Wheel of Time Episode 6: The Flame of Tar Valon

Wait. What?

Augh!

Okay. You know the drill if you’ve been reading these posts for a while. I’m going to post an old image and below that, all spoilers are fair game, both from the series and from anywhere in the books, and we’re definitely talking about The Shadow Rising here.

The area around Grand Central Station is really congested and has this real “concrete canyon” vibe, so it took me a while to find place where I could get a decent photo.

We start this episode with a flashback to the childhood of Siuan Sanche, who at this point in the series is the Amyrlin Seat. Siuan leaves her home in Tear because the villagers near where she and her father live find out that she can channel. In Tear, it is illegal to channel, and girls who are found to have the ability are sent away immediately. I don’t know what happens to boy channelers who are discovered. I’ll look into it.

We get our first look at the Hall of the Tower, when the Amyrlin Seat calls a meeting of the Hall so that Alanna, Liandrin, and Moiraine can answer for their extrajudicial gentling of Logain. Siuan is very unhappy and tells Alanna and Liandrin that she’ll decide their punishments later. Then she demands to know why Moiraine has been out of pocket for two years, and Moiraine keeps insisting that she cannot tell her. They have a major confrontation over it, and Moiraine still insists that she cannot say.

And I’m, like, “Wait. Siuan knew about Moiraine’s search for the Dragon Reborn in the books. It was a whole plot that they’d cooked up between them. What’s going on here?”

Meanwhile, Moiraine has broken the link between Mat and the Shadar Logoth dagger (Wow! That was a fast subplot — blink and you’ll miss it!). Egwene and Perrin have arrived at the Tower and Moiraine visits them. The head of the Blue Ajah tells Moiraine that she has to remain in the Tower for now, which puts a kink in her Dragon Reborn plans.

We see Moiraine in a dress thing that has man’s dress shirt vibes. Lan complains about Moiraine masking the bond, then wishes Moiraine a good night and ends with “Give her my love.”

It turns out that not only are Moiraine and Siuan in on the search for the Dragon Reborn together, they are lovers. In the books, they were what was known as “pillow-friends,” meaning that they had a sexual relationship during their youth, but it’s kind of implied that it’s over. This is particularly evident in that both end up with men. Well, for varying definitions of “end up with.”

So. Since Moiraine and Siuan definitely seem to me to have a love relationship here, after Siuan gets stilled and is youthened to the point of being unrecognizable. Or, I guess, will she get stilled and youthened to the point of being unrecogizable? I mean, the Gareth Bryne plot is part of that, and I cannot see Siuan being all, “It’s over Moiraine. I’m in love with Queen Morgase’s ex-boyfriend.” It just doesn’t seem to fit the tone of the series. Or, I guess once Moiraine is presumed dead, maybe Siuan and Bryne will have a fling?

We’ll see what happens when it happens, I guess.

Siuan mentions a premonitory dream that she had about the Dark One and the Eye of the World and so after Siuan exiles Moiraine at Moiraine’s request (to get her out of the demand of the head of her Ajah), Moiraine gets the band back together and meets them at a Waygate. She tells them that they have to go to the Eye of the World so that whichever of them is the Dragon can hurry up and get the Last Battle over with.

I guess that if they’d only gotten the one season, they would have gotten the Last Battle over with and that’d be it, but they have had a renewal, so what will happen?

Then Mat says that he is having second thoughts and Moiraine says that there’s no turning back. The rest of them pile into the Waygate and Mat just stands there. They yell for him to hurry up, but he doesn’t come any closer. And then the Waygate closes.

This is the “Wait. What?” moment.

I’ve since done some digging and from what I can gather, this is when Barney Harris left the show. They shut down production for COVID-19 and something happened behind the scenes and they ended up having to recast Mat. I gather that they are going to reintegrate Mat into the show with the new actor sometime in Season 2.

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