The Wheel of Time panel at New York Comic Con 2021 featured a Question and Answer session moderated by Amy Ratcliffe. She spoke with showrunner Rafe Judkins, and cast members Rosamund Pike (Moiraine), Daniel Henney (Lan), Josha Stradowski (Rand), Marcus Rutherford (Perrin), Zoë Robins (Nynaeve), and Madeleine Madden (Egwene) for about 40 minutes, getting information on everything from character motivations to gassy horses.

In collaboration with Lauren, creator of Youtube channel Unraveling the Pattern, we’ve brought you all of the questions and answers asked at the panel. If you’ve never seen any of Lauren’s amazing videos, we highly recommend you check out his channel and subscribe now!

Keep in mind that this was transcribed from a spoken interview, so we’ve done our best to clean up punctuation, repetition of words, and other vocal fillers, while still keeping the meaning intact. Please leave a comment below if you find anything important we missed in the transcription!

NYCC 2021 Panel Introduction

Amy: Hi, I’m Amy Ratcliffe, managing editor for Nerdist, and today I’m thrilled to present to you Amazon Prime Video’s The Wheel of Time panel at New York Comic Con. Decades ago, Robert Jordan’s The Eye of the World was the first fantasy book I ever read, and I quickly became enthralled slash obsessed with the Wheel of Time books. I know I can speak for fans around the globe when I say we cannot wait to see The Wheel of Time TV series, and I can’t wait to introduce new folks to this world — a world we’re going to learn more about today. Please allow me to introduce our incredible lineup of panelists: executive producer and showrunner Rafe Judkins. Playing Moiraine, Rosamund Pike. Playing Lan, Daniel Henney. Playing Rand, Josha Stradowski. Playing Perrin, Marcus Rutherford. Playing Nynaeve, Zoë Robins. And playing Egwene, Madeleine Madden. Yay, everyone, thank you so much for being here. I’m excited! Like, this is like your introduction to the world. That’s pretty awesome! No pressure, and I’m gonna put things right on Rafe to start off.

 

Amy: So, Wheel of Time’s been around a little while as evidenced earlier by my decades comment. There’s a “small” amount of source material. How did you adapt the story both for longtime fans, but also to make it appealing and digestible for newcomers?

Rafe:  I think the book series is obviously massive; not just in terms of the length and the content of it, but also what it means to people. So many people, millions of people around the world, read these books and had some kind of formative experience with them — something emotional, people that they love that they read them with, I read them with my mom — so I think the thing that I really viewed as my goal with bringing the series to television was to try to deliver the heart of the series to people. I understand and accept that everyone watching the show will probably be like, “That person is not as tall as I expected. That city is not the look that I thought it would have. They left out my very favorite storyline from the books,” but I think if people can just see it up on the screen, and feel like at its heart it feels like the books in that intangible way, then we will have done our job. And I think that does the job of bringing new fans to the show and to the world of Wheel of Time, as well. Because if we can deliver what all these millions of people loved about the books, then I think it’s the same thing: people can fall in love with the show.

Amy: Yeah, and I think there’s going to be an understanding. You’re adapting books that are an average of 700-800 pages long… You can’t do everything.

 

Amy:  How does the Wheel of Time differ from other fantasy stories audiences have seen before?

RafeIt’s interesting, because when the books came out in the early 90s, there were so many things that were revolutionary about them at the time. It was this first series to have a big ensemble cast with different POV characters that you go into their chapters. It was the first fantasy book series where half that cast was women. But I think the thing for me that’s really interesting, and really drew me to doing the adaptation of the series now, was that Wheel of Time is really more inspired by Hinduism and Buddhism and these Eastern philosophies. So, in our world, reincarnation exists, and the ultimate goal is not for good to defeat evil — it’s to restore balance to this world that’s out of balance. And I think the world around us right now is fairly polarized, and to have a show that is talking about what it means to find balance, I think is super relevant to the time right now.

 

Amy: Can you tell us like a little bit, too, about the magic in the world?

