Wheel of Time, Episode 5: Blood Calls Blood

I totally wasn’t sure what to expect from this episode going in. “Blood calls blood” is from Chapter 7 of The Great Hunt*.

I may end up going into more detail in the spoiler zone on exactly the circumstances, but maybe not. We’ll see what we see when we get there.

Original Statue of Liberty Torch
The original torch of the Statue of Liberty, which is now inside Fort Wood. Just underneath the flame, you can see the hinges of the door where people used to emerge from the statue to stand.

I loved New York City and if I ever win the lottery or hit that perfect “will translate for money” spot or whatever, I’m moving to Queens.

Why Queens? Because it’s the most linguistically diverse urban area on Earth. I mean, Papua New Guinea beats Queens by a mile (823 languages versus 138), but I don’t know if I can get my city on in Port Moresby, you know?

Where was I?

Oh, yes. Episode 5. I really am amazed at how much they can cram into a 50-minute episode here. I mean, we see the funeral for the people outside the cave and that Nynaeve couldn’t save. We see Nynaeve, Moirane, and Lan arrive at Tar Valon and get Nynaeve settled into a room in the Warders’ quarters and for Liandrin to track her down and be all friendlythreatening (she was like threatmantic, but less romance and more creepy phony friendship) at her.

We see Mat and Rand arrive at Tar Valon, Rand meet Loial, and Mat and Rand watch Logain being brought into the city. Later, Loial brings Nynaeve to Mat and Rand’s room at the inn, which includes more development of how sick Mat is.

We see Egwene and Perrin approaching Tar Valon with the Tuatha’an, where they are intercepted by Whitecloaks. Valda wants to detain Egwene and Perrin but the Traveling People refuse to let the Whitecloaks have them. The Whitecloaks catch Egwene and Perrin after all, and hold them hostage, insisting that Egwene is an Aes Sedai. Valda tells them that one of them will have to die, which leads Perrin to tell Egwene that he killed Laila. Egwene then channels for the second-ever time (the first being when she made Moiraine’s blue stone light up) and she and Perrin escape.

And there’s still plenty of time for two more death-related rituals. Kerene was one of the Aes Sedai who died when Logain’s followers attacked and her Warder, Stepin, returns her ring to the boiling pool of gold that they apparently make the Aes Sedai’s rings from (I actually wondered if it was going to be a self-immolation ritual).

Alanna has offered to bond Stepin and when Lan asks, Stepin says, “First you lose Moiraine and then you tell me how easy it is to jump from one woman to the next,” which is a nice bit of foreshadowing there.**

Then Stepin does end up committing suicide. Lan is on suicide watch and Stepin drugs him then leaves the room and disembowels himself. We end the episode on Stepin’s funeral.

And we still had time for scenery and emotion and the Whitecloaks to scrub Egwene clean before bringing her to Valda’s tent and for Valda to torture Perrin in a passage that was truly disturbing. All in 50 minutes.

Maybe Judkins et al. really will be able to do justice to the scope of the series.

A few questions remain. Does Moiraine know that the Mat and Rand are in Tar Valon (Nynaeve is at Stepin’s funeral, so there’s reason for Moiraine to know they’ve arrived)? Where are Egwene and Perrin? I mean, they could see the White Tower from where they were stopped by the Whitecloaks, and it sure looks to me like Egwene and Perrin escaped the same night as Stepin’s suicide. Granted, Valda sliced Perrin up pretty good, but the Whitecloak camp was still close to Tar Valon, I’d think. Did they manage to throw together a funeral for Stepin within hours of his death?

*Germane Amazon Link!

**In the books, at least, Moiraine knows that the bond between them will be broken and she also knows that this will happen before Nynaeve can become a full Aes Sedai and take Lan’s bond (because almost all married Aes Sedai are married to their warders). So she arranged for a sister named Myrelle, who is known for saving Warders from the death wish that comes with the end of the bond, to take Lan’s bond without consulting Lan first. I fully expect something like this to happen in the series.

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