clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

‘The Wheel of Time’ series is here. Can you watch it with your kids?

‘The Wheel of Time’ on Amazon Prime. Here’s what you need to know

Daniel Henney (Lan) and Rosamund Pike (Moiraine Damodred) in “The Wheel of Times”.
Daniel Henney (Lan) and Rosamund Pike (Moiraine Damodred) in “The Wheel of Time” on Amazon Prime.
Jan Thijs

“The Wheel of Time” series is rated TV-14 with violence, some nudity and language.

“The Wheel of Time” series has finally arrived, affording fantasy enthusiasts and fans of the Robert Jordan series a chance to see the tale of magic and mysticism told on screen.

The series will surely draw comparisons to other fantasy projects — namely “Game of Thrones” or “The Witcher.” It’s also a series that gives longtime book readers something to watch.

To give you a full scope, we’ve outlined what you’ll find in the first episode of the series. This breakdown will be updated as we move throughout the series.

What is ‘The Wheel of Time’ series?

“The Wheel of Time” series is based on Jordan’s series of novels (later completed by BYU grad Brandon Sanderson after Jordan’s death).

The series focuses on five young villagers who meet a strange and powerful woman named Moiraine Damodred (Rosamund Pike), who says that one of them is the child of an ancient prophecy that can stop the battle of light and dark forever by defeating the dark one. She asks the villagers to join her on a journey. They venture off with her, working to uncover the truth about the prophecy and determine the fate of the world.

The first three episodes of the show are now available on Amazon Prime. All of the newer episodes will be released weekly until Dec. 24, when the first season concludes.

Is ‘The Wheel of Time’ like ‘Game of Thrones’?

This is the question many are asking ahead of the show’s release. You’d be hard-pressed to find a fantasy show that doesn’t draw immediate comparisons to “Game of Thrones,” which is the most successful fantasy series to date. Anytime a series like this — whether it be “The Wheel of Time” or “The Witches” — drops, there’s an instant question about how it compares to the HBO series.

Rosamund Pike (Moiraine Damodred) in “The Wheel of Time.” series.
Rosamund Pike (Moiraine Damodred) in “The Wheel of Times” series on Amazon Prime.
Jan Thijs

The introduction is not even close to the “Game of Thrones” level of awesomeness, that’s for sure. “The Wheel of Time” introduction song and video is slow and a little flat, which definitely doesn’t put it on the same level of epic that “Game of Thrones” has.

There is talk of dragons, though. So you’ll get that.

But, truth to be told, this isn’t a series that should be compared to “Game of Thrones” or “The Witcher.” It’s based on a book series of its own merit and should be treated as such.

Is ‘The Wheel of Time’ violent?

Naturally, fantasy shows contain some level of violence. After all, knights and heroes often battle with swords, daggers and arrows. So you should expect some level of violence in “The Wheel of Time,” especially as the episodes pick up and the stakes rise.

The first episode did a lot of table-setting for the journey ahead that didn’t include an overwhelming amount of violence, with more dialogue than anything else.

Up until the final moments of the first episode, I would have said this show isn’t any darker than a Marvel movie. There are battles, there are fights. But for the most part, the show relies on punches, tackles and chokeholds for its violence.

But in the last 10 minutes, all of that goes out the window when a horde of beasts attack a village. Blood is spilled everywhere. A dying person is covered in blood — so much so that it was almost overly gratuitous. It’s more blood than you’d ever see in a Marvel film and had the consistency and time on the screen of a “Game of Thrones” episode. Producers wanted you to see the blood and understand that this show won’t shy away from goriness.

If you can handle a little bit of blood in your television shows, then “The Wheel of Time” will be fine for you. But don’t expect to make it through this show without seeing a hero or two covered in blood, sweat and dirt, clinging for their life.

Is ‘The Wheel of Time’ sexual?

From the first episode, I wouldn’t say this show leans too much into the sexual nature that fantasy shows often do. In a lot of ways, “The Wheel of Time” has learned from the mistakes of early “Game of Thrones,” which was packed with sexual content and scenes that drew heavy criticism. “Game of Thrones” was also hammered for its depictions of rape and violence against women. Though it was drawing from storylines in the book, the depictions on-screen never sat well with critics or families.

“The Wheel of Time” has the luxury of walking into a pop culture climate that understands this. Even “Game of Thrones” became less sexual in its later seasons, showing naked men more often than women in the final years.

That said, there isn’t anything overly sexual in the first episode, but there is some nudity. We see one scene where Damodred sits in a bathtub, but her upper body is mostly shielded by the water. We also see the bare backside of Wander Len (Daniel Henney).

Is ‘The Wheel of Time’ OK to watch?

So far, the series appears to be less sexual, violent and mature than an HBO series. The TV-14 rating helps keep it mild and a solid option for teens. It’s not something you should aim to watch with your child — the blood and gore will make many squeamish — but it’s something you could watch with older children in the room, assuming they’ve watched dark Marvel movies in the past.

If you were turned off by “Game of Thrones,” don’t worry so much about “The Wheel of Time.” You may see instances of violence, brief nudity or mature language, but it’s certainly not as vile and upfront as other shows.