Interview: Zoë Robins and Madeleine Madden Discuss the Importance of Gender Dynamics in ‘The Wheel of Time’ [EXCLUSIVE]

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Madeleine Madden as Egwene Al'Vere and Zoe Robins as Nynaeve al'Meara. Image: Amazon Studios

The Wheel of Time turns, Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again.” And so it is now, with more than thirty years passed since Robert Jordan’s fantasy epic began with The Eye of the World that we now get our very own live-action version of The Wheel of Time. Nerdy children of the nineties rejoice! 

For those unfamiliar with the fourteen book saga, The Wheel of Time series follows a group of friends from a small village called The Two Rivers as they get swept up into an epic adventure (that includes magic, Aes Sedai witches, and monsters), and learn that the fate of the entire world is entwined with their own.

We were lucky enough to have a moment to chat with two of our young heroines – Zoë Robins (who plays Nynaeve al’Meara) and Madeleine Madden (who plays Egwene Al’Vere). We spoke about the current popularity of the fantasy genre and what sets The Wheel of Time apart from it’s more familiar counterparts.

Nerds and Beyond: I was curious, because we’re in a period that has a new wealth of fantasy in movies and television. It’s popular again. And I was curious, what do you think the quality is in The Wheel of Time, and its world, that makes it special and unique? What helps set it apart from other more established franchises like Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones?

Zoë Robins: I think what makes Wheel of Time stand out is the way it deals with things like gender dynamics and themes of balance. I think that’s something that we haven’t seen before on screen. And in fantasy, at least not so detailed. I think what’s been a pleasure to work with in The Wheel of Time world, are these women that are in power and it’s not a big deal, you know what I mean? It’s accepted, and it is what it is, and rightly so. And that’s been lovely to be a part of as an actor, and behind the scenes too.

Madeleine Madden: Absolutely. It’s not a radical idea that women can be what they want and who they want to be, and love who they want. It’s just the way the world is. And women championing each other, and I think really helping each other see what their true potential is. I think that’s what really makes it a standalone in this genre.

The Wheel of Time hits streaming on November 19 on Amazon Prime.

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By Britt
Britt is a Los Angeles based writer, burlesque performer, and life long nerd. A former drama kid turned playwright and classic ambivert, (shout out fellow ambiverts! There are dozens of us! Dozens!) her love of books, snacks, and cats makes her a Ravenclaw with Hufflepuff leanings. She is a voracious reader, writer, and unapologetic binge-watcher. Her lifelong obsessions include Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Star Trek, Harry Potter, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, Doctor Who, Arrested Development, Neil Gaiman, and Frank Herbert's Dune series. Her current obsessions include: Sherlock, Black Mirror, The Great British Baking Show, RuPaul's Drag Race, and Counterpart. She will also gladly talk people's ears off about graphic novels if they let her, which they usually don't. Find Britt on Twitter @MsGeorgiaOQueef
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