We wait for the wheels to turn again. With Amazon's The Wheel of Time season 2 having wrapped filming, and the service putting a full blitz behind Lord of The Rings: The Rings of Power, it certainly feels like we're in the season of high fantasy on Prime Video. And showrunner Rafe Judkin gave a little detail on when to expect season 2 (essentially, when not to expect it), and how The Wheel of Time season 2 will combine elements from books 2 and 3!
On top of that, fantasy series marked its production wrap by unveiling a behind-the-scenes teaser video. It hints at some new locations and epic action scenes. Oh, and news has broken about how the show will be different from the first season.
Prime Video ordered The Wheel of Time season 2 before the series ever debuted! The new season was already half-filmed when the first season premiered last November. The series, based on Robert Jordan's bestselling books, polarized longtime fans but seemingly was popular enough to merit more episodes.
The adaptation centers on Moiraine (Rosamund Pike), a member of the Aes Sedai, a powerful organization of women who can wield magic. She visits a small village, seeking an individual prophesied to either save the world or destroy it. As the Last Battle with the Dark One approaches, Moiraine leads five young villagers on a dangerous journey to new lands — in a bid to discover which of them is the Dragon that was foretold.
Here's everything we know so far about The Wheel of Time season 2.
The Wheel of Time season 2 release date speculation
Amazon hasn't set The Wheel of Time season 2 release date, but we can engage in some educated speculation. Originally, we expected The Wheel of Time's second season in late 2022, following Amazon's other fantasy show, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. What a 1-2 combo that would have been.
Then, a late-late 2022 debut was pushed when, well, the series didn't drop. Fortunately, we now know that The Wheel of Time season 2 is coming in 2023. When asked about rumors of an early 2023 release by Dragonmount (opens in new tab), Judkin said there's still more work to be done with post-production, but to expect it this year. So, we think a spring/summer 2023 release window seems likely.
He also said that since books 2 and 3 share similar content, in terms of Rand and Ishmael, and they wouldn't want the show to feel repetitive, to expect content from book 3 in season 2.
Production for Wheel of Time season 2 concluded in May 2022 according to the show's own social media (opens in new tab), and that gives our original prediction more credence. Season 1 wrapped in May 2021 and debuted the following November, so it makes sense they could follow that same schedule.
The Wheel of Time season 2 sneak peek and teaser
Released at New York Comic Con 2022, this Wheel of Time season 2 sneak peek begins with Moraine (Rosamund Pike) saying "We didn't defeat the Dark One, we set his strongest lieutenant [pronounced 'leftenant'] free… He may be waking the Forsaken." Other returning characters shown are Also appearing in the clip, we see the return of Rand al'Thor (Josha Stradowski), Egwene al'Vere (Madeleine Madden), Perrin Aybara (Marcus Rutherford) and Nynaeve al'Meara (Zoë Robins).
To celebrate the end of filming on The Wheel of Time season 2, the show unveiled a behind-the-scenes teaser video. It has extremely brief glimpses of table reads, prop weapons, location shoots and fight choreography.
The Wheel of Time season 2 cast and casting rumors
The Wheel of Time season 2 will start expanding the cast of characters greatly, keeping the series in line with the books. Most of the main crew will return, with one exception. Barney Harris, who played the roguish Mat Cauthon, mysteriously left the show midway through season 1's production, making for an awkward latter two episodes.
In his place, Deadline (opens in new tab) reports that Dónal Finn (The Witcher, Chasing Bono) will join The Wheel of Time as the fan-favorite character.
The latest Wheel of Time season 2 casting rumor surrounds the character of Elyas Machera, who comes across Perrin and Egwene on the road. WoTSeries (opens in new tab) reported that actor Gary Beadle (who was rumored for the role) now lists it in his resume (opens in new tab) on the website owned by his representation, Lou Coulson Associates. The announcement has not been made official.
