The Wheel of Time Showrunner Breaks Down the Finale, Teases Season 2 (Interview)

Warning: The following contains major spoilers for Wheel of Time season 1, Episode 8, “Eye of the World,” now available on Prime Video.

Even viewers who are familiar wheel of time The books had a few surprises in store with the first season finale of the Prime Video series. A cold opening pulled the curtain on the ancient history of setting, showing not only the choices that brought the world down but advanced society that toppled it. In the present day, a battle with the mysterious man in the Eye of the World leaves Moiraine cut off from One Power. Rand sets off on his own, preferring his friends to believe he’s dead rather than seeing his descent as a man capable of guiding.


Those who stayed in Val Dara had their own challenges. A sudden attack from the Trollocs and Fades drove everyone to an evacuation or the last desperate situation. Nynaeve and Egwene put their untrained strength to communicate with many channels that almost eliminate them. While Darkfriend Padan Fain escapes with the legend of the Horn of Valere, the fates of some characters remain unknown. The final scene of the episode reveals that a fleet of warships has arrived at the coast, carrying two powerful channels of a culture not yet seen on the show. In an exclusive interview with CBR, wheel of time Showrunner Raf Judkins sheds some light on the shocking finale of season one and sheds some tantalizing hints about what wheel of time Fans can expect it from season two.


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rotten tomato head wheel of time

CBR: Well, first things first – is Loial really dead?

Raf Judkins: No, I can’t wait to kill the surprising ones that will hurt book lovers to the bottom of their hearts, but Loial didn’t die in the Season 1 finale.

It’s good to know.

So, rest easy.

For a moment, I was convinced that you might actually kill Maureen, but I didn’t expect at all that she would stay. What does this mean for her role in the story?

Looking at Season 2 and what’s to come, the characters who have almost nothing to do in Book 2 are Moiraine and Lan, who are number one and two on the contact sheet. You really can’t sideline Rosamund Pike and Danielle Henney on a TV season. So we talked about season two and season three and how they look in the writers room while we’re doing season one, so we can get it right in the end. This was the biggest story we had to figure out how to tell – what’s the story of Moiraine and Lan in season two? They don’t really have anything in the book.


So we looked at the separation that they have, and it really has a lot to do with their relationship. Research the matter, and ask, “What substance is there between the two when you really dive in?” Hopefully we put them in place at the end of Season 1 that will really take away the chapter from what they have to do in Book 2, and make you feel like there’s a whole story about their relationship right there, and Moiraine puts the pieces back in on who she really is.

Where did you look to think what that means for the Ranger when he’s still his Aes Sedai?

Yes, the only interesting thing as well, you will see, is that Moiraine hid the bond between her and Lan before the eyes of the world. So the loss of connection between the two of them is something that will really play a big part in Season 2 because they no longer have that currency of communication with each other. So what does that mean for their relationship?



Lan and Nynaeve in a scene from The Wheel of Time series.

Yes, and so is Lan’s relationship with Nynaeve.

exactly. It represents an interesting triangle for us.

Speaking of those relationships, I really liked how Moiraine and Siuan’s relationship was built on the little bit of their story we saw in them. [the prequel novel] new spring. wheel of time Not really known for romance, so what other relationships from books have you seen this kind of opportunity to build on?

Yeah, one thing about doing a TV adaptation, I think in a TV series, is that people really relate to the relationships between characters – platonic and romantic. But sometimes he wrote wheel of time Don’t shy away from the romantic aspects of the characters’ relationships as if you don’t really see Lan and Nynaeve together until… That scene we have in Episode 8 at the end of Book 1. You’re like, “Wait, are they together? Do they like each other? What happens?” ?” And so we tried to take any of the kernels of romantic relationships that exist within the books and put them on display. So we didn’t create any canvas ties entirely, but we took whatever was there and really tried to mine it to project that into the interface to the TV.


This makes me think of Egwene and Perrin. There was little connection between them. Does this mean anything to introduce Gawain and Vail?

I think it is.

I think you see in the books the idea of ​​”Did Beren have feelings for Egwen?” We’ve solved that a little bit here. I think it will continue. Both of these characters have very important relationships, Egwene with Gawyn, and then Perrin with Faile. And so, these relationships, we’ll also take, these are two great relationships that are really mentioned in the books, and so we’ll take them and work with them as well. I think any real romantic relationship we have is up front, we want to use it.


