The Wheel of Time Star Madeleine Madden Felt the Full Weight of Egwene’s Arc

Madeleine Madden discusses doing justice to a fan-favorite Egwene arc in The Wheel of Time season 2.

Egwene collared as a damane in The Wheel of Time
Photo: Jan Thijs / Prime Video

Ask just about any fan of Prime Video’s The Wheel of Time what the best episode of season 2 was, and chances are they’ll point to episode 5, “Damane.” Not the explosive finale, no; but rather the emotionally intense episode in which Egwene is broken by her Seanchan handler to obey unwaveringly or pay the price. It was an episode that both pleased readers of the Robert Jordan novels, who recognized the arc as a pivotal moment for Madeleine Madden’s character, and surprised viewers new to the story with its brutal depiction of enslaved channelers.

We were unable to speak with Madden when the episode originally aired because of the SAG-AFTRA strike going on at the time, but we caught up with her during the hiatus before season 3 returns recently to ask her about her experience with the critically-acclaimed episode, both as an actor giving a powerful performance and as a cast member enjoying the response of The Wheel of Time fans after the fact.

Den of Geek: When you were first cast in the role of Egwene, it probably didn’t take you long to discover that you would have to participate in this horrific damane arc. What were your thoughts when you first heard about it or read those scenes?

Madeleine Madden: When I first got the role, I looked at what Egwene’s journey would be, and when you’re new to The Wheel of Time world and you’re doing a quick glance over what’s happening, it’s kind of hard to conceive. For me, it’s always been really important for my process to stay where we are in the books to where we are in the series, not to get distracted and stay in the moment.


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