Rafe: Rosamund can probably speak to it even better than I can, but magic in the world of The Wheel of Time is called “channeling” and it’s this ability to tap into something called the “One Power,” and in our world when you first get introduced to it, only women can do this… we think. There is a very serious asterisk on that statement that people will learn about as the series goes on. But it really did such a flip on everything in the world of Wheel of Time: this idea that women have more power naturally than men. You see it in every single different culture in the world, providing a different flip that we’re not expecting.

 

Amy: So Rafe, I’m obviously thrilled y’all are here today, but I also know that you came with something to show us. Can you set it up?

Rafe: Yes, we actually got to bring you a little clip today. I wanted to bring something that I thought was one of those iconic scenes that I still remember from the books. This clip is Moiraine’s first arrival in the Two Rivers. And it’s cool because it’s when we get to see all of the lovely people on this panel really interact together and be in the same room for the very first time in the series. So it’s that moment that kind of activates everything in the Wheel of Time. It’s the moment that these kids who live in this mountain village, their life is never the same from the moment that woman walks into town. So, this is that moment. 

Amy: So Rosamund, Moraine is an incredibly powerful Aes Sedai, and she’s not only the characters’ guidance to the world, but the audience as well. Can you tell me what appealed to you about the role?

RosamundHistorically, I haven’t been a big reader of fantasy, but with this, that changed my mind. And I know that traditionally, any guide character in a fantasy world is usually a man, and it was very intriguing to have this mysterious stranger who comes to town and changes the lives of people forever… being a woman. There were lots of things about the whole culture of Aes Sedai that really drew me a lot. I think on a sort of spiritual sense, I felt it was the right time in my life to explore a sort of power outside of myself. I think the whole idea of channeling and tapping into something elemental was very appealing to me at this particular moment in my life, and being able to create a language to express that connection, really… interested me a lot as well as taking on the responsibility of showing someone who wields great power. How they do it, how they use it, when they restrain from using it, what the flip side of it is, what it means to be that person who knows they can use it, and what they’re like when they’re not using it — all those things really interested me. And the other thing about the Aes Sedai culture is this relationship between an Aes Sedai and her Warder. Now, I’ve played, portrayed many relationships between men and women on screen. I’ve never played one as quite as fascinating as this, which involves intense loyalty, deep trust, huge connection, and yet, nothing sexual, nothing romantic. But it’s a fidelity and a love that is just as powerful as anything that we know from romantic attachment. And that really interested me a lot, and obviously I found the perfect warder in Daniel Henney, who plays Lan.

Daniel: Let’s hope so.

 

Amy: Daniel, when you read about the relationship between Lan and Moiraine how did you react to that and feel about that bond?

DanielI felt very similar to Rosamund. I think her and I, we initially had a FaceTime — geez, must been two years ago now, seems like it was just yesterday —  but we spoke about that exact same thing: exploring a new idea of what love is. You know, I think pushing the boundaries of love and seeing a new relationship on screen, how they know everything about each other, they care deeply for each other. They’re almost like twins in a way — they can feel everything, but there’s nothing sexual and nothing more going on — and it’s unique to their relationship because other Warders and their Aes Sedai have different forms of this relationship too.

 

Amy: Rosamund, I’m curious, going back to the One Power a little bit, I know it takes some hand motions that are much cooler than what I’m doing right now. But how did you develop what those gestures would look like when Moiraine is using the One Power in battle?

