THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 4 The Dragon Reborn

My (SPOLIER-FILLED) deep dive into episode 4 of The Wheel of Time.

These are my deep look into each episode of Amazon Prime’s The Wheel of Time. I will investigate each episode in depth and give my reactions, thoughts, and takeaways. These dives are for book readers as they contain heavy spoilers throughout while I weigh each episode against my knowledge of the books and story and will touch upon things throughout the books. I will focus on the episode itself and will not delve into future episodes.

INITIAL REACTIONS

Summary

When I first finished watching this episode, I was in tears. Not a heavy downpour. Just a raw, emotional high had over swept me. It was a rollercoaster the whole way through. There were some moments of touching character development and moments of intensity. Through it all, I enjoyed just about any minute of it. In fact, I can’t think of anything off-hand that I didn’t like. My deep dive into the episode follow.

FINAL WARNING: Following this paragraph will contain HEAVY SPOILERS of the episode and my reference any point in any of the books. If you have not read the books or seen the episode and want to avoid spoilers, DO NOT READ ON until you have done so. You HAVE been WARNED!

EPISODE DISECTION

Plot

Every episode so far has had a cold open and this one is no different. We start out with a flashback to the kingdom of Ghealdan. The castle is under siege and soldiers are frantically running everywhere. The king is in retreat as a figure follows. Battered and wounded, the king becomes cornered as the figure approaches. The man is Logain Ablar (Álvaro Morte). He is the self-proclaimed Dragon Reborn. They converse and Logain convinces the king that he is not there to conquer. Despite voices telling him to kill the king, he instead heals him and gains him as a follower.

Perrin / Egwene

Following the opening credits, we cut back to the present. Again, we split between several different plot lines. The first plot line is Perrin and Nynaeve and their time with the Tuatha’an (the Tinkers). The two are welcomed by the group, in particular Aram. As the wagons roll out, the pair follows along. They are told of the beliefs of the Tuatha’an, a pacifist belief called The Way of the Leaf. When they stop for a rest, the group partakes in merriment and dancing. Egwene is swept in as Aram gets close to her. Perrin, on the other hand, pulls in on himself and has a discussion with Ila.

What I enjoyed about this scene is how Perrin’s internal conflict resonates within himself. When he wonders why they don’t defend themselves, Ila turns it on him, asking how he has felt since he held the axe. This leaves Perrin internalizing. The scene and his later discussion with Ila about the Way of the Leaf, her story as to why she follows it, was quite powerful.

Rand / Mat / Thom

The next plotline follows Mat, Thom, and Rand as they race across the countryside. They have procured horses, apparently through horse theft on the part of the gleeman. They come to a farm and intend to sneak into the barn and sleep for the night. However, they are waylaid by the farmer and his family. They manage to convince the farmer that they mean no harm and agree to work for a little rest.

Mat (Barney Harris) sees ‘something’ while Rand (Josha Stradowski) and Thom (Alexandre Willaume) look on.

As they work, Mat seems to be getting a little sick. He steps away and spits up a blackness that soon disappears. He is startled by a little girl. She gives him bread and they have a conversation about his sisters. She gives him a doll, Birgette to take to them. Meanwhile Thom tells Rand the story of his nephew. The boy was able to channel and was eventually gentled by the Aes Sedai, followed later by suicide. Thom is concerned that Mat may be able to channel as well and that is the reason for his behavior.

Later, Rand has a dream where he sees Perrin beating on a forge. However, there is a body on that forge. Mat walks by in a trance with bloody hands and Egwene is taken captive by the mysterious fire-eyed man. When he wakes, Mat is missing. He and Thom go to the farmhouse and find the family slaughtered. Mat is standing in a trance with his dagger out toward a corner. They soon realize that there is a Fade there and it attacks. Thom holds it off while the boys make their escape.

This was a great plot line. Mat’s connection with the girl was touching, but painful given her fate. It was interesting to hear the story of Thom’s nephew as well. I have heard complaints about the blackness that comes out of Mat’s mouth. I think it is obvious that this a subtle hint for those who are not familiar with the books the source of Mat’s sickness. It is a visual representation.

Moiraine / Lan / Nynaeve

This plotline kicks off with the three now in the Aes Sedai camp as they guard the captured Logain. Moiraine is being healed by Kerene Sedai (Clare Perkins) while Lan is practicing with her Warder, Stepin (Peter Franzén). Nynaeve is overlooking the camp when she is approached by Liandrin (Kate Fleetwood). They exchange some words until Lan approaches and Liandrin leaves. Later, Nynaeve joins Lan at the fire with the other Warders and we get some good banter and some exposition.

Moiraine joins her sisters with Logain and they discuss the how strong he is. You can sense some mistrust between the sisters. Moiriane and Alanna (Priyanka Bose) reminisce about their time as novices while they shield Logain together. These scenes give us some exposition and insight into the sisterhood of the Aes Sedai.

Moiraine (Rosamund Pike) confronts Logain (Alvero Morte).

After Lan later leaves Nynaeve by the fire, he returns to Moiraine, and they discuss the Dragon. Moiraine obviously does not believe that Logain is the Dragon. The next day, Lan and Nynaeve share a touching scene together where they appear to connect. However, it is cut short by a disturbance in the camp.

Karene and Liandrin are in with Logain and the former mentions that her wards are alerting her that Logain’s followers are attacking the camp. Outside, the Warders and other Aes Sedai are gathered for defense. As the battle begins, Alanna stops some incoming arrows and uses them against the attackers. They make a strategic retreat to the cave. Inside the cave, Logain overpowers the shield held against him, throwing both his Aes Sedai guards across the room.

Moriane walks in and confronts him. She tells him that the voices he hears are madness. Karene strikes him with the power and the three sisters quickly place another shield on him. As they do, he strikes out. Karene sacrifices herself to protect Moiraine and Liandrin and pays with her life. Her Warder is struck by the loss. He goes into a rage on the battlefield, quickly dispatching anybody in his way, and rushes to the cave. As others begin piling into the cave, Stepin arrives and sees the body of his bonded Aes Sedai. He launches himself into a strike against Logain. This disrupts the shield and Logain shatters his axes, sending shards across the room.

Many are taken down, including Liandrin, Moiraine, and Lan. Nynaeve, sees this and rushes to Lan’s side. She screams as a blazing light surrounds her and weaves strike out to all who are injured, instantly healing their wounds. This sets Logain back and he is left vulnerable enough for the Aes Sedai to link and gentle him on the spot. The episode ends with a look at Nynaeve, haggard from the exertion, but with a fierce look on her face.

