This interview took place before the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the series being covered here wouldn’t exist.
Prime Video’s The Wheel of Time is coming back with a second season, and while we’ll see the return of much-loved characters, we’ll also be seeing some new faces. Two of those new faces are Ceara Coveney, who plays the newest novice at the White Tower, Elayne Trakand, and Dónal Finn, who is taking over the role of Mat Cauthon after actor Barney Harris left the series after season one.
I had the chance to interview both of them, along with Marcus Rutherford, who is once again playing Perrin, before the SAG-AFTRA strike. While we didn’t have much time together, I did ask each of them about what people and/or place they’d love to have their characters experience.
“Perrin doesn’t really interact with that many Aes Sedai or the White Tower world. And whenever I watch the episodes or read the episodes, I think that’s a whole hierarchy and structure that is just fascinating to watch,” Rutherford told me. “It feels like a completely different show in itself. And usually I’m just out in the woods somewhere. So I think it’d be a really cool experience to interact with those extremely powerful characters.”
For Coveney, the opportunity to play such a beloved character like Elyane and having scenes with Egwene and Nynaeve, played respectively by Madeleine Madden and Zoë Robins, was something she was over the moon about. That didn’t stop her, however, from getting multiversal in her answer. “I’d love to see how she would fare in the Dune universe against House Harkonnen and House Atreides and how she’d fare there,” she said.
As for Mat, Finn said that his character “needs is to see his friends more than anything,” but that, in another fantastical universe, he would enjoy getting second breakfast with some iconic characters. “He’d fit in really well with the boys of the Hobbits in The Lord of the Rings,” said Finn, “and it would be nice for him to be the taller member of the cast as well in that sense.”
One character we get to meet on-screen in season two is Elyas, the wolf brother played by actor Gary Beadle, whose long list of previous credits includes playing the character Clem on Andor. Rutherford also shared what it was like working with Beadle, and how Perrin meeting Elyas impacts the character:
“Working with Gary was amazing. I think the amazing thing on this show is we’re starting out in our careers, in a way, but you get these vets who come in, and they’re just so confident, and whether it be Kae [Alexander, who plays Min] or Fares Fares [who plays The Dark One] or Gary. And [Gary] is a bit like a teacher in the way that he acts, and he was perfect for that role. And I think that Perrin’s journey at that time, you needed someone to show him this different side of himself. And I think in season one, he’s still very confused about what’s happening. And then as we come into season two, he realizes that he has these different abilities. And it’s a very daunting prospect—he has this completely different, animalistic side to him. But I think Gary portrays this beautiful balance between human and animal, and I think he embodies that. It’s quite hard to bring that into the TV series, because in the books, you can kind of delve into it and the dream world a little bit more. But I think Gary did an amazing job embodying the wolf brother side of the books.”
The first three episodes of The Wheel of Time’s second season start streaming on Prime Video on September 1, 2023. Subsequent episodes will become available on a weekly basis.