This article contains spoilers through Lord of Chaos.
On Monday, January 28, fans received confirmation from Jennifer Cheon Garcia that she will be playing the role of Leane Sharif in Amazon Prime’s upcoming adaptation of The Wheel of Time.
Leane is a fascinating character with a great arc, and I’m interested to see what Jennifer and the showrunners will be doing with her. In many ways, Leane is a study in opposites. She is, of course, very much an insider in terms of White Tower politics—as Keeper of the Chronicles to the Amyrlin Siuan Sanche, Leane serves not only as Siuan’s secretary but also as her advisor and voice. In other ways, however, Leane is on the periphery. Like Siuan, she is unaware of the rebellion fomenting within the Tower, which ultimately culminates in her removal and stilling, and she is also kept unaware of Siuan and Moiraine’s plots surrounding the Dragon Reborn.
Leane’s character is one that is necessarily tied to Siuan’s, particularly in the early books. In New Spring, we learn that the two were close friends as Accepted and that while that friendship paused temporarily when Leane was raised to Aes Sedai, they resumed their relationship upon Siuan’s raising. As Keeper, Leane is essentially Siuan’s right hand, and she shares Siuan’s fate when Elaida becomes the Amyrlin Seat. In some ways, this relationship continues following the events in which both Siuan and Leane are stilled, for Leane decides to aid Siuan in her quest to gain revenge on Elaida.
Nonetheless, it is here where Leane begins to truly carve out a spot for herself that is separate from Siuan. While the two still work together to guide the Salidar Hall of the Tower and to bring down Elaida, Leane tells Siuan point blank that while revenge on Elaida might be enough to keep Siuan going, she herself needs something more: “I only know I need something in my life to replace—what is gone. You yourself told me that is the only hope of surviving. Revenge falls short, for me. I know your cause is necessary, and perhaps even right, but the Light help me, that is not enough either; I can’t make myself be as involved as you. Maybe I came too late to it. I will stay with you, but it isn’t enough” (TFoH, Ch. 1). In the end, when Nynaeve Heals Leane and Siuan, returning their ability to channel even if at a reduced capacity, Leane diverges from Siuan even more; she decides that the causes that drive the Blue Ajah, and that still have such a hold on Siuan, are no longer what will define her. Instead, she finds her new home amongst the Green Ajah.
Leane’s journey is a compelling one; hers is a story of loss, of restoration, and of self-definition and knowledge. What are you most looking forward to seeing from her character in the television show?