The Wheel of Time 1×07 “The Dark Along the Ways” saw every simmering frustration come to a head and cranked the stakes to new heights.
To be honest, we’re left rather speechless after this episode and all the reveals have given us much to process. So here’s our humble attempt at that without knowing what will happen in the season finale.
The Dragon Reborn
The race is over and all our speculations have come to pass! Rand is not Tam al’Thor’s son at all. He’s the son of an Aiel warrior woman who gave birth on the battlefield after a totally badass fight sequence where she bested multiple enemy soldiers. And theoretically, that’s what Tam was — an enemy. But he took this redhaired baby boy from Dragonmount to the Two Rivers and raised him there as an ordinary sheepherder, rather than a killing machine, never breathing a word of it to Rand or the town.
While it was really cool that the show put men and women on the same footing in the race for the DR, it really only makes sense it’s a male, one who will use Saidin, the male half of the One Power that’s been corrupted. That’s what the Dark One is after, one who may be corrupted over to his side. And while we’re not saying a female is beyond corruption, it makes more sense the DR come from the side of magic that already has been. It’s how Lews Therin Telamon broke the world to being with, and it’s his soul that’s been reincarnated.
But a few things happen before this story changing reveal…
The Ways Are Not So Clear Anymore
How have trolloc armies been popping up all over the map without detection? The Dark One now has use of the Ways, pushing raiding parties through in record time. This is BAD. Not only have they infiltrated the best travel system this world has, they’ve desecrated the Guiding stones as well.
The party will never make it to the exit for the Eye of the World, and so we travel to Fal Dara instead.
Nyneave has an incredible demonstration of power here in order to save her friends, but not before the “absolutely no channeling in the Ways” rule summons the Black Wind to give our crew some highly suspect doubt and fear.
What’s true? Sounds like Moiraine is questioning her mission. Egwene, her worth. Rand, his abandonment issues (until we see the DR content). Lan, the fate of Moiraine. Perrin, his intent regarding his wife’s murder. Nyneave, her ability to protect.
When the party exits, Moiraine tell them all to put the wind’s message out of their minds. Notice, she doesn’t say it wasn’t true.
We can’t imagine how much foreshadowing may be in this single scene, but one takeaway is to never tell Nynaeve what she can’t do. Get it, girl.
What we do not see in the initial scene is Rand channeling to protect Egwene. And there we have our Dragon Reborn, who also channeled to break down the door at Dana’s place in episode 3.
A mysterious man exits the Ways after the party has arrived. Well, mysterious only in the fact we don’t know his purpose. We’ve seen him several times before as Padan Fain.
We see our first example of a woman who didn’t become a full Aes Sedai. Moiraine seems to indicate Lady Amalisa was not powerful enough. However, she still wears the ring without a jewel. Curious about that significance, if any.
The Wisdom Uses Some
When it becomes clear that death is the most likely outcome for anyone who’s not the DR and travels to the Eye of the World anyway, Nynaeve stands firm and demands the Emond’s Field 5 (minus Mat) be given a choice. They’re not Moiraine’s puppets and Nynaeve’s not interested in being told what to do without a Two Rivers peeps side huddle. The internal bickering is how we come to…
A Love Triangle
Seriously, can we not? Love triangles are usually not handled well in Hollywood as it is, and we’re not sure what the exact point of Egwene/Rand/Perrin is beyond stirring up drama between old friends. Anyway, pass.
The Ship With a Hole in Its Hull
Rand and Egwene are both beautiful and tragic in The Wheel of Time 1×07 “The Dark Along the Ways.” He’s willing to give up everything to support her and be her Warder in the tower as she trains to be an Aes Sedai, which is basically the antithesis to everything he wants from his own life. Still, his love for her is pure and he doesn’t want to lose her. Now, how that works out with him leaving to die, well that’s a question for another day.
Come Sail Away With Lanaeve
So. Many. Squeals. We absolutely cannot believe this happened so quickly, but we are HERE FOR IT. These two have had chemistry since their first real encounter and seeing Nynaeve witness Lan in his element, where he came from, wow. It was A LOT and all we can really say is: though this will likely get highly complicated and quickly, it’s going to be one hell of a ride.
Moiraine is into it as well. From Lan’s “give her my love,” to Moiraine’s “I like her, you know… the Wisdom,” we have never loved this dynamic more, which seems to be true after every episode.
Min is the Coolest
Min is one of the most interesting characters we’ve seen yet. Her power, while amazingly useful, seems essentially uncontrollable and can show her horrific things. She already identified the interconnectedness of the Two Rivers folks and though she can’t see how they are all related, she indicates their auras are basically inseparable.
She also tosses in that the Amyrlin Seat will be Moiraine’s downfall. She didn’t say Siuan though. So that’s an interesting tidbit.
We could honestly go on about her and how we totally need Min side adventures because it’s what we deserve, but for now, we honestly just can’t wait to see her again.
Well, it’s about time these two found some kind of common ground. In this case, it’s accepting their own deaths, but hey, friendships have to start somewhere, we guess. The sacrifice they both make here, however selfish because they still ending up taking away agency from those closest to them, is noble in its own way. They want their friends alive, even if the two of them must perish, which after conversations with Min, is what they’re both sure will happen.
What do you think? Do one or both of them die? Is there plot armor at play here? We shall see where the season finale leaves us, even though it’s likely on a terribly frustrating cliffhanger as we anxiously await season 2.
- Moiraine looks like she’s aged 10 years since the last episode. Did I miss something or is she just drained from that display in the Ways?
- “Rainbows and carnivals and three beautiful women” seems oddly vague, yet specific.
- Perrin thinks he sees Padan Fain and we actually spotted him a couple times. There’s probably more to this peddler than just the peddling.
- Telling Nynaeve “you can’t” seems to be a very bad strategy for all enemies, even the wind.