There are neither beginnings nor endings to The Wheel of Time, but this was *an* ending… and a beginning. That’s right, folks, the season finale!
There was a lot packed in this finale and we’re sure that, when looking back in a few years, the biggest complaint for the whole season will be the time constraints. We needed a couple more hours, at least. But, as first seasons go, this one was pretty solid. Let’s address what’s still on our minds.
- The Opening
This cold open was sick! Like…awesome! Do the kids still use either of those words? Anyway, what’s not to love? 3,000 year old lore in the old tongue that shows how the world broke and what we’re fighting against in this age? Yes, please!
- Aes Sedai used to include women and men.
- The previous age was thriving technologically in a way that really shows what’s been lost more than any explanation we’ve received this season.
- “Today, I make the world safe for you” has very Hamilton vibes.
- Lews was well intentioned, in theory. Wanting to defeat darkness is good, but he was warned what could (and most definitely did) happen if the Dark One had direct access to the One Power.
- Moiraine and Rand
This dynamic is so strange, even as they’ve ventured out alone together. Moiraine is exhausted and Rand is worked up, both of them feeling resigned. But even though this is their first time on a journey, they barely have an honest conversation. Besides sharing facts, both of them speak past the other, or ignore questions altogether.
Aside of this, the way the “Dark One” absorbed the arrow into his flaming face and revealed himself was a visual feat.
We did love the conversation that served as both lore revelation and a nice moment between Rand and Moiraine. Her story of abuse is awful, yet it lays out exactly why she refuses to show him how to channel as well as why she has absolute faith in his abilities.
Her choice to go into the Eye with him after everything lands harder and he knows it too. She’s resigning herself to death to carry out her mission and be by his side.
Her standing (figuratively) her ground and being willing to kill Rand was also a nice (terrifying) touch.
- Lan and Nynaeve
It’s fascinating that we find out Nynaeve was never tracking Lan, but Moiraine. She offers to tell him how in exchange for him bringing Rand back. She, on the other hand, is going to Tar Valon. No more “Wisdoms never wed” for her.
As I understand it, these words are directly from the books, but honestly what can even be said about them? They are perfect ship catnip.
“I will hate the man you choose, because he is not me. And I will love him if he makes you smile. You are as beautiful as the sunrise. You are as fierce as a warrior. You are a lioness, Wisdom.”
- Rand’s Decision
The best way to woo a magical opponent is not by force, but by offering them everything they could possibly want. The Dark One knows enough about humanity to have this figured out. So instead of fighting Rand, the DO shows him the life he’s dreamed of. A marriage to Egwene, a delightful little daughter named Joiya, and a quiet existence back in the Two Rivers.
The fist pump moment comes when Rand decides not to go for any of this world remaking nonsense for one reason, one that extends well beyond Egwene. Agency. Rand decides the world is as it is, and it’s not his choice to remake it as only he wishes.
We might have a bit of hero material on our hands.
- The Battle and the Linking
They lost us a little here. Not in that we didn’t understand what happened, more why it was ever the plan. Basically Fal Dara sacrificed all their male fighters at Tarwin’s Gap, then used 5 women to stop a whole army of
orcs trollocs? Seems like a not so great strategy. Tradition or whatever. Anyway, it happened as it did, so we have to evaluate from there.
When a channeler who wasn’t able to become an Aes Sedai because she wasn’t strong enough leads a linking, well, things are bound to go… about as well as they did. She took too much power from the women around her and three people died, including herself. Egwene and Nynaeve were presumably just strong enough to withstand it.
Oh, and even before this, Nynaeve couldn’t hear the wind anymore, so there’s something fishy there.
- The Eye Itself
Honestly, the only lingering thought here is did breaking the Eye indicate the defeat of the Dark One or him being freed? Pretty sure Rand was going to lose this “battle” no matter what he did.
- Padan Fain
We hate to say this dude is wicked cool, but he just… is. Clearly no simple peddler, he’s a high ranking Darkfriend. He takes the horn meant for the Dragon to blow at the last battle to summon those who follow the Light to fight with him. So that’s not exactly good. Perrin deeply struggles within himself about participating in violence, but ultimately let’s Fain walk away with no resistance. (By the way, Loial is alive.)
We know Barney Harris had already left the show by the time the last two episodes were filmed after a COVID hiatus, but we do see some recycled footage of him outfitted differently, headed back to Shadar Logoth. Aka the Dagger isn’t done with him yet and he’s used as an example that some of the Emond’s Field 5 are likely to turn dark.
- Moiraine’s Stilling
Rafe Judkins, The Wheel of Time showrunner, has confirmed Moiraine has lost her powers, and is not simply shielded like we first saw with Logain. She can sense the One Power, but not touch it, not let it flow through her.
Her scene with Lan is heartbreaking. All he wants is for her to unmask their bond and now she can’t. They can’t feel each other, not like they’re used to. Still, he holds her. Comforts her.
- The Introduction of the Seanchan
This group is obviously super fun. Yikes on bikes. Guessing “ships are disappearing in the west” was just indirectly explained.
Two women were led out of a ship’s hull, essentially gagged, while two more women seemed to channel through them — against their will. So that’s not sick and disturbing at all.
A tidal wave, that looks like it could take out the whole coast and more, is the final shot we see.
- Was dream sequence dark one wearing the same knuckle bracelet as cold open Lews?
- The Blight was a bit oversold in past exposition once the set was revealed.
- Min peaced out so hard that it kinda made us laugh.
Season 1 of The Wheel of Time is available to stream on Amazon.