Good news for literature buffs Fantasy: the output of the transposition de The wheel of time is very close, and Prime Video allowed us to preview the first three episodes of the new series, due out on November 19th on the Amazon platform. It’s a long-standing date on the fans’ calendar: the process of transposing the literary series created by Robert Jordan – 14 books published between 1990 and 2013 – began in the early 2000s, but was only finalized in 2017, with Sony’s final announcement.
Almost as colossal as Jordan’s original work: we’re talking about one of the fantasy sagas more famous and renowned, with a fandom relentless and beyond 90 million copies sold all over the world. A narrative ecosystem, the one to which The wheel of time it refers, with a well-defined perimeter, with specific references to one rich mythology and complex and a whole fairytale universe outlined down to the smallest detail, in line with the more expansive dimension ofhigh fantasy: will the series have managed to do justice to the grandeur of the American author’s literary project?
The company of …
The first season of the TV series covers what is told in the first volume of the saga (The eye of the world), with some reference to the second and third volumes. We talk, as often happens with the incipit of the fantastic novels, of the beginning of a journey: that of the four protagonists, forced to abandon their native village to save the world from the power of Dark, an invisible and most powerful enemy. If the plot sounds somewhat familiar, it is because the similarities with the quintessential fantasy saga are clear right away. Jordan, on the other hand, had already declared that he was a disciple of Tolkien. The question arises: is it possible that an author of fantastic literature is not? The first three episodes, specifically, move explicitly following the plot of The Fellowship of the Ring, with the protagonists facing the beginning of a dangerous journey under the guidance of a wise and powerful character, the algida Moiraine (Rosamund Pike), an enchantress with astonishing powers in search of the Dragon Reborn, the reincarnation of an ancient hero able to counter the power of the Dark One.
The one led by Rafe Judkins, the showrunner of the series, is an operation that moves smoothly within a tradition of storytelling now cemented, all built on the secular cornerstones of the genre. The first three episodes, in this sense, do not show any attempt at rejuvenation: between very powerful sorcerers, bloody creatures And chosen charged with saving the world, The wheel of fortune seems happy to play at home. By dint of references and borrowed, this first taste portends some sort of fantasy compilation more than a narrative object in its own right, a greatest hits of clichés that draws heavily from the most recent productions of the genre, from game of Thrones to The Witcher. This does not detract from anything in terms of cheap entertainment, mind you. Based on what was anticipated in the first episodes, however, it is legitimate to expect a product widely in the manner.
An intriguing mythology
To refresh the literary discourse de The wheel of time, more than the story itself, is there mythological dimension and spiritual that governs the story. Jordan’s universe is in fact driven by a clear mechanism Buddhist inspiration, that redraws the passage of time as a cyclic motion destined to repeat itself. The four protagonists, all eligible candidates descendants of the Dragon, are catapulted into the meanders of this infinite wheel, to deal with a past foreign to them from which they cannot escape: it is on this conflict that, in the most beautiful moments of the first three episodes, the series focuses, and it is in the same juncture that The wheel of time finds its own more personal and identity dimension.
Beyond the interesting spiritual component, however, the description of the human universe in which the series takes place appears, at least in the first three episodes, fragmented and fragmentary. The action moves from place to place following one clear narrative line, but without being able to create thegeo-imaginative unit that distinguishes the best fantasy stories: to the de universe The wheel of time it lacks the scent of a real world, of one fantastic land and unified under a single star. This is, perhaps, an impression that will be denied in the coming weeks, with the release of the remaining three episodes. For now, in any case, the advice to fans is to lower expectations and proceed with caution.
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