A Wheel of Time television pilot.
It aired in the early morning of 2/9/2015, in a cloud of mystery. I myself have not seen it, but the reactions according to Reddit have been a chorus of disbelief, confusion, surprise, and dashed hopes.
According to those who have seen it, the production values are cheap, but many claim that it could be worse. Airing in a late night time slot, Winter Dragon depicts the prologue from Robert Jordan’s Eye of the World in which Lews (misspelled Lewis in some TV descriptions) Therin Telemon is confronted by his nemesis Ishamael, who is surprisingly played by Billy Zane.
Yes, Billy Zane.
What is going on?
Further thickening the mystery is the tragic death of the director just days after an alleged whirlwind production of the pilot. This strange revelation of events has left the Wheel of Time fan community in a daze as we are left with pieces of a strange puzzle.
There are suspicions that this pilot was made in order for the production company, Red Eagle Entertainment, to stake it’s claim on the film rights which are allegedly about to expire. An actual production that airs on TV may air them to keep the rights longer, giving them time to develop this into something more. With the Game of Thrones series proving to be wildly popular, many fans hope for the same with WoT.
On the other hand, this pilot may just be a petty effort to retain the rights. The lack of press and publicity, and it’s obscure premier lend credence to this unfortunate idea, and we may in fact not see anything come from this like we would hope.
Surely The Wheel of Time deserves a less dubious introduction. As the mystery unfolds, we may learn more so as our real world time rolls on. Until then we are left with the saying common to the series, “The wheel weaves what the wheel wills.”