This was what I came for! I have been uncertain about many changes made for the adaptation. This scene was one as well. However, most of my doubts about the show have all but washed away with this scene. It was an epic moment to be sure. I am now invested in this series full hearted.

Characters

The character development for many of the characters comes through well in this episode. In episode 3, Mat referenced his background in horse trading. This episode has him demonstrating it when he is trying to calm the horse he is riding. Later, he even mentions that the mare he is riding is afraid of her own shadow. They were small demonstrations, but great nods to his knowledge of horses.

He also has a great moment with the little girl. It is a great moment, reminding of his love for his sisters. And I loved the call-out to the fans with the name of the doll, Birgette. It makes what happens on the farm later in the episode even more painful. And I was sorry to see that he dropped the doll while making his escape.

While Rand doesn’t get much in the way of development, it is good to see that he begins to relax when it comes to Thom. The conversation they have seems to go a long way toward that. Egwene doesn’t get much development either. The Tuatha’an plotline seems to focus mostly on Perrin and his struggle. While it played out differently in the books, his struggle with violence is a key part of his character. I feel I am beginning to accept the change they made with giving him a wife in the first episode. I do question whether Egwene knows that it was Perrin that delivered the fatal blow. They way she responded when Ila asked him whether he ever picked up an axe seemed to indicate that she knew.

It is great seeing Moiraine with her fellow Aes Sedai in this episode. She is still as guarded as ever, and even her sisters point it out. But there is an air of familiarity that helps to open her up to the viewer a little. The real shining character development comes from Nynaeve. It is shown that she can read people through her interaction with Liandrin. The best part was the moment when Liandrin leaves, she immediately tells Lan that the woman is a snake.

Lan (Daniel Henney) protecting Nynaeve (Zoe Robins)

Her character is further revealed at the campfire with the Warders. She seems to boast about tracking Lan to the other Warders’ delight (I still want to know how, especially given the changes to her background). It was also good to see her growing admiration and respect of Lan. She is clearly easing on him as she gets to know him and letting her guard down. He is clearly doing the same with her. Their conversation about the ritual and the words that her parents told her before they hid her away really showed how they were connecting.

Of course, her character really shined during the climax of the episode. I was beginning to expect that Nynaeve would do something to help at the end, but I was in no way prepared for the events that unfolded. When Moiraine went down, I just thought, “Great! She just got healed.” When I saw Lan go down with a mortal wound to his neck, I was in shock.

Special Effects / Action

The effects and action were good this episode. I don’t have too many complaints from what I saw. One complaint that I have heard was the blackness leaking from Mat’s mouth. I understood this to be a way of visually cluing the viewer in on the source of his “sickness.”

Alanna (Priyanka Bose) and her Warder prepare to defend.

I loved watching the Aes Sedai working in tandem during the Dragonsworn battle. An example is a Warder turning to hold up his shield to block incoming arrows while his Aes Sedai stood behind and prepared her weave. Even Nynaeve got in on the early action as a man tried to overtake her. She immediately fought him off with barely a blink.

Of course, the highlight was during the last few minutes. The struggle with Logain and Nynaeve’s subsequent mass healing were sights to behold. Especially the latter, that was the scene that left me in tears of awe.

OVERALL FEELING

Summary

As I said, this episode left me in tears. Not tears of sadness. But tears that spawned from the raw emotion that overwhelmed me as the final events unfolded. As the series goes on, there are still things that could be done (scenes omitted, changes to egregious) that could pull me away from the show. But I am now hooked and anxious to see where they take things from here.

LINKS

First Thoughts

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episodes 1 – 3 – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 4 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 5 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 6 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 7 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 8 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

Deep Dives

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 1 Leavetaking – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 2 Shadow’s Waiting – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 3 A Place of Safety – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

*******

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 5 Blood Calls Blood – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 6 The Flame of Tar Valon – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 7 The Dark Along the Ways – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 8 The Eye of the World – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 4 (Spoiler Free)

My general thoughts and reaction to Episode 4 of The Wheel of Time tv series on Amazon Prime

The Wheel of Time series has arrived on Amazon Prime. These are my general (spoiler-free) reactions to the latest episode:

EPISODE 4: THE DRAGON REBORN

I am in tears! What an impact this episode had.

This episode, like the last one, was divided into three paths, each following a different set of characters. While I didn’t dislike any of the plot points specifically, two of them stood out to me. The Egwene / Perrin plot was the least exciting, though it did have some great character moments and exposition. I didn’t hate it, but the other plot paths far outshined them.

The second plot point was Mat, Rand, and Thom as they continue their journey. I was beginning to think this was going to be the highlight of the episode until it concluded with still a lot of time left. The third plot, following Moiraine, Lan, and Nynaeve really stood out. Great character moments laid the groundwork for future events and it concluded with a moment of epic-ness I was not expecting.

BONUS: SAIDIN, SAIDAR, STONE

The bonus video released alongside episode 4 was an interesting “lecture” on the nature of The One Power. It is the first time that it is mentioned that the One Power is split into two halves, Saidin (the male half) and Saidar (the female half). Worth checking out if you want to learn more about the lore of The Wheel of Time.

I can say without a shadow of a doubt that this is my favorite episode so far. I really enjoyed the character moments and exposition. Each episode seems to be bringing just a little bit more to the table in a way to ease newcomers to The Wheel while still driving the plot forward.

LINKS

First Thoughts

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episodes 1 – 3 – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

***

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 5 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 6 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 7 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 8 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

Deep Dives

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 1 Leavetaking – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 2 Shadow’s Waiting – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 3 A Place of Safety – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 4 The Dragon Reborn – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 5 Blood Calls Blood – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 6 The Flame of Tar Valon – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 7 The Dark Along the Ways – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 8 The Eye of the World – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 3 A Place of Safety

My (SPOLIER-FILLED) deep dive into episode 3 of The Wheel of Time.

These are my deep look into each episode of Amazon Prime’s The Wheel of Time. I will investigate each episode in depth and give my reactions, thoughts, and takeaways. These dives are for book readers as they contain heavy spoilers throughout while I weigh each episode against my knowledge of the books and story and will touch upon things throughout the books. I will focus on the episode itself and will not delve into future episodes.

