Rosamund Pike opens up about ‘forbidden love’ twist in new fantasy epic The Wheel of Time

Rosamund Pike plays Moiraine in Amazon Prime Video's The Wheel of Time

The Wheel of Time star Rosamund Pike has opened up about the “forbidden love” her character, Moiraine, shares with another key player in the series.

Warning – spoilers for The Wheel of Time ahead. 

In the latest episode of Amazon Prime’s the Wheel of Time, Moiraine – one of the Aes Sedai, women who can channel the One Power – is revealed to be romantically linked to Siuan Sanche (Sophie Okonedo), the Amyrlin Seat and the leader of the Aes Sedai.

Moiraine and Siuan are seen kissing, caressing each other and working on their secret quest to find the Dragon Reborn (a prophesied hero) while in bed.

The late Robert Jordan, author of the Wheel of Time series, never explicitly spelt out that there is a romantic connection between Moiraine and Siuan. But there was a reference in the books to the pair being “pillow friends” as novices and beyond their time training in the White Tower of Tar Valon.

Pike told Out that the revelation of Moraine and Siuan’s relationship would “inform” her character’s development “going forward” in the series. She described the relationship as “surprising” and “dangerous” – but not because of the queer element. Rather, the “shock” factor, she said, comes from Siuan’s position as the Amyrlin Seat.

She described the relationship between Siuan and Moiraine as a “forbidden love, something that cannot be spoken”.

However, Pike said this “forbidden love” wasn’t because both characters are women, as being queer is “just all accepted” in the series’ universe. She added it was “interesting” to her that she hadn’t “picked up on the fact of how unusual it is if there is indeed no stigma”.

“It just adds so, so many layers to Moiraine’s character,” Pike explained. “And you realise what the stakes are for her.”

Siuan and Moiraine must keep their love a secret or risk being stilled, a process in which an Aes Sedai is cut off from the One Power and lose their ability to channel magic.

“If anyone got a glimmer, it would be just death,” Pike said.

Wheel of Time characters Moraine and Siuan share a kiss

Moraine and Siuan share a kiss in “The Wheel of Time”. (Amazon Prime Video)

In the books, Siuan grew up a fisher girl and eventually joined the Aes Sedai, becoming a novice in the ranks of women being trained in the White Tower of Tar Valon alongside Moiraine. She eventually was raised to the Amyrlin Seat, the leader of the Aes Sedai.

The Wheel of Time showrunner Rafe Judkins told Nerdist that the Amyrlin Seat is “one of, if not the most powerful” individuals in the “world in the books”.

Judkins added that it’s “made very clear” that the two women are “‘pillow friends’ at the White Tower, which is code for an intimate relationship”.

“In the show, we’ve stuck exactly with that story,” he explained. “And while it’s only hinted at in the books that Moiraine and Siuan continued their intimate relationship into adulthood, we’ve brought that to the forefront.”

Judkins continued: “As a gay person reading these books in the 90s and 00s, to see Moiraine being represented as having a relationship with another woman in New Spring [prequel novel in the Wheel of Time series] was such a huge moment for me, and even still today to have a queer person as a lead in a fantasy series feels almost shocking.”