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Decider
9 Sep 2023


NextImg:Rosamund Pike Says Moiraine’s Reunion With “Little” Sister Anvaere in Cairhien is “Very Exposing”

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The Wheel of Time

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The Wheel of Time Season 2 Episode 4 “Daughter of the Night” reveals a whole new side of Moiraine Damodred (Rosamund Pike). When the Aes Sedai returns to her hometown of Cairhien, she is reunited with her little sister…who just so happens to now be an old woman. Not only that, but in a delightful twist, we learn that we already met Moiraine’s sister Anvaere (Lindsay Duncan) in The Wheel of Time Season 2 Episode 3. It’s just the latest example of how the Prime Video adaptation of The Wheel of Time remixes Robert Jordan’s epic fantasy series to keep fans on their toes while expanding our understanding of the main characters.

“It’s very exposing for Moiraine to have to go back to Cairhein,” Wheel of Time star Rosamund Pike told Decider during an interview before the SAG-AFTRA strike. “And, you know, the audience suddenly can understand a lot more about her.”

When The Wheel of Time Season 2 begins, Moiraine is struggling with the fallout of her fight with Ishmael (Fares Fares) in the Season 1 finale. The resurrected Forsaken is so powerful he was able to cut off the Aes Sedai’s connection to the One Power, rendering her essentially powerless. Nevertheless, Moiraine is committed to her mission to protect and serve the Dragon Reborn, Rand al’Thor (Josha Stradowski). Her research brings her to the exact same place Rand is, Cairhien, for the exact same reason: to ask wannabe Dragon Logain (Álvaro Morte) if there’s any way to staunch the madness that comes from a man channeling. Of course, returning to Cairhien also means Moiraine is returning to the world she lived in before she ever trained at the White Tower.

“To understand a little bit about Cairhein, where Moiraine comes from, is very useful to us,” Pike said, referencing the city’s history with the Aiel War. “You also see her discomfort in her home environment, you know.”

That discomfort largely comes from Moiraine’s reunion with her younger sister, Anvaere. The twist is that because the Aes Sedai age much slower than average people, the younger sister now looks far older.

“Something we need to understand is the aging process of an Aes Sedai. So here is Moiraine’s little sister who looks, you know, considerably older than she does. And it’s quite sort of moving and we understand the loneliness of an Aes Sedai when everybody who you care about ages before you and eventually will die, and you’ll still be here,” Pike said. “It gives some light into the sort of loneliness of an Aes Sedai.”

Pike also stressed that it was something of a casting coup to land the great Lindsay Duncan for the role. “Lindsay is one of our top actresses in the UK. And we were very, very lucky that she agreed to come and play Anvaere because she adds such class to everything that she does. She’s stylish and subtle, and just a very, very classy actress. So that was fantastic.”

Less fantastic for Moiraine? The revelation that maybe — just maybe — her younger sister is as savvy a political operator as she is. Then again, that is the core cultural touchstone of Cairhien in Robert Jordan’s books. It is a city ruled by politicians and schemers.