“The Wheel of Time” showrunner discusses the Forsaken and what's coming in season 3

“The Wheel of Time” showrunner discusses the Forsaken and what's coming in season 3

Warning: This article contains spoilers for the season 2 finale of The Wheel of Time, "What Was Meant To Be."

The Wheel of Time recently finished one hell of a sophomore season, putting its fantasy heroes through the ringer of the Seanchan Empire before triumphantly bringing them back together in the season 2 finale. So what's next for Amazon Prime Video's epic fantasy series?

At New York Comic Con earlier this month, showrunner Rafe Judkins teased some of what's in store for season 3. Just as season 2 combined elements from both The Great Hunt and The Dragon Reborn (the second and third books in Robert Jordan's long saga), so will season 3 feature characters and locations from the fourth and fifth books, The Shadow Rising and The Fires of Heaven. This means the show will explore the visit to the Aiel Waste and dive deeper into the Aiel culture, from which protagonist and Dragon Reborn Rand al'Thor (Josha Stradowski) was born before being adopted by Tam and taken to the village of Two Rivers.

Speaking of, The Wheel of Time will also return to Two Rivers – which, if Nynaeve's (Zoë Robins) dream visions are to be believed, isn't in great shape. There will also be more Aes Sedai politics at the White Tower, and an introduction to the culture known as the Sea Folk.

The Wheel of Time - Fares Fares (The Dark One)
The Wheel of Time - Fares Fares (The Dark One)

Jan Thijs/Prime Video Fares Fares as Ishamael in 'The Wheel of Time' season 2.

But most exciting of all, season 3 will reveal more about the Forsaken — the powerful dark magicians who have been sealed away for thousands of years. Ishamael (Fares Fares) has been part of the show since the beginning (in season 1 he even pretended to be the Dark One himself), while season 2 introduced viewers to the beautiful Lanfear (Natasha O'Keeffe). Lanfear's signature specialty of Dreamwalking will get more screentime in season 3, but she now has to worry about her ancient rivals scheming against her.

"Once they're all out, you get two really fun things," Judkins tells EW. "One, each of these characters is an immortal person of incredible power that has three thousand years of history behind them. Hopefully that scene with Moghedien is a real signal to the audience that you may love Ishamael and Lanfear, but also each of these people is totally unique and crazy in their own way."

Judkins reveals fans will also get to see the "fun, 'who's a Cylon' storyline" when episodes return. "Are there any Forsaken hiding in our world that we're meeting in season 3? In the books, each of them appears in their own way that's unique to that Forsaken. And so it's a really fun thing to unravel in the show because they're almost like representatives of these different versions of evil. Moghedien's fun because she is not driven by love in the way that Lanfear and Ishamael are, and she is a much more dangerous character because of that."

The last time all 13 Forsaken were alive in the world, the Dragon was incarnated as Lews Therin Telamon (Alexander Karim). That was thousands of years ago, but what happened back then is still a driving force in what they do and what they want.

"Both Ishamael and Lanfear get another shot with this person that they were very close with and ended up becoming mortal enemies of," Judkins says. "So with Lanfear it's like, is she trying to recapture love with this man she loved three thousand years ago? Is she starting to fall for Rand, or does she hate Rand and only love the pieces of him that are Lews? That is so interesting and complicated, and that's a relationship that can sustain a lot of seasons of interest because both of their perspectives on it are f—ed up and unique in a way that is very cool for the show. We get to explore something that you don't get to explore very often."

The unexpected romance blossoming between Lanfear and Rand, even as Moiraine (Rosamund Pike) warned her protégé to stay far away from the Daughter of the Night, was one of the most fun elements of season 2. Judkins says he and the rest of The Wheel of Time team worked hard to get their relationship right.

The Wheel of Time - Natasha O'Keeffe (Selene), Josha Stradowski (Rand al'Thor)
The Wheel of Time - Natasha O'Keeffe (Selene), Josha Stradowski (Rand al'Thor)

Jan Thijs/Prime Video Lanfear (Natasha O'Keeffe) and Rand (Josha Stradowski) in 'The Wheel of Time' season 2.

"In the books. I don't know if you ever believe Rand's going to be with Lanfear," Judkins says. "But we felt like for that character to work in the visual medium of television, you needed to be able to believe that there's some chance that those two could end up together. So one of the things we did right up front was in the casting process, we did chemistry reads with Josha and potential Lanfears because we were like, you have to feel that there's something real between these two."

Judkins continues, "we just tried to humanize her in every way we could because a lot of her stuff in the books is a little bit more straight-down-the-middle evil early on. By the end of the book series, you really come to understand who she is as a woman, which makes her lovable even when she's doing horrible things. We tried to bring that and put it all in season 2."

The Wheel of Time season 2 is streaming now on Prime Video. A release date has not yet been announced for season 3, which should give us all time to catch up on the books.

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