At midnight on Wednesday, the 27th of September, the writer’s strike officially ended after the WGA and the AMPTP announced a tentative agreement on Sunday. The Wheel of Time showrunner, Rafe Judkins, wasted no time as he tweeted that he would take a few questions from fans.
— Rafe Judkins (@rafejudkins) September 27, 2023
Here’s a run-down of the Q&A:
@TheRealIrendin: What is the one thing you’ve been dying to talk about or refer to that you’ve not been able to while all this has been going on? And am so happy you’re back and things are looking so much brighter for the writers etc. I’ll raise a glass (or two) to you all later. 💙
Rafe: More than anything to praise the work of our amazing writers and actors. Even just this last week, both Rammy Park and Maddy Madden delivered at such unbelievably high levels. The show couldn’t be what it is without them
@dubs13207: Will we find out why Loial survived? That’s the biggest gripe I have so far (really, the only one), and I’m just sitting here in WAFO torture mode…
Rafe: We all have scars we bear from COVID. Loial has one applied right to his chest whenever he shoots without a shirt.
@DonTarmon: Hi Rafe, congrats on the WAG victory. Question: what episode did you KNOW would land well with fans, and what episode did you think might push a few buttons or test a few people?
Rafe: I thought 206 would land well even though it’s mostly just one paragraph expanded out, and I think 207 will push some buttons as it has some of the most iconic scenes from the books mixed with some storytelling required for the show version of the story.
@readmoreyall: Does Josha do facial acting exercises in the mirror? Because damn. He’s so good.
Rafe: I know he did with the prosthetics…. 🌝
@MeriseSedai: Congratulations! Everyone I’ve spoken to think the writing in S2 is stronger and gives the actors more chance to shine. I’d love to know what you and the writers learned from the experience of doing season 1 that changed how you approached writing seasons 2 and 3 of #WheelOfTime.
Rafe: It’s most of the same writers for both seasons, but we were given freedom to have longer episodes in season 2 which I think really makes a huge difference to our ability to tell the story from an emotional character driven POV
@SimonBoudreau2: Welcome back Rafe! Congratulations to you and all the team for S2 of #TheWheelOfTime . The show truly began to take a splendide turn! I just wonder if you still continued to push the boundaries for the scope as the story progress? In my mind, its on the right track. Thanks Rafe!
Rafe: I’ve always said that people grew up with the books. That the tone and storytelling and emotions of the first book progress and mature until you reach the incredible depths of the final books. I hope the show is the same. S3 is even more sophisticated and rich and deep than S2
@weeklywheelnews: Does Barthanes REALLY make the best sandwiches? Asking for a darkf- erm… friend.
Rafe: Only Rosamund knows
@TheSixthEF5: *waves lighter in the air in memory of Steve*
Rafe: Still makes me laugh every time I think about it
@haftarun8: Is the One Power still two distinct separate halves (Saidar/Saidin) that work together to balance the pattern and turn the wheel itself? Will this be explained in the show with the same terminology as the books?
Rafe: We are trying to explain the one power as it’s emotionally relevant to the characters and go deeper visually simultaneous to that explanation. The two halves of the one power get more time the deeper the series goes
@wildhogs2011: What part of the 6 episodes that we have already seen have you the most excitement or interest in how it will link into future plot lines from the books due to changes in the show?
@Rid_matter: Will Moridin be In the show? I know. The Ishamael fella is more sane, but Moridin was a completely different character that presented a different set of challenges to the good guys
Rafe: We wove a lot of Moridin and his philosophy into Ishamael this season
@dedicatedgrady: Lanfear and Ishy are positively delicious this season. Which other/next Chosen are you most looking forward to fleshing out?
Rafe: I love them all equally except for my favorite
@deanof316: When will S4 be approved by Amazon? 😉 Also S2 has been tremendous so far! Really hoping ep 7 & ep 8 emd the season on a high note! 🙏 Oh and…THANK YOU RAFE!
Rafe: Ask the Bez! I’m ready whenever 🙂
@Unos_Eyepatch: Rafe, who is your favorite character from season 2 and why is Hopper the bestest of boys
Rafe: Don’t even. Hoppers performance in 208 is best performance by an animal. Makes me so happy we had real animals instead of CG
@R0SAMUNDPIKES: welcome back rafe! <3 what’s your favourite moiraine scene from s2 and why?
Rafe: My favorite is in 208. But I love the one in 206 in the attic with Anvaere. Her wish to be someone other than who she had to be. She and Rand share a lot in the destiny they were burdened with, and her heroism in pursuing it is really inspiring I think
@readmoreyall: Are we introducing some fallibility to Min’s visions in comparison with the books? #TwitterOfTime #TheWheelOfTime #wotwednesday
Rafe: No. Only in her interpretations
Rafe: Deleted scene coming that helps
@JanyaSedai: You said Egwene-Renna was your favorite 2-person scene. What was the approach to creating that whole interaction? How did you & the writers decide to structure it all around that one paragraph in TGH where Egwene talks about the pitcher?