INITIAL REACTIONS

Summary

I enjoyed episode 3 “A Place of Safety” a lot and felt it did good to move the plot further. Now that we are getting aligned with the characters and their motivations, this episode placed each many of the characters into situations that would be the pivotal turn for their development in the first season. It furthered the worldbuilding for the viewer, introducing more elements from the greater world, and had wonderful plot and character development.

FINAL WARNING: Following this paragraph will contain HEAVY SPOILERS of the episode and my reference any point in any of the books. If you have not read the books or seen the episode and want to avoid spoilers, DO NOT READ ON until you have done so. You HAVE been WARNED!

EPISODE DISECTION

Plot

Egwene and Perrin encounter some Tinkers

After the conclusion of the 2nd episode, episode 3 opens with a flashback to Nynaeve being dragged by a trolloc into the woods. It drops her to check up on an injured fellow trolloc, then begins to brutalize it and eat it. Nynaeve takes this time to escape. She flees into the cave with the sacred pool and hides while the trolloc pursuits her. As it enters the pool, attempting to spear fish her, she rises behind like a callback to Predator or Apocalypse Now, grabs its sword and kills the beast. The scene ends with the epic braid flip from the trailer, and we cut back to her having Lan at sword point – the same sword she swiped from the trolloc.

That was an epic setup and showcase of Nynaeve’s character. This is even furthered with her confrontation with Lan as she demands the whereabouts of her friends. He tries to convince her to help Moiraine who is badly wounded before finally disarming her. This whole setup is a key moment and a wonderful framework for what happens with their characters in the future.

From there, we cut to Rand and Mat in a hilly area calling out for Egwene and Perrin. Mat calms Rand down and points out that his yells could bring them danger. When he tries to convince Rand to return home with him, Rand insists on traveling on to Tar Valon as that was their destination.

Moving on to Egwene and Perrin, they are crossing a plain while being harried by wolves. They seek out an out cove where they get a fire started; though they don’t know if it was Perrin’s traditional method of rock and blade or Egwene using the power that started it. They take shelter by the fire, using it to keep the wolves at bay.

The rest of the episode is a lot of going back and forth between plotlines. So I’m gonna focus on what at a time at this point. It is here that we return to Lan, Nynaeve, and Moiraine. Lan convinces Nynaeve to treat Moiraine’s wound. She gathers some herbs and makes an ointment to ease the pain. It is slow going, but it gives Lan and Nynaeve time to further connect. Though, Nynaeve is a bit closed to the Warder’s questioning. Eventually, he leaves her to tend to Moiraine to find help. He returns to gather them up and lead them to safety and help.

They finally come to that help in the form of a group of Aes Sedai. Moiraine is well enough by this time to communicate, and they find that the Aes Sedai has captured a man who calls himself Dragon. This plot, while not very active, did give some quality character time. While Moiraine is out of commission through most of the scene, she does feverishly call out a name that holds significance to her. Nynaeve and Lan, as mentioned, spend some time together and you see that he is both annoyed by and intrigued with this woman who was able to track him. I DO hope that she eventually provides the explanation as to how she followed and located them.

We return to Perrin and Egwene. Perrin has a dream where he discovers a wolf eating the remains of his wife, Laila. She then turns her head at him and we get a glimpse of the flame eyed being before he wakes from the dream.

They wake and run from the wolves. But when they reach wagon tracks, it becomes apparent that the wolves are holding back and not chasing them. It is as if they were guiding the pair. After a touching scene where Egwene sees the conflict within Perrin, they follow the tracks and encounter a group of people known as the Traveling Folk, or Tinkers. They are taking in and fed and this is where their plot ends for this episode.

The last plot sees Mat and Rand coming to a small mining town. There is a person in a cage that Mat later learns in an Aiel. They go to a tavern and encounter the innkeeper, Dana (Izuka Hoyle), and the gleeman, Thom Merrilin (Alexandre Willaume). The gleeman sings a chilling song about “The Man Who Can’t Forget” and teaches Mat a valuable lesson. These ask Dana for a bed and Rand insists they will work for it. She leads them out to cut wood and serve drinks, having discussions with each one in turn.

Later, Mat goes out, thinking to take the belongings from the caged Aiel when he is interrupted by Thom. Thom lets him carry out his task in exchange for helping to bury the man. He then tells Mat about the Aiel. They exchange names and Mat steals back his coin purse, to Thom’s admiration.

Back at the inn, Rand finishes chopping wood and Dana leads him to a room. They have a conversation about their lives and begin to connect. When she leans in for a kiss, however, Rand jerks back. She then reveals that she looked too much like Egwene and this unsettles Rand. She takes his sword, and he tries to escape through the door which is now locked. Despite Dana telling him that the door in impossible to break through, he does just that and escapes.

He runs into Mat as Dana pursuits, and they run away together. Dana takes a shortcut and cuts them off where she reveals that she has had dreams of “the five of them.” She reveals that a Fade is coming and tells them that she has aligned with the shadow. As she tries to convince them to give up, a knife protrudes through her throat. Thom overheard the conversation and urges them to escape with him.

Characters

A lot of great character moments happen in this episode. First, we have Perrin who is dealing with his guilt and almost confesses to Egwene about what happened with Laila. There is also allusions to he connection with the wolves when he realizes that they were forcing them in a direction that led to help.

Again, Nynaeve and Lan are given much development together and we see that she is more than just a wisdom of some backwater town. You can see the admiration on Lan, despite his annoyance with her. In the earlier scenes, his shock that she tried to kill him after he just said that she wouldn’t almost had a hint of respect.

Rand comes off a bit innocent (though not as much as in the books at this point). Mat really shines in this episode. He has a few great lines throughout and his interactions with Thom are another sign of what’s to come.

Special Effects / Action

There are some great, subtle effects in this episode as well. One of the greatest is a scene towards the end after Dana is killed. As they walk away, the camera pans down to show her blood streaming across the street. This transitions smoothly into the tree line of the next scene where Lan, Moiraine, and Nynaeve encounter the Aes Sedai.

Another great affect I didn’t even notice until my third watch of the episode. As Perrin seemingly wakes up in his forge to the sound of thunder, he rises and begins looking for Laila. As he passes a window, red eyes appear from outside the window and form into the figure seen in Rand’s dream in episode 2. The scene was chilling and gave me exorcist vibes.

