The Wheel of Time
Cover of the first book
|Author||Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson|
|Cover artist||Darrell K. Sweet (Michael Whelan for A Memory of Light)|
|Publisher||Tor Books (US) and
Orbit Books (UK)
|Published||January 15, 1990 – January 8, 2013|
The Wheel of Time is a series of high fantasy novels written by American author James Oliver Rigney, Jr. under his pen name of Robert Jordan. Originally planned as a six-book series, The Wheel of Time spanned fourteen volumes, in addition to a prequel novel and a companion book. Jordan began writing the first volume, The Eye of the World, in 1984, and it was published in January, 1990.
The author died in 2007 while working on what was planned to be the twelfth and final volume in the series. He prepared extensive notes so another author could complete the book according to his wishes. Fellow fantasy author and long-time Wheel of Time fan Brandon Sanderson was brought in to complete the final book, but during the writing process it was decided that the book would be far too large to be published in one volume and would instead be published as three volumes: The Gathering Storm (2009), Towers of Midnight (2010), and A Memory of Light (2013).
The series draws on numerous elements of both European and Asian mythology, most notably the cyclical nature of time found in Buddhism and Hinduism, the metaphysical concepts of balance and duality, and a respect for nature found in Daoism. Additionally, its creation story has similarities to Christianity's "Creator" (Light) and Shai'tan, "The Dark One" (Shaytan is an Arabic word that in religious contexts is used as a name for the Devil). It was also partly inspired by Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace (1869).
The Wheel of Time is notable for its length, its detailed imaginary world, its well-developed magic system, and its large cast of characters. The eighth through fourteenth books each reached number one on the New York Times Best Seller list. After its completion, the series was nominated for a Hugo Award. According to Jordan's French publisher, as of 2017, the series has sold over 80 million copies worldwide, and is the best selling epic fantasy series since The Lord of the Rings. Its popularity has spawned an eponymous video game, roleplaying game, and soundtrack album. On April 20, 2017, it was announced that Sony Pictures will adapt the series for television.
- 1 Setting
- 2 Plot summary
- 3 Special powers
- 4 Books in the series
- 5 Development
- 6 Adaptations
- 7 Culture
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
In the series' mythology, a deity known as the Creator made the universe and the Wheel of Time, which governs all of existence. The Wheel has seven spokes, each representing an 'age' or phase of history, and rotates under the influence of the One Power, which flows from the True Source composed of male and female halves (saidin and saidar). Humans who can use this power are called 'channelers'; the principal organization thereof in the books are the Aes Sedai or 'Servants of All'.
The Creator had imprisoned its antithesis, Shai'tan (often called 'the Dark One'), but due to an Aes Sedai experiment, Shai'tan's influence is mistakenly loosed into the world. Thereafter he is the story's principal antagonist, promising power and immortality to those who aid his total freedom (known as 'Darkfriends'). A century after the initial breach of the Dark One's prison, open warfare occurs between the forces of the Dark One and those of the Light, until the chieftain Lews Therin Telamon, known as the Dragon, leads a force of channelers and soldiers to reseal the prison; whereupon the Dark One inflicts a malediction that drives male channelers of the One Power insane. Thus affected, the male channelers create earthquakes and tsunamis altering numerous landscapes in an event that comes to be called "The Breaking of the World." Lews Therin himself kills his friends and family, and is known afterwards as "Kinslayer." Given a moment of sanity by Ishamael, chief among the Dark One's servants, Lews Therin commits suicide. In the aftermath, the women Aes Sedai re-organize society, and nullify male access to the Power. Two subsequent events are important to the novels' principal story: the "Trolloc Wars", in which servants of the Dark One foment a continuous war for several hundred years; and the "War of the Hundred Years", a devastating civil war succeeding the fall of a continent-spanning empire ruled by the "High King", Artur Hawkwing. When the novels begin, most people live in a technology and culture roughly comparable to that of Europe's 1450 to 1600 (with the difference that women are socially equal to men in most societies, and superior in some), in fear of a prophecy that the Dark One will break from his prison and the Dragon will be reborn to face him.
The prequel novel New Spring takes place during the Aiel War and depicts the discovery by certain Aes Sedai that the Dragon has been Reborn.
