The Wheel Of Time – Season 1 Episode 6 “The Flames of Tar Valon” Recap & Review

The Flames of Tar Valon

Episode 6 of The Wheel of Time begins at a place known as the Fingers of the Dragon, in the nation of Tear. This vast connection of waterways is occupied by a young Siuan Sanche and her father Berden. Siuan exhibits signs of wielding the One power, which is forbidden to be used here, so she’s forced to leave.

Fast forward to present day and our Aes Sedai all arrive at the White Tower, fronted by none other than Siuan Sanche. She sits in the Amyrlin seat, the head of all Aes Sedai. She commands Logain to be brought in. He pleads to be killed but instead he’s taken away and imprisoned.

In his absence, Liandrin takes the brunt of the blame for mishandling their magic powers. After the death of one of their own, using magic to subdue him goes against Aes Sedai ways. When Liandrin learns she’s going to get punished, she shifts the blame across to Moiraine and throws shade at her actions.

When Moiraine is questioned though, she refuses to disclose the purpose of her travels. Siuan interprets thatt as a challenge. For now they’re to wait 24 hours and then judgment will be served.

After their frosty meeting, Lan brings Moiraine to Mat and Rand. When Rand confirms that Mat has been delirious and in a bad state for a month, Moiraine works her magic. She finds the dagger taken from Shadar Logoth and uses her magic to take out the tainted evil within.

Moiraine also catches wind of Egwene and Perrin being alive and within the city. She hurries down to see them, where Egwene reveals what happened with Perrin’s eyes turning orange and controlling the wolves. For now, Moiraine tells her to sit tight, imploring Egwene not to tell anyone where she’s going when she summons her the following day.

That night though, Moiraine goes to see Siuan. It turns out these two are actually romantically linked, and it eventually leads to her admitting that she’s found the four kids who could well be the dragon reborn. Debates rage between them over whether to actually tell the others this or not. The thing is, if the other Aes Sedai find out they’re working together, it could undermine everything they’re doing.

In the morning, Moiraine brings Egwene to the Hall. Nyn is there too but because we’ve had so little time with these characters together, the reunion sorta falls flat emotionally. Anyway, the two women are brought before Siuan. The final battle is coming and they need to be ready, especially as thee’re allegedly the strongest channellers they’ve seen in thousands of years.

The time comes for Moiraine’s judgment to be passed. The Aes Sedai gather as Moiraine is exiled from the tower. As she rides out, all our characters join hr too, reunited once more. Mat is absolutely fine now, so I guess that’s that then and the others are all happy to see one another.

Lan joins them of course, alongside Loial, as they find out their destination is the Eye of the World. The Dark One’s prison lies there, and whoever this Dragon Reborn is, they’re tasked with finishing the job and stopping him before the darkness spreads across the world and destroys everything.

As everyone enters the portal conjured forth by Moiraine, Mat stays behind, much to the horror of all inside this portal.

The Episode Review

The Wheel of Time returns with a solid episode of intrigue, world-building for the Aes Sedai and one big problem. There’s not enough emotional connection with the four potential Dragon Reborn. At least not from what this reviewer can see.

The biggest problem with this show stems from the damaging first episode which, with the benefit of hindsight, should have been far slower and more fleshed out. The reason Lord of the Rings works as well as it does is precisely because it does spend a good chunk of time in Hobbiton getting to know our main characters. Likewise, Game of Thrones does the same thing with the Stark family at Winterfall. Many good stories do this – including the actual Wheel Of Time novels.

When our characters do eventually reconvene, they’ve spent so little time as a unit of four without running around that these hugs and big smiles just doesn’t resonate as strongly as it perhaps should.

Likewise, Moiraine’s relationship with Siuan comes out of absolutely nowhere. It doesn’t really add anything to the story, but I can’t quote whether this actually crops up in the books or not. One thing that does noticeably stand out though is Mat being “cured” from the cursed dagger. Given how much emphasis was placed on this before the episode, to be resolved so quickly and nonchalantly feels a bit odd.

Despite those gripes, The Wheel Of Time is a decent – albeit flawed – fantasy adaptation, leaving things wide open for where the final two episodes of the season may go.

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You can read our full season review for The Wheel Of Time here!


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9 thoughts on “The Wheel Of Time – Season 1 Episode 6 “The Flames of Tar Valon” Recap & Review”

  1. All of you who are so criticizing of the show why don’t y’all put on your directing, self and do the job the way you believe it should be done. Stick with the books and leave people who are interested of watching it, yes everyone have there own opinions but don’t try to discourage others who want to watch this is the first season let it be. It is obvious the writers no what there doing so you either watch it or you don’t. JUST SAYING

  2. Liked the books even though there were many slow sections.
    Was really excited about the series, but hate how it is done and not watching it anymore.

