The Wheel of Time is one of the biggest fantasy blockbusters of all time, and I have read and loved the fantasy novels for decades. I was beyond thrilled to see that an adaptation was coming to Prime TV, and now that it’s here, it’s time to offer weekly reviews! Be sure to also check out my theology site for my look at the show and books from a Christian perspective.
“The Dragon Reborn”
I cannot get over how epic this episode was. From end-to-end it was absolutely packed with meaningful character moments, powerful action scenes, and thoughtful conversations. It’s a near-perfect piece of television, and as a huge fan of the series of books, I have to say I’m 100% bought in at this point.
First, I love the additional background being given to Logain. I think it makes huge sense for a number of reasons (some of which are from the books and I won’t get into more here). For one, it makes all the other scenes and character development surrounding scenes that he’s in have that much more weight. For another, it makes the shot of him being Stilled that much more powerful for viewers. It’s also good to see how other false Dragons have come and they may even be quite powerful while still being nothing compared to the true Dragon.
I absolutely adored every single scene with the Tinkers. They’ve nailed the feel of them, and the explanation of the Way of the Leaf–a leaf falls to the ground, dies, is absorbed as nutrients and then reborn again–was just beautiful. Each one of these scenes with the Tinkers was absolutely compelling, and we certainly got a look into Perrin’s soul with the line Ila asked him about whether he was happier or not having picked up an axe for battle.
Mat’s conversation with the little girl was another great scene, especially when she asked him where his sisters were. “Safe at home,” Mat replied. “With your mama and papa?” she asked. And then he just looks at her with dead eyes as we, like him, think about his household situation and how his parents basically just left his sisters to the Trollocs. Ouch. Thom has a series of good scenes here, including a great one-liner about “Nothing is more dangerous than a man who knows the past.” How true does that feel in our own time, as people clamor to outlaw things like critical race theory from our schools for fear of their children hearing about the awful civil rights history of the United States
The scenes with Nynaeve, Lan, and Moiraine at the Aes Sedai camp were all hugely important. Each was filled with tension, character-building, or just fun scenes. I loved Nynaeve listening to Liandrin Sedai and then promptly telling Lan “That woman is a snake” as she walks away. I adored seeing the several different warders and how they interacted in different ways, including the true-to-the-books notions of the Green Ajah and their… preference for several partners. The battle scenes here were awesome, and the closing with Nynaeve healing Lan, and Logain looking on clearly seeing how super powerful she is is just an epic moment.
As someone who’s read the books, I appreciate the effort going into throwing the scent off of who the Dragon may be. The feel of the show has captured the Wheel of Time quite well, in my opinion. I think more can be done with it, but we’re getting a sense of the bigness of the world delivered in small doses while also getting the sense of big political machinations, great characterization, and unique magic and social systems that Robert Jordan made up. I love it so much, and this episode was the best yet.
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