4 Things We Learned About The Wheel Of Time From Rosamund Pike And Daniel Henney

The premiere of Amazon Prime Video's "The Wheel of Time" is a little more than a week away, and two of the show's stars — Rosamund Pike and Daniel Henney — shared their experience filming the fantasy series based on the books by Robert Jordan.

/Film, along with other select outlets, took part in a roundtable interview with Pike and Henney — whose characters Moiraine and Lan have a strong bond. Read on to learn what they shared about the show and how the two actors formed a bond of their own.

Henney and Pike Got Closer After Henney Accidentally Sent His Co-Star to the Emergency Room

"The Wheel of Time" has a lot of fight scenes, and most of those fight scenes have Lan and Moiraine in the thick of it. 

Creating those sequences takes a lot of careful choreography, and sometimes things didn't go according to plan. "We were in the middle of the Winternight fight," Henney recalled: 

"And it was probably 4:00 or 5:00 AM, and we've perfected this choreographed dance, Lan with a sword, and [Moiraine] wielding the One Power. And we were so tired, and we should've stopped. And I mistimed a step, and I use a real sword in the fight. I use a real metal sword because the weight throws me off if I use a plastic one. And so I slashed her hand, and she screamed. And we went to the emergency room because we thought her hand was broken, and we were going to have to shut down production. And so that was how we bonded and built our relationship."

How exactly did Henney slicing Pike with a sword make them closer? Pike explained:

 "A lot of actors ... would have said, 'See you. Good luck at the hospital.' And I get to the hospital, and he's waiting for me at the hospital. So a true Warder. So right from the word go. And that was only a few weeks into the show."

That connection continued to grow over the course of shooting, to the point where Henney would stand in on scenes with Pike when he wouldn't even show up on camera. "Sometimes when the shot's on me, they'll have the double stand in," Pike said. "Daniel knows that it's not the same for me with the double doing it, so he'll come in and do it because it's about energy. The feeling is different."

Pike Made Channeling (aka Wielding Magic) Her Own Thing

Pike's character is a power Aes Sedai, a woman who can harness the One Power and do lots of cool, magical stuff. In the books, how the Aes Sedai channel was largely an interior process, but Pike and showrunner Rafe Judkins wanted to show as much as they could of that on-screen. Pike explained:

 "I knew I wanted to make channeling my own, I suppose, but leave room for other women who would come in the series to interpret it in their way. And I knew that, for me, I needed to feel that I embodied it. That it was, as Robert Jordan describes, this is power flooding your veins. And it's electric and also dangerous. And I just thought that was just so exciting, and it would be a waste not to explore that physically."

Part of her inspiration for how she portrayed channeling also came after she saw Henney's fighting sequence. "There was this amazing circular movements to the fight," she said. "The way he was able to dispel Trollocs in all directions. And then I thought it'd be wonderful if there was this stillness at the center of it."

Henney Had The Wheel of Time on His Vision Board for a Decade

Henney had also wanted to not only play a character like Lan for a decade — he's had "The Wheel of Time" and Lan specifically in his sights for years. "I do a vision board thing, if I have something in my mind, career-wise, that I'd like to reach one day, a goal," he explained: 

"And in 2011, not really knowing what the books were, I saved a picture of the cover of 'The Eye of the World' on my phone. Because I saw Lan, and I saw he was in a forest with Moiraine next to him. I just thought, 'I'd love to play a character like that one day.' And so, it's no jokes, no lie. It's just so crazy... I just showed [Pike] the picture recently. It really just seems very kismet to me when the call came and we started talking."

The Show's Diversity Appealed to Both of Them

The series does take some liberties with the source material, but even some changes — like the diverse cast — not only added to the Amazon series but, in the actors' opinion, stem from Jordan's books.

"The first time I spoke to Rosamund on FaceTime, before we started this show, I talked to her about how meaningful it is for me as an Asian-American actor to be playing a king," Henney said. "The uncrowned king, speaking in a sort of English accent. That just wouldn't have existed when I was a kid. And to have this as sort of a lighthouse for young people growing up to see ... I think with our cast, there's someone that everyone can grip onto. It's just a really wonderful thing."

"And Robert Jordan's world just lends itself to this," Pike added. "As we know, the world of 'Wheel of Time' is not our world. It's a world that has been blown apart at the seams and reassembled, and continents restructured and cultures realigned. And the fact that ethnicity is not consistent through one culture is completely borne out by the books."

The first season of "The Wheel of Time" premieres on Amazon Prime Video on November 19, 2021.