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The Lord of the Rings (TV series)

Upcoming streaming television series

An upcoming television series is being produced based on the novel The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien.[1] It was developed by J. D. Payne and Patrick McKay for the streaming service Amazon Prime Video, and is set in the Second Age of Middle-earth before the events of the Lord of the Rings novel and films. The series is produced by Amazon Studios in cooperation with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins, and New Line Cinema, with Payne and McKay serving as showrunners.

Amazon bought the television rights for The Lord of the Rings for US$250 million in November 2017, making a five-season production commitment worth at least US$1 billion. This would make it the most expensive television series ever made. Payne and McKay were hired to develop the series in July 2018, with the rest of the creative team confirmed a year later. Casting for the large ensemble cast took place around the world. Filming took place in New Zealand, where the film trilogy was made, from February 2020 to August 2021 with a production break of several months during that time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first eight-episode season is expected to premiere on Prime Video on September 2, 2022. A second season was formally ordered in November 2019. Amazon announced in August 2021 that filming for future seasons would take place in the United Kingdom.

Premise[edit]

Set in the Second Age of Middle-earth, thousands of years before the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, the series follows an ensemble cast of characters as they confront the re-emergence of evil in Middle-earth.[2]

Episodes[edit]

Wayne Che Yip directed four episodes of the first season,[5] and Charlotte Brändström directed two.[6]

Cast and characters[edit]

As of July 2021, Amazon Studios has announced the following cast members for the series:[7][8][9]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

Deal and announcement[edit]

In July 2017, a lawsuit was settled between Warner Bros., the company behind the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit film trilogies, and the Tolkien Estate, the estate of author J. R. R. Tolkien upon whose books those films were based. With the two sides "on better terms" following the settlement, they began shopping a potential television series based on Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings books to several outlets, including Amazon, Netflix, and HBO.[12] By September, Amazon had emerged as the frontrunner and entered negotiations for the series.[14] In an uncommon move for programming developments at the studio, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was personally involved with the negotiations;[14] Bezos had previously given Amazon Studios a mandate to develop a fantasy series of comparable scale to HBO's Game of Thrones, which had made Amazon the lead contender for the project.[12]

On November 13, 2017, Amazon closed a deal to acquire the books' global television rights. These cost close to US$250 million, before any development or production costs. Industry commentators described this amount as "insane", especially since Amazon agreed to pay for the rights without any creative talent being attached to the project.[12] As part of the deal, Amazon's streaming service Amazon Prime Video gave a multi-season commitment to the series that was believed to be for five seasons, with the possibility of creating a spin-off series as well. The budget was expected to be in the range of US$100–150 million per season, and was likely to eventually exceed US$1 billion which would make it the most expensive television series ever made.[12] Amazon Studios wanted to produce the series themselves, so Warner Bros. Television would not be involved in the project, with Amazon instead working with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins, and New Line Cinema.[12] New Line, the Warner Bros. division who produced the films, was included in the deal due to the potential for the series to use material from the films. The series is a prequel to the events of The Lord of the Rings, depicting "previously unexplored stories" based on Tolkien's works, with some creative restrictions imposed on the series by the Tolkien Estate.[12] The deal stipulated that production on the series begin within two years.

Creative team[edit]

By April 2018, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film director Peter Jackson had begun discussing his potential involvement in the series with Amazon, but in June he was confirmed to not be involved in the series.[15] Later that month, Head of Amazon Studios Jennifer Salke said discussions with Jackson were ongoing as to how much involvement he would have in the series. She added that the deal for the series had only been officially closed around a month earlier, and the studio had been meeting with many different writers about the project. They intended to have a game plan for the series and a writing team set "very soon", with the hope that the series could debut in 2021.[16] Amazon hired writers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay to develop the series in July.[17] That December, Jackson stated that he and his producing partners were potentially going to read scripts for the series and offer notes to the writers, but otherwise would not be involved in the project. He stated, "I wish them all the best and if we can help them we certainly will try".[18] Jackson also expressed excitement at being able to watch a Tolkien adaptation as an audience member after not being able to have that experience with the films that he made.[19]

Bryan Cogman joined the series as a consultant in May 2019 after signing an overall deal with Amazon. Cogman previously served as a writer on Game of Thrones, and was set to work alongside Payne and McKay in developing the new series.[20] In July, J. A. Bayona was hired to direct the first two episodes of the series and serve as executive producer alongside his producing partner Belén Atienza.[4] Later that month, Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D. B. Weiss were in discussions with several outlets regarding signing an overall deal, including with Amazon who were interested in having the pair consult on The Lord of the Rings;[21] they ultimately signed a deal with Netflix instead.[22] At the end of July, Amazon announced that Payne and McKay would serve as showrunners and executive producers for the series, and revealed the full creative team that was working on the project: executive producers Bayona, Atienza, Bruce Richmond, Gene Kelly, Lindsey Weber, and Sharon Tal Yguado; co-producer Ron Ames; costume designer Kate Hawley; production designer Rick Heinrichs; visual effects supervisor Jason Smith; and illustrator/concept artist John Howe, who was one of the chief conceptual designers on the films.[23][24] Special effects company Weta Workshop and visual effects vendor Weta Digital were also expected to be involved in the series as they were for the films.[25] Additionally, Tolkien scholar Tom Shippey was revealed to be working on the series,[24] but he was no longer involved by April 2020;[26] other Tolkien scholars and "lore experts" remained involved.[27]

Following development of the first season, Cogman left the series to focus on developing new projects. Kelly also left the series, with Callum Greene joining as a new executive producer.[28] Greene previously served as producer on The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013).[29] In March 2021, Wayne Che Yip was announced as director for four episodes of the series, and was set as a co-executive producer.[5]Charlotte Brändström was revealed as director for another two episodes in May.[6]Howard Shore was in talks to compose the music for the series by late September, returning from the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films.[30]

Seasons[edit]

Prime Video gave the series a multi-season commitment, believed to be for five seasons, as part of the initial deal with the Tolkien Estate,[12] though the streaming service still had to give a formal greenlight to future seasons before work could begin on them.[31] In July 2019, Shippey stated that he believed the first season of the series was supposed to consist of 20 episodes.[32] In November, Amazon officially ordered a second season of the series, and scheduled a longer-than-usual four or five month production break after completion of filming on the first two episodes. This was to allow all the footage for the first episodes to be reviewed, and so the series' writers room could be reconvened to begin work on the second season before filming on the first season continued. This gave the series the option to film the first two seasons back-to-back, as the Lord of the Rings films had been.[31] In January 2020, Amazon announced that the first season would consist of eight episodes.[33]

Writing[edit]

A writers room for the series had begun work in Santa Monica by mid-February 2019. Salke described extensive security measures that were being taken to keep details of this writing secret, including windows being taped closed and a security guard requiring fingerprint clearance from those entering the room.[34] In addition to Payne and McKay, writers on the series include Gennifer Hutchison, Helen Shang, Jason Cahill, Justin Doble, Bryan Cogman, and Stephany Folsom, with Glenise Mullins acting as a consulting writer.[23][24] The writers room was set to be disbanded once production on the series began, but would be reconvened during the four or five month break in filming that was scheduled following production on the first two episodes. The writers were expected to map out the second season and write the majority of its scripts during this production break.[31]

At the start of March 2019, Amazon revealed that the series would be set in the Second Age of Middle-earth, thousands of years before the story of The Lord of the Rings.[35] Shippey explained that the series was not allowed to contradict anything that Tolkien had written about the Second Age and would have to follow the broad strokes of his narrative, with the Tolkien Estate prepared to veto any such changes, but Amazon was free to add characters or details to fill in the gaps between Tolkien's works. The series is also only allowed to adapt and reference content from the Lord of the Rings books and their extensive appendices rather than any of Tolkien's other books that explore the Second Age such as The Silmarillion. The Tolkien Estate retained the rights to the events of the First Age while Middle-earth Enterprises held the rights to the events of the Third Age (as seen in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings films), so the series was also not allowed to explore those. Shippey felt this left the series with "a lot of scope for interpretation and free invention".[32] A synopsis released in January 2021 revealed that locations for the series included the Misty Mountains, the elf-capital Lindon, and the island kingdom of Númenor.[2] By July, Amazon had gained access to certain elements and passages from The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales due to the Tolkien Estate being happy with the development of the series so far.[27]

Design[edit]

Jackson stated in December 2018 that it was his understanding that the series would be set in the same continuity as the films, with Amazon wanting to "keep the designs" that were created for the films.[19] Howe reiterated this in August 2019, saying the showrunners were determined to remain faithful to the designs of the film trilogies as well as the spirit of the books. On transitioning from designing for the films to working on the television series, Howe stated that there was a budgetary difference but they intended there to be no aesthetic difference. He added that the development process for the television series was the same as initial design work done on the films, beginning with conceptual designs.[36]

Casting[edit]

Salke stated in June 2018 that though the series would not be a remake of the films, it would include some characters from the films.[37] By July 2019, casting for the series was taking place around the world, with casting directors working in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia.[38] Casting for extras began in New Zealand at that time.[39]Markella Kavenagh was in talks to portray a character referred to as "Tyra" at the end of July,[40] a series regular role.[38]Will Poulter was cast as one of the series' leads, reportedly called "Beldor", in September.[41][42] The role was "one of the more coveted jobs" for young actors in Hollywood before Poulter's casting.[42]Maxim Baldry was cast in a "significant role" in mid-October,[43] with Joseph Mawle cast later that month. Mawle was reportedly playing the series' lead villain, "Oren".[44] In December, Ema Horvath was cast in another series regular role;[45] Poulter left the series due to scheduling conflicts;[46][47] and Morfydd Clark was cast as a young Galadriel, who was portrayed in the films by Cate Blanchett.[10]

Robert Aramayo was cast in the lead role for the series, replacing Poulter, in early January 2020.[48] A week later, Amazon officially announced that the series' main cast would include Aramayo, Owain Arthur, Nazanin Boniadi, Tom Budge, Clark, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Horvath, Kavenagh, Mawle, Tyroe Muhafidin, Sophia Nomvete, Megan Richards, Dylan Smith, Charlie Vickers, and Daniel Weyman. Amazon's co-head of television Vernon Sanders noted that there were still some key roles that had yet to be filled.[7] One of these key roles was confirmed to go to Baldry in March when his deal for the series was completed, after he had been informally attached to the series in October 2019.[43][49] In December 2020, Amazon announced 20 new cast members for the series: Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Baldry, newcomer Ian Blackburn, Kip Chapman, Anthony Crum, Maxine Cunliffe, Trystan Gravelle, Lenny Henry, Thusitha Jayasundera, Fabian McCallum, Simon Merrells, Geoff Morrell, Peter Mullan, Lloyd Owen, Augustus Prew, Peter Tait, Alex Tarrant, Leon Wadham, Benjamin Walker, and Sara Zwangobani. Blackburn, Chapman, Crum, Cunliffe, Tait, Tarrant, and Wadham are all New Zealanders, with the rest of the cast members coming from Australia, Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Payne and McKay described the casting update as "the culmination of a multi-year search".[8]

In March 2021, Budge announced that he had departed the series after filming several episodes. He explained that Amazon had reviewed the first episodes and decided to recast his character,[50] who was reported to be Celebrimbor.[27]Charles Edwards, Will Fletcher, Amelie Child-Villiers, and Beau Cassidy were added to the first season's cast that July.[9] A third of the first season's 124 speaking roles, including seven of the 32 major recurring roles, went to New Zealand actors.[25]

Filming[edit]

New Zealand[edit]

