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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

By Katy Sedai, in TV Show,

Amazon revealed today, via their official social media accounts that they are starting a new series called The Wheel of Time - Explained. The first post is: What is an Aes Sedai?     This video teaser has been part of a near daily marketing effort to promote the show. In the video Rosamund Pike discusses that Aes Sedai are a group of female channelers, trained in the White Tower of Tar Valon and lead by the Amyrlin Seat.   To see every promotional video, image, and early preview that Amazon has released so far, check out out our Season 1 Media page.  And be sure to check our TV section of the website.    What do you think of this new video? Let us know in the comments and be sure to join the discussion on our forums. 

By Ola Aleksandra Hill, in Fantasy Reviews,

Aleksandra (Ola) Hill is a Polish-Canadian writer and the founder and editor-in-chief of khōréō, a magazine of speculative fiction by immigrant and diaspora writers. She won the grand prize in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Awards and is currently pursuing an MFA in writing at The New School. You can find her on Twitter at @_aleksandrahill.   #   TL;DR: She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Parker-Chan is a glorious first book in an epic historical fantasy duology. Set in 14th-century China, it brings to mind Mulan crossed with A Song of Ice and Fire. It’s perfect for fans of political intrigue, war, and a main character who strives for glory—whatever it takes.   #   Destiny isn’t exactly a new theme in literature. Prophecies frequently figured into Greek tragedies and have been used heavily in fantasy since then, including about half a dozen different ones appearing in our beloved Wheel of Time series. Characters learning about and fulfilling their destinies, or working to “change their stars”, are common enough to risk being cliches.    What I haven’t seen as much of is characters literally taking someone else’s destiny for their own.    She Who Became the Sun begins with a girl, her brother, her father, and the starving village where they live. A local fortune teller tells the brother that greatness is in his future: that “his deeds will bring a hundred generations of pride to the family name.”    For the girl, he sees… nothing. Just nothingness.    And so, when her brother dies, she takes his fate for herself. Zhu, known only as ‘the girl’ until the moment she begins using her brother’s name, leaves the village to join a monastery as a novice using his identity and her own tenacity. Yet even climbing within the ranks of the monks proves to be insufficient to guarantee Zhu’s safety and comfort when the outside world forces its way into the monastery—and so we embark upon Zhu’s true journey towards (possible) greatness.   The historical setting of the novel is particularly brimming with opportunity. Taking place in 1345, when China is under Mongolian rule, the book explores two interlinked concepts of political philosophy: tiānmìng, the Mandate of Heaven, which provides the right to rule; and the Right of Rebellion, which provides moral ground for overthrowing an unjust ruler (I’ll take this opportunity to note that I’m neither a philosopher, nor political scientist, nor a scholar of Chinese history; I beg the forgiveness of those who are better versed in these subjects for any gross oversimplification!). At the beginning of the book, a descendant of Kublai Khan holds power and thus the Mandate of Heaven. While Zhu is the main character of the novel, the reader is also able to dive into a number of different points of view in the second part of the novel, including two on the Mongolian side. The first of these, Esen, is a prince and a rising star of the court thanks to Ouyang, who is a famed general, eunuch, and Esen’s best friend. Through their eyes, we see not only the Mongolians’ battle to retain power versus the rebelling Chinese, but also the smaller power struggles within a cutthroat court.    On the rebel’s side, we see the world through Zhu’s eyes, as well as those of Ma, an young woman with no family who is betrothed to a rebel leader’s bumbling, inept son. While, as a reader, one naturally sides with the rebels clearly living under an oppressive rule, their own faction is rife with the same issues that plague the party in power: unchecked ambition, betrayal, and greed.    The struggle for power is enriched by one of the themes running through the novel: that of identity, especially in light of gender, sex, and relationships. For one, Zhu is born a woman and lives as a man, yet gender has not—in my reading—been of particular import to them except as a tool, even though it matters so much to the society that they live in. Their relationship with Ma, who is ensnared by society in her identity as a woman, provides an additional layer of depth to Zhu’s character that had me riveted to the page. In addition, Ouyang provides a strong counterpoint and foil to Zhu’s on views of gender by his status as a eunuch, especially in light of his relationship to Esen, a man who has never had to question his identity or place in the world. In contrast, Ouyang is held in contempt by the court, considered a sort of in-between thing rather than a man. These facets of identity play off of each other, deepening the tension and raising the stakes for every scene.    Importantly, this may not be an epic fantasy series in the way that readers of Jordan, Sanderson, Bardugo, and Jemisin might think of it. Specifically, there is no magic system of weaves or elements or spells; nor are there mythological creatures. Rather, the fantasy (if, indeed, it is fantasy*) comes from the personification of the Mandate of Heaven and the unquestionable existence of destiny, as well as the existence of (ancestral) ghosts. Some characters can see the dead, for example; in addition, the Mandate of Heaven is clearly visible to individuals. Zhu can also feel Heaven’s eyes on them, especially if they act outside of the character of Zhu.  *Writing this as a non-religious Polish-Canadian scientist/writer, the existence of something like Heaven, fate, and ancestral spirits are fantasy to me—but they may be very real to others.    This may be a different feeling to fantasy for many, especially when thinking of epic fantasy. There is no magic school and no focus on harnessing supernatural power in ways that you might expect. However, I never felt anything but enchanted by the world that Parker-Chan has created, both from the beauty of their writing and the sheer immenseness of the history that they have chosen to reimagine, and that’s everything that I’ve ever wanted from fantasy. Daes Dae’mar and battles like Dumai’s Wells were integral to The Wheel of Time—as are the politics and battles in this book.   She Who Became the Sun swallowed me whole from the very first page and didn’t let go until I emerged, blinking into the sunlight and slightly disoriented, at the end of the story. I was enthralled by Zhu as a highly flawed protagonist, enraptured by Esen and Ouyang, and enamored of Ma. Most of all, I love how unapologetically queer this book is and how deeply it explores love, sex, and gender against a truly epic backdrop. It’s one of my favourite books of the year, but I particularly recommend it to those who love political and military fantasy, alternative history, queer fantasy, and flawed protagonists.   

