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SYFY WIRE The Wheel of Time

The real world locations The Wheel of Time used to build its magical fantasy landscape

Here's where The Wheel of Time built its fantasy world in real life. 

By Matthew Jackson
The Wheel of Time Season 1 Press

The Wheel of Time, the much-anticipated Prime Video original series adapted from Robert Jordan's epic fantasy novels of the same name, finally premiered last week on Amazon Prime Video after years of development. With the series now out in the world, and a week-to-week wait between new episodes of the saga, fans who've waited since the 1990s for a proper adaptation are eager for any piece of information about the show they can get their hands on, including where the series shot to capture the various locations in Jordan's massive fantasy world.

Like many massive genre productions, The Wheel of Time shot in several different key locales for its season, all of which add their own particular flavor to the landscape and story. So, let's take a closer look, and hope that Prime Video will drop more detailed behind-the-scenes breakdowns of how each scene came together soon. 

The Wheel of Time Rosamund Pike Still

Jordan's novels, which follow a group of special young people and their various adventures across a fantasy world amid the rising tide of dark forces and a prophecy that one of them could be the world's savior, are set primarily on a single massive continent made up of several smaller kingdoms. Over the course of the novels, this patchwork of realms provides plenty of variety in terms of landscape, culture, and visual splendor. In the beginning, though, it's a story about a group of people essentially going on a journey through the woods, not unlike The Fellowship of the Ring in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings saga.

To capture that journey, and whatever might follow, the series opted to base much of its production in Prague, Czech Republic. With a nice mix of forests, mountains, and hilly grasslands, the Czech Republic forms a beautiful backdrop to much of Season 1's action, and The Wheel of Time is not alone in choosing Prague as its home base. While other key modern fantasy sagas like Netflix's The Witcher are set up in nearby Budapest, Hungary, both The Wheel of Time and Prime Video's Carnival Row call Prague home. 

But the Czech Republic isn't the only country where The Wheel of Time production has filmed. The epic fantasy series also reportedly shot at least some sequences on Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands off the coast of North Africa. While we don't yet know which sequences were filmed there, the coastline of the continent in The Wheel of Time has a key role to play in the series, as does the Eastern desert known as the Aiel Waste. It seems quite possible we could see both environments by the end of the first season. The production has also taken advantage of the mountainous terrain of Slovenia, as showrunner Rafe Judkins shared in a set photo early last year. 

Wheel of Time Still

But of course, The Wheel of Time isn't all harsh terrain and epic landscapes. Massive cities are also a key player in the show's games of political and magical intrigue, and to craft at least one of those cities the production moved to the coastal city of Dubrovnik, Croatia. There's no word yet on which city on the show's map that Dubrovnik stood in for (it may have been more than one), but if you recognize the name and the look of that particular location, it's with good reason: Dubrovnik was the stand-in for King's Landing in HBO's epic fantasy series Game of Thrones

Though only three episodes from Season 1 have been released so far, The Wheel of Time is already in production on its second season, which will showcase even more of Jordan's epic world. That means more locations, more details, and more beautiful fantasy TV to come.