Rosamund: Well, I mean, I thought about it a lot. And I know that this could be controversial because there’s a lot of talk in the books on how women learn to use the power. They often learn with their hands and then as they become more expert, they need to use the gestures less, and I think we knew going into it — I discussed this a lot with Rafe — that each woman who comes into our show will get the opportunity to develop her own particular style and the kind of flavor of her own version of channeling. But I think there’s a lot in Robert Jordan’s writing that talks about dance. There’s a lot of things that talks about the Aiel as dance and a lot of things that talk about sword motion, sword play as dance, and although I don’t think that channeling is in any way dance, I think that some… You know Robert Jordan was clearly interested in movement and the way we move, and one thing that was very important to me was that if there were no CGI effects, people would believe that I was connected to something, and for me that connection comes through movement. I needed to feel that there was — you know, I’m not just throwing out my hands — that there’s some deep level in which something is coming in, something bigger than me, because Jordan writes about it so brilliantly, like it fills your veins. I mean he writes about it almost like a drug that’s such an extreme feeling, and it fills your body, takes it over, and that’s why you need to learn to control it. So I thought for me, I need to drink that in. I need to feel it in every fiber, and also I thought it would make cool shots, too. 

With Lan you know we had the opportunity for this battle sequence in the end of episode one, where you can… yes, we can obviously tell you about the connection between an Aes Sedai and her Warder, but in that battle, we get the opportunity to show it. We get the opportunity to show that they feel one another’s presence. So, he with his… the way he can work through a series of five Trollocs and decimate them, gives her space to connect to the Source. You know, all those things, the way they move around each other was really important. And obviously you can make it big, and then if you make it big, you can also make it small. That’s the point, it doesn’t always have to be big, it can be tiny. You can see the shadow of it later, and because we’ve seen it before we’ll understand it. 

 

Amy: I do want to ask Daniel, mentioning Trollocs… Lan fights besides Moiraine, it involves the Dark One’s creatures and we saw the Trollocs and Myrddraal in the trailer, and they were scary. So I want to know your reaction to seeing them on set.

Daniel: Well, I mean, it’s a little different, because I know most of the stunt men that are inside of the Trolloc costumes. (laughter) So they’re not as scary, and it’s kind of funny because every once in a while, one would slip mid-fight, and I’d have to help them up and then slice him down again which I felt kind of bad about. But they looked absolutely fantastic, and I think it must have been probably the second week of September 2019, we had a sort of a Trolloc reveal… We got to see the final look in person, and it was in the middle of the day, full lighting, and you could not tell… I mean the costumes, the makeup was so amazing, what they had done with these creatures. It was really impressive, and so when you read the books, and they come into Tam and Rand’s farm, and the way they’re described, it’s so incredible and it’s a tall task to get that right, and I think they did an amazing job with these creatures.

Amy: That’s awesome. I hope that for the Trolloc reveal, you all got like an invite and that was just the subject “The Trolloc Reveal in this room. It’s gonna be fine.”

RafeActually, they were being chosen for their different roles during that lineup. So there were a couple really, really desperate little Trollocs on the end who were not getting picked by Uta, the director. And — I had always wanted them to have character, that you really feel for the Trollocs and their differences — and seeing the two little ones on the end looking at Uta to pick them for special fight scenes was hilarious.

 

Amy: Josha, I want to talk about Rand. Clearly, very early on Rand gets possession of a special sword. Can you tell us about the blade and also what your training was like?

Josha: Yeah, that’s the heron-marked blade. The heron-marked blade is… it’s a sword that you can only get when you reach a certain level of sword fighting. That’s when you become a blademaster. I guess it’s like a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. And Tam, Rand’s father, he was a blademaster and he owns such a sword, and this sword becomes a really important weapon on their journey. But Rand, first of all, is more familiar with his bow and arrow. So I had also archery training, besides the stunt training, and all the other trainings that we had.

Amy:  Do you have a personal preference, bow or sword as an actor?

Josha: I guess I must go with the bow and arrow first. Yeah.

Amy: Staying true to Rand. I like it. 

 

Amy: Marcus, I’m curious. So from the teaser trailer, I could see the sets looked wildly massive, especially Shadar Logoth and I kind of wondered what it’s like working on the sets that seem like they’re very real.

