Amazon’s commitment to becoming the streaming TV destination for people looking concerned while holding a sword in a forest continues apace today, as the retail omni-giant announced today that it’s renewing Robert Jordan fantasy adaptation Wheel Of Time for a second season. This, despite the fact that shooting on the series’ first installment has only just now wrapped in the Czech Republic, because fuck, but does Amazon love swords, we guess.
It’s not clear as of yet how much of Jordan’s series—which eventually ran to 15 doorstopper novels, out-lived its creator, and required 19 days of audiobook tape to cover—that first season will cover. (Fingers crossed that it dispenses with the first book, 1990's The Eye Of The World, somewhat quickly, because that one’s a bit of a snooze. We’re just saying.) Showrun by Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Rafe Judkins, the series centers in part on Rosamund Pike as Moiraine, a secretive witch searching for a young man she believes is the reincarnation of the world’s most powerful wizard. Josha Stradowski co-stars as Rand al’Thor, a young farmer who finds himself swept up in Moiraine’s quest, to potentially apocalyptic effect. There will also, if the series stays true to the books, turn out to be an astonishingly large amount of high school-esque romantic drama, but that’s generally part of the series’ appeal.
(Also, this feels like as good a time as any to recall the other Wheel Of Time pilot that aired, back in 2015, on FXX, after the network was paid for some of its after-hours time to run the damn thing. Cheaply shot, and starring Billy Zane, the “pilot” was constructed and run as part of a transparent gambit for its creator, Red Eagle Entertainment, to hold onto the rights to Jordan’s books, and is, accordingly, bizarre. Jordan’s widow, Harriet McDougal, later reclaimed the TV rights ahead of this Amazon show, but “Winter Dragon” remains a very strange little side story in the efforts to get Wheel Of Time to air.)
Of course, Wheel Of Time reads as positively conservative in comparison to Amazon’s other big fantasy adaptation in the works, Lord Of The Rings. Still, this renewal notice is a pretty sharp vote of confidence in Wheel Of Time by Amazon, your one-stop shopping spot for woodland magical drama shit. There is, as yet, no word on when season 1 of Wheel Of Time will air.