Salke said in June 2018 that the series could be filmed in New Zealand, where the films were produced, but Amazon was also willing to film in other countries as long as they could "provide those locations in a really authentic way, because we want it to look incredible".[37] Pre-production on the series reportedly began around that time in Auckland,[51] while location scouting for the series also took place in Scotland, with areas visited by the production including the Isle of Skye, Portpatrick, Scourie, Perthshire, and Loch Lomond.[52] Amazon and Creative Scotland held talks about the series' production being based at new studios that were under construction in Leith, Edinburgh.[53] In December, Amazon held a "crisis meeting" with David Parker, then New Zealand's Minister of Economic Development, after the studio threatened to take the production out of the country due to the lack of available studio space in Auckland.[54] During the meeting, Parker told Amazon they were welcome in New Zealand and the country's government wanted them to make the series there, but he did not propose any special deal for the series because "you don't want these things at any cost; you want them on terms that are good for New Zealand". New Zealand's Major Screen Production Grant, which provides up to a 25 per cent refund in tax for international productions, was offered to Amazon for the series.[55]

Filming was informally confirmed to take place in New Zealand at the end of June, with leases taking effect at Kumeu Film Studios and Auckland Film Studios in July. Auckland was chosen as the primary filming location in the country rather than Wellington, where the Lord of the Rings films were produced, because the studios that were used to produce the films in Wellington were in use by the Avatar films at the time that production for the series was set to begin.[51] Amazon's decision to film in New Zealand was reportedly influenced by the New Zealand government's reassurances that the country was safe to film in following the Christchurch mosque shootings in March 2019, as well as concern regarding the potential effects of Brexit in Scotland. While production was set to primarily take place in Auckland, additional filming was expected to take place in Queenstown and other locations around New Zealand.[56] Amazon officially announced that the series would be filmed in New Zealand in September 2019, after completing negotiations with the New Zealand Government and the New Zealand Film Commission, as well as Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED). The studio said filming was set to begin on the series in "the coming months", with some specific locations still being discussed according to ATEED. Payne and McKay explained that in choosing the series' primary location, they and the production team had needed "somewhere majestic, with pristine coasts, forests, and mountains" that could also meet the production requirements of the series.[1][57]

Amazon signed two Memoranda of Understanding in December 2020 with the New Zealand Film Commission, Tourism New Zealand, and the country's Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) to gain access to the full 25 per cent tax refund offered under New Zealand's Major Screen Production Grant.[58] All film and television productions in the country automatically receive a 20 per cent tax rebate, with productions that offer "significant economic benefits" able to negotiate for the additional 5 per cent.[59] One memorandum outlined Amazon's overall obligations in exchange for the extra refund, and the other was specific to the series' first season. Further memoranda would need to be signed for future seasons for the studio to continue to be eligible for the additional rebate. The agreement would allow Tourism New Zealand to promote the country using cast and crew members, footage, and behind-the-scenes material from the series, and this campaign would align with the series' premiere and the opening of New Zealand's borders for international travel after the COVID-19 pandemic;[58] Amazon would work with the Film Commission to help grow the country's screen sector, and a member of the commission would be able to speak to media at the series' red carpet premiere; and MBIE would oversee an "innovation programme" run by Amazon to benefit New Zealand companies and research groups.[58][59] Details of the memoranda were revealed in April 2021, though officials had originally intended to announce the deal on September 22, Hobbit Day.[59]

In April 2021, New Zealand's Minister of Economic Development and Tourism, Stuart Nash, revealed that Amazon was spending NZ$650 million (US$465 million) on the series' first season, making it eligible for NZ$160 million (US$114 million) in tax rebates under the country's agreements with the studio. James Hibberd at The Hollywood Reporter noted that the US$465 million amount "almost certainly" included additional costs to the season's production budget, including the rights to make the series and the startup costs of building sets, costumes, and props that would be used in future seasons as well.[60] Salke soon confirmed this, describing the cost as a "crazy headline that's fun to click on, but that is really building the infrastructure of what will sustain the whole series."[61] In August, Amazon announced that it was moving production of future seasons to the United Kingdom and would not actively pursue the additional 5 per cent rebate (around NZ$33 million or US$23 million) or preserve the terms of the memoranda that they had signed.[62][63]

Season 1[edit]

Table reads with the cast began in New Zealand by mid-January 2020, ahead of the start of filming in early February,[7][64] with Bayona directing the first two episodes.[4] Production began in Auckland, primarily at Kumeu Film Studios and Auckland Film Studios.[51] While rehearsing a stunt at Kumeu on February 7, stuntwoman Elissa Cadwell was injured when she struck her head while falling into a water tank. Amazon reviewed the incident and notified New Zealand's workplace health and safety regulator WorkSafe on February 14. By then, Caldwell was recovering from her injuries after being treated in hospital.[65] Amazon paid Caldwell NZ$500,000 which was partly to help her return home to Australia.[66]

Location filming took place around Auckland in February.[67] Filming for the first two episodes was expected to continue through May,[68] with a four- or five-month production break then planned during which footage for the two episodes would be reviewed and writing on the second season would begin.[31] Production was scheduled to resume in mid-October and continue until late June 2021.[68] However, filming was placed on hold indefinitely in mid-March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with around 800 cast and crew members told to stay home.[69] In early May, the majority of filming for the first two episodes was confirmed to have been completed before the COVID-19 shutdown. Filming on the series was allowed to resume then under new safety guidelines from the New Zealand government, but, instead of completing filming for the first two episodes at that time, the filming shutdown segued into the intended production break, with filming for the first two episodes set to be completed once filming on further episodes was ready to begin.[70]

The series was one of seven film and television productions that were granted exemptions to allow cast and crew members to enter New Zealand while its borders were closed to non-New Zealanders due to COVID-19. The exemptions were granted before June 18 by Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford, and applied to 93 members of the production as well as 20 family members. Around 10 percent of the series' crew were believed to be non-New Zealanders, and many of them had remained in the country during its pandemic lockdown and did not require exemptions. Pre-production on further episodes began by July 2020,[71] and filming on the series resumed on September 28.[72] Bayona completed filming on his episodes by December 23,[73] with production on further episodes set to begin in January 2021 following a two week break for Christmas.[73][74] Yip confirmed that he had begun filming his episodes by March,[5] and Brändström was in New Zealand for production on the series when she was announced as director in May.[6]

Walker said at the end of June that he was not sure how much longer the cast would be required to stay in New Zealand, saying the timeline for the production was "a bit nebulous" and Amazon would "let us go when they're done with us".[75] In early July, several stunt performers alleged that a senior stunt supervisor for the production had created an "uneasy environment" that contributed to an unsafe workplace, with at least three stunt performers being seriously injured on the set. This included stuntwoman Dayna Grant, who suffered a head injury on set in March and was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm and upper spinal injury; fans crowdfundedNZ$100,000 to help Grant pay for surgery. The production's head of safety, Willy Heatley, said the injury rate was 0.065 percent across the 16,200 days of stunt work on the series since filming began, and this was mostly due to "common stunt-related sprains, bruises and muscle and soft tissue strains". Amazon Studios said safety was a top priority for the company and they were following all of WorkSafe's regulations.[66]

In late July, main production for the first season was reported to have been completed in April 2021.[27] Filming for the season officially wrapped on August 2.[3] Around a third of filming took place on location around New Zealand, including at the Hauraki Gulf, the Coromandel Peninsula, the Denize Bluffs in the King Country, Mount Kidd in Fiordland, Piha, and Rangitikei. More than 1,000 New Zealanders were contracted for the first season, with around 700 more indirectly engaged with the production.[25]

United Kingdom[edit]

At the end of filming for the season, the crew were unsure when filming for the second season would begin though there was expected to be a hiatus of at least one year to allow post-production on the first season and writing for the second season to be completed. Amazon retained its lease on Auckland Film Studios and Kumeu Film Studios, and reportedly Studio West also, for the duration of the hiatus, which allowed the series' sets to remain at the studios and prevented other productions from using the space.[25]

The week after filming ended, Amazon announced that it was moving production of the series to the United Kingdom starting with the second season. At that time, Amazon was in the process of booking studio space in the UK,[62] with Scotland reported to be the frontrunner for new shooting locations.[76] The company planned to ship all of the sets that were built for the first season to the UK, and hire a new UK-based crew since the majority of the first season's crew was New Zealand-based.[62] Factors that played a role in the change included Amazon already heavily investing in UK studio space for several other productions; a belief that the UK would be a "more economical choice" following the high cost of making the first season in New Zealand;[77] the opportunity to film in other European countries near the UK as was done for the series Game of Thrones;[62] the Tolkien Estate wanting the series to be filmed in the UK since Tolkien was inspired by locations there for his books;[76] and the fact that New Zealand's restrictive pandemic-era border policies had prevented Amazon executives from visiting and monitoring the production, while many international cast members (more than half of whom are British) were unable to leave the country for nearly two years during filming of the first season.[62] Amazon had offered in August 2020 to pay for the use of hotels and rental properties as private quarantine facilities to give the production more flexibility with travel, but this idea was rejected by the New Zealand government due to the need for additional services related to quarantining.[78]

Season 2[edit]

Pre-production for the second season is expected to begin in the UK in the second quarter of 2022,[79] taking place concurrently with post-production for the first season which is continuing in New Zealand until June 2022.[62]Bray Film Studios and Bovingdon Airfield, both outside of London, will be the initial production locations for the season.[79]

Marketing[edit]

Amazon began promoting the series on social media using several maps of Middle-earth during the Second Age, as well as excerpts from the novel The Lord of the Rings.[32][80] The maps were designed and created by illustrator John Howe and overseen by Tolkien scholar Tom Shippey to ensure they were accurate to Tolkien's works.[80] Howe and Shippey spent a lot of time working on the maps, which were based on Tolkien's maps of Númenor during the Second Age of Middle-earth as well as his maps of the Third Age. Despite their efforts, HarperCollins received complaints from fans shortly after the maps were released online regarding two mistakes that were made on them.[36]

Release[edit]

The series is set to premiere on the streaming service Prime Video on September 2, 2022, with new episodes released on a weekly basis.[3]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]

Источник: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lord_of_the_Rings_(TV_series)

Best gaming books 2021: from novels to retro compendiums, and other page-turners

By Rob Dwiar

We've rounded up a smattering of the best gaming books from novels and art tomes to retro roundups

There are so many gaming books that make up the best gaming books nowadays - we really are treated to an enormous selection. From histories and looks behind the scenes, technical and industry explorations, art spreads, and works of fiction, the best gaming books are terrific in their own right, but very worthy contenders for any physical merch fans, and great companions to our favourite games.

In fact, I think, as physical additions to gaming merch collections and libraries, they are some of the most high-quality, informative, fun, and often beautiful bits of gaming merch and media we can get. They offer a fine, and refined means to add to one's merch collection, while also offering means to access loads more information, lore, history, and background content to our favorite games, and the way that games are made, and how the industry moves. And what with it being World Book Day this month, there's never a better time to embrace the best gaming books to go with our favorite games.

Amazon US - Video game novels

Amazon's 'The Wheel of Time' looks to push fantasy beyond 'Game of Thrones'

Amazon’s “The Wheel of Time” feels, at first blush, like just another entry in an already crowded field of series fighting to be the next “Game of Thrones.” While the streaming service’s adaptation of Robert Jordan’s bestselling fantasy series isn’t mind-blowing, its diverse cast, thoughtful script and often nuanced female portrayals make it yet another step in the right direction for the fantasy genre.

Amazon’s “The Wheel of Time” feels, at first blush, like just another entry in an already crowded field of series fighting to be the next “Game of Thrones.”

The story is relatively straightforward. Three young men and two young women from a small town — Mat (Barney Harris), Perrin (Marcus Rutherford), Rand (Josha Stradowski), Egwene (Madeleine Madden), and Nynaeve (Zoë Robins) — are whisked away by a mysterious stranger to follow their destinies. That stranger, a member of the magic-wielding Aes Sedai (the series’ term for "witch"), Moiraine (Rosamund Pike), believes one of the five to be the reborn spirit of “The Dragon,” who will save the world. She and her Warder bodyguard, Lan (Daniel Henney), watch over these young people as they discover their various magical abilities and eventually band together to fight an epic final battle against a mysterious dark force.

