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Welcome to the 2024 Dragonmount x JordanCon Quest! Join Dragonmount on a quest to interact with the amazing community at JordanCon, which comes together each year to celebrate The Wheel of Time and other sci-fi/fantasy works.   Here's how it's going to work! Complete any quests from the list below by following the instructions and posting the photos to your social media account using the hashtag #DragonmountQuest. Write the number of each completed quest in any box on the BINGO card on the back of your JordanCon program. Get BINGO by placing any 5 completed quest numbers in a row (horizontal, vertical, or diagonal).  When you've made a BINGO, search out a member of Dragonmount to confirm and authorize your win. Important note: All photos must be taken with consent. Please do not interrupt or disrupt panels or conversations to take photos. To be eligible to win BINGO all social media posts must be on a public profile using the hashtag #DragonmountQuest (so Dragonmount can authenticate and repost).   Selfie with a Dragonmount staffer Screenshot of your Dragonmount.com profile Selfie with someone in Aes Sedai cosplay Screenshot of you following Dragonmount on Twitch with the alert bell Post in the JordanCon 2024 chat on the Dragonmount Discord Photo of someone reading a book at JordanCon Photo of a Dragonmount ribbon on your badge Selfie with an Author Guest and their book Screenshot of your favorite video from Dragonmount's YouTube Channel Photo of your Con Suite meal Photo of a non-Wheel of Time cosplay Screenshot of your favorite blog post on Dragonmount.com Photo at a panel Selfie with a Dealer Repost your favorite Dragonmount TikTok and comment on it that you reposted it Screenshot of you following Dragonmount on Instagram Screenshot of the bookstore on Dragonmount where you can buy ebooks published by Tor Publishing Group Post a video of yourself declaring <something> "From the slopes of Dragonmount!" A photo of the Dragonmount logo somewhere at JordanCon Selfie with a group of nerds Dragonmount dance party! Find our dance party thread on our social media and post a pic/video of you dancing or a dancing gif Photo of a purchase made from the Dealers Hall Selfie with a piece of art you've purchased Screenshot of you following Dragonmount on TikTok Selfie at the JordanCon dance party Selfie at the JordanCon store Photo of your best Wheel of Time inspired pose Photo of anything that isn't directly related to The Wheel of TIme but makes you THINK of The Wheel of Time Screenshot of you following Dragonmount on YouTube with the alert bell Photo of an awesome Charity Auction item The first five people with a straight line BINGO will win one of the following prizes: a signed hardcover Origins of the Wheel of Time OR Books 1-4 of the Stormlight Archive. With book five, Wind and Truth, coming out this December, now is the perfect time to catch up on the series! Anyone else with a completed BINGO will be entered for a chance to win any remaining copies as well as a variety of other amazing prizes from the Tor Publishing Group warehouse. Special thanks to the incredible team over at Tor Publishing Group for sponsoring these amazing prizes.  Stay tuned for Brandon Sanderson's Wind and Truth, which releases on December 6th, 2024. 

By Kathy Campbell, in JordanCon,

With JordanCon just around the corner, excitement is building, and so is the need to pack smart! Whether you're a first-timer or a seasoned attendee, having the right gear can make all the difference. Here’s a rundown of the top 10 essentials I pack to ensure my adventure is as smooth as a Tinker's dance moves.   VEGER Portable Charger: Never let your device die in the middle of capturing a memorable panel or snapping a selfie with your favorite author. This slim power bank is a lifesaver, with built-in cables for both iPhone and Android devices. Veken Packing Cubes: Stay organized and maximize suitcase space with these handy packing cubes. They come in various sizes, making it easy to find exactly what you need without rummaging through your entire bag. Pedialyte Powder Packets: Hydration is key, especially with all the excitement and running around. These packets are a quick fix to keep hydrated, helping you stay energized throughout the con. Riemot Luggage Cup Holder: Juggling coffee and luggage is no joke. Attach this cup holder to your suitcase handle, and keep your drinks secure while you maneuver through crowds. Two drink slots in case you are a drink goblin like me! Earplugs: Whether you're trying to sleep on a noisy flight, in a room near the party floor, or next to a snoring roommate, earplugs are essential for peace and quiet. I bring my Loop earplugs, which I use year-round to drown out the chaos of the office. Neutrogena Makeup Remover Wipes: Refresh your skin after a long day with these individually wrapped wipes. They're perfect for quick makeup changes between events or before bedtime. Unlike travel packs of makeup wipes, these won’t dry out because they are individually wrapped. This is especially handy if you don’t use these frequently. It will keep the rest fresh for when you do need them. BAGSMART Toiletry Bag: This TSA-approved toiletry bag hangs conveniently and fits all your grooming essentials, keeping them neatly organized and accessible.  14 GRIDS Travel Pill Organizer: Keep your medications and supplements neatly sorted and easily accessible, a must-have for managing health on the go. It is so small, it can easily fit in any bag you choose. Electronics Organizer: An absolute necessity to keep all your electronic accessories like cables, power banks, Apple watches, Fitbits, e-readers, and earphones in one place. No more digging through your bag for a lost charger! Tide To Go Stain Remover Pen: From accidental spills to enthusiastic costume mishaps, this pen will be your best friend. It's compact and perfect for immediate spot treatment to keep your outfits looking great.   Packing these items will ensure you're prepared for anything JordanCon throws your way, leaving you free to focus on the fun, the books, and the unforgettable community experience. See you there!   *Note- contains affiliate links. Clicking through our links won't cost you any extra, but Dragonmount may get a small commission from Amazon. It's win-win for you and us!

