Knots are untied as The Wheel of Time season two approaches its finish

Screenshot of Egwene al'Vere wearing a'dam

Enlarge / Egwene abides. (credit score: Amazon Studios)

Andrew Cunningham and Lee Hutchinson have spent a long time of their lives with Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson’s Wheel of Time books, they usually beforehand introduced that data to bear as they recapped every first season episode of Amazon’s new WoT TV collection. Now they’re doing it once more for season two—together with insights, jokes, and the occasional wild idea. These recaps will not cowl each factor of each episode, however they may comprise main spoilers for the present and the e-book collection. We’ll do our greatest to not spoil main future occasions from the books, however there’s at all times the hazard that one thing would possibly slip out. If you wish to keep utterly unspoiled and have not learn the books, these recaps aren’t for you.

New episodes of The Wheel of Time season two shall be posted for Amazon Prime subscribers each Friday. This write-up covers episode seven, which was launched on September 29.

Lee: We’re rounding the bend to the top of the season with episode seven of eight right here, and there is a number of floor to cowl earlier than we get to that enormous battle within the sky that no person appears to have the ability to shut up about. (It is not spoilers if all of the characters on display are speaking about it!) This episode concerned a number of shifting items round on the board—an enormous chunk of the scenes exist with a view to get all of our characters in Falme for subsequent week, together with and particularly regardless of the hell is occurring with Mat proper now.

However earlier than we get to any of that, we now have to speak concerning the opening for not less than only a second. Final season, we bought to see Rand’s delivery on the slopes of Dragonmount because the Aiel Conflict stumbled to a detailed, however now we’re given a peek into the different necessary occasion that occurred on the similar time: the Aes Sedai Gitara Moroso (Hayley Mills) and her “Foretelling.”

Foretelling is seemingly a uncommon expertise that doesn’t present up in Aes Sedai fairly often, and Gitara Sedai was apparently one of many strongest at it—or not less than one of the crucial correct. Proving that prophecy typically comes on the most inconvenient of occasions, we’re proven a flashback the place a a lot youthful Moiraine and Siuan enter Gitara’s rooms within the White Tower, and Gitara virtually instantly collapses underneath the load of her imaginative and prescient of the Dragon’s return to the world. The Aes Sedai appears to really feel what Rand’s mom is feeling throughout her battle, and we’re led to imagine that each Gitara Sedai and Rand’s mom expire on the similar time.

We all know from the books that that is the second that kick-starts Moiraine’s and Siuan’s secret-squirrel membership—the explanation why they’re actively searching the Dragon Reborn. The inconvenient bit, in fact, is that nobody else was there—nobody else witnessed Gitara’s Foretelling. Will surely have been nicer if she’d collapsed in the course of the Corridor of the Tower with extra witnesses, however so goes historical past, I suppose.

Prophecy comes at the most inconvenient times.

Prophecy comes on the most inconvenient occasions. (credit score: Amazon Studios)

Andrew: Within the books and sort of, type of within the present, Moiraine and Siuan take the relative privateness of the Foretelling as a possibility to do issues the best way they need to do them, ensuring that the Dragon Reborn wasn’t captured or stilled in order that he is obtainable to avoid wasting the world the best way he is purported to. Present-Siuan would not appear to be on board with that plan anymore as of this episode, simply one in all many liberties the present has taken. She views Moiraine’s impartial meddling as a failure and is now decided to do issues by the e-book, although Moiraine has different concepts.

If there’s one factor that’s sort of bugging me about this episode it is that we now have a number of characters simply asking for or accepting assist or counsel from numerous Forsaken, particularly Lanfear. You undoubtedly do get little snippets of this type of factor within the books, as totally different Forsaken plotted in opposition to one another, however each Lanfear and Ishamael have an terrible lot of our protagonists straight underneath their management and/or of their debt, and I am starting to surprise why they don’t seem to be killing extra heroes once they get the possibility.

Lee: Yeah—I suppose it is a side-effect of getting the Forsaken be such main characters on-screen, relatively than doing most of their motion within the shadows. They usually’re simply so rattling likable—Fares Fares as Ishamael feels downright fatherly at occasions, and thus far all Natasha O’Keeffe’s Lanfear has accomplished is put on revealing outfits, have loopy intercourse with Rand, kill an previous man, and blow up the Foregate. She’s not precisely flaying kids alive or defenestrating widows or something.

