- Not expected to release until 2023
- Key cast members all expected to return
- New cast rumors hint at where the story may go
- Filming has taken place in Prague
The Wheel of Time season 2 has a lot to live up to. The fantasy show was one of the biggest TV hits of 2021, with 1.16 billion minutes streamed by viewers during its debut weekend. Not only that, but its first season was the biggest launch for any TV series in the US last year.
That's not too shabby, then, when you consider that other Prime Video shows, such as Invincible, performed incredibly well from an audience perspective. It also stands Amazon Studios in good stead for its upcoming Lord of the Rings TV series. We suggested that The Wheel of Time had to succeed for The Rings of Power to potentially do likewise, and the TV adaptation of Robert Jordan's book series certainly did, based on viewership figures.
As a result of its popularity, though, The Wheel of Time needs to up the ante in its next instalment. There's plenty of source material left for The Wheel of Time season 2 to draw from, but it'll need to do so in a way that builds on the foundations laid by its predecessor. No pressure, then.
So what do we know about the show's return? There have been plenty of new casting rumors circulating online. Meanwhile, it sounds like production is still ongoing, so we may not see The Wheel of Time's second season until 2023 at the earliest.
Below, you'll find even more information about Prime Video's adaptation, including its possible release date, returning cast members, potential plot points, and more. Spoilers follow for The Wheel of Time season 1 and the novels.
The Wheel of Time season release date
The Wheel of Time season release date: 2023?
Despite the ongoing pandemic, The Wheel of Time season 2’s production has been proactive compared to similar series, such as Netflix’s The Witcher.
The show was given an early season 2 renewal by Amazon Studios in May 2021 – the same month that season 1’s principal photography ended. With the cast and crew already on location in Prague, it seems that the decision was taken to begin filming season 2 in earnest. After a short pre-production period, filming restarted on July 19, 2021:
And the wheel keeps weaving... Filming for Season 2 of our series kicks off today! #TheWheelofTime pic.twitter.com/Dpj26qabMWJuly 19, 2021
According to The Prague Reporter, season 2 was scheduled to finish shooting (in the Czech Republic, at least) in February 2022. Since then, production has moved to Morocco, with local news outlet Le360 (thanks to The Wheel of Time fansite WoTseries.com for the catch) claiming that filming has taken place since March 2.
Additionally, WoTseries.com has reported that director and executive producer Sanaa Hamri told fans (via her Instagram story) that principal photography would end in March 2022.
If filming on The Wheel of Time season 2 concludes very soon (it may have done so by the time you're reading this), you may be wondering why it won't return until 2023. There’s one major reason: Amazon’s Lord of the Rings prequel TV series, which is due to launch on Prime Video on September 2, 2022.
It’s in Amazon’s best interests that The Rings of Power and The Wheel of Time season 2 don’t compete for viewers. And that’s a stance that Amazon Studios’ Head of Global TV Vernon Sanders agrees with, telling TVLine: “We are going to be really thoughtful about how we release these shows. In our minds, they are very different shows, but we are cognizant of our genre fans.”
Given that Amazon will want The Rings of Power to garner as much attention as possible, don’t be surprised if The Wheel of Time season 2 is held back until early 2023.
The Wheel of Time season 2 cast
The Wheel of Time season 2 cast: who is returning?
We expect the majority of season 1’s cast to return, although there is one notable exception:
- Rosamund Pike as Moiraine Damodred
- Daniel Henney as Lan Mandragoran
- Josha Stradowski as Rand al’Thor
- Zoë Robins as Nynaeve al’Meara
- Madeleine Madden as Egwene al’Vere
- Marcus Rutherford as Perrin Aybara
- Dónal Finn as Mat Cauthon
- Fares Fares as The Dark One
- Johann Myers as Padan Fain
The biggest season 2 casting news concerns the character of Mat Cauthon. Barney Harris won’t be reprising his role next time out, with The Witcher and Cursed actor Dónal Finn taking over as Mat.
In September 2021, we covered reports that Harris was no longer part of The Wheel of Time’s cast. No reason was given for his departure, and showrunner Rafe Judkins declined to comment on the situation when asked by Deadline.
Mat’s recasting aside, The Wheel of Time’s other major players are all likely to return. That includes the story’s major antagonist The Dark One, who was portrayed by Fares Fares (Westworld, Chernobyl) in season 1’s final episode.
As for who else could return, this is harder to predict. We had suspected that characters including Sophie Okenedo’s Siuan Sanche, Kate Fleetword’s Liandrin, and Kae Alexander’s Min Farshaw would reprise their roles in season 2. The first season’s plot, however, was pulled from multiple books in Jordan’s series. Meanwhile, Judkins took some creative liberties in the show that led to its plot diverging from the story in the novels.