The series proper commences almost twenty years later in the Two Rivers, a near-forgotten district of the country of Andor. An Aes Sedai, Moiraine, and her Warder Lan, arrive in the village of Emond's Field, secretly aware that servants of the Dark One are searching for a young man living in the area. Moiraine is unable to determine which of three youths (Rand al'Thor, Matrim Cauthon, or Perrin Aybara) is the Dragon Reborn, and leads all three of them from the Two Rivers, along with their friend Egwene al'Vere. Nynaeve al'Meara, the village wise-woman, later joins them. Gleeman Thom Merrilin also travels with the group. The first novel depicts their flight from various agents of the Shadow and their attempts to reach the Aes Sedai city of Tar Valon. Thereafter the protagonists are frequently split into different groups and pursue different missions toward the cause of the Dragon Reborn, sometimes thousands of miles apart. As they struggle to unite the various kingdoms against the Dark One's forces, their task is complicated by rulers of the nations who refuse to lose their autonomy; by the zealots styling themselves 'the Children of the Light', who do not believe in the prophecies; and by the Seanchan, the descendants of a long-lost colony of Artur Hawkwing's empire. The Aes Sedai also become divided on how to deal with the Dragon Reborn.
As the story expands, new characters representing different factions are introduced.
Deriving its name from that of Armageddon in Christian eschatology, Tarmon Gai'don is the apocalyptic battle wherein the Dragon Reborn opposes Shai'tan, while their followers fight elsewhere. Events and portents that foreshadow the Last Battle take place in Knife of Dreams and The Gathering Storm. The Last Battle takes place in A Memory of Light, in the form of a 202-page single chapter.
Some men and women in the story have the natural ability to access a form of magic called the One Power; through a process called channeling. The One Power consists of male and female halves called saidin (accessible by men) and saidar (accessible by women). The One Power is further divided into the 'Five Powers': Earth, Water, Air, Fire, and Spirit. In addition to granting access to the One Power, the ability to channel greatly extends longevity and masks the effects of aging. Channeling itself is described as a euphoric, drug-like experience of life involving the enhancement of all senses, making ordinary life seem dull and grey. A contrary power, dubbed the True Power, is associated with Shai'tan.
Channelers can direct the Power toward a desired purpose by creating one or more "flows" of the One Power and constructing "weaves" of these flows. An individual flow can only consist of one of the Five Powers, but a weave can combine any number of flows from any of the five. Flows can be of varying sizes, with larger flows involving greater strength. Channelers, especially novices, are very careful to control the amount of the One Power they draw into their flows. Drawing too much can be fatal, or can "burn out" the channeler, severing their ability to access the One Power forever. Channelers can sense the power in others and feel when a channeler has "embraced" saidar or "seized" saidin, for female channelers, this is limited only to other women, whereas male channelers are able to 'feel' when a female channeler has embraced saidar, this is generally felt by a tingling sensation. It is also possible, for women, to sense the strength of a fellow channeler—defined as the potential amount of the One Power the channeler can draw and successfully weave unaided without burning out. Men are limited to sensing the amount of saidin currently drawn, but cannot tell if it's the channeler's maximum potential.
Flows and weaves are visible to fellow channelers but limited by the viewer's access to either saidin or saidar. This visibility allows channelers to learn how to construct specific weaves and access abilities merely by watching another channeler create the weave. While male and female channelers have access to many of the same abilities and end effects, the weaves and manner of their construction are often very different. The act of channeling saidin is apparently very different from saidar, whereas women describe surrendering themselves to the One Power and allowing it to flow through them, men insist that similar behavior would be suicidal. They describe channeling as a struggle for control that would result in their own destruction if they ever faltered.
In general, males have greater strength in the power than women, but multiple female channelers can combine their strength by forming 'circles', with one channeler controlling and directing the weaves. Circles consisting of only females are limited to thirteen members, while inclusion of male channelers allows the circle to grow to up to seventy-two members. Circles must always hold at least one more female than male, with a minimum of 1 man for every 12 women. As men tend to be much stronger in the power than women, the strongest circles consist of a near equal balance between the genders.