By Erin D., in JordanCon,

The Wheel of Time flows through my veins as much as it does yours! That being said, there is a TON of wide-ranging crossover in many fandoms with us WoT nerds. Whether it's Star Trek, Star Wars, Marvel, DC Comics, or even cooking (love them honeycakes)! But another franchise that is near and dear to my heart is Avatar: The Last Airbender. The themes and many story elements deeply cross over into Wheel of Time.I will be exploring all of this in this blog series as I watch the live-action series. You can also catch some AtLAB content by tuning in to the current season of our Monday Night #reWoTch where we are watching the Animated series of AtLAB Book 2.   Don't forget to join us Mondays at 9pm Eastern on the Youtubes ;-)   Welcome to the Fire Nation capital, a place where beauty is shadowed with ominous foreboding. As the curtain rises on the live-action adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender, we are treated to a visual feast. The set design? Stunning. The costumes and makeup? On point. The opening sequence? Kyoshi, you absolute legend! She graces the screen looking fiercer than ever. The visualization of the avatars, lined up like a council of gods, with Roku's entrance at the end? Perfection. And we can’t forget the delightful addition of rat-chickens, which immediately shows the quirky touch that runs through the world of Avatar.   But it's not just the aesthetics that I thoroughly enjoyed. The bending, oh the bending! Earth and fire collide in a spectacular display of power. The earthbender's use of stones to create a Gatling gun? Pure genius. And those rat-chickens? They steal the show with their hilarious antics.   As the action unfolds, we witness the earthbender seamlessly blending defense and attack, surfing on rocks like a boss. And those 'chocobos' lurking in the background? A nod to gaming, perhaps, with Square Enix vibes that make you do a double-take.   And then there's Firelord Sozen and crew, delivering performances that harken back to classic Kung Fu films. It's a nostalgic nod that many fans probably appreciate. I certainly did!   But let's talk about the fire. The burning effects are chillingly realistic, a stark reminder of the showrunners' aim to appeal to “Game of Thrones" fans. The violence and gore is in service of a darker, grittier narrative.   Side Note: I want to dive into a theory I have been seeing people passionately discuss. Is the Avatar truly one soul? I'm not entirely convinced. The Avatar communicates with past/dead Avatars, suggesting a shared consciousness rather than a simple cycle of rebirth. It's a thought-provoking concept that adds depth to the story.   And then there's Aang, soaring through the skies without his trusty staff. A bold choice, considering its significance later on. Why the change? It's a departure from the original, but perhaps it sets the stage for new developments.   Speaking of developments, the announcement of Aang as the Avatar and subsequent event at the Southern Air Temple adds a layer of tension. It makes the Fire Nation's decimation of the airbenders more plausible, concentrating some of the strongest/most influential airbenders in one vulnerable location. And can we talk about the air temples? Majestic doesn't even begin to describe them.   Now, let's address the elephant-bison in the room: accents. Or rather, the lack thereof. Aang sounds... off. Like a robot trying to blend in with humans. It's a curious choice that has me scratching my head.He almost sounds like someone narrating Aang’s story/thoughts instead of a character living in the world.   But enough about Aang, let's talk about everyone's favorite sky bison, Appa. He looks and sounds as magnificent as ever, a CGI masterpiece that brings joy to this diehard fans' heart.   Aang emerges from his icy slumber and leaves behind his beloved Appa, a choice I’m not thrilled about him just HAVING the Air bison whistle already. Because I fear its the Netflix is giving us a subtle hint that certain filler episodes may be left out, but also a lesson in responsibility and sacrifice for the viewers >.<.   And then there's the budding bond between Aang and Katara, a sweet moment that feels a tad forced but still manages to warm our hearts 😉   The showdown between Zuko and Sokka is a highlight, showcasing Sokka's clever tactics and Zuko's simmering frustration. Aang's intervention, effortlessly taking out firebenders, is a testament to his raw power. But it's Zuko's disappointment upon meeting Aang that strikes a chord. The gap between expectation and reality is palpable, setting the stage for a complex relationship. They've really got Zuko's obsession (or admiration?) of the Avatar down pat. It's like he worships the Avatar. I’ve always seen it like a kid idolizing a pro wrestler.    The way he rambles on about past Avatars and their abilities, creating a collection of pictures and even little Avatar dolls, predicting what this new one will be like. It's all there, and was something wasn’t fleshed out until much later in the animated series.   Now, let's address the Avatar state. His reaction to finding Monk Gyatso feels a bit underwhelming compared to the animated series, missing how it lands with an emotional gut punch. In the cartoon, Katara's role in helping Aang come out of the state was a pivotal moment that seems to be missing here.   In summary, this live-action adaptation scores a solid 4 out of 10 from me. The visuals? A strong 7 to 10. The story? A middling 5. The bending, though? Top-notch, with the airbending presenting a unique challenge in a live action medium versus an animated one that the team tackles admirably.   In the end, Avatar: The live-action show is a mixed bag of nostalgia, stunning visuals, and a few missed opportunities. But hey, it's a... ride.. that's just getting started. Here's hoping they continue to surprise us and capture more of the magic of the original series.   So grab your gliders, wrangle your rat-chickens, and get ready for an adventure unlike any other (lets hope >.<). The elements are calling, is Avatar ready to answer?   Air Benders in General Great Costuming - overall feel of the Air temples and the atmosphere was wonderful. Though it felt like they were all far too serious. The whole theme of the Airbenders is that they are ephemeral, flighty. They don't hold strongly to anything because all life is fleeting and all are one.  Fire Nation / Benders I think they are doing well showing the Imperial nature of the Fire Nation at this point in their history. The bending itself does look good and “dance” like. I hope that theme carries through. Southern Water Tribe Totally get “Reservation Dogs” feel with how they acted together. I also like the feel from the Indigenous people in the most recent season of True Detective. I am glad they hired indigenous actors.  Aang Trying to be as nice as possible and honestly hoping that this kid just received very poor direction but he has almost no personality IMO, he just seems SO FAKE and wooden. Aang’s happy go lucky/childlike nature is basically non-existent. He seems more like a narrator telling the viewer about Aang and what he is doing and less a living character.  Gyatso Monk Gyatso was one of my favorite characters in the animated series, this one is… ok. I liked his look and his voice. I think they needed to make him more ‘fatherly’ toward Aang. It was so impactful seeing the flashback scenes and how he took care of Aang in the animated series, that made his death so gut wrenching.. Kitara Another one I am unsure on. I want to see more dialogue and scenes with Kitara. I like her look, the costuming is great. Sokka Overall I like his personality and acting, it took me a minute but I am hoping that he is still in his “protective defense” stage of his personality and that he will mellow out.  Zuko Changing his drive from “regaining honor” to  “his destiny to be fire lord” was a terrible mistake IMO. At the heart of regaining his “honor” was really “seeking his fathers approval” and it wasn't until he realized (Iroh showed him) that he would never get that because his father was a failure as a father/leader/person. Only then did he realize that it was up to himself to grant his “honor” back.   Iroh He's ….good. That's the best I can say. I love Paul Sun-Hyung Lee a ton! But I can’t get past seeing the actor instead of the character.The character of Iroh should be bigger than life, while still humble, funny, charismatic, a deep sadness. This isn’t capturing that for me. I am hoping when he will get a chance to flex his acting muscles as the show progresses.

