The Eye of the World
Episode 8 of The Wheel of Time begins in the past with Latra and Lews talking in the old tongue about the future of the Aes Sedai. Latra throws shade at the men, worried that their mission to imprison the Dark One is too dangerous. As the camera pans out, we also learn that Lews is actually the Dragon Reborn.
Back in the present, Rand and Moiraine walk through the thick brambles known as The Great Blight. These gnarly, twisting forests stretch on for miles, growing ever-larger every year as the Dark One’s power grows.
While they walk, Egwene begins packing up her things, desperate to follow them. It’s Nyn who has the trump card though, admitting to Lan she’s able to follow Moiraine given she has a Tell. Eh? When did this come into play? When did Nyn manage to learn how to track her? Am I missing something? And how has Lan not noticed this same Tell?
Anyway, Lan holds her hands, calling her a remarkable woman and setting out to track the pair of them down.
However, they don’t have to wait for long before things escalate in a big way. As horns blow in town, 60 Fades and numerous more Trollocs are in-bound to their location. The Gap is unlikely to hold and they’re bound to be overwhelmed but that doesn’t stop those at the Fortress from working hard to prepare for what they’ve colloquially called the Last Battle.
Lady Amalisa and Lord Agelmar prepare for battle, determined to hold The Gap. If that should fall, then it’s up to the women to hold the city. This confidence is but a façade though, as Agelmar knows that the Dark One’s power is too great, too immeasurable to stop. Still, he’ll head into battle nonetheless and face the armies, in the hopes of at least slowing down the growing plague that’s sweeping this world.
Meanwhile, Rand is confronted all alone by a being known as “The Man”. He steps out of the shadows, stabbing Moiraine through the mouth, leaving her a bloody mess on the floor. He also calls Rand by the name of Lews and chuckles when Rand brandishes his father’s blade.
The Man taunts him about his true ancestry and promises to tell him about the Dragon. Only, all of this is one big dream, as Rand stabs himself and awakens.
Moiraine and Rand press on, eventually making it to a gaping hole, complete with stairs leading down. With the area completely unguarded, Rand makes it to the Eye, a Ying-Yang symbol on the floor; an island surrounded by a pool of water. As he touches it, Rand descends into a vision. With him stuck in this dream world, the Dark One materializes before Moiraine and taunts her with his power.
He also seduces Rand too, freezing the vision of him and Egwene together and trying to convince him to use this power he has to remake the world as he sees fit.
Back at the city, as the Trollocs fast approach, Nyn and Egwene join the fight and decide to use their powers to help the other Channellers. Rounding out the rest of the troupe are Perrin and Loial, who join some of the soldiers in the great chamber. Underneath the throne happens to be the Horn of Valere, which is foretold to be found just before the Last Battle. No one really knows what it does but we’ll have to wait and see for now.
Outside the walls, The Wheel of Time goes full-on Game of Thrones. Trollocs fast approach but you’ll be hard pressed to see as the flickering flames illuminate a couple nearby and that’s about it. Anyway, they’re soon defeated by 5 untrained channellers teaming up together and combine their powers. They blast the entire army and kill them all.
Anyway, the power is too much for the women to bear and as all them burn up and die, Nyn and Egwene survive, with the latter using the power of love (I’m guessing anyway, it’s not really explained) to heal Nyn and bring her back from certain death.
Meanwhile, Rand channels the One Power and gives a big speech about the woman he loves, that being Egwene. In doing so, he manages to use the power and blasts the Dark One back. He fades from view as Rand breathes heavily “I did it!” He says incredulously.
Rand decides to leave, walking away from Moiraine and not telling her where he’s going. When he disappears, Lan catches up to Moiraine, who has been left powerless after her brief skirmish with the Dark One. She realizes this isn’t the last battle and in fact, just the first of many.
Back at the fortress, Perrin has had barely anything to do all episode long and here he witnesses Padan Fain stealing the horn and seemingly killing Loial too. Perrin can only stand and watch as he leaves.
Meanwhile over on the Western shores, a whole bunch of ships fast approach, fronted by a bunch of Chanellers. They conjure forth a huge wave that looks set to consume the girl completely.
The Episode Review
So the battle for the Fortress, or what’s known as the “Last Battle”, ends without much aplomb, singlehandedly showing everything wrong with the writing in this series.
Wouldn’t it have been nice for these untrained channellers to actually use their powers 10 minutes earlier and prevent needless deaths from the army? If the army knew that they’d be sending Channellers out, wouldn’t they be the first line of defence? They could have covered them with a volley of arrows from their fortress, keeping the Trollocs at bay while they used their powers.
What’s worse though is that this move completely shatters any threat that the Trollocs and the Dark One poses.
So you’re telling me that one Trolloc in that weird bridge realm is enough to send Moiraine and the others fleeing for their lives but an entire army of 10,000 strong can be taken out with no fanfare by an untrained bunch of magic-wielders? If that’s what untrained women can do, what sort of power do the Aes Sedai have? There’s absolutely no need to worry because based on this episode alone, one of the Aes Sedai should be able to take out 100,000 easy. And therein shatters all tension or threat that our bad guys have.
Furthermore, Nyn’s healing powers also eliminate any need to worry about deaths in this show. If she can heal Egwene while she’s nearly dead (or actually dead) then why should we care when any of our characters are in mortal danger? She can just heal them, right? It’s soul-crushingly bad worldbuilding. And this is a show that’s had 90 million dollars put behind it.
I’ve been on the fence with this one all the way through, pointing out little flaws here and there, but still enjoying the storyline despite no emotional connection with any of these characters.
