the next big epic fantasy series to mimic that kind of success. Netflix found its own success with "The Witcher," a show that broke viewership records at the time of its first season's release (per The Hollywood Reporter). Amazon, on the other hand, has doubled down on its hopes for fantasy-laden success with both a series based on "The Wheel of Time" books and a show tackling the Second Age of Tolkien's Middle-earth. It's an ambitious (and expensive) move for the company, but one that shows Amazon's dedication to the fantasy genre and its fans.

"The Wheel of Time" is based on the book series of the same name by authors Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, which spans 14 main novels and a handful of other works set in the universe, including — perhaps most relevantly — a prequel novella entitled "New Spring." Jordan sadly died in 2007, two years after the 11th book had been released, which left the future of the series in doubt at the time. However, epic fantasy up-and-comer Sanderson took over and, with detailed notes from Jordan and oversight by Jordan's wife and longtime editor, completed the final three books and brought the series to a satisfying close. Since then, fans have been left wondering how long it would take for an adaptation to come to fruition. Well, thanks to Amazon, that wait is over.

Here's what we know so far about the upcoming first season of "The Wheel of Time" show.

When will Season 1 of The Wheel of Time release?

Fans who are clamoring for Season 1 of "The Wheel of Time" will not have to wait that much longer for the show to premiere. Unlike the binge model that Netflix uses, Amazon is continuing its trend of weekly episode releases. However, binge watchers need not fret entirely, as the first three episodes of "The Wheel of Time" will drop all at once on Amazon Prime Video on November 19. From that point forward, episodes will release weekly all the way through December 24. There will be eight episodes of Season 1 in total (via Nerdist).

While those who enjoy binge watching may be disappointed by the news that "The Wheel of Time" will release episodes on a weekly basis as opposed to all at once, this is certainly a strategy that's worked well in the past. One could argue that talking and theorizing was half the fun of watching shows like "Game of Thrones" and "Lost" in real time with everybody else. 

The production of Season 1 was hampered by COVID-related delays, but the wait shouldn't be so long for Season 2. Amazon's betting big on the show's performance, and has already greenlit the sophomore set. Production commenced last summer.

Who is in the cast for Season 1 of The Wheel of Time?

Given that "The Wheel of Time" books are high fantasy, they contain quite a large assortment of characters. It's even become a joke among the fandom that keeping track of named characters — particularly the vast cabal of magical women known as Aes Sedai — is a hilariously Sisyphean task. Amazon's adaption will have to make some adjustments in this regard, but many of the core cast members are already in place (with one very notable exception).

Arguably the biggest cast member will be Rosamund Pike. She will portray Moiraine Damodred, an Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah. The Aes Sedai are a faction of women who wield the One Power (this universe's version of magic, a word that never appears in the series). Josha Stradowski will play Rand al'Thor, who serves as the major protagonist of the book series. Marcus Rutherford and Barney Harris will step into the roles of Perrin Aybara and Mat Cauthon, respectively, the other two legs of the three-legged ta'veren stool that props up most of the story's plot. It's important to note that the role of Cauthon has been recast for Season 2, with Dónal Finn stepping into the role, so don't fall too deeply in love with Harris' portrayal in Season 1.

Some of the other cast members for "The Wheel of Time" Season 1 includes Zoë Robins as Nynaeve al'Meara, the Wisdom of Emond's Field; Madeleine Madden as Egwene al'Vere, the girl covered in paint in the trailer; Daniel Henney as Lan Mandragoran, Moiraine's Warder and the heir to a lost throne; Kae Alexander as Min Farshaw, a girl with an unusual prophetic ability; Kate Fleetwood as Liandrin, an Aes Sedai of the Red Ajah; Álvaro Morte as Logain Ablar, a false Dragon making trouble in the Kingdom of Ghealdan; and Michael McElhatton as Tam al'Thor, Rand's cryptic father.

The one glaring omission? Where in Randland is Elayne Trakand? The crucial Daughter-Heir of Andor has yet to be cast and is not confirmed for Season 1, despite playing a minor role in "The Eye of the World."

What is the plot for Season 1 of The Wheel of Time?

Deadline has the official synopsis: "The story follows Moiraine, a member of the shadowy and influential all-female organization called the 'Aes Sedai' as she embarks on a dangerous, world-spanning journey with five young men and women. Moiraine believes one of them might be the reincarnation of an incredibly powerful individual, whom prophecies say will either save humanity or destroy it." This description falls more or less in line with the plot of the first book, "The Eye of the World," though judging by the first trailer, we're going to be seeing quite a bit of action that happens off-page in the books, and even meeting a few characters that don't factor in until later. 

In the books, the incredibly powerful individual spoken about is referred to as the Dragon Reborn. While the identity of the Dragon Reborn is revealed at the end of the first novel, it's unclear if Amazon's show will go in this direction or subvert expectations and change things up for its adaptation. While any such change may disappoint fans of the books, it certainly wouldn't be the first time that an adaptation wasn't completely faithful to the source material. 

Either way, all fans can do right now is speculate until Season 1 drops.