Despite the simplicity of the overall narrative, at 14 (very long) books, “The Wheel of Time” is the ultimate unfilmable fantasy saga. The novels changed the game in the 1990s, ushering in an era of doorstopper-sized, continent-spanning fantasy epics revolving around “chosen one” narratives. The series was a marvel of meticulously detailed world-building. However, it cared little for momentum. Rather than move the story forward, Jordan preferred to devote chapters upon chapters to building out subcultures and customs while reveling in taking the mythos of the Eastern and Western traditions and melding them into a single hero’s tale.

By arriving after the first wave of “Game of Thrones” imitators like “The Shannara Chronicles” and “The White Queen,” “The Wheel of Time” lands long after ultra-faithful adaptations have gone out of fashion. Two decades ago, the “Lord of the Rings” film trilogy was measured by its ability to precisely re-create the novels on-screen. Nowadays, it’s reimaginings like “Watchmen” or remixes like “The Witcher” that hit big.

But since attempting an accurate point-by-point reconstruction would be a fool’s errand for “The Wheel of Time” anyway, Amazon’s series leans into streamlining the story, changing around how characters meet and when and where events happen. It not only ages its lead teenage characters up, it thinks about how that changes their worldviews. And it’s willing to make wholesale changes in the narrative to tell a better story for TV, understanding that as long as the most important moments hit where they are supposed to, the rest is fungible.

“The Wheel of Time” also sidesteps one of the biggest problems with shows and movies that slavishly re-create their source material: that older materials’ racist blind spots. Instead of presenting yet another continent devoid of people of color, “The Wheel of Time” goes the “Cursed Child” route, which reimagined Hermione Granger as a Black woman because her skin tone was never mentioned in the “Harry Potter” novels. Wherever the books do not mention skin color, assuming default whiteness, the TV series assumes the opposite. The result is a “Bridgerton”-like integrated fantasy that still feels painfully rare for prestige TV.

Related

But perhaps the most remarkable thing “The Wheel of Time” does is respect viewers’ intelligence. “Game of Thrones” famously didn’t trust audiences to absorb complex plot exposition and so delivered quite a bit of it while showing people having orgies. It also cut much of the novels’ most important backstories where they were delivered in monologue-type narration. But “The Wheel of Time” doesn’t shy away from these moments, giving Pike long, fantasy-history-laden monologues that she delivers to her companions as they ride horses, trusting the actress’ ability to hold our attention.

The series is less successful in correcting the books’ ingrained sexism and intense reliance on the gender binary. The novels were one of the first mainstream fantasy series to center female characters and give them point-of-view chapters. But they are women very clearly written by a man. In some places, the series makes real improvements: Robins and Madden have far more three-dimensional characters, and Pike’s nuanced, emotional performance could sustain the show for several seasons alone. But on the other hand, the series invents multiple women who die for the express purpose of male character growth.

The series is less successful in correcting the books’ ingrained sexism and intense reliance on the gender binary.

Even more difficult? The series’ entire system of magic is gendered: Men and women access two different halves of the “One Power,” in painfully stereotypical ways. (In the novels, women are flowers who open themselves and surrender to control, while men dominate.) A major plot point in the novels revolves around women being unable to access the “male half” of the power. Though the moral of the tale is ultimately about balance, the story’s inherent insistence that gender is immutable (and heteronormativity is all that exists) comes across as extremely dated. The series does its best to downplay the problematic aspects of this in the early going, but it will eventually have to confront its biases.

If there is one place where the series genuinely falls down, it is the CGI. For a story that relies heavily on visuals, the fantasy graphics are surprisingly workmanlike. This is doubly confusing given Amazon’s giant budget.

And that brings us to arguably the biggest thing standing in the way of “The Wheel of Time” being the next fantasy mainstream hit: It’s on Amazon.

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Despite its vast user base, the streaming service still has few huge hits to its name. That means the bar is higher for shows like “The Wheel of Time,” which may be reliant on word of mouth to gain traction. Perhaps it can reach bigger heights in a second season. (Amazon greenlighted more episodes months ago.) But for now, fans will have to settle for knowing the show has moved the world of fantasy forward.

Ani Bundel

Ani Bundel is a cultural critic who has been writing regularly since 2010. Her work can also be found at Elite Daily and WETA's Telly Visions, where she also co-hosts "Telly Visions: The Podcast."

Источник: https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/amazon-s-wheel-time-looks-push-fantasy-beyond-game-thrones-ncna1284265

The Wheel of Time age rating: Is the Amazon show appropriate for kids?

The time has finally come! Last week, the highly-anticipated Wheel of Time adaptation debuted on Amazon Prime Video, and fantasy fans were eager to check it out. With generally positive reviews based on the first three episodes released so far, there’s certainly potential with this series. If you’ve read the 14-book series by Robert Jordan that the show is based on or just love the genre, be sure to add it to your watch list.

If you’re unfamiliar with The Wheel of Time story and have kids at home who are interested in tuning in, you might want to know what the target audience is. The source material is meant for adults and is not a YA book series, with Common Sense Mediagiving the books a 14+ age rating.

So what about the Amazon show? Is it suitable for children, teens or only adults? We tell you everything you need to know below!

Can kids watch The Wheel of Time?

The official rating for The Wheel of Time is TV-14, which is in line with the book series. Contrary to the books, however, the TV show does have a bit of nudity in the first three episodes. Two of the characters are in a romantic relationship, and the full backside of a man is shown. We also see some kissing.

Though the nudity in the first three episodes is pretty mild, the violence isn’t. There are fight scenes in which people and creatures are murdered in graphic nature, with plenty of gore and even intestines depicted. This would likely be too frightening and disturbing for a young audience.

As the official rating suggests, we’d say The Wheel of Time is appropriate for teenagers and above. Of course, what a child watches is up to the discretion of their parent or guardian. If you want more details about the first three episodes, check out the Parents Guide on IMDb for the show.

Episode 4 of The Wheel of Time premieres tonight at 7:00 p.m. EST only on Amazon Prime Video.

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Источник: https://winteriscoming.net/2021/11/25/the-wheel-of-time-age-rating-appropriate-kids/

IDK about you, but it's been a while since I've been hooked on a live-action fantasy show. Game of Thrones was probably my last other-worldly entertainment obsession, and we all know how that turned out. (Spoiler: not well!) Since then, I've been on a quest to find *something* to fill the GOT-shaped hole in my watchlist. And I think Amazon Prime Video's new show The Wheel of Time is a strong contender!

The series, which is based on a set of novels by author Robert Jordan (and Brandon Sanderson for the last three books), follows Moiraine (Rosamund Pike) who is a member of a powerful group of women who wield magic called the Aes Sedai. She and her sworn protector Lan Mandragoran (Daniel Henney) go on a journey with a group of five teens, believing that one of them is the reincarnation of the Dragon, who prophecies say will either use their immense power to save the world or destroy it.

This is one hell of a dizzying ride with all the names, places, terms, and general lore that comes with the fantasy genre. So before diving deep into all that wildness, why not get to know The Wheel of Time cast first? Onward!

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4Zoë Robins

The Wheel of Time character: Nynaeve al’Meara

Age: 28

Instagram: Robins doesn't seem to have a personal account, but the fan account @zoerobinsig is pretty good about keeping people updated on her latest projects.

Fun fact: This isn't the first time the New Zealander is playing a kick-ass female character. One of her biggest roles was playing the White Ninja Steel Ranger in Power Rangers Ninja Steel.

Jasmine TingJasmine is a journalist struggling to adult by day...

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io

Источник: https://www.cosmopolitan.com/entertainment/tv/g38285910/the-wheel-of-time-cast-characters/

The Wheel of Time isn't just a Witcher clone – it's your next fantasy show obsession

Amazon Prime Video’s expansion into the fantasy genre has been unusually slow for a high-profile streaming platform. While its competitors, including Netflix, have churned out numerous big-budget fantasy shows and movies, Amazon’s large-scale offerings have been few by comparison.

But that’s about to change. With two high-cost (and potentially high-stakes) fantasy shows releasing in the next year, Amazon is going all-in on trying to compete with Netflix shows such as The Witcher and Shadow and Bone. With its Lord of the Rings adaptation not arriving until September 2022, though, Amazon is pinning its hopes on another fantasy series to deliver a telling blow to its rivals: The Wheel of Time.

Based on Robert Jordan’s beloved high fantasy book series of the same name, The Wheel of Time could be the streamer's next big ‘must-watch’ series. But, given its unwieldy lore, multiple narrative threads, and seemingly infinite number of characters, fans have wondered if the 14-strong novel series’ story could ever be adapted in a precise way.

If you’re one of those fans, allow us to put your mind at ease: Amazon’s The Wheel of Time is a wonderfully realized adaptation of Jordan’s sweeping and imaginative source material. It captures the richness of the books’ fantastical world, expansive plot and morally complex characters, and does so while retaining the core essence of what has made The Wheel of Time novels so popular.

Set in an unnamed world – though it’s routinely known as the Randlands or World of the Wheel – The Wheel of Time follows the adventures of Moiraine (Rosamund Pike), a powerful sorceress who belongs to an all-female organization known as the Aes Sedai.

Alongside her Warder Lan Mandragoran (Daniel Henney), a bodyguard who’s intrinsically linked to her by the One Power that she can wield, Moiraine embarks on a quest to find the Dragon Reborn, a mighty warrior and the only individual who can stop the Dark One from consuming the world.

About this series

- Based on Robert Jordan's popular fantasy book series

- Developed by Rafe Lee Judkins

- Produced by Amazon Studios and Sony Pictures Television

- Streaming exclusively on Amazon Prime Video

- Season 1 contains eight episodes

- Season 2 is already in production

When her mission leads to a village known as the Two Rivers, which is soon attacked by the Dark One’s forces, Moiraine realizes that one of five young adults must be the Dragon reincarnated. Leading the quintet – Rand al’Thor (Josha Stradowski), Egwene al’Vere (Madeleine Madden), Nynaeve al’Meara (Zoe Robins), Perrin Aybara (Marcus Rutherford) and Mat Cauthon (Barney Harris) – on a world-spanning journey to determine who the Dragon is, Moiraine must also work out if that individual will save everyone from the Dark One, or join his side and destroy life as they know it.

And that’s as plainly as The Wheel of Time’s plot can be described. Simply put, The Wheel of Time is a dense, expansive narrative: multiple storylines intersect at various junctures, thousands of characters come and go within Jordan’s 14 tomes, and numerous locations are toured at a somewhat breathless pace. And that’s before you take into account the books’ rich and unique approach to magic-users and other fantasy elements.

So it’s pleasing that Amazon’s adaptation has streamlined the novels’ labyrinthine story and worldbuilding as much as possible. From the opening minute of the series’ premiere, we’re treated to a summary of events, courtesy of Pike’s Moirane, that precede The Wheel of Time’s overarching plot. It’s only brief, but it instantly sets the scene for what’s currently at stake in the Randlands, and means that audiences don’t have to sit through a lengthy preamble about its past.

The removal of filler material makes for tighter storylines, too. Dispensing with lengthy walks to inns and other locales, which would ordinarily slow the plot down, allows Amazon’s adaptation to capture the richness of the novels without getting stuck in the minutiae; their inclusion may be vital for the novels, but such content is unnecessary for TV.

The show’s weaving narratives also alternate at a reasonable pace. Episodes don’t get bogged down in one storyline for too long, which keeps things ticking (pun intended) along nicely, and gives us plenty of time to learn about the series’ main characters – including their personality types, strengths and weaknesses, and where their moral compasses lie.

That isn’t to say that there aren’t some pacing issues. The Wheel of Time quickly and unnecessarily jumps from one instance to the next in some cases, particularly before and during action sequences. While this can be attributed to the editing process, it’s still disorienting on occasion.

While much of the novels’ padding has been removed, Amazon’s adaptation can also feel a tad ponderous at times. But, sometimes it needs to be. The show’s plot will likely be difficult to follow for viewers who haven’t read the books, so some scenes require lots of exposition to keep audiences in the loop. This slow-burn approach, then, is necessary in some cases, but The Wheel of Time’s problem is that it does this in some scenes where explanations aren’t essential, which can sometimes make it feel like a drag.

