For the past several weeks, Rafe Judkins, showrunner of Amazon Studios’ The Wheel of Time television series, has instituted #WoTWednesday on social media: He’ll share peeks at scripts (just the episode titles, alas) or his marked-up copies of Robert Jordan’s books, as he and the writing staff embark on the epic undertaking of adapting this beloved fantasy series for the small screen.
This week, Judkins was in Fiji, and so for #WoTWednesday he talked about eastern religions and philosophies, most notably reincarnation.
[Note: Mild spoilers ahead for Book 6.]
In an Instagram post at the Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple in Nadi, Fiji, Judkins got to thinking:
For #WoTWednesday this week, since I’m in Fiji where 30% of the population is Hindu (and the 10 dollar coin is actually a mandala of the Kalachakra or “Wheel of Time”) I thought I’d talk a little about the philosophy of the books and what I want to bring out in the series. One of my favorite things about the books is how they embrace eastern religions and philosophies and put them into an epic fantasy context in a way we haven’t yet seen in tv or film. I plan to lean heavily into the concept of reincarnation in the books and have spent a lot of time talking to people who believe in reincarnation to get a feel for how that affects not only your philosophy of the world, but also the every day way you live your life. I’d love to hear, too, about some of your favorite moments from the books that deal with reincarnation or being spun out again by the wheel of time (mine is Birgitte Silverbow’s return😍). Obviously, yin and yang and balance and duality are important eastern philosophical concepts from the books that I want to bring out in series, but we will save discussions on that for a future trip to China ;)
If he’s mentioning Birgitte he’s obviously on the right track, but what new aspects regarding the Hindu concept of reincarnation might Judkins bring to the internal struggles of our main characters? Interesting food for thought….