To protect confidentiality, The Wheel of Time, Amazon’s popular new fantasy series, employed fictitious identities throughout the audition process:
To protect privacy, The Wheel of Time, Amazon’s blockbuster new fantasy series, employed fictitious identities during the audition process. The program is based on novelist Robert Jordan’s series of the same name, the first of which was released in 1990. The show follows Moiraine, a strong magic-user, as she takes a group of young people under her wing and embarks on a globe-spanning adventure to find which of them is the Dragon Reborn, a person prophesied to either save or destroy the world. So far, the series has gotten mostly excellent reviews, with consumers and critics complimenting its worldbuilding and more approachable approach to high fantasy. The Wheel of Time series spans 14 volumes, so the show has a lot of characters and background to introduce, and some reviews have criticized the first few episodes for their excessive exposition and slow-moving plotline. In terms of popularity, the books have sold over 90 million copies worldwide, bringing them on par with George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire. Rosamund Pike, Daniel Henney, Madeleine Madden, Zo Robins, Josha Stradowski, Marcus Rutherford, and Barney Harris feature in the series.
Rutherford discusses the show’s secrecy in an interview with the AV Club:
In a recent interview with the AV Club, Rutherford discusses how covert the show had to be during pre-production to guarantee that no surprises were spoiled for the program’s millions of viewers. He reveals that throughout the audition process, the names of the characters were changed, so that even the actors auditioning didn’t know who they were reading for. Rutherford’s character in the series is named Perrin, but throughout the audition process, he thought he was reading for a character named Peter. See Rutherford’s whole response below:
It’s been a well-guarded secret since the outset. Even the audition procedure was a shambles. I was auditioning for a person named Peter, and [Josha] was auditioning for Ridhan, thus the names were switched… When [showrunner] Rafe [Judkins] started developing the show, he mentioned that people were rummaging through his bins looking for scripts and other such things. As a result, we found that the fans are incredibly devoted. We have to keep some things quiet since we don’t want any spoilers.
The fan base for The Wheel of Time is as fervent as ever:
Despite the fact that the novels have been out for some time, the fan following for The Wheel of Time appears to be as fervent as ever. As seen by programs like Game of Thrones and, more recently, The Witcher, fantasy series based on literature frequently have big, loyal fan bases that care profoundly about how showrunners treat their favorite characters and stories. Given that a slew of performers were most likely called in to audition for The Wheel of Time’s plethora of important characters, it stands to reason that showrunner Rafe Judkins would want to keep the secret for as long as possible and avoid details from leaking too soon. Finally, it appears that the secrecy surrounding The Wheel of Time paid off. Only three episodes have been published thus far, and while book lovers may have a broad notion of where things are heading, the direction for the rest of the season is very much up in the air. Despite certain alterations from the source material, Wheel of Time appears to please fans of the novels thus far, and it will likely continue its diversions from the books in future episodes in order to keep the shocks coming for both new and old fans.
Source: AV Club