As much as Amazon’s adaptation has retained plenty of the novel series’ elements, it takes some creative liberties with its story arcs. The show’s first season doesn’t only adapt the first book, The Eye of the World; it also draws from the second novel, The Great Hunt, and tweaks the timeline of when certain events occur, where particular characters are introduced, and what role they play in proceedings. Such alterations may divide The Wheel of Time’s fan base and, ultimately, some may not fully endorse – or may be disenchanted by – the direction that the show takes. 

The Wheel of Time is a wonderfully realized adaptation of Jordan’s sweeping and imaginative source material

Still, Amazon’s adaptation has to appeal to established fans and newcomers alike. With the series’ chief creative team wanting to tell a story that general audiences can enjoy as much as diehards, some plot revisions are unavoidable, regardless of how unfaithful some fans may think they are. And, for the most part, they fit seamlessly into the primary plot, which makes them less noticeable.

As for the aforementioned action scenes, The Wheel of Time’s sequences are anything but family friendly. Battles are brutal, ferocious, and lend a grittiness to proceedings that some fantasy shows are reluctant to lean into. Some are particularly hard-hitting – one lengthy, barbaric fight sequence in episode one may startle viewers in its gratuitousness – and give rise to shocking moments that certainly leave their mark.

Such surprises aren’t solely reserved for the show’s fights, though. The Wheel of Time subverts audiences’ expectations throughout, delivering frequent emotional story beats and shocks that showcase the internal and external power struggles between its main characters and within the wider world. 

The events that Moiraine and company endure – and there are plenty of them – make the characters relatable, though, especially the Two Rivers’ quintet. Rand, Egwene, Nynaeve, Perrin and Mat are plucked from relative obscurity, and thrust into a situation where the stakes couldn’t be higher. As an audience, we can’t relate to that specifically, but we can sympathize with characters who have the weight of expectation placed on them. And their predicament illustrates how different people will, or won’t, rise to the occasion. These are people torn between their quaint lives and their supposed importance to the entire world, so the pressure is bound to tell one way or the other.

Understandably, there’s a naivety about these individuals, so it’s easy to overlook some of their less-informed decisions. There are moments, however, where the likes of Mat, Rand or even Lan make impulsive choices that are out of character – they don’t make sense to the wider narrative and feel like ill-placed plot devices and, like some of the show’s pacing, it’s off-putting.

Thematically, The Wheel of Time is a series that’s reflective of modern-day society, too. Despite its fantasy-based, medieval aesthetic, its exploration of geopolitics and distrust are particularly resonant. Reincarnation, the concept of yin and yang, the cyclical nature of time itself in the series’ world, and the legacy we leave behind are also examined in great detail, painting a picture of a fictional world that draws on real-world historical influences as well as real-life issues that are prevalent today.

What we think

The Wheel of Time is a sweeping and visually striking coming-of-age tale that feels like a fitting tribute to Jordan’s works. It’s much more than a fantasy show, too, with dashings of romance, a serving of underrated comedic moments, and a torrent of drama that delivers a moving, pulsating and compelling entry-point to the late author’s vibrant but intricate fictional world.

The expansive nature of Amazon’s adaptation is where it really shines, though. The production’s sheer scale and scope is Game of Thrones- and Lord of the Rings-esque, and it’s clear that The Wheel of Time takes particular cues from them, including its political, horror and action sensibilities; there’s even a bathtub scene to rival The Witcher, such is the range of fantasy shows that The Wheel of Time has taken inspiration from.

To simply describe The Wheel of Time as a clone of any of the above, though, is to do it a disservice. It’s very much its own series, even if comparisons to George R. R. Martin and J. R. R. Tolkien’s legendary book series, and subsequent big- and small-screen adaptations, are merited. There’s a richness and lived-in vibe to The Wheel of Time’s world, and it’s so vast that there are bound to be spin-off shows if Amazon’s mainline series is a hit among fans.

Sure, it may seem like your typical action-packed, thrilling story about good versus evil, but it’s much more than that below the surface. With the jury still out on Amazon Prime’s Lord of the Rings adaptation, even before it launches next September, the streaming service could use a big-budget, state-of-the-art fantasy show in its back catalog – and The Wheel of Time definitely fits the bill.

The Wheel of Time’s first three episodes will launch exclusively on Amazon Prime Video on Friday, November 19. Subsequent episodes will be released weekly.

As TechRadar's entertainment reporter, Tom can be found covering all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. 

Away from work, Tom can found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, and petting every dog he comes across in the outside world.

Источник: https://www.techradar.com/news/the-wheel-of-time-isnt-just-a-witcher-clone-its-your-next-fantasy-show-obsession

The Lord of the Rings (TV series)

Upcoming streaming television series

An upcoming television series is being produced based on the novel The Lord of the The witcher books amazon by J. R. R. Tolkien.[1] It was developed by J. D. Payne and Patrick McKay for the streaming service Amazon Prime Video, and is set in the Second Age of Middle-earth before the events of the Lord of the Rings novel and films. The series is produced by Amazon Studios in cooperation with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins, and New Line Cinema, with Payne and McKay serving as showrunners.

Amazon bought the television rights for The Lord of the Rings for US$250 million in November 2017, making a five-season production commitment worth at least US$1 billion. This would make it the most expensive television series ever made. Payne and McKay were hired to develop the series in July 2018, with the rest of the creative team confirmed a year later. Casting for the large ensemble cast took place around the world. Filming took place in New Zealand, where the film trilogy was made, from February 2020 to August 2021 with a production break of several months during that time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first eight-episode season is expected to premiere on Prime Video on September 2, 2022. A second season was formally ordered in November 2019. Amazon announced in August 2021 that filming for future seasons would take place in the United Kingdom.

Premise[edit]

Set in the Second Age of Middle-earth, thousands of years before the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, the series follows an ensemble cast of characters as they confront the re-emergence of evil in Middle-earth.[2]

Episodes[edit]

Wayne Che Yip directed four episodes of the first season,[5] and Charlotte Brändström directed two.[6]

Cast and characters[edit]

As of July 2021, Amazon Studios has announced the following cast members for the series:[7][8][9]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

Deal and announcement[edit]

In July 2017, a lawsuit was settled between Warner Bros., the company behind the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit film trilogies, and the Tolkien Estate, the estate of author J. R. R. Tolkien upon whose books those films were based. With the two sides "on better terms" following the settlement, they began shopping a potential television series based on Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings books to several outlets, including Amazon, Netflix, and HBO.[12] By September, Amazon had emerged as the frontrunner and entered negotiations for the series.[14] In an uncommon move for programming developments at the studio, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was personally involved with the negotiations;[14] Bezos had previously given Amazon Studios a mandate to develop a fantasy series of comparable scale to HBO's Game of Thrones, which had made Amazon the lead contender for the project.[12]

On November 13, 2017, Amazon closed a deal to acquire the books' global television rights. These cost close to US$250 million, before any development or production costs. Industry commentators described this amount as "insane", especially since Amazon agreed to pay for the rights without any creative talent being attached to the project.[12] As part of the deal, Amazon's streaming service Effective home remedies for uti Prime Video gave a multi-season commitment to the series that was believed to be for five seasons, with the possibility of creating a spin-off series as well. The budget was expected to be in the range of US$100–150 million per season, and was likely to eventually exceed US$1 billion which would make it the most expensive television series ever made.[12] Amazon Studios wanted to produce the series themselves, so Warner Bros. Television would not be involved in the project, with Amazon instead working with the Tolkien Estate and Trust, HarperCollins, and New Line Cinema.[12] New Line, the Warner Bros. division who produced the films, was included in the deal due to the potential for the series to use material from the films. The series is a prequel to the events of The Lord of the Rings, depicting "previously unexplored stories" based on Tolkien's works, with some creative restrictions imposed on the series by the Tolkien Estate.[12] The deal stipulated that production on the series begin within two years.

Creative team[edit]

By April 2018, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film director Peter Jackson had begun discussing his potential involvement in the series with Amazon, but in June he was confirmed to not be involved in the series.[15] Later that month, Head of Amazon Studios Jennifer Salke said discussions with Jackson were ongoing as to how much involvement he would have in the series. She added that the deal for the series had only been officially closed around a month earlier, and the studio had been meeting with many different writers about the project. They intended to have a game plan for the series and a writing team set "very soon", with the hope that the series could debut in 2021.[16] Amazon hired writers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay to develop the series in July.[17] That December, Jackson stated that he and his producing partners were potentially going to read scripts for the series and offer notes to the writers, but otherwise would not be involved in the project. He stated, "I wish them all the best and if we can help them we certainly will try".[18] Jackson also expressed excitement at being able to watch a Tolkien adaptation as an audience member after not being able to have that experience with the films that he made.[19]

Bryan Cogman joined the series as a consultant in May 2019 after signing an overall deal with Amazon. Cogman previously served as a writer on Game of Thrones, and was set to work alongside Payne and McKay in developing the new series.[20] In July, J. A. Bayona was hired to direct the first two episodes of the series and serve as executive producer alongside his producing partner Belén Atienza.[4] Later that month, Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D. B. Weiss were in discussions with several outlets regarding signing an overall deal, including with Amazon who were interested in having the pair consult on The Lord of the Rings;[21] they ultimately signed a deal with Netflix instead.[22] At the end of July, Amazon announced that Payne and McKay would serve as showrunners and executive producers for the series, and revealed the full creative team that was working on the project: executive producers Bayona, Atienza, Bruce Richmond, Gene Kelly, Lindsey Weber, and Sharon Tal Yguado; co-producer Ron Ames; costume designer Kate Hawley; production designer Rick Heinrichs; visual effects supervisor Jason Smith; and illustrator/concept artist John Howe, who was one of the chief conceptual designers on the films.[23][24] Special effects company Weta Workshop and visual effects vendor Weta Digital were also the witcher books amazon to be involved in the series as they were for the films.[25] Additionally, Tolkien scholar Tom Shippey was revealed to be working on the series,[24] but he was no longer involved by April 2020;[26] other Tolkien scholars and "lore experts" remained involved.[27]

Following development of the first season, Cogman left the series to focus on developing new projects. Kelly also left the series, with Callum Greene joining as a new executive producer.[28] Greene previously served as producer on The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013).[29] In March 2021, Wayne Che Yip was announced as director for four episodes of the series, and was set as a co-executive producer.[5]Charlotte Brändström was revealed as director for another two episodes in May.[6]Howard Shore was in talks to compose the music for the series by late September, returning from the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films.[30]

Seasons[edit]

Prime Video gave the series a multi-season commitment, believed to be for five seasons, as part of the initial deal with the Tolkien Estate,[12] though the streaming service still had to give a formal greenlight to future seasons before work could begin on them.[31] In July 2019, Shippey stated that he believed the first season of the series was supposed to consist of 20 episodes.[32] In November, Amazon officially ordered a second season of the series, and scheduled a longer-than-usual four or five month production break after completion of filming on the first two episodes. This was to allow all the footage for the first episodes to be reviewed, and so the series' writers room could be reconvened to begin work on the second season before filming on the first season continued. This gave the series the option to film the first two seasons back-to-back, as the Lord of the Rings films had been.[31] In January 2020, Amazon announced that the first season would consist of eight episodes.[33]

Writing[edit]

A writers room for the series had begun work in Santa Monica by mid-February 2019. Salke described extensive security measures that were being taken to keep details of this writing secret, including windows being taped closed and a security guard requiring fingerprint clearance from those entering the room.[34] In addition to Payne and McKay, writers on the series include Gennifer Hutchison, Helen Shang, Jason Cahill, Justin Doble, Bryan Cogman, and Stephany Folsom, with Glenise Mullins acting as a consulting writer.[23][24] The writers room was set to be the witcher books amazon once production on the series began, but would be reconvened during the four or five month break in filming that was scheduled following production on the first two episodes. The writers were expected to map out the second season and write the majority of its scripts during this production break.[31]