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There is another relationship that has not yet been touched upon, but Min. We haven’t really seen her hit Rand yet, but we’ve seen her leave town.

Yeah, we gave it a try, in Episode 7 actually we wanted to make sure that – because Min and Rand have a really important relationship later in the books we see – they both have a scene, just the two of them. And so we brought that up in Season 1, Episode 7 so you can see the core of this relationship that ends up being really important to both of them later on in the books.



As for platonic relationships, what does Ninevy do in this scene when they are tied and directed protecting Egwen?

Oh, I’ve basically taken Nynaeve, when the women are bound, the force is kinda like being pulled through them, and so I’ve taken an Egwene link so that all the power is run through her instead of an Egwene.

I see, then when Egwen turned it up, did you treat her exactly the same way Nineveh treated people by accident in the past?

Yeah, what we wanted to do with this story is, in the first episode, you see Nynaeve saying to Egwene, “I think you could be a wizard someday, I think you could be like me,” and then you get that bonus come back at the end where Egwene really looks like Nynaeve and does what Nynaeve was doing in the same situation, we thought was really cute.


Yes, that was great. Let’s see, catching Matt at the end there, it was pretty cool. I was happy to see him again. Looks like he’s back in Shadar Logth…

He’s headed over to the place, you can probably see him more clearly in the final cut, but he’s back at the White Tower and Tar Fallon. You will pick up for him the story he has in Book 3.

OK. Maureen tells the story to Rand about Ace Sedae in the White Tower who was beating her as a rookie. Will we see that character in season 2, and does she have any connection to Maine’s vision of the Emerlin seat?

I can’t reply to any of those. [laughs]


This is exciting too! This episode had really great memories in the cold outdoors, to Lews Therin Telamon, and it showed us a very different place from the world we’ve seen so far. What are some influences on the design of the Age of Mythology?

We wanted the age of myths. The catch is that it felt more modern than our world, but that it also had timeless sides. So we talk about it as futuristic Santorini, like bringing in some of these timeless Greek aesthetics that can feel both modern and ancient at the same time, so when you first sit in the nursery with them, it’s like 3,000 years ago. But there are elements of it that almost seem futuristic, in that real mix of admiration, ‘I don’t know if I’m in the future,’ [or] If you’re in the past, “until you finally go out the window at the end and realize, ‘Oh, that’s actually like the future of our world. This was a very futuristic society, and when these characters were talking about ‘breaking the world’, this is the shattered world, it was incredibly advanced.


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Yes. Have we also seen it in the clothes of the man in the eye of the world?

I think you saw it in the costume of the man in the eye of the world.

There was another entirely new culture eventually introduced: Oh my goodness, it’s the Seanchan! What is the biggest challenge in portraying that culture?

The biggest challenge in portraying Seanchan was trying to find something – we have so many different worlds in it wheel of timeYou’ve got Borderlands, you’ve got two rivers, you’ve got Tar Fallon, you’ve got a teardrop, you’ve got all these really different places in our world, and you’ve got different clothes and costumes and makeup and all this that we’ve built – because Seanchan needed to come and tell the story visually that they’re separate from this world. They’re from a completely different place than any of our characters we’ve met this season belong to, but they still feel like they’re in a world wheel of time, they don’t feel like they’re from a different show, basically.



Rosamund Pike as Moiraine Damodred in The Wheel of Time

So that required a lot of really subtle tweaking all the way through, to get the Seanchan aesthetic right so that they would give a new audience that shimmer — we’ve always talked about it as being like Spanish ships coming ashore at Cosmopolitan New. Except for our characters are the people who live in the New World and see these ships arrive and go, “Oh my God, what is this culture? They seem technically advanced. They look incredibly dangerous.” And that’s what we’ve been really trying to build with Seanchan.

And then you’ll see hints of all the things that are talked about in the books for them as well. There are insect-like designs built into each piece of their armor, which is important in the books. So you see the pieces in the books, but the visual reading has to be like those people who feel like a foreigner.


Very fast, can you give us a translation of the ancient language spoken in that scene?

Oh, I know the translation of “old tongue” being spoken in this scene. I don’t know, it’s basically an order. I can give you that much.

OK. I’m sure about the tidal wave.

Yes, exactly. I think we used half the command form. So I think they’re basically saying “tidal wave”.

All eight episodes of Season 1 of The Wheel of Time are now available to stream on Prime Video. A release date for the second season has not yet been set.

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