By Mashiara Sedai, in TV Show,

GQ had released some new images and new insight into the Amazon Prime Wheel of Time television show. Senior staff writer Zach Baron shares his own journey through the realms of fantasy fiction and sums up the challenges and boons the show faces.     The obvious benefit for the show, Baron states, is it’s following in the footsteps of Game of Thrones. The HBO blockbuster opened the floodgates for demands for more fantasy. Baron says, “It's no wonder television has come to love fantasy—both are mediums without any set end, mediums that thrive on near endless renewal.” And viewers are looking for the next new world to escape into.     But there are some difficulties in producing a show of The Wheel of Time’s scope. There are book fans to placate and new fans to entice, and through it all, Rafe Judkins—the showrunner—has to play peacekeeper. Judkins says, “I say sometimes that showrunning is basically just laying your body over the show and trying to protect it as you take 10,000 swords into your back.” So far, most fans agree having the show in Judkins’s hands is a good choice.  Even Brandon Sanderson, who finished the last three novels after Robert Jordan’s death, agrees. When speaking to Baron, Sanderson said, “I basically became stepdad to millions and millions of fans,” and “[n]ow I've been able to hand that burden off to Rafe.”     Baron also recounts his visit to the filming set in 2019.  He spoke with the actors, saw the sets, observed the foundation that will be the final draft of the show.  He gives great details about the work the actors did as well as the struggles for the costume and creatures designers. You can read the full article here.   As the show's air date of November 19th looms closer, we're getting more and more teasers and content.  What do you want to see next?  Let us know in the comments below!

By Katy Sedai, in TV Show,

Amazon revealed today, via their official social media accounts the following video:     This video has been part of a near daily marketing effort to promote the show. The tweet asked fans to share their cosplays, and likely inspired many more to come! The video features key characters including: Moiraine, Rand, Liandrin, Egwene, Lan, Perrin, Mat, Nynaeve, Logain, and a Fade. It was great to see Kate Fleetwood as Liandrin included as a key character.    To see every promotional video, image, and early preview that Amazon has released so far, check out out our Season 1 Media page.   And be sure to check our TV section of the website.    What do you think of the costumes in todays video? Let us know in the comments and be sure to join the discussion on our forums.  

