Wheel of Time podcasts have been popping up everywhere and one of my favorites is The White Tower: A Wheel of Time Podcast. The ladies of this podcast, Jenn Cobb and Jess Schutz, combine spoiler-free synopses of each chapter with real fan discussion and a large dose of humor. This past week I had a chance to interview the ladies to learn more about them and their approach to The Wheel of Time and podcasting. You can join Jenn and Jess on Wednesdays at 8 am central at The White Tower: A Wheel of Time Podcast. You should also follow them on Twitter and if you like what you hear you can support them at Patreon.
Adam Whitehead is Dragonmount's TV blogger. He'll be writing a regular column called Adam's Wheel of Television. Adam has been writing about film and television, The Wheel of Time, and other genre fiction for over fifteen years. Be sure to check out his websites, The Wertzone and Atlas of Ice and Fire (including The Wheel of Time Atlas!) as well as his Patreon. Please note this article contains very mild spoilers for The Wheel of Time novels. Principle photography – or “the actual filming” – began today on Amazon Prime’s Wheel of Time television series. The shoot is expected to run through to the end of May 2020, with months of post-production to follow. When we will see the show on air is still open to question, but late 2020 to early 2021 seems reasonable. Showrunner Rafe Judkins took to social media to both celebrate the news of filming beginning but also commemorate the passing of Robert Jordan, who sadly passed away on this day in 2007 at the age of 58. Robert Jordan had been diagnosed with cardiac amyloidosis, an exceedingly rare blood condition (affecting only one in a million people), and had spent almost two years undergoing experimental treatment. During this time, he had mustered as much energy and creativity as possible to create an outline for the ending of The Wheel of Time in the form of writings, draft chapters, dictation on cassettes and copious notes, which was later used by Brandon Sanderson to deliver an ending to the series. Whilst millions of Wheel of Time fans worldwide remember Jordan on this day, they also have questions about the television adaptation. Last week, the cast shared their first group photo, taken in Prague on the day of the read-through of the script for the series. Notable by his absence was the actor playing Thom Merrilin, who hasn’t been announced yet. This led to a storm of controversy and online hot takes as people furiously debated if the character would appear in the show or if he’d been cut. To be fair, a large number of other characters expected to appear in Season 1 also haven’t been announced, even those that Rafe Judkins has confirmed are in the script. According to Judkins’ previous comments, both Tam al’Thor and the false Dragon Logain Ablar will be in the show and neither actor has been confirmed yet. Assuming that Season 1 adapts at least The Eye of the World, we can also reasonably be expecting Min, Elayne, Gawyn, Galad, Elaida, Morgase, Gareth Bryne, Geofram and Dain Bornhald, Jaret Byar, Padan Fain, Agelmar, Ba’alzamon, Basel Gill and Mordeth to be cast. Sure, a few of those characters might be held back until Season 2 to save money (Min, Elayne, Gawyn and Galad have to be front-runners here), but certainly not all of them, and some of them fulfil important plot functions: without Padan Fain or Ba’alzamon, Season 1 doesn’t really have a primary antagonist, and calling the second episode Shadow’s Waiting without including Mordeth would be a bizarre choice. [See our article "5 WoT Characters likely to have Expanded TV Roles"] Thom Merrilin’s status on the show is likely to be leaning more towards a recurring role than a regular one. We know that episode two is called Shadow’s Waiting, which implies that the Shadar Logoth adventure will take place in the second or third episode. In the novel, Thom drops out of the story a few chapters later, which means that Thom will be leaving the series less than halfway through the first season (which is expected to run for 8-10 episodes at the lower end). Hollywood crediting practices can be complicated, but generally speaking, a studio will announce the regular cast for a new show first and with a great deal of fanfare. On this basis we can expect that Barney Harris (Mat), Madeleine Madden (Egwene), Zoe Robbins (Nynaeve), Marcus Rutherford (Perrin) and Josha Stradowski (Rand) will get a billing as series regulars, with Rosamund Pike (Moiraine) and Daniel Henney (Lan) probably getting the much-coveted “featuring” or “and” credits given to actors with a lot of experience and credits to their name. The status given to secondary and recurring cast varies dramatically from project to project. In many shows, recurring and guest stars (actors in several episodes of a series but not all, or just one) would not be announced ahead of time at all. For Game of Thrones, HBO were keenly aware of the media and fan interest in the property and announced even relatively minor Season 1 recurring characters like Lysa Arryn and