OVERALL FEELING

Summary

Overall, this was a great episode. Ranking the plot points, I would put Perrin and Egwene at third, Lan and Nynaeve at second, and Mat and Rand at first. However, all had their ups and downs. I was a little put out that it was Ila (Maria Doyle Kennedy) that “led” the tinkers where the books had Raen (Narinder Samra) filling the position of “seeker.” I did like Aram (Daryl McCormack). He certainly gives the vibe of a conflicted person who doesn’t necessarily belong with the group he is a part of. I am sure the nature of the Tinkers will be explored in future episodes (likely the next one)

I spoke several times about the connection between Nynaeve and Lan. Their chemistry is something to keep an eye on. Though I wasn’t certain about moving the introduction of Thom back, I am feeling much more comfortable with it after watching this episode. I think I even like this grittier portrayal of the character.

With the third episode in the can, I am anxiously awaiting the 4th episode. By the time I got to write this, the previews have already begun surfacing online. As soon as I watch it, I will drop my spoiler free review and reaction followed by the in-depth analysis (which should be) by the next day. Unfortunately, I was delayed a bit with this reviews due to life at home (with a newborn).

Conclusion

LINKS

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episodes 1 – 3 – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 4 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 5 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 6 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 7 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 8 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

Deep Dives

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 1 Leavetaking – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 2 Shadow’s Waiting – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

*******

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 4 The Dragon Reborn – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 5 Blood Calls Blood – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 6 The Flame of Tar Valon – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 7 The Dark Along the Ways – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 8 The Eye of the World – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 2 Shadow’s Waiting

My (SPOLIER-FILLED) deep dive into episode 2 of The Wheel of Time.

These are my deep look into each episode of Amazon Prime’s The Wheel of Time. I will investigate each episode in depth and give my reactions, thoughts, and takeaways. These dives are for book readers as they contain heavy spoilers throughout while I weigh each episode against my knowledge of the books and story and will touch upon things throughout the books. I will focus on the episode itself and will not delve into future episodes.

INITIAL REACTIONS

Summary

This episode, entitled “Shadow’s Waiting”-,” was where the story really begins picking up. In my initial reaction blog, I had called it a transition episode. I stand by that as it takes us from the original introductions to the characters and story of the first episode and begins moving the story to a new mile marker (which could be considered the latter half of episode 3 considering where they go and what happens after). Throughout, there are plenty of opportunities where the characters can pause for development and further understanding. This is good as it helps us the viewer get their bearings regarding the plot and figuring out who’s who. There are a couple of great moments in this episode that I just loved. I will get into those further below.

FINAL WARNING: Following this paragraph will contain HEAVY SPOILERS of the episode and my reference any point in any of the books. If you have not read the books or seen the episode and want to avoid spoilers, DO NOT READ ON until you have done so. You HAVE been WARNED!

EPISODE DISECTION

Plot

This episode started out with a bang with the introduction of The Children of the Light (often referred to as White Cloaks). You see the Questioner, Eamon Valda (Abdul Salis). This was a scene that I was waiting for sense getting a glimpse of it in the trailer. In the books, I mostly saw the White Cloaks as an annoyance and not much of a menace. With this scene, they set the group up, especially the questioners, as a real threat.

The White Cloak cold open was followed by the opening credits which I love. I enjoyed the way that it showed the “Pattern of the Ages” being brought together and showcasing the lore through the elegant tapestries. I believe this opening beats even The Game of Thrones opening with its elegance and beauty.

Then we cut to Moiraine, Lan, and the villagers galloping across the landscape. They are in a mad rush and successfully leading the menace away from the village. A moment of respite follows as they board the ferry crossing just in time to escape the horde of trollocs on their tails.  As a scene (largely) from the books, I enjoyed the nuances. Of course, there were many differences, but none too jarring. Eventually, after the loss of the ferryman, they reach a clearing where they get to finally take a break for a bit before continuing their journey.

During their rest, Moiraine pulls Egwene aside and explains to her that she can use the one power. While Egwene was upset over the incident at the river crossing, Moiraine gives her a lesson on the practicality of the world. She starts off by reciting the three oaths of the Aes Sedai which I loved hearing in full instead of the abridged version we got in the

From there, we return to a couple scenes with Egwene and Rand then Egwene and Perrin (who is brooding by the fire and nursing an injury on his leg). Then we get the dream sequence where Rand pulls a bat out of his mouth and sees a dark figure. The dreams were prominent in the books (and in my opinion, sometimes annoying as they would break the beat of the story). I liked how it was implemented here. Rand then challenges Moiraine here and there are some character moments that I will get back to in a bit. It was also here where we get the line that we first heard from the table read well over 2 years ago at the beginning of the show’s production.

On the move again, the party encounters a legion of White Cloaks. Again, Sails shines as Valda. He brings a flare of villainy to the character that will make him among the most hated villains in the series, I am sure. After parting from the White Cloaks, they head into one of the highlight scenes of the episode.

The song of Manetheren was beautiful. And it was clear that the group had sung it before. They had pretty good harmony together. In any case, this leads to Moiraine giving her epic speech about the last stand of Manetheren.  While moved from when it was recited in the books, it is great to hear the speech in all its glory here. It is also moving and gives an insight into the core of our villager gang and the stock they come from.

Following the tale, they come to another resting stop. Egwene and Rand confront each other about their feelings and Perrin has a meeting with a pack of wolves. This was an exciting moment as fans of the book are almost positive who the wolf that licks his wound is. During their rest, they are interrupted when they realize that the trollocs and fade have caught up with them. With Moiraine weakened by the wound she suffered in the first episode, they soon rush into the abandoned city of Shadar Logoth.

They seek refuge and Lan gives the group a rundown of the history of the city.  They rest again and Mat and Perrin have a touching moment. However, he soon does what the warder warned him not to do and he touches something, a knife he found amidst some rubble in the city. It is unclear whether this act triggers the evil or if it was just happenstance, but this sets off the mad rush to escape the city, splitting up in the progress.

The episode concludes with a moment of epic-ness where a trollocs blade is held to Lan’s throat as he tends to Moiraine. He turns to find that the holder of that blade is Nynaeve.

Characters

A number of character moments occur in this episode now that the show is able to move pass the introductions of the pilot. We see Rand and Egwene’s relationship starting to fracture following their ‘breakup’ in the first episode. It is clear that bitterness is setting in for Rand. While some decry this as melodrama, I feel that it is not far off from what would happen. The characters are overwhelmed by many emotions having lost friends and loved ones and leaving their homes. I am not saying that Rand is in the right for how he behaves, but that I could see this happening in a real-life situation (so to speak). They do seem to resolve the tension a bit later before the group splits.