By Katy Sedai, in TV Show,

Amazon revealed today, via their official social media accounts the following video:   We're pulling back the fabric of the Pattern to give you a glimpse into the building of our world. #TheWheelOfTime premieres November 19th on @AmazonPrimeVideo. This video has been part of a near daily marketing effort to promote the show. This teaser includes interviews clips from showrunner Rafe Judkins and Rosamund Pike who plays Moiraine. We also get our first glimpse of Alexander Willaume as Thom and a group of Whitecloaks. There's also an epic hair flip from Nynaeve actor Zoe Robins.      To see every promotional video, image, and early preview that Amazon has released so far, check out out our Season 1 Media page.  And be sure to check our TV section of the website.   What do you think of this new video? Let us know in the comments and be sure to join the discussion on our forums. 

By Katy Sedai, in TV Show,

The official Wheel of Time account posted a video today in honor of Robert Jordan's 73rd birthday.      The video features Robert Jordans, editor and widow, Harriet Mcdougal visiting production of the Wheel of Time back in fall 2019. It also features some of the cast including Madeleine Madden, Daniel Henney, Josha Stradowski, and Zoë Robins.   Robert Jordan is dearly missed by everyone here at Dragonmount.   

By Katy Sedai, in TV Show,

Amazon revealed, via their official social media accounts the following video:         This video has been part of a near daily marketing effort to promote the show. This teaser gives us a detailed look at Alvaro Morte as Logain. Showrunner Rafe Judkins has previously discussed how Logain's role will be expanded in the first season, and many of the clips seen in this teaser hint to off-screen scenes from the books.   To see every promotional video, image, and early preview that Amazon has released so far, check out out our Season 1 Media page.  And be sure to check our TV section of the website.    What do you think of this new video? Let us know in the comments and be sure to join the discussion on our forums. 

By Katy Sedai, in TV Show,

Amazon revealed, via their official social media accounts our first images of trollocs and fades in a Shadowspawn focused teaser: This video teaser has been part of a near daily marketing effort to promote the show. This is the first clear view we have of the Shadowspawn and they appear especially creepy!!   To see every promotional video, image, and early preview that Amazon has released so far, check out out our Season 1 Media page.   And be sure to check our TV section of the website.   What do you think of this new video? Let us know in the comments and be sure to join the discussion on our forums. 

By Katy Sedai, in TV Show,

Katy is a news contributor for Dragonmount. You can follow her as she shares her thoughts on The Wheel of Time TV Show on Instagram and Twitter @KatySedai   The Official The Wheel of Time social media accounts had a fun #WOTWednesday activity for fans. They dropped puzzle pieces into random folks DMs all over twitter and Instagram. They also posted some pieces to Facebook. It was the community’s job to put the puzzle together, which revealed a new poster! Folks were sent this quote and one piece of the puzzle.   Twitter user Ben Mulder streamed his puzzle building on the Wot Series discord server, which had as many at 50 people watching and sharing puzzle pieces.  The poster features Moiraine and Lan standing in Emonds Field and Moiraine appears to be holding a dead trolloc by the scruff of neck. 

By Jason Denzel, in TV Show,

Amazon revealed today, as part of their New York Comic Con panel, a video clip from the premiere episode of their upcoming Wheel of Time TV show. Showrunner Rafe Judkins introduced the scene as an iconic moment when Moiraine Sedai (played by Rosamund Pike) first appears in the Winespring Inn.     Visit our TV show section of the website for more info including a full Season 1 cast list.    What did you think of the clip? Who's ready for November 19, 2021?  

By Jason Denzel, in TV Show,

Amazon Prime announced today that Ceara Coveney, Natasha O'Keeffe, and Meera Syal will join the cast for season 2 of the upcoming Wheel of Time TV show.  These actresses join Dónal Finn as the first people announced for season 2.    Newcomer Ceara Coveney will play the iconic role of Elayne Trakand, the Daughter-Heir on Andor, and novice Aes Sedai.      Ceara's official bio states:     Natasha O'Keeffe is confirmed to be playing an unspecified role in season 2. According to show runner Rafe Judkins, she will play "one of the most important characters" in the series. At this point your guess is as good as ours as to who she will play!     Natasha's bio:   Meera Syal is also confirmed to play an unspecified role in season 2. Like Nataha O'Keeffe, Rafe Judkins describes her role as one of the most important in the series.      Meera's bio:   Who you you think Natasha O'Keeffe and Meera Syal will play?  Are you excited for Ceara Coveney to play Elayne? Let us know in the comments!    

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