WHEEL OF TIME Proves Occult, Pagan Content Infiltrating Mainstream Media

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WHEEL OF TIME Proves Occult, Pagan Content Infiltrating Mainstream Media

By Movieguide® Contributor

THE WHEEL OF TIME is an Amazon Prime original series based on Robert Jordan’s book series of the same name. Developed for the screen by Rafe Judkins, it stares numerous talented actors including Rosamund Pike (who is also the producer), Daniel Henney, Zoe Robins, Madeleine Madden, Josha Stradowski, Barney Harris, and Marcus Rutherford. The series follows the story of five young villagers whose lives are forever altered when a strange and powerful woman claims that one of them is the child of an ancient prophecy with the power to tip the balance between Light and Dark forever. As they begin their journey, they struggle with whether to trust this woman – and each other – with the fate of the world before the Dark One breaks out of his prison, and The Last Battle begins.

Set in a mythical world filled with magic exclusively wielded by women, THE WHEEL OF TIME follows Moiraine, a member of the influential all-female organization the Aes Sedai, as she travels into the hill country to determine which of the community’s five young villagers is the reincarnated Dragon – the incredibly powerful child of prophecy that has the power to save or destroy humanity. The oldest of the five, Nynaeve is known as the Wisdom, the community’s female spiritual leader who harbors a deep-seated hatred for the Aes Sedai. Egwene is her young apprentice, caught between her desire to be the next Wisdom, a role that requires celibacy, and her love for Rand, her childhood sweetheart. Rand’s best friends are Perrin, a father-to-be, and Mat, a gambler, yet the only responsible caretaker of his two young sisters. 

Before Moiraine can determine which of these villagers is the Dragon reborn, the armies of the Dark One decent on the village slaughtering innocent citizens in an attempt to kill the Dragon. To draw the Dark Army away from their community, the five protagonists leave with Moiraine and journey to the Tar Valon, the home of the Aes Sedai where they will determine who the Dragon reborn is and train him or her to lead the Armies of the Light in the Last Battle. Throughout the journey and their stay at the Tar Valon, each of the protagonists learn about their communities’ history, their talent for magic, and their role in the fight against the Dark One. 

THE WHEEL OF TIME has a primarily pagan and occult worldview that draws on ancient European and Asian folklore and philosophy. The plot line itself revolves around the idea of reincarnation, making numerous references to “rebirth.” In the first episode, villagers are seen releasing lanterns into the river, lights that are supposed to guide their departed loved ones back to them to be reborn as the village’s next generation. There is no mention of a higher power, rather the worship of Light or Dark, consistent more with worshipping the Universe rather than a Creator.  Additionally, magic plays an integral role in the series. Women have the gift of wielding the One Power, the source of their magic that can help them win wars and heal wounds. While THE WHEEL OF TIME is seeped in paganism, it does have elements of a Biblical worldview strewn without. For example, the Aes Sedai take an oath that they will never lie or use their magic to kill another person. It also shows the destruction that greed can bring and encourages honoring your elders, respecting others, and helping one’s neighbors, although characters do not always act upon these values. 

While THE WHEEL OF TIME does have a captivating storyline, it is steeped in violence, sexual immorality, and light profanity. Burning at the stake, battle scenes, and people being eaten, sometimes while they are still alive, are just some of the examples of the series violence and gore. Most of the scenes include large amounts of blood, dismemberment, or guts. There are some particularly graphic yet short scenes. The show contains many instances of nudity including one non-sexual instance of full male rear nudity and several lengthy scenes with upper female nudity. A man and a woman are shown passionately kissing with implied sex. There are also numerous homosexual acts between women. While the Lord’s name is not explicitly taken in vain, things such as “Thanks be to the Light” or “May you walk in the Light” are said often. Several profanities are used throughout. There is no drug use, but alcohol is prevalent in tavern scenes. Several people are clearly drunk, and it is implied that several minor characters are alcoholics. One of the main characters is also seen gambling.

While the series content is more than questionable, its production is suburb. The set fits the story perfectly and the costume and props leave you feeling transported to another time and place, a fantasy world you would desire to live in, if not for the violence and magic. The only area where the movie fails to meet expectations is the writing. While viewers unfamiliar with the fourteen-plus book series, may be captivated by the show, fans of the novels will be sorely disappointed. The series falls short of attaining the same caliber of creativity and plot intricacy as that of the novels. Additionally, the book series is less explicit than the show, as Amazon took creative liberties and intensified the implied romantic relationships, specifically those of lesbian couples. 

While THE WHEEL OF TIME is, overall, less explicit, and more appropriate than many modern fantasy series, it is still jam-packed full of excessive violence, nudity, immorality, and worldview problems. For these reasons, Movieguide® finds the series to be excessive.

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Quality: - Content: +4
Quality: - Content: +1