First off… I’ve not read the books. All I know is that this show is fantasy and has a hefty Amazon budget. From the first episode I felt like I got the measure of the story and the world quite quickly; it wants to be Game of Thrones meets The Witcher, with more than a dash of Lord of the Rings thrown in. The trouble is, we’ve already seen and (mostly) loved those movies and tv shows, so the bar is set almost impossibly high in some cases.
I have to say though, without getting into the plot, it takes a decent enough swing at playing in that pool in terms of world building and characters. And I like this sort of thing, fantasy. In recent years I’ve enjoyed Carnival Row and Shadow and Bone, so all this stuff… magic, monsters, annoyingly attractive young adults destined to be burdened by glorious purpose, it’s very much my thing.
With The Wheel Of Time things take a little while to get going, and at the point of this review (I’ve seen 4/8 episodes, so I’m halfway through) things are beginning to open up and the main characters are becoming more interesting, getting relatively close to becoming compelling where I actually care about their fates.
So as verdicts go, I’ll watch the whole first season before passing judgement. For now, this show sits comfortably at a three out of five stars. It may go up to four if it has a strong finish.
Time will tell.