Rafe: I just read that paragraph prepping for S2 and it felt like an entire story. It was one of the most impactful stories to me when I first read the books and I wanted to figure out how best to do it in this medium
@TopherWI1979: Welcome back and congratulations on the well-deserved new deal! LOVING S2 so far… but definitely missing WOT Origins… were they an exclusive S1 thing or might they come back at some point
Rafe: I miss them too!!
Editorial note: Rafe is taking on the role of fan/observer here. This very likely means we won’t see the last two episodes any time soon, at least not on Amazon Prime Video
@Egwene_al_Vere: When you saw all of the new actors in their first scenes as fan-fave characters—we’re talking Selene, Elyas, Verin, Elayne, Mat, Aviendha, Lanfear—how did it feel? Any favorite moments/scenes with the newbies? #TheWheelOfTime
Rafe: Mat has a scene in 208 that brings happy tears to my eyes every time
@GaidalC: Can you ever forgive my unrelenting sarcasm involving “Origins in August??”
@jasonfifield: Obviously Liandrin’s excellent character and story arc for the show has been expanded from the book. Is she also being written as an amalgamation of any other book characters or does she stand alone for the show?
Rafe: Liandrin stands alone
Editorial Note: many suggested/speculated that Liandrin will be merged with Elaida or Alviarin. This seems to suggest otherwise.
@lordmatcauthon: this is important for me personally: are the Finn in or out?
Rafe: Which Finn are in?
@Unos_Eyepatch: Rafe, are you going to make us fall in love with the messiest queen of all, Elaida aka Messaida?
Rafe: I’ve fallen in love with her.
@sillydabbit: Hype! Any news on the God Of War show you can share as well as how you plan to balance between it and WoT?
Rafe: I came up doing 22 episodes a year. 16 every two years is easy, especially when you are working with amazing geniuses like Mark and Hawk
@FunnyBunnyVal: Loving the hell out of this season. 206 hit like a ton of bricks. Can’t wait to see what comes next. And now that I’ve laid some praise on could you do me a solid and just kinda write Ryma free? And maybe let my boys Rand and Mat bro out for a bit in peace? Thanks <3
Rafe: My biggest sadness of S2 is that we couldn’t do the boys on the Hunt for The Horn. I love those three together
@Schnibbywhips: It’s obvious the S2 production quality is higher than S1. Was that a result of not being handcuffed by COVID restrictions, criticism, or both?
Rafe: S2 shot before S1 aired. Our teams are just incredible
@WotTVSeries (WotSeries): Do you feel like this season put you back on track to where you thought you’d be (and where you wanted to take the story) before COVID and all the interruptions?
Rafe: Yeah. And also beyond Covid. We knew right up front we’d have to do books 2 and 3 combined, because they have the same arc. So the end of 108 required us to throw a bunch of juggling balls up in the air and we need to very carefully land them all in their correct place by end of 208. So that all the characters have had the necessary experiences they need to do the story of Book 4. I think we achieve that, even including some of the unexpected swerves and gusts of wind we had to tackle.
@walkingtheways: How did it feel to drop Ji’e’toh, Car’a’carn and Tel’aran’rhiod all in one episode?
Rafe: Felt even better that random watchers were able to follow them seamlessly haha
@lionesswisd0m: Is there a scene in this week’s episode that you know fans will love? Any hint for your favourite scene in this episode?
Rafe: Cat crosses the courtyard. Finally
@AnCaldazar: How confident are you the show will become the major hit it deserves to be and get the EIGHT seasons arc you envisioned? Also, congrats on a fantastic season and on a great WGA deal!
Rafe: The worlds very difficult right now and we’ve had to be the one of the only shows to premiere without actor publicity. It’s incredibly damaging to viewership numbers to not have Rosamund Daniel and the others out there, so I anticipate we will need to build and build this season
Editorial Note: Nielsen streaming numbers will be out later this week. This answer indicates the show isn’t performing as well as desired or expected.
@anas_a_mod: Mat calls Min, “Mini-Min-Min” in episode 6. Was that written in the script or is that something Dónal added? Love all the nicknames (Ishy! Two rivers!)
Rafe: That’s 100% Dónal and 100% gold
Rafe ended the Q&A session with the following tweet:
A certain member of the Red Ajah has just arrived at dinner so I’ve got to go. Great seeing your questions and comments and so thankful that the statistically best fan base continues to thrive. 🙂
— Rafe Judkins (@rafejudkins) September 27, 2023