Amazon Prime announced today, via social media, the casting of three actors for The Wheel of Time TV show. Jennifer Preston as Mistress Grinwell Pasha Bocarie as Master Grinwell Izuka Hoyle as Dana There’s already been some debate on who Dana might be. Listed with Mistress and Master Grinwell, logic would say she’s Else Grinwell but with a different name (we already have two major characters with E names—Egwene and Elayne—so this change might be to cause less confusion for TV viewers). There’s also Dena—Thom’s apprentice in The Great Hunt. It seems too early to have her appearing, though. But in the world of cinematic storytelling, who know! Let us know who you think Dana might be in the comments below!
Amazon Prime announced today, via social media, the casting of 2 actors for The Wheel of Time TV show. Abdul Salis as Eamon Valda. Stuart Graham as Geofram Bornhald. . These actors have been rumored for a while, but we've only now reported on them because of Amazon's confirmation. Production on the TV show has been halted since March due to the global COVD-19 pandemic. It's believed that filming will resume this summer, perhaps as early as July, in Prague where most of the show has been filmed. So far 6 out of the first 8 episodes for Season 1 have been shot. Casting for the TV show is primarily handled by the KVH Casting Agency in London. For more information on The Wheel of Time TV show and cast, visit our TV section. Check out what we thought about this casting announcement on The Wheel of Time Community Show on YouTube. Tell us what you think of these casting announcements in the comments!
Binti by Nnedi Okorafor There is great beauty in a willingness to see the world through someone else’s eyes. I have come to find it even more important in our world’s changing and uncertain times to surround myself with media that helps to broaden my worldview. In my opinion it is truly one of the best things about literature, more so than any other medium. Reading requires you to use your imagination and visualize. A well written book can take you to another world and allow you to walk in someone else’s shoes. Binti is a 2015 award-winning science fiction novella by Nnedi Okorafor. Our main character Binti is a sixteen-year-old minority prodigy. She is offered a position at the prestigious Oomza University, something that no one else in her village would ever consider. Part of the Himba people, Binti was always destined to succeed her father in their business. The Himba people are deeply tied to their ancestral land, and they believe that if you move away you will begin to diminish. They even coat their bodies in a special material “Otjize” made from a red clay from the earth and the oil from local flowers. It is what makes Binti’s resolve to venture out into the universe even more inspiring. Surrounded by people foreign to herself, Binti finds similarities in a love of learning. She quickly makes friends and becomes more comfortable with the idea of being so far from home. Much like in real life, Binti’s leap of faith is not met with an easy road. She is faced with challenges and strife and is forced to find her own inner strength. I would recommend this book to fantasy and sci-fi readers alike. It is a quick read and offers a story that is richly woven with ethnic issues. I am excited to read the next two novellas in the series. Binti by Nnedi Okorafor is available from Dragonmount's store as a DRM-free ebook. You can also purchase it on Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and your local independent bookseller.
Amazon Prime announced today, via social media, the casting of six actors for The Wheel of Time TV show. Christopher Sciueref as Abell Cauthon. Juliet Howland as Natti Cauthon. Mandi Symonds as Daise Congar. Lolita Chakrabarti as Marin al’Vere. Michael Tuahine as Bran al’Vere. David Sterne as Cenn Buie. Christopher Sciueref as Abell Cauthon. Juliet Howland as Natti Cauthon. Mandi Symonds as Daise Congar. Lolita Chakrabarti as Marin al’Vere. Michael Tuahine as Bran al’Vere. David Sterne as Cenn Buie. Several of these actors have been rumored for a while, but we've only now reported on them because of Amazon's confirmation. These specific roles are likely limited in their scope, with the actors appearing only or primarily in the first couple of episodes of the season. Production on the TV show has been halted since March due to the global COVD-19 pandemic. It's believed that filming will resume this summer, perhaps as early as July, in Prague where most of the show has been filmed. So far 6 out of the first 8 episodes for Season 1 have been shot. Casting for the TV show is primarily handled by the KVH Casting Agency in London. For more information on The Wheel of Time TV show and cast, visit our TV section. Check out what we thought about this casting announcement on The Wheel of Time Community Show on YouTube. Tell us what you think of these casting announcements in the comments!
