Wheel of Time actor Daniel Henney, who plays Lan Mandragoran in the Prime Video series, recently admitted the first season of the show had a number of internal issues, but they fixed them for the second season.
Speaking with Den of Geek in the lead-up to the show’s premiere on Prime Video, Henney said, “The first season we had some internal issues, but season 2 is a more complete season.”
He elaborated, “We love the episodes; we think they’re strong. We think the pacing and the tone is better. You can see we had more time.”
Henney made similar comments during an appearance on YouTube channel Flip Your Wig when he was asked how he felt about the second season.
He said, “We’re really excited. It’s always surreal because it’s been awhile. What excites me the most is that we’ve seen most of it now and we’re really excited with it. I think Season 1 we had some challenges internally and some things–”
“Any show, the first season it’s a trial. You’re trying it out. You’re trying to get some traction,” he continued. “You make mistakes and you learn a lot of things.”
As for what those internal issues are, Henney appeared to admit it had a lot to do with the pacing and the tone of the show, “And so when I sat and watched Season 2 it just felt like the pacing and the tone, and it had that fantasy pacing, you know, where the characters were allowed to breathe and to speak, and it wasn’t rushed. And it wasn’t like that all the time during Season 1. We did have some moments.
“So we’re just excited for people to see, even despite Covid, we were able to execute this pretty good season. And it’s a strong representation of what this show can be,” he asserted.
Interestingly, Henney was then asked about what his thoughts are regarding what he thinks fan reception will be to the second season.
He responded, “If I could just be really honest with you, as actors there’s not much we can do about that. There’s a lot of things that Rafe and his team are going to have do because there’s 14, 15 [novels] if you’re counting New Spring, four million some odd words. You’ve got no promise as to how long the show can go. So you have to strategize about certain aspects of the books that maybe good to include early. It may be good to change things to boost some of the story lines.”
“I know that he’s always got the spirit of the books in mind, and he’s a massive book fan. So we just follow him and we know that he’s got our best interest in mind,” he concluded.
Henney did go on to reveal some specific details about Lan and Rosamund Pike’s Moiraine Damodred’s story in the second season, “Rosamund and I were really excited about showcasing this part of their journey with the bond and what happens with the bond being cut off, and her not being able to channel and how that affects them. And her being so secretive and Lan being frustrated. All these things are really fun to play with.”
“The great thing about Season 2 is you’re seeing all these characters away from each other on their respective journeys. And you’re really seeing what they’re made of,” he added.
This whole idea that Moiraine is unable to channel does not happen in the books. However, the show’s season finale implies she has indeed been stilled and can no longer channel the One Power.
In contrast, in the books Moiraine chooses to sacrifice herself in a battle against Lanfear, one of the Forsaken. She tackles the Forsaken through a twisted doorframe that we eventually discover transports her to the realm of the Aelfinn and Eelfinn. Upon entering the doorway, Lan can no longer feel Moiraine through the Warder bond and Rand and his party believe she is dead.
It’s eventually revealed that while in the realm of the Aelfinn and Eelfinn the entities use her to feed on the One Power and decrease her ability to channel. However, she uses an angreal to boost her channeling potential even higher than when she entered their realm.
Given Henney’s comments, while he claims they have fixed their problems with tone and pacing, it does not appear that they have corrected the big elephant in the room, which is the show’s story and it’s failure to follow Robert Jordan’s novels.
One would think disconnecting from the novels was why the first season had such problems with its tone and pacing. Alas, it appears that is not the conclusion the creators of this came to.
What do you make of Henney’s comments? What are you expectations for The Wheel of Time Season 2?