  3. @Mel: I think it’s obvious that Moiraine saying she didn’t know Nynaeve could channel is a ruse. And not even a lie. She mustve sensed she would be able to channel but never actually saw her channel. So it’s not against the oaths.

    And having Perrin kill his wife was a great move. Show-Perrin so far is so much more exciting than Book-Perrin. Perrin is the most boring character in the books and this storyline and especially his actor in the show just makes him interesting.

    I could agree on the other points. They should’ve just left Mat in Tar Valon. But my mind might be fogy but isn’t he supposed to find the Horn of Valere at the Eye?

  4. @Ale
    This doesn’t correspond to any chapter of any book.
    The show has made huge changes to the plot of book 1 in order to hide the identity of the Dragon Reborn from the audience.
    The plotline involving the Eye of the World is based on the book 1, which is called The Eye of the World.
    However, the characters do not reunite at Tar Valon after their initial separation.
    They reunite in a different country and then proceed towards the Eye of the World.

    The books are really good and I do recommend dumping the show for the books.
    However, before reading the books, be aware that you will very quickly figure out who the Dragon Reborn is.
    It’s only the characters who’re clueless about it.
    In fact, I don’t think Moiraine even tells them that she’s looking for anyone, let alone about any prophecy.
    IIRC she said something like “Those bad guys will come back to to kill you if you stay in the village. Follow me if you want to live.”

  5. I think the show is doing a great job, the use of flashbacks will help. People are in a rush to judge. Yet they want the show to go slower?
    You definitely get the gist of the 5 from Two Rivers as being close. How much more back story do you need?
    I believe the show will slow it down after season 1. Let the meat of the story flesh out.
    My only disappointment is that season 1 is just 8 episodes.
    They need to get people hooked, I believe that’s happening.
    14 books, thousands of pages, hundreds of characters.
    You’d need 20 seasons to get that all in.
    I think the White cloaks, Aes Sedai, Tar Valon, the costumes, etc., are beautifully illustrated in the show.
    Let’s give it a break, and a chance, to develop.

  6. Can someone who read the books tell me (more or less) what book and chapter would this episode be equivalent to? I started this series a couple of days ago and I just can´t wait for the next episode, I want to continue with the book. I know it wouldn´t be recommendable as obviously, the books are better but I would love to continue with the story started in the serie but now reading the books from this chapter. Thanks

  7. Making short work of the cursed dagger story arc was brilliant. In the books, it spanned several volumes, and did not improve the story line one whit.

  8. Definitely agree with your review about this episode and that the main characters aren’t given enough screen time to make us invested in their relationships. A lot of what happens in this episode differs radically from the books and they have cut out huge swaths of the story, including the introduction of several characters that they will have to somehow introduce later on. The ending with Mat definitely felt rushed, as in the books Moraine isn’t strong enough to heal him herself, it takes a whole group of yellow aes sedai and he is sick for a considerable amount of time. The tie he has to the knife is incredibly strong. As for taking the characters through The Ways at the end of the episode, making them only usable with the One Power is new and introduces a whole lot of problems that will have to be resolved with regard to others using The Ways. The connection between Rand and Loial isn’t well established as it is in the books, and it seems weird that Moraine would even need Loial to be there if she could open The Ways on her own, since that was her reason for needing him there. Also it was surprising to see that Loial didn’t at least say something about how dangerous The Ways were, or at least seem reluctant to use them. Finally Mat not stepping through the with the others was caused by the actor playing him leaving the show and being recast. In my opinion the story would have been better served to have him stay in Tar Valon to recuperate from the effects of the knife, rather than further ruining a character who should be a lighthearted, humourous and somewhat loveable trickster, rather than the dark character they made him. Changing him added nothing to the story, just as making up a wife for Perrin and then forcing him to kill her was pointless fluff that wasn’t needed. I am trying to enjoy the adaptation, and for the most part, it’s pretty good. The characters aren’t exactly as I envisiged them, but that is quickly forgotten as the story moves along. Rosamund makes a great Morraine and the way they’ve made the one power look is beautifully done. There is a lot to like about this show, but some of the changes leave me shaking my head, as they don’t seem to add anything of value to the story, while creating plot holes that need to be resolved later on. Two other things irked me about this episode, one was that Morraine said she had no idea that Nynaeve could channel, but how could this be possible? She could sense that Egwene could channel and the same was surely true of Nynaeve, since she had expressed to Lan more than once that all 5 of them were ta’vereen, but aes sedai cannot lie, so how could she say this? The second was that after going to such lengths to make it seem as though Morraine and Siuan didn’t like each other (it didn’t even bother me that they made them secret lovers, it’s possible that that were, since Jordan said they were “pillow friends,”), why did Morraine spout all that lovey dovey nonsense when taking that weird oath? Surely that gave their friendship away? And all the crying..bleh.. I feel like there could have been more focus on the main characters, or even the introduction of other aes sedai to the story in this episode. Maybe then the reunions wouldn’t have felt as flat.

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