By Thom DeSimone, in DM Website news,

I should begin by explaining something of my own relationship to the author’s works. Like many, I first encountered Brandon Sanderson when it was announced that he had been asked to complete The Wheel of Time series after the untimely passing of Robert Jordan. There are several camps of opinion on how he managed this monumental task, and I fall firmly in the camp of being glad that the plot was wrapped up in an overall satisfying manner, while being somewhat disappointed by the change in the tone of writing and the presentation of some of the characters. Sanderson himself has been open about the challenge of meeting the expectations of Wheel of Time fans and how he found some characters—Mat especially—more difficult to capture than others.   It was that exact issue that soured me on his writing for a time, as Mat is a favorite character of mine, and I found myself increasingly disheartened by what felt like a cartoonish representation of Mat’s thoughts and actions. On the other hand, Sanderson did a very nice job of advancing Rand’s arc into darkness (and eventually back out again) that had somewhat plateaued in Jordan’s final books. When I reread The Wheel of Time, which tends to happen every three years or so, I am prepared for the change in writing style and am increasingly able to enjoy the final three books of my favorite series. However, I have struggled to get into Sanderson’s other works, finding within them the same style of writing and characterizations that put me off his Wheel of Time books.   So when I opened Tress of the Emerald Sea, I was mentally prepared to not enjoy it. I am delighted to say that Brandon Sanderson proved me wrong! And he did so with the exact elements that I had come to dislike about his writing.   I read Tress of the Emerald Sea in three days over my winter holiday break. It was the perfect book for this time of year—cozy and fun and easy to put down as various social obligations arose and then pick right back up again after they were met. Brandon Sanderson says that the book was inspired by The Princess Bride, and this is apparent. The wit, fun, and magic—not the magic system or its wielders, but the magic of simply reading—reminded me of both the movie and the book by William Golding. The word “romp” is overused in describing books and movies, but I am going to go ahead and say that Tress of the Emerald Sea is a delightful sea-faring romp, complete with all of the elements of a classic adventure: pirates, mutiny, a friendly cook, a talking rat… you get the idea.   The book is well structured, with a clear and concise plot, believable character interactions, and strong character development. Tress is especially compelling, growing into her own as she leaves her small island home and ventures into an increasingly bigger world. The villains are somewhat comical (the evil sorceress sometimes plays Solitaire on her laptop, er, “magical seeing board”), but it does not detract from the stakes of the story. In fact, the real danger in the book comes from the environment.   In a twist that is both very Sanderson and a touch sci-fi, the seas that cover much of Tress’s world are not water but spores that drift down from the orbiting moons. These spores are highly reactive to water in ways that are dangerous and often deadly. The worldbuilding—always a strong suit for Sanderson—is executed perfectly, with details given to the reader gradually but steadily so that our understanding of the world is always exactly where it needs to be.    The narrator is a familiar figure to those acquainted with Sanderson’s cosmere, and is eventually introduced to be a character in this book as well. This allows the fourth wall to be more of an open window, with thoughts frequently directed at the reader. Some of these are useful exposition, some are comical asides, and some are absolutely nonsensical ramblings. There is a reason for that though, as you’ll see.   The combination of relatively low stakes and a narrator with a known penchant for zaniness is what allows me to put aside my usual preference for grimdark fantasy and really enjoy Sanderson’s writing in this book. For example, all of the nameless sailors on the ship are simply generalized as “Doug” or “the Dougs.” Descriptions often employ similes, mostly to positive effect. A character described as having a “neck kind of merged with his chin—to the point that after meeting him, you’d inexplicably get a hankering for a baguette” made me laugh out loud.    On the other hand, sometimes these comical descriptions detract from moments of gravity. That particular character is being described right after he dies, one of the few actually depicted deaths in the book. Other times—as when the ship tilts and we are told that it is “as if we are seeing through the lens of a student who had just discovered experimental film”— I am reminded of the note left by a professor on one of my college assignments: “Is this really the best way to describe this?” Maybe not.   Overall, this book was a joy to read. The physical copy is beautiful, with an outside cover and endpapers that fit the spirit of the book perfectly (and that you will appreciate even more as you consider them again after finishing the book). Sanderson’s acknowledgements and postscript notes make clear the absolute pleasure that the book was to create. For an author who has been so prolific over the past decade—in fantasy, no less, a genre whose authors have a notorious tendency to be less prolific than we would like—Tress of the Emerald Sea is a welcome addition to an already impressive catalog. In fact, it just may have motivated the Sanderson skeptic in me to take another look at the cosmere.  

