Promotion: The Wheel Of Time Returns

The Wheel Of Time

by Empire |
Updated on

Robert Jordan’s Wheel Of Time series is the definition of epic fantasy: 14 books, over 4 million words, 1500 named characters, a final battle between light and dark for the future of creation. The first season of Prime Video’s adaptation showed that it could be translated to the screen despite that size, and with all the excitement and characters intact. Now season two promises to raise the stakes, deepen the relationships and thrill us with some unexpected new threats.

“It’s a big melting pot of excitement over here,” says star and producer Rosamund Pike about the new season. “I always marvel at how the writers [of the show] might do the story by a different route to the books, but the things that really matter will appear.”

Moiraine Damodred played by Rosamund Pike

At the end of season one, we left our heroes broken and scattered. The Aes Sedai Moiraine (Pike) had been locked off from channeling the One Power (aka using magic), after their confrontation with evil, but she’s still trying to fulfil her lifelong mission of finding and protecting the Dragon Reborn: the prophesied figure who could save the world or destroy it. We finally learned, at the end of last season, that that Dragon is Rand al’Thor (Josha Stradowski), who has headed off on his own.

“He’s running away from the One Power,” says Stradowski, “but also running towards something. He needs to learn more about channelling, he has a mission. And it’s very dangerous.”

Meanwhile his friends are on their own. Perrin (Marcus Rutherford) is hunting down a crucial relic – “I don’t think I shot inside once,” says Rutherford of his work on this second season – while Egwene (Madeleine Madden) and Nynaeve (Zoe Robbins) have gone to follow in Moiraine’s footsteps and train as Aes Sedai.

Madeleine Madden (Egwene al'Vere), Zoë Robins (Nynaeve al'Meara), Ceara Coveney (Elayne Trakand)

“It's interesting to see these characters that we met, plucked out of their idyllic little village, grappling with these new characters and new threats and these very peculiar ways of being,” says Robbins.

“So much of season one was establishing this world,” agrees Madden. “In season two, we get to really see the characters’ internal struggles, and the power that lies within them. Some use it for good, some it corrupts.”

And sometimes it breaks hearts: as we rejoin the show, Moiraine is lashing out against her loyal warder, Lan (Daniel Henney). The tightknit group who left the Two Rivers, that idyllic village, are fracturing and spinning off, which has made this a very different and much bigger undertaking. Says Henney, “Season one bonded us for the long haul; we’re still very close as a cast. But it’s important for everyone to spread their wings and season two, I’m so proud of how the younger cast have stepped up. We went through a lot with the massive global pandemic, but it feels like a complete season: the pacing and the darker tone. It’s definitely gone right this season.”

So bring on more monsters, more ancient evil, terrifying invaders called the Seanchan. Bring on strange developments among the warlike Aiel, and more plotting among the Aes Sedai as they manoeuvre for power or for mysterious ends of their own.

“This is a big step ahead because the lines have been drawn and you can just start painting and that's really where the fun lies,” says Stradowski of this season. “This TV show needed time to grow. It has its own life and I feel like season two, season three, it’s finding its own form and that’s really exciting.”

The first three episodes of The Wheel Of Time Season 2 arrive on Prime Video on 1 September.

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