With The Wheel Of Time‘s second season premiering less than eighty days from now, the marketing campaign for Amazon Prime Video’s underrated epic fantasy series is finally in motion, and Wheel of Time Wednesdays on Twitter for the next few weeks ought to be very interesting, as the release of a teaser trailer appears imminent and word on the street is that the series will have a presence at San Diego Comic-Con in July, just as Amazon’s The Rings Of Power did last year. Until then, four new images from the second season will hopefully give fans plenty to talk about.
And so what if most of the new images are technically just different angles of images we’ve seen previously? This is still the first time we’re seeing Perrin’s new and more realistic golden eyes, Nynaeve’s Accepted robes, and Mat wielding a quarterstaff, which altogether is more than enough to put the entire fandom into cardiac arrest. My only gripe is that al’Lan Mandragoran, for such an iconic character from Robert Jordan’s series who makes such a strong impression in the early books, hasn’t changed all that much since the first season and is still visually the least interesting of the seven protagonists. That’s not to say his dialogue won’t again be exquisite and his scenes raw and powerful, but I think seeing him alongside Moiraine or Nynaeve would be more exciting than seeing him alone, and in a nondescript setting, again.
Speaking of Nynaeve, let’s talk about her, or rather, what she’s wearing, because her costume changes are a reflection of where her character arc takes her this season. At first glance, it’s a fairly plain garment, but closer examination reveals that the sleeves of her white dress are decorated with the teardrop symbol of the Aes Sedai, the Flame of Tar Valon, embroidered in the vibrant colors of the seven Ajahs or factions – red, green, gray, brown, yellow, blue, and white. On her left hand resides a Great Serpent ring, such as those worn by full-fledged Aes Sedai, but crucially missing the colored gemstone that would tie her allegiance to a specific Ajah, confirming to book readers that this scene with her, Egwene, and Elayne Trakand carrying lanterns through a dark corridor takes place after Nynaeve has passed her Accepted test, the perilous trial which Novices at the White Tower typically undergo many years into their training to determine whether they’re strong enough to become Aes Sedai. As in the books, it seems that Nynaeve will be rushed through her test upon arriving at the Tower, while Egwene and Elayne’s unadorned white gowns suggest that for the duration of this season, they will remain Novices.
Book readers can probably make an educated guess as to the contents of this scene, but I won’t say anything more for fear of spoiling…certain major plot-twists. Moving right along, a bloodied Perrin Aybara with eyes the color of burnished gold glowers at an unseen opponent over the rim of a round shield, presumably during the same action sequence in Falme where we know he’ll fight alongside Aviendha, Maiden of the Spear. In the first season, Perrin’s eyes only flashed gold for a moment as he and Egwene escaped sadistic Whitecloak Questioners with unexpected aid from a pack of wolves, and he quickly tried to put that traumatic event behind him, but season two will follow the blacksmith on a journey of reluctant self-discovery as he begins exploring what it truly means to be a “Wolfbrother” – the name given to men who can communicate with wolves and hunt alongside them in Tel’aran’rhiod, the World of Dreams. This rare and mysterious ability is said to be unrelated to the One Power, possibly even predating it.
And then there’s Mat Cauthon, who’s changed since season one in the sense that he’s now played by Irish actor Dónal Finn, but literally hasn’t changed, by which I mean he’s still wearing the same grimy old clothes he wore when he left the Two Rivers in The Wheel Of Time‘s very first episode. This new image of the lovable prankster, probably a slightly wider shot of a moment from the New York Comic-Con teaser trailer, shows Mat facing down a warrior with ornate shoulder-guards, easily identifiable as one of the Seanchan, invaders from across the Aryth Ocean who intend to colonize the lands once ruled by Artur Hawkwing in the name of their Empress, Hawkwing’s only known descendant. Though their Ever Victorious Army is formidable, augmented by carnivorous beasts pulled from alternate realities, the Seanchan rely heavily on their female channelers, every last one of whom has been rounded up, enslaved, abused, and reduced to a barely-sentient weapon of mass destruction, her every movement and thought dictated by a Seanchan handler through the use of a leash named the a’dam. It should come as no surprise that the Seanchan are some of the most terrifying characters in The Wheel Of Time.
What immediately drew everyone’s attention to this picture of Mat, however, was the quarterstaff in his hand – a weapon he uses throughout the books, most notably to trounce a couple of cocky Andoran princes during a particularly homoerotic fight in The Dragon Reborn that pretty much has to be adapted this season, or I can’t imagine when we’d ever get the chance again. Famously, a quarterstaff was the weapon used by an unnamed farmer to defeat Jearom, the greatest swordsman (and, in the television series’ canon, also the greatest Warder) to have ever lived. The staff wielded by Mat curiously bears the carven symbol of a bird, probably a raven, which has some…personal significance to Mat as well as being the emblem of the Seanchan empire.
What do you think of the four new images, which is your favorite, and when do you expect to see a trailer for The Wheel Of Time‘s second season? Share your own thoughts, theories, and opinions, in the comments below!