Top 10 Differences Between The Wheel of Time Book and TV Show
Trivia Top 10 Differences Between The Wheel of Time Book and TV Show



Top 10 Differences Between The Wheel of Time Book and TV Show

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Nick Roffey
This is a very different turning of the Wheel. For this list, we'll be looking at the most drastic deviations in Amazon's adaptation of Robert Jordan's epic fantasy series The Wheel of Time. Our countdown includes Perrin's wife, Moiraine's exile, the entire final battle, and more! If you could restore one moment from the books to the show, what would it be? Tell us in the comments!
Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Biggest Differences Between The Wheel of Time Books and Show.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the most drastic deviations in Amazon’s adaptation of Robert Jordan’s epic fantasy series. It’ll be tough to narrow it down to 10, but we’re going to try! Get ready for spoilers from both the TV series and books.

If you could restore one moment from the books to the show, what would it be? Tell us in the comments!

#10: The Ages of the Main Characters

The first books in “The Wheel of Time” tell something of a coming-of-age story, as the Emond’s Fielders journey from their remote village into a wider world of wonders, dangers, and new cultures. Showrunner Rafe Judkins decided to age the characters up to 20 however, stating that “shows with a bunch of 17 year olds as leads feel more like [Young Adult fiction]”. In fact, Rand, Mat, and Perrin are about 19 in the books; Egwene is two years younger. So, the show didn’t age the characters up much. It did, however, make them a bit less naive and more adult. Rand and Egwene are in a physical relationship, and Perrin is married and a blacksmith rather than an apprentice. More on that later.

#9: The Whitecloaks

You don’t want to cross the Children of the Light. Their zealous persecution of those they deem Darkfriends or, worse, “witches”, is brutal and merciless. However, in the books, they’re more of a nuisance than a threat to capable channelers. A Whitecloak might attack a lone Aes Sedai, but only from hiding. The TV adaptation portrays the Children as a more serious threat. Eamon Valda, now an Inquisitor rather than a Lord Captain, possesses a collection of Great Serpent rings to prove it. The show has Valda, rather than Geofram Bornhald, capture Perrin and Egwene. Valda claims he “knows” Egwene can channel, and expects her to demonstrate … without incapacitating him. Kinda makes you wonder how he even got those rings …

#8: Elyas & Other Side Characters

“The Wheel of Time” has a staggering 2,782 named characters. Of course, some side characters are much more important than others! In “The Eye of the World”, one of the most pivotal is Elyas Machera, a wolfbrother who mentors Perrin after his escape with Egwene from Shadar Logoth. Another do be Illianer ship captain Bayle Domon, who ferries Rand, Mat and Thom from Shadar Logoth to Whitebridge. Other, more central characters, appear later in the show than in the books, such as gleeman Thom Merrilin, and Min, who’s now at Fal Dara rather than Baerlon. Hopefully, we’ll meet Elyas and Bayle Domon in later seasons, and get to spend more time with Thom and Min.

#7: Moiraine's Exile

In both the books and show, Moiraine and Siuan must hide their close relationship to prevent the wrong people learning about their search for the Dragon Reborn. To this end, Siuan does feign hostility towards Moiraine in the source material… but she doesn’t go so far as to exile her. Nor does she demand that Moiraine swear to obey her order on the Oath Rod. A romantic relationship is hinted at in the books; in the prequel novel “New Spring”, an Aes Sedai believes that Moiraine and Siuan were “pillow-friends” as girls. But true or not, it’s over by the time the books begin. They don’t have a ter’angreal that allows them to Travel to a secret hideaway, either.

#6: Mat Abandons His Friends

Robert Jordan once described Mat Cauthon as “the bad boy on a Harley”. In the books he’s a merry prankster who provides comic relief - a loveable rogue and reluctant hero who’s nonetheless there for his friends when it counts. By comparison, the show offers a much grimmer take. Mat’s father Abell is now an impoverished lecher, and his mother Natti a drunk. Moiraine describes Mat as having an inherent darkness. When his friends travel to the Eye of the World, Mat abandons them - and Moiraine sends the Red Ajah after him. This turn of events may be due to the departure of actor Barney Harris during filming. He’ll be replaced by Donal Finn. Either way, it’s quite a different Mat.