Artifacts can be constructed with the use of the One Power. Collectively known as angreal, they are divided into three types: angreal, sa'angreal and ter'angreal. Ter'angreal are distinguished by their use towards a specific effect or purpose, while angreal and sa'angreal (both names deriving from 'San Greal'—itself often translated 'Holy Grail') simply magnify a user's inherent ability. Whereas angreal and sa'angreal can only be used by those with the ability to channel, some ter'angreal can be used by non-channelers—although many require channeling to activate. Often, sa'angreal are limited to users of either saidin or saidar. Cuendillar, the strongest substance in existence, is created through use of the One Power and is generally regarded as indestructible—even through use of the Power. Many, but not all, angreal are constructed of cuendillar. Similarly, not all items made of cuendillar are angreal. Some angreal and sa'angreal, such as Callandor are known to be capable of amplifying the True Power as well.
In the Age of Legends (approximately three thousand years before the first book takes place), both male and female channelers were collectively known as Aes Sedai and used the One Power together to great effect. During the successful attempt to seal the bore in The Dark One's prison, the male half of the One Power (saidin) was corrupted by Shai'tan (aka the Dark Lord, the Dark One). Through continued exposure to this taint, male channelers go insane and ultimately die. The Breaking of the World, marking the end of the Age of Legends (a time of great upheaval and strife including physical disruption of the geography of the world) was instigated by male channelers driven mad by Shai'tan's curse. Since that time, strength in the Power has generally lessened, and knowledge of weaves and abilities—including the ability to create angreal and cuendillar—have been lost.
At the time of the first book, fear of another Breaking of the World and the dangers posed by saidin's corruption are so great that—while increasingly rare—male channelers are now a source of nightmares and terror to most people. The original symbol of the Aes Sedai—a circle separated into black and white halves by a sinuous line symbolizing both halves of the One Power—has been replaced by the Flame of Tar Valon, consisting only of the white half of the original symbol. The male half of the symbol, known as the dragon's fang, is used as a symbol of evil and a curse—often carved onto the doors of those accused of conspiring with the Dark Lord (known as Darkfriends). The term Aes Sedai – used as a name, title and honorific – refers almost exclusively to female channelers, most often specifically referring to members of an exclusive society headquartered in the White Tower in Tar Valon. Divided into several factions identified by color, known as Ajahs, the Aes Sedai present a unified face to the world but often experience great internal conflict. They refer to each other as "sisters" but maintain a rigid hierarchy of authority determined by custom and strength in the One Power.
The modern Aes Sedai operate as self-appointed guardians of the One Power and are often viewed as above local and national politics. They view themselves as the rightful owners of all angreal and arbiters of anything to do with the One Power. They operate as advisers to kings and queens and are shown deference by most. Some nations, however, have banned channeling and view Aes Sedai as suspect, if not outright evil. Aes Sedai search the world for females with the inherent ability to channel, or the ability to be taught to channel, and bring any they find to the Tower. Untrained channelers can be a danger to themselves and others, often resulting in accidental deaths. Channelers of a certain age that have survived without Tower training are often derisively referred to as wilders by Aes Sedai. Wilders often experience blocks: an inability to access the One Power except through specific rituals or in specific situations. In many instances these wilders have no idea they are channeling or accessing the One Power at all. With training and time, blocks can often be overcome and the wilder can channel at will. Foreign lands outside the Aes Sedai's purview often handle channeling and channelers quite differently from Aes Sedai custom and tend to distrust their assumed authority. Aes Sedai consider them wilders as well, and not entirely without reason. Most foreign channeling traditions have more specific and more limited understanding of the One Power than do Aes Sedai. Additionally, most of these traditions trace their origins back to offshoots of the original Aes Sedai split off after the Breaking of the World. The Aes Sedai, however, can trace their history well back within the Age of Legends.
One Ajah, the Red, is devoted to hunting down any and all male channelers and stripping them of their abilities (known as gentling). Removing a female's ability to access the One Power is known as stilling. The greatest form of White Tower punishment, Aes Sedai avoid even looking at the stilled as the mere idea of being separated from the One Power (the source of their elite status, as well as the experience of channeling) is so distasteful. Those who have been stilled, gentled or "burned out" experience deep depression and most often eventually die, wasting away in apathy.
