The Wheel of Time cast is competing to see who can finish the books first

Image: The Wheel of Time/Amazon Prime Video
Image: The Wheel of Time/Amazon Prime Video /

Fans of Robert Jordan’s epic 14-novel series The Wheel of Time will finally see an adaptation on Amazon Prime in just a couple weeks. Naturally, the cast is huge, and not all of them have read the entire series yet. While Marcus Rutherford (Perrin) and Josha Stradakowski (Rand) were happy to race ahead, Zoe Robins (Nynaeve) and Madeleine Madden (Egwene) took a more measured approach.

As part of a roundtable discussion ahead of the series release, Robins and Madden explained that neither of them were familiar with the books before being cast.

Madeleine Madden: “We were not one of the ninety million people that have read them, I don’t know what rock we were living under. Obviously now we are familiar with The Wheel of Time world. I think for us, and we’ve talked about this a lot, is we would read as far as we were in filming. I think for our processes as actresses it was really important for us to remain in the moment. Obviously we know major moments that happen in this season coming up, but I think it was integral to our characters to just stay focused on where we were. Josha has powered ahead; he has flown through them! He has absolutely left us in the dust.”

Zoe Robins: “He has put us all to shame. We’ve had the same amount of time, but for whatever reason he’s just obliterated us.”

Having picked up the series shortly after the Amazon adaptation was announced, I can happily say I am now on book eight. These are not small tomes; with an expansive cast of characters and a worldwide scope, they get long fast. The climatic chapter in the final book, A Memory of Light, is longer than the entirety of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

It’s very impressive that Stradowski has powered through it, particularly since he has extra hurdles to overcome. “I remember we were in the car once, and I was saying, ‘I’m such a slow reader, I’m terrible at reading,'” Madden remembered, “and Josh said, ‘I’m also a slow reader, I’m reading the books in my second language, and I’m dyslexic.’  So I have zero excuse! (Laughs) I think just reading the books as we were in the scripts was helpful.”

Still, there is no right or wrong way to read The Wheel of Time, as Robins reiterated. “We all have different processes, and mine has been the same as Madeline. To just take the scripts as they come and focus on those. And if I feel the need to go back and do some research, or ask Rafe, or all of our experts that we have on hand. But I know the boys it was definitely a competition at some point. So they were off fighting for the title of who had finished The Wheel of Time first. It could still be anyone’s game!”

For now, it seems like Stradowski is firmly in the lead, but anything can happen. With the team already working on The Wheel of Time season 2, Madden and Robins may get to finish the books sooner than they think.

The Wheel of Time drops its first three episode on November 19, with the remaining five episodes of season 1 coming out each Wednesday.

Next. Rand and Perrin actors talk changing The Wheel of Time for TV. dark

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