Look at the ‘Time’

Published date23 November 2021
Publication titleSignal
THE newest entry in the hunt for the "next Game of Thrones" has just rolled into town like tumbleweed bowling across an empty road.

That metaphor sounds like a big call, but I stand by it. Yes Game of Thrones (GoT) was a true television phenomenon during its reign, but when was the last time anyone talked about it other than disparagingly?

For such a huge deal of a show we all blanked it from our collective memory as soon as the credits rolled on its final episode, like we were blocking out the blunt trauma of enduring such a dismal series conclusion.

Regular people may not be lining up for another premium drama filled with dragons and disappointment, but GoT’s record-breaking audience numbers ensured it would never slip from the minds of TV execs who weren’t looking for the-next-big-thing, but were instead looking for the same-big-thing-only-different.

HBO, the home of GoT, didn’t even bother with the "different" part. Before GoT had even finished they’d greenlighted House of the Dragon, a prequel series set 200 years before the events of GoT.

We can only presume that those mammoth GoT numbers — it averaged 44.2million per episode in its eighth season — were rattling around inside the head of amateur spaceman and Amazon main man Jeff Bezos as well. It was his reported cry of "I want my Game of Thrones", that led to his streaming channel Amazon Prime Video (APV) snaffling up the TV rights to The Wheel of Time.

Like GoT, The Wheel of Time (WoT) is based on an extraordinarily long line of fantasy books, it has a huge cast of characters with unusual and spell check-unfriendly names, there’s magic, evil creatures, a proliferation of cloaks and it even shares an incredibly similar abbreviation.

But that’s where the similarities end. Amazon Prime may want WoT to be GoT, but GoT WoT is not.

For starters, there’s no political intrigue here, no dastardly scheming or diabolical double-crossing. Instead, there’s a chosen one narrative and an extended chase sequence that has so far lasted its first three episodes.

The action kicks off in a sleepy mountain town that finds itself in the unusual position of being attacked by brutal and horrendous creatures called Trollocs. Picture the lovechild of an orc and a werewolf and you’re on the money.

They’re hunting down the "Dragon Reborn" which, despite the name is not a dragon but is actually a human — more specifically, the reincarnation of the champion of light who defeats the forces of — wait for it — the dark, whenever...

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