The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episodes 1 – 3

My general thoughts and reaction to The Wheel of Time tv series on Amazon Prime

It has been a long wait. Now, like many who have been anxiously awaiting, I have the chance watch the first three episodes of The Wheel of Time. I am excited, anxious, worried, and giddy. Such a mix of emotions over a TV show. Below are my spoiler-free first takes, broken down by each episode. In depth analysis to come later. Without further ado, let’s get to it.

EPISODE 1 – LEAVETAKING

The first episode was… wow! Yes, there were a lot of changes from the books. But, I do not mind (most of) them. I am writing this having just completed the first episode and anxious to move on to the next. I am trying to put my thoughts down without giving anything away. That is a difficult task. As I said earlier, I will go in depth later this weekend. Perhaps after a couple more rewatches (and some thorough notetaking).  

Overall, I enjoyed the episode. I have heard complaints of pacing, but I thought it was fine, personally. Then again, I am a book reader, so that may affect my take on it. There were points that I was a little skeptical on, but I will have to wait and see how they develop. Still, even some of the changes that I wasn’t very happy with struck at my emotions as they played out on screen. The last 10 minutes or so had me gripped, quivering, and even cheering at certain moments.

It certainly left me wanting more. With that in mind… on to the next episode.

EPISODE 2 – SHADOW’S WAITING

Episode 2 was a great transition episode. There were some great character moments to further connect the viewer with them. I can’t go too deep into the episode without spoilers, but I can say that I was pleased. It WAS a transition episode, as I said, so there were slow moments. But that allowed us to get deeper into the characters. When the action picked up again toward the end, it had an epic payoff. If I were to rate these episodes from my first reactions, I would say that this episode was on par with the first episode (maybe an 8 out of 10) but for different reasons.

The only other thing that I will say is that I love the intro to the show. I will cover this more in my deep dive blog for the episode.

Episode 3 – A PLACE OF SAFETY

This episode was perhaps great! The gripping opening was amazing. It did slow down a bit as it approached the middle. The differences from the books were less bothersome as more elements were introduced. I was on the edge of my seat as it came to its conclusion. I will say after watching these three episodes that it is a pleasure watching the characters interact with each other. There is great chemistry between them. There are many thoughts as I digest what I just watched.

BONUS VIDEOS

Along with the released episodes, three “micro stories” were released as well through the XRAY feature on Amazon Prime. Short animations that tell further tales from the Wheel of Time. Each video is interesting as they provide short snippets of the world Robert Jordan created. Each of the three videos released so far are stories that can be found in the books or their supplements. Some may not be too keen on the animation style of each video, but they were overall enjoyable to enhance the main story.

Conclusion

Having watched all three episodes, I am over the moon with excitement. There ARE changes from the books, some of which I like, some of which I’m not too big of a fan. For the latter, I am willing to give it a shot and see how they develop it. For the most part, I am happy with what I have seen. These characters that I have followed for over a decade now are now brought to life. They feel like the characters, despite the changes to the story.

Don’t get me wrong, the story is not completely changed. It is hitting many of the same beats. And some moments were shifted or done in another way. It will be interesting to see how they develop. If there is one thing that I am sorely upset about, it is that I do not recall hearing a single WoT swear throughout all three episodes. That is a big disappointment. Maybe I just missed them in my viewing. I will have to rewatch to see if that is the case.Well, there is one other thing that could be considered a problem. I have to wait a whole week for the next episode. I am pumped to see what happens next.

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