The Forsaken are the 13 most powerful channelers that went over to the Dark One in the age of legends, often commanding the armies of the shadow in the battles against the light. They were all sealed in Shayol Ghul, the location of the Bore during Lews Therin Telamon's sealing of the prison, where they did not age for over 3000 years due to its warping of time, save for those very close to the surface.They were each among the strongest channelers of their time, with Ishamael, the strongest, being rumored to equal Lews Therin in power. They also retained extensive knowledge of technology and weaves from their time that far outclass the current world's knowledge and subsequently, they are formidable creatures, viewing most modern Aes Sedai as laughably weak. In competition with each for the Dark One's favor, the Forsaken distrust and fight each other as much as anyone else. The Forsaken refer to themselves as the Chosen. Though there may have been more in the Age of Legends, these are the only known Forsaken in this Age: Ishamael/Moridin, Lanfear/Cyndane, Moghedien, Graendal/Hessalam, Mesaana, Aginor/Osan'gar, Asmodean, Balthamel/Aran'gar, Be'lal, Rahvin, Sammael, Semirhage, Demandred, M'Hael (recent). All the Forsaken, particularly Semirhage, are widely feared by most, with their names being used to scare children into being good.
Not all powers in the Wheel of Time are related to the One Power or the ability to channel. Some individuals have the ability to interpret dreams or use them to predict the future (known as Dreaming). Others can predict the future through waking visions or inspired knowledge (Foretelling). Some individuals perceive auras with symbolic value, while others can communicate with animals in a telepathic manner.
A parallel world known as Tel'aran'rhiod or the World of Dreams is accessible physically by some (a forbidden and dangerous practice known as being there "in the flesh"), while others can visit the world in their sleep (known as Dreamwalking). A reflection of the waking world, Tel'aran'rhiod can be used to access knowledge about the state of the world, but can also be manipulated by the will of those present. Time, matter and space have little meaning within Tel'aran'rhiod, allowing visitors to "dream" themselves to any location and take on any form, but actions occurring within the World of Dreams can have effect on their real world counterparts—including the injury or death of Dreamwalkers. The strength in Dreamwalking depends mostly on the person's strength of will and imagination. Wolves and other wild (but not domestic) animals have an innate ability to access Tel'aran'rhiod, and their souls live on there after death; an animal's death in Tel'aran'rhiod is final. Certain humans' souls (e.g., those known as Heroes of the Horn) dwell in Tel'aran'rhiod between rebirths.
Another dream ability involves accessing a dimension between dreams, allowing one to access individuals' private dreams. While similar to the rules governing Tel'aran'rhiod, visitors are much weaker and can become bound within the control of the person whose dream they inhabit. Unlike the World of Dreams, however, the effects of the dream are confined to the dream itself and end upon the dreamer's waking.
Occasionally, those who are merely asleep (without the aid of the One Power) inadvertently 'cross over' into the World of Dreams for brief seconds at a time. While unintentional, such cross-overs entail great risk, as imagination becomes reality in the World of Dreams and a person's nightmares manifest as easily as pleasant dreams.