It’s unclear if The Wheel of Time season 2’s plot will differ from its source material. If it does, we may not see Siuan, Liandrin or Min return, even though they have roles in the series’ second and third books, aka The Great Hunt and The Dragon Reborn.
What we do know is that new characters will be introduced in season 2 – and we already know who one of those individuals will be:
Ceara Coveney has been revealed as our Elayne Trakand! What characters do you think Natasha O'Keeffe and Meera Syal are playing? (Hint: Rafe said they were "two of the most important characters") #TheWheelofTime pic.twitter.com/zJgtVci3HhOctober 8, 2021
As the above tweet reveals, Ceara Coveney – in her first major acting role – will portray a hugely significant character in Elayne Trakand. In the novels, Elayne is not only Queen of Andor and Cairhien, but she’s also one of the most powerful Aes Sedai to emerge during The Wheel of Time’s expansive story. Expect her to play a major role in proceedings in season 2.
Natasha O’Keeffe (Misfits, Filth) and Meera Syal (Paddington 2, Doctor Who) have also been cast in undisclosed roles. Rafe Judkins has teased that they’ll portray “two of the most important characters” in The Wheel of Time, so place your bets now on who they’ll be cast as.
Meanwhile, a December 2021 Deadline report claimed that Guy Roberts (Hanna), Arnas Fedaravicius (The Last Kingdom), and Gregg Chillingirian (A Discovery of Witches) would feature in supporting roles.
Roberts will reportedly play Uno Nomesta, a one-eyed soldier who served Lord Agelmar before the latter's death in the season 1 finale. Fedaravicius will play Masema, another of Agelmar's former charges. Finally, Chillingirian portrays Ingtar Shinowa, who Deadline describes as a warrior from war-torn lands.
According to actor Gary Beadle's talent page on the Lou Coulson website (thanks to WoTseries.com for the tip-off, again), the Small Axe and Grantchester star will play Elyas, a Warder who is a wolfbrother like Perrin. Expect these two to share screen time when season 2 arrives on Prime Video.
In a separate (but no less speculative) WoTseries.com article, Marie-France Alvarez (Paddington 2) will portray another Aes Sedai called Celestin. Melissa James (Coronation Street) and Jessica Boone (Das Boot) have also apparently been hired (per WoTseries.com), though their roles aren't currently known.
In an interview with The Press and Journal, actor and graphic novelist Stewart Kenneth Moore (Blood Red Sky, Carnival Row) also confirmed that he has a bit-part role in The Wheel of Time season 2. Moore refused to reveal his character's identity, but hinted that he'll turn up in episode 5 for a "fairly memorable scene".
Finally, The Witcher fansite Redandian Intelligence claims that four other actors have been cast in supporting roles. Laura Crowhurst (The Last Bus) has reportedly been cast in an undisclosed role, as has Natasha J. Murley in her first major acting role. Game of Thrones' Will Tudor will also allegedly play Barthanes Damodred, a relative of Moiraine's, while Haruka Kuroda (Killing Eve) is set to portray one of Min Farshaw's aunts.
The Wheel of Time season 2 plot
The Wheel of Time season 2 plot: what's the story about?
Spoilers follow for The Wheel of Time season 1 finale.
There are lots of plot threads that need to be picked up or resolved in season 2.
Firstly, season 2 needs to reunite us with Rand – aka the Dragon Reborn – who, after temporarily defeating The Dark One, decides to continue his journey alone. The Dragon Reborn is a prophesied, all-powerful channeler of the One Power fated to save or destroy the world, so Rand considers himself to be a danger to Moiraine, Lan and his friends. He asks Moiraine to tell his friends that he perished in battle against The Dark One so they don’t come looking for him before departing alone.
Josha Stradowski, who plays Rand, says the character’s season 2 arc will be built around redefining his identity, telling The Wrap: “Becoming the Dragon Reborn means that you’re the only person in the whole world who can save or destroy it and that responsibility is insane. I think Rand has to go his own way to do what he needs to do. And it’s just the start of his transformation to knowing that he is the Dragon Reborn; now it’s actually about becoming the Dragon Reborn. How do you do that? Who can help you with that? It’s the start of a very heavy, dark, dramatic journey.”
As for Moiraine, The Dark One destroys her connection to the Source, which is where Aes Sedai draw the One Power from. Unable to channel her powers anymore, the dynamic in Moiraine and Lan’s relationship is sure to shift in season 2. As the two hardly feature in The Wheel of Time’s second book, Judkins told CBR.com that their upcoming arcs will comprise wholly original content created specifically for the TV adaptation.
