The Wheel of Time's Second Episode Broke the Mold with This Tricky Scene

The Wheel of Time showrunner Rafe Judkins revealed in a new interview he had to fight hard to include the iconic "Weep of Manetheren" song in Episode 2 of the Prime Video series.

"It was an uphill battle from day one to put that in the show because it is crazy to have your lead actor sit in a horse for an entire day and for four minutes of screentime doing a monologue about a city that doesn’t exist inside of the show," Judkins told Decider. "So, it was flagged by the other writers in the room, the studio, and the network. Every single person who encountered it throughout the process asked me to pull it. But I never pulled it."

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In both Robert Jordan's The Eye of the World novel and Episode 2 ("Shadows Waiting") of the series, the "Weep of Manetheren" moment centers on an old folk song about something called Manetheren. In the series, Mat (Barney Harris) begins singing the song while traveling with the Aes Sedai Moiraine (Rosamund Pike), Egwene (Madeleine Madden), Perrin (Marcus Rutherford), and Rand (Josha Stradowski). When Mat reveals he doesn't actually know what Manetheren is, however, Moiraine tells the story of an ancient stronghold that once existed on the Two Rivers.

"I think there's sometimes intangible things in books that make you fall in love with them and there's something intangible about this Manetheren speech that makes you fall in love with this world," Judkins said. "I just fought for it every step of the way, through script and shooting and the cutting process because I felt that it was something that was part of the heart of Wheel of Time."

Both fans and Judkins have commented on the fact that the "Weep of Manetheran" scene marked a major departure from the tone of the series thus far. The nearly four-minute-long scene also provided a rare introspective moment in the middle of an action-packed episode.

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Judkins also recently shut down a popular fan theory that the character Laila Dearn, played by Helena Westerman, could be revealed as a "darkfriend." "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," Judkins said at the time. "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." The showrunner also suggested that fans of Jordan's novels "are noticing things that are worth noticing."

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

KEEP READING: The Wheel of Time: Animation Studio Unravels the Making of the Intro's Tapestry

Source: Decider

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CBR News Writer Keegan Prosser is a writer, editor and pop culture nerd based in the Greater Seattle Area. She has contributed to publications including The Seattle Weekly, Rolling Stone Magazine, the Alaska Airlines blog and Android Central. She can usually be found perusing record stores, rewatching The Lord of the Rings or revisiting the Harry Potter (book) series. Follow her on Twitter @keeganprosser.

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