The first season of The Wheel of Time wrapped up last Friday on Prime Video. The last scene foreshadows the events of season 2: we see new protagonists come into play.
The final minutes of season 1 of The Wheel of Time foreshadows what will happen in season 2. In this final scene, we see a little girl playing on a beach and a fleet of ships speeding straight to the shore where she is. Some of the women on the ships wear muzzles and masks covering their mouths.
Very quickly, we understand that they can channel. Together, they unite their powers and raise a gigantic wave, no less than a tsunami which is about to surge on the beach and the little girl. Apparently these women are not Aes Sedai… So who are they?
This set-up announces the Seanchan invasion. Indeed, in Robert Jordan’s books, the Seanchans come from another continent, across the ocean. And they intend to rule over everyone as they are the descendants of a hero / ruler / tyrant referred to as Artur Hawkwing.
Artur Hawkwing, his full name Artur Paendrag Tanreall, was a general and emperor who conquered most of the world a thousand years before the Last Battle. His description is very similar to that of Genghis Khan and suggests that he is the source of the legends of King Arthur.
The Seanchans have lived cut off from the Continent for centuries and have developed cultural mores, to say the least, particular. Namely, they believe that women who can channel must be kept in chains like slaves known as “damanes”. Their only value is to be living weapons. The Seanchans therefore also have a formidable army that uses the Power of the One in combat.
Series showrunner Rafe Judkins explained to Decide : “When I read the books, the Seanchans were such a slap. You thought you could predict where the story was going after the first book, and then you were like, ‘wait, what’s going on?’ Also, it didn’t look like other fantasy works. It was such a fresh and new feeling, and we really wanted to have it on the show.“
“We talked about this scene a lot, much like… when the Spanish galleons arrived on the shore of the New World. Except that our characters are the New World and they’re like, ‘What’s going on here?’ “, he continues.
Indeed, the allure of the Seanchans marks the spirits as soon as they appear on the screen. “We need the public to immediately see them and understand that these people are from a really different place than the one they saw.“, explains Judkins.”I think our design team have really done an exceptional job with the Seanchans and you will obviously see a lot more of that in Season 2.“Rafe Judkins concludes.