The Wheel of Time actor Josha Stradowski claimed that he doesn’t see the character he plays in Amazon’s adaptation of Robert Jordan’s book as a hero. In fact, he claims he doesn’t like him being described as a hero.
Stradowski’s comments regarding his character, Rand al’Thor, came in a promotional video for the series provided to IGN that sees a number of the actors discussing their characters.
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The actor begins by describing Rand saying, “Well, Rand is…he’s just a sheepherder. He’s a farmer boy and he is in lead of the sheep. He takes care of the sheep with his father.”
“He follows his heart often and he takes, he makes decisions very impulsively so I guess other people would call him stubborn, you know? But I would say he’s very lovingly and afraid. He’s many things.”
Stradowski then claimed he doesn’t see Rand al’Thor as a hero. He explained, “I don’t see him as a hero. I know I try to approach him in a very human way, you know?”
“In my book, it says Rand – hero, which I don’t really like. I just want him to be… At first he’s just a sheepherder. He’s from the Two Rivers,” he asserted.
In Robert Jordan’s The Eye of the World, Rand is indeed a sheepherder before the wheel weaves him into a much larger player after he is attacked by Trollocs and begins a journey to the White Tower of Tar Valon with Moiraine Damodred.
Jordan clearly writes when describing Tam and Rand’s house in the book, “House, barn, and stone sheep pen formed the points of a triangle around the farmyard, where a few chickens had ventured out to scratch at the cold ground. An open shearing shed and a stonedipping trough stood next to the sheep pen.”
He further added, “When Rand took a look in the stone pen, the heavyhorned herd ram looked back at him, but most of the blackfaced flock remained placidly where they lay, or stood with their heads in the feed trough. Their coats were thick and curly, but it was still too cold for shearing.”
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In Amazon’s adaptation of Jordan’s books, there is a brief scene where Tam and Rand walked past their sheep pen showing that Rand is indeed a sheepherder.
But the show does not actually show Rand doing any shepherding.
As for Stradowski claiming he doesn’t like seeing Rand as a hero, it makes sense given the show and books do not begin with Rand being a hero. He still has a long journey and many trials and tribulations before he can be called that.
At the beginning of the story, Rand is still largely ignorant of the world outside of Emond’s Field and the Two Rivers. He’s ignorant of the real threat of the Dark One. He doesn’t really know anything about the Forsaken let alone the Dragon also known as Lews Therin Telamon.
However, Rand does indeed become the hero in the books along with many others such as Perrin, Mat, Egwene, Nynaeve, Lan, Moiraine, Suian, Elayne, Min, and Aviendha.
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Hopefully, Stradowski will indeed describe Rand as a hero and like it as the story progresses on the show.
But that’s if the show actually remains somewhat faithful to Jordan’s book something it hasn’t really shown it will do based on the first handful of episodes that have been released so far.
What do you make of Stradowski’s comments regarding Rand al’Thor?