The Wheel of Time’s 1×05 “Blood Calls Blood” featured many moving parts. Let’s just dive right into this one and our stream of consciousness throughout.
The opening scene was brutal. So beautiful how they buried Kerene. It was when the camera panned out to 33 well organized graves that the gravity of the whole situation landed. So many people lost over a single man clinging to a prophecy that wasn’t his to begin with.
Stepin is absolutely tragic and though I hated to lose him in this episode, his small arc and what it reveals about the Warder’s bond to his Aes Sedai cannot be a throwaway concept. Especially when it comes up again that there’s potentially a way to break the bond before death. I SEE YOU, MOIRAINE! Don’t go doing anything stupid to get yourself killed.
This episode gets most of the players all the way to Tar Valon, so we’ll take it by groups again (kinda).
Pegwene / The Tinkers / The Whitecloaks
The Tinkers stood beautifully and admirably against the Whitecloaks. I’m not sure many people could fight the instinct for survival and simply allow themselves to be viciously attacked because they’re anti-violence. I have massive respect for them.
The scene with Egwene being “cleansed” was so unsettling and I’m not quite sure we needed to see it at all. We’ll give them credit for not making it sexual in nature and for the lack of nudity, but Light it was hard to watch. At least it makes the point that we don’t need to objectify women (or men) for scenes like that to land though.
Perrin did a great job in The Wheel of Time 1×05 “Blood Calls Blood” portraying how far you can really push a man who’s struggling with violence before that’s all you get from him. Injure him, you get wolf eyes. Threaten his friend, you get the teeth (so to speak). Then the knife from Egwene. BUT did I need to see him tied down and cut up bit by bit? I’m not sure.
Clearly though, Child Valda is one sick fu*k. He’s supposedly been given a mission, but he’s enjoying it WAY too much. Serial killer vibes for days. He better be dead.
We appreciated very much that Perrin got to share his secret about Laila and Egwene, like any of us would’ve done, only showed him grace and mercy because he’s so desperately struggling over something he could not have prevented.
Nynaeve took a bit of a backseat in The Wheel Of Time 1×05 “Blood Calls Blood,” which we liked. She mostly played the audience insert, observing all the dynamics of the tower without really being a part of them. We can’t wait to hear her thoughts when she has a conversation with someone about her experience (please be Lan!).
The facial expressions at Stepin’s ceremony. Good grief. She was certainly feeling the pain in that room, along with Lan’s specifically.
Lan & Stepin
There were a lot of little clues through discussion of the Aes Sedai/Warder bond that Stephin wasn’t long for this world. Still, it HURT. Someone we’ve only seen for a couple episodes, yet somehow they pulled off making us feel deeply for him.
Many people felt he took up too much screen time for what seems like a minor story beat, but we disagree. Everything he went through told me more about Lan and Moiraine, and not only the bond that they represent.
It was devastating to see Lan realize he’d been drugged and go running for Stepin, knowing what he had done.
Lan is a gooey marshmallow wrapped in a hard candy exterior, and he was able to show that in quiet ways WITH Stepin, and subsequently very LOUD ways upon Stepin’s tragic demise. He so sincerely tried to help his friend, showing there’s more community to those men and they’re not only protectors of their Aes Sedai, but of each other. Seeing Lan take on the pain and grief of the group broke us, which was it’s very purpose. We loved the whole storyline and that final scene.
She’s home but perhaps not quite ready to play the game. She does impart some fresh wisdom (pun, intended) to Nynaeve, but perhaps she’s a little rusty herself regarding just how many enemies she has at the tower.
I’m also betting she had intel that Mat and Rand were in the city, but she didn’t tell Nynaeve, so that’s one point for Liandrin (who purposely sent her to the library knowing Loial had spoken to Rand) and another strike against Moiraine from Nynaeve’s POV.
Her facial expressions in the final scene. We love the way Moiraine and Lan can actually convince us they’re connected and have an internal dialogue. The way she so effortlessly showed HIS pain was marvelous and did even more to build that bond in our eyes.
Ok, but really, WHAT’S IN THE
BOX WINDOW CUBBY? It struck me that the painting looked like her and it was almost showing what she was doing. Does it change? Is it part of her “eyes and ears” network somehow? That thing is magical, no question.
