When Is The Wheel Of Time Set? (And Where)

'The Wheel Of Time' TV Series Review: In Search Of The Chosen One

An all-time favorite fantasy novel among different people is Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time. The good news for fans is that it has been adapted into a series that can be streamed on Amazon Prime. But while The Wheel Of Time may be great and all, one of the things that often confuse people is its setting. So, when is The Wheel of Time set?

The Wheel of Time has no definite setting but it does seem like it happens at a time period similar to the 187h century. Still, it happens both in the distant past and the far future because time is cyclical in the story and allows things in the past and the future to happen at the same time.

As confusing as it may sound, what we can say for sure is that The Wheel of Time does not have a definite setting. It happens in both the past and the future, and that is what makes it confusing to most fans. Then again, as long as you get past the confusing nature of the world’s setting, it will be easier for you to get to appreciate The Wheel of Time’s story and how it tackles different past and future events.

When Is The Wheel Of Time Set?

One of the best fantasy series that we have streaming today is The Wheel of Time, which is simply based on Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series of books. So, if you are a fan of the book series, you should catch the live-action series now. Or even if you are a beginner in terms of Robert Jordan’s fantasy stories, watching The Wheel of Time should be a good way for you to get hooked on his books.

But as great as The Wheel of Time’s story is, the problem that people often have when watching the series or reading the books is that they don’t know which time period it is set. That is because there are plenty of different things happening in the story to the point that it is perfectly understandable for anyone to get confused about whether it happened in the past or in the future. So, when is The Wheel of Time set?

The truth is that there has never been anything definite about the setting of The Wheel of Time because the story takes place in a world that may be similar to Earth but is actually different. Of course, based on the things that are happening in the story, we might still be able to make some estimates regarding when it happens.

Because there are elements such as steam engines, we can say for sure that this is not a story that is based on the medieval periods. Robert Jordan himself once said about the book that it does not happen in the period of knights. Instead, he said that, while he never really mentioned it in the books, it happens some time in the 17th century or something similar to that time period if we were to talk about The Wheel of Time’s universe as a place similar to that of our world.

However, there is more to that because of the very nature of time itself in the story of The Wheel of Time. The name of the series says it all as it treats time in a cyclical manner such that it doesn’t move forward but tends to move in cycles.

What that basically means is that, in The Wheel of Time, there are plenty of events that take place not only in the present but also in the past and the future. It can get confusing but what we can tell you is that the story allows past, present, and future events to take place at the same time due to how time moves in a wheel that allows the world to take place in a cyclical manner. 

Does Wheel Of Time Take Place In The Future?

As mentioned, The Wheel of Time takes place at a time period that is similar to the 17th century, but we also mentioned that time tends to be cyclical in nature in the entire story. That means that, yes, The Wheel of Time does take place in the future but it also takes place in the past and the present.

The reason why The Wheel of Time takes place in the future while simultaneously taking place in other time periods is that the story talks about how cyclical their world is and how events from different time periods are allowed to happen at the same time

So, with that said, time is merely something that happens over and over again in The Wheel of Time, as it represents what other real-world religions and spiritual beliefs talk about when they are pertaining to the cyclical nature of time. You can see the same concept in Hinduism, Sikhism, and Buddhism, which talk about how events in the world are simply happening in a similar cycle with repeating ages.  

Where Is The Wheel Of Time Set?

The Wheel of Time seems like it is taking place in an unnamed world but the setting of the story takes place in countries found all over a fictional region called the Westlands. But, other than the Westlands, there are other different regions and nations found in the story.

As mentioned, the entire world where The Wheel of Time takes place is unnamed. However, fans of the books often call the world the Randland, in reference to the name of the major protagonist Rand al’Thor.

If you want to find out where was The Wheel of Time filmed, check out our other article.

Does Wheel Of Time Take Place On Earth?

While The Wheel of Time never mentions where it takes place, it seems as if it takes place in a world that is quite similar to Earth. However, there is no certainty as to where the story takes place because neither the books nor the series say anything about the name of the world in which The Wheel of Time takes place. This is why fans of the books call it Randland instead. 

Is Wheel Of Time Post-Apocalyptic?

Technically speaking, The Wheel of Time does take place in a post-apocalyptic world because it talks about an age that essentially “broke” and “changed” the world in the past. In the live-action series, you could even see skyscrapers and other similar structures covered in fauna, and that suggests that it happens after our “current” time.

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Then again, what you should also know is that, again, time is cyclical in nature in The Wheel of Time. This means that you can say that the events happen in a post-apocalyptic world while others can say that it happens in the past and that the events in the story are merely repeating things that have happened in the past and will happen in the future. It does sound confusing, but that is what makes the story so unique.

  • Hrvoje Milakovic is co-owner of Fiction Horizon and a big cinephile. Apart from that, he likes to read comics, play games and collect action figures. He has been featured on LifeWire, Yahoo and IMDb, to name a few.