By Michael_, in Fantasy Reviews,

Dragonmount's 2023: A Year of Epic Journeys and Celebrations As the new year dawns, it's time to reflect on the fun times we had at Dragonmount in 2023. From landmark anniversaries to exclusive interviews, 2023 has been a year of unforgettable moments. Celebrations & Events 25 Years of Dragonmount This year marked the silver jubilee of Dragonmount, and the end of an era as founder Jason Denzel passed the torch to our new CEO Kathy Campbell! 10 Years of A Memory of Light The year also marked a decade since the release of A Memory of Light. We celebrated this milestone with joy and nostalgia, honoring Robert Jordan's enduring legacy. Twitch Affiliate You all helped us reach Affiliate status with Twitch, which gives us access to more tools to bring even more content to you.  Welcoming the New Social Media Team Dragonmount's online presence was invigorated with the addition of our fabulous new social media team, bringing fresh energy and creativity. JordanCon 2023 At the 15th annual JordanCon, we hosted the Feuding Families gameshow, a highlight that brought our community together for fun and camaraderie. Industry News Navigating Through Strikes This year, the Entertainment Industry experienced strikes with the Writers & Screen Actors Guilds. Though it dampened the launch of Season 2, we were happy to stand in solidarity with the writers and actors fighting for fair deals. Rosamund Pike's Triumph at the Audies Rosamund Pike, the voice that brought The Eye of the World to life, won the 2023 Audie Award for Best Female Narrator. Her captivating narration has been an integral part of our experience and we’re so excited to have The Great Hunt and The Shadow Rising in her voice as well. Year of Sanderson ICYMI Brandon Sanderson blew Kickstarter out of the water in 2022 with his "Year of Sanderson" campaign. It promised monthly boxes of pure awesome and I have to say, we got so much joy from opening our Kickstarter boxes each month. They were filled with goodies and of course, books! Unfortunately, the end of 2023 also means saying goodbye to the Year of Sanderson- but not without one last special surprise from Brandon! He has released a free ebook download of a previously unpublished short story called "Long Chills and Case Dough." Adventures & Exclusives Prague Set Visit CEO Kathy Campbell's visit to the Prague sets offered us an insider's view of the show's production, bringing us closer to the magic behind the camera. An incredible experience to BE in Two Rivers! Stay tuned for some releases from the trip! Connecting with the Cast Our interviews with Daniel Henney, Madeleine Madden, Marcus Rutherford, Ceara Coveney, Dónal Finn, Kate Fleetwood, and Ayoola Smart provided unique insights and allowed for a fun connection with some of our favorite actors. Artist Spotlight: Marcio Abreu We also had the pleasure of interviewing Marcio Abreu, the talented artist behind the graphic novel of The Great Hunt. Epic Community Engagement Charity Livestream  During our summertime charity livestream event, we re-watched all of Season One in an epic marathon #reWoTch where we had contests, gave our prizes and were joined by many WoT content creators as well as Harriet McDougal and Maria Simons. Thanks to your support, we hit our goal of $2000 for the American Red Cross to aid those affected by the Maui Wildfires. Monday Night #reWoTch We love hanging out with you all on Monday nights, watching TV together. #reWoTch this year included Season 1 and 2 of The Wheel of Time (of course) as well as The Last of Us, Rings of Power, Good Omens, and Season One of The Mandalorian. Join us Monday nights at 9pm Eastern for more #reWoTch goodness! Gaming with Thom Thom DeSimone took us on livestream adventures via games like Baldur's Gate and the fan-made Third Age Wheel of Time Board Game. TikToking with Kitty #WoTober was a blast with Kitty, who brought incredible characters to life on TikTok. The Wheel of Time Season 2 We delved into the second season of The Wheel of Time on Prime, engaging in thorough discussions and analyses of every episode via our livestreams and podcasts. We're WoT fans - it's what we live for!  WoTaHoliday We ended the year by participating in another successful WoTaHoliday hosted by Malkier Talks, and raising more money for charity.   If you missed out on any of the fun we had, read through our blog posts for recaps and look through our YouTube videos to re-live the fun. As we bid farewell to 2023, we thank each and every one of you for being part of our journey. Dovie'andi se tovya sagain! Here's to more adventures and shared stories in 2024!

By Erin D., in DM Website news,

When Amazon asks if you want to talk to four cast members from The Wheel of Time on Prime Video, you drop everything and reschedule your day to make ten minutes for each one available. Now that the SAG-AFTRA strike has ended, the media is finally able to communicate with the cast, and it’s been so wonderful. I know how excited the actors have all been to talk with the fans as well!   We were lucky enough to gather together questions to ask Ayoola Smart (Aviendha), Kate Fleetwood (Liandrin Guirale), Marcus Rutherford ( Perrin Aybara), and Dónal Finn (Mat Cauthon).   These interviews will make you want to rewatch all the episodes of Season One and Season Two of The Wheel of Time on Prime Video…I know they did for me.   Ayoola was an absolute delight and so wonderful to talk to. Here is a snippet of our interview with her.   Dragonmount: It’s been pretty universally renowned that we are all in love with your portrayal of Aviendha. I know that our community specifically would love to know how you discovered The Wheel of Time and were exposed to Aviendha.   Ayoola Smart: Kind of twofold, I didn't know a lot about like her specifically before the audition process happened. But both of my older sisters are huge fans of the books, so I had grown up with The Wheel of Time in my house kind of my whole life pretty much—the world of it and kind of the ideas around it.    And she [Aviendha] is both of my sisters’ favorite female character in the books. So that was really exciting and I was able to immediately call them and be like I need information! Like now!    And through the kind of audition process I think when I, when the first sides came through she was labeled as like Annabelle and the kind of character description was like ‘a highly skilled warrior with a dry sense of humor. And you need to feel like she could kill you with her bare hands.’  And that was immediately something. I was like yeah I want, I want to do that. That sounds great.    Her journey in the books in season two, it's really the starting point of such a huge journey that she'll go on over time. So it was really exciting to be able to play a character that starts from such a strong place and starts with such a strong kind of history, characteristics, and skill sets.   DM: Along with Ragga Ragnars (Bain) and Maja Simonsen (Chiad), you are what we call the ‘ABC Maidens.’ You already have such strong on-screen chemistry. What was it like on set with them? Do you guys use Maiden hand talk to have private conversations?   AS: Yes, we definitely did. Over filming we we got to a really nice fluid point with that where we could have these kind of silly little giggly chats about things also because, you know, as we continue, our vocabulary is expanding as more words get put in. So with what we had as it grew, particularly when we would get a new word, and we'd be like, we can do this now, and we’ve had a lot of fun with that.    We spend a lot of time together outside of shooting and luckily we all did just click really well, which was nice. And so the kind of, kind of playfulness between us was very natural and it was just there and we spent a lot of time together which has helped.   DM: What inspired that absolutely amazing laugh in the campfire with Marcus?   AS: A combination of things, I think like, it’s the writers and it is Naomi, my dialect coach, and I kind of spoke about that, it is that humor that the Aiel have that's kind of, can catch you off guard and isn't necessarily funny to everyone but they find it amusing… just where that hits I think and just kind of the situations and we're able to play with that and bring that in.    Also, Aviendha is kind of a little bit more cheeky than some of the other Aiel that we will encounter and kind of her humor is very much part of who she is. Just kind of playing around with that, and it just, it just came out and felt right.   -----   For the full transcripts with the full conversation for this and the other interviews, sign up on our Patreon!

