For those still anxiously awaiting the upcoming Lord of the Rings series (set for September 2022), Amazon Prime Video may have just what you need to stay occupied on their 2021 fall TV schedule, with The Wheel of Time. Developed by Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. producer Rafe Judkins, the series follows an experienced wielder of magic (Rosamund Pike) - an ability that becomes a crutch of sorts when she and a group of young “channelers,” as they are called, are thrust into a dangerous adventure.
The late Robert Jordan’s original fantasy novels that inspired the show apparently feature a total of 2,782 characters, but there are only seven main players that we know of so far in The Wheel of Time cast. We will break down their own personal journeys up to this point one by one, starting with the Academy Award-nominated lead.
Rosamund Pike (Moiraine Damodred)
The main hero of The Wheel of Time, noted for her impressive channeling abilities, is Moiraine Damodred, played by series producer Rosamund Pike. The English actress, noted for her impressive acting abilities, debuted in the British TV movie A Rather English Marriage in 1998 before transitioning into film with Pierce Brosnan’s final James Bond film, Die Another Day, in 2002.
Pike would go on to star in several period dramas, like 2005’s Pride & Prejudice, a few sci-fi action flicks like Doom with Dwayne Johnson, some comedies like The World’s End from Edgar Wright, and grounded thrillers like David Fincher’s Gone Girl, which earned her an Oscar nomination in 2015. The I Care A Lot star is also an accomplished voice actress who leant her vocal talents to BBC’s 2018 remake of Watership Down, narrates Archibald’s Next Big Thing for Netflix, and stars in the title role of the dramatic podcast Edith!, which she also produces.
Daniel Henney (Lan Mondragoran)
As Moiraine’s protector, Lan Mondragoran, we have Daniel Henney, who also knows what it is like to break into the American movie industry with an infamous installment of a popular franchise. After appearing in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine as Agent Zero, he joined the cast of the short-lived medical drama Three Rivers, led the 2012 rom-com Shanghai Calling, appeared alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Last Stand in 2013, and landed recurring roles on hit TV dramas Hawaii Five-0 and Revolution.
In 2014, Henney returned to superhero movies as the voice of Tadashi in Big Hero 6 (whom he would reprise in the spin-off series) and also reprised FBI agent Matt Simmons as a Criminal Minds cast regular when the spin-off he originated the character on (Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders) was cancelled after one season. In addition to starring with the Wheel of Time cast, the actor also has a TV movie in the works called Occult.
Josha Stradowski (Rand al’Thor)
Rand al’Thor, a distant relative of Moiraine Damodred who can also wield magic, is played by Josha Stradowski. Originating from the Netherlands, where he got his start performing in theatre, the actor received his big break on the long-running European drama Spangas in 2011.
He won an award for his performance in the made-for-TV LGBTQ+ romance Just Friends in 2018, appeared opposite Marwan Kenzari (Jafar in the live-action Aladdin remake, and Joe in Netflix’s The Old Guard) in the 2019 thriller Instinct, and is leading the cast of the Dutch-language Air Force pilot drama High Flyers since 2020. The Wheel of Time is Stradowski’s English-language debut.
Madeleine Madden (Egwene al’Vere)
Fellow channeler Egwene al’Vere on The Wheel of Time is played by Australian actress Madeleine Madden, who made her American debut as Sammy in Dora and the Lost City of Gold in 2019. However, she did make her feature film debut alongside American actress Christina Ricci in 2013’s Around the Block.
Her first Amazon Prime Video original series (also an Australian import) was the limited series Picnic at Hanging Rock in 2018, which was the same year she appeared in two other Aussie miniseries, called Tidelands and Pine Gap - both of which were distributed in the United States by Netflix. She will be reprising her character from the video game franchise ARK in an upcoming animated series adaptation, and her 1960s-set musical drama, Maestro, is in pre-production.
Marcus Rutherford (Perrin Aybara)
Wolfbrother Perrin Aybara (meaning he bears many characteristics of wolves) is portrayed on The Wheel of Time by Marcus Rutherford. The English actor first debuted in the short crime drama, Country Lines, as Sadiq two years before reprising the role in the feature-length adaptation in 2019.
Outside of joining the Wheel of Time cast, Rutherford has just six other credits to his name, including an episode of the BBC comedy-mystery series Shakespeare & Hathaway: Private Investigators, and his lead performance in the UK-based 2018 thriller Obey. More recently, he had a recurring role on the action-packed British series, Bulletproof, for its second season.
Zoë Robins (Nynaeve al'Meara)
Nynaeve al'Meara - a powerful channeler who develops a romance with Lan Mondragoran - is played on The Wheel of Time by Zoë Robins, who has plenty of experience with the fantasy genre so far. The New Zealand native debuted on the dystopian drama The New Tomorrow, followed by a more modern horror TV show called The Killian Curse, before appearing on The Shannara Chronicles on MTV (before it was picked up Spike) first got her noticed in the states.
In 2017, she became the “White Ranger” on Power Rangers Ninja Steel a year before making her feature-length debut in Regina King-directed TV movie The Finest. Her theatrical film debut (and, perhaps, her biggest role to date) was Blumhouse’s remake of Black Christmas from 2019.
Barney Harris (Mat Cauthon)
A more roguish character from the Wheel of Time cast named Mat Cauthon is played in the premiere season (before Dónal Finn replaces him in Season 2) by Barney Harris. His first screen acting credit is the 2015 rom-com All Roads Lead to Rome starring Sex and the City cast member Sarah Jessica Parker. The following year, he appeared alongside the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch for a couple of episodes of the historical miniseries The Hollow Crown.
After playing a soldier in Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, from director Ang Lee, in 2018, Harris appeared on the second season of another British TV show called Clique. After a couple of UK-based shorts, he returned to feature films with Brighton Beach in 2020, and starred in the movie A Brixton Tale in 2021.
As I would come to find out while researching the characters from this Amazon Prime Video TV show, I would practically have to summarize the entire original book series to give you the right amount of exposition. However, I hope I have at least helped you become better acquainted with the actors from the Wheel of Time cast in time for its premiere on Friday, November 19, 2021. Robert Jordan fans best make sure they have an Amazon Prime subscription!
Jason has been writing since he was able to pick up a washable marker, with which he wrote his debut illustrated children's story, later transitioning to a short-lived comic book series and (very) amateur filmmaking before finally settling on pursuing a career in writing about movies in lieu of making them. Look for his name in just about any article related to Batman.
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