Metascore
55

Mixed or average reviews - based on 24 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 24
  2. Negative: 2 out of 24

Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Carly Lane
    Nov 16, 2021
    100
    The result is a show that satisfyingly deals more in intimate moments rather than overly relying on big action set pieces or CGI'd mythical creatures to conjure excitement. ... Like any good fantasy epic, The Wheel of Time is one that promises very impressive returns, provided audiences are willing to settle in for the long haul.
  2. Reviewed by: Preeti Chhibber
    Nov 19, 2021
    87
    After so many years of waiting, there’s certainly a lot for fans to chew on with this adaptation. The Wheel of Time is a very strong start to a much-awaited series and created by someone who has a clear understanding of how adaptations can soar when complementing their source material rather than just copying it.
  3. Reviewed by: Rebecca Long
    Dec 2, 2021
    85
    Wheel of Time succeeds in retaining the earnestness and hope that characterize the novels, and which Game of Thrones lacked. But it also offers viewers something new. ... Wheel of Time is more soft touches and sweeping landscapes.
  4. Reviewed by: Allison Keene
    Nov 16, 2021
    85
    Pike’s performance is layered and staid, grounding the show alongside other veteran TV actors, which helps the younger set of mostly unknown candidates for the Chosen One.
  5. Reviewed by: Ed Power
    Nov 16, 2021
    80
    It instead serves up a vast tableaux of plucky heroes and heroines, homicidal wizards and curly-haired ogres. Game of Thrones buffs may very well be devastated by the lack of nudity/ incest/ Kit Harington looking sad. For everyone else this fantasy saga has the potential to cast a spell entirely of its own devising.
  6. Reviewed by: Jon Negroni
    Nov 16, 2021
    75
    The Wheel of Time has enough potential to ride past these initial frustrations thanks to a high budget and deep commitment from the actors to faithfully bring the magic of this story to life.
  7. Reviewed by: Meghan O'Keefe
    Nov 16, 2021
    70
    While Martin’s gritty, skeptical, and brutal look at the genre appealed to an HBO audience, I’m not sure Jordan’s romantic, mystical, and hopeful version will be as ubiquitously embraced. The Wheel of Time can’t be the next Game of Thrones. It’s just not in the source material’s DNA. But Prime Video’s series has the chance to be the first true Wheel of Time, and that excites this all-too-earnest nerd to bits.
  8. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Nov 17, 2021
    63
    Faithful, intelligent adaptation, and an overstuffed one too.
  9. Reviewed by: Lucy Mangan
    Nov 19, 2021
    60
    It’s absolutely fine. It’s got brio, it’s got style and it’s got enough portentous voiceover book-ending events to make everything feel high stakes.
  10. Reviewed by: James Dyer
    Nov 16, 2021
    60
    A slow start paves the way for a satisfyingly ambitious fantasy that fans of the genre can really get stuck into. For the uninitiated, though, it might all sound like a load of trollocs.
  11. Reviewed by: Chancellor Agard
    Nov 18, 2021
    58
    Despite the weak characterization, I still found The Wheel of Time rather watchable. It definitely isn't lacking in incidents. The writers keep the plot wheel turning as characters are chased from one location to the next, action is adequately sequenced, and magic is performed (albeit rendered goofily).
  12. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Nov 18, 2021
    52
    “Wheel of Time” is very self-serious, which makes it easy to mock, particularly if you’re apt to make comparisons to other fantasy franchises: One screechy villain has Voldemort’s nose; an Army of horned beasts are this show’s version of Orcs. It’s all slathered on thick with an over-reliance on special effects-heavy battle scenes.
  13. TV Guide Magazine
    Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Nov 22, 2021
    50
    While the lavish first season is eventful, it's burdened with clunky exposition, a deficit of whimsy and wonder, and thinly developed characters. [22 Nov - 5 Dec 2021, p.9]
  14. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Nov 18, 2021
    50
    The good news for fantasy-hungry viewers is that this lush and ambitious series quickly approaches “Thrones,” and even Peter Jackson’s Tolkien films, in grandeur and polish. It’s in the verve of life and depth of character that “Wheel” is a few revolutions behind.
  15. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Nov 18, 2021
    50
    The good news for fantasy-hungry viewers is that this lush and ambitious series quickly approaches “Thrones,” and even Peter Jackson’s Tolkien films, in grandeur and polish. It’s in the verve of life and depth of character that “Wheel” is a few revolutions behind.