By Kathy Campbell, in TV Show,

When Amazon asks if you want to talk to four cast members from The Wheel of Time on Prime Video, you drop everything and reschedule your day to make ten minutes for each one available. Now that the SAG-AFTRA strike has ended, the media is finally able to communicate with the cast, and it’s been so wonderful. I know how excited the actors have all been to talk with the fans as well!   We were lucky enough to gather together questions to ask Ayoola Smart (Aviendha), Kate Fleetwood (Liandrin Guirale), Marcus Rutherford ( Perrin Aybara), and Dónal Finn (Mat Cauthon).   These interviews will make you want to rewatch all the episodes of Season One and Season Two of The Wheel of Time on Prime Video…I know they did for me.   Marcus Rutherford has such a soothing presence and was wonderful to take some time to talk to us! Here is a snippet of our interview with him.   Dragonmount: You have had the opportunity to befriend some of the bestest boys and goodest girls, specifically the Best Supporting Actress Nom of our hearts, Ka Lupinka. How have those friendships strengthened and grown during S2 and do you have any stories about them that you can share?   Marcus Rutherford: Yeah. It was amazing, man.   I had a very kind of brief encounter in Season One, but I didn't really get to kind of work with the animals. And then Season Two… You kind of forget this is a real animal, man. It's like a real animal, look, it wants to do its own things. It's kind of like when you work with your horse and stuff, you can’t cheat it.  The animal needs to want to kind of stay near you and work with you and listen to you and all those kind of things. It was insane. I think with that Czech wolf dog, they are sort of like a half breed, so it's not particularly easy to get them to like, you know, there was one scene for me that was really important. Where the makeup and effects built like this sort of “deer carcass,” that the wolves are kind of like eating and they (production) kind of just needed Hopper to stay next to me. It wasn't like on a lead or anything. She just had to sit there. And when you see all, these are the dogs eating, their natural instincts you think would be to follow. It was kind of like a scene that I could tell everyone was like (thinking), this is going to go wrong.    We just put a load of meat in front of a dog, and its friends were eating… and yeah, it just stayed there instead for the whole scene. It was a really beautiful scene with Elyas and it was just one of those moments that was just so sweet, and I kind of needed the connection there, and you don't really want to have to think about, “Is the dog wandering off or is it not calling for the owner off camera or whatever?” And she just stayed there and she just looked at me at the little moment as a little look where he says, like his mate died too, and all this kind of stuff.   And I think there were a lot of moments with that dog where I was just like, “You've made this really easy for me,” which is just like, really special, really special. It could have been, you know, it could've been really tricky. And she, um, she really trusted me. And I think, I think the owner, an animal handler named Maria was amazing.   She (Maria) was just like, she (Ka Lupinka) doesn't really connect with people that easy. And it was special. And I think, you know, I think Rafe was kind of torn between like sort of big sort of visual effects kind of animals or like, you know, real animals. And of course you can get a bigger scale with some of those kind of things.   But I think for an actual human connection, you just can't like you can with a real animal. I've had so many messages with people talking about their own animals. And I just, I just, I think that's the connection that it needed for, for the show. It needed to be a real bond, a real creature, a real thing in camera that people could connect with and understand with their own dogs when they sort of look at them after the episodes.   DM: Season Two's journey for Perrin has ultimately been the battle between the Way of the Leaf and his desire to protect others. How did you prepare for a role that relied on so much internal struggle in such a visual medium?   MR: Yeah, it's tricky because in the books you have these POVs that can get, especially for a character like Perrin, you get so in-depth with what he's thinking and everything, and then to translate that into a show with just 8 episodes…. is hard, man. It's really hard. And I think what was good about Season Two is he kind of gets thrown into a lot of positions that are quite challenging for him.   You see it with… when he's with the Sheinarans or he's with Aviendha he's kind of like… There are kind of those lovely conversations that he's had with Ila and the Tuatha’an in Season One. You can kind of see that still surfacing. But it's becoming apparent he can't avoid violence at war, and it's kind of surrounding him and something that might be within him as well.   But this idea that you can kind of just like turn away from it is becoming quite a difficult road to take. So I think with the introduction of the Seanchan and that kind of very, you know, horrible, horrific kind of culture in a way, in the terms of how they use violence and stuff.    I think what was lovely about Season Two is that, for a character that isn't really saying everything that's going on his mind, you can kind of see him going through it.  Being put in these situations that are hard for him and traumatic.    That dichotomy between violence and being a pacifist in a way is still kind of put to a test really. It's not just a conversation around some wagons that you had in… Season One.   He's getting dragged, but he's getting dragged around (literally)... I think that happens a lot in Season Two.    DM: What scene from Season Two were you most excited for the audience to see?    MR: I think…. in general or…?     DM: Either way! However you answer the question is the perfect answer.    MR: Um, I mean, ok. I remember (when I was) reading the book, I remember saying to somebody… to Maddie (Madeleine Madden), you know, I remember reading that book and actually feeling quite sick, reading it, like the way it is described is horrific.   It's, it's really, really hard. I remember saying, like, you've got some hard stuff coming man. I've seen this one shot of her where she's sort of like crying. And I don’t know why, but I'm just like, I think it's beautiful.    But I think in terms of the stuff, the scenes I loved, I really loved when he [Perrin] meets Aviendha. I think you needed to kind of isolate him away from the group a bit in order for him to grow. Like I said, you don't really have a lot of time, and we have to squeeze a lot into those episodes, and they do such a good job.   And I think when you've got a lot of big characters who, you know, who’ve got their shoulders back, they're quite confident. I think they’ll naturally, you kind of speak and Perrin, he's probably thinking in the corner a little bit. So I think I'm putting him by himself and getting to meet someone who has such contrasting ideas and philosophies around violence, warfare, and fighting, I think, I think was lovely and I think Ayoola (Smart) was incredible. And I think that scene where he releases her from the cage, and they fight together, and even that little scene afterwards where he can't really gauge her humor like at the campfire or whatever… I think, I think that was a really nice part.   DM: I know from speaking with the stunt team at Jordan Studios that you and the rest of the cast have worked to do as much of the stunts and fighting as you can yourself.   How is your training, in particular, different from the others because of your use of an axe versus a sword or a shield?   MR: What's really interesting with Perrin, in particular, is he's not really fighting to kill, or like I said (before), he’s still in this mode of like kind of defending himself and others and being thrust into these positions, whereas you kind of see some of the other characters, like Aviendha, she's just having fun. She’ll just go ham. So I think that was quite interesting. You kind of have to have a fighting technique that isn't particularly kind of like a bravado or showing your skill or your kind of like, a hunger for kind of violence in a way. It's kind of something that, it's really interesting, and I’ll talk too much, but it's really interesting seeing it develop, you know,  going forward and all that kind of stuff and how it all changes. But I think it takes a lot to kind of show off his strength, but also his kind of resistance as well.    For the full transcripts with the full conversation for this and the other interviews, sign up on our Patreon!