At the start of March 2019, Amazon revealed that the series would be set in the Second Age of Middle-earth, thousands of years before the story of The Lord of the Rings.[35] Shippey explained that the series was not allowed to contradict anything that Tolkien had written about the Second Age and would have to follow the broad strokes of his narrative, with the Tolkien Estate prepared to veto any such changes, but Amazon was free to add characters or details to fill in the gaps between Tolkien's works. The series is also only allowed to adapt and reference content from the Lord of the Rings books and their extensive appendices rather than any of Tolkien's other books that explore the Second Age such as The Silmarillion. The Tolkien Estate retained the rights to the events of the First Age while Middle-earth Enterprises held the rights to the events of the Third Age (as seen in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings films), so the series was also not allowed to explore those. Shippey felt this left the series with "a lot of scope for interpretation and free invention".[32] A synopsis released in January 2021 revealed that locations for the series included the Misty Mountains, the elf-capital Lindon, and the island kingdom of Númenor.[2] By July, Amazon had gained access to certain elements and passages from The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales due to the Tolkien Estate being happy with the development of the series so far.[27]

Design[edit]

Jackson stated in December 2018 that it was his understanding that the series would be set in the same continuity as the films, with Amazon wanting to "keep the designs" that were created for the films.[19] Howe reiterated this in August 2019, saying the showrunners were determined to remain faithful to the designs of the film trilogies as well as the spirit of the books. On transitioning from designing for the films to working on the television series, Howe stated that there was a budgetary difference but they intended there to be no aesthetic difference. He added that the development process for the television series was the same as initial design work done on the films, beginning with conceptual designs.[36]

Casting[edit]

Salke stated in June 2018 that though the series would not be a remake of the films, it would include some characters from the films.[37] By July 2019, casting for the series was taking place around the world, with casting directors working in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia.[38] Casting for extras began in New Zealand at that time.[39]Markella Kavenagh was in talks to portray a character referred to as "Tyra" at the end of July,[40] a series regular role.[38]Will Poulter was cast as one of the series' leads, reportedly called "Beldor", in September.[41][42] The role was "one of the more coveted jobs" for young actors in Hollywood before Poulter's casting.[42]Maxim Baldry was cast in a "significant role" in mid-October,[43] with Joseph Mawle cast later that month. Mawle was reportedly playing the series' lead villain, "Oren".[44] In December, Ema Horvath was cast in another series regular role;[45] Poulter left the series due to scheduling conflicts;[46][47] and Morfydd Clark was cast as a young Galadriel, who was portrayed in the films by Cate Blanchett.[10]

Robert Aramayo was cast in the lead role for the series, replacing Poulter, in early January 2020.[48] A week later, Amazon officially announced that the series' main cast would include Aramayo, Owain Arthur, Nazanin Boniadi, Tom Budge, Clark, Ismael Cruz Córdova, Horvath, Kavenagh, Mawle, Tyroe Muhafidin, Sophia Nomvete, Megan Richards, Dylan Smith, Charlie Vickers, and Daniel Weyman. Amazon's co-head of television Vernon Sanders noted that there were still some key roles that had yet to be filled.[7] One of these key roles was confirmed to go to Baldry in March when his deal for the series was completed, after he had been informally attached to the series in October 2019.[43][49] In December 2020, Amazon announced 20 new cast members for the series: Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Baldry, newcomer Ian Blackburn, Kip Chapman, Anthony Crum, Maxine Cunliffe, Trystan Gravelle, Lenny Henry, Thusitha Jayasundera, Fabian McCallum, Simon Merrells, Geoff Morrell, Peter Mullan, Lloyd Owen, Augustus Prew, Peter Tait, Alex Tarrant, Leon Wadham, Benjamin Walker, and Sara Zwangobani. Blackburn, Chapman, Crum, Cunliffe, Tait, Tarrant, and Wadham are all New Zealanders, with the rest of the cast members coming from Australia, Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Payne and McKay described the casting update as "the culmination of a multi-year search".[8]

In March 2021, Budge announced that he had departed the series after filming several episodes. He explained that Amazon had reviewed the first episodes and decided to recast his character,[50] who was reported to be Celebrimbor.[27]Charles Edwards, Will Fletcher, Amelie Child-Villiers, and Beau Cassidy were added to the first season's cast that July.[9] A third of the first season's 124 speaking roles, including seven of the 32 major recurring roles, went to New Zealand actors.[25]

Filming[edit]

New Zealand[edit]

Salke said in June 2018 that the series could be filmed in New Zealand, where the films were produced, but Amazon was also willing to film in other countries as long as they could "provide those locations in a really authentic way, because we want it to look incredible".[37] Pre-production on the series reportedly began around that time in Auckland,[51] while location scouting for the series also took place in Scotland, with areas visited by the production including the Isle of Skye, Portpatrick, Scourie, Perthshire, and Loch Lomond.[52] Amazon and Creative Scotland held talks about the series' production being based at new studios that were under construction in Leith, Edinburgh.[53] In December, Amazon held a "crisis meeting" with David Parker, then New Zealand's Minister of Economic Development, after the studio threatened to take the production out of the country due to the lack of available studio space in Auckland.[54] During the meeting, Parker told Amazon they were welcome in New Zealand and the country's government wanted them to make the series there, but he did not propose any special deal for the series because "you don't want these things at any cost; you want them on terms that are good for New Zealand". New Zealand's Major Screen Production Grant, which provides up to a 25 per cent refund in tax for international productions, was offered to Amazon for the series.[55]

Filming was informally confirmed to take place in New Zealand at the end of June, with leases taking effect at Kumeu Film Studios and Auckland Film Studios in July. Auckland was chosen as the primary filming location in the country rather than Wellington, where the Lord of the Rings films were produced, because the studios that were used to produce the films in Wellington were in use by the Avatar films at the time that production for the series was set to begin.[51] Amazon's decision to film in New Zealand was reportedly influenced by the New Zealand government's reassurances that the country was safe to film in following the Christchurch mosque shootings in March 2019, as well as concern regarding the potential effects of Brexit in Scotland. While production was set to primarily take place in Auckland, additional filming was expected to take place in Queenstown and other locations around New Zealand.[56] Amazon officially announced that the series would be filmed in New Zealand in September 2019, after completing negotiations with the New Zealand Government and the New Zealand Film Commission, as well as Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED). The studio said filming was set to begin on the series in "the coming months", with some specific locations still being discussed arthur state bank online enrollment to ATEED. Payne and McKay explained that in choosing the series' primary location, they and the production team had needed "somewhere majestic, with pristine coasts, forests, and mountains" that could also meet the production requirements of the series.[1][57]

Amazon signed two Memoranda of Understanding in December 2020 with the New Zealand Film Commission, Tourism New Zealand, and the country's Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) to gain access to the full 25 per cent tax refund offered under New Zealand's Major Screen Production Grant.[58] All film and television productions in the country automatically receive a 20 per cent tax rebate, with productions that offer "significant economic benefits" able to negotiate for the additional 5 per cent.[59] One memorandum outlined Amazon's overall obligations in exchange for the extra refund, and the www prudential retirement online com was specific to the series' first season. Further memoranda would need to be signed for future seasons for the studio to continue to be eligible for the additional rebate. The agreement would allow Tourism New Zealand to promote the country using cast and crew members, footage, and behind-the-scenes material from the series, and this campaign would align with the series' premiere and the opening of New Zealand's borders for international travel after the COVID-19 pandemic;[58] Amazon would work with the Film Commission to help grow the country's screen sector, and a member of the commission would be able to speak to media at the series' red carpet premiere; and MBIE would oversee an "innovation programme" run by Amazon to benefit New Zealand companies and research groups.[58][59] Details of the memoranda were revealed in April 2021, though officials had originally intended to announce the deal on September 22, Hobbit Day.[59]

In April 2021, New Zealand's Minister of Economic Development and Tourism, Stuart Nash, revealed that Amazon was spending NZ$650 million (US$465 million) on the series' first season, making it eligible for NZ$160 million (US$114 million) in tax rebates under the country's agreements with the studio. James Hibberd at The Hollywood Reporter noted that the US$465 million amount "almost certainly" included additional costs to the season's production budget, including the rights to make the series and the startup costs of building sets, costumes, and props that would be used in future seasons as well.[60] Salke soon confirmed this, describing the cost as a "crazy headline that's fun to click on, but that is really building the infrastructure of what will sustain the whole series."[61] In August, Amazon announced that it was moving production of future seasons to the United Kingdom and would not actively pursue the additional 5 per cent rebate (around NZ$33 million or US$23 million) or preserve the terms of the memoranda that they had signed.[62][63]

Season 1[edit]

Table reads with the cast began in New Zealand by mid-January 2020, ahead of the start of filming in early February,[7][64] with Bayona directing the first two episodes.[4] Production began in Auckland, primarily at Kumeu Film Studios and Auckland Film Studios.[51] While rehearsing a stunt at Kumeu on February 7, stuntwoman Elissa Cadwell was injured when she struck her head while falling into a water tank. Amazon reviewed the incident and notified New Zealand's workplace health and safety regulator WorkSafe on February 14. By then, Caldwell was recovering from her injuries after being treated in hospital.[65] Amazon paid Caldwell NZ$500,000 which was partly to help her return home to Australia.[66]

Location filming took place around Auckland in February.[67] Filming for the first two episodes was expected to continue through May,[68] with a four- or five-month production break then planned during which footage for the two episodes would be reviewed and writing on the second season would begin.[31] Production was scheduled to resume in mid-October and continue until late June 2021.[68] However, filming was placed on hold indefinitely in mid-March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with around 800 cast and crew members told to stay home.[69] In early May, the majority of filming for the first two episodes was confirmed to have been completed before the COVID-19 shutdown. Filming on the series was allowed to resume then under new safety guidelines from the New Zealand government, but, instead of completing filming for the first two episodes at that time, the filming shutdown segued into the intended production break, with filming for the first two episodes set to be completed once filming on further episodes was ready to begin.[70]

The series was one of seven film and television productions that were granted exemptions to allow cast and crew members to enter New Zealand while its borders were closed to non-New Zealanders due to COVID-19. The exemptions were granted before June 18 by Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford, and applied to 93 members of the production as well as 20 family members. Around 10 percent of the series' crew were believed to be non-New Zealanders, and many of them had remained in the country during its pandemic lockdown and did not require exemptions. Pre-production on further episodes began by July 2020,[71] and filming on the series resumed on September 28.[72] Bayona completed filming on his episodes by December 23,[73] with production on further episodes set to begin in January 2021 following a two week break for Christmas.[73][74] Yip confirmed that he had begun filming his episodes by March,[5] and Brändström was in New Zealand for production on the series when she was announced as director in May.[6]

Walker said at the end of June that he was not sure how much longer the cast would be required to stay in New Zealand, saying the timeline for the production was "a bit nebulous" and Amazon would "let us go when they're done with us".[75] In early July, several stunt performers alleged that a senior stunt supervisor for the production had created an "uneasy environment" that contributed to an unsafe workplace, with at least three stunt performers being seriously injured on the set. This included stuntwoman Dayna Grant, who suffered a head injury on set in March and was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm and upper spinal injury; fans crowdfundedNZ$100,000 to help Grant pay for surgery. The production's head of safety, Willy Heatley, said the injury rate was 0.065 percent across the 16,200 days of stunt work on the series since filming began, and this was mostly due to "common stunt-related sprains, bruises and muscle and soft tissue strains". Amazon Studios said safety was a top priority for the company and they were following all of WorkSafe's regulations.[66]

In late July, main production for the first season was reported to have been completed in April 2021.[27] Filming for the season officially wrapped on August 2.[3] Around a third of filming took place on location around New Zealand, including at the Hauraki Gulf, the Coromandel Peninsula, the Denize Bluffs in the King Country, Mount Kidd in Fiordland, Piha, and Rangitikei. More than 1,000 New Zealanders were contracted for the first season, with around 700 more indirectly engaged with the production.[25]

