The Wheel of Time Showrunner Debunks Laila Fan Theory

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for The Wheel of Time Episode 1, "Leavetaking," now streaming on Prime Video.

The Wheel of Time showrunner Rafe Judkins debunked a fan theory surrounding the character Laila Dearn.

When asked about a fan theory surrounding the notion that Laila Dearn, played by Helena Westerman, could be a "darkfriend," Judkins shot it down. "I don't know this fan theory, so I don't wanna engage on it, but I think at least, Laila the character comes from a sentence in the books where Perrin said, I don't remember the exact words, but 'I think if I lived in the Two Rivers a few more years I probably would have married Laila Dearn.' And so, now that the character's aged up a few years we thought it was sort of an appropriate nod to that, that that's who she is," said Judkins in an interview with The Ringer-Verse podcast.

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Laila Dearn appears in the Prime Video series as a theory that Laila, the wife of Perrin Aybara (Marcus Rutherford), though the character is not married to Perrin in the original Wheel of Time novels. The fan theory posits that, since a darkfriend is someone who was seduced by the Dark One with promises of power and immortality, the circumstances surrounding Laila's death in the series could mean she had turned to the Shadow. While Judkins didn't corroborate this theory, all he could say in response to these observations from fans is, "They are noticing things that are worth noticing."

Co-produced by Amazon Studios and Sony Pictures Television, The Wheel of Time was greenlit for a second season in May 2021 long before its debut on streaming. Production for Season 2 began in July 2021 in Prague, Czech Republic, where it is currently still filming with principal photography halfway finished. Despite being delayed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the first episode of The Wheel of Time Season 1 debuted strong as Prime Video's most-watched series premiere of 2021, as well as one of the streaming service's best series launches of all time.

The first of Jordan's The Wheel of Time high fantasy book series was published in 1990 and consists of fourteen novels. Following Jordan's death in 2007, the final three books in the series were co-written by Brandon Sanderson. The Wheel of Time is set in a world where only women can wield the One Power, and follows a group of young villagers coming to terms with their powers as they are drawn into a worldwide conflict.

Executive produced and written by Judkins, The Wheel of Time stars Pike as Moiraine Damodred and Daniel Henney as her Warder, Lan. Five young villagers will join them on their journey, played by Josha Stradowski, Marcus Rutherford, Zoë Robins, Barney Harris, and Madeleine Madden.

RELATED: Wheel of Time Showrunner Rafe Judkins Borrowed an Actor's Costume for Halloween

The Wheel of Time Season 1 is currently streaming on Prime Video, with new episodes airing every Friday.

Source: The Ringer

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Emily Zogbi is a writer from New York and a News Editor at CBR. While she holds a Master of Fine Arts in poetry, Emily mostly enjoys talking at length about the MCU and why the 2009 animated Wonder Woman movie is the best. She wishes she had been a dancer. You can follow Emily on Twitter at @emilyrosezombie.

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