By Kathy Campbell, in TV Show,

When Amazon asks if you want to talk to four cast members from The Wheel of Time on Prime Video, you drop everything and reschedule your day to make ten minutes for each one available. Now that the SAG-AFTRA strike has ended, the media is finally able to communicate with the cast, and it’s been so wonderful. I know how excited the actors have all been to talk with the fans as well!   We were lucky enough to gather together questions to ask Ayoola Smart (Aviendha), Kate Fleetwood (Liandrin Guirale), Marcus Rutherford ( Perrin Aybara), and Dónal Finn (Mat Cauthon).   These interviews will make you want to rewatch all the episodes of Season One and Season Two of The Wheel of Time on Prime Video…I know they did for me.   Kate Fleetwood was just as amazing as the first time we were lucky enough to interview her. Here is a snippet from our interview with her.   Dragonmount: Last year, when we spoke, you let us know how much fun you have with your castmates off-set and how much you just love to play. Did that continue with Season Two and the just-wrapped Season Three, and how did you add in all of the new cast members into that playtime?   Kate Fleetwood: We always have a really nice time. We did karaoke and I mean, the boys and girls of a certain age are really good at going like waterskiing, things like that. But I don't do any of that. And I've got bad knees, and I like to get to that… but yeah, it is. And we’vehad so many new cast members, and again we've had loads this season as well and they're all international and that's, that's always the brilliant thing about Wheel of Time is that it's so broad.   The breadth of people and the kind of people you get to play with is just brilliant. And I'm so looking forward to meeting some of the new characters this season. It’s just brilliant but we were still suffering a lot of COVID restrictions in Season Two, you know, and that was really tough because we couldn't see each other at all.   You know, we were still eating little boxes in our rooms and not allowed to see or touch anybody. Here is just as a little bit of trivia on the scene where I'm within the way gate with the horses and the girls.    When we were blocking that scene, our director took her mask off. And it's the first time I'd ever seen her face in three months. It was still really tough on everybody, you know? And we were being like, shut down a lot and having to stop. And so it was actually, it was tough enough to shoot that. And I think people sort of forget that we were still, we were still in a kind of COVID world while you're making something because of so many precautions. So it has been lovely this year. You know, we've been able to sit in tents together and eat and things like that on set and just like not have to just be shut away all the time. That, that's just been great.   DM: Season One Liandrin’s chemistry with Moiraine was fantastic, and I think the, the amazing chemistry between Liandrin and Mat this season is really off the charts.   You have chemistry with like inanimate objects, with just your presence. Is there something special that you do that allows for this incredible connection on screen, or is that just kind of your amazingness?    KF: "It's just my amazingness.” No, haha… I think, I think I’m really, really touched that you say that. It's a really kind compliment. I mean, it's really genuine. I'm really genuinely touched by that. Thank you.   DM: It's, it's so true. Like, it doesn't matter any time you're on screen. Just, I'm always just so excited to see how you're interacting with anything. I mean, with the horses, with, you know, I got that little look you did before you went through the gates after releasing Nyn like, I just think it's about being so present.   KF: The thing I think I try and do, which might be the answer is, I don't know if it is the answer because I think it's quite hard for me to answer this. But when I think about playing, I'm always looking for the playfulness. It is always an opportunity to play everything, you know, like you say, you know, whether it's a cushion or a place or how you unlock a door, you know, every gesture or every motion or inflection in your voice you are as an actor.  You've got, the words and the story and you've got your body and your voice and, you know, and that is your tool and that is your instrument, you know? And so you're looking for tone. And this is probably going to sound really pretentious, but you're always looking to how do you play this, and you play this instrument in this situation.   And that can just be, you know, the look with a glance with it. But you embody and you, I mean, I just spend hours and hours on the set and I spend a lot of time prepping scenes. I just do a lot of work on it. It's like anything, you know, you just got to do, got to do it to work on it.   You can't just turn up one night. I like to play at home, you know, I'll move the furniture back and, you know, and I'll play it, I'll play it, play it, and then something will just go *bing*. And then of course, you play with the other characters because you can't. But I'm always searching for other ways of telling story, and I think this really brilliant experience as a young actress, I was really lucky enough to play in the chorus, in a Western version of Medea with Fiona Shaw.   She is in Harry Potter and Killing Eve and a lot of people would know her. I learned it from her that you got to be brave, you got to be playful, and you just got to keep true and you got to try things. You’ve got to experiment and play. I don’t know if it pays off but…   DM: It definitely, it pays off. When you were filming Season One, did you know things that were going to be revealed in Season Two specifically, like your son?    KF: No, no, no. But that’s the other thing that goes toward this playfulness is that you have to keep completely open. Of course I have to structure my performance because we, shoot a lot of time, not chronologically. So you do have to have some, constant awareness of, you know, the arc of everything.  But it's part of the fun of playing is not knowing. And you have to be, you have to be open to that as an actor. You got to be open to change. You got to keep things moving and changing and shifting.You have to be always fluid-thinking because anything can happen.   Lots of things happen in Season Three... yeah… they sat me down and were like, “This is what we are planning for you in Season Three.” I was, whoaa! Ok…   DM: You have had some of the best wigs, intricate braid work and all of that. We're wondering which wig is your favorite and do you name them?   KF: I don't (name them), it’s just sort of the great thing about the wigs, it gives you sort of this massive facelift, you know, because it's like they're suddenly like, *eeeee ahh.*   No, but the wigs on the show…. I wish everybody could just go into those departments, the hair and makeup department. And the costume department and every department, actually.  But when you go into that wig room, in the studio, that all lined up, you know, it's like what Davina and her team have done with the way the braiding is amazing. It's incredible. And they have people just doing it around the clock.   You can walk in and then they'll go, we're just going to try a new wig on today and, they’ll just have four beautiful wigs. And then you try each one on and then you have to have your photograph taken and everyone decides which one's best and it’s a long process to choose to make. But yeah, I've got some pretty good wigs in Season Three, just saying.   For the full transcripts with the full conversation for this and the other interviews, sign up on our Patreon!  

