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Top 10 Cutest Behind the Scenes Moments from The Wheel of Time

Reviewing Season 1's Most Adorable BTS Content

This article contains minor content spoilers for Season 1 of the Wheel of Time on Amazon Prime and one very minor character spoiler for the book series.

Daniel Henney stands between two Trollocs about 2 feet taller than him, with his arms folded, wearing a black sweatshirt and beanie hat. He has a fake scared expression on his face. The Trolloc on his left, a bird trolloc, has its long sharp talons resting on Daniel's shoulder.

Look at these cuties! (Source: Daniel Henney's Instagram)

The longer fans go through “The Longing” between seasons of the Wheel of Time on Amazon Prime, the more desperate they get for news. This past week alone will keep the clown make-up industry in business for at least the next fiscal quarter.

In the days leading up to St. Patrick's Day, we saw the fandom losing it over a red heart emoji posted by a red-sweater-swathed Natasha O'Keeffe (she’s obviously Elaida) and generating a range of looney theories as to what the Tweeter of Chaos could possibly mean with two back-to-back posts about the color Green. And when the day finally came, all we got was this photoshopped image of Padan Fain with a shamrock (sad trombone).

Johann Myers as Padan Fain stands outside a Waygate, looking down at a shamrock in his hand.

Instead of endlessly searching for clues that aren’t there, why don’t we use some of our down time between seasons to take a trip down memory lane and look at some of the best Behind The Scenes moments from the filming of Season 1? If we know anything about surviving the Longing, we certainly learned it from the long, pandemic-delayed wait for Season 1 to drop—a time during which fans happily dissected any morsel of information for days.

Then again, with cast and crew spending more time together during lockdown, the Wheel of Time fandom may have actually gotten more BTS content before Season 1 than would be expected under normal circumstances. As the cast became closer and took to social media to pass the time, fans were rewarded with quite possibly the cutest BTS moments we’ll get throughout the entire series. Here’s our Top 10:

10. Álvaro Morte Greeting Sophie Okonedo

Alvaro Morte, wearing a blue linen tunic, hugs Sophie Okonedo, wearing a golden dress and black hoodie, in the hallway outside the Hall of the Tower. Alvaro gently holds the sides of Sophie's face as they kiss one another's cheeks.

We didn’t see this adorable BTS moment until a while after Season 1 aired, when The Wheel of Time dropped a short video of Álvaro Morte (Logain) taking us on a tour of the White Tower during the shooting for Episode 6. As the camera follows Morte through the set, we see him sweetly embrace Sophie Okonedo (Siuan), who is pretty adorable herself, wearing a black hoodie over her full Amyrlin regalia. As they kiss each other on the cheek in greeting, it’s hard to believe she’s about to sentence him to a life of misery in the White Tower as he begs her to execute him.

9. Daniel Henney and Madeleine Madden Having a Dance-Off in the Woods

Daniel Henney on the left and Madeleine Madden on the right in an outdoor set with a black tent, leaves on the ground, and a spotlight set up in the background. They smile at one another while swirling their arms in a circle doing the Cabbage Patch.

This is just a tiny piece of cuteness within a comprehensively adorable BTS video hosted by Daniel Henney (Lan). While the dance lasts only a couple seconds, you’re left feeling joy for days after catching this glimpse of Madeleine Madden (Egwene) and "Laniel" grinning while doing the Cabbage Patch.

While the dance is certainly the cutest moment, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the best part of the video: Daniel discussing the importance of the role of Lan to him as an Asian actor and then gleefully telling the camera that being on the set of the Wheel of Time is a “little kid dream.”

8. Maddie and Marcus, Traveling Buddies

Marcus Rutherford, wearing a brightly striped Tinker's blanket, sits on Madeleine Madden's lap inside a tent. Maddie wears Egwene's hooded and wool lined coat from the show. Maddie has her arms wrapped around Marcus and face pressed against his back, eyes closed and grinning widely.

No one feeds us more WoT breadcrumbs on their social media than Madeleine Madden. Her Instagram account is ripe with BTS photos, several of which made this list, and other infamous ones that did not (our first look at Archie as Bela, for one). But one of the all-time cutest has to be this cuddle puddle of Marcus Rutherford (Perrin) sitting on Maddie’s lap while they were filming their scenes with the Tuatha’an.

The caption reads, “Finding friends (pictured), food (lentils done 50 ways) and comfort (hot water bottles and lap-sits). Some of us needing the comfort more so @marcus_rudda.” It’s unclear whether it was Maddie or Marcus who needed the comfort and warmth, but either way, it seems like lap-sitting is an adorably good way to warm up.

7. Everything About Magdalena Sittova

Magdalena Sittova, wearing black and with red hair pulled back into a pony tail, stands in a harness attached to a wire that is gripped by a male stunt coordinator in a pink t-shirt. Magdalena smiles as the coordinator explains what they are doing to the camera.