MarcusYeah, no, that was one thing from like, episode one right to the end. I… was never ceased to be amazed by how epic the sets were. I think Ondřej, our set designer, is a bit of a genius. And I think maybe in the genre is hard to create things that are new and original, but every room, inn, tavern, city, world that these characters went into, they had their own sort of culture, their own language, and their own character. And I think that was, that was just amazing. From day one. I remember my first day in Two Rivers, I was kind of sat on a bench in the middle. And I just sort of did like a 360 view. And I just saw my forge where I work, I saw the Winespring Inn, and… a village. They built a village, basically, out of nothing. And as an actor, when you have a set built to that magnitude, it’s invaluable how helpful that is. And it kind of sets you up perfectly to do your job. So the sets have been, yeah, breathtaking.

Amy: Well, that sounds amazing. And I think another part of that is costuming.

 

Amy: So Zoë, I wanted to ask, you know, Nynaeve’s braid… it’s a whole thing. It’s a hallmark of her character. So I wanted to hear the first time you got into Nynaeve’s costume, what it was like, and also what the gorgeous costuming added in bringing the world to life?

Zoë: Yeah, I mean, similar to what Marcus was saying… the level of artistry on this production is like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. So, just like how they’ve got like little spoons, and I’ve got a little herb bag and things that you’ll never see, I feel — which is kind of sad — because you’re taking in this amazing spectacle and just the attention to detail is just ridiculous. So when I first had the costume on, it was just really informative for me, and really helpful just for me to learn how I was gonna walk as Nynaeve, and where she puts her weight, and she definitely walks with her head. And the braid, too. I mean, it’s so integral to Nynaeve, and it was really special for me to be able to incorporate my natural hair texture in the braid. It’s such a, I don’t know, I feel like we have this really beautiful opportunity to be able to represent in a really loving and careful way. And yeah, it’s really, really special.

AmyOh, that’s wonderful. Making me feel all warm and fuzzy. And also I’m thinking I know that some intrepid fan has run a count on how many times Robert Jordan mentioned Nynaeve’s braid in the books, and it’s gotta be up there. So I’m glad.

ZoëShe tugs that braid. (laughter)

 

Amy: Madeleine, I want to talk about Egwene as she is strong willed, to say the least. She goes after what she wants, and I kind of want to hear from you like what drew you to the role and how you prepared.

MadeleineI remember when I first got my audition for the role, and I had three different scenes and I just remember each scene was just so different from the other and I knew that this character would go on such an incredible journey — and an emotional one as well  — and as an actor that’s kind of everything that you hope for in a character: someone that has really a lot of depth and someone that you can kind of grow with. And I feel like over the past two years I’ve really grown with Egwene, and I do feel like there are a lot of things that I can kind of relate to her about. But she’s the innkeeper’s daughter of the Two Rivers and her family is a part of the fabric of the community there, not just socially, but politically. So, she’s really cemented in this village, and she’s a fiercely independent, eager, and determined young woman. Something that I really connected to her with was her sense of duty — of wanting to make a difference in the world, and making some pretty difficult choices to see that through — and that’s something that resonated with me, and I feel will resonate with a lot of audience members and why she’s such a loved character by the fans. She’s constantly having this internal battle, I think, with what her heart wants and what her mind wants, and she feels like she is destined for something greater in the world. And that means she might have to… leave the Two Rivers. So it’s been an absolute honor to play her and to bring her to life.

Amy: I love it, she was my favorite because I grew up in a very small town, and I’m like, “If Egwene can go out there in the world (laughter), so can I!”

 

Amy: So, Zoë… Nynaeve is a Wisdom for Emond’s Field. She is this incredible healer and such a powerful figure in the village. Can you talk about kind of exploring that leadership, even though Nynaeve (is) relatively young?

ZoëYeah, she is… She’s the authority figure of the Two Rivers village, and I think she’s been undermined her whole Wisdom career. So she definitely has a bee in her bonnet, with certain villagers, but I think exploring the insecurities that Nynaeve has, but also how headstrong she is has been an absolute gift. Yeah, she’s… so amazingly complex and flawed and detailed and yeah… I can’t wait for you guys to see her (laughs).

Amy: I can’t wait either.