But this finale, whether you’re familiar with the book material or not, was horrible. A horrible finale that destroys any threat going forward, undoes some of the light character work done to this point, establishes massive plot armour and shatters any threat the Dark One holds over this land. What a real shame.
You can read our full season review for The Wheel Of Time here!
9 thoughts on “The Wheel Of Time – Season 1 Episode 8: Recap, Review & Ending Explained”
I have read all of the books more than once. They are similar to the Dragonlance Chronicles, and Lord of the Rings. These are a truly fascinating set of books that I treasure. It would have been nice if the storyline of the show and the books went together seemlessly, but it didn’t. I’m just glad that they got the story out there, and have inspired people to read. Even if it was just a handful people. My son is 10, and is Autistic. He may never have the patience to sit down and read these books, so the joy that he gets from watching the show is without parallel. I can overlook the differences.
I liked it. If you compare it to the book I am sure it doesn’t stand up but if you are someone who never have read the book (like me) it was fun. I saw Avengers: Infinity War and compared to the source, The Infinity Gauntlet, the movie sucked big time. The movie was a big disappointment. But for people that didn’t read The Infinity Gauntlet, the movie was great. Same thing with Wheel.
100% agree. I read the entire series except the last book. I was waiting to reread all of them again but never had time.
I enjoyed the previous episodes even though lots of things really bothered me (like everyone showing up in Tar Valon and skipping through half 3/4 of the actual first book).
So the prior episodes had some cool stuff and were worth watching.
Episode 8 sucked. The battle was truly boring. The one power is not Superman shit. Like what those channelers did was on par with what rand did in one of the middle to late books when he kills a trolloc army by himself and almost burns out and Logain is like you dont have to prove you have a big D man, I know you are stronger than me. He also did that in the eye of the world but not consciously. But in the book it was rad and showed how uniquely powerful Rand is.
Here Egwene sucks. Local Sucks. Mioraine is acted well and Lan is alright. Loial and Perrin super suck. Matt is a douchebag asshole who should have been cut entirely from the show (pissed because he had my favorite chapters and character in the series bar none, except when rand was doing dragon reborn level stuff in the finales). Rand sucks he feels like a bit player not the central key and hope for the worlds survival. Also he broke the damn seal and then runs off into the night? Would have been better to explain the significance of that rather than confusing AOL flashbacks.
I agree with the other comment. I think they should have used the world of wot but set the entire thing at some different point in time or else create a new set of characters and put them in the story doing rad shit and the main story could have happened in the background, completely following the book story line and those events dramatically effecting the plot of our new characters without having to overdose on crack to ram 1.5 books into 8 hours of show. The original characters would have appeared legendary to our the rag tag cast of newbies and preserved the mystique and grandness of the books.
I personally didn’t make it past the first three episodes.
Generally though, WoT is not a series where major characters ever really die.
And Nynaeve is supposed to be a genius healer in terms of her channeling instincts (and passion for healing), so even with no training that’s what she had been doing before the start of the books… She was the village apothecary and when medicines would fail and people would be dying, she would become so desperately frustrated with her inability to save them that she’d unconsciously use Saidar and channel to heal them… And then they’d miraculously be better (showing her amazing skills as an apothecary… lol)
Doing Wheel of Time well would naturally have been hard. But it is strange when people half-ass these kinds of projects. The people making a series seem to bring their own personal quirks to the work.
Even so, it may be that WoT would be better served by an animated series that could afford to go on for years. Kinda like anime like Naruto. Between “Naruto” and “Naruto: Shippuden”, the show had 700+ episodes…
So, just keep it interesting, and keep making more.
As someone with no knowledge of the source material or expectations surrounding it, I’ve found the show pretty enjoyable – if a little cluttered and confusing at the end of the season.
As to why the untrained women were strong enough to blow up the trollocs – they’ve mentioned several times that Nynaeve was the most powerful channeler in a thousand years, so if she’s part of the channeling group it makes sense they’d be able to do some extraordinary things.
For all their work to hype up women they go and remove one of Moiraine’s defining moments, being the first aes sedai since the breaking to kill one of the forsaken. This is what happens when people get their shot in the business cause they were on a reality show instead of having to break through on talent #firejudd
Does this happen in the books?
I mean, did the show took another path or was this just poorly handled?
Thank you for the awesome reviews!
I’m a huge fan of the book series. But this show… I think I won’t go for season 2. Where were Aginor and Balthamel and the green man?
Also Amazon has gone woke with the headscarfs and raping the original series and leaving it for dead.
All the flaws you point out are spot on. The hand of the powers that be is clear. They wanted a season packed to the brim with plot advancing nonsense and the failed to develop a y of the characters at all. Nyneve using the one power in the first season destroys every bit of animosity towards aes sedai. Egwene just blindly following either rand or Nyneve negates her character development and growth. Perrin is a lost cause as he never met elias to learn what he is and create conflict in his character between what he feels he should be and what he is. Rand is a prop. Just a prop. Matt isn’t even in the show except a red herring about turning evil. Lan and Nyneve sleeping together? Man.. M this show rushed everything for a bad battle where rand didn’t matter at all, Ishamael is a prop, ran día a prop everyone is a prop. A prop for what?? What the hell are we waiting for? The seanchan show g up at the end of the episode is the straw that broke the camels back. This show was a stinker. The show should be a vehicle for the story, but instead of developping relatable characters and their struggles with their new normal, they are thrown into momentous occasion after momentous occasion Taking everything in their stride without hardly any difficulty and all for the big payout of the band splitting up for a cliffhanger. At this point, canceling the show would make me happy, honestly. This is a travesty. Go back to the drawing board and hire a competent showrunner and writing team. You should ashamed.