  16. Reviewed by: Daniel D'Addario
    Nov 16, 2021
    50
    The result is a show that may well please Jordan’s core fandom from the first but which makes for a frustrating watch for viewers who care less about whether “The Wheel of Time” outdoes “Game of Thrones” for spectacle than about whether the show they’re watching is coherent and well-crafted on its own terms. ... There is potential here: The sixth episode, of six provided to critics, is the strongest of the show’s early run.
  17. Reviewed by: Ben Travers
    Nov 16, 2021
    50
    Fantasy die-hards may be too frustrated by the adaptation’s clumsy follow-through (if they loved the books, whatever they imagined has to be more convincing than this), while casual viewers may find deeper satisfaction in other shows. But if you can channel just the right spell to find its wavelength, “The Wheel of Time” has its charms.
  18. Reviewed by: Emily Baker
    Dec 3, 2021
    40
    For such a potentially rich series, The Wheel of Time is curiously flat. Little time is spent on character development or exploring the politics, social hierarchy and cultural touchstones of its world. Instead, there are many beautiful, but unnecessary, sweeping shots of scenery and overdramatic, overextended fight scenes.
  19. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Nov 19, 2021
    40
    What emerges thus feels like another fantasy-based soap opera, populated by fantastic creatures and stiff dialogue filled with ominous warnings like "The dark one is coming for your friends."
  20. Reviewed by: Dan Fienberg
    Nov 17, 2021
    40
    It’s definitely like watching somebody else film their visit to a Wheel of Time theme park on an iPhone. It’s not the real thing, and you’re not really there, and, in and of itself, it’s almost shockingly devoid of artistry or narrative momentum. But its adjacency to a thing that lots of people love is likely to prove sufficient for many of them.
  21. Reviewed by: Nick Allen
    Nov 17, 2021
    40
    It's hard to get lost in this world when it feels so emotionally distant, so scattered, and so packed with thin plotlines.
  22. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Nov 16, 2021
    40
    Wheel of Time is arriving in this long gap between the end of Game of Thrones and the premiere of several other shows like it, which may bring in some fantasy fans starved for any morsel of magic and wonder. But the whole thing is empty, if expensive, calories.
  23. Reviewed by: Inkoo Kang
    Nov 18, 2021
    30
    It’s an epic with little sense of grandeur, populated by characters with missions but no personality. ... There’s just too much portent, exposition and bad writing where engaging characters should be. Despite her most dedicated efforts, Pike’s no match for marijuana-friendly but limply grandiose lines.
  24. Reviewed by: Brian Tallerico
    Nov 16, 2021
    25
    It’s a show that is so serious in terms of tone and dialogue as to verge on parody. There’s so little personality here, which is a hole into which almost all of the mediocre “Game of Thrones” riffs fall.
User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 232 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 52 out of 232
  1. Nov 19, 2021
    0
    Literally the only character who looks the way they should is Moiraine. Effects look cheap. Story doesn't work as a show. Get some new ideasLiterally the only character who looks the way they should is Moiraine. Effects look cheap. Story doesn't work as a show. Get some new ideas hollywood! Full Review »
  2. Nov 19, 2021
    3
    The Human Resources team is now in control of casting and scripting, with no respect to logic, source material or acting skills. Most showsThe Human Resources team is now in control of casting and scripting, with no respect to logic, source material or acting skills. Most shows are now just politics for the consumption of adults with the brain of a 5 years old, with stories artificially restrained by the suffocating cage of non-offensive material. Add to the mix a bad director, and the result is Wheel of Time. Full Review »
  3. Nov 19, 2021
    3
    I can’t believe people on here are giving this show 10s!! WOT was one of my favorite fantasy series growing up, I have read and reread most ofI can’t believe people on here are giving this show 10s!! WOT was one of my favorite fantasy series growing up, I have read and reread most of the books probably 5 times. As much as I wanted to love it, or at least like it, this adaptation was crap. Special effects belong on an episode of Power Rangers. Seriously, those Trollocs are awful. Really? That was the best you could do? Buffy The Vampire Slayer had better looking monsters. The sword fighting? W. T. H. I couldn’t wait to see a heron blade master in action…until I did. Again, reminiscent of power rangers. Don’t even get me started on the Aes Sedai. Ageless and graceful, my butt. The acting? Wouldn’t cut it on a CW show. You want to watch a great adaptation of a great series? Go watch The Witcher, or the first 6 seasons of GOT. Full Review »