 

Amy: Marcus, you know Perrin also has a unique role in the village. He works with the blacksmith and he’s someone as we learned is very conflicted… He wants to be peaceful and he tries to be peaceful. Can you talk about trying to be peaceful in a world where there are Trollocs and Fades and all kinds of monsters coming after you?

MarcusYeah man, yeah. He’s our gentle giant. And I think everything he does is very considered and he takes a very thoughtful approach to it, and I think Moiraine kind of takes our kids into this world outside this village and he’s instantly surrounded by violence and war and destruction, and it’s something that he has to come to terms with and something that he’s very conflicted by… this animal nature that we have inside ourselves, also this sort of passive side that we also have and I think he’s very torn. Which side is in him and which side is gonna take control of him? And throughout the series, I think that’s something that the audiences are going to enjoy.

 

Amy: All of your characters go on a journey, and in a fantasy setting that means a lot of riding horses… I’m curious for the group if you had experience riding horses before with horseback riding or if you kind of had any fun stories from set about learning that skill?

Rosamund: The horses become characters, you know. You’ve got the seven of us and then you’ve got seven horses which are also a liability. So you’ve got to wrangle all of that on set and also try and keep within a frame. So sometimes you’ve got [inaudible] big horse and then we’ve got Maddie’s horse, who’s Bela, also a very loved character in the books, and Archie was not the speediest of mounts, was he?

MadeleineHe was not, (laughs). He was the gassiest! He was the gassiest of mounts, though! Always remember when someone was doing an amazing monologue or some really intense scene talking about how… we’ve just survived a hundred Trollocs and a Fade, and then Archie just rips the loudest fart. Like I swear they could hear it back in Prague 1, like they’re flying away in Prague 1. He was amazing. (laughter)

 

Amy: Animals, always a wildcard. Did any of you feel like you feel like you got super attached to your horse while you were filming?

MarcusYeah, man. I think… I don’t know, I’d never been on a horse before, so I was quite nervous because they’re big, man! Just big blocks of muscle. My horse is really big, because I’m quite big, and he was quite stubborn at the start, and — you have this like, the horse trainers are like “There’ll be a moment when you’re gonna connect. It’s a bit like Avatar, you’ll kind of like connect with each other”  — and there was just like one day in the woods where he was just being so slow and I just kind of gave him a nice little squeeze, and he, I swear to God, he did like a little nod and he went at the right, and ever since then we’ve been connected. But it’s tricky to start. It’s very, very tricky because you’re… it’s so different to anything you do day to day. Like when are you using those muscles? And like sitting like that — I mean people might do it, I don’t know — but it’s different to what I…did. (laughs)

DanielWe had some difficult scenes where we were riding pretty fast so we couldn’t use Rosamund. So we had, there was like a stunt dummy made for her and that thing was the most difficult… It was terrible because it’s like 150 pounds of dead weight you had to have on. We had a harness we’d have to wear to keep it on cause it would constantly slip off, and you’d think it’d be easier to have that than a real person, but you can’t talk to a dummy and say “Can you please? You’re sitting on my thigh” or “My leg’s asleep,” or it was just Marcus and I all day long–

Marcus: It just moves.

Daniel: Yeah.

Marcus: It just moves so much. Rosamund can sort of, even if she’s sort of ill or whatever, she can hold her body. This dummy’s just like [Marcus does a dance with his arms] (laughter). Every time you’re jogging and you just can’t control it and it was like…“This looks terrible.”

MadeleineI remember… we’d like do a trot in like the scene or something and the dummy’s head was just like [wiggles head] on like Marcus’s shoulder and I think Uta was like “Marcus can you just like, hold Moiraine’s head,” and then it kind of gave the scene a different feel of just Perrin and Moiraine like [mimics Perrin holding Moiraine’s head].