Here's the confirmed cast list we know so far:
- Rosamund Pike as Moiraine Damodred
- Daniel Henney as Lan Mandragoran
- Josha Stradowski as Rand al'Thor
- Marcus Rutherford as Perrin Aybara
- Dónal Finn as Mat Cauthon
- Madeleine Madden as Egwene al'Vere
- Zoë Robins as Nynaeve al'Meara
- Ceara Coveney as Elayne Trakand
- Thomas Chaanhing as Lord Agelmar
- Sophie Okonedo as Siuan Sanche
- Guy Roberts as Uno Nomesta
- Sandra Yi Sencindiver as Lady Amalisa
- Gregg Chillingirian as Ingtar Shinowa
- Arnas Fedaravicius as Masema Dagar
- Natasha O'Keeffe in a to-be-announced role
- Meera Syal in a to-be-announced role
The role of Aviendha has apparently yet to be cast.
The following are unconfirmed returning cast members:
- Hammed Animashaun as Loial
- Kae Alexander as Min Farshaw
- Priyanka Bose as Alanna Mosvani
- Fares Fares as Ishamael
- Kate Fleetwood as Liandrin Guirale
- Jennifer Cheon Garcia as Leane Sharif
- Emmanuel Imani as Ihvon
- Taylor Napier as Maksim
The Wheel of Time season 2 episode list
We don't know much about the episode list for season 2, but it looks like we'll get eight again like the first season. The first episode title and director was revealed by the official Wheel of Time Twitter account (opens in new tab).
Sanaa Hamri, according to Deadline (opens in new tab), is directing half of the season. Here's the list so far.
- Episode 1: A Taste of Solitude, directed by Amanda Kate Shuman
- Episode 2: TBA
- Episode 3: TBA
- Episode 4: TBA
- Episode 5: TBA
- Episode 6: TBA
- Episode 7: TBA
- Episode 8: TBA
The Wheel of Time season 2 episodes will be longer
Showrunner Rafe Judkins hasn't spilled much of the beans about the new season, but he did note (opens in new tab) that The Wheel of Time season 2's episodes "are longer than the first season."
The Wheel of Time season 2: What we'd like to see
The Wheel of Time season 1 was overall pretty good, though it had notable faults in pacing and writing quality. As a huge fan of the books, I generally enjoyed the first season, though I had many nitpicks about accuracy and such.
That in mind, I'm ambivalent about The Wheel of Time show as it stands right now. However, I want to see it succeed, so here are some changes I'd like to see in season 2.
Better VFX: The visual effects for The Wheel of Time's first season were all over the place. Sometimes, they looked great and other times, they looked incredibly low-budget and shoddy. The COVID-19 pandemic certainly threw a wrench in things, so I hope that the production crew can do a better job for this next season.
More consistent writing and structure: While I think the core of the show was fine, the writing was all over the place. Contradictions to the books' lore, and just lackluster writing in places certainly made me raise an eyebrow more than once. The pacing left a lot to be asked for, and the show wasted its very limited time on superfluous things (like the Stepin arc). And as such, we had few opportunities to get to know the characters, other than Moiraine. I'd like to see season 2 have much more consistency in quality, especially in dialogue.
More immersive set design and costuming: I liked the costume and set design in the first season, but almost everything felt too contrived. I saw one person describe the sets as "just looking like sets instead of places you could go to." A frequent complaint I saw throughout the first season was that the costumes were too clean. In the case of the Aes Sedai, this isn't a problem since they can use the One Power to keep their clothing clean. But the rest of the cast looked a bit too pristine. Compare this to the cast of Netflix's The Witcher, most of whom looked downright filthy when they should have.
Stay truer to the source material: I'm not going to sit here and say the show must be 100% book-accurate. That's not how an adaptation works. But The Wheel of Time season 1 changed a few too many things from the books, and disregarded many other pieces of canon as well, which even a few fans who never read the books thinking with raised eyebrows. The show-runners deserve some creative liberty, but at a certain point, an adaptation stops being "based on" its source material and becomes "inspired by" it.
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