The Fantasy Review’s Beginner’s Guide to The Wheel of Time TV Series.
We do have a guide to the book series if that is what you are looking for, and of course, there will be some overlap. However, this beginner’s guide to The Wheel of Time will be spoiler-free and focused on those wishing to start watching the Amazon Prime adaptation from the beginning, and who have no prior knowledge of the book series.
With fourteen main books and a prequel novel, The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan (completed by Brandon Sanderson after Jordan’s death in 2007), this adaptation has a lot of story to get through!
The story begins with Rand, Perrin, Mat, Egwene, and Nynaeve who are all from the same small settlement called Emond’s Field. They are quickly thrust into a quest by the arrival of Moiraine Damodred and Lan al’Mandragoran, and face many dark obstacles on this journey.
So, if you are watching The Wheel of Time TV series for the first time, the characters you will want to be aware of from the start are:
- Rand al’Thor
- Mat Cauthon
- Perrin Aybara
- Egwene al’Vere
- Nynaeve al’Meara
- Moiraine Damodred
- Lan al’Mandragoran
The show does a pretty good job of introducing you to these characters quite quickly, especially in the explosive first episode. Rand is a farmer who enjoys the simple life; Mat is a gambler and has a quick tongue; Perrin is the quiet, brooding blacksmith; Egwene is meant for great things in the village; and finally, Nynaeve is always trying to prove herself to those who think she is too young for the power she holds.
The less I say about the two strangers who visit Emond’s Field, the better. You will enjoy finding out about them as the show goes on.
Aes Sedai, Trollocks, and The Dragon Reborn: A Glossary of Terms
Click away now if you want to avoid any spoilers relating to the magic system, lore, place names, or other aspects of The Wheel of Time series. This is a short glossary of terms, and will not go into detail.
Aes Sedai: Women who can channel the One Power, trained in the White Tower.
Aiel: A race of people who live in the Aiel Waste, or the Three-fold Land. They are skilled warriors and are known for their pale eyes and light-coloured hair.
Ajah: The seven groups of Aes Sedai, including: Blue, Green, Yellow, Red, White, Gray and Brown. Each group has their own rules and purposes, and are chosen by the individual.
The Amyrlin Seat: The leader of the Aes Sedai – yes, it is a person!
The Dark One: The embodiment of evil in this universe.
The Dragon Reborn: The reincarnation of Lews Therin who is fated to both destroy and save the world. The Dragon Reborn will be a male channeler who will either defeat the dark forces or destroy the world; often people believe he will cause the Breaking of the World, either way.
The Pattern: The Pattern for all of creation is woven by the Wheel of Time, using people’s lives as threads.
Ogier: A race of non-human creatures who have an intense love of knowledge and peace.
The One Power: Made up of sadin and saidar, the One Power comes from the True Source and is where Aes Sedai and other magic users get their power. Sadin is the male half, which is tainted by the dark, meaning any men who use it will go mad. Saidar is the female half and is pure to use, which is why nearly all magic users in this world are women.
Ta’veren: Ta’veren are the people the Wheel of Time chooses to weave a specific purpose for in the Pattern. More than others, their lives affect other Patterns/people around them.
Trollocs: Trollocs are a type of Shadowspawn and are kind of The Wheel of Time’s version of orcs – the monstrous hoard who do the bidding of the dark.
Warders: An individual, normally male, who bonds with an Aes Sedai and serves as her protector. Most Aes Sedai will have one Warder, with Greens sometimes having several and Reds never having any.
The White Tower: This is the official name for the organisation of the Aes Sedai in addition to the physical tower in Tar Valon where Aes Sedai are trained.
Wisdom: A village healer and leader of the Women’s Circle in the Two Rivers. Other regions have similar roles for women with certain gifts, but use different names like “Healer,” “Seeker,” or “Wise Woman”.