Amazon’s Wheel of Time TV series revealed the first look of Rosamund Pike as Moiraine recently and answered a bevy of questions about the show and the character. They reveal a few interesting details about both.
First, if you don’t know or don’t remember, Moiraine is a member of the Aes Sedai, a cabal of all-female wizards who spend most of their time manipulating the world for the interests of themselves, who are headquartered at the White Tower (as referenced in the quick vid below). Moiraine is one of its most powerful and respected members and becomes the guide and advisor to the series’ main protagonist Rand (played by Josa Stradowski). Rand is the reincarnation of the Dragon Reborn, a legendary figure destined to both save the world and destroy it.
So, she’s a big deal. Here’s how she—or at least her face—will appear in the show:
After the video was posted, showrunner Rafe Judkins also answered another bevy of questions on Twitter, some of which are quite interesting and compiled here:
Channeling is what casting magic is called in The Wheel of Time; power is either drawn from the male half or the female half of the One Power, although at the beginning of the series only women can channel magic. The premise is extremely binary, at least in the books.
First, a kesiera is a magical pendant Moiraine wears which allows her to eavesdrop on people. Second, the note about not spending money on CGing characters is interesting, even if the answer is obvious. The Wheel of Time is going to have an immense amount of VFX even if it’s only trying to look half as good as Game of Thrones, so it makes sense that Judkins wouldn’t waste it there, especially since Pike already looks amazing?
Noting that the books had LGBTQ representation is a technicality to say the very least. Some of the young women who are training in the women-only White Tower have lesbian relationships, which are presented as youthful flings borne out of restricted opportunity and merely a phase they grow out of once they graduate. Minus those Aes Sedai in training, you could count the number of lesbian, gay, and bisexual characters in Robert Jordan’s books on one hand (there are no trans characters unless you count one dude who is magically transformed against his will into a woman, and that’s not handled very well).
When once asked about it, Jordan said, “I have gay and lesbian characters in my books, but the only time it has really come into the open is with the Aes Sedai because I haven’t been inside the heads of any other characters who are either gay or bi. For the most part, in this world such things are taken as a matter of course.” An explanation for why LGBTQ characters are almost never mentioned is not representation. Thankfully, when Brandon Sanderson took over the series after Jordan’s death in 2007, things improved somewhat, but there’s a lot of room left for improvement which the show will need to fill to be appropriately representative in 2021.
Judkins answered a few other questions on Twitter here, if you’re so inclined. The Wheel of Time series still doesn’t have a release date, but expect more information to continue to be parceled out in dribs and drabs.
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