Rand & Loial
We’re so happy to see some of the Two Rivers folk reunited. The faster the party comes back together, the more I think we’ll learn about everyone and their dynamics.
Ogier’s are amazing and Loial is the absolute coolest. He’s moving along at his own pace, unbothered by the hectic anxiety of humans. Though he’s speaking as a different species, he has really good points on our nature.
“Always in such a rush, these humans. Never taking time to properly prepare for what they’re walking into.” He’s not wrong and it would appear he’s more in tune with the big picture than many characters.
Basically, we love him.
Most of what we have to say about Rand falls in Chosen One thoughts this week, so keep reading because there’s plenty to note.
Logain & Mat
He didn’t have much to do this episode other than get paraded through the city in a cage. His exchange with Mat was really strange, although I’m unsure if that was actually happening or if Mat was seeing it because of the voices and dark energy that’s latched onto him. *IF* it happened, was Logain seeing a fellow mad man? Or perhaps he wasn’t looking at Mat at all, and that was some shifty camera work. After all, two of our mains were on that balcony.
We’re looking forward to Logain’s trial. Or sentencing? Either way, we’re excited to see him go before the Ambyrlin Seat and how he might react now that he’s been gentled. We haven’t heard anything out of him since that occurred.
Side note: Did we detect a bit of hopelessness in Nynaeve’s eyes regarding Mat’s condition?
The Ongoing Race for the Chosen One
We’re ready to rule out Perrin. Whatever wolf-like lore he’s being enveloped by, we don’t see it being Dragon related.
Also ready to *mostly* rule out Nynaeve. In an attempt to avoid spoilers, we completely forgot it was all the way back in episode 1 that Moiraine also declared her, like Logain, too old. The only reason I’m not completely ruling her out is it seems no one keeps great records and prophecies are notoriously iffy. So, either her age or the age of the DR could theoretically be off a few years.
Egwene is back in action in The Wheel Of Time “Blood Calls Blood.” She embraces the fact she can channel. I’m wondering if she was able to blatantly lie about it because she didn’t believe it herself. Her little fireball was actually kind of adorable. Will the DR need training though? Moiraine keeps saying Egwene’s powerful, even using her as a measuring stick against Logain last episode. TBD on this one.
Mat has some serious “dark side” energy going on, but we feel like his struggle is leaning more toward that of an addict than a hero. Sure, the show is hinting that he can channel, but when’s that stolen dagger coming back up? It’s got super bad juju, for sure. Is it causing his declining health and the voices? Like an evil, soul sucking talisman, perhaps. Lesson: When someone says “don’t touch anything,” seriously, don’t. Even though foreshadowing in all of fiction indicates someone must. Don’t let it be you.
Rand is intriguing to me. Not because they’ve done a lot with his character. They’re only dropping small hints about him along the way. He’s almost a supporting character at the moment, concerned only with his friends and making sure they’re okay.
HOWEVER, Loial called him out as being an Aielman, which continues to make me wonder if he’s really from the Two Rivers at all, and he also happens to be the only red headed person from that whole village. Everyone else has dark hair and eyes. Another subtle hint (perhaps another red herring) is his recognition of a mountain he’s never seen before. How could he if he’s never left the Two Rivers? Haven’t we been hearing the DR can remember past lives? It made me pause.
Loial’s reaction to Rand also quirked my Spidey senses. “Your name sings in my ears…” Granted, we didn’t see Loial introduced to anyone else (is he like that all the time?), but then again, maybe we didn’t need to. Maybe this was the only exchange we needed on screen as a clue.
Lastly, knowing the first book was heavily influenced by The Lord of the Rings, Rand presents as the Frodo type. He was completely content with life in his own little world and has never had a single aspiration or leaning toward adventure. Are we dealing with a reluctant hero who’s thrust into the role? I’ve seriously got my eye on him.
Will we find out the identity of the DR by the end of this season? I’m calling yes on that one. Who do you think it is and why?
- Can I please say how much I appreciated the “One Month Later” jump? These places are far apart and some other fantasy shows have acted like journeys take five minutes when it’s convenient.