The Dragon Reborn
Episode 4 of The Wheel of Time begins in Ghealdan with the King and his guards (all 4 of them) under attack from magic-wielding Logain Ablar. When he catches up to the King, he warns that the Aes Sedai will be after him soon. Logain scoffs, claiming they should be following him.
The strange ethereal voice of a woman called Elusha bleeds through, coming in the form of wisps of black smoke. It convinces Logain to kill the King. Instead he heals the man’s wounds and encourages the guy to join his side. “There’s a place at my side. Even for enemies”
This cuts us forward to the present, as Moiraine joins the other Aes Sedai as they trap Logain in a special magical cage. There, she learns from the others that Logain is proclaiming himself to be the Dragon reborn. He’s got thousands of followers too and is a visible threat.
With the Aes Sedai gathered, they decide to take him to the White Tower for trial. However, even though he may not be the Dragon, he’s still incredibly powerful and Moiraine realizes that too. They need to be vigilant.
Perrin and Egwene find themselves with the caravan. There are little other options for them here, so they decide to set out with them. The Caravan are bound by The Way of the Leaf, which is a pacifist lifestyle practiced by Seekers. Basically, if they’re attacked they run but don’t hit back.
That evening, under the starlight, there’ a really beautiful chat between Ila and Perrin as they discuss this, specifically about the nature of living for peace rather than revenge.
At the same time, Mat and Rand contemplate over Moraine ‘s words regarding five of them being Dragon Reborn. So who is this fifth person? Well, it appears to be Logain. However, out in the woods they meet a farmhand and pay their way to stay the night. Of course, that means doing some heavy manual labour. Mat though begins to hallucinate.
Liandrin, the red-robed woman who hunted that man in the first episode, approaches Nyn outside the cave to talk. However, Nyn is incredibly untrusting and immediately puts her defences up. When she leaves, Nyn calls her a snake. However, the one person she lets her defences down with happens to be Lan, whom she starts to grow closer to.
That night, Nyn joins the Warders, who live at the White Tower and have formed a brotherhood together. While there’s laughter and joy, Nyn turns the mood when she asks about serving the Aes Sedai. The night grows later, the group depart, and Lan approaches Moiraine. He asks whether Logain is stronger than Egwene and they discuss the idea of him being the Dragon.
Meanwhile, everything at the farm goes horribly wrong. Mat seems to be infected, holding that jeweled knife from episode 2 and pointing it at the darkness. Rand and Thom rush in to see him. “I see you,” He whispers, as a Fade appears out the shadows. Thom stays behind to fight while Rand joins Mat as they rush away. Unfortunately, in Mat’s possessed state, he has also slaughtered everyone at the farm too.
Elsewhere, the Aes Sedai find themselves cornered as Logain’s army closes in. A volley of arrows greet them, which is quickly thwarted by the sisters.
Logain himself awakens though and blasts two of the sisters back. The thing is, Logain has numerous followers and as the group head into the woods, they do their best to fight back against the army. But it seems there are too many of them. Logain breaks free from his cage… and come face to face with Moiraine.
“Why should I believe you’re the Dragon Reborn?” She quizzes. All of this is a ruse to distract Logain and bring up the cage once more. The thing is, one of the sisters is killed and Liandrin begins to burn out. When Maksim, one of the Warders, jumps in, he ends up getting killed. So too is Lan, as he begins bleeding out.
Nyn sees this and screams to the heavens, managing to conjure a huge blast of energy that makes others question whether she could be the Dragon.
The Episode Review
The Wheel of Time has finally found its footing and is just starting to ramp up the action now. The trouble is, everything here looks way off visually.
Maybe it’s just me but seeing a massive castle occupied by three or four soldiers early on (especially with the budget this show has) is incredibly jarring, and it’s not helped by all the clean, lavish clothes that don’t have a spot on them. For the Aes Sedai I understand, and to be fair Mat and Thom don’t suffer from this, but the caravan are a perfect example of this.
They’re spotless, with no bits of mud on them, perfect hair and their clothes don’t have any rips or holes. Even their shoes are spotless. Little touches like this may seem trivial but it gives the series this glossy, polished feel that’s akin to something from the CW. It actually reminds me a lot of The Shannara Chronicles and what MTV did to this story. And I think the lighting for some of the interiors could be to blame for this as well.
Now, I haven’t read the books and understand the story has been changed. However, despite the above gripes the episode is still pretty damn enjoyable and learning more about these different pockets of tribes and their lifestyle is definitely satisfying and very-much welcome.
The final 20 minutes of this chapter really ramp up the action too, with plenty of fighting and intriguing magic-wielding. There’s definitely a lot of potential with this one and the ending hints that we’ve got lots more drama to come. We’ll have to wait and see what’s next, but for now Amazon’s fantasy epic is just starting to find its groove.