Ser Hugh of the Vale with a surprising degree of fanfare back in 2010. It’s unclear which route Amazon will take, although I suspect their marketing plans to announce something new about the series every month means we will get some more news before the show launches. This does lead back to a bigger question though: is Thom even going to be in the series at all? For fans, cutting Thom is unthinkable. He shows up near the start of The Eye of the World and is a useful font of knowledge and information for the young characters (and exposition for readers) about the wider world, especially useful given Moiraine’s secretive nature. He has his own secrets, which in time give us more information about the Aes Sedai, the Red Ajah and the royal family of Andor, not to mention his involvement in the Cairhienin civil war in the second book. In the third book he reluctantly teams up with Mat Cauthon once again and then remains an active part of the story until the very end. As one of the original “seven samurai” who sets out from the Two Rivers at the start of The Eye of the World (with Nynaeve “making the eight,” so to speak, when she catches up with them in Baerlon), Thom is an iconic character from the books and, for many fans, cutting him should be as ridiculous an idea as dropping Legolas from the Fellowship of the Ring. That said, once the initial anger passes, an argument could be made that Thom doesn’t do a huge amount. He provides a fair bit of exposition, sure, but that could be provided through other characters, such as a more garrulous Moiraine. He spends entire books of The Wheel of Time as a background character, and even sits out the eighth book altogether. He does have some more important things to do at the end of the series, but for some readers these can come a bit out of left field and other characters could perform the same tasks. That’s not so say that I honestly expect them to cut Thom as a character, but when it comes to the core cast, he’s arguably the most disposable. They could also split the difference and keep Thom, but not introduce him until the TV show reaches the events of The Great Hunt or even The Dragon Reborn. With shooting now underway, I wouldn't be surprised to see leaks and more hints getting out about other castmembers, so we may find out if Thom is in the show, one way or another, soon. As ever, we will find out in time.
From 2006 - 2013, Dragonmount hosted a Wheel of Time podcast called The 4th Age. Our intrepid podcasters covered a wide variety of topics across 112 hour-long episodes. After a long technical hiatus, all 112 of those episodes are now available for you to download and enjoy. We plan to launch a new podcast with new hosts to cover the upcoming Wheel of Time TV show. We have our crew, but are still planning our approach, which will include patterning with an established podcast network to create and deliver top-notch WoT TV commentary. We'll have more info about that in the future. In the meantime, enjoy these 112 legacy episodes!
Adam Whitehead is Dragonmount's new TV show blogger. He'll be writing a regular column called Adam's Wheel of Television. Adam has been writing about film and television, The Wheel of Time, and other genre fiction for fifteen years. Be sure to check out his websites, The Wertzone and Atlas of Ice and Fire (including The Wheel of Time Atlas!) as well as his Patreon. Casting for Amazon’s Wheel of Time TV series is in full swing. The latest to join the Two Rivers party is Korean-American actor Daniel Henney, who has been cast as al’Lan Mandragoran, the Uncrowned King of Malkier, Diademed Battle Lord of the Malkieri and an all-round, fan-favourite character. In many respects, Lan is the closest analogue Wheel of Time has to Aragorn, the uncrowned King of Gondor in J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel The Lord of the Rings and memorably played by Viggo Mortensen in Peter Jackson’s film adaptation. Like Aragorn, Lan is the heir to a fallen lineage, who constantly questions himself and his abilities compared to his legendary ancestors. However, whilst Gondor still exists and Aragorn knows he can reclaim his throne when the time is right, for Lan he has no hope. Malkier has been destroyed utterly by the Shadow, absorbed by the Great Blight, and there is little to no chance that it will ever rise again. Instead, Lan throws himself into his war against the Shadow, spending the first twenty years of his life in fierce combat training with Bukama Marenellin, the sole survivor of the band of Malkieri warriors who bore the two-year-old Lan from his homeland. Lan becomes skilled in the art of swordplay, eventually being acclaimed a blademaster, and declares war on the Blight. He wages his personal war for years, becoming respected and honoured for his drive. Only one event takes him away from his mission, when the Aiel cross the Spine of the World and the nations unite at Tar Valon to fight the Battle of the Shining Walls. When Lan’s mentor Bukama is killed as a result of political machinations in Kandor and the manipulations of the