Books in the series
|0||New Spring||6 January 2004||334pp (PB) / 334pp (HB)
|12h 31m||Prequel set 20 years before the events of the first novel.|
|1||The Eye of the World||15 January 1990||782pp (PB) / 702pp (HB)
|2||The Great Hunt||15 November 1990||681pp (PB) / 599pp (HB)
|3||The Dragon Reborn||15 October 1991||675pp (PB) / 545pp (HB)
|4||The Shadow Rising||15 September 1992||981pp (PB) / 891pp (HB)
|5||The Fires of Heaven||15 October 1993||963pp (PB) / 684pp (HB)
|6||Lord of Chaos||15 October 1994||987pp (PB) / 699pp (HB)
|41h 37m||Locus Award nominee, 1995.|
|7||A Crown of Swords||15 May 1996||856pp (PB) / 635pp (HB)
|8||The Path of Daggers||20 October 1998||672pp (PB) / 591pp (HB)
|9||Winter's Heart||7 November 2000||766pp (PB) / 533pp (HB)
|24h 18m||Prologue released as a promotional eBook in September 2000.|
|10||Crossroads of Twilight||7 January 2003||822pp (PB) / 681pp (HB)
|26h 03m||Prologue released as a promotional eBook on July 17, 2002.|
|11||Knife of Dreams||11 October 2005||837pp (PB) / 761pp (HB)
|32h 24m||Prologue released as a promotional eBook on July 22, 2005.|
|12||The Gathering Storm||27 October 2009||766pp (PB) / 766pp (HB)
|33h 02m||Completed by Brandon Sanderson.|
|13||Towers of Midnight||2 November 2010||864pp (PB) / 843pp (HB)
|38h 17m||Completed by Brandon Sanderson.|
|14||A Memory of Light||8 January 2013||912pp (PB) / 909pp (HB)
|41h 55m||Completed by Brandon Sanderson, epilogue by Robert Jordan.|
|–||Totals||22 years, 11 months, 24 days||11,916pp (PB) / 10,173pp (HB)
|19d 5h 25m|
In 2002 the first book, The Eye of the World, was repackaged as two volumes with new illustrations for younger readers: From the Two Rivers, including an extra chapter (Ravens) before the existing prologue, and To the Blight with an expanded glossary. In 2004 the same was done with The Great Hunt, with the two parts being The Hunt Begins and New Threads in the Pattern.
On several occasions, chapters from various books in the series were released several months in advance of publication. These were released in eBook format as promotional tools for the then-upcoming release.
The prologue eBook releases included:
- Snow: The Prologue to Winter's Heart (September 2000)
- Glimmers: The Prologue to Crossroads of Twilight (July 17, 2002)
- Embers Falling on Dry Grass: The Prologue to Knife of Dreams (July 22, 2005).
- What the Storm Means: The Prologue to The Gathering Storm (September 17, 2009).
- Chapter 1 of The Gathering Storm, Tears from Steel, was released free on Friday September 4, 2009 on Tor.com
- Chapter 2 of The Gathering Storm, The Nature of Pain, was released in Audio form free on Thursday September 24, 2009 on Tor.com
- Distinctions: The Prologue to Towers of Midnight (Tuesday September 21, 2010).
- Chapter 1 of Towers of Midnight, Apples First, was released free on Friday October 1, 2010 on Tor.com
- Chapter 2 of Towers of Midnight, Questions of Leadership was released in Audio form free on Tuesday October 19, 2010
- Chapter 8 of Towers of Midnight, The Seven-Striped Lass (on September 16, 2010, Chapter 8, The Seven-Striped Lass, was revealed as part of The Great Hunt scavenger hunt setup by Brandon on his website beginning August 30, 2010 in relation to his new book The Way of Kings.)
- By Grace And Banners Fallen: The Prologue to A Memory Of Light (Wednesday September 19, 2012).
- A segment of chapter 1 of A Memory Of Light was released in mid-2012 on Dragonmount.com
- A segment of chapter 11 of A Memory Of Light was similarly released publicly in mid-2012 on Dragonmount.com
Tor Books published a companion book to the series, entitled The World of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time, in November 1997, which contains much hitherto unrevealed background information about the series including the first maps of the entire world and the Seanchan home continent. Jordan co-authored the book with Teresa Patterson. Jordan ruled the book broadly canonical but stated that it was written from the perspective of an historian within The Wheel of Time universe and was prone to errors of bias and guesswork.
Jordan also wrote a short story, “The Strike at Shayol Ghul”, which predates the main series by several thousand years. It was made available on the Internet and was later published in The World of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time.
Deleted portions for a specific character from Memory of Light were published as a short story, under the title “River of Souls” in Unfettered: Tales by Masters of Fantasy (Spring 2013).
Brandon Sanderson tweeted that Harriet McDougal is creating a comprehensive Wheel of Time encyclopedia, to be published after A Memory of Light. In early 2015, publisher Tor announced that the aforementioned tome would be available November 2015. On November 3, 2015, The Wheel of Time Companion: The People, Places, and History of the Bestselling Series was released in hardback format written by Harriet McDougal, Alan Romanczuk, and Maria Simons from Tor Books. Alan Romanczuk and Maria Simons were Robert Jordan's editorial assistants. The book is an encapsulating glossary of the entire series.