Perrin is undergoing some grief, understandably so. And he reveals that he has a wound that he has been hiding from the group. Why he is hiding it is not sure. Is he scared to have Moiraine heal it? At this point, it is not revealed. Though it sets up his encounter with the wolf later on in the episode.

Mat starts coming into his own in this episode. The first episode introduced him as a scoundrel with a heart. Here we have him trying to be the levity of the group. I mentioned before his line from the table read. I also noticed when the White Cloaks order the group off their horses, he remains on his while the rest begin dismounting. Even though the next cut shows him already dismounted, it just shows his independence and defiant spirit. I also enjoyed his quip about Lan when they were in Shadar Logoth. Of course, this is also where he makes a fateful mistake that will change him for the rest of the series.

While she was only in the episode for a few seconds, Nynaeve shines here a bit as she gets the drop on Lan in the closing scene. It was the perfect closing point and sets up something that many book fans have been waiting to see.

Special Effects / Action

While we get some better look at trollocs throughout this episode – and I say they look good – I do hope that the only battles with them will all be at night. It seems that is the case whenever we see them in the series. I enjoyed the effects of the whirlpool on the river when Moiraine destroys the ferry. Perhaps the highlight effect of the episode was in the opening shots when we see the Aes Sedai being burned through the reflection on the goblet.

Other than that, most of the effects seemed well. I have heard some complain that mashidar (the mindless entity that attacks them in Shadar Logoth) was an inky blackness and not a mist as seen in the books, but I was ok with how it was portrayed. That leads me to the only real action in the episode, the escape from Shadar Logoth.

OVERALL FEELING

Summary

Overall, this was an excellent episode. After the 1st episode (of which I have watched a couple more times since posting my in-depth analysis the other day and I suppose I can see the complaints over the pacing of the first episode) this one is where the series begins to find its footing. There are great character moments as the story begins its transition from the introduction to the heart. Speaking of introductions, bringing in the White Cloaks at this point is a highlight. While in the books, their introduction makes them out to be more of a joke, this introduction provides them as a larger threat.

LINKS

First Thoughts

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episodes 1 – 3 – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 4 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 5 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 6 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 7 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 8 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

Deep Dives

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 1 Leavetaking – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

*******

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 3 A Place of Safety – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 4 The Dragon Reborn – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 5 Blood Calls Blood – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 6 The Flame of Tar Valon – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 7 The Dark Along the Ways – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 8 The Eye of the World – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 1 Leavetaking

My (SPOLIER-FILLED) deep dive into episode 1 of The Wheel of Time.

These are my deep look into each episode of Amazon Prime’s The Wheel of Time. I will investigate each episode in depth and give my reactions, thoughts, and takeaways. These dives are for book readers as they contain heavy spoilers throughout while I weigh each episode against my knowledge of the books and story and will touch upon things throughout the books. I will focus on the episode itself and will not delve into future episodes.

INITIAL REACTIONS

Summary

It has been a couple days since I first watched episode 1 of The Wheel of Time entitled “Leavetaking.”  The dust has begun to settle, and my thoughts have come clearer. I have since watched the episode several times (and will likely watch it a couple more times as I still have people that I have yet to watch it with) and looked at countless reviews, reactions, and recaps online. I posted my initial reaction almost immediately. While I haven’t changed my mind too much on any aspect, some elements have come to me (either through personal thought or through realizations from others’ reactions) that I feel I may need to delve into more.

FINAL WARNING: Following this paragraph will contain HEAVY SPOILERS of the episode and my reference any point in any of the books. If you have not read the books or seen the episode and want to avoid spoilers, DO NOT READ ON until you have done so. You HAVE been WARNED!

Moiraine (Rosamund Pike) walks through the village.

EPISODE DISECTION

Plot

The episode opens with Moiraine (Rosamund Pike) getting dressed as she prepares to set out on her ‘mission.’ During the sequence, she gives a monologue about the arrogance of men and how the women were left to fix it. This is kind of setting the tone for the series and shows that men are often regarded in a negative light. The next scene shows two men running from a group of women in red. It turns out that one of the men is a male who can channel, and the other man does not exist. The women, of course, are Red Ajah Aes Sedai who are there to gentle him.

I did enjoy this opening sequence. While I heard some others say that they did not like the man being hunted by the Aes Sedai, I thought it did well in showing the stakes for men in this world. It leads to Moiraine and Lan (Daniel Henney) on a mountain top after observing the capture of the man. It then segues to the Two Rivers where we begin to meet the rest of the main cast.

It was fun going through and meeting the rest of the cast in their elements. Egwene (Madeleine Madden) and Nynaeve (Zoë Robins) in the women’s circle ceremony, Rand (Josha Stradowski) on the quarry road with his father (Tam, played by Michael McElhatton), and Mat (Barney Harris) and Perrin (Marcus Rutherford) in the inn were all great introductions. Though it DID make Mat seem like a jerk at first, we later see that he has heart. I’ll talk about that later when I talk about characters because I have conflicting feelings regarding his arc in this series.

From this point on through to the climactic sequence of the episode, we have several character moments and interactions. Moiraine and Lan arriving at the inn, Rand and Egwene discussing their future, Moiraine talking with Nynaeve, Rand and Tam at their cabin, among other scenes. Many of these scenes did their job in setting the foundations for the conflicts that the main characters will be carrying on through the season and (potentially) the series. Again, most of those points I will discuss below in the Characters section.

Overall, I didn’t mind the plot and pacing. I know many have complained about the pacing of this first episode. While I did notice a couple rushed cuts — like going from Lan asking Moiraine if she knew which person was their target, then cutting immediately to Egwene and Rand in the inn (I felt a small lingering shot on Moiraine would have made that cut better) — I felt that most of the pacing was fine as we got our introductions and some basic interactions.

Then we got to the hook of the first episode, the climactic Wintersnight battle. This is where the episode really came to life. Another complaint that I heard before the show even released was the use of shaky cam during the battle. This was concerning as I am not a big fan of the technique. Fortunately for me, it was not a problem and I barely noticed it during my initial viewing.

