Based on the best-selling Robert Jordan fantasy series The Wheel of Time, a humble farm boy, Rand al’Thor (Josha Stradowski), learns he is The Dragon Reborn, a dangerous figure from history destined to save the world—or break it. Desperate to protect him from the Dark One, an army of powerful sorceresses must reckon with his burgeoning power and encroaching madness.
We spoke to cast members Rosamund Pike as Moiraine Damodred, Daniel Henney as al’Lan Mandragoran, Madeleine Madden as Egwene al'Vere, Marcus Rutherford as Perrin Aybara, Dónal Finn as Mat Cauthon, and Ceara Coveney as Elayne Trakand.
Here’s what we learned about the new season.
[Author’s note: The following interviews were conducted before the SAG-AFTRA strike began on July 14, 2023.]
What's happening at the start of Season Two?
Madden: We see our heroes in all different corners of the world. They're all struggling with a bit of a crisis of identity and confidence. A theme that is very prevalent in this season is the concept of loneliness and isolation. We see our heroes have to try and grapple with the grief of what they've lost at the end of Season One.
Moiraine no longer can access the One Power. What is Moiraine's state of mind going into Season Two?
Pike: She's depressed and she's suffering a kind of cataclysmic aching loss, but doing her damnedest to fight it at every step of the way. She's doggedly putting one foot in front of the other and not succumbing to the despair that otherwise would consume her. She's continuing with her mission fearlessly and bravely, and I think we really come to see what she's made of in this season because of her having to face the challenges she faces without the One Power.
We now know that Rand is the Dragon Reborn. Where does Rand find himself at the start of Season Two?
Stradowski: He finds himself in a place far away from his friends and he is working in a place where he takes care of people who struggle with their mental health as he himself at the same time, is also struggling with his mental health because he is a man who can channel.
Pike: And he doesn't know that I have a very strong idea of where he is and may even have had something to do with why he's ended up there. He thinks he's acting on his own free will, but possibly he's being steered by some unseen wind, created by a powerless Aes Sedai who's been cut off from the One Power but has other powers that she can rely on.
What do you most admire about your character, Lan?
Henney: I think he's a character that's taught me the most in my life. He’s a great representation of what masculinity can be and should be. He's not afraid to be in the background. He is not afraid to step back. He's compassionate, empathetic, thoughtful, strong, tough, all these great things.
What can we look forward to with Perrin’s story in Season Two?
Ruthford: He's with this sort of new military group on horseback and they're trying to chase down him and also this horn that represents a very special thing that we need to find. I think Perrin's facing a lot of different challenges. He's got a lot of things to learn about himself that were kind of glimpsed at in Season One, but I think he has to understand new things about his powers, his abilities, and who he is as a person.
What can you share about Mat and what he’s facing this season?
Finn: He feels the responsibility to bring people up, to elevate the darkness of the situation. I think he's just trying to bring a bit of, just moments of joy, or just wanting to make people laugh. And it comes from that place of generosity of trying to alleviate their situation, which carries so much stress and tension. He is on this kind of path of acceptance.
Elayne Trakand is a new character this season. Can you tell us a bit about who Elayne is?
Coveney: Elayne Trakand is the daughter heir of Andor, so she's next in line to the Lion Throne, and she has been raised all her life to take the throne one day and become queen. She's incredibly dutiful for someone her age, and she's incredibly honorable as well, but she's also fierce. There's a heart of a lion inside of her, and that kind of comes out in different ways.
What was the last thing you purchased on Amazon?
Stradowski: An ice machine in Prague. It's summer here now, and I'm trying to find a way to do my cold plunges. And toilet paper.
Pike: Mine was a book about the Orient Express.
Season Two of the Amazon Original series The Wheel of Time will premiere exclusively on Prime Video, with the first three new episodes debuting on September 1.