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Will Amazon's Lord Of The Rings Prequel Affect The Release Of The Wheel Of Time Season 2?

frodo lord of the rings moiraine the wheel of time
(Image credit: New Line Cinema/Amazon Prime Video)

Amazon has done an amazing job in the past few years of making sure that those of us who love fantasy and sci-fi have a place to go so that we can get our fix in the form of some great television shows. Not only did the streamer save The Expanse from cancellation, but they’ve also already given us winners like The Boys, Good Omens, and Carnival Row, so they know what the people want. The Wheel of Time was further proof that Amazon is a good home for such genre content, but now that the service is gearing up for the release of the Lord of the Rings prequel later this year, audiences are wondering how that might affect The Wheel of Time Season 2.

The Wheel of Time proved to be a solid hit for Amazon, and managed to grow its audience with week-to-week releases after dropping three episodes at once for its November 19 premiere. Fans are now eagerly awaiting new adventures in Season 2 after a big, fat cliffhanger wrapped the freshman set of episodes, but with the Lord of the Rings prequel debuting on September 2, will it delay TWOT Season 2, or maybe even lead to us seeing it sooner? Here’s what Amazon Studios’ Head of Global TV, Vernon Sanders, told TVLine

We are going to be really thoughtful about how we release these shows. In our minds, they are very different shows, but we are cognizant of our genre fans, and we are excited about the collection of content we have...We are very excited about the future.

What Might The Release Of Lord Of The Rings Mean For The Wheel Of Time Season2?

Obviously, it could be a massive event if Amazon decided to air its LOTR prequel (which better get an official title soon, you guys) back to back with The Wheel of Time Season 2. But, as Sanders noted in his interview, those at Amazon will have to get a plan together before deciding on that tactic, because it’s not out of the realm of possibility that having them release close together (or even have the releases overlap) would hurt one or both shows.

We know that not all fantasy is created equal (even if you dig down to the subgenre of high / epic fantasy, which both of these shows qualify as), but that doesn’t mean that the appetite for each series will be strong enough to carry fans through Season 1 of LOTR and TWOT Season 2. The highly anticipated prequel is said to have eight episodes in its first season, but even with a basically built-in fanbase, Amazon still doesn’t know if the drama will capture the public’s attention.

Meanwhile, The Wheel of Time already has folks wanting more, but many in that group surely want to at least give Lord of the Rings a shot. Also, the streamer has spent a bundle on both series, with LOTR reportedly costing more than a few boatloads of cash on its own, as production costs are said to have been around $450 million just for the first season. So, any slight chance that having it air too close to TWOT for it to get and keep its own viewers is likely to have one show wrap its season well before the other debuts.

Production on the Lord of the Rings prequel wrapped by early August 2021, while TWOT Season 2 reached the halfway point in filming by late November 2021, meaning that it’s not impossible for us to be reunited with The Wheel of Time cast before a full year is up. But, I’m guessing that it’s more likely that Amazon will count on fans being willing to wait a bit longer for Season 2 and debut it in early 2023 to give their huge investment in LOTR some breathing room. 

While we wait and see how things shake out with Lord of the Rings and The Wheel of Time, take a look at what you can watch right now with our 2022 TV schedule

Adrienne Jones

Bachelor Nation, Gilmore Girl; will Vulcan nerve pinch pretty much anyone if prompted with cheese...Yes, even Jamie Fraser.