The battle itself took place in several different “fronts.” There were several character defining moments throughout the battle. Seeing Nynaeve roar at the trollocs and Mat seeking out his sisters were key moments that added nuance to the characters. At the conclusion of the battle, of course, the setup was for the group to leave the Two Rivers and begin their journey. I felt that did seem a bit stilted going from the epic battle straight to the group leaving. It took barely any convincing for them to leave — though I understood (and maybe this is where the pacing complaint came in). They had to get the group on the road for the next episode. Still, I feel that was the most jarring aspect.

One note, I am beginning to think that the reason why they include Egwene as a contender for being the Dragon Reborn is to make it easier to get her on the road. In the books, there is a whole setup with it just being the boys and in secret. All that is said is that the dark one wanted one of the boys. When they left, Egwene snuck in like Merry and Pippen at the Council of Elrond saying, “you’re not leaving without me.” I think it just made it easier to include her as a target and move on.

Characters

Rand (Josha Stradowski) and Egwene (Madeleine Madden) share an intimate time.

Rosamund Pike and Daniel Henney were excellent as Moiraine and Lan (respectively). They captured the true heart of each character. From the bathtub scene to the battle, their chemistry was spot on. Also great were the portrayals of Rand, Egwene, and Nynaeve. Josha, Madeleine, and Zoe gave great performances and really embodied the essence of their characters. Michael McElhatton also shines as he transitions from the father everybody hates to the father everybody loves. Overall, I am happy with the cast listed above and the directions they are going with their plots… even the changes that were made with their characters.

There were two characters that I must spend a little bit of time with and delve deeper. The first of which being Perrin. To be honest, I was dreading the rumor that he was married in the show for a long time. How it would impact his story was of great concern. Getting to see it play out gave me mixed feelings. On the positive side, I feel that I understand the change and the reason for its inclusion. With Perring being an internal character, it gives a motivation for his actions throughout the series. On the other hand, not enough time was spent building up their relationship. Laila (Helena Westerman) barely had any dialogue and the few scenes they had together were hardly enough to develop a connection.

When the fateful scene comes where Perrin accidentally kills her, you feel for him. But it is hard to feel for her. There were certainly aspects that seem implied and that the audience was supposed to get. But so far, there is no indication of those were true. Namely, that she was (at some point) pregnant. Likely she miscarried before the show. But so far, there is no indication if this is the case. Regardless, Marcus Rutherford gave an excellent performance and I look forward to seeing him develop the character in the future. It is a challenge as Perrin has little dialogue and most of the acting will be visual.

The other character I want to focus on is Mat. In the books, Mat comes to be my favorite character in the series. Though, admittedly, not in the first few books. They made some interesting changes, most notably to his parents, Abell (Christopher Sciuref) and Natti (Juliet Howland). I was a little upset about this change because they did Abell dirty. In the books, he was a respectable horse trader. His role was small, but he was formidable as Tam’s sidekick later in the series. In the show, they turned him into a selfish lecher. His mother is not portrayed much better.

Despite this, I ultimately found that it was helpful in establishing Mat. Despite his love of gambling and his devil-may-care attitude, he obviously loves his sisters and will do anything for them. This adds a nobility to his character that wasn’t seen in the books until much later. With that aspect of his character settled in my mind, there was one more problem… that of the actor portraying him, Barney Harris.

Let it be said that I did love his performance as far as the attitude, the jokes, and what not. I think Harris captured the heart of Mat. The problem I had was with his voice. Harris had a kind of lazy draw when speaking that just didn’t feel right for Mat. I don’t know if I am under the influence of the knowledge that he has been replaced, or if others who have been praising his performance without complaint are under that influence. I just feel like that voice did not fit, though he nailed the other aspects of Mat. Perhaps I am just preparing myself for the new actor taking his place next season (Dónal Finn).

Special Effects / Action

Moiraine (Pike) unleashes her fury.

For the most part, the special effects were good. I loved the look of the trollocs and the fade(s). The action played out pretty good as well. Moiraine and Lan had excellent coordination during the battle and the choreography, overall, felt great. During the battle, I did notice some “glitches” in the effects that screamed CGI. But for the most part, it was forgivable as it was overall good.

OVERALL FEELING

Overall, I enjoyed the episode. I felt it hit the right beats and the changes, for the most part, are acceptable. The effects and CGI were excellent except for a few areas, especially during the battle. It set the stage for what was to come and as a book reader, I was invested to see how it would play out. The changes, though I was concerned, did not push me off too much. There are still aspects that concern me that I will get into later as they really came to light by the third episode. But I am happy with the overall direction they are going with the show and how this episode kicks it all off.

LINKS

First Thoughts

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episodes 1 – 3 – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 4 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 5 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 6 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 7 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 8 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

Deep Dives

*******

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 2 Shadow’s Waiting – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 3 A Place of Safety – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 4 The Dragon Reborn – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 5 Blood Calls Blood – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 6 The Flame of Tar Valon – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 7 The Dark Along the Ways – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 8 The Eye of the World – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episodes 1 – 3

My general thoughts and reaction to The Wheel of Time tv series on Amazon Prime

It has been a long wait. Now, like many who have been anxiously awaiting, I have the chance watch the first three episodes of The Wheel of Time. I am excited, anxious, worried, and giddy. Such a mix of emotions over a TV show. Below are my spoiler-free first takes, broken down by each episode. In depth analysis to come later. Without further ado, let’s get to it.

EPISODE 1 – LEAVETAKING

The first episode was… wow! Yes, there were a lot of changes from the books. But, I do not mind (most of) them. I am writing this having just completed the first episode and anxious to move on to the next. I am trying to put my thoughts down without giving anything away. That is a difficult task. As I said earlier, I will go in depth later this weekend. Perhaps after a couple more rewatches (and some thorough notetaking).  

Overall, I enjoyed the episode. I have heard complaints of pacing, but I thought it was fine, personally. Then again, I am a book reader, so that may affect my take on it. There were points that I was a little skeptical on, but I will have to wait and see how they develop. Still, even some of the changes that I wasn’t very happy with struck at my emotions as they played out on screen. The last 10 minutes or so had me gripped, quivering, and even cheering at certain moments.

It certainly left me wanting more. With that in mind… on to the next episode.

EPISODE 2 – SHADOW’S WAITING

Episode 2 was a great transition episode. There were some great character moments to further connect the viewer with them. I can’t go too deep into the episode without spoilers, but I can say that I was pleased. It WAS a transition episode, as I said, so there were slow moments. But that allowed us to get deeper into the characters. When the action picked up again toward the end, it had an epic payoff. If I were to rate these episodes from my first reactions, I would say that this episode was on par with the first episode (maybe an 8 out of 10) but for different reasons.