United Kingdom[edit]

At the end of filming for the season, the crew were unsure when filming for the second season would begin though there was expected to be a hiatus of at least one year to allow post-production on the first season and writing for the second season to be completed. Amazon retained its lease on Auckland Film Studios and Kumeu Film Studios, and reportedly Studio West also, for the duration of the hiatus, which allowed the series' sets to remain at the studios and prevented other productions from using the space.[25]

The week after filming ended, Amazon announced that it was moving production of the series to the United Kingdom starting with the second season. At that time, Amazon was in the process of booking studio space in the UK,[62] with Scotland reported to be the frontrunner for new shooting locations.[76] The company planned to ship all of the sets that number 4 worksheets for kindergarten built for the first season to the UK, and hire a new UK-based crew since the majority of the first season's crew was New Zealand-based.[62] Factors that played a role in the change included Amazon already heavily investing in UK studio space for several other productions; a belief that the UK would be a "more economical choice" following the high cost of making the first season in New Zealand;[77] the opportunity to film in other European countries near the UK as was done for the series Game of Thrones;[62] the Tolkien Estate wanting the series to be filmed in the UK since Tolkien was inspired by locations there for his books;[76] and the fact that New Zealand's restrictive pandemic-era border policies had prevented Amazon executives from visiting and monitoring the production, while many international cast members (more than half of whom are British) were unable to leave the country for nearly two years during filming of the first season.[62] Amazon had offered in August 2020 to pay for the use of hotels and rental properties as private quarantine facilities to give the production more flexibility with travel, but this idea was rejected by the New Zealand government due to the need for additional services related to quarantining.[78]

Season 2[edit]

Pre-production for the second season is expected to begin in the UK in the second quarter of 2022,[79] taking place concurrently with post-production for the first season which is continuing in New Zealand until June 2022.[62]Bray Film Studios and Bovingdon Airfield, both outside of London, will be the initial production locations for the season.[79]

Marketing[edit]

Amazon began promoting the series on social media using several maps of Middle-earth during the Second Age, as well as excerpts from the novel The Lord of the Rings.[32][80] The maps were designed and created by illustrator John Howe and overseen by Tolkien scholar Tom Shippey to ensure they were accurate to Tolkien's works.[80] Howe and Shippey spent a lot of time working on the maps, which were based on Tolkien's maps of Númenor during the Second Age of Middle-earth as well as his maps of the Third Age. Despite their efforts, HarperCollins received complaints from fans shortly after the maps were released online regarding two mistakes that were made on them.[36]

Release[edit]

The series is set to premiere on the streaming service Prime Video on September 2, 2022, with new episodes released on a weekly basis.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ abAmazon Studios (September 17, 2019). "Amazon Studios Announces New Zealand as Location for Its Upcoming Series Based on The Lord of the Rings". Archived from the original on December 5, 2019. Retrieved May 7, 2020.
  2. ^ abSewell, Justin (January 12, 2021). "Exclusive: Official Show Synopsis for Amazon's Lord of the Rings Series". TheOneRing.net. Archived from the original on January 13, 2021. Retrieved January 13, 2021.
  3. ^ abcPetski, Denise (August 2, 2021). "'The Lord Of The Rings' TV Series Gets Amazon Premiere Date & First-Look Photo". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on August 2, 2021. Retrieved August 2, 2021.
  4. ^ abcdAndreeva, Nellie (July 3, 2019). "'The Lord Of The Rings': J.A. Bayona To Direct Amazon Series". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on January 9, 2020. Retrieved July 3, 2019.
  5. ^ abcLittleton, Cynthia (March 24, 2021). "'Lord of the Rings' Series Adds Director Wayne Che Yip as Co-Executive Producer". Variety. Archived from the original on March 24, 2021. Retrieved March 28, 2021.
  6. ^ abcGrater, Tom (May 13, 2021). "'The Witcher' Director Charlotte Brändström Joins Amazon's 'The Lord Of The Rings' Series". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on May 13, 2021. Retrieved The witcher books amazon 15, 2021.
  7. ^ abcD'Alessandro, Anthony (January 14, 2020). "'The Lord Of The Rings': Amazon Studios Sets Series Cast – TCA". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on March 7, 2020. Retrieved March 15, 2020.
  8. ^ abOtterson, Joe (December 3, 2020). "'Lord of the Rings' Series at Amazon Adds 20 Actors to Cast". Variety. Archived from the original on December 3, 2020. Retrieved December 4, 2020.
  9. ^ abGoldberg, Lesley (July 1, 2021). "Amazon's 'Lord of the Rings' Rounds Out Sprawling Cast (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on July 1, 2021. Retrieved July 1, 2021.
  10. ^ abKroll, Justin (December 17, 2019). "'Lord of the Rings' Series Taps Morfydd Clark as Young Galadriel (Exclusive)". Variety. Archived from the original on December 18, 2019. Retrieved December 17, 2019.
  11. ^"Simon Merrells". Waring & McKenna. Archived from the original on June 9, 2020. Retrieved May 24, 2020.[better source needed]
  12. ^ abcdefgAndreeva, Nellie (November 13, 2017). "Amazon Sets 'The Lord of the Rings' TV Series In Mega Deal With Multi-Season Commitment". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on November 13, 2017. Retrieved November 13, 2017.
  13. ^ abHolloway, Daniel (November 3, 2017). "'Lord of the Rings': Amazon, Warner Bros. in Talks for Series Adaptation (Exclusive)". Variety. Archived from the original on March 16, 2020. Retrieved November 5, 2017.
  14. ^Harp, Justin (June 6, 2018). "Is Peter Jackson involved in Amazon's Lord of the Rings series? Here's the answer". Digital Spy. Archived from the original on April 15, 2019. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
  15. ^Goldberg, Lesley (June 12, 2018). "Jennifer Salke Details Amazon Plans: Fix Culture, Empower Women, 'Lord of the Rings' by 2021". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on July 10, 2018. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
  16. ^Goldberg, Lesley; Kit, Borys (July 28, 2018). "'Lord of the Rings': Amazon Taps 'Star Trek 4' Duo to Develop TV Series". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on July 28, 2018. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
  17. ^Evans, Mel (December 4, 2018). "Peter Jackson is actually keen to help Amazon team in Lord Of The Rings reboot – if they send him scripts". Metro. Archived from the original on December 5, 2018. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
  18. ^ abTaylor-Foster, Kim (December 4, 2018). "Peter Jackson's Tips For Casting Aragorn in Lord of the Rings TV Show". Fandom. Archived from the original on April 8, 2019. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
  19. ^Otterson, Joe (May 21, 2019). "'Game of Thrones' Alum Bryan Cogman Boards 'Lord of the Rings' Series at Amazon". Variety. Archived from the original on May 21, 2019. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  20. ^Andreeva, Nellie (July 25, 2019). "David Benioff & D.B. Weiss May Have Narrowed Down Field For Blockbuster Overall Deal". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on July 25, 2019. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  21. ^Fleming, Mike Jr. (August 7, 2019). "Netflix Wins Overall Film, TV Deal For 'Game Of Thrones' Creators David Benioff & D.B. Weiss". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on August 7, 2019. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
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External links[edit]

Источник: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lord_of_the_Rings_(TV_series)
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The Wheel of Time age rating: Is the Amazon show appropriate for kids?

The time has finally come! Last week, the highly-anticipated Wheel of Time adaptation debuted on Amazon Prime Video, and fantasy fans were eager to check it out. With generally positive reviews based on the first three episodes released so far, there’s certainly potential with this series. If you’ve read the 14-book series by Robert Jordan that the show is based on or just love the genre, be sure to add it to your watch list.

If you’re unfamiliar with The Wheel of Time story and have kids at home who are interested in tuning in, you might want to know what the target audience is. The source material is meant for adults and is not a YA book series, with Common Sense Mediagiving the books a 14+ age rating.

So what about the Amazon show? Is it suitable for children, teens or only adults? We tell you everything you need to know below!

Can kids watch The Wheel of Time?

The official rating for The Wheel of Time is TV-14, which is in line with the book series. Contrary to the books, however, the TV show does have a bit of nudity in the first three episodes. Two of the characters are in a romantic relationship, and the full backside of a man is shown. We also see some kissing.

Though the nudity in the first three episodes is pretty mild, the violence isn’t. There are fight scenes in which people and creatures are murdered in graphic nature, with plenty of gore and even intestines depicted. This would likely be too frightening and disturbing for a young audience.

As the official rating suggests, we’d say The Wheel of Time is appropriate for teenagers and above. Of course, what a child watches is up to the discretion of their parent or guardian. If you want more details about the first three episodes, check out the Parents Guide on IMDb for the show.

Episode 4 of The Wheel of Time premieres tonight at 7:00 p.m. EST only on Amazon Prime Video.

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Источник: https://winteriscoming.net/2021/11/25/the-wheel-of-time-age-rating-appropriate-kids/

The Wheel of Time isn't just a Witcher clone – it's your next fantasy show obsession

Amazon Prime Video’s expansion into the fantasy genre has been unusually slow for a high-profile streaming platform. While its competitors, including Netflix, have churned out numerous big-budget fantasy shows and movies, Amazon’s large-scale offerings have been few by comparison.

But that’s about to change. With two high-cost (and potentially high-stakes) fantasy shows releasing in the next year, Amazon is going all-in on trying to compete with Netflix shows such as The Witcher and Shadow and Bone. With its Lord of the Rings adaptation not arriving until September 2022, though, Amazon is pinning its hopes on another fantasy series to deliver a telling blow to its rivals: The Wheel of Time.

Based on Robert Jordan’s beloved high fantasy book series of the same name, The Wheel of Time could be the streamer's next big ‘must-watch’ series. But, given its unwieldy lore, multiple narrative threads, and seemingly infinite number of characters, fans have wondered if the 14-strong novel series’ story could ever be adapted in a precise way.

If you’re one of those fans, allow us to put your mind at ease: Amazon’s The Wheel of Time is a wonderfully realized adaptation of Jordan’s sweeping and imaginative source material. It captures the richness of the books’ fantastical world, expansive plot and morally complex characters, and does so while retaining the core essence of what has made The Wheel of Time novels so popular.

Set in an unnamed world – though it’s routinely known as the Randlands or World of the Wheel – The Wheel of Time follows the adventures of Moiraine (Rosamund Pike), a powerful sorceress who belongs to an all-female organization known as the Aes Sedai.

Alongside her Warder Lan Mandragoran (Daniel Henney), a bodyguard who’s intrinsically linked to her by the One Power that she can wield, Moiraine embarks on a quest to find the Dragon Reborn, a mighty warrior and the only individual who can stop the Dark One from consuming the world.

About this series

- Based on Robert Jordan's popular fantasy book series

- Developed by Rafe Lee Judkins

- Produced by Amazon Studios and Sony Pictures Television

- Streaming exclusively on Amazon Prime Video

- Season 1 contains eight episodes

- Season 2 is already in production

When her mission leads to a village known as the Two Rivers, which is soon attacked by the Dark One’s forces, Moiraine realizes that one of five young adults must be the Dragon reincarnated. Leading the quintet – Rand al’Thor (Josha Stradowski), Egwene al’Vere (Madeleine Madden), Nynaeve al’Meara (Zoe Robins), Perrin Aybara (Marcus Rutherford) and Mat Cauthon (Barney Harris) – on a world-spanning journey to determine who the Dragon is, Moiraine must also work out if that individual will save everyone from the Dark One, or join his side and destroy life as they know it.

And that’s as plainly as The Wheel of Time’s plot can be described. Simply put, The Wheel of Time is a dense, expansive narrative: multiple storylines intersect the witcher books amazon various junctures, thousands of characters come and go within Jordan’s 14 tomes, and numerous locations are toured at a somewhat breathless pace. And that’s before you take into account the books’ rich and unique approach to magic-users and other fantasy elements.