Rosamund: There’s a sequence where I have to ride on a horse with… someone else. It is a privilege to ride the horses. I mean, it’s like, if you’ve ever enjoyed playing dress up, then it’s about the best dress up you can have, really, is being in these fabulous costumes on a beautiful horse in the middle of some of the most stunning countryside. It’s like the best sort of fancy dress party ever, really. Yeah, the horses are beautiful. And the other thing, it’s nice, in the Czech Republic, actually, we’re allowed to do quite a lot. When I did a Western in the States and the insurance policies are such that it’s very, very hard to allow or insure actors to do any of their own riding. And so for us to  — obviously within all the bounds of proper training and as much safety as we can ensure — we’re still allowed to do a lot, which is very exciting.

Rafe: And it makes it feel real, you know. Like you can feel it, all the scenes of you guys on horseback are… You feel that idea of this group traveling, and they’re on a journey, and they’re working hard, and they’re living in these saddles. And you guys did live in those saddles in Prague so it brought an authenticity to it.

 

Amy: Another one for the group and you know there are 14 books, it’s a pretty massive series and this is not a test at all, but I’m curious who has like who’s the furthest along in reading the books?

Rosamund: Josha

Daniel: Madeleine

Josha: I think it’s–

Amy: How many have you read, Josha?

Josha: I’m at 11 now. I’ve got it here actually. [shows copy of Knife of Dreams]

Amy: Oh, you’re here like, “I was doing this before we started.” Wow. That is several thousand pages.

Josha: I know. (laughter)

ZoëMaddie and I are just behind him.

Amy: Oh you’re right there. Well, if you just steal his book, you’ll get ahead. So, but Josha, I’m curious with 11 books and, I know you’re filming Season Two, but is it hard to have all this book knowledge in your head and all the characters and then come to set? And you’re playing a character like this? Is it trouble? I guess, do you have trouble dissociating between books and work?

JoshaYeah, I guess when we first started — like the first few episodes, new scripts would come in every day, and I feel like… we all started reading the books — then, it could be a bit confusing at times, but most of the time it’s truly a gift to have so much material to sink your teeth in. And I’m looking at the book the whole time because it’s here. But, um, yeah, I don’t know, it’s just… it’s amazing to get to understand the world of the Wheel of Time with its different beliefs, its different cultures, with different people in all the different places. And then, of course, the great arc of Rand and trying to understand his character, to see where he goes, what his state of mind is, state of body even. And that’s why I love to read the books. And it’s a pretty big mountain to climb, but I feel I’m almost on the top of the Mount Everest, and I guess the view from up there must be pretty amazing. Yeah.

AmyYou’ll know everything. It’ll be great.

Josha: I don’t know, you know…  I feel like if there would be a Wheel of Time University and you would study there for a couple of years, after graduating, there still would be room for new interpretations and new ideas. And I feel like you could dive into the Wheel of Time for until eternity probably, you know.

MadeleineRafe’s like, “I’m living that.” (laughter)

Rafe: Truly you can, I promise. I have now read those first three — I think my first two copies of them both I wore through, to where I can’t use them anymore. They’re just like loose pages. You just read them and read them and read them. And Josha’s right… you can read them what feels like so many times, and they’re so long, and you still there’s new stuff that you find there. And anytime I’m feeling stuck on any scene anywhere in the series, I’ll just open up one of the books and start reading — even if it has nothing to do with the scene that you’re working on — and you just sort of fall back into it.

JoshaLike today actually, like today. I figured something today. I worked on this show for two years. So, I grew up in Rotterdam. That’s where I was born and raised. And then I lived there and I went to Amsterdam to study at drama school. So I lived like 23 years of my life in this area of cities. And then I took that plane to Prague and start this Wheel of Time adventure. I, today I found out that you know the area with all these cities, it’s actually called Randstat, which translates to “Rand City.” Like you know if you know if that isn’t the Pattern… I don’t know what is.

Amy: You can’t write that. That’s so good.

Rafe: That’s dangerous for your ego. (Laughter). “I grew up in Rand City.” That’s crazy.

RosamundThere are these signs, that’s really interesting.

Daniel: Yeah.

Amy: The Wheel has woven.

 

Amy: I’m curious, is there anyone on set that is like, “I don’t want to read the books. I don’t want to know where it’s going?”