Adam Whitehead is Dragonmount's TV blogger. Adam has been writing about film and television, The Wheel of Time, and other genre fiction for over fifteen years. Be sure to check out his websites, The Wertzone and Atlas of Ice and Fire (including The Wheel of Time Atlas!) as well as his Patreon. Money may not always make the world go around but it is certainly important when you want to make an expensive fantasy TV show featuring nonhuman creatures, sorcery and vast ruined cities. It’s been known for a while that Amazon have dramatically increased the money they are spending on their shows. A few years ago, Jeff Bezos, the head of Amazon and Richest Man on Earth™, told his TV division to start spending big and look for the “next Game of Thrones” to help popularise Amazon’s streaming division. They took that to heart, snapping up not just The Wheel of Time, but also J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth for a new prequel TV show set in the Second Age, telling the story of the forging of the Rings of Power and the original rise of the Dark Lord Sauron. The budget for the Middle-earth show is widely-known, having been discussed in the trade magazines at the time. The Tolkien Estate sold additional rights to the Middle-earth books to Amazon for an unprecedented sum of $250 million. They also included a stipulation that each of the show’s seasons was to have a budget of between $100 million and $150 million. With apparently ten episodes per season, that gives the show a budget of $10-15 million per episode. For comparison’s sake, HBO’s Game of Thrones was given a budget of $100 million for each of its final three seasons, which, due to a declining episode order per season, gave them a per-episode budget of approximately $10 million (for Season 6), $14 million (for Season 7) and $16.7 million (Season 8), so the Tolkien series will be in the same ballpark. The budget for the Wheel of Time TV show has been much more of a secret, at least up until recently. WoTSeries.com did some digging and found publicly-disclosed funding which seems to indicate how much money is being spent on the project. The Wheel of Time TV show is being shot in the Czech Republic, in studios in the capital city of Prague with location filming in surrounding areas and across the border in Slovenia. As is common, the Czech government has tax rebates and incentive funding available for shows that film in the country, the idea that by spending a certain amount of money to encourage the production to remain in the country, the production will spend more money and the local economy will benefit, encouraging more shows to shoot there. This has been successful in recent years, with the Czech Republic becoming a hub of filming with numerous projects setting up shop there (Carnival Row is shooting in studios near the Wheel of Time production base, for example). The rebate is based on the idea of “Czech spending,” how much of the budget is being spent in the country itself, with the production able to expect 20% of the budget refunded by the government. In the case of The Wheel of Time, we now know that $14.9 million was refunded by the government to Amazon for Season 1 of the show. Some rather simple back-of-the-napkin maths shows that Amazon must have spent $74 million in the Czech Republic to qualify for a $14.9 million rebate. Of course, that’s not the total budget for the show. Casting was carried out in the United Kingdom and a large chunk of post-production is likewise being handled in the UK, by Cinesite Studios and several other CGI companies. There is also editing, mixing, musical composition and other post requirements taking place in the United States. All of that comfortably lifts the total budget to well over $80 million and likely significantly more (the CG effects requirements for the show will be enormous). With showrunner Rafe Judkins recently confirming eight episodes for each of the first two seasons, that puts the per-episode budget of The Wheel of Time at well over $10 million per episode, comparable to Game of Thrones circa Season 6 and not far off the budget of the new Lord of the Rings project. It’s worth noting that Game of Thrones’ budget only started at $6 million per episode when filming started in 2009 (about $7.2 million in today’s money, thanks to inflation). The Witcher’s first season had a budget of around $70 million in total (about $7.7 million per episode), although some figures place it at closer to $80 million (around $8.8 million per episode), so Wheel of Time will certainly outrange its Netflix competition. The show will live or die on its writing, direction and performances, but it’s good to see that Amazon is providing enough financial resources to bring Robert Jordan’s grand vision to life. In other news, WoTSeries has an interesting feature on the set of Emond’s Field being removed and on the logistics of location shooting, as well as finding confirmation that the Emmy Award-winning Ondřej Nekvasil is the main production designer on the show. Daniel Henney (Lan) has posted the second part of his recent online Q&A, confirming that he sees himself working on The Wheel of Time for many years to come. Zoe Robins (Nynaeve) has also been interviewed in her native New Zealand, in which she discusses the show and seems to confirm the previously-mooted 2021 release date (although how the pandemic impacts on that remains to be see). As usual, we will bring you all the latest news here on Dragonmount’s TV page. Also, sure to watch our latest video on The Wheel of Time Community Show on YouTube where host Thom talks about this budget topic.