Black Ajah (as related in New Spring), he is offered the chance to join Moiraine Damodred in her mission to find the Dragon Reborn and avert the end of the world. He agrees, becoming her Warder, and for two decades they scour every corner of the Westlands for any sign of the Dragon Reborn. Finally, destiny and the Pattern call them to the town of Emond’s Field in the Two Rivers district of Andor. Lan’s obsession with defeating the Shadow leads him to train the young men from the Two Rivers in the art of combat, but his mission acquires a new focus when he meets Nynaeve al’Meara, the village Wisdom, a resourceful and skilled young woman with a singular determination. Lan is a major character in The Wheel of Time, although one (as with many) who sometimes sits out entire books in the series. His arc from The Eye of the World through A Memory of Light is one of finding hope and something to live for, and for finding reasons to live beyond pure revenge. Daniel Henney is an interesting choice for the role. Born in Carson City, Michigan to a Korean mother and an Irish-American father, he was a star basketball player in high school and then a professional model. His career took him all over the world, but his South Korean heritage saw him picking up a lot of work in the Seoul film and TV industry. He crossed over into acting via the Korean TV drama My Name is Sam Soon, where he played Dr. Henry Kim. An acting career in South Korea beckoned, but was complicated by the fact that Henney spoke no Korean. He had to learn his lines phonetically whilst frantically cramming language lessons. Several successful roles in South Korea followed before he got his first acting gigs in the USA in 2009, on the TV series Three Rivers and in the film X-Men Origins: Wolverine, where he played Agent Zero. His US career has included guest star roles on Hawaii Five-0, Revolution and NCIS: Los Angeles, and voice-over roles in Big Hero 6 (which he reprised for the spin-off TV series) and Mowgli. He is best-known for playing FBI Special Agent Matt Simmons in the Criminal Minds franchise, appearing in 47 episodes to date. He also played the same character on the spin-off Beyond Borders, for a further 26 episodes. Henney was initially reluctant to appear on a long-running US drama series with a heavy workload (especially as he remains active in Korean TV and advertising), but was impressed by the scripts where his character was positioned as both an action hero and also a more sensitive family man in a successful relationship. He felt that Asian roles in US dramas tended to be less traditional and was happy to play a role that in the past would have gone to Caucasian actors. At 6 ft 2, Henney is certainly tall enough to fill the imposing shoes of Lan Mandragoran and his acting resume is nothing to sniff at, including comedy, action and romance. At 39 (40 in November) he is also a reasonable fit in age for Lan, who is 44 or 45 when the events of the first book begin. Henney is also a big book fan (his favourite author is Japanese author Haruki Murakami) and a major geek, complete with his own He-Man action figure collection. He is also a huge dog fan, with his dogs making frequent, unexpected appearances on his YouTube Q&A videos. Henney's videos are interesting, as they show a lot of thought and contemplation has gone into his career choices and how he embodies the characters he's playing. It'll be interesting to see the inevitable video where he talks about the decision to take on the role of Lan. So we now have our Lan Mandragoran, and I'm sure all Wheel of Time fans wish Daniel Henney well in the role. But there are still a lot of characters still out there to be cast, including Tam al'Thor, Thom Merrilin and Padan Fain, and we'll be waiting to see if we get any more casting tidbits in the next few weeks. Until next time, farewell.
Amazon announced today, via the official Wheel of Time TV show twitter account, as part of their monthly #WoTWednesday, that actor Daniel Henney has been cast in the role of Lan Mandragoran. Here’s the provided press release: For those of you fans wondering, Daniel turns 40 years old in a few months, making him right within the proper age range for the character. We’ve long speculated that Rafe Judkins, the showrunner, and Kelly Valentine Hendry, the casting director, and their teams would seek out well-established actors for the roles of Moiraine (played by Rosamund Pike) and Lan. These actors will anchor the show to begin with, just like their characters do in the series. Over time they will pave the way for the younger, more “unknown” actors to blossom into their iconic roles. Daniel is an outstanding actor and we could’t be more delighted to welcome him to the Wheel of Time community. Tell us what you think! We want to hear from you. Leave a comment here on this article, post on our forums, find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Discord. And later tonight, at 8:30 PM US eastern (5:30 PM US Pacific), join our friend Matt Hatch in The Dusty Wheel YouTube channel to discuss Daniel’s casting.