The only other thing that I will say is that I love the intro to the show. I will cover this more in my deep dive blog for the episode.

Episode 3 – A PLACE OF SAFETY

This episode was perhaps great! The gripping opening was amazing. It did slow down a bit as it approached the middle. The differences from the books were less bothersome as more elements were introduced. I was on the edge of my seat as it came to its conclusion. I will say after watching these three episodes that it is a pleasure watching the characters interact with each other. There is great chemistry between them. There are many thoughts as I digest what I just watched.

BONUS VIDEOS

Along with the released episodes, three “micro stories” were released as well through the XRAY feature on Amazon Prime. Short animations that tell further tales from the Wheel of Time. Each video is interesting as they provide short snippets of the world Robert Jordan created. Each of the three videos released so far are stories that can be found in the books or their supplements. Some may not be too keen on the animation style of each video, but they were overall enjoyable to enhance the main story.

Conclusion

Having watched all three episodes, I am over the moon with excitement. There ARE changes from the books, some of which I like, some of which I’m not too big of a fan. For the latter, I am willing to give it a shot and see how they develop it. For the most part, I am happy with what I have seen. These characters that I have followed for over a decade now are now brought to life. They feel like the characters, despite the changes to the story.

Don’t get me wrong, the story is not completely changed. It is hitting many of the same beats. And some moments were shifted or done in another way. It will be interesting to see how they develop. If there is one thing that I am sorely upset about, it is that I do not recall hearing a single WoT swear throughout all three episodes. That is a big disappointment. Maybe I just missed them in my viewing. I will have to rewatch to see if that is the case.Well, there is one other thing that could be considered a problem. I have to wait a whole week for the next episode. I am pumped to see what happens next.

LINKS

First Thoughts

***

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 4 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 5 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 6 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 7 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time First Thoughts – Episode 8 (Spoiler Free) – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

Deep Dives

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 1 Leavetaking – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 2 Shadow’s Waiting – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 3 A Place of Safety – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 4 The Dragon Reborn – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 5 Blood Calls Blood – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 6 The Flame of Tar Valon – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 7 The Dark Along the Ways – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

THE WHEEL OF TIME DEEP DIVE ep. 8 The Eye of the World – S. J.Serio (sjserio.com)

The Wheel of Time Premieres and Reactions

Unfortunately, I did not get to attend any of the premieres of The Wheel of Time. However, those that did attend have begun giving spoiler-free reactions and there is hope…

The Wheel of Time TV Series has been a long time coming. There are videos, articles and blogs around the internet that detail the journey that it has taken to get an adaptation filmed. This week, #TheWeekofWoT, the first season finally premieres. Well, the first two episodes were shown last yesterday to select audiences and the first three episodes will be available to all on Amazon Prime this Friday. The anticipation is heavy for this adaptation, especially for those of us who have been fans for the past decades since the first book in the series, The Eye of the World, was released in January of 1990.

In select cities across the globe, many gathered to partake in the first two episodes. Sadly, I as not one of them. Though saddened by this fact, I am not bitter. I am happy for those who got to attend. If anything, I am most jealous over the swag they received… but I digress. In a few days, I will be glued to the screen as I take in the episodes for myself. Perhaps it is better that way for me – to absorb it all in solitary. I am sure that I will watch the episodes again (and again) with other company around.

For the past 10 years, I have largely engrossed myself in the world BY myself. I have not had much luck in convincing my friends and family to check out the novels. 14 novels of around 800 – 1,000 words per book can be very intimidating (and that is not including the prequel novel. Some people in my life have been “forced” to listen as I played the audiobooks in my car or while washing dishes, folding laundry, or other house chores. Now, they will be able to see the world unfold on screen with me and come to understand why I love the series so much.

Again, I digress. So, the show has had its premiere on the world stage. In London, a lucky few not only got to see the first two episodes, but to hobnob with the cast and crew of the show on the blue carpet (at least, it looked blue to me, as opposed to red). Links to those videos are below (along with a slew of other videos to help pull you in if you are not already a part of the action.

Check out this awesome “billboard” in England. I wish I could’ve see this in person.

Following the premiere, a few lucky YouTubers and fans have begun to post their (spoiler-free) reactions to the first two episodes. They’ll have to wait until Friday like the rest of us plebes for the third episode… so at least we are on equal footing there. In fact, some of the gripes I have heard is that they MUST wait… they want more. That is a good sign. There were suggestions that they weren’t completely happy with every little aspect. Some questionable decisions, changes they didn’t like, etc. But they really couldn’t elaborate to prevent spoilers. Still, the general consensus was that those gripes were few and they left the screening happy.

As it stands, I will have to wait until Friday to see for myself. Still, I am encouraged by what I have seen so far. I have mentioned my thoughts here. It is good to hear that the fans of the books are excited and driven to see more. I look forward to hearing non-book fans reactions and reviews. Will this be the catalyst to bring in my family and friends into the world that will allow me to have deep discussions about the series with them? I hope so.

This bonus content available on Amazon Prime through its XRAY service looks awesome and should provide more details about the world for newcomers.

The only other thing I would have to add is the fact that I have yet to hear any WoT swears in any of the materials. Nor have I heard anybody comment as to whether it was present. For those who don’t know what I mean by that, I am referring to phrases like “blood and bloody ashes,” “Peace,” Light burn me,” and many others that are found in the book. I am really hoping that they keep those phrases and don’t resort to the f-bombs and the like used all too often in our world.

All in all, I am excited. I anxiously await this show and hope that it lives up to my expectations. I believe that it will.

Look below for many links I have compiled that cover the premiere, as well as links to trailers and previews that will give a good understanding of the world we are about to step into for hopefully years to come. It’s not comprehensive, I am sure I missed a lot of good links, and many more will likely come up in a few days, but they should be a good starting point.

