By Arré Bench Oct. 31, 2021
Mythology is the new sci-fi. Both in literature and entertainment, mythologies are constantly dictating the way we consume and imagine content. There is perhaps a reason for that. For one, the universality of the language itself. Irrespective of geography, mythologies echo similar motifs and anxieties. Across continents, people perpetually debate good and bad, the nature of godliness and the face of evil. It makes sense then that some of our most iconic, and loved characters today are borrowed from mythological mores. But it’s been some time since we’ve witnessed something as grand, and epic as the source material often suggests. Amazon Prime Video’s The Wheel of Time, however, looks set to confound and fascinate with its scale, complexity and authenticity.
Here are 5 reasons why we think you should watch The Wheel of Time
If you have, like us, have an insatiable appetite for mythology
Call it heaven for nerds or a source of endless theorising and debate, but mythology gets the mental juices running like no other genre. Sure sci-fi has gadgets and a pretence of the sciences, but mythology has the element of surprise and is sprinkled with a healthy volume of the absurd, the inexplicable. Magic, the dark arts, supernatural elements and the supernatural all make the world of mythology as fun to dissect and rationalise, as it is to absorb as a viewer. The mythic origins of ghosts, of kings, of gods, or of evil is barnstorming table-top conversation that you will be egging to have once you are done with The Wheel of Time. The mythical and mysterious nature of the series can only build after the first watch.
The visual scale the show is evidently built on
The trailer looks supremely well-put. A lot of mythological shows are often upended by their inability to realise a world as magically elusive as it seems impossible to imagine and recreate. At an estimated $10 million budget per episode, the Prime show looks set to raise the bar in terms of what can be accomplished, in a technical sense, on streaming. The gigantic setups, the mooning backdrops and everything else points to a serene, yet stunning outing for the eyes. We’ve been waiting for a spectacle of this sorts to take us on a metaphorical journey, and with The Wheel of Time, you seem set to take all of them together.
The incredible source material
The saga of The Wheel of Time is so vast it has taken two authors to finish. Robert Jordan started writing the epic back in 1984 and before he died in 2007, passed on the baton, consciously, to Brandon Sanderson to complete a tale that is, undisputedly epic. Borrowing from not one, but many mythologies including European and Asian the massive story arches over 14 monumental books, almost all of them more than 700 pages long. Such is the vastness and scale of Jordan’s imagination that at certain points whole chapters were released and published ahead of the release of the book. The scale of this project can be gleaned from the fact that Amazon Head Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world, has been behind the push to get this epic made.
A diverse cast led by the fantastic Rosamund Pike
As far as acting chops go, none come as endowed as the incredible Rosamund Pike. Pike has played a wide range of roles from a grisly, scheming wife in Gone Girl to a defiant legal guardian facing a host of trouble in I Care a Lot. Pike has done comedies, sci-fi films and even ancient dramas. There is nothing she can’t do. In The Wheel of Time, she dons the role of Moiraine who is central to the plot and the soothsayer of a journey that will reveal to the world, either its saviour or destroyer. It’s a fascinating premise one that Pike has all the mettle to anchor. Besides her, because the source material in itself is so diverse, get ready to see a wide range of actors, representing many ethnicities in what is perhaps the first ever mythological show to embody the diversity of the world as it is today.
The humbling, epic nature of it all
Gods, monsters, betrayal and battles. No mythological story is complete without the biblical nature of conflict, and the future of the planet being put on the line. The Wheel of Time, encapsulates an emotional and action-filled rollercoaster, and will embody not just one journey but many. It’s natural then that the series will echo at least bits of us. Often mythologies can be alienating because they seem un-relatable, but in the case of The Wheel of Time, you will find yourself, your personality echoed. Add to that the fact this will happen at a visual and literary scale that it will, and you can be assured of entertainment, unceasing, unrelenting like the epics themselves.