The Dragonmount staff have re-opened our Discord chat server and invite you to come and join live discussions about the Wheel of Time books, TV show, and community. If you're not familiar with it, Discord is a popular text and voice chat application. You can use it for free in your browser, in a desktop app, or on a mobile device. We'll especially be publicizing the Discord chat during live events or on popular news days, such as #WoTWednesday when the WoT TV show producers share exciting information about the upcoming show. Also, if you're a Patreon subscriber, we'll be using Discord for our bi-monthly chats with notable members of the Wheel of Time franchise and community. Come join this awesome part of the WoT and DM community!
Brandon Sanderson responded to some fans' concerns on reddit about the adaptation to the Wheel of Time TV show. Although the majority of fan reactions over the past week to the big casting announcement have been positive, some people have had concerns with the actors not looking like how they would expect. Brandon addressed these concerns by saying: He continued with: Filming of the WoT TV show will begin in September. Although we don't know the exact start date or production schedule, we know that the announced actors are either currently in Prague or on their way there to begin. No release date for the show has been announced, but the production schedule is expected to be unusually long because of the complicated material, diverse locations, and large number of visual effects.
Sony and Amazon announced today, through the official Wheel of Time Twitter account, the casting of the show's main characters. The "Big 5" Two Rivers characters. Madeleine Madden as Egwene al’Vere Marcus Rutherford as Perrin Aybara Barney Harris as Mat Cauthon Zoë Robins as Nynaeve al'Meara Josha Stradowski as Rand al’Thor Here are their official bios, as provided by Amazon: Josha Stradowski Josha Stradowski started acting as a kid in musicals like The Sound of Music and Ciske de Rat, then began playing roles in television as a teenager. He graduated from the AHK theatre school in Amsterdam and worked on multiple plays such as Oedipus, directed by Robert Icke, at Ivo van Hove's theater company ITA in 2018. He recently completed filming on a new TV series about fighter pilots. He also played the lead role in an indie feature film, Just Friends, for which he and the film received a number of awards on the international film festival circuit. Zoe Robbins New Zealand native, Zoë Robins, will soon appear in Universal & Blumhouse feature, Black Christmas, directed by Sophia Takal. She starred in the ABC pilot, The Finest, and recurred on The Shannara Chroniclesfor MTV, as well as The Killian Curse. Zoë rose to fame portraying the “White Power Ranger” on the action adventure series, Power Rangers Ninja Steel. Barney Harris In 2016 Harris shot his first feature: Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. His other films include: Billionaire Boy’s Club with Ansel Elgort, Taron Edgerton and Emma Roberts and Russian American, an independent feature produced by Molly Connors (Birdman, Child 44). Harris’ UK television include: Dominic Cooke's epic BBC Shakespeare series The Hollow Crown opposite Benedict Cumberbatch. Marcus Rutherford British Independent Film Award’s Most Promising Newcomer nominee, Marcus Rutherford made his screen debut as the lead in Jamie Jones’ feature film Obey. The story follows a young man’s struggle in bettering himself against the backdrop of the 2011 London Riots, meshing real and staged footage of the events. The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, winning Best Cinematography, and has since received high praise from critics. Peter Bradshaw, writing for The Guardian said, “there is a strong central performance from Marcus Rutherford as Leon, a young man just out of care”. For his performance in Obey, Marcus was also named “One to Watch in 2019” by the Observer and received three UK National Film Awards nominations: Best Actor, Best Breakthrough Performance and Best Newcomer. Most recently, Marcus wrapped filming County Lines. The drama about a mother and her fourteen-year old boy who is groomed into a lethal nationwide drug selling enterprise, also starring Harris Dickinson and directed by Henry Blake. Marcus discovered acting through the Nottingham Television Workshop, the BAFTA-winning charity dedicated to training young talent, whose alumni include Vicky McClure, Joe Dempsie, Jack O’Connell and Samantha Morton. Madeleine Madden Madeleine Madden is a young rising star with a fast-growing list of impressive credits to her name. She first came to the attention of her home country by being the first Australian teenager to deliver an Address to the Nation on behalf of the Generation One campaign’s call for action to create a better future for indigenous people. Her eloquent and considered speech was watched by more than six million people on national TV in 2010. Madeleine has appeared in numerous Aussie productions including ABC TV’s critically acclaimed series The Code, in Redfern Now Series 1 &2, Jack Irish: Dead Point,The Moodys,My Place,Ready for This,Tomorrow When the War Began and Doctor Doctor Series 2. She also co-starred in the Amazon mini-series Picnic at Hanging Rock alongside Natalie Dormer, inthe Screentime/Netflix seriesPine Gapand the critically acclaimed Mystery Road,a television series based on the highly celebrated film. She can currently be seen in the Netflix fantasy/drama series Tidelandsalongside Elsa Pataky. Madeleine will next be seen on the big screen this August 9thin Paramount’s Dora and the Lost Cityof Gold. Sarah Spillane’sAround the Blockwas her first feature film starring opposite Christina Ricci. Madeleine made her stage debut in Sydney Theatre Company’s production of The Secret River, directed by Neil Armfield.
