Wheel of Time Star Explains Nynaeve’s Healing Power and Feelings
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for The wheel of time Episode 4, “The Dragon Reborn”, and for the series of books that inspired the series.
This week’s episode of The wheel of time on Prime Video saw Nynaeve (Zoë Robins) suddenly accomplish something everyone thought was impossible when she first channeled and healed several Aes Sedai and Warders who were on the verge of death. Until then, Nynaeve was known for her mastery of herbal remedies and first aid as the Wisdom of Two Rivers, but she never knew she had the potential to channel. Nynaeve wanted nothing to do with Aes Sedai and was only at the scene when Logain’s supporters attacked because she was trying to find her friends from Two Rivers.
In a post-mortem interview for Episode 4, “The Dragon Reborn,” Robins spoke to CBR about what Nynaeve has been through so far in The wheel of time. Robins also took a look at what’s so interesting about the duality of his fierce temper and guardian instincts.
CBR: This is really the Nynaeve episode. There was a spectacular scene at the end with her healing the others. In the books, she can only channel when she’s angry – we don’t yet know if this is also true on the show, but anyway, what was on her mind at the time – the ?
Zoe Robins: There was shock and desperation to see those people around her die. Nynaeve is above all a healer. So being powerless to help others is what I think makes her the most angry. And in particular, she connects with Lan in a way that only blossoms, and there are questions and feelings there. Seeing him die in front of her is beyond her.
Yes. Speaking of Lan, everyone sends it, definitely. But is she aware that something is going on there, or is she somehow in denial?
She is definitely in denial. She can sense that something is happening and brewing and it makes her incredibly uncomfortable. But, I can speak for myself. I felt things for someone and I didn’t necessarily want that to happen, but you can’t help that sort of thing. It’s natural. I think what irritates Nynaeve the most is that she is someone who longs for control, and she has no control over her emotions in this area.
And she also has a lot of mixed feelings about Lan and Moiraine and all of the Aes Sedai. Would you tell, at this part of the story, how has his attitude towards Aes Sedai changed, if at all?
She slowly comes to the idea that maybe not all of them are bad. I’m not sure if she’s necessarily warmed up by Moiraine as such, but I think she may have seen them more as humans than before. When we first meet Moiraine in Episode 1, and she arrives at Les Deux Rivières, this is the first Aes Sedai that Nynaeve has ever met. She has her own opinion on them. And I think it’s slowly, very slowly, changing being around them.
Is Lan or the other Guardians helping with this?
I mean a sweet “yes”. I think his way of understanding Aes Sedai is through the Guardians. But her first connection to this world is through the Guardians, so we see her bonding, no pun intended, bonding with Stepin and Lan, of course, and understanding their motivations and relating to them. Nynaeve has the same motivation and passion to protect her people the same way the Guardians do for Aes Sedai.
So now that you’re a channeler – before that, we mostly saw Moiraine as the only main character who channels, and Rosamund has talked a lot about how she chooses her moves to show that she channels. Are you trying to separate the Nynaeve pipeline from the Moiraine pipeline?
They must be different. Many Aes Sedai come to the White Tower to hone their skills and learn, while Nynaeve is a wilder one and she naturally has the spark. When I first did this scene, I can’t remember if I spoke to the movement trainer, Scarlett [Mackmin] — She is incredible.
I don’t know if this is a spoiler, but I have since worked with her a bit. With Nynaeve, her initial strength is so erratic and not at all under control, so those moves have to be that way too. So it’s like this burst of energy is escaping from her, and there’s nothing she can do about it – it can’t really be choreographed.
Yes, you can certainly see it in the healing scene. In general terms, there is a debate in this episode about the False Dragon and if he should get a trial or if he should just be arrested. What is your opinion on this?
Ooh. Maybe you could give it a little try. I think that would spice things up.
Of course, the circumstances of the episode make this a moot point. But yes, I like the ongoing questions.
Is there anything else you can tell us about season 2?
I think we’re all very excited. Without spoiling anything, there is more of a deep dive into the characters. We can spend more time with them in this area. I think Season 1 is a huge undertaking because we have to establish the world, the story, and the characters. Season 2 means we can now just sit back and breathe, and follow some characters individually for a little while, which I think is really, really exciting.
It’s very exciting. How did you feel about the audience reaction to the episodes they’ve seen so far?
Yes, it’s quite surreal. Even the fact that he came out looks like a miracle. Honestly, I felt for a while that we were working in a vacuum, and it was like a weird social experience, as we’ve been here in Prague on and off for the past two years. It’s amazing to be in this moment, and most people, I think, really react to what they see. I love all the debates I’ve seen so far about who the Dragon Reborn could be and yes, it’s lovely. I like that people like the show.
Did people speculate that you were the Dragon?
Not yet, but they could after this episode, maybe?
I was surprised about this, because it seems to be a bit long. But I love that she and Egwene are considered for it.
Yes. I think it’s a good way to get new audience members and non-book fans guessing.
But she certainly has her own journey outside of that.
Yes, she does. This is an understatement.
She has so much to come. I’ve heard Nynaeve once described as a “berserker healer,” as she can only channel when she’s angry, but she uses her for healing, which is really that beautiful contrast.
Yes, she is such a contradiction and juxtaposition. I love it. I love him so much. I will write it down. Berserker healer. It makes sense.
It’s such a great thing that she has so much power and what she wants to use it for is healing.
Yes, I love Nynaeve. Hope people too.
I also love how his trip so far has just tried to reconnect with his people.
This is his number one motivation. That’s what gets her up in the morning – making sure her people are okay. And when she finds out they aren’t, she’ll be very upset.
The Wheel of Time Season 1 is currently streaming on Prime Video, with new episodes airing every Friday.
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