Honoring the Wheel of Time Fandom's Most Beloved Cosplaying Creator
This article contains full series spoilers for the Wheel of Time.
Last week, the Wheel of Time fandom was shaken by the news that one of our most beloved members, Brian (also known as Recappa Sedai of Wheel Talk), was seriously injured in a fall. His cohosts from Tar Valon After Dark, with permission from Brian’s family, shared that Brian sustained multiple head injuries and was under sedation to prevent further swelling in his brain.
Tonight, we just got a major update that Brian is off sedation, breathing on his own, speaking a little, and recognizing people in the room with him.
Naturally, the fandom has come together in full force to support Brian and his husband, Patrick, with an avalanche of messages of encouragement and generous donations to help cover medical bills. Brian's GoFundMe has raised over $35K in less than a week, and while the amount may be surprising, the magnitude of the fandom’s love and support is not.
This is the fandom that once pulled together to replace the entire Wheel of Time series for a fan after they lost their books in a fire. The fandom that raises funds for the Lightweaver Foundation every December for WoTaHoliday and donates countless dollars to Books to Prisoners. The fandom that pushes for accessibility and never fails to rush in with supportive comments and virtual hugs anytime a fellow fan reaches out for help.
Brian as Hopper at JordanCon 2021
When I first began to understand the depths of kindness and generosity within the fandom, I couldn't help but wonder if a love this great would come with a price. As a person with anxiety, I feel compelled to prepare myself for every possible tragedy, so I thought to myself, "We are going to go through grief and loss together at some point.”
And while it’s a somber thought, especially now, I find comfort in a single word: together. We spend a lot of time coming together in joy, but we can also come together in sorrow. Pain, sadness, fear, loss—they are inevitable. It's the price we pay for caring about each other, but it's the same care that will get us through, together.
So, when Brian’s injury left me stunned, scared, and sad, I didn’t doubt for one moment that I would be alone. I knew the fandom would come through for Brian, for Patrick, and for one another. Life is fragile, but our fandom is strong.
As Recappa would say, “Enough of this!” Brian is a fighter. He is fierce, passionate, and cares deeply about bringing laughter and entertainment to the fandom. It’s going to be a long road, but he will pull through, and we will be there with him every step of the way.
In the meantime, let’s pour ourselves a giant glass of wine and spend some time appreciating the best of Brian, Recappa Sedai, and the many creative gems he has shared with the fandom over the past two years. And if you are sad and unfortunate enough to have never experienced Brian's work, these ten pieces of content are a great place to start.
As an Aiel-focused content creator, I admit my bias, but when I see people still tagging #SoMuchToh and #TohTruck a year later, I am certain Recappa’s A Very Aiel Christmas has achieved legendary status. How can you not love the idea of Wise Ones sitting around, getting smashed and messing with Aviendha?
Without question, it is one of Brian's funniest videos, but it also highlights the depth of his theatrical talent. For example, Amys and Bair, both played by Brian wearing the same wig and costume, are instantly distinguishable through subtle differences in accessories, make-up, movement, and voice.
Aiel Christmas is also one of the best displays of Brian's skill with comedic timing and editing. If you haven’t seen the Christmas episode and its sequel, A Very Aiel New Year, you have SO MUCH TOH.
Brian has named Lego as one of his greatest passions in life, so when he dedicates his vast collection of minifigs to a Wheel of Time scene, magic always happens. Brian has created several Lego reenactments (the Season 1 Teaser Trailer, the Winespring Inn scene, and the Caemlyn Road battle), but Weep for Manetheren is the best and most passionately executed.
It’s also perhaps the most emotionally confusing—as you’re weeping for what is lost forever, with Lego heads and body parts strewn all about, you can’t help but guffaw at the “Dreadbane Fishmonger” wielding her fish as a weapon, and the baker by her side, smacking Trollocs with a pastry. But that is just like the people of The Mountain Home, isn’t it? They would take up just about anything as a weapon to defend their home and their loved ones.
The story of Manetheren has been told many times, by many people (most recently, by Kate Reading and Michael Kramer, live at WoTCon), but the love—and days of work, no doubt—Brian put into this Lego reenactment makes it one of the most memorable.
