Parents' Guide to

The Wheel of Time

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Nudity, alcohol, fantasy violence in flawed book adaptation.

The Wheel of Time Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 37 parent reviews

age 18+

Common sense

I think the kids have more common sense not to watch this series then adults. They get its inappropriate and not something that should be watched as a kid. Nothing like the book series. Why cant we just have decent family shows without the world infiltrating their views, sex and things on our kids. Come on people wake up, this is not okay!
age 18+

Horror rather than fantasy genre - gory and graphic and disturbing

Having read this series of fantasy books myself as a teenager I was excited to see them brought to life on the screen, but I couldn't even make it through the second episode because it was so gory, creepy and graphically violent. The actors were great and some of the scenery stunning; I really wanted to be able to stick with it but it was too grotesque. For reference, I devoured the entire Game of Thrones series (another one not for kids) but this show was more like a horror movie in its adaptation than the original fantasy genre of the books.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (37 ):
Kids say (14 ):

It's clear from curtain rise on the first episode that this ambitious book-adapted fantasy epic is angling to be the heir to the Thrones (Game of Thrones, that is), but alas, it misses the mark. Nor does it hit the world-building heights of the Lord of the Rings franchise, though The Wheel of Time, a 14-volume series with each book hovering at the 1,000-page mark, surely must have given plenty of world to build onscreen. Instead, both characters and the world they inhabit feel generic; their arcs don't have the bite and intrigue we wish for. For one thing, some more thoughtful set-dressing would have helped. Everything's too clean: spotless clothes, pristine squire-like hobbit houses. People are supposed to live in those houses; people are filthy; why are they so clean if they're not supposed to be brand-new?

The lack of depth and thoughtfulness extends to characterization. Perhaps the coolest idea in The Wheel of Time is that this world's muscle is an all-female clan of spiritual warriors, Aes Sedai. It's Aes Sedai who set the series' plot in motion by seeking the one true hero (or villain), the Dragon. It's a simple setup, one that Game of Thrones managed to pull off so successfully by creating an alternate world where magic gave women equal or sometimes even more power than men. There's a early moment that may make viewers think the show may actually pull it off: Pike, an actor with nothing but gravitas, tersely gives us exposition in voiceover as her assistant (or Warder in the show's parlance) helps her dress. She twirls a cape with flash and strength, and it's thrilling. It's rare to see women depicted onscreen as powerful warriors in this way. Unfortunately, this thread of intrigue is abandoned to begin a ho-hum quest, with lots (and lots) of long shots of its cast on horseback. The Wheel of Time is as beautiful as a painting, and has plenty of source material to work on, but it feels like we're on a road to nowhere.

TV Details

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