Which I feel is sort of doing the supposedly legendary standing of the Forsaken no favors. Close to the top of the episode, when Lanfear walks into the courtyard with Moiraine and Siuan and mates, nobody freaks out at an precise residing non-bound member of the Forsaken strolling into the courtyard—Moiraine is rather like, “Oh rattling, it is Lanfear.” My impression is that Lanfear strolling up into your assembly, even should you’re a supposedly omnipotent Aes Sedai, could be like actual-for-real Jason Voorhees unexpectedly shambling by the door to your own home. The right response is a few sort of mixture of “Oh my God wait Jason is actual?!” and Scooby Doo-style cartoon panic-running in a number of instructions concurrently. Probably with some pants-wetting tossed into the combo for good measure.

I additionally sort of need to discuss regardless of the hell it’s that Ishy was doing with Mat. I used to be sort of left feeling clueless by the scene with the tea, however my spouse has sort of a idea.

Andrew: Sure, individuals are very a lot not appearing like these individuals are monsters so brutal that their names have endured for millennia, and even like they’re individuals who aren’t to be trusted. They appear to assume they will work with the Forsaken now and determine the remainder out later. I believe they’re going to be unpleasantly shocked by no matter occurs subsequent.

The Mat storyline continues to flail a couple of bit. The present has to do a lot to make inside character improvement occur in methods which might be seen onscreen, and to translate issues {that a} character thinks and feels into issues that the character can present. Mat might be the character it is hardest to do that with, as a result of his “superpower” would not contain slinging fireballs or speaking with wolves.

So are we simply taking a bizarre roundabout path to Ebook-Mat, who has the reminiscences of 1,000 years’ price of wars and battles in his head, or is the present nonetheless off doing its personal factor? It is arduous to inform based mostly on the transient, trippy sequence that Ishamael treats Mat to this week, although if I needed to guess I would assume that what Ishamael tells him about “seeing the individuals who you was” means we’re working in that path.


Mat: “THIS IS FINE. THIS IS FINE. THIS IS FINE. THIS IS FINE.” (credit score: Amazon Studios)

Lee: I used to be a bit of let down by Ishy’s promise that he was brewing up some tea to let Mat see previous lives—I assumed the identical factor as you, that we may be about to present Mat the shove he wants to begin doing the issues he does within the e-book, however as a substitute of precise previous lives, we simply bought extra bizarre stuff with Mat’s (show-only) abusive mom and his (show-only) points together with his (show-only) abusive father. I am genuinely undecided the place it is purported to be going, aside from to only abuse Mat some extra on display and get him to the purpose the place he is even extra in thrall to the Forsaken.

My spouse’s quick-n-dirty idea is that the tea was only a sleeping brew, and that the sequence was really Ishamael screwing with Mat within the World of Goals. I would class that as a particular “possibly”—the factor that retains me from absolutely agreeing with it’s I simply do not see what the scene is for, whether or not it is Magic Spirit Journey Tea or simply plain sleeping tea and the Magic Spirit Journey is in Tel’Aran’Rhiod.

Okay, I’ve bought like… paragraphs to drop in right here about Moiraine, however provided that you are prepared to show to her, and to the decision of one in all this season’s largest mysteries.

Andrew: Oh yeah, tons to say. Some extra book-vs-show, internal-vs-external stuff happening right here; within the books, channelers can undoubtedly, 100% for certain, inform the distinction between being shielded (short-term) and being stilled (everlasting, with an asterisk). Being shielded is a bit like having a thick layer of bulletproof glass in your mind between you and the One Energy, however you continue to have your sense of it, you possibly can nonetheless see different channelers at work, and there are even little psychological acrobatics you are able to do to bust by a protect should you’re robust sufficient, or if the protect is “tied off” and left unattended.

Within the present, it seems that there is no distinction! Being shielded feels extra like being stilled, in that you just really feel completely lower off from the One Energy. We won’t have realized this reality any sooner than we do, I suppose, as a result of it could take what little stress there was out of the season-long “what is going on on with Moiraine” thriller.

Lee: Precisely so. We be taught that Moiraine was shielded this whole time, with the protect weaves tied off into knots and left to sit down. However your level concerning the further-changed nature of protecting feels prefer it’s a part of the bigger set of adjustments which have been made to how the One Energy works with women and men within the present.

It has been sort of a thriller why Moiraine herself hasn’t accomplished some extra intensive troubleshooting to search out the extent of her situation. When a sure set of characters (to stay anonymous, to spare non-book readers) finally figures out easy methods to take away the Aes Sedai Three Oaths in a future e-book, one of many VERY FIRST issues these temporarily-oathless characters do is begin mendacity and laughing—as a result of, let’s face it, having the ability to say “THE SKY IS GREEN!” for the primary time in years might be fairly exhilarating. Why would not Moiraine have merely began busting out with the lies, if for nothing else than to check whether or not or not she’s TRULY stilled?