By Kathy Campbell, in TV Show,

When Amazon asks if you want to talk to four cast members from The Wheel of Time on Prime Video, you drop everything and reschedule your day to make ten minutes for each one available. Now that the SAG-AFTRA strike has ended, the media is finally able to communicate with the cast, and it’s been so wonderful. I know how excited the actors have all been to talk with the fans as well!   We were lucky enough to gather together questions to ask Ayoola Smart (Aviendha), Kate Fleetwood (Liandrin Guirale), Marcus Rutherford ( Perrin Aybara), and Dónal Finn (Mat Cauthon).   These interviews will make you want to rewatch all the episodes of Season One and Season Two of The Wheel of Time on Prime Video…I know they did for me.   Dónal Finn was so charming and clearly excited to be a part of The Wheel of Time. Here’s a snippet of our interview with him.   Dragonmount: So as most folks know, productions often do not film in sequence. And you came into Season Two as new to the cast and the crew, but your character had a lot of previous rapport. What was your first day on set like? Did they throw you right into battle scenes or did you get to vibe with Kate Fleetwood hanging out in your cell?   Dónal Finn: I feel really, really lucky about my first days on set because, for me it was chronological and like, that's a bit of a blessing because like you said, it's not always that.   But the first scenes that I shot on set were the first scenes where you are introduced to Mat, and that's in the cell in the White Tower, and it was with Kate. And then with Kae (Alexander, who plays Min). But I think the blessing was, you know, there were scenes that were all happening in one room. And in that case, like I admired her from afar, like as a someone who goes to the theater a lot in London.   And so we and our brilliant director of that block, specifically Tom Napper, said, why don't we, you know, find a space within our studios and maybe just rehearse these scenes? And so we got to kind of imagine them and play the scenes as though, it was as though it was like for a theater. And like, that made me feel really relaxed because I was very familiar with that experience.   And so it did put me at great ease. And I think there was, even though I didn't know Kate before those days, even the fact that I kind of like was such a huge admirer of the work that I'd seen her do and because she's so, so lovely and that quality that she has and Liandrin is like she can just turn on and then switch it off when they say cause.   And so you can have great, great fun with her like on set that always puts us at ease. And Tom is also such a legend and was so accommodating to all of my questions and ideas for the character. Yeah, my…first days on set were like, really, really blissful. Even though, like with this, what's going on for the character in those scenes is not bliss.   DM: This season almost has four different versions of Mat. You have the regular Mat, you have Mat from the Accepted test, you have the Mat high on the Ishy Tea and then Mat after blowing the Horn. How did your preparation for each of those scenes change?    DF: I feel like there's a, you know, that there's like one Mat that gets just like, pushed into these different situations. So there's kind of a, there's a healthy kind of core understanding of the character. And then you just kind of go, he was in, you know, he's being pushed into this circumstance.   He's been pushed into the challenges facing today with a different kind of approaches. I think all of them were, I think they all evolved like different things. You know, I'm, but I think, you know, Mat, blowing the horn, that felt like there was maybe two things about that that needed specific like time and effort, as in like there's the fight, there's the kind of, there's the language, there's the Old Tongue.   And then, similarly as well, with Mat drinking Ishameal’s tea. It’s kind of getting into the skin of like or what would that be like. What is, what is it like in our, you know, relative worlds and, and what would that be like physically? What would that do to the body and with all their emotions as well, you know? In the second kind of chapters of Mat that you described, like they're still really challenging and emotional and you know you don't get some of those things for free. And so you're always trying to find a way to imagine, like, what is it like. In my own experience and what's helped me feel that way as well, and I might be, it might be music or might be, you know, it might be if he's in a good mood, it might be just like making sure I'm having like a really nice time on set or enjoying, you know, having fun with the people behind the camera. And just being present to be hopefully being playful with, with the other actor.    DM: The stunt team at Jordan Studios said that you jumped all in for fighting lessons once you were cast. And they hinted at something I know fans have been desperate to see on screen that might be happening in Season Three.   Obviously, you can't give anything away, but is there a particular skill or trick that you worked really hard for that you can share?   DF: The guys are unbelievable, particularly Andre, who is kind of the, the guy who has taught me from the start. It's like the karate kid you know, like kind of watching him and learning.   I kind of get a buzz every time they go….”so we're going to teach you this.” He might be talking to me, and he'd be spinning the staff around. And I'd say, well, what did you just do there? And he'd say, “That? Yeah. It's just like, we've got the stuff in your hand, Twirl it over here, and then you spin it, as you put it, behind your back, and then you pull it over here.”   And I kind of go, yeah I don't know how to do that. What's that? And then so he'll kind of like, you know, I get a buzz off of learning at all on like, you know, but he, he is so good that I just stand back and watch him and kind of wait for him to do something cool and then say, okay, I don't know how to do that, show me how to do that.    So I kind of feel sometimes that the tricks are kind of like, you know, a footballer because you go, God, that's like so impressive, but in a battle sense, in the sense of like actually being in a  battle, that's like super impractical, you know? Like, well, how do you have the time to spin it round like your back, you know?   So I think, you know, that speaks to Mat’s character as well, because I think he enjoys being good at this and kind of the flourish of it, you know? I feel so lucky that, you know, practical experience and journey with the show is that I'm learning how to do this, you know?   So, sorry. I don't have a specific move. For the full transcripts with the full conversation for this and the other interviews, sign up on our Patreon!

