Amazon released a video at JordanCon 2023 during a panel with four casting announcements and a Q&A with Rafe and cast members where they answered a number of fan-submitted questions. We recommend watching the full video, which can be found here on the JordanCon Youtube channel. We’ve summarized the Q&A in the second half of this article.
All announced cast were actors we have previously speculated were in the show, but whose roles had not been officially revealed.
Ragga Ragnars as Bain
Bain is one half of fan-favorite Aiel spear sister duo. She first appears in book 3, The Dragon Reborn.
Ragga Ragnars (real name Ragnheiður Ragnarsdóttir) is an actor, singer, and a two-time Olympic swimmer for her home country of Iceland. The 6’2″ (188 cm) actress is probably best known for her role of Gunnhild on the show Vikings, but she also recently starred in the Norwegian film Disconnected and also starred in a short film that she wrote. Additionally, she’s done voice acting roles such as the video game Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla.
Maja Simonsen as Chiad
Chiad is Bain’s spear sister. Chiad also first appears in The Dragon Reborn along with Bain and Aviendha, who meet Nynaeve, Elayne, and Egwene during their travels. It’s possible their introduction will be changed in the show, possibly moved to meet a different character such as Perrin (as audition tapes hint at).
Maja Simonsen is a model and actress who has had roles in Treadstone, The King’s Man, and most recently, Emily in Paris.
Jay Duffy as Dain Bornhald
Dain Bornhald is a Whitecloak, the son of Geofram Bornhald (played by Stuart Graham in seasons 1 and 2). Dain first appears in The Eye of the World, but did not appear in season 1. He is a Whitecloak who develops a contentious relationship with Perrin.
Jay Duffy is an Irish actor who has worked on Hollyoaks, Vikings, and Derry Girls.
Rima Te Wiata as Sheriam
Sheriam is an Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah who is the Mistress of Novices. She is introduced in The Great Hunt when Egwene and Nynaeve begin their training in the White Tower.
Rima Te Wiata is an acclaimed New Zealand actress and singer. Her previous credits include roles in popular New Zealand shows such as Outrageous Fortune and Hounds, as well as appearances in Hollywood films like Hunt for the Wilderpeople and Housebound. We previously reported that her CV had been updated to include the role of Sheriam, but it was not officially confirmed by the production until now.
Cast and Crew Q&A Summary
Q: What character do you most look forward to being introduced in later seasons?
Rafe: Elaida is an incredibly complex character, she’s an example of how all characters in this world have such depth and unique motivations that drive them.
Q: When exploring the Aiel culture in the show, what are some of the elements that you wanted to draw from the books and explore?
Rafe: We’ve tried to draw from the entire Aiel culture, ji’e’toh, gai’shain, “we see it all.” Hoping to do the Aiel the very best possible.
Q: What are the differences between saidar and saidin in season 2?
Sarah: We will absolutely see differences between them, fans will be excited to see how the One Power looks in season 2 overall. There has been evolution in the way it’s portrayed, showing all the delicacy, the weaving, etc.
Q: What were the main inspiration when adapting the Seanchan on screen? Are they going to have a Texan accent?
Rafe: Adapting Seanchan has been a huge challenge and excitement. Simultaneously a foreign/separate society and yet cohesive and believable with rest of the world. Won’t say they have a Texan accent, but we make a strong nod to what Robert Jordan suggested might be the accent.
Q: What type of Trolloc is your favorite?
Daniel: I like them all, amazing work by the crew to bring them to life. Bird Trollocs are my favorite aesthetic.
Ayoola: A dead one.
Q: What scene looked effortless and easy in the final cuts, but took multiple takes or needed longer than expected to film?
Rafe: [Editor’s note: moved from earlier in the video] A scene filmed here in this room that were incredibly difficult, a lot of resets, visual effects, costume resets and changes, water. You’ll see it in season 2 and a little bit in season 3 as well.
Kate: A short scene in season 2 that was rescheduled multiple times over months. Set finally had to be rebuilt because they had completely moved locations.
Priyanka: Action sequences are most difficult, especially not coming from an action role background.
Rafe: Stunt team is incredible and builds fighting styles for all cultures and characters. Including Aiel, each character has a slightly different fighting style.
Ragga: I do all my own stunts.
Ayoola: We try to do as much as we can, but stunt team steps in for the most dangerous parts. Amazing team. Great connections with stunt doubles.
Q: If you weren’t playing the character you’re playing now, who do you think would be most fun to play?
Kate: I would love to play any Aiel, but my knees are too bad for all the action scenes. Love their look, their direct nature, how mysterious and sexy they are.
Ragga: Loial because he’s cool.
Ayoola: Either of the Lan/Moiraine duo.
Taylor: Liandrin for her snide comments, Lan because he’s the polar opposite.
Q: What rituals do you have to help you get into character?
Daniel: I always meditate, very grounding for Lan as well as myself. If I feel like I’m struggling to get into character this always helps.
Kate: Know your lines incredibly well so you can say them backwards and forwards and work well with all the other characters in the scene.
Jennifer: Music. I always have headphones on set because it keeps me grounded to the character.
Ragga: Put this costume on. As soon as it’s on, I’m Aiel.
Maja: When the weapons go on.
Ayoola: I do a little meditation.
Q: Favorite scene you have been in to date?
Kate: I loved loads of scenes in season 2, but my favorite scene in season 1 was in the White Tower with all the amazing actresses all coming together for the first time.
Taylor: When the warders are sitting around the campfire in season 1, nice to have an inside look into the warder life/relationships.
Q: Do you have a favorite costume?
Daniel: I love Loial, I love the way Hammed plays him and voices him. When you put that together with his charisma and this amazing costume, it’s brilliant.
Priyanka: All of my costumes are my favorite. Every season gets better.
Taylor: Padan Fain’s coat in season 1. Such a badass coat, I would wear it all the time in real life.
Jennifer: Sophie’s Amyrlin costume, one of my costumes in season 2 is my favorite but I can’t describe it because that would be giving away secrets. And I’m the Keeper.
Sarah: Moiraine’s iconic costume that opened season 1.
Q: What is a trait you and your character have in common?
Daniel: He’s pretty hard to measure up to. But Lan is a very physical guy, I grew up playing basketball and so as an actor I work from a physical standpoint then inward. I’d also like to say I share the same loyalty that he has for his loved ones and the people around him.
Ragga: We’re both very tall and strong.
Maja: A trait my character and I have in common is we both need Ragga, all the time.
Taylor: You haven’t seen it much yet, but in season 2 Maksim is quite vain. One of the dangers of the writers getting to know you as an actor because they start putting your real flaws into your character.
Jennifer: Our loyalty, we’ve both gone through a lot and still want to fight for good.
Q: If you could take any one prop from filming, what would be your choice?
Ragga, Ayoola, Maja: Spears.
Priyanka: Alanna’s prop would be her channeling powers, so there are some situations in life where I would really like to take that away.
Jennifer: Easy — the serpent ring.
Q: Who do you feel is most like their character?
Priyanka: I am. Definitely.
Taylor: That’s easy. It’s definitely Priyanka. I am still not sure where Priyanka ends and Alanna begins.
Q: Rafe, which cast or crew member would win Survivor?
Rafe: This one’s easy, because Martin in props won Survivor. So that’s the one who would do it.
I'm a longtime SFF fan but Wheel of Time will always be my first love. I want to call myself Green Ajah, but--let's be real--I'm probably a Brown. In my spare time I enjoy cooking, writing, and getting lost in the wilderness.