Wheel of Time writer apologises for the way one main character turned out on the show

‘It’s not my fault. I tried. Oh, how I tried,’ writer said

Maira Butt
Tuesday 30 April 2024 13:33 BST
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Rosamund Pike attends the premiere for Amazon's Wheel of Time

The writer of fantasy series Wheel of Time has apologised for the way one of the show’s main characters was adapted.

The fantasy series based on the internationally bestselling Robert Jordan novels – some of which were co-written by Mistborn author Brandon Sanderson – chronicles an epic saga that starts out in the fictional kingdom of Andor.

Since 2021, the books have developed a dedicated fan base, with more than 90 million copies sold worldwide, making them one of the bestselling fantasy series since Lord of the Rings.

The Amazon Prime show was reportedly commissioned when founder Jeff Bezos requested a rival to Game of Thrones. Its debut, starring Gone Girl actor Rosamund Pike, clocked more than 1.16 billion minutes of viewing time making it one of Amazon’s most watched launches of all time at its release.

But Sanderson has apologised for the way one of the story’s main characters was adapted for the screen.

“Sorry about Perrin on the show,” he told a large crowd at the 2024 Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo. “It’s not my fault. I tried. Oh, how I tried.”

Perrin Aybara (Marcus Rutherford), is a blacksmith and woodworker who is one a series of candidates who could be the long-awaited world saviour, the Dragon Reborn.

In the show’s first episode, Perrin accidentally kills his wife Laila when beastly trollocs attack their remote village of the Two Rivers. The tragedy follows his character throughout the series, as he hides the truth from his friends.

The series follows a group of friends as they try to find the Dragon Reborn
The series follows a group of friends as they try to find the Dragon Reborn (Amazon Prime Video)

Sanderson had originally presented an alternative narrative to showrunner Rafe Judkins.

“Rafe really went to bat for me,” Sanderson said.

“I presented a completely different thing to do with Perrin that would still get what they wanted. Minor spoilers for the television show’s first episode - but instead of the first big event that happens, [my idea was] what if he wounds Master Luhhan?

Marcus Rutherford plays Perrin Aybara in the series
Marcus Rutherford plays Perrin Aybara in the series (Amazon Prime Video)

“He’s worried about the rage inside of him - you can get all the same beats without doing the thing that you did, and then he also won’t be traumatised for the entire first season. And he can actually go on fun adventures with friends.”

However, Sanderson said his version was shot down by “certain forces at work”.

Perrin kills his wife in a tragic accident at the start of the series
Perrin kills his wife in a tragic accident at the start of the series (Amazon Prime Video)

“They took it all the way to the higher-ups and fought for my version of it, and they said no.” Sanderson told the convention.

“There are certain things,” said the Stormlight Archive writer. “Certain forces moving. You know that Jeff Bezos, at one point, said, ‘I want Game of Thrones, buy it for me.’ And they were like, ‘You can’t have Game of Thrones,’ and he was like, ‘Buy me something that is my Game of Thrones’ And there are certain forces at work.”

“There’s just lots of forces at play,” he said, “I’ll just say that.

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