Blood Calls Blood
Episode 5 of The Wheel Of Time begins with the aftermath of last episode’s bloodshed. One of the Aes Sedai is dead and Nyn joins Lan, Moiraine and the others as they lay her to rest. “May the last embrace of the Mother welcome you home,” Moiraine says, bending down and gently placing the fallen in a grave. A grave that’s positioned in a semi-circle, reinforcing that the Wheel continues to turn.
We then cut forward one month later. Logain is still a prisoner and the Aes Sedai ride to the White City, Tar Valon. This beautiful metropolis is overshadowed by the White Tower of course.
Alone, Moiraine speaks to Nyn about her place in the world; or lack thereof. After catching a glimpse of her real power last episode, she’s now just starting to understand how powerful she is – or could become. Moiraine warns her not to wander off and get involved in tower politics, following that up with a promise of bringing her friends into the city.
Well, she doesn’t have to wait for long as a very erratic Mat arrives in town with Rand. As they walk through the bustling streets, holding over 500,000 people from all regions of the world, they rest up for the night. Alone, Mat admits that he’s haunted by what happened to Thom and the fade, blaming himself.
Heading out to town, Rand runs into an Ogier known as Loial, son of Arent son of Halam. But we’ll just call him Loial for this recap! Anyway, he’s this world’s form of ogre and he’s a pretty inquisitive creature, asking about Rand’s purpose in Tar Valon. Only, he’s interrupted by a big parade in town. It’s the Aes Sedai, and they’ve arrived to show off the “false prophet”. This, of course, is Logain.
Vegetables are thrown at the cage but he does not stir. However, when the prisoner spies Mat sitting on the balcony, he suddenly starts giggling hysterically, with big, jeweled eyes dancing evilly at the sight of this potential dragon. Does he know something we don’t?
Elsewhere, Perrin gets talking to Aram about the way of the Seekers. The irony of course is that despite them not willing to engage in violence, their dogs are pretty savage and kill what they find in the wilderness. The caravan though is stopped by the Children of the Light, led by the wickedly deceptive Eamon Valda.
Sensing danger, Aram takes Perrin and Egwene away in the opposite direction through the woods… until they’re stopped by the Children of the Light.
We catch up with these guys later in the episode, as Egwene is washed, dressed in white and forced to watch as Perrin is brought in and tortured in front of her. Apparently they’re under trial by the Light, with Valda serving as judge, jury and executioner. He’s convinced that Perrin is a warder and Egwene is an Aes Sedai, demanding that she Channel.
While all this is going on, the story slows down in the White City. Stepin is having trouble sleeping, still mourning his loss. Nyn finds Rand and Mat again, but the former is troubled, especially as Mat’s slipping deeper into dark despair.
Another that’s slipping is Perrin, who blames himself for killing his wife. He believes he deserves death, just as Valda shows and decides to grant that wish for him. With a knife in hand, Eamon Valda starts to slice His back open, prompting Egwene to use her powers after all.
Only, Perrin too manages to use his powers, allowing the bonds to break. With Valda caught off-guard, he’s bested as Perrin seemingly controls the animals outside, allowing them to break free and escape.
Back in the city, Moiraine gets talking to Alanna Mosvani. Now, apparently the Amyrlin is returning from Caemlyn and she’s summoned the pair to the Hall to discuss Logain’s fate. Alanna tells Moiraine that she’s the only one strong enough to challenge her and Alanna wants her to rise up and meet that. If not, she needs to be careful.
Change is afoot in this world, and as all our characters prepare for what’s to come next, the wheel continues to turn.
The Episode Review
The Wheel of Time bows out with another good episode this week, albeit one that’s a bit slower this time. I stand by what I said last week and I do think the opening episodes should have been much slower and allow us to drink in this world and get to know our four main characters more.
As of right now, it feels like we’re playing catch-up to get to know these characters after such a breathless opener. Maybe it’s just me but I don’t have a strong attachment to any of these characters just yet.
Now, I am also aware that there have been a lot of changes to the lore and details of this story, including entire arcs changed and the flow of the story chopped and rearranged. I couldn’t tell you to what extent as I’ve only read half of Eye of the World (I have asked Santa for the entire book collection for Christmas!) but we’ll have to wait and see what the rest of the season has in store for us to see if these changes pay off or not.
There are a few really welcome moments this week though, including the politics in the White City as Moiraine finds herself in the midst of a power struggle. There are also some nice moments with the Children of the Light too and this week’s chapter rests a lot of the antagonistic attention on them. The ending however, hints that we’re about to plunge into much more drama.
It seems the public opinion is really split on this one between loving and hating the story. For this reviewer, I’m still on the fence and will reserve judgment until the entire season is out. For now though, there’s enough here to warrant sticking with this for the time being.