Jaymie here. I’ll be discussing a wide variety of topics related to The Wheel of Time. Like many of you, I’ve been reading WoT since the Age of Legends, so we’ll have lots to cover together…WoTever comes to mind. WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS Affecting change out in Randland or as Sitters in the Hall, who’s the biggest badass of them all? In this series, I’ll take a look at our own G.L.O.W. – the Glorious Ladies of WoT, specifically the smooth-cheeked, serenity-filled, skirt-smoothing, shawl-adjusting, butt-kicking Aes Sedai. I’ll select the most badass sister from each Ajah, as well as a runner-up for the title. In Part One, we chose out the most badass Aes Sedai of the Green, Red, and Gray Ajahs. The Blue, Yellow, White, and Brown Ajahs saw their badass representatives hailed in Part Two. Part Three…well, let’s see what dirty deeds comprise a Black Ajah Badass. ANOTHER WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS Black The Black Ajah. Oh, these nasty, nasty ladies. After lauding the bravery and accomplishments of the Badasses in Parts 1 and 2, it was tough to give these minions of the Dark One the same kind of distinction. But someone had to do it. And thanks to Robert Jordan, I was given some complex, startlingly well-written, and deliciously evil characters through which to sort. At first, I tried to think of characteristics that distinguished the Black sisters from the non-Dark sisters, like sneaking, conniving, word-twisting…then I saw Blight in my head yelling at Batman, “DO YOU HAVE THE SLIGHTEST IDEA HOW LITTLE THAT NARROWS IT DOWN?” But for real, we can add murdering—LOTS of murdering—to the Black Ajah resume, along with actual lying. We can also add aligning events to the desires of the Forsa—I mean, Chosen and the Dark O—dang it, Great LORD. A Few Contenders The obvious literal choice for Most Badass Aes Sedai of the Black Ajah is Verin Mathwin. But as she sacrificed her very life to thwart the Dark and reveal herself as a double agent for the Light, we simply cannot, in good conscience, brand her as Black. Besides, as we saw in Part Two, she wholly and unequivocally already owns the title of the Badass of the Brown. Liandrin was our first real introduction to a sister of the Black Ajah, as she and her pretty face and hostile personality led our young heroines straight into Seanchan hands. (And I am stoked to see Kate Fleetwood play Liandrin in the upcoming TV show. STOKED, I say!) Liandrin was mean and nasty and just what we as readers hoped to get from our first real glimpse at a member of the nervously-whispered-about Black Ajah. Sadly, she was but reduced to a sniveling mess by her mistress Moghedien before the end of Book 5 (The Fires of Heaven). A multitude of other Black sisters did their jobs well (and were fun to read while they did them): Elza Penfell was compelling as she served Rand in hopes of delivering him to the Dark in the Last Battle. Katerine Alruddin’s ambition and sheer viciousness made her one to watch. Sheriam Bayanar’s revelation as a Black sister was fairly shocking, since she felt like our Mistress of Novices, too. Her impact was huge as she had the trust of the heroines (and of US, dammit) early on, and later kept things lively and discombobulated at the Rebel camp. But she was also a scaredy-cat and her reasons for going Dark (other people are better at stuff than me!) were quite lame. We also got to know very well the unpleasant ladies who fled the Tower with Liandrin. They each had Dark shiny moments in their own right, with lots of torture, murdering, cat adopting, and bawdy song-singing with ousted monarchs. But two Black sisters stood out from the pack in terms of nastiness, their impact throughout the series, and their fascinating endings. And both were so obnoxiously exceptional that I flip-flopped between Winner and Runner-Up right up until press time. Alviarin Friedhen (Black/White) This woman was a straight-up