In a BTS video about the making of Winternight, released just a few days before we saw the epic cold open to Episode 7, perceptive fans noticed that the red-haired stunt performer cast as Tigraine was in the video, demonstrating the trick behind the Trolloc pulling Nynaeve’s hair in Episode 1.

That was the first glimpse the fandom got of Magdalena Sittova in action, and the huge smile on her face was the first hint of just how much joy and passion she brings to her work. Later, during her interview in “A Look Inside Episode 7,” we can hear the enthusiasm in her voice, even as she discusses how tired she was during the long days of filming of that incredible fight scene.

Magdalena Sittova covered in fake blood and wearing in her full Tigraine costume  (Aiel desert warrior garb with head wrap and leather chest armor). In the background is the complex set up of the Bolt camera on several rail tracks. Magdalena smiles at the camera. In the bottom corner is a caption saying her name and character name with a piece of the Wheel of Time great serpent logo.

Not only was Majda a charmingly bright spot in each of these videos, it was fun to learn that she had the opportunity to lend her talents to other scenes, in addition to the Blood Snow. And Showrunner Rafe Judkins is pretty adorable himself when he starts praising the Dragonmother, who he dubs a "f*cking beast."

6. The Gym Weaves as the Gym Wills

Black and white photo of Josha Stradowski standing in a gym wearing a hoodie, taking a mirror selfie with his cell phone, making a "rock on" gesture in the air with his hand.

As fans of little faith complained that Marcus wasn’t buff enough to be Perrin, Instagram stories provided us with proof that he and Josha Stradowski (Rand) were hitting the gym relentlessly.

Their grueling workout schedule was later confirmed in an interview with Rosamund Pike in which she discussed the pressure on the male actors in The Wheel of Time, who would be wearing less clothing than the women. (This was later corroborated in comedic fashion when Daniel Henney told GQ a story about being "inundated" with sausage and dumplings while trying to stay fit for his "hot tub" scene in Episode 1.)

The level of pressure on the guys sounds awful, but true to form, the cast managed to make the daily grind of going to the gym look cute. In September of 2020, Josha posted a photo on Instagram of a whiteboard at the gym emblazoned with the words, “The Gym Weaves as the Gym Wills.”

Black and white image of a whiteboard with capital letters written in black marker, reading: "The gym weaves as the gym wills."

But it gets even better. Later, Josha posted another photo of the same sign with some signature Wheel of Time cursing added to it.

Color image of a whiteboard with black capital letters reading "The gym weaves as the gym wills" except additional words have been added in red capital letters so that it now reads "The bloody gym flaming weaves as the bloody gym flaming wills."

It wasn’t until after Season 1 dropped that Shakespearean actor and fan of the Wheel of Time book series, Guy Roberts (Uno), tweeted that he was the one to add the obscenities, in true Uno fashion.

5. The Adventures of Choti and Lambi

Jennifer Cheon Garcia in a stylish chartreuse dress strikes a pose while taking a mirror selfie of herself and Priyanka Bose who wears a stylish brown pinstriped jumper and blazer, also striking a pose.

Shortly after Season 1 started shooting in Prague, we began to see Priyanka Bose (Alanna) and Jennifer Cheon Garcia (Leane) spending quite a bit of time together, posting stylish photos of the two of them looking fierce.

Soon enough, they had their own hashtag: #AdventuresOfChotiAndLambi. A quick Google search tells us that choti is a Hindi term of endearment meaning “small one,” and lambi means “long.” We can surmise, then, that the petite Priyanka Bose is "Choti" and the statuesque Jennifer Cheon Garcia is "Lambi."

Jennfier Cheon Garcia, wearing a short red cocktail dress and sunglasses, sits cross legged on a circular stool, taking another mirror selfie of herself and Priyanka Bose, who is in the foreground on a hot pink stool, legs crossed with one arm thrown over her head, holding a glass of champagne, wearing a low cut black velvet dress and hot pink leopard pumps.

Between the cute nicknames and adorable photo shoots, it’s fun to see the two Aes Sedai getting along so well. They even have a few more recent photos that are already in the running for Season 2's Cutest BTS Moments. Cheers to Choti and Lambi—it seems like they’re having an awful lot of fun.

4. Josha's Makeup Crew

Josha Stradowski, wearing a black hoodie under a brown leather sherpa lined jacket, sits in a chair surrounded by 5 women, including Madeleine Madden, who holds both her hands around his head as if giving him a temple massage. Two women wield makeup brushes and one of them holds a nail file to Josha's index finger. The women are smiling, Maddie looks posh and smug, Josha appears to be trying to be serious but has a tiny smile on his face and in his eyes.

Oh, December 2019, back when things were simple. Back when we had no idea we were about to get a crash course in Zoom and “mask up” was going to become a thing people actually say. It was around that time, just before the Wheel of Time production took a break for the pre-pandemic holidays, that Maddie posted this gem of a photo, captioned, “The only way to wrap the last day of shooting for the decade 🥳💆‍♂️.”

