The Wheel of Time Showrunner Rafe Judkins Planned Out Entire Series in Advance
The Wheel of Time's showrunner has a plan to adapt the entire book series by Robert Jordan in eight seasons. Amazon Studios' upcoming The Wheel of TIme show is a live-action adaptation of the popular fantasy book series by Robert Jordan. The book series is notable for many reasons, one of which is that it includes 13 full-length novels, all of which are hundreds of pages long and encompasses dozens of characters in interweaving plots. That's a lot of ground to cover for any television series, especially given the infamous ending of other once-popular fantasy shows like Game of Thrones.
During a press junket last month, ComicBook.com spoke with The Wheel of Time showrunner Rafe Judkins about whether he planned out the series season by season in advance. "I'm very thorough and perfectionist in the way I think about stories," Judkins said. "So, it was important to me to have at least an idea of how I would do this in eight seasons, just so that I knew it was possible."
While Judkins plotted a course from the humble beginnings at Emond's Field to the Final Battle, it's not a map set in stone. "Obviously, it's a malleable thing," Judkins said. "I'm sure it will continue to change if we're lucky enough to get to go through those future seasons. But, I think it's important when you're adapting something like The Wheel of Time that has an end point and a good one that we make sure that we are always targeting that end point and making sure we're setting ourselves up for success to get there."
ComicBook.com also asked Judkins about some of the changes made during the early episodes of the show. "We tried to make a couple key changes and then let them thread themselves through the show," Judkins said. "Two of those changes that we made were aging up the kids at the center of it and also making it possible that women could be the Dragon Reborn. A lot of the changes that you see, especially in the first episodes of the show, are ripples from that. If these kids are 20 or 21 then their lives will be slightly different than the lives that they had starting in the books. That helps to thread just a little bit more emotional backstory into who these kids were before Moiraine arrived, so that Moiraine walking into town isn't the first day of their lives, essentially. They all have some kind of emotional story that's leads them up to this point that will hopefully thread them through the season, and also the series, of who they're going to go on and grow to become."
The official series description for The Wheel of Time reads: "The Wheel of Time is one of the most popular and enduring fantasy series of all time, with more than 90 million books sold. Set in a sprawling, epic world where magic exists and only certain women are allowed to access it, the story follows Moiraine (Rosamund Pike), a member of the incredibly powerful all-female organization called the Aes Sedai, as she arrives in the small town of Two Rivers. There, she embarks on a dangerous, world-spanning journey with five young men and women, one of whom is prophesied to be the Dragon Reborn, who will either save or destroy humanity.
Based on Robert Jordan's best-selling fantasy novels, The Wheel of Time was adapted for television by executive producer/showrunner Rafe Judkins. Larry Mondragon and Rick Selvage of iwot productions, Mike Weber and Ted Field of Radar Pictures, Darren Lemke, Marigo Kehoe, and Uta Briesewitz will also serve as executive producers, with Briesewitz set to direct the first two episodes. Rosamund Pike will serve as producer and Harriet McDougal and Brandon Sanderson as consulting producers. The Wheel of Time is co-produced by Amazon Studios and Sony Pictures Television."
Season 1 of Amazon Prime's The Wheel of Time series will debut on November 19th.