Lego also makes an appearance in The Wisdom, but that’s not what makes this episode of Wheel Talk shine. In a classic Recappa recap, in front of the original, pre-green screen backdrop, using literally every wig she has, Recappa plays Moiraine, Lan, Thom, and the entire Emond’s Field 5 in a hilarious portrayal of Nynaeve catching up to the group in Baerlon.
Not only is this episode full of signature Recappa snark, drama, and wine glass flinging, it also includes a truly epic lip-synching of Katana’s “The Wisdom of Emond’s Field,” featuring Nynaeve in sunglasses, rocking out with fistfuls of parsley.
The song is so catchy, and Recappa’s performance so extra, it’s impossible to keep it out of your head for the rest of the day—or ever. In fact, it’s so unforgettable, it earned itself a spot in the vast library of Recappa Gifs.
Who doesn’t love Top 10 lists? Top 10 Egwene Moments was Recappa’s first, and she nails it. It’s also our first introduction to Recappa’s completely objective rating scale, based entirely on her emotions.
Best of all, we get classic Recappa moves, like almost knocking things over and giving absolutely no f***s if someone disagrees with her opinion, or dares refute that someone can literally black out from reading the Wheel of Time.
Interspersed with all the humor, Recappa provides smart and sincere commentary on why she loves the scenes on her list. It’s rare that a Top 10 list makes you want to cry (though I am working hard to change that), but in this video, you might find yourself welling up with tears along with Recappa as she reads the scenes of Egwene Meeting Her Toh (#10) and The Flame of Tar Valon (#2).
Egwene has some of the most badass moments in the Wheel of Time, but Recappa’s pure joy and fervor makes her the perfect hype woman to elicit a new layer of appreciation for Egwene—enough to make you want to re-read the series again, just to get to those 10 scenes.
Despite Recappa’s admittedly emotion-based rating scales, in Chart Faile, she actually provides a fair and thorough exploration of Faile’s character arc in the Wheel of Time. Featuring a cameo by Nae’Blis as Loial (“Not be hasty, but what the f***, Faile?”) and a dual knife-wielding Recappa, this journey through Faile’s highs and lows is a treat.
But don't have so much fun that you miss Recappa's well-supported opinions that Faile and Perrin have the most realistic romantic relationship in the Wheel of Time, “Shanna’har” is the most romantic scene, and Faile’s journey is one of the most triumphant.
Chart Faile is also one of the best examples of Recappa’s uncanny ability to weave the heartfelt in with the hilarious. My favorite moment is around 15 minutes into the video, when Recappa’s voice breaks while reading the funeral scene of Faile honoring the fallen Shaido. It is during such readings, as you watch Brian emoting in real time to his favorite passages, that you see your own love for the Wheel of Time reflected in his.
What better way to introduce your new puppy to the world than to bond her as your Warder? Pumpkin the Throat Ripper makes her adorable debut in this expertly written skit about Recappa’s search for a new Warder.
How to Train Your Warder hits all the right beats: the debut of Brian himself as Recappa’s Warder, well-timed interruptions from Teavana the Novice, and an entire character arc for "The Bone Crusher" (RIP), to name a few.
Top that off with Recappa just casually pulling a parody song out of her pocket like it’s no big deal, belting “I Need a Warder” while Brian writhes and sobs on the floor, tormented by the vicious Pumpkin. It's pure chaos in the best way. Need more Pumpkin in your life? She has her own Instagram account.
An excerpt from Recappa’s full-length review of Chapter 25 of The Eye of the World, The Tinker Song paints the Tuatha’an as bong-smoking Deadheads who bang pots and sing gleefully as their people are slaughtered and the Dark One takes over.
As if the bright wigs and heart-shaped sunglasses weren’t enough, Egwene hits the bong while Perrin plays the disapproving straight man. It’s pure genius in a tie-dyed t-shirt, and Brian’s voice sounds gorgeous.
8. Tar Valon After Dark
Art by @memo113
It was a great day for the fandom when Brian found his way to The Thirsty Tinker and became part of the podcast power trio that is Tar Valon After Dark. TVAD has blessed us with many hilarious sketches and segments, but Brian’s “Tony the Tinker” stands out as one of the best. In fact, in a TVAD Top 10 List, Tony might very well be #1.
