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The Wheel of Time spoilers follow.
The Wheel of Time star Rosamund Pike has opened up about the show's surprise queer twist.
The latest episode of the Amazon Prime fantasy series confirmed that her Aes Sedai sorceress Moiraine is in a relationship with another woman – namely Sophie Okonedo's high ranking Amyrlin Seat character Siuan Sanche.
As such, the series marks a big moment in fantasy, with its central character being queer and in an interracial relationship – something that wasn't explicitly shown in the Robert Jordan book series it is based upon.
"It's surprising. It's dangerous," she told Out of the relationship and the risks given their power dynamics. "It just adds so so many layers to Moiraine's character. And you realise what the stakes are for her."
Further reflecting on the significance, Pike added: "I think you don't always realise, when you're in a film or a TV show, what its cultural import is until much later. It can take an outside viewer to see it sometimes because you're just inhabiting the world."
The star went on to describe their relationship as a "forbidden love" – with Moiraine risking being 'stilled' – or cut off from her magic as an Aes Sedai – Pike adding: "If anyone got a glimmer, it would be just death."
However, the stigma is more down to power dynamics rather than homophobia or sexism, noting that "the shock should be Moiraine is in a relationship with the Amyrlin Seat, not Moiraine is in a relationship with a woman".
Speaking on the progressive nature of this world, the actress explained that "it's just all accepted, right? Very much like the diversity is just accepted."
"I hadn't actually sort of picked up on the fact of how unusual it is if there is indeed no stigma," Pike admitted. "That's interesting."
As for what it means for the future of the series, the star teased: "I think it will inform Moiraine going forward. Certainly, you'll have more understanding of her with that in the background."
"It's been a joy. It's opened up the world in new ways for me," she added of playing the role.
"I was drawn to her serenity. And then I find that once more, I'm playing a much more complicated woman than I anticipated – on a crusade to save the world, at tremendous personal cost."
The Wheel of Time is available to watch on Prime Video, with new episodes released weekly on Fridays.
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