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The Wheel of Time ' Boss on Adaptation Secret Weapons and Traveling to New Worlds Every few episodes

The Wheel of Time ' Boss on Adaptation Secret Weapons and Traveling to New Worlds Every few episodes

When the writer/producer Rafe Judkins was tasked with bringing The Wheel of Time author Robert Jordans beloved 14-volume fantasy book series with an eager following reminiscent of the works of J.R. Tolkien and George R. R, Martin to Amazon Prime Video, he knew that there would be challenges for longtime fans and luring in new devotees.

Judkins explained during the press preview screening at Hollywoods Neuehouse. I grew into it already a fan of the books [I] read them all with my mom, so I had the big burden of responsibility on my shoulders, he explained.

A lot of it is about figuring out how to stay true to the heart of what is present in the books, but also to create something that a new audience can understand, he added. You don't have the benefit of pages and pages of exposition that explain the world, you must figure out what to tell with visual cues.

Judkins had the help of the late authors wife Harriet and then Brandon Sanderson who wrote the final three books after Jordand passing. I think this is why I have to pay a lot of attention to this, I said, and I think it really works and it would be useful for us long-term. And then we agreed to disagree on it.

Judkins was mindful of how fluent contemporary TV audiences have become with the conventions of blockbuster fantasy franchises, like Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones, which in turn influenced the idea of The Wheel of Time, and which now abounds with Jordans works. We try to lean into all the things that are fresh, still, in Wheel of time, [of] which there is so much.

This is why, for example, the show is true to the visual description of the Fade, a breed of shadowy, mounted riders, even though it retains the Wraiths of Tolkiens works.

As soon as you see the Fade move forward, we access all the things that are different about it than the Wraiths in Lord of the Rings and try to bring those to the forefront, he said.

One major benefit Judkins enjoyed was the massive commitment of Amazon including two seasons and a lavish budget that allowed the production to build the expansive village of Two Rivers for the pilot, then destroy it and move on to the far-flung wheel of Time.

"At the end of the season, it's interesting, and when it comes to the whole time, this is the beginning, the second season of that series," said Judkins. "It'll be exciting for me that it will finally come out because I know the expansive places that this will be going in the next two seasons."

The movie The Wheel of Time premieres on Amazon Prime Video Nov. 19th.