It’s great to see that the crew is joining in on the BTS fun, as Maddie and the makeup artists form a cozy halo around Josha, who wears a sherpa-lined jacket eerily similar to his Two River’s sheepskin coat. It seems like the Dragon Reborn is already building up a reputation for surrounding himself with women, though Mat and Perrin certainly know more about talking to them.

3. The Table Read

Cast members sitting at a table with scripts and green bottles of sparkling water in front of them. From left to right, Josha Stradowski (Rand) wearing white, Barney Harris (Mat) wearing green, Lolita Chakrabarti (Marin al'Vere) wearing blue, Juliet Howland (Natti Cauthon) wearing purple, and Johann Myers (Padan Fain) wearing a black tee and pink button down open over it. All of them are smiling.

From left to right: Josha Stradowski (Rand), Barney Harris (Mat), Lolita Chakrabarti (Marin al'Vere), Juliet Howland (Natti Cauthon), Johann Myers (Padan Fain)

In October 2019, Amazon dropped a short video of the very first table read for the Wheel of Time. It was a gift from the Creator, and the first glimpse of the full cast for Episodes 1 and 2. As content creators began making maps of who exactly was at the table, other fans got excited over everything from the palpable chemistry of the cast, to Barney Harris’s comedic delivery of Mat's line about "the Lady” Moiraine shooting fireballs.

Not only was this video the inspiration for The Dusty Wheel’s infamous closer, “Smash to Black,” it was the first time fans saw for sure what they suspected from the beginning: this was the best and cutest cast ever.

Barney Harris, wearing a rumpled green button down, takes a mirror selfie of himself and Josha Stradowski, wearing a white long-sleeved tee. Barney smiles with mouth closed, looking on the verge of a laugh, Josha smiles with his mouth slightly open, looking a little incredulously back at Barney in the mirror.

And even further behind the scenes of the table read, we got this adorable first-day-of-school selfie of Barney and Josha in the bathroom that just screams Rand not quite knowing what to do with Mat and his mischief.

2. Alanna Bonding with Her Warders

Priyank Bose wearing a cozy dark green sweater sits nestled between Taylor Napier, wearing a white henley, and Emmaneul Imani, wearing a black button down. Priyanka has one arm wrapped around Taylors' with her head on his shoulder, the other arm wrapped around Emmanuel's head as he leans back against her with eyes closed.

Priyanka Bose is another one who has an epic Instagram account, full of gorgeous selfies, delicious-looking food and drink, artwork, poetry, impassioned reels about body image and self-actualization, and unintentional hints about when Season 2 might drop.

But the cutest Behind the Scenes moment from Season 1 was this set of photos of Priyanka “bonding” with her Warders, Taylor Napier (Maksim) and Emmanuel Imani (Ihvon). Long before we ever saw Maksim hand Alanna a piece of fruit, it was clear the Green was going to have great chemistry with her boyfriends—err—Warders.

1. Maddie’s Birthday Party, 2020

Madeleine Madden sits between Zoe Robins and Marcus Rutherford behind a table covered in white tablecloth, with wine bottles on shelves in the background. They each have glasses of wine and water in front of them, cell phones out on the table. Maddie and Zoe strike a pose, huddled together and smiling. Marcus has a smile small and appears to be looking across the table at someone else.

Madeleine Madden knows how to have a great birthday party. After this year’s birthday reel showed a rare glimpse of Dónal Finn in Prague, the excitement almost made us forget this classic set of images from Madeline’s very first birthday party in Prague, just a month or so before the pandemic shut down production.

The shot of Maddie with Zoe and Marcus is pretty adorable, but the real highlight is Maddie’s second post from the night, captioned “The 7 Stages of Drinking,’ featuring a wine glass-wielding Josha looking increasingly tipsy as the night goes on. The 4th Stage in particular has been a popular meme template. Who doesn’t love a sassy Dragon Reborn?

Josha Stradowski, wearing an olive green button down and black baseball cap, holds out his wine glass towards the camera while looking off to the left, eyes wide with one arm across his chest in a fist shape, looking like he might be saying "Excuse me??"

And that's a wrap on cutest BTS moments from Season 1. Runners up for this list include Daniel Henney with some cuddly-looking Trollocs (pictured above) and Rosamund Pike adorably demonstrating how to peel a pineapple with just her hands.

​​Bain & Chiad is a regular contributor to and the creator of Maidens’ List, a weekly opinion column about the Wheel of Time book series, TV show, and fandom.

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Mar 22, 2022

So fun to go back to those cute moments! Turns out I had missed some of those ahah

Bain & Chiad
Bain & Chiad
Mar 22, 2022
Replying to

It's so hard to keep track of them all! I'm sure there are a number of great ones I also missed. Definitely watch the pineapple video if you haven't already, it's amazing :)

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