By Kathy Campbell, in TV Show,

This past weekend, the Wheel of Time community came together for Malkier Talks’ annual WoT-A-Holiday event, a 24-hour celebration filled with games, stories, and a united effort to make a difference via donations to the Lightweaver Foundation. Dragonmount had the honor of kicking off this fantastical journey, and what an incredible start it was!   Our segment began at 8 PM Eastern with the fun filled "WoT A Quote" game show featuring the Wheel of Tones. Hosted by our very own Michael, and featuring contestants Thom, Crystal, and Kevin, the event was a wonderful start to the night. It was filled with a lot of laughter as our contestants read famous Wheel of Time quotes in a variety of tones – from overwhelmingly bored to absolutely furious to celebrity impersonations!    The audience participation was strong. Viewers were guessing who said each quote and added as much detail as possible to set the scene- who was the character talking to, what were they doing, what book did this take place in, etc. We also had the pleasure of giving away $25 gift certificates to the Dragonmount store and some Wheel of Time bumper stickers. Congrats to LightBlindedFool and GnomeandGarden for being quick on the draw with their vast WoT knowledge and taking home our gift certificates!   Rob, the runner of Malkier Talks and our event host, set an ambitious goal of £10K to support the Lightweaver Foundation, a charity established by Brandon and Emily Sanderson to provide basic needs to those who need them.  Thanks to the generosity of our amazing community, the event raised over $10,000 (or £8103) which is the standard they shoot for each year. Not quite the stretch goal set this year, but an incredible achievement for 24 hours of fundraising and it will make a difference!    Following our segment, the baton was passed to Talk’aran’rhiod, followed by The Wheel Reads, the Way of the Leaf and so many more content creators. Each brought their unique flair to the event, with activities like trivia, WoTionary, drinking games and collaborative drawing. The diversity of our community's creativity was truly on display. The Way of the Leaf hosted WoTionary, which included some blindfolded drawing and of course, puppets. Joe from tWoTcast and Skeeter drew a lovely holiday scene which included trollocs pulling a sleigh and a Christmas tree decked out with Foresaken themed ornaments. Shout out to DanaLou_Who who actively participated in all 24 hours of the event with NO SLEEP.    A special highlight of the event was the unveiling of the art for the 2024 Snacc Warder Calendar. For every 1k raised, they unveiled another picture. It’s a year filled with photos of everyone’s favorite Snacc Warder, Taylor Napier, with re-created poses by various WoT content creators!   There were prizes won throughout various segments, but what charity event would be complete without some big fancy prizes?  These were won by raffle, based on donation amount. All four Secret Project books donated by Dragonsteel- Jerri Williams A Full Leatherbound collection of Dragonsteel books, donated by Dragonsteel- Jamie Borbon Recording donated by Kate Redding & Michael Kramer- Jay 123.  The Eye of the World signed by the cast- Charlotte Edmonds There was a special prize for the person who donated the most money- Roofmistress Leigh-a. £470. She wins a giant canvas print of Rob Christianson’s Wheel of Time map, signed by a plethora of content creators who attended WoTCon.    Congratulations to all!   "The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills", and this weekend it wove a beautiful story of camaraderie and charity. Until next year, may you always find water and shade.

By Erin D., in DM Website news,

Step into the captivating world of comic book artistry as we delve into an exclusive interview with Marcio Abreu, a highly talented and visionary comic book artist hailing from São Paulo, Brazil. Currently lending his artistic prowess to Dynamite Entertainment, Abreu is expanding The Wheel of Time adaptation into the comic book realm. Abreu's current project involves the illustrations for Dynamite's comic book adaptation of "The Great Hunt," written by Rik Hoskin. "The Dynamite series will continue its adaptations of The Wheel of Time series into comic books, following 2009's 'The Eye of the World' (now collected into a graphic novel by Tor Books), written by Chuck Dixon and illustrated by multiple artists."   Join us as we explore Abreu's creative process, the challenges of adapting Robert Jordan's world into a visual medium, and the artist's perspective on character design and world-building.   *This interview was conducted in Portuguese and later translated into English. Q: Did you have any familiarity with The Wheel of Time before? Or this was your first contact with it? A: No, none! I discovered it when I watched the series on Prime Video, and liked it right away. Q: How did you start the process? Did you base your illustrations on the other graphic novels, scripts, or some other material the publisher gave you? A: I relied on references from a website that Dynamite sent me (referring to the iconic Seamas Gallagher artwork). But I used an already published "The Eye of the World" comic to get to know some of the characters, and I watched the show again with a more discerning eye to capture the atmosphere.   Q: What is your working process like? Tell me about how you develop the pages. A: I usually sketch loosely on A4 paper. I create small thumbnails for the pages, which helps me develop the narrative better. Then I redraw everything on A3 paper, without using a light table. Q: Regarding the character design, did you have any freedom, or are you following what was in the books? Or a middle ground? A: I had complete freedom, but I tried to follow what had already been drawn, so as not to deviate too much from what had already been published. But I always try to improve if possible! Q: What do you enjoy drawing the most so far? Creatures, a certain character, magic, or something else? A: Aaaaah, man, I love the creatures! I hope they appear a lot! But, everything is very cool. The detailed settings, period costumes, horses, magic, and the characters, in general, are very fun and challenging.   Q: I saw on your profile that you make a lot of Conan art. Did you know that the author of The Wheel of Time began his fantasy writing career with Conan books? A: I didn't know! Woooooooow!!! I hope this is a good omen. Q: How is it different to adapt a nearly thousand-page book into the art of a graphic novel? A: Actually, everything comes already outlined in the script. My job is to draw it in a way that pleases a legion of fans from around the world. I hope to not disappoint! We look forward to seeing Abreu's artistic vision come to life on the pages, and we're sure that fans all around the world will appreciate the dedication and passion he is bringing to this project. We can't wait to follow the journey of The Wheel of Time through Marcio Abreu's hands!   The first volume of "The Great Hunt" graphic novel adaptation is now available from Dynamite Comics.    

By Humberto Tramujas, in Graphic Novels,

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