It’s immediately apparent that Brian created a memorable character in Tony, as his cohosts chortle compulsively every time he introduces himself. The creepy-nice way Brian says, “Hi, I’m Tony the Tinker,” suggests that Tony is giving you a vacant, slightly deranged stare (see: the “I like Santa” kid from A Christmas Story).
It makes you wonder if Tony is high (see: “The Tinker Song”), brainwashed by the Tuatha’an, or a serial killer hiding among pacifists. Maybe it’s all three.
Regardless, Tony gives great advice—if you’re Tuatha’an—and provides the rest of us with an inside look at the mysterious Traveling People. And if you’re insulted or unsatisfied with Tony’s answers (spoiler alert: you will be), at least you know he cares when he signs off with his signature “I love you…”
Brian is also a prolific parody-ad writer for TVAD, spinning out WoT-themed advertisements so clever and funny, they make your face hurt from laughing. I won’t give away the punchlines here, but make sure you listen for Brian’s ads for Water, The Mirror of Mists, Waze for the Ways, Aiel Yard Sale, and my personal favorite, California People Kitchen.
We’ve already established that Brian is a ridiculously talented writer, singer, and performer, so of course Recappa Sedai entered Wheel of Time Idol and blew everyone out of the water. Well, maybe that’s not the best metaphor considering the theme of the video (a parody of Titanic's "My Heart Will Go On"), but her submission was stunning.
Recappa, as Moiraine, strategically green-screens herself into scenes from Titanic while singing about her inevitable comeback from Episode 8's events and brushing off frantic phone calls from Lan.
This probably goes without saying for most WoT fans, but My Part Will Go On is worth re-watching several times to catch meaningful details, like the fact that Moiraine’s keseira is Rose’s necklace, or that she's holding Fires of Heaven while singing “through some twisted door,” or the juxtaposition of Moiraine proclaiming her survival as Billy Zane (Ishamael in "Winter Dragon") drowns in the background.
Recappa's parody placed sixth in the Wheel of Time Idol competition, and if you’re upset about that, take it up with that weird Ishy dude.
10. WoTCon Main Programming
Last month, WoTCon set itself apart from other Cons by offering mainstage programming every morning, and once in the evening after dinner. Bringing the entire group together for music, entertainment, games, laughter, and surprises was incredibly uplifting. People loved it—and Brian was behind most of it.
You could hear Brian's clever writing behind Recappa Sedai's words as soon as she took to the stage, dressed in her signature Moiraine cosplay and dramatically interrupting the Innkeeper, who was Master of Ceremonies. You could hear it as Recappa read prophecy from an awkwardly unrolling scroll, hosted a live game of Puns of Time, conducted a doomed magic trick, and more.
Seeing Recappa live instead of on screen brings a whole new level of appreciation for Brian's talent as a performer. His mastery of his craft was clear in the way he commanded the room, played off the Innkeeper, and kept the show going with hilarious improv when things went awry (which was rare—kudos to the WoTCon staff).
If you've met Brian, you know that he is very different from his snarky and flamboyant alter-ego, Recappa. He's quiet, sweet, thoughtful, and sincere—and when you get him talking about something he enjoys (like spending hours stamping wax to make the shimmering WoTCon "tokens"), he lights up like the most adorable sparkler you've ever seen.
I spoke with Brian a couple times about his writing and performing for WoTCon. A perfectionist and professional self-critic after my own heart, he told me about what he felt could’ve gone better, or should’ve involved more planning. I told him all that mattered was that people were having fun, and they didn't notice the details the way he did.
I'm not sure he was convinced, but I could tell how much Brian truly cared about everyone having an amazing time. And his performances were only part of his generosity of spirit—to everyone's delight, he spent the evenings handing out sequined fans and handmade flower crowns.
I hope Brian knows how impressed everyone was with his work at WoTCon—and he really was working the entire time, right down to enforcing an early bedtime for himself on Friday night so he could get up early to dress in drag.
Photo Credit: Sherbet Mango
Brian, I hope you are fully awake and reading this very soon. And when you do, I hope you’ll feel the magnitude of love the fandom has for you, and that it will lift your spirits during your recovery. We are here for you. We love you. And for you, we’ll always "Keep it Wheel."
If you’d like to leave a message of support for Brian, you can do so via Tar Valon After Dark on Discord. You can find updates on his progress here. And please subscribe to Wheel Talk, if you haven't already.