There are two solutions that I can consider. The primary is the extra in-universe one: few Aes Sedai have ever bothered finding out the consequences of being stilled. Stilling is just too viscerally horrifying to confront, even for the knowledge-minded Browns. Stilled ladies have a tendency to go away the White Tower in order to not be surrounded by reminders of their previous and are thought to shortly die (as Lan makes evident when he asks Moiraine if she considered ending her personal life prior to now few months). There are merely no information of what occurs, aside from that the ladies who DO survive the method have a tendency to take action by totally occupying themselves with necessary duties that take the place of the One Energy of their lives. Moiraine would possibly merely haven’t identified that stilling unbinds the Oaths, and having lived her life by them for many years, stored up the habits of residing by them purely as a result of she would not know some other approach to be.

(Although, I suppose the REAL reply is much more apparent: “Son, the explanation the nice cowboys do not simply shoot the dangerous cowboys’ horses is that in the event that they did, there’d be no film.”)

The False Dragon Logain Ablar still has a role to play.

The False Dragon Logain Ablar nonetheless has a task to play.

Andrew: There are all types of little nuances to the best way the One Energy and Aes Sedai work, doled out in bits and items over like seven books, that the present wades proper into and must resolve fairly early by even introducing the ideas of stilling and shielding at this level within the story.

This present has no time to waste, and several other of our heroes (notably Mat, additionally Perrin a bit of) have been largely sidelined all season in order that this entire Moiraine/Home Damodred arc may play out, and possibly it pays dividends, however we’re headed towards a climactic confrontation in a completely totally different location for our subsequent episode. The stilling subplot is totally an invention of the present’s. The battle it introduces between Moiraine/Lan and Moiraine/Siuan is an invention of the present’s. In contrast to a lot of the adjustments and additions the present has made, I am nonetheless not precisely certain what the purpose of it was.

Examine that to a different change from the top of final season—Rand faking his dying and going off on his personal into the wilderness, to guard his mates from who and what he’s. It is one other large change from the books! However it’s actually in character, and in that remoted state he is extra prone to Lanfear’s overtures. I get why they did it that approach. The Moiraine factor is not as simple for me to learn. This present undoubtedly would not have a “there would not be any film if X contrivance did not exist” downside! There may be loads of story to get by with out introducing further obstacles.

Lee: Agreed—and there are much more of these contrivances popping up round how the One Energy appears to operate, particularly round stilling and gentling and shielding. As you accurately level out, being shielded within the present does certainly appear to do kind of what being stilled does within the books—for ladies, not less than. Male channelers, however, appear to have gotten some upgrades. Logain—gentled and undoubtedly not-screwing-around lower off from the Supply by Liandrin—apparently retains the flexibility to each choose one other man’s power with the One Energy, and in addition to really see weaves. The books make it very clear that being stilled or gentled is a everlasting and whole factor that transforms the channeler into a standard human with not more than regular human skills, so it is a main swerve.

And why did they do it? In order that Logain can educate Rand just a few issues, which has occurred, and in addition in order that Logain can do precisely what he did and inform somebody that he sees Moiraine surrounded by weaves. That individual Chekov’s gun has now been fired.

Why could not Rand see the weaves round Moiraine earlier? Horses, film, and so on, I suppose. It is not how I might have accomplished it, not less than.

However! On the optimistic facet of issues, we really get a scene that I feel each single reader has been ready for—Lan offers Rand a crash course on easy methods to seem assured earlier than the Amyrlin, and Rand then takes that data and makes displaying in entrance of Siuan.

Siuan Sanche arrives in Falme. You can tell she's the Amyrlin because she's got the biggest hat.

Siuan Sanche arrives in Falme. You’ll be able to inform she’s the Amyrlin as a result of she’s bought the most important hat. (credit score: Amazon Studios)

Andrew: On the Rand entrance, he does clearly have to pay attention to have the ability to see the weaves on Moiraine in any respect. I am keen to chalk it as much as some mixture of Forsaken ingenuity and Rand being a complete channeling noob. Ebook-Rand remains to be in fairly critical denial about his channeling capability at this level, the place show-Rand has been extra accepting of it. However both approach, he nonetheless would not know a lot.

