Breaking down the screentime of al’Lan Mandragoran during the first season of The Wheel of Time on Amazon Prime.
This article contains spoilers for the first season of the Wheel of Time TV Show, and slight spoilers for The Eye of the World and The Great Hunt.
Over the past few months, I made, well, quite a few Tumblr posts about screentime for the first season of the Wheel of Time. But while Tumblr is fun, this isn’t always the best place to keep track of serious posts full of numbers. That is a job for “Data? WoT Data?”, in which I am delighted to break down the screentime al’Lan Mandragoran, Lord of the Seven Towers, True Blade of Malkier.
Lan Mandragoran had a total of 2h01m57s of screentime, in which he was asleep for 26s. This leaves him about 2h01m31s of “in-scene” screentime, i.e. time where he is physically present and conscious. This represents about 28.05% of the total show length (7h13m13s).
Note: for the rest of this column, I will only be talking about in-scene screentime, as this is usually the most relevant in terms of character development.
Lan spent about 39m52s in “duo” scenes, i.e. scenes where Lan and another named character were the only two physically present and conscious named characters in a scene. This represents about 32.8% of his in-scene screentime for season 1. This is slightly more than Egwene, who had 38m55s of duo scenes (28.7% of her screentime), but well below Moiraine and her 56m32s (36.4% of her screentime) or Rand and his 1h06m06s (41.7% of his screentime).
His larger screentime was for Ep7 (26m59s), followed by Ep2 (25m05s), which doesn’t come as a surprise as those episodes had many “traveling in group” scenes. Lan had his lowest screentime for Ep8: his 3m49s in this episode represented 3.1% of his “in-scene” screentime for the whole season.
Those few minutes in Ep8 were fully spent on single and duo scenes: about 1m57s with Nynaeve, which gave us a lovely quote from tEotW, about 1m31s with Moiraine, in which she could not unmask the bond, and some 21s of Lan traveling through the Blight. As a result, Ep8 gave our Warder more duo time than Ep2 and Ep6, despite Lan’s way longer screentime in those episodes.
Overall, Lan spent some amount of in-scene screentime with 31 different named characters. The most time was spent with Moiraine (1h14m16s), followed by Nynaeve (59m20s) who is at a disadvantage again from not being present in Ep2. The rest of the EF5 then followed without much distinction, except for Mat who suffers from his absence after Ep6.
While Lan got a decent amount of duo time, only three characters got to see him in 1:1 for more than a few seconds: Nynaeve, Moiraine, and Stepin. For comparison, Egwene had more than a minute of duo time with 5 characters, Rand with 10 characters, and Moiraine with 11.
As a result, I’ve decided to represent on a single chart Lan’s screentime with groups of 5 or less named characters. Are kept only groups that got more than a minute of screentime over the whole season. For Lan, this only leaves 9 groups, even less than the number of characters Rand and Moiraine got more than a minute of duo time with.
On that note, Lan and Nynaeve got about 19m49s of duo time, which is the highest duo time of the whole season. Even better, Lan and Moiraine with their 15m34s got the second-highest duo time of the first season. Other significant duos were Rand and Mat (with 14m43s), Rand and Egwene (13m01s), Rand and Moiraine (12m52s), and Egwene and Perrin (12m22s).
Lan and Nynaeve’s duo time was mostly split between Ep3, Ep4, Ep7, and Ep8, allowing us to see the progression of their relationship all along the first season. Meanwhile, Lan and Moiraine have known each other for decades: their extended duo time during Ep1 introduces to viewers their friendship and hints at how the bond between a Warder and his Aes Sedai works. Overall, those two relationships feel more developed in this first season than in tEotW. For book readers, whether this is a win or not mostly depends on particular affinities with those characters.
Other significant small group scenes with Lan include creeping the younger folks of the Two Rivers with stories of Shadar Logoth in Ep2, bonding with other warders in Ep4 and Ep5, dealing with a nasty dagger in Ep6, and having your slightly stalky girlfriend over for dinner at your adoptive dad’s place in Ep7.
One thing that could be considered a miss is the lack of relationship so far between Lan and some of the boys of the Two Rivers. Many readers remember with fondness of Lan bonding with Rand over sword fight training and borderland customs, especially in the first few chapters of the Great Hunt. With Rand leaving the Eye of the World by himself at the end of Ep8, I am very curious about how the show will transcribe this relationship. Guess we will have to wait and find out in season 2!
And that’s about it for Lan. If, like me, you like losing too much time looking at numbers, here’s a link for the data.