Back in June, before the SAG-AFTRA strike, we were lucky enough to speak to a few of the cast members from The Wheel of Time about what to expect in season 2, including Dónal Finn and Marcus Rutherford. Today we’re back to share another interview excerpt, this one from our conversation with Daniel Henney, who plays the warder Lan Mandragoran.
Lan is the bodyguard and closest confidante of Rosamund Pike’s Aes Sedai sorceress Moiraine. We spoke with Henney about how making season 2 compared to season 1, which was filmed during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Wheel of Time season 1 “made some mistakes”
While we’re only a few short weeks away from the premiere of season 2, when we spoke to Henney, filming was already well underway on season 3. Henney said he was “excited” for fans to see season 2, but admitted that “we’re always nervous when you’re starting a new season.”
There’s a lot of pressure on The Wheel of Time to deliver in season 2. Not only are Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time books beloved by millions, but the show’s first season had a rocky production due to the COVID-19 pandemic, particular in the latter part of the season.
“Season 1 did really well so we’re happy with it…but any first season of a show is, kind of a trial to kind of figuring it out, trying to get your traction a bit,” Henney said. “[Answering] what are we as a show? We made some mistakes, we had a lot of internal struggle.”
"So season 2, even though there was the pandemic, which we got shut down three or four times for, but we do feel like it’s a more complete season. It looks more like the show we want to have out there, the pacing is better, the tone is better. So we’re excited for people to see this season for sure."
Lan will have a “more complete” emotional journey in season 2
When last we saw Lan, he had just reunited with Moiraine after she and Rand al’Thor’s (Josha Stradowski) fought with the Forsaken Ishamael (Fares Fares) at the Eye of the World. Ishamael cut Moiraine off from the One Power, though we don’t yet know if it was permanent. Considering that Lan and Moiraine are linked by magic, this is sure to complicate their relationship in season 2.
According to Henney, Lan’s emotional journey will feel more well-rounded in season 2. “Throughout the first probably four or five episodes [of season 1] he’s pretty stoic, he doesn’t say much. And then he has the big, I think it’s the fifth episode where he has the huge outburst where his friend dies,” Henney said, citing the moment where Lan served as the designated griever at the warder Stepin’s funeral.
"It did feel to me at times that the emotion needed to find its rightful place. I think season 2 gave me the chance to find a through line with him, to sort of explain emotionally where he sits. And so we take a journey with him, but it’s not quite so up and down. It’s kind of more flowy, where he does hit those emotions and he does go back into himself, but it just seemed more complete."
We’ll see what lies ahead for Lan, Moiraine and the rest when The Wheel of Time’s three-episode season premiere drops September 1 on Prime Video. Our full interview with Daniel Henney will be coming to the Winter Is Coming YouTube channel next week!
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