THE WHEEL OF TIME S2 Interview – The Magic of Crafting the Epic Palanquin Scene

Ondrej Nekvasil and Ondrej Neirostek discuss the collaborative efforts behind creating the palanquin scene in 'The Wheel of Time' Season 2
Wheel of Time Season 2

The intricate world-building in The Wheel of Time is a testament to the meticulous craftsmanship of its creators. Every scene, every prop, and every effect is a result of countless hours of collaboration and innovation. In a recent interview, production designer Ondrej Nekvasil and Special Effects Coordinator Ondrej Neirostek provided a behind-the-scenes look at one of the standout moments from the second season.

A Vision Brought to Life

The arrival of Lady Surath in a palanquin at the atlant’s mill village is a scene that captures the imagination. This seemingly simple sequence was a culmination of extensive design, engineering, and visual effects.

“At the end of episode two, there’s a palanquin, and this lady Surath coming into the atlant’s mill village, and that palanquin was actually designed in our department. After we did the first model of it, we went to Andre, to the SFX team, and discussed how we will move that thing.”

-Ondrej Nekvasil, Season 2 Production Designer-

RELATED: Exploring the Intricate Art of THE WHEEL OF TIME Season 2’s Dazzling Costumes

The Art of the Impossible

Wheel of Time Season 2
Dónal Finn (Mat Cauthon)

Creating a sense of wonder while maintaining a touch of realism was a challenge. The palanquin, designed to appear as if floating, had to be both a tangible set piece and a marvel of special effects.

“So you see it’s a physical thing, it’s there, it’s not a visual effect, it’s coming there as a physical palanquin, but we know that we don’t have strong enough slaves to hold it, so that has to be done by the special effects.”

-Ondrej Nekvasil, Season 2 Production Designer-

KEEP READING: The 8-Week Journey Behind THE WHEEL OF TIME S2’s Epic Stunt Choreography

Collaboration at its Finest

Wheel of Time Season 2
Avienda played by Ayoola Smart, Perrin Aybara played by Marcus Rutherford

Ondrej Neirostek emphasized the collaborative spirit that made such scenes possible.

“It’s a great scene when they’re actually bringing her, ladies to work on the palanquin. We had to do a lot of steel work underneath. This is a great example where most of the departments met under our directors.”

-Ondrej Neirostek, Season 2 SFX Coordinator-

RELATED: THE WHEEL OF TIME S2 Interview – Balancing Magic and Reality With Special Effects

The palanquin scene in The Wheel of Time Season 2 showcases the magic that unfolds when a team of dedicated professionals come together. From conceptualization to execution, every detail was meticulously crafted to transport viewers into a world of fantasy grounded in reality.

The Wheel of Time Season 2 is now streaming exclusively on Prime Video with new episodes every Friday.

About Wheel of Time

Wheel of Time Season 2

Release: Season 2 Premiere September 1, 2023
Developer: Rafe Judkins
Executive Producers: Rafe Judkins, Larry Mondragon, Rick Selvage, Ted Field, Mike Weber, Darren Lemke, Marigo Kehoe, Justine Juel Gillmer, Sanaa Hamri, Amanda Kate Shuman
Production: Amazon Studios, Sony Pictures Television
Distribution: Prime Video
Cast: Rosamund Pike, Daniel Henney, Josha Stradowski, Zoë Robins, Madeleine Madden, Marcus Rutherford, Dónal Finn, Ceara Coveney

Based on the best-selling Robert Jordan fantasy series The Wheel of Time, a humble farm boy, Rand al’Thor (Josha Stradowski, Gran Turismo), learns he is The Dragon Reborn—a dangerous figure from history destined to save the world … or break it. Desperate to protect him from the Dark One, an army of powerful sorceresses must reckon with his burgeoning power and encroaching madness.

The Wheel of Time turns, and the Last Battle approaches. Though Rand thought he destroyed the Dark One, evil is not gone from the world. In Season Two, threats new and very old seek out the young friends from the Two Rivers, now scattered over the world. The woman who found and guided them is now powerless to help, and so they must find other sources of strength. In each other, or themselves. In the Light … or the Dark.

What did you think of the palanquin sequence? Were you as enchanted as we were? How do you imagine the behind-the-scenes process for such intricate scenes? Join the conversation and share your thoughts with us on social media!

KEEP READING: Crafting the Mystical World of THE WHEEL OF TIME in Season 2 with the Brilliant Ondrej Nekvasil


Kevin Fenix

Kevin Fenix

Professional Nerd | Amateur Human | Creative/Content Director The best way to describe Kevin Fenix is the kid you never tell what the buttons do in video games so you have a chance to win. Being 6’ 4” and Asian, he never really fit in, so he got comfortable standing out. Not only is it easy to find him in crowds, he dabbles in the culinary arts, does a little stand up and improv, and can honestly say Spider-Man is the Jesus-like influence of his life. Kevin Fenix loves dogs, movies, television, comics, comedy, and to shoot people… with video.