So it’s pleasing that Amazon’s adaptation has streamlined the novels’ labyrinthine story and worldbuilding as much as possible. From the opening minute of the series’ premiere, we’re treated to a summary of events, courtesy of Pike’s Moirane, that precede The Wheel of Time’s overarching plot. It’s only brief, but it instantly sets the scene for what’s currently at stake in the Randlands, and means that audiences don’t have to sit through a lengthy preamble about its past.

The removal of filler material makes for tighter storylines, too. Dispensing with lengthy walks to inns and other locales, which would ordinarily slow the plot down, allows Amazon’s adaptation to capture the richness of the novels without getting stuck in the minutiae; their inclusion may be vital for the novels, but such content is unnecessary for TV.

The show’s weaving narratives also alternate at a reasonable pace. Episodes don’t get bogged down in one storyline for too long, which keeps things ticking (pun intended) along nicely, and gives us plenty of time to learn about the series’ main characters – including their personality types, strengths and weaknesses, and where their moral compasses lie.

That isn’t to say that there aren’t some pacing issues. The Wheel of Time quickly and unnecessarily jumps from one instance to the next in some cases, particularly before and during action sequences. While this can be attributed to the editing process, it’s still disorienting on occasion.

While much of the novels’ padding has been removed, Amazon’s adaptation can also feel a tad ponderous at times. But, sometimes it needs to be. The show’s plot will likely be difficult to follow for viewers who haven’t read the books, so some scenes require lots of exposition to keep audiences in the loop. This slow-burn approach, then, is necessary in some cases, but The Wheel of Time’s problem is that it does this in some scenes where explanations aren’t essential, which can sometimes make it feel like a drag.

As much as Amazon’s adaptation has retained plenty of the novel series’ elements, it takes some creative liberties with its story arcs. The show’s first season doesn’t only adapt the first book, The Eye of the World; it also draws from the second novel, The Great Hunt, and tweaks the timeline of when certain events occur, where particular characters are introduced, and what role they play in proceedings. Such alterations may divide The Wheel of Time’s fan base and, ultimately, some may not fully endorse – or may be disenchanted by – the direction that the show takes. 

The Wheel of Time is a wonderfully realized adaptation of Jordan’s sweeping and imaginative source material

Still, Amazon’s adaptation has to appeal to established fans and newcomers alike. With the witcher books amazon series’ chief creative team wanting to tell a story that general audiences can enjoy as much as diehards, some plot revisions are unavoidable, regardless of how unfaithful some fans may think they are. And, for the most part, they fit seamlessly into the primary plot, which makes them less noticeable.

As for the aforementioned action scenes, The Wheel of Time’s sequences are anything but family friendly. Battles are brutal, ferocious, and lend a grittiness to proceedings that some fantasy shows are reluctant to lean into. Some are particularly hard-hitting – one lengthy, barbaric fight sequence in episode one may startle viewers in its gratuitousness – and give rise to shocking moments that certainly leave their mark.

Such surprises aren’t solely reserved for the show’s fights, though. The Wheel of Time subverts audiences’ expectations throughout, delivering frequent emotional story beats and shocks that showcase the internal and external power struggles between its main characters and within the wider world. 

The events that Moiraine and company endure – and there are plenty of them – make the characters relatable, though, especially the Two Rivers’ quintet. Rand, Egwene, Nynaeve, Perrin and Mat are plucked from relative obscurity, and thrust into a situation where the stakes couldn’t be higher. As an audience, we can’t relate to that specifically, but we can sympathize with characters who have the weight of expectation placed on them. And their predicament illustrates how different people will, or won’t, rise to the occasion. These are people torn between their quaint lives and their supposed importance to the entire world, so the pressure is bound to tell one way or the other.

Understandably, there’s a naivety about these individuals, so it’s easy to overlook some of their less-informed decisions. There are moments, however, where the likes of Mat, Rand or even Lan make impulsive choices that are out of character – they don’t make sense to the wider narrative and feel like ill-placed plot devices and, like some of the show’s pacing, it’s off-putting.

Thematically, The Wheel of Time is a series that’s reflective of modern-day society, too. Despite its fantasy-based, medieval aesthetic, its exploration of geopolitics and distrust are particularly resonant. Reincarnation, the concept of yin and yang, the cyclical nature of time itself in the series’ world, and the legacy we leave behind are also examined in great detail, painting a picture of a fictional world that draws on real-world historical influences as well as real-life issues that are prevalent today.

What we think

The Wheel of Time is a sweeping and visually striking coming-of-age tale that feels like a fitting tribute to Jordan’s works. It’s much more than a fantasy show, too, with dashings of romance, a serving of underrated comedic moments, and a torrent of drama that delivers a moving, pulsating and compelling entry-point to the late author’s vibrant but intricate fictional world.

The expansive nature of Amazon’s adaptation is where it really shines, though. The production’s sheer scale and scope is Game of Thrones- and Lord of the Rings-esque, and it’s clear that The Wheel of Time takes particular cues from them, including its political, horror and action sensibilities; there’s even a bathtub scene to rival The Witcher, such is the range of fantasy shows that The Wheel of Time has taken inspiration from.

To simply describe The Wheel of Time as a clone of any of the above, though, is to do it a disservice. It’s very much its own series, even if comparisons to George R. R. Martin and J. R. R. Tolkien’s legendary book series, and subsequent big- and small-screen adaptations, are merited. There’s a richness and lived-in vibe to The Wheel of Time’s world, and it’s so vast that there are bound to be spin-off shows if Amazon’s mainline series is a hit among fans.

Sure, it may seem like your typical action-packed, thrilling story about good versus evil, but it’s much more than that below the surface. With the the witcher books amazon still out on Amazon Prime’s Lord of the Rings adaptation, even before it launches next September, the streaming service could use a big-budget, state-of-the-art fantasy show in its back catalog – and The Wheel of Time definitely fits the bill.

The Wheel of Time’s first three episodes will launch exclusively on Amazon Prime Video on Friday, November 19. Subsequent episodes will be released weekly.

As TechRadar's entertainment reporter, Tom can be found covering all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. 

Away from work, Tom can found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, and petting every dog he comes across in the outside world.

Источник: https://www.techradar.com/news/the-wheel-of-time-isnt-just-a-witcher-clone-its-your-next-fantasy-show-obsession

How to Read the Witcher Books in Order (2021 Update)

How to Read the Witcher Books in Order (2021 Update)

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Blog – Posted on Wednesday, Dec 18
How to Read the Witcher Books in Order (2021 Update)

Since the release of Netflix’s 2019 adaptation of The Witcher, everyone's been buzzing with the same age-old question: are the books better?

We're biased towards books ourselves, of course. But we'll let you decide for yourself — and we'll be here to help you the entire way with the best reading order for The Witcher books.

But first, for anyone new to the series, here's a quick refresher: the origins of The Witcher books actually go all the way back to the 1980s, when Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski entered a short story called The Witcher into a contest run by the magazine Fantastyka. Placing third, that entry spawned a collection of short stories that then inspired the publication of a five-novel series, the Witcher Saga — which then became an entire franchise.

The Witcher focuses on Geralt of Rivia, a man with supernatural abilities that enable him to fight beasts and monsters. The novels primarily revolve around his goal to protect Ciri, a young princess of a recently conquered country who has a great prophecy hanging over her head — but the series is also so much more than that. These are stories that hit hard, by turns sweeping you up in the adventure of slaying monsters, wringing you through the epic tragedy of war, and breaking your heart with the perfect redemption romance.

Here’s a quick look at the series in their recommended reading order, so that you know what you’re in for:

Without further ado, let's dive in!

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1. The Last Wish

While it may be tempting to jump straight into the novels, you should really start here. This short story collection contains the roots of the Witcher books, and will provide you with background information and character details that will be important once you get into the full-length books.

The Last Wish contains seven stories. The first one serves as a framing device, showing an injured Geralt seeking shelter in a temple; as such, it’s actually broken up into smaller sections and scattered between all the other stories. The remaining six are memories that he flashes back to while recuperating, each one with its own narrative arc. Together, they allow us to really get to know Geralt in all his complexity. The stories are clever, epic, and daring — perfectly setting the stage for the novels to come.

2. Sword of Destiny

While the English edition of Sword of Destiny was published after the first few novels were released in English, the stories within actually take place before the events of the series. That’s why we’d recommend you pick up this one next.

Unlike the first collection, Sword of Destiny follows a much more straightforward timeline: we’re treated to six more amazing stories in roughly chronological order. Many of them provide context for major characters in the main Witcher Saga, including the introduction of Ciri. In fact, one of the stories serves as a direct prequel to Blood of Elves, showcasing events from shortly before that book begins. If you’re looking for a full picture of the Witcher storyline, this is a vital book to add to your list.

3. Blood of Elves

With Blood of Elves, the main saga begins in earnest. Blood of Elves is set about a year after the downfall of Ciri’s kingdom. This tragedy sets off a hunt for the missing princess, with factions on all sides vying to get their hands on her. Unfortunately for them, young princess Ciri has fallen under the protection of one of the most famous witchers alive.

Taken to safety to learn how to hone her skills, the rambunctious and headstrong Ciri wants nothing more than to follow in the footsteps of Geralt, the man she admires so much. But as her powers grow, Geralt is compelled to mend bridges with his long-lost love, Yennefer of Vengerburg, for help. Yennefer’s skills as a witch are exactly what Ciri needs to hone the power she’s destined to wield — but as Yennefer and Ciri’s bond grows, so too does the evil that seeks Ciri out.

After the breakneck pace of the short story collections, some readers might find this book a bit of a slow start — but don’t let that fool you. There is plenty of adventure to be found in Ciri’s struggle to grow up, and in the subsequent books, the payoff for all this setup will absolutely be rewarded.

4. The Time of Contempt

Time of Contempt picks up where Blood of Elves left off. Ciri and Yennefer set off for the city of Gors Velen. Yennefer hopes to enroll Ciri in a magical academy there — but of course, even the best-laid plans can go awry. Between an incident involving a Wyvern, Ciri’s own rebellious escapades, and a long-overdue reunion the witcher books amazon Geralt, there’s more than enough for Yennefer to keep track of as she attempts to protect the wayward princess.

But the book is also much larger than the witcher books amazon. Here, the pace of the series jumpstarts, as all the major plot threads in the rest of the series ignite. This huge book is a wild ride, with everything from spies and betrayals, to seductive sorceresses and unicorns, to the very real danger of a war erupting. It’s a story about vulnerability and control, about humility, about chaos breaking out across the world. The pacing leaves you breathless, unable to escape the need to find out what happens next.

5. Baptism of Fire

This is the midpoint of the series, and Geralt is certainly in the thick of things by now. In Baptism of Fire, war continues to rage on, and all sides are growing increasingly determined. In the aftermath of events from the previous book, Geralt is recovering from injuries — but how can a protector protect if he’s unable to fight?

Geralt’s determination drives much of this book, as he rallies and gathers allies in an effort to reach Ciri before the rumors of her impending marriage can come true. It’s a complex, nuanced book that explores what it means to be a “monster.” It tears old bonds apart as Ciri takes a turn down a darker path, and it throws Yennefer against terrible odds as she’s imprisoned and struggling to reunite with her family. The slow tension draws you along, never once allowing you to let your guard down.

6. The Tower of Swallows

Ciri returns to center stage in The Tower of Swallows. Everyone is hunting her, but she’s retreated into an anonymous life of banditry and killing. until fate intervenes, and her life is changed once again.

Much of Ciri’s recent story is told in recalled flashback, similar to the framing story of The Last Wish. Some of what she experiences at the hands of a chilling new villain may be difficult to read, but they’re important to understand the depths of her torment and the lengths she will later go to for exacting revenge.

Meanwhile, Yennefer and Geralt deal with situations on their own: she’s seeking out old allies in her quest to find Ciri, and he ends up seduced by someone he probably shouldn’t have allowed himself to fall for. The pacing here returns to the slower setup of a few of the previous novels, building for the payoff of the final book. But it’s still thoroughly engrossing, as Ciri processes her recent past and learns what she’ll need to in order to strike out at those who’ve caused her pain.

