The showrunner of Amazon Prime's Wheel of Time provided some new insight into the production of the hotly anticipated fantasy series when he answered questions on Twitter. Rafe Judkins, the showrunner of Wheel of Time, took to Twitter to answer ten fan questions about the upcoming show after Amazon release a teaser trailer showing Rand's distinctive talon mark blade. Judkins mostly discussed technical aspects of the show, but he did give a few new insights as to how Amazon was approaching turning the expansive book series into a television show, and how the show would try to capture the distinctive setting of the books.
Judkins noted that Wheel of Time's production focused heavily on practical effects and props as opposed to CGI. "I want things to be as real as possible, so in any place that we possibly can, we've built things instead of trusting to effects," Judkins said in response to a question about show effects. "Our show could be all green screen, all CGI, but I think you'll be surprised by how much of it was actually built, and touched and held by our actors." Judkins noted in another reply that there were likely 10,000 "woman/man hours" or more spent on the design and creation of the Heron Mark sword seen in yesterday's trailer.
The showrunner also provided some insight into how certain elements would be adapted from the series, such as the sword forms frequently used by Rand and other blademasters. "We have a fight time and swordmaster on the show who has built a fighting style unique to each weapon and culture," Judkins said." So, if you see a Borderlander fight with a heron mark blade it may feel different than a Seanchan." He also noted that the costume team built a map of the entire Wheel of Time world and carved out what each culture looked like to ensure that they could be differentiated before working on individual costumes.
Another important note is that the team is approaching the TV series as an adaptation of the entire book series, as opposed to focusing on one book per season. "We're approaching this as an adaptation of the entire series, not just each book individually, so hopefully Season One will feel more like the entire book series of Wheel of Time than it does like Eye of the World," Judkins noted when asked about a minor continuity question. Judkins also addressed how the show would keep from feeling like generic high fantasy. "When the books came out they felt so blazingly fresh and different and new," he said in response to a question. "So we want that same thing to be true of the show, and if you see us leaning away from certain elements in the books, often times it's because audiences have now seen them before!"
Not all of the answers were entirely serious. For instance, Judkins jokingly confirmed that the actors of the series were doing calf exercises, a reference to various characters commenting on toned calfs as a sign of attractiveness.
Wheel of Time is currently in production. No release date has been announced, but many expect the first season to air next year.