The Wheel of Time news has been rolling out steadily since the show began production in Prague over the summer. Just this week, several actors announced via social media that they had joined the highly anticipated fantasy series. Among the new cast members for Wheel of Time is veteran actress Maria Doyle Kennedy. The Irish actress has plenty of genre cred to her name, she currently co-stars in Outlander as Jamie’s fiery Aunt Jocasta. Prior to that role, she appeared in the sci-fi hit Orphan Black for five seasons.
Maria Doyle Kennedy And Several Other Actors Announce Their Wheel of Time Involvement Via Social Media
Kennedy didn’t reveal what role she would be playing in Wheel of Time. However there are still several major roles that have yet to be filled. With her signature auburn hair and blue eyes, she fits the physical description of Queen Morgase of Andor nicely. However it is also highly likely that she could be playing one of the major Aes Sedai roles that have not yet been revealed, such as Elaida or Siuan.
Image via Dragonmount.com
Alongside Maria Doyle Kennedy, several other actors posted images with Wheel of Time scripts on social media this week. Only one of these actors confirmed their role in the show. Kate Fleetwood (Harlots) will play an Aes Sedai: Liandrin Guirale of the Red Ajah. Daryl McCormack (Peaky Blinders) also posted an image on social media with his script. We still do not know what role McCormack will be playing, although his casting was actually announced back in November. The popular theory right now is that he will play the handsome young Tinker named Aram.
Jennifer Cheon Garcia (Arrow) will also play an Aes Sedai (there are a lot of them) according to her Instagram hashtag. We don’t know who she will be playing, but it is extremely likely that she has been cast as Leane Sharif. Although Leane does not show up until the second book, recent developments seem to indicate that the first season will cover both Eye of the World and at least some portion of the second book The Great Hunt. One of those clues involve recently released episode titles for the first season of Wheel of Time.
Episode Titles Reveal Clues About Pacing and Plot For Wheel of Time
There has been a lot of speculation over how much book each season of Wheel of Time will cover. This is a long series, and each book ranges between 600-1000 pages. There is a huge cast of characters and an incredibly detailed world to build. However there has been a surprising amount of fan support in trimming down the excess in order for the show to translate from page to screen. Only now it looks like Rafe Judkins could be doing a lot more consolidation than expected, at least where the first book The Eye of the World is concerned.
In posting images of their scripts, several of the cast members have revealed key episode titles that seem to indicate that the first season will move quickly through EOTW and into the second book The Great Hunt. The first three episodes have titles that correspond directly to chapter titles in EOTW: “Leavetaking,” “Shadow’s Waiting,” and “A Place of Safety.”
Madeline Madden (Egwene Al’Vere) poses with her script for episode 6: The Flame of Tar Valon | Image via Dragonmount.com
Episode Titles Correspond To Chapter Titles… But The Timeline May Not
Another bit of news from social media reveals that the fourth episode of the first season of Wheel of Time is titled “The Dragon Reborn.” This is both the title of a chapter in the second book, and also the title of the third book in the series. However episodes 5 and 6 are titled “Blood Calls Blood” and “The Flame of Tar Valon.” These are both chapter titles from book 2: The Great Hunt. It also makes sense for the show to want to get to Tar Valon in the first season, as this is the seat of the Aes Sedai and will be a primary location for the series moving forward.
This news means that instead of moving linearly through the novels, Wheel of Time may instead pull in characters and elements from later in the series for pacing and plot purposes. Rafe Judkins has already spoken openly about his desire to expand certain roles such as that of Logain. In order to do this, he will definitely have to take liberties with the timeline of the novels. He has also said that the prologue to Eye of the World will not appear in the first episode. The prologue takes place thousands of years before the events of the series. But Judkins has said that this scene could appear later in the series.
Personally I am okay with Judkins taking liberties with the timeline and moving quickly through Eye of the World. There are so many books in this series, and they definitely need to be consolidated for adaptation purposes. I only hope the first season does not feel rushed or confusing, but only time will tell. The first season of Wheel of Time is set to premiere on Amazon Prime in 2021. You can stay up to date on the latest Wheel of Time news by following Comic Years on Facebook and Twitter today.
(Featured image via Tor)
Emily O'Donnell is a writer and photographer with roots in some of the earliest online fandoms. She cut her genre teeth on the Wizard of Oz books at the tender age of 6 years old, and was reading epic adult fantasy novels by the age of 10. Decades later, she still consumes genre fiction like there is no tomorrow. She is delighted to be living through the golden age of sci-fi and fantasy popularity. She is unashamed of the amount of fanfiction that still lingers online under her name.