Writing and conception
In the early 1980s Robert Jordan wrote several Conan the Barbarian novels for Tor Books, including a novelization of the movie Conan the Destroyer. These proved successful and in 1984 he proposed an idea for an epic fantasy series of three books to Tom Doherty, the head of Tor Books. Doherty approved the idea; however, knowing that Jordan had a tendency to go long, put Jordan on contract for six books just in case. Jordan began writing the novel that became The Eye of the World.
The novel proved extremely difficult to write and characters and storylines changed considerably during the writing process. The series was originally centered on an older man who discovered relatively late in life that he was the 'chosen one' who had to save the world. However, Jordan deliberately decided to move closer to the tone and style of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring and made the characters younger and less experienced. Once this decision had been made, writing proceeded much more easily and Jordan completed the second volume, The Great Hunt, at roughly the same time the first book was published.
Tom Doherty enjoyed The Eye of the World so much that he declared it would be the biggest fantasy series since Tolkien, and took the unprecedented steps of sending free review copies to every bookstore in the United States to generate interest. The combined hardcover and trade paperback run of the novel sold out of its initial 40,000-strong print run. Sales then doubled with the publication of the second novel just eight months later generating more interest in the first book.
Jordan wrote full-time at breakneck speed for the next several years until he completed the seventh volume, A Crown of Swords, at which point he slowed down, delivering a book every two years. Fans objected when he took some time off to expand a short story into a prequel novel called New Spring, so he decided to shelve his plans for additional prequels in favor of finishing off the last two volumes in the series. He rejected criticisms of the later volumes of the series slowing down in pace in order to concentrate on minor secondary characters at the expense of the main characters from the opening volumes, but acknowledged that his structure for the tenth volume, Crossroads of Twilight (where he showed a major scene from the prior book, Winter's Heart, from the perspective of the main characters that were not involved in the scene), had not worked out as he had planned. Knife of Dreams, the eleventh volume, had a much more positive reception from critics and fans alike and Jordan announced the twelfth volume, which he had previously announced would have the working title A Memory of Light, would conclude the series.
Author's death and final books
Jordan had stated that the main sequence would conclude with the twelfth book, A Memory of Light. According to Forbes, Jordan had intended for it to be the final book "even if it reaches 2,000 pages."
Jordan was diagnosed with the terminal heart disease primary amyloidosis with cardiomyopathy in December 2005, and while he intended to finish at least A Memory of Light even if the "worse comes to worst," he made preparations in case he was not able to complete the book: "I'm getting out notes, so if the worst actually happens, someone could finish A Memory of Light and have it end the way I want it to end."
With Jordan's death on September 16, 2007, the conclusion of the series was in question. On December 7 of that year the publisher Tor Books announced that fantasy author Brandon Sanderson was to finish A Memory of Light. Sanderson, a longtime fan of the series, was chosen by Jordan's widow Harriet McDougal partly because she liked Sanderson's novels and partly because of a eulogy he had written for Jordan.
On March 30, 2009 Tor Books announced that A Memory of Light would be split into three volumes, with Brandon Sanderson citing timing and continuity reasons. The first volume, The Gathering Storm, was released on October 27, 2009. The second, Towers of Midnight, was published on November 2, 2010. The final book of the series uses Jordan's original title, A Memory of Light. The book was published on January 8, 2013.
Prior to his death, Jordan had often discussed adding an additional two prequels and an 'outrigger' sequel trilogy. In a Q&A following the release of A Memory of Light, Sanderson ruled out the completion of these works. Jordan had left very little in the way of notes for these additional novels–only two sentences in the case of the sequel trilogy.
Dabel Brothers began adapting the series in comic book form, starting with the prequel New Spring in July 2005. The series initially ran on a monthly schedule, but then went on a three-year hiatus after the fifth issue. Red Eagle cited delays and changes to the creative team on the DB Pro end. The final three issues were ultimately completed and published in 2009-10. In 2009 Dabel moved on to their adaptation of the first book of the series proper, The Eye of the World. On March 17, 2009 they showcased ten pages of art from the prelude to the series "The Wheel of Time: Eye of the World #0 - Dragonmount" on their website. Dynamite Entertainment published 35 issues of The Wheel of Time: Eye of the World comic book series, which concluded in March 2013.