7. The Lady of the Lake

All good things must come to an end. For many authors, it’s a struggle to figure out how to write an ending to such an epic fantasy series, but Sapkowski is more than up to the task.

The Lady of the Lake finds Ciri trapped on an elven world, alone and cut off from the people she loves. But where others may fall into desperation, Ciri faces her challenge with the determination we’ve grown to expect from the former princess. Meanwhile, Geralt and Yennefer continue in their adventures as they search for the young woman they’ve grown to see as a daughter. Readers will ache to see if the “family” will ever be reunited and get the happy ending they so richly deserve.

We’re not going to say more for risk of spoiling the many surprises this concluding book takes. What we will say is that it’s loaded with cleverly plotted twists and turns, and features appearances by pretty much every character that’s been introduced so far. This book is a thrilling wrap-up to a beloved series.

8. Season of Storms

Although Season of Storms was one of the last Witcher books to be published, it actually takes place after most of the stories in the first collection, but before the novels.

So why did we list it last? Simple: although the timeline is earlier, it ties directly into menards poplar bluff mo jobs major conflict that takes place in the previous five novels. Reading it beforehand will be less interesting without the context — and it spoils several moments from the other books.

For those who have read the rest of the series, however, this standalone prequel will be a welcome dip back into the world of The Witcher, as we follow Geralt on a quest to regain his lost signature weapons. A satisfying dessert to follow the incredibly rich meal that was the rest of the Witcher books.

And there you have it — everything you need to know to dive into the rich and engrossing world of the Witcher books. Pick them up today, and you’ll be ready to laud your spoilery knowledge over all your friends as they wait for season two to drop on Netflix.

***

Can’t get enough fantasy stories? We’ve got you covered! Check out our list of the Best Fantasy Books of All Time, or find a new favorite with our guide to all the different Fantasy Subgenres.

Источник: https://reedsy.com/discovery/blog/the-witcher-books

The Wheel of Time review: Amazon Prime's sprawling new magic and monsters fantasy is an epic misfire

There’s an explosive five-minute action sequence in the pilot episode of The Wheel of Time, Amazon Prime Video’s sprawling new fantasy series, where a powerful sorceress blasts magic fireballs at ogre-like creatures, while her samurai companion goes around slicing their heads. It’s bafflingly dull to watch. Between the frantic action, choppy editing, and sloppy CGI, what should’ve been a sequence that leaps off the screen, end up being blurry, disorienting, and incoherent. Like this, much of Prime Video’s latest big bet has its ambitions set sky-high but fails to deliver on the bare basics.

From series creator Rafe Judkins (Agents of S.H.I.E.LD), The Wheel of Time is based on Robert Jordan's bestselling book series of the same name and is an unabashed attempt to the witcher books amazon the Game Of Thrones-sized hole in our lives (It’s even got veteran Thrones writer Dave Hill amongst its sea of writers). I haven’t read the books, but as a fantasy fiend and proud nerd, I’m always excited to sink my teeth into a new world. And the source material here seems to have everything you could ask for.

Set in an intriguing world of magic and monsters, the series follows a powerful sorceress, Moiraine Damodred (a well-cast Rosamund Pike), who must find the next ‘Dragon’ -- an Avatar The Last Airbender-style once-in-a-generation all-powerful chosen one--destined to save the world. We’re told the last Dragon broke the world, and the new one will have to unite it and defeat The Dark One, who’s rising to power once again, as Dark Ones usually do. Following her 20-year-long search, along with her formidable warrior protector Lan Mandragoran (an impressive Daniel Henney who’s pure conviction), Moiraine believes she’s finally found the Dragon Reborn. In a small town, she finds five youngsters, one of whom she believes is the chosen one. What follows is multiple warring factions, opposing sides and seedy characters each with their own intentions to use the Dragon, kill them or steal their power, and so on.

Based on the six episodes I’ve seen so far, (three of which are out now with this season’s remaining five to be released weekly thereafter), The Wheel Of Time has everything going for it, on paper. Massively mounted scale, lavish sets, lush costumes, attention to details, strong cast, a rich, fantastical world, mature themes, Rosamund Pike in the lead, and more. But in the absence of coherent, engaging storytelling to bind them together, the net result is a show that’s just.expensive rather than enticing.

As is made clear in the terrible pilot episode (arguably the worst of the lot), The Wheel Of Time is an exercise in feeble world-building. Like Game Of Thrones, the writers here attempt to take the “throw you into the story and let you figure things out along the way“ approach with characters randomly referencing places and events which you're supposed to piece together. But that only works if you care enough about these characters and what they’re going on about to even want to find out more. It's a story that hinges on the central, captivating mystery of who among the five is the Dragon. But one that's so poorly told, it ensures you don't particularly care who it is.

A still from The Wheel of Time.

It doesn’t help that, instead of exploring this mystical world, the show chooses to devote most of its focus to these poorly fleshed out, mostly sullen characters and their emotional journeys. The result is a humourless, dreadfully slow watch. The kind where your entire investment in each episode hinges on that one battle scene or magic fight or twist or revelation to keep you going.

I’m all for epic fantasies taking themselves too seriously, but only if they have the writing and world-building to back it up. When that clearly isn’t on offer, the very least you’d hope for are flashy battle sequences and good old-fashioned monster-y magic stuff to fall back on.

Even Netflix’s The Witcher, for all its messy, muddled timeline jumping, still had enough going for it by way of a monster hunters hunting monsters in each episode. You can’t really go wrong on that front.

But in The Wheel of Time, the spellcraft, creatures, and mysticism of it all is arguably the worst thing on offer here. Between the blurry, budget-friendly CGI, the tepid action, or even the fact that, for a show that’s literally about magic, the way that magic is used, is spectacularly unimaginative. Intense wizarding duels and lavish sorcerer face-offs are reduced to a bunch of smokey wavy white lines in the air, making it that much harder to take any of this seriously.

Even aspects such as the geography of how this world is brought to life fall short. The plot follows five people whose lives are ripped away from them overnight, as they’re forced to go on a journey to discover the destiny they never asked for. They’re supposed to traverse hundreds of miles from their unassuming small homes to fancy cities and treacherous towns and magical towers. But the repetitive sameness of the landscape makes it impossible to get a sense of place. They’re all just interchangeable hills and mountains and forests.

Also read: Ghostbusters Afterlife review: Stranger Things-style reboot of cult classic is cutesy fun but little else

It also must be said that, throughout the show, characters keep referring to the Wheel of Time saying stuff like “The Wheel Of Time keeps turning”, and I still for the life of me can’t tell you what it is. Is it a metaphorical wheel? Why is everyone using the same metaphor over and over again? Is it an actual wheel? Did they show the wheel? I didn’t see a wheel. Did I miss the wheel? Where’s the wheel?

There are, however, individual parts within the messy sum that do shine. As with many massively-mounted Hollywood projects these days, it's heartening to see so much diversity on screen in the show’s colourblind casting. This is also a world where women run the show. It’s what makes it that much more heartbreaking to think of what this could have been.

You can feel the artistry and sheer dedication in the work of the hundreds of people behind The Wheel Of Time in everything from the production design to the costumes and performances. The intent and painstaking effort is all there, but in the hands of storytellers who are clearly biting off more than they can chew, the series is dead on arrival. Between all the talent in front of and behind the camera, and the rich source material of witches, wizards, white towers, black riders, dark ones, and dragons, I just wish they could have conjured something better.

The Wheel of Time
Directors: Uta Briesewitz, Wayne Yip, Salli Richardson and Ciaran Donnelly
Cast: Rosamund Pike, Daniel Henney, Madeleine Madden and others

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Close StoryИсточник: https://www.hindustantimes.com/entertainment/web-series/the-wheel-of-time-review-amazon-prime-s-sprawling-new-magic-and-monsters-fantasy-is-an-epic-misfire-101637394777722.html

How to read The Witcher books in order

Since it debuted on Netflix in December, The Witcher has proved a smash hit with audiences – satisfying existing fans of the franchise and winning over many viewers previously unfamiliar with Geralt.

But with season two filming postponed and new episodes unlikely to drop for quite some time, those who enjoyed the show will be looking to fill a gap.

One way of doing this is by playing the hugely popular games, but why not go one better and go back to the original source material: the book series by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski?

There are eight books in the series in total – enough reading material to last a while – but one thing that might cause a little confusion is working out how the correct order in which to read them.

Of course, normally it would be reasonable to assume that you should simply read the books in the order they were published, and while that’s broadly true for The Witcher series, there are a couple of notable exceptions.

Most fans would suggest that the place to start is The Last Wish, a short story collection that was published in 1993.

While the Sword of Destiny, another short story collection, was actually published a year before, The Last Wish establishes much of the world and introduces many key characters, and thus works better as a starting point.

Following the two short story collections, it’s probably best to move onto Season of Storms, which is actually the most recent book in the series, having been published in 2013. This is a standalone story, and is set between the short stories in The Last Wish.

From there on, it’s pretty straight-forward – you should read the remaining five books, which form the central Witcher saga, in the order they were published.

What order should I read The Witcher books in?

And so, while there are a few debates amongst hard core fans of the series, the following order is generally agreed upon:

The Last Wish

A collection of short stories preceding the main Witcher Saga, The Last Wish includes seven stories interspersed with a continuing frame story that sees Geralt of Rivia resting in a temple after having been wounded in battle. Each short story is a flashback to recent events that he experiences while recovering.

Buy The Last Wish on Amazon

Sword of Destiny

Another collection of short stories, the tales in Sword of Destiny are loosely linked and each introduces characters that go on to play major roles in the novels. One story, Something More, serves as a direct prequel to the main saga – describing events that such as the fall of the Kingdom of Cintra.

Buy Sword of Destiny on Amazon

Season of Storms

Set between the events of the prequel short story collections and the main saga, Season of Storms follows Geralt of Rivia after a contract has gone wrong, and he finds himself without his signature weapons. He must get them back, with sorcerers scheming and clouds gathering across the world…

Buy Season of Storms on Amazon

Blood of Elves

The first novel in the main saga, as Blood of Elves begins the world is seeing a new spate of wars as different species and races begin fighting after more than 100 years of peace. Meanwhile, Geralt of Rivia, has been waiting for the birth of a prophesied child, and it becomes his duty to protect everyone – at whatever cost.

Buy Blood of Elves on Amazon

Time of Contempt

Geralt must protect Ciri, the child of prophecy who has the power to change the world for good or evil — but only if she lives to use it. The book sees a coup threaten the Wizard’s Guild while war breaks out across the lands and serious injury leaves Geralt fighting for his life – and if that wasn’t enough stress, Ciri soon goes missing.

Buy Time of Contempt on Amazon

Baptism of Fire

With the Wizards Guild shattered and Geralt seriously injured, the future of magic is under huge threat with just a few surviving wizards able to protect it. Geralt hears that the missing Ciri is now in the Niflgaard court, preparing to marry the Emperor – and so sets out on a rescue mission in spite of his injuries.

Buy Baptism of Fire on Amazon

The Tower of the Swallow

Ciri has taken on the guise of a petty bandit and lives free, but is being hunted down by allies and enemies – with Geralt, the having assembled a group of allies determined to rescue her. As she aims to stay free whilst on the run from the evil Leo Bonhart there is only one place where she can safely head – the tower of the swallow.

Buy The Tower of the Swallow on Amazon

The Lady of the Lake

In the saga’s final chapter, Ciri finds herself in an Elven world after walking through the portal in the tower of the swallow. Trapped and, with seemingly no way out, Ciri refuses to be defeated and attempts to escape and rejoin Geralt – but Leo Bonhart, is still on her trail and war wages on.

Buy The Lady of the Lake on Amazon

Happy reading!

The Witcher is streaming now on Netflix – check out our lists of the best TV shows on Netflix and the best movies on Netflix, or see what else is on with our TV Guide

Источник: https://www.radiotimes.com/tv/fantasy/witcher-books-order/

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