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Wheel of Time season 2 is finally bringing out its coolest characters

The villains of season 2 are cool as fuck and don’t look like anything else on TV right now

Zosha Millman (she/her) manages TV coverage at Polygon as TV editor, but will happily write about movies, too. She’s been working as a journalist for more than 10 years.

The world in Prime Video’s The Wheel of Time series is sumptuous and vivid. As based on the novels of Robert Jordan, the World of the Wheel is full of bright colors, gorgeous scenery, and acrobatic action. The universe pulls from all sorts of religions and cultures in order to create a whole new kind of fantasy world. Nowhere is that clearer than in the season 2 trailer Prime Video released on Wednesday, and nowhere in there is it more fun than the brief glimpses we get of some of the main antagonists for the second season.

Amid the glimpses of Moiraine (Rosamund Pike) and Rand (Josha Stradowski) struggling to make sense of their fight against the Dark One at the end of season 1, we get a glimpse of the Seanchan (who are, unfortunately, also with the Dark One).

Seanchan representatives and the Dark One walk in a still from Wheel of Time season 2
[Gossip Girl voice] Spotted: Seanchan’s monarch walking with the Dark One. Uh oh, ta’veran squad!
Image: Prime Video

First seen at the tail end of season 1 — as they created a massive tidal wave on the “Far Western shore” of the continent — the Seanchan are part of The Great Hunt, the Jordan book on which season 2 is partly based. They have returned to retake the continent their ancestors came from, having been amassing resources for years in advance of what they call “the Return.” That means they’re coming armed and ready, including with enslaved channelers like the ones seen at the end of season 1.

To put it quite simply: In season 2, the Seanchan are the standouts to watch. Their drip, as you can see even in just the brief glimpses of the trailer, is immaculate. Their monarch sits atop a horned pyramid. So much of fantasy on TV right now looks the same, but the Seanchan — with their flashy gold and their quiet, imposing air — feel completely fresh.

When it comes time to nut up or shut up, the Seanchan aren’t here to play. They are brutal warriors, and they’re known to kidnap Aes Sedai and use them as more controlled channelers. Part of their military is called the “Deathwatch Guards,” which is just a wicked cool name. They are a force to be reckoned with, one that plays by very different rules than our intrepid heroes, and ultimately forces each of them to rework their defense. Especially since the only line we get from them comes from one Seanchan advisor, who states simply: “The whole world will be ours.”

Of course they’re just one part of the challenges facing Rand and his fellow ta’veran candidates. Vernon Sanders, Amazon Studios’ head of global TV, told TV Line in December 2021 that he expects season 2 to be a “bigger, bolder, and a more expansive Wheel of Time.” And with season 3 already greenlit, it seems like the Seanchan are cleared to make quite a splash.

The Wheel of Time season 2 premieres on Prime Video on September 1.

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