For 21 years Dragonmount has provided what I think is top-notch WoT content. (That's more than half my life!) The vast majority of it has been self-funded, or done with the assistance of ad revenue, online store sales, or (on occasion), member donations. In addition, a large portion of my earnings from my own book sales have also gone to fund this grand enterprise. (I'm happy to do it!) But with the Wheel of Time TV show coming soon, along with a major boom of new fans, my volunteer staff and I have stepped up our game in order to be ready for the challenge. Here's a run-down of some of the things we've already done recently so far: Upgraded hardware. Invested in cloud-based redundancy & backups. Integrated w/ bleeding-edge content & security systems. Revamped the entire website. Improved the mobile experience. Overhauled our forums. Launched online Clubs. Countless other small things.... And most notably, you've probably already noticed but we've drastically improved our social media presence. So the volunteer staff and I are ready to take DM, and the WoT community, to the next level. But to do that, we need your help. That's where this Patreon comes in. We're seeking people to help us fund our efforts by donating as little as $5 per month. In return, you'll get some notable incentives including: Additional WoT history, insight, content. Extra 4th Age podcast episodes. Access to live online chats w/ cool people like Team Jordan & Brandon Sanderson. Instant access to download "Finding Robert Jordan", a short story written by me. If you love what we're doing, and want to see us take it to the next level, I hope you'll consider supporting us. Take a look at our Patreon page to read the details. Spread the word. Tell people how much you love getting exclusive stuff that provides insight to the series. We all know how special the Wheel of Time is. Our community is about to be Reborn into a new Age of fandom. This is an exciting time for the franchise, and it's my goal to have Dragonmount continue to be a top-notch location for all things WoT. Thanks for reading this thread, and I hope you'll consider backing us! (PS: Backers will also get occasional special content for my sci-fi & fantasy books as well! So it you enjoyed the Mystic Trilogy, or want to learn more, or want to be the first to hear about my next writing projects, you can get that through the Patreon!) Patreon Link https://www.patreon.com/dragonmount
Harriet McDougal's birthday is approaching and we, the fans, want to make it extra special. Alan Romanczuk has asked for support in sending Harriet some birthday goodies. Please consider helping all of The Wheel of Time fandom celebrate this wonderful woman!
As part of our on-going effort to prepare the website for the forthcoming Wheel of Time TV show, we've added a "new" (really older, but improved) website feature called Clubs. A Club is a group you can join at Dragonmount where you can meet people with shared interests. We have 3 basic types of clubs: Specific Interest Clubs, Wheel of Time themed clubs, and a role-playing club. Specific-Interest Clubs: such as the Bela Fan Club, Brandon Sanderson Cosmere Club, or the DM Writers Club, are mostly unstructured and intended to foster discussion around those topics. Themed Clubs: these clubs are based on Wheel of Time organizations such as the White Tower, Band of the Red Hand, or Ogier. Each club will have some sort of structure to it and is a great way to meet fans with similar interests. Role Playing Club: Our Wheel of Time roleplaying Club allows you to participate in forum-based role-playing, a feature we've had since 1998! All Clubs are 100% free to join. Just had over to https://dragonmount.com/clubs and join as many as you like. You can even inquire with the Club leader about being a moderator or co-leader, or start your own club. (New Club requirements) In addition to adding Clubs, we've archived many of our older forums in order to better focus them on 3 areas: the books, the TV show, and "Off Topic." For long-time members, don't worry, all of the older social groups, role-playing, and forum games have been shifted over to the Clubs. If you are looking for something specific, just ask! If you'd like to participate, just register for a free account and get started! Visit our Clubs now More info on our forums Requirements to start your own Club