This recap of the Prime Video series The Wheel of Time Season 2 Episode 1, “A Taste of Solitude,” contains spoilers.
The last time we saw The Wheel of Time, Fain revealed that Rand was identified as the Dragon Reborn. However, he also mentioned that all five members of the Two Rivers group are "ta'veren," each with a distinct role to play.
The Trollocs were sent to their village to bring them to the Dark Order. It was an impressive journey with a gripping climax, spanning from the Trolloc invasion at Tarwin's Gap to Rand and Moiraine confronting the Dark One at the Eye of the World.
This finale witnessed Rand embracing his destiny, and the Dark One exposes just how powerful Rand is. Rand believes he concluded his, but Moiraine marks only the inception. And with twelve more books remaining in the series, she may be right.
The Wheel of Time Season 2 Episode 1 recap
The episode opens with a young girl playing outside, chased by Trollocs, who terrifies her. She rushes indoors, seeking safety under a table amidst a group of hooded people. Abruptly, the Dark One appears, inquiring about her actions and fear of the monsters.
He lifts the girl and takes her outside. (We also see Padan Fain remove his hood and smile at the child.) The Dark One teaches them not to judge by their menacing appearance, asking if he looks like a monster. She shakes her head.
He touches the Trolloc's cheek, inviting her to do the same. Her laughter reveals a new perspective – Trollocs and the Dark One no longer seem like monsters.
Why are Moiraine and Lan not talking?
Lan can no longer sense Moiraine, which is a primary duty of a Warder. Adding to the complexity, Moiraine will not allow herself to be carried in a wheelchair by the season's end. Lan suspects Moiraine is deliberately shutting him out, perhaps as a punishment.
Since Moiraine has lost access to the "One Power," she grapples with an existential crisis, leaving Lan on the periphery. Yet, she has a plan as she purchases a piece of hearthstone (also known as "Ccuendillar") from Bayle Domon, who also warns her about approaching Shadowspawn.
Where is Mat Cauthon?
The last time we encountered Mat, he remained behind while the group entered the alternate realm. Presently, he is being detained against his wishes by Liandrin Guirale, the Taraboner Aes Sedai of the Red Ajah. She is renowned for pursuing male channelers.
Liandrin is keeping Mat captive due to his association with the dagger (a ruby-hilted artifact from Shadar Logoth that carries "the madness"). Although Mat hasn't touched it for six months, Liandrin taunts him with letters from his friends that omit his name.
Why does Liandrin confront Nynaeve?
Liandrin also confronts Nynaeve in her kitchen. She aims to evaluate Nynaeve's channeling abilities. She pushes Nynaeve to her limits, yet Liandrin eventually "shields" her from the power (this blocks the channeler's ability but allows them to sense it still).
This exercise reveals to Nynaeve her accessible powers. Keep in mind the various Ajahs are continually vying for control.
Where is Rand?
We don't know, but Rand is alive and hangs up a lantern in what appears to be an abandoned (and ominous) village. Could this lantern be the one Perrin set afloat on the lake to honor the fallen? Does this imply Rand's demise and presence in another dimension?
The Wheel of Time Season 2 Episode 1 Ending Explained
What does Lan ask Moiraine at the end of the episode?
Lan asks her, "What aren't you telling me?" This happens after Moiraine's escape attempt from the group, aware of the Shadowspawn's pursuit. She successfully kills one but sustains an abdominal wound.
Lan arrives, dispatching three foes, yet he faces peril from the last Shadowspawn, known as The Fade. Just then, the group comes, saving them before Moiraine succumbs to unconsciousness due to her injury.
Grade: "The season premiere of The Wheel of Time works because it carefully creates division and tension between the characters, making for more interesting storytelling." 8/10
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