This piece was written during the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strikes. We stand with the SAG-AFTRA. Without them, the movies and television shows we cover would not exist.
The Wheel of Time season two is on the brink of wrapping up, and before the SAG-AFTRA strike, the cast had some things to say about it. Any fan watching has been able to tell that this season is beloved by the actors, new and seasoned. But they did take the opportunity to tease about their characters and what to expect during the current season of The Wheel of Time thanks to our editor Lyra Hale.
Obviously, an actor’s job is to portray their character to the best of their ability, and season 2 of this show gives them each a chance to do exactly that. Things can be different when compared to season one, though.
“In season one, he was just kind of grieving a lot,” Marcus Rutherford says of Perrin. “This season, he’s walking and talking a lot more, which is really cool, and we start to learn a bit more about him. I think he’s got a lot of layers to him.”
Similarly, Daniel Henney says audiences will see more range from Lan Mandragoran. “You’re gonna see the emotion from him but you’re also gonna see the stoicism that everyone loves.”
As for Rand, fear of going insane because, as the Dragon Reborn, he’s a male who can channel magic is “overwhelming” according to Josha Stradowski. So in season two, “you first find him in a place where he’s trying to run away from that.” He adds that “Rand is away from his friends now, which is completely different from season one. They were always together in that group, and now he’s alone.”
But let’s not forget the ladies. “Egwene goes on quite a drastic character arc,” says Madeleine Madden. “The Wheel of Time is brilliant at testing the characters.”
Ceara Coveney is playing a new character in season two so she can’t make comparisons to season one but the popularity of the book character she plays has begun her experience on this show on a high note. “It’s an amazing way to start off, to have the support of the fans,” she says.
A New World
Donal Finn is in a different situation. He took over the role of Mat from the actor who played him in season one. Finn says he “treated it like any other character I’ve come across” but also says he was able to use season one to “build backstory and understand his motives, his reasonings, and his behaviors.”
Besides the characters, the cast also touched on the world of this show. Henney and Madden discussed the topic of representation, with Madden calling her character “an inspiration” and that playing her is an “absolute honor.” Henney says, “As an Asian actor, these opportunities weren’t there before and they are now… I’m proud of our show and how diversely it’s been cast.”
In more general terms, Finn says, “It’s been an incredible experience to investigate something that is so expansive and far-reaching and imaginative.”
For actors, starring in a series like this is often the culmination of a lifelong dream. “The scale of this production, when you first walk into it, is mind-blowing,” Stradowski says. “I wished for things but I never imagined such a thing.” More simply, Henney says of his younger self, “I think he’d just think it was insanely cool.”
Indeed. No doubt a lot of fans will have the same thing to say about The Wheel of Time season two.
Watch the interview with Josha Stradowski below:
Watch the interview with Dónal Finn, Ceara Coveney and Marcus Rutherford below:
Watch the interview with Daniel Henney and Madeleine Madden below:
The Wheel of Time is streaming on Prime Video.