Thus far the present has been approach much less into gender essentialism than the books are, however we get a touch of it from Lan right here: a person accepts his destiny and faces it on his ft. And he does face down the Amyrlin, and if Siuan is impressed by his assuredness, she is not impressed by how little he is aware of and by how weak his nascent channeling skills are. On this sequence, the present makes some tweaks that shortly and neatly plant seeds of Rand’s all-consuming savior complicated and his robust mistrust of the White Tower and most Aes Sedai.

Siuan decides Rand must be caged within the White Tower in any case, however at this level Moiraine’s Dragon Reborn Circle of Belief has prolonged to Alanna and Verin and their Warders, who all conspire to assist Rand escape with Moiraine and Lan. He is bought to go to Falme, as a result of the prophecies say it is the place the Dragon shall be launched to the world. (My e-book reminiscence of that is that the sky-battle simply sort of occurs and other people discover prophecies that match the information later; often when characters strive to meet or not fulfill a particular prophecy within the books they find yourself doing an entire bunch of different issues accidentally.)

This metropolis additionally occurs to be the one which Perrin and Aviendha have headed towards, the one the place Mat has been whisked to, and the one the place Egwene and Nynaeve and Elayne have all been for just a few episodes now.

The Horn of Valere—remember that thing? It's still in its box with High Lord Turak.

The Horn of Valere—do not forget that factor? It is nonetheless in its field with Excessive Lord Turak. (credit score: Amazon Studios)

Lee: Sure—and let’s lower over to Nynaeve and Elayne, doing their factor. They nonetheless have the a’dam snatched by Ryma (previously of the Yellow Ajah, and now carrying a collar herself), and after some dialogue with Loial, they ambush a lone sul’dam in an alleyway and snap the factor round her neck.

It is a large second within the present, because it’s the primary actual indication that the Seanchan are literally weak in any significant approach—their weapons can be utilized in opposition to them! However we lack the additional context—thus far, not less than—that the books are capable of present when the occasion occurs. In any case, an a’dam solely works as a leash on a girl who can channel. So why does it work on a sul’dam?

Evidently, there are potential implications for, oh, the whole thing of Seanchan society—implications we’ll seemingly be taught extra about subsequent week in the course of the finale. (And if not, look to season three!)

The final bit I would love to speak about is Perrin and Aviendha, who’re additionally converging on Falme with fan-favorites Bain and Chiad in tow. I used to be a bit of confused concerning the geography—for a minute, it seemed just like the scene was beginning off within the Aiel Waste (as evidenced by the Vince Gilligan-esque yellow colour grading), however apparently there is a desert surrounding Toman Head and Falme?

Andrew: Yeah, it is sort of seen on a number of the colour maps of Randland, should you squint, although, yeah, if we spend a lot time within the Aiel Waste subsequent season the present goes to need to save its good desert-y filming places for that.

We get a bit of extra Aiel world-building on this episode, additional explaining components of the ji’e’toh honor system to Perrin (who is usually right here as a spectator this week, sorry Perrin). You’ll be able to incur toh (obligation) for all types of causes, and it may be fulfilled in all types of how, too. Within the e-book it often simply meant doing bizarre chores, although within the present Aviendha’s mates simply find yourself beating the tar out of her till they really feel higher. Bodily punishment is typically used within the books (Jordan beloved spankings), however I do not recall a scene the place anybody is simply whaled on till they can not get up.

There’s not a lot else to say concerning the scene as a result of there’s not a lot to it; Aviendha explains ji’e’toh to Perrin as they stroll by an aggressively day-for-night-filmed desert, they usually arrive at Falme in time for our grand reunion/confrontation.

Lee: And, with a closing scene of Egwene calmly informing her sul’dam that Egwene is undoubtedly going to kill her sooner or later, we end this week’s recap. The board is about, the items are shifting, and we come to it eventually—the battle within the sky the place the Dragon goes to proclaim himself. I imply, I assume we come to it. We’ve not seen the final episode but, however you’d want to return in time and get your self an actual-for-real telegraph to telegraph the finale any more durable.

There are some things unsettled, although—what about that Horn of Valere? The factor that each one these hunters have been getting branded for in earlier episodes? And—and many different issues I am unable to actually articulate due to potential spoilers!

"You're a funny sul'dam, Renna—I like you. That's why I'm going to kill you last."

“You are a humorous sul’dam, Renna—I such as you. That is why I will kill you final.” (credit score: Amazon Studios)

Andrew: What is the take care of Mat? Will we see Min once more? Will Loial get an opportunity to be within the present for longer than 90 seconds per episode? And what traps will the Forsaken spring on our heroes? The Wheel of Time turns—and we are going to re-flip subsequent week after we have seen how the season wraps up.

(credit score: WoT Wiki)

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