The Wheel of Time is coming to Amazon on November 19th. One of the most popular and enduring fantasy series of all time, The Wheel of Time is set in a sprawling, epic world where magic exists and only certain women are allowed to access it. The story follows Moiraine (Rosamund Pike), a member of the incredibly powerful all-female organization called the Aes Sedai, as she arrives in the small town of Two Rivers. There, she embarks on a dangerous, world-spanning journey with five young men and women, one of whom is prophesied to be the Dragon Reborn, who will either save or destroy humanity. In anticipation of the release, Madeleine Madden and Zoë Robins (who star as Egwene al'Vere and Nynaeve al'Meara, respectively) joined Bleeding Cool to discuss the upcoming series based on Robert Jordan's best-selling fantasy novels.
So how familiar were you with the original books of "The Wheel of Time" going into the series?
Zoe Robins: Admittedly, I think for both of us, we actually hadn't heard of it before we got the auditions in our email inboxes, now we are very accustomed to the world. We've been living in it for the past two years. We started filming in September 2019, so I think we're very much fans now of that world.
Going in cold without any knowledge of the history and the characters, how would you say that affects your performance?
Madeleine Madden: We've spoken about how we share this similarity of our processes as actors, which is trying to remain in the present with the characters. Obviously, the journey that both of them go on is so insanely dramatic. It is very easy to get caught up in what happens in the future and the character arc. Obviously, we're aware of the major moments that happen to them, but the way that we went about it was reading up to where we were in the series. I think that kind of helps you remain in the present with your character so you can just be as authentically real in that moment as possible.
ZR: It allows us to stay true to the moment. We also have incredible experts on hand, like [showrunner] Rafe Judkins, who knows this world inside and out. Whenever we had any doubts or wanted more information about our backgrounds as characters we always had someone to go to.
With Egwene al'Vere & Nynaeve al'Meara, can you describe the relationship between your characters?
ZR: The relationship between the two characters is somewhat of a sisterly bond, but I think it's much deeper than that. These two are willing to die for one another. It's definitely a love-hate relationship, too. What's wonderful is to be able to explore this relationship and I think it's something that we haven't necessarily seen, even in fantasy. These two female characters who really love each other to the core and are willing to do whatever it takes to make sure they're happy and survive and reaching their potential. I think that's something that's been wonderful to play as actors and it's really not hard to act alongside Maddie.
What are you most excited for fans to see? What are they are going to be blown away by the most?
MM: I think the fans are going to be blown away just by the world. You know, I think as a fan myself, that's always something that I'm so excited to see and fantasy genres, how the style of certain worlds or cultures. I know when we step onto sets, know we made three cities in one block, which is two episodes and completely different cities, and it was just amazing to literally step into this world and be surrounded by hundreds of extras. And it was that was really insane, and I think people will just be in awe of what our amazing creative teams here on the ground have done.