“[They] have almost nothing to do in book two but are number one and two on the call sheet,” Judkins explained. “You can't sideline Rosamund Pike and Daniel Henney in a season of television. So we looked at the chapter [in book two] that they have, and it really is so much about their relationship. We asked ‘What's the core that exists between the two of them when you really dive in?’ That was the biggest story we had to figure out how to tell.”
Rewatching Season 1 to see some of our favorite moments. What were yours? #TheWheelOfTime pic.twitter.com/VNRmPjGfGJDecember 30, 2021
Viewers will be pleased to learn that a fan favorite didn’t die in the season 1 finale either. The Ogier known as Loial (Hammed Animashaun) seemingly perished at Padan Fain’s hands, but Judkins revealed to Entertainment Weekly (EW) that the gentle giant survived the encounter. Thank goodness.
The season 1 finale also teased the arrival of the Seanchan – a villainous, seafaring empire that has ambitions on conquering The Wheel of Time’s main continent. Asked by Collider how they’ll make a splash (pun intended) in season 2, Judkins said: “Everything's following this traditional fantasy format coming out of the first book. In the second book, the Seanchan come out of nowhere and slap our characters, so we really wanted to have them function the same way in the show. We get this nod to them at the end of season 1 but, in season 2, the Seanchan arrive and they affect the story.”
There are many other branching narratives and subplots that the show’s second season will need to circle back to. Judkins confirmed to Nerdist that “we will certainly see” more of the backstory of Lews Therin, aka the first Dragon, as season 2 and the overall series progresses. Judkins also teased the potential introduction of Gawyn and Faile, who are important characters in Egwene and Perrin’s story arcs, and the possibility of Rand and Min interacting more down the road (per CBR). As for Mat, Judkins revealed that he was heading for the White Tower – the Aes Sedai’s stronghold – and not Shadar Logoth in the season 1 finale.
We’re also expecting to learn more about Perrin’s wolfbrother powers and we hope that our heroes will get the Horn of Valere – a key item in the final battle with The Dark One – back after Padan Fain stole it in the season 1 finale.
The love triangle between Moiraine, Lan and Nynaeve is also set to be explored in more detail, too. Daniel Henney and Zoë Robins, who play Lan and Nynaeve, teased their season 2 storylines in a chat with Inverse.
“I think what you can expect for everyone is a lot more trauma, emotionally and physically,” Robing said. “She keeps growing and expanding. We learn more about her, and she's put to the test emotionally. We see her battle with a lot of her own insecurities, and she learns to face herself more. She comes to grips with what her destiny is.”
“I think you're going to see him have to ask some very difficult questions of himself, where he belongs in the world,” Henney suggested about Lan. “His dynamic with Moiraine is a focal point of the first few episodes. You’re going to see a side of him we haven't seen yet in Season 1. It’s an exciting journey for him.”
Speaking about season 2’s overall theme, Judkins told EW that the show’s next entry will “peel back the surface and try to understand what balance between dark and light they’re trying to find within themselves.” So we should settle in for more internal character battles, as well as those fights that are bound to be part of season 2’s makeup.
Much like the first season, The Wheel of Time’s next entry will also cover plot elements from multiple novels, Judkins telling EW: “[Audiences] will see that some characters are diving more into their book two story in season 2, and some of them are diving more into their book three story. We have a big round-up point at the end of season 2 that reconnects everything and pushes us off in a new direction where we've completed all the stories we need to get through.”
The Wheel of Time season 2 trailer
The Wheel of Time season 2 trailer: is there one?
No, and there won’t be for a while yet. We’ll update this section once one is released.
The Wheel of Time season 2: the show's future
The Wheel of Time season 2: does it deserve another outing?
Yes. The Wheel of Time has an 82% ‘certified fresh’ rating on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes. Meanwhile, it became Prime Video’s most-watched original series since 2020’s R-rated drama series Hunters, with Variety reporting that it amassed 1.16 billion minutes viewed in its first week. Clearly, there’s an appetite for live-action fantasy fare on Amazon Prime Video.
The Wheel of Time season 1 is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Jordan’s sweeping tale. In total, The Wheel of Time book series contains 17 novels – 14 of which tell the story of Moiraine and company – so there’s plenty of plot left to cover.
It would’ve been a shame if Amazon’s TV adaptation ended prematurely due to audience indifference, but that early season 2 renewal shows that Amazon has faith in The Wheel of Time. Providing the show can continue to deliver an action-packed, poignant and dramatic story, there’s no reason why more seasons won’t be in the offing.
And, according to Deadline, a third season may have already been greenlit. Journalist Nellie Andreeva claims that The Wheel of Time "has been picked up for another season" by Amazon Studios. It's possible that the exact wording relates to season 2, rather than a third instalment, though, so we'll have to wait and see if The Wheel of Time will return after its second season has aired.