sociopath. The Black Ajah normally recruits from among novices and Accepted, but this nut job had committed her first murder long before coming to the Tower; hell, it was before she even knew she could channel. In terms of impact, Alviarin ended up with two of the most powerful titles a woman in the series could have: head of the Black Ajah (a title bestowed by Ishamael himself) and, after helping Elaida depose Siuan, Keeper of the Chronicles in the White Tower. As Keeper, she at first manipulates Elaida, then outright controls her. Later, Alviarin does fall from her Keeper power, but shows back up at the Last Battle as a new Dreadlord. Alviarin’s character receives an unexpected (and, oh, I’ll just say it: fun!) ending during the Last Battle as she is tricked into entering an Ogier stedding (Androl, holla!). She and the Dark channelers with her are greeted by the stedding’s Eldest, who will accommodate them for as many years as they need to “reconsider their path.” Runner-Up Galina Casban (Black/Red) The wicked ways of Galina gave us some huge story arcs: she got to kill sisters gathered by Tamra Ospenya to hunt for the Dragon Reborn; 20 years later she got to capture the Dragon Reborn in a box and beat him daily, thus beginning the downward spiral of Rand into his counterproductive harder-than-steel persona (Dumai’s Wells, anyone? Yep, we can thank Galina for that). Additionally, her character gave us eyes on the Shaido and their leadership. After she was captured by the Shaido and severely, relentlessly abused by the Wise One Therava, Galina’s grit and perseverance saw her through multiple escape attempts. Each time the attempts failed, and each time she was harshly punished. That didn’t stop her from taking one last shot at flight by blackmailing fellow Shaido captive Faile into helping her. Faile complied and Galina was so tantalizingly close to freedom. But she was caught for the final time, right before Therava announced the Shaido were done in the wetlands and would return to the Waste. “Something had broken in her. She was Galina Casban, Highest of the Red Ajah, who sat on the Supreme Council of the Black Ajah, and she was going to be Therava’s plaything for the rest of her life. She was Therava’s little Lina. For the rest of her life. She knew that to her bones. Tears rolled silently down her face.” (Knife of Dreams, Ch. 30, Outside the Gates) Wow. What an ending. What do you think? Who did I miss? Do you agree or is someone else a bigger badass of the Black Ajah?
This year, The Eye of the World celebrated its 30th anniversary. To commemorate this special occasion Tor Books is releasing a new hardcover and paperback versions of The Eye of the World as well as a new paperback cover for New Spring. The 30th anniversary The Eye of the World hardcover will be published October 6th, 2020. This amazing cover has a metallic jacket. It will include a new introduction written by Brandon Sanderson. The Eye of the World’s official birthday was January 15th, 1990, and the Wheel of Time Community Show celebrated this milestone earlier this year. The artwork will feature the original image of Moiraine, Lan, and Rand drawn by Darrell K. Sweet, but in a format similar to the other trade paperbacks in the series. The publication date for this version will be August 4th, 2020. The new paperback version is the first time New Spring will be released in the trade paperback size. The cover will feature artwork by Jason Chan, showing the moment Moiraine bonds Lan as her warder. The publication date will be August 18th, 2020. Fans have wanted New Spring in trade paperback for some time. With this addition, our trade paperback bookshelves will be complete! You can watch Ebony go over the details in the latest episode of the Wheel of Time Community Show! And as always, check out our Books section for more info on each book. So, are you as anxious as I am to get the metallic cover? Let us know in the comments.