When asked in a 2013 interview about whether the comics would continue their run, Harriet McDougal replied "Well, eventually, [we'll] do the whole thing, unless it stops selling in a dreadful way. In other words, I don't really know." The 43 New Spring and Eye of the World comics were later collected together and released as a series of six graphic novels, the last of which was released in February 2015.
Various game adaptations have been created.
The Wheel of Time MUD based on a world like that of the Wheel of Time but set in a time frame around 30 world years previously has been in operation almost continuously (there was a significant outage during 2013-14) since 1993. Notably WoTMUD as it is usually known, had gained written permission from the author to use his creation including all but major characters.
A Wheel of Time computer game was released in 1999. Over the course of the game, a lone Aes Sedai must track down a robber following an assault on the White Tower, and prevent the Dark One from being released prematurely. She eventually learns of and executes a long-forgotten ritual at Shayol Ghul to ensure the Dark Lord remains sealed within the prison. While Robert Jordan was consulted in the creation of the game, he did not write the storyline himself and the game is not considered canon.
The Wheel of Time Roleplaying Game was released in 2001 from Wizards of the Coast using the d20 rules developed for the third edition of the Dungeons and Dragons game. The game had a single adventure module published in 2002, Prophecies of the Dragon. Shortly after the release of the adventure book Wizards of the Coast announced they would not be releasing any further products for the game. Robert Jordan cited some problems with the roleplaying game, such as storyline details in the adventure module that contradicted the books.
In early 2009 EA Games announced that they had bought the rights for a MMORPG, with the plan to publish it through the EA Partners-Program. The following year Obsidian Entertainment announced that they would be working on the project, for a PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC release. However, the project was seemingly dropped around 2014.
The German power metal band Blind Guardian have written two songs dedicated to the Wheel of Time series as part of their 2010 album At the Edge of Time: "Ride into Obsession" and "Wheel of Time". Swedish heavy metal band Katana also wrote a song, entitled "The Wisdom of Emond's Field", on their 2012 album Storms of War. The American power metal band Noble Beast, on their 2014 album of the same name, wrote a song entitled "The Dragon Reborn", in reference to Rand al'Thor.
In the tradition of the literature-inspired symphonic poem, American composer Seth Stewart produced a full-scale orchestral work entitled "Age of Legends", inspired by the eponymous era of myth and magic described throughout the Wheel of Time series. The orchestral piece was premiered and recorded in 2011 at the Beall Concert Hall.
Television and film
In a 2000 chat on CNN.com, Robert Jordan mentioned that NBC had purchased an option to do a miniseries of The Eye of the World. But he expressed doubts that the series would be made stating "key people involved in getting that contract together have left NBC." The series was optioned by Universal Pictures in 2008 for film adaptations, with plans to adapt The Eye of the World as the first film. Neither project ultimately emerged.
In February 2015, a pilot episode titled "Winter Dragon", based on the prologue to The Eye of the World, was aired on FXX. It starred Max Ryan as Lews Therin Thelamon, and Billy Zane as Ishamael. It aired with no announcements or publicity. Harriet McDougal initially stated she was unaware of the show ahead of time, and that the film rights to The Wheel of Time were set to revert to the Bandersnatch Group, her company, a few days later on February 11, 2015. Her comments triggered a lawsuit with Red Eagle, which was ultimately dismissed during settlement talks that July. In an interview with io9 Rick Selvage, CEO of Red Eagle Entertainment stated "it was more of an [issue of] getting it on the air." A spokesman for FXX stated that the channel was paid to air the show, but Selvage hinted that it was indeed produced with a future series in mind. "We think there's huge demand for the television series internationally, and we're looking forward to producing it and getting it out in the marketplace."
On April 29, 2016, Harriet McDougal confirmed that the legal issues had been resolved and that a TV series was in development. Further details emerged on April 20, 2017, when it was announced that Sony Pictures Television would be handling the adaptation, with Rafe Judkins as writer and executive producer.
Many fans of The Wheel of Time attend Dragon Con, which had an exclusive Wheel of Time content track from 2001 through 2012. The Wheel of Time now has its own annual convention, JordanCon, which has been held annually in Atlanta, GA since 2009.
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