Exclusive: Daniel Henney talks sword training in The Wheel of Time season 3

Daniel Henney (Lan) from The Wheel of Time. Image designed by Richard Durante / FanSided.
Daniel Henney (Lan) from The Wheel of Time. Image designed by Richard Durante / FanSided. /

The second season of Amazon Prime Video’s epic fantasy show The Wheel of Time is fast approaching! Based on the beloved book series by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, The Wheel of Time is an epic story of light against darkness, friendships tested to their limits, magic, politics, and more. The world is set to grow a lot in season 2, which is adapting The Great Hunt and some material from The Dragon Reborn, the second and third books in Jordan’s series.

Back in June, before the SAG-AFTRA strike, we had the opportunity to speak to some of the cast members. Last week we previewed an excerpt from our conversation with Daniel Henney (Lan); now you can watch the entire interview on the Winter Is Coming YouTube channel!

Daniel Henney tells us what kind of training it takes to be a warder

The Wheel of Time features plenty of action, and as an extremely proficient warrior, Lan is often right in the thick of it. How does Henney get ready for filming those action set pieces?

“We prepare per scene,” he explained. “So like, I just got some video sent to me this morning for some fighting that I have to do when I get back [for season 3]. It’s kind of like that, they’ll send me the video a few weeks ahead of time, I’ll start to get it in my head. I have a gym here at my house and some swords downstairs, so I’ll jump into Lan down there and start to do the forms. And then once we get to Prague, I meet with all the Czech stunt guys and stunt ladies, and we rip into it for about a week straight. And you know, it’s a lot of sweat, and a lot of banged up hands and bruises.”

"That’s all I need now. In the beginning I needed close to a month to learn anything over a hundred beats, which is a hundred hits. But now I’m pretty comfortable."

The Wheel of Time season 2

Prior to The Wheel of Time, Henney was perhaps best known for playing Matt Simmons on the crime procedural Criminal Minds. Playing a character like Lan requires a whole different skill set. This is something Henney was particularly excited about when he decided to do the series.

"This show is something I always wished for as an actor, you know? It’s like I want to be on a show where they come pick you up and take you to horse training, and then you’ve got sword training, then you’ve got stunts and you’ve got dialect. And it’s like ‘what would that be like,’ and trust me, that’s The Wheel of Time."

Did Daniel Henney just drop a major tease for The Wheel of Time season 3?!

In The Wheel of Time novels, Lan’s sword training often takes on an almost meditative quality as he goes through stretches called the Kata and works through various sword poses, most of which have fun, evocative names like “Eel Among the Lily Pads” and “Oak Shakes its Branches.” Near the end of our conversation, Henney got to talking about one particular sword form he’s trying to work into The Wheel of Time’s third season, and teased a certain sparring partner that made me perk up with excitement.

“I’ve got a modified version of Cat Crosses the Courtyard that I’m trying to work on, I’m trying to get put into season 3 if I can,” Henney said. “But it’s like…the classic version doesn’t really fit in the scene we’re trying to do, so we’re trying to modify it. So you might get to see that. And the Kata is modified as well.”

"You might see that with a specific other male character that Lan has to spend time with with the swords."

Henney’s mention of a “specific other male character” got my mind racing. I’ll walk you through my thoughts below, but be warned there will be BOOK SPOILERS for the first four Wheel of Time novels.

The Wheel of Time
The Wheel of Time /

Will Lan and Rand train together in The Wheel of Time season 3?

While Lan crosses swords with plenty of people throughout The Wheel of Time novels, there’s one character who he spends a particularly large amount of time training with: Rand al’Thor, the Dragon Reborn. During The Eye of the World, Rand comes into the possession of a Heron-mark sword from his father, Tam. Heron-mark blades are traditionally wielded by blademasters with exceptional skills. When Rand first starts wielding the sword, he most certainly does not fit that description.

In The Great Hunt, Lan and Rand gradually grow closer by training together. Eventually, Rand does come to earn the title of blademaster by defeating another blademaster during the battle at Falme, which we’ll likely see in the show’s second season. But the training keeps going after that.

We don’t know if Lan and Rand will get any time to train together in season 2 since the show’s first season ended with them going separate ways. But it sounds like we might see some of those iconic scenes happen in season 3.

What do you think? Are you as convinced as I am, or do you think Lan will be training with someone else? Let us know in the comments!

The three-episode premiere for The Wheel of Time season 2 drops September 1 on Prime Video. If you enjoyed this interview, make sure to check out our talk with Marcus Rutherford (Perrin) and Dónal Finn (Mat) as well:

Next. The Wheel of Time: Watch our interview with Marcus Rutherford and Dónal Finn. dark

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