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NY Post
9 Sep 2023

NextImg:Marcus Rutherford Teases the “Fierce” Aviendha’s Arrival in ‘The Wheel of Time’ Season 2 Episode 5

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The Wheel of Time

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As soon as the credits rolled on The Wheel of Time Season 2 Episode 4 “Daughter of the Night,” fans were already clicking play on the preview for next week’s all-new episode. Not only does the 45 second preview confirm that Selene (Natasha O’Keeffe) is Lanfear and that Ishamael (Fares Fares) is allied with the Seanchan, but it teases the arrival of a fan favorite from the Robert Jordan books. About halfway through The Wheel of Time Season 2 Episode 5 teaser on Prime Video, Perrin (Marcus Rutherford) meets an Aiel warrior in a cage. Later, when she is free, she asks Perrin if he likes to “dance” before covering her face and taking on a group of White Cloaks. This is Aviendha, played by Ayoola Smart, and Marcus Rutherford told Decider he was “so excited” for fans to finally meet her in an interview conducted before the SAG-AFTRA strike.

Prime Video’s The Wheel of Time series is based on the fifteen books written by Robert Jordan and Brandan Sanderson. Because there’s almost too much material available for showrunner Rafe Judkins to adapt, it’s always fascinating for book readers to learn what has been cut, changed, or added in the show. One character fans knew would never be cut? The Aiel warrior Aviendha.

The Aiel are a people who are feared by many in the world of The Wheel of Time. They are vicious warriors who hail from a great wasteland to the east and are marked by their red hair. The Wheel of Time Season 1 first introduced the concept of the Aiel when Rand (Josha Stradowski) sees gleeman Thom Merrillin (Alexander Willaume) cut a caged Aiel down to give him a proper burial. Later, we learn that Rand’s mother Tigraine (Magdalena Sittova) was an Aiel in a killer flashback sequence that opens The Wheel of Time Season 1 Episode 7 “The Dark Along the Ways.” Next week’s episode will finally introduce us to the most famous Aiel warrior in all of Jordan’s books.

“I’m so excited for people to meet Aviendha and Ayoola [Smart],” Marcus Rutherford told Decider. “I think it’s a character that, you know, is a fan favorite for a lot of reasons. And it’s quite hard to bring in something new and exciting. I think there’s already a plethora of incredible characters, but she’s done something amazing.”

Per usual, Rutherford admitted that Aviendha’s introduction in The Wheel of Time Season 2 Episode 5 will be a divergence from Jordan’s books that simultaneously pays homage to them.

“The way they introduce her character, kind of paying homage to the books, but doing something quite different as well, is so exciting,” Rutherford said. “And she’s fierce, man. She’s one of the best fighters, if not the best, and she’s just raised the bar of the show to another level.”

Fans will be able to finally learn what all the Aviendha hype is about when The Wheel of Time Season 2 Episode 5 premieres on Prime Video on Friday, September 15.