RafeThere’s some people who get upset about spoilers… Like when we’re in a production meeting, and I’m like, “Okay, well then this character is going to die at the– in season three,” and they’re like, “(gasp) NO! Why did you do that?” And there’ll be someone you didn’t even really expect to be super invested in the books and the series. And like, one of the second costume assistants is just like gasping when I say something that’s coming…  So, I actually try to be careful because the people are fairly invested in the story. And they’re mostly sticking to where we are in the series.

 

Amy: Well, Rafe, I wanted to ask you, The Wheel of Time, the world has so many, just beautiful cities made all the more kind of incredible because our main cast is a very small village. What was it like bringing that to life? Based on Robert Jordan’s very good descriptions, but still words on a page to, “Wow, here’s the White Tower!”

Rafe : You know, he had extremely thorough descriptions of a lot of places and rooms and cities the whole way through the series. And so we always would use those as the starting point for it and really, try to — our book researcher who’s on the show has read the books 30 times, she would create a document for any place that we go to, with all the details that are listed in the books, and passages from the books and you get a little chunker on every city that we go to for everyone to read and know what the book said — and then I think, from there, it’s important that people put their own artistic bent into it. Like we have this unbelievable production design team led by Ondřej Nekvasil, and I think it’s important that people really take what’s there and then find a way to put something of themselves into it. And I think that when you have that happening, it creates something more beautiful that we all get to work and play in, and if we were all just trying to recreate everything word for word from the book it would actually feel a little more stale, and I think the Wheel of Time is such an emotional series like having the people making it emotionally invested in it is actually pretty important.

 

Amy: I can’t wait, and we’ve learned so much about season one, and I’ve got to learn more… We’ve all got some more about your characters and some of the worlds, and I’m grateful for that. But I know you’re filming season two, and I don’t want to be greedy or get ahead of ourselves, but is there anything you can you can share with everyone about season two today? And you’re on the spot so you don’t really have a choice.

Rafe: We knew this was coming so we did need to talk to the powers that be. And it does feel crazy when the show hasn’t even premiered yet to be talking about season two. But we’re not just talking about it… we’ve written it. We’re shooting it. We’re all (laughs) working on it right now. And we have some new cast members in the show, too, who are just amazing and everyone who’s read the books knows how this world just keeps expanding and that the new characters that you meet bring so much to the show. So, I have been given permission — if they don’t cut this (laughs) later from the thing — but we are going to meet someone in season two that I think a lot of book fans will be dying to see brought to life and that’s Elayne Trakand, Daughter Heir of Andor, and she will be played by Ceara Coveney. And I think genuinely (laughs) every single person on the production, from the first casting assistant that watched Ceara’s tape, through to me, to costumes, to hair, to the cast, as every person has met her, they have come to me and said afterwards, “She is Elayne. That girl is Elayne… I don’t know, I can never see anyone else being her now.” So, I think I’m really excited for the world to be able to get to see Ceara and what she’s doing with the character of Elayne in season two.  (smiles and claps)

And I think on top of that I don’t get to say names for these two. But I get to talk about two other actors who are coming to the show. And that is Natasha O’Keeffe and Meera Syal, and they’re playing two of the most important characters in the whole book series. I imagine there will be 50 videos streaming online within minutes of this finishing trying to decide who Natasha and Meera are playing. But I think that they are also going to really deepen and, and bring to life the rest of the world of the Wheel of Time.

AmyThat’s amazing. Thank you for giving us a peek into the future. I can’t wait for season two.

RafeOr this just is on the floor after they’re like, “No you can’t talk about them.” (laughter)

Amy: The rest of this will make sense. That’d be great. No, I’m so excited for season two. I can’t wait for season one first though. So I want to thank you all today for for hanging out for sharing some insight into the world and your characters. It’s been so much fun, and we really appreciate all of you who are watching and don’t forget that the Wheel of Time premieres on Amazon Prime Video on November 19.

Rafe: Watch it!