#5: Perrin’s Marriage

Perrin has a gentle nature, but as a wolfbrother, he struggles to walk the fine line between his human and animal sides. One of the main catalysts for this conflict comes in the first book when Whitecloaks kill the wolf Hopper and Perrin loses control, killing two men. While Moiraine, Lan, and Nynaeve rescue Perrin and Egwene, the event leads to a long-standing conflict between Perrin and the Children of the Light. The show, on the other hand, gives Perrin a wife, Laila, whom he accidentally kills in the first episode. It’s this trauma that instigates his internal struggle between peace and violence.

#4: The False Dragon

“The Wheel of Time” is an epic, sprawling series. And a lot of material was streamlined for the adaptation. However, the show also added a lot of new content - including much of the fourth episode. In the books, we first glimpse the False Dragon Logain when he’s paraded into Caemlyn in “The Eye of the World”, and again in “The Great Hunt”, after he’s been brought to Tar Valon and gentled. The show however has Moiraine, Lan, and Nynaeve encounter Logain and his captors, which now include Liandrin, Alanna, and Kerene. Kerene is actually from the prequel novel “New Spring”, where she’s killed by the Black Ajah. The fate of her Warder Stepin isn’t explored.

#3: Reunited at Tar Valon

In the books, Caemlyn is a milestone in the Emond’s Fielders’ journey, bringing the wide-eyed villagers to their country’s bustling capital. It’s also where we meet key characters such as Elayne Trakand (the Daughter-Heir of Andor) and Loial. However, the show has the characters reunite (and meet Loial) in Tar Valon instead, covering some of the action from “The Great Hunt”. That book introduces readers to the Amyrlin Seat Siuan Sanche, and has Nynaeve and Egwene inducted into the White Tower. The girls will presumably return there in the second season, which will also introduce Elayne, to be played by Ceara Coveney.

#2: The Final Battle

Book One sees the heroes travel together to the Eye of the World - a pool of untainted saidin guarded by the Green Man. There they face the Forsaken Aginor and Balthamel. Rand goes on to defeat Ba’alzamon, and the Trollocs at Tarwin’s Gap. In the show however, Rand and Moiraine journey alone to the Eye, which is empty. Ba’alzamon cuts Moiraine off from the Source, seeming to Shield her and tie off the weaves. Rand chooses the Light by refusing to impose his will on Egwene, then blasts Ba’alzamon using a sa’angreal. It’s Nynaeve and Egwene who destroy the Trollocs, although Nynaeve seems to be burnt out or killed until Egwene miraculously Heals her. Meanwhile, Padan Fain stabs Loial, Ingtar and Uno, prompting Perrin to finally pick up an axe. This is all new, substantially changing elements of Robert Jordan’s story.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

The Male & Female Halves of the One Power

While the Books Emphasize the Difference Between Saidin & Saidar, There’s Scant Mention in the Show

The Horn of Valere Is Hidden in Fal Dara Instead of the Eye

Padan Fain Breaks In to Steal It During the Battle of Tarwin’s Gap

Moiraine Is Drawn to Emond’s Field by Rumors of Ta’veren

We Have Yet to Find Out What Remarkable Events Started These Tales

Unexpected Deaths During the Battle of Tarwin’s Gap

There’ll Be More. Rafe Judkins “Can’t Wait to Kill Surprising People That Are Going to Really Pain Book Fans in Their Deepest Heart of Hearts”

Moiraine’s “Tell”

The Aes Sedai Can Be Tracked, on Horseback or Foot, Thanks to a Mysterious “Tell” We Have Yet to Learn

#1: The Dragon Reborn

After Trollocs attack Emond’s Field, the Moiraine of the books tells Rand, Perrin, and Mat that there’s something in one of them, or all three, that the Dark One fears. Only at the end of the first book is it revealed that one of them - Rand - is the Dragon Reborn. In the show however, Moiraine reveals the truth to the Emond’s Fielders from the get go. Moreover, the Dragon can be male or female - souls aren’t fundamentally one or the other. This dramatically reframes the narrative, leaving the characters and viewers guessing throughout subsequent episodes. The reveal that Rand was adopted comes much later, and he realizes he’s the Dragon before travelling to the Eye - prompting him to go without his friends. In other words, it’s a change that has far-reaching consequences.
Ah, they missed one. The books are really good, the show is not.