Welcome back to Community Round-Up, a look at all the happenings within the Wheel of Time fandom and the larger sci-fi/fantasy community. First off TorCon is happening online this week! Tor Books teamed up with Den of Geeks to bring a virtual convention with amazing panels. TorCon kicks off Thursday June 11th with Brandon Sanderson talking about his latest projects! This is a prerecorded event and only available this weekend. You can register for this event here, or see what else TorCon has to offer! Sticking with the Brandon Sanderson theme, you can now take an official quiz to find out which order of Knights Radiant you would be. The Knights Radiant are a group of fighters in the Stormlight Archive series. Each order focuses on different missions, skills and bindings, and they also bond different spren. I tied for Truthwatcher and Windrunner, which sums up my personality perfectly. The Dusty Wheel interviewed Joshua Stolarz, a cartographer, and Joshua shared an amazing drawing of the Two Rivers. You can download Joshua’s map here. I cannot get enough of these sword dances. When thinking about the Amazon Prime show and how some of the sword forms will be shown, I imagine over-the-top stylized fights. Here is a video posted by Stance on Facebook, from Taipei, Taiwan. As always, let’s end with some of the best memes I can find on the internet. While I love Nynaeve's character and her growth throughout the series (and getting over ingrained prejudices), I'm sure the draw One Power was also a factor in her change of view. The evolution of the Aiel (as seen through the flashbacks from the ter'angreal in Rhuidean) is one of my favorite in the series. It's amazing how just a small step each generation can change a whole belief system. While this might seem true on the surface, the Two Rivers folk do have the necessary courage to fight for the Light when it matters! That's all for this edition. Which Order of the Knights Radiant were you? Let us know in the comments!
In light of the currently ongoing protests that were sparked by the murder of George Floyd, one of many Black Americans whom has been unjustly killed, Dragonmount believes Black Lives Matter, and supports the movement. Here is our statement: You can read more about our community forum Code of Conduct here.
Les éditions Bragelonne, the publisher of the French versions of the Wheel of Time series, is re-releasing each of the novels with a new cover. Even for those of us who aren’t able to read French, this publication still gives us something to gawk over. These new covers are amazing! You can watch the latest episode of The Wheel of Time Community Show to hear more about these covers, and you can check out the images below! Clearly an image of Tam’s heron marked sword. The detail on the hilts shows how Rand could be branded by it when Ba’alzamon heats it in the The Great Hunt. Also, the Serpent spinning the Wheel seems a lot fiercer. A seal to the Dark One’s prison, already broken. Mat’s ruby dagger retrieved from Shadar Logoth. I love the snakes on the hilt. An interesting interpretation of the Horn of Valere, complete with Old Tongue script along the edge. The Dragon Banner. Callandor. I really love how crystallized it is. Most renditions of Callandor are smoother and not nearly as detailed. An Aiel spear and buckler. And maybe a shoufa wrapped around it. But what is it balanced on? The design at the top looks like a Seanchan helmet. Perrin’s axe. Mat’s ashandarei. I love it! The ravens are amazing. A Cairhienin helmet. Note the sunbursts, which could stand for the Rising Sun of Cairhien, also featured on their flag. The flag for Tar Valon and the White Tower. A trolloc helmet. Quite horrifying. A marriage knife worn by women in Ebou Dar. The white stones indicate four female children, and the red stone in the center indicated one male child. Possibly Tylin’s, since she does have one male son, and it doesn’t state how many others she had. The Laurel Crown of Illian, also called the Crown of Swords. These covers are amazing to look at. It’s wonderful to get new perspective on anything within the series, especially when it’s official. Each novel within the Wheel of Time will be split into two novels, making a total of 28 when completed. Books one through ten are available now, with eleven and twelve available August 12th, and thirteen and fourteen available November 18th.
TarValon.net’s annual Robert Jordan Memorial Scholarship is now accepting applications: This year’s topic is: How do you plan to use your education in a way that exemplifies being a Servant of All? If you're interested in combining your academic studies and your love of The Wheel of Time, make sure you submit your applications before June 5th!