Amazon's upcoming Wheel of Time TV show, an adaptation of the epic fantasy book series by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, finally announces the bulk of the casting for its lead roles. The Amazon Prime series, set to commence principal photography this fall, and with a premiere in 2020, dropped the news via a series of tweets on the show's official Twitter.
Previously the only known casting had been the announcement of Rosamund Pike being cast in the role of Moiraine Damodred. With the writer's room being highly active on social media, and awareness of the beginning of production coming up so soon, interest and speculation has been high on what way The Last Kingdom casting director, Kelly Valentine Hendry, would take the cast, as the 17-volume series, if adapted in its entirety, would be a sizable time investment for any prospective cast members.
The names announced by the Wheel of Time On Prime Twitter account wound up being largely comprised of relative newcomers, with the lead character from the novels, Rand al’Thor, being played by Josha Stradowski. Perrin Aybara will be played by Marcus Rutherford and Mat Cauthon by Barney Harris. For the women's roles, Nynaeve al'Meara will be played by Zoë Robinsand and Madeleine Madden will play Egwene Al’Vere. Of the group, only the woman have more substantial prior credits, with Robinsand having been seen previously in MTV's The Shannara Chronicles and the Power Rangers Ninja Steel series, and Madden with more than 20 credits to her name including the series Tidelands.
“It was about a man whose family was taken from him, but who stood tall in his sorrow and protected those he could.” @Marcus_Rudda as Perrin Aybara #WoTWednesday #TwitterOfTime pic.twitter.com/4UTcqdpySA— The Wheel of Time on Prime (@WoTonPrime) August 14, 2019
“It was about a woman who would not bend her back while she was beaten, and who shown with a light for all who watched.” @TigerMadden as Egwene Al’Vere #WoTWednesday #TwitterOfTime pic.twitter.com/bBtUdcIT88— The Wheel of Time on Prime (@WoTonPrime) August 14, 2019
Stradowski and Pike are expected to be the series' two central characters. His prior work has been in Dutch films and series, including 2018's Just Friends. Similarly, both Rutherford and Harris are also known more to UK audiences, Rutherford from the film Obey, and Harris from the series Clique. Pike by far has the most established career both as a voice actress as well as appearing on-screen, most recently as one of the leads of State of the Union, showing domestically in the United States on AMC.
Series showrunner Rafe Judkins has expressed a desire to stay as true to the book's overall storylines, which if Amazon even abbreviates to covering two novels per season, any cast's time in such a project will come close to, if not exceeding, the Game of Thrones cast's tenure of a decade. That is a challenge for anyone to attempt to book in for, but does encourage the casting of relative newcomers, between the negotiation of long-term contract obligations and relatively fewer prior commitments.
While the bulk of the series leads are now in place, the characters also represent only the collection of protagonists. Now anticipation will continue to build around who will be cast to make up the ranks of the Forsaken and the other inhabitants of the world of The Wheel of Time.