Links

Kickoff

There’s a Trippy Wheel of Time Billboard in Piccadilly Circus! 😱 – YouTube – Amazon on Prime UK

BEFORE The Wheel of Time Red Carpet Premiere! Chatting Live from London! – YouTube – The Dusty Wheel

Unboxing The Wheel of Time swag bag from Amazon Prime Video – YouTube – Dragonmount

Red (Blue) Carpet

LIVE at The Wheel of Time World Premiere Red Carpet! – YouTube – The Dusty Wheel

The Wheel of Time London Red Carpet Premiere – YouTube – Dragonmount

The Wheel Of Time red carpet premier! – YouTube – Daniel Greene

HeyUGuys Premiere Cast Interviews – HeyUGuys

Rosamund Pike brings “The Wheel of Time” to TV – YouTube – Sharjah News

Reactions

The Wheel of Time (Ep. 1 & 2) REACTION – YouTube – Daniel Greene

Episode 1 and 2 Non-Spoiler Review – Wheel of Time – YouTube – Nae’blis

My Spoiler Free Reactions to Episodes 1 and 2 of The Wheel of Time! – YouTube – Unraveling the Pattern

Trailers

Amazon’s The Wheel of Time – Official Teaser Trailer (2021) Rosamund Pike – YouTube

The Wheel of Time – Official Season 1 Trailer (2021) Rosamund Pike, Daniel Henney – YouTube

The Wheel Of Time Trailer – Nynaeve and Egwene – 9th November 2021 – YouTube

The Wheel Of Time _ The Dragon Reborn Trailer (2021) – YouTube

The Wheel Of Time Trailer – Wolfbrother – 10th November 2021 – YouTube

The Wheel Of Time – Shadowspawn | Prime Video – YouTube

The Wheel Of Time – Logain | Prime Video – YouTube

The Wheel of Time – Origins | Coming to Amazon Prime Video on November 19th – YouTube

Previews

The Wheel of Time: Exclusive Trailer Breakdown with Showrunner Rafe Judkins – IGN First – YouTube

The Wheel of Time: Who Are Moiraine and Rand? – IGN First – YouTube

The Wheel of Time: Bringing the Story to Life From Book to Screen – IGN First – YouTube

The Wheel of Time: The Dragon and Dark One Explained – IGN First – YouTube

The Wheel of Time: Aes Sedai Explained – IGN First – YouTube

Daniel Henney Describes the Magic of “The Wheel of Time” Series – YouTube – Character Media

Thoughts on the Upcoming Amazon Prime show The Wheel of Time.

With Amazon’s The Wheel of Time looming so close, I analyze and share my thoughts as they stand before it premieres to the world.

As of the time I am writing this, the cast members of Amazon Prime’s The Wheel of Time as well as some key members of the fan community have begun arriving in London. Soon, they will be hobnobbing on the red carpet for the premiere of the first two episodes of the show. And just a few days later, the rest of us will be settling in around our TVs, computers, tablets, phones, and other devices and clicking that little right-pointing triangle button as we begin to take in the show that many of us have waited a long time to behold. The feeling is mind-numbing. A mix of excitement and trepidation overwhelms us as we wait for that day to come.

Red Carpet Premiere Banner with attendants
Red Carpet Premiere Banner with attendants

Over the past few weeks, there have been an onslaught of drops and releases in preparing for this moment from the show’s marketing team. It has been a lot to take in and sort through. Trailers, BTS clips, snippets, and more have all given us little glimpses at the show and what to expect. Us fans have been like the crowds outside of the chocolate factory, peering through the gates and wondering at what marvels can be found within. The marketing blitz has given us a fair taste, but like a spoiled child, we want more!

And yet it is not without a bit of hesitation as we sort through the material and info. Afterall, many of us have been embroiled in the series for a long time. For myself, I have been reading since 2007. After a brief break, I returned to it in 2008 and have been a fan since. Of course, many have been a fan much longer than me… since its inception in 1990. Because of that, we have grown attached to the characters and events and are cringing at some of the changes unfolding with the marketing releases. So, without further ado, I break down my feelings, thoughts, and analysis of what we have seen so far.

**SPOILER NOTE (This post may cover some spoilers from the books (mostly minor) and from the show (potentially major). Please proceed with caution or come back after watching the show first before reading.**

Overall, I have enjoyed the trailers and everything that I have seen. The familiar aspects have got me excited to see them on screen and the new parts (whether they are additions or changes) have me intrigued. To me, most of the cast looks wonderful in their roles. While some have complained that it is too colorful, I love the vibrancy and how the colors just pop. It makes the darker parts even more impactful through the contrast.

The Hall of the Tower with Aes Sedai from various Ajahs.
The Hall of the Tower with Aes Sedai from various Ajahs.

Another complaint that I have heard a lot was that everybody looks too clean. As if the characters, especially the villagers, should be covered in mud and feces. I think people are (one) thinking that this show is set in medieval times and (two) that because of that, they were dirty all of the time. As I have learned from watching YouTubers such as Shadiversity and Metatron, that simply was not true of people of those periods. Besides, the point is moot as the setting would be more the equivalent of an early renaissance period. Not to mention that the society was actually quite advanced in the prior age.

Watching the trailers and other materials, it is clear that there are a number of changes from the books. I’m not going to say that changes “should be expected or “are a must.” That has already been said a million times by many others covering the show. While I do agree to a certain extent, I also disagree. Regardless how I feel, most of the changes that I have seen, either from the released materials or from possible leaks, don’t really bother me. I can accept their reason for the changes and be excited for what is to come. Some changes I even love. Judging from the trailer, the White Cloaks are going to be more of a threat in the show where they were more of just an annoyance in the books. I am interested in seeing how they play out.

White Cloaks on the March
White Cloaks on the March

While I can accept most of the changes, there are a few that have my hackles up. One such change is to that of the Waygate. I must admit… I’m not a big fan. I’ll have to see how it plays out in the final show, and it is something I will just have to live with. Another change has to do with a leak that has been out for a while that looks more and more to be true. This is where the spoiler warning really comes in. If you don’t want to be spoiled, skip the next paragraph.

[Spoiler] It has been alluded to that the character of Perrin is married as the show begins and his wife dies during the attack on Winternight. Some claims even state that he is the one that kills her. I don’t think I like this change (if it is true). For one, if he is the one that kills her, what would be the reason? Does she turn out to be a dark friend? That just wouldn’t make sense to me. Was it accidental while he was fighting Trollocs? Either way, he would be dealing with some major trauma that the Perrin of the books did not have to deal with. The psychological repercussions alone would have major impact on his character development. [/Spoiler]

Whatever, the case, I suppose if it is true, it is something else I will have to live with. By and large, I am happy and excited over most of what I have seen. Once I have seen the episodes, maybe I’ll have a different perspective.

But that does bring me to the reactions from the public. So far, the countless trailer reactions both from established fans and newbies alike have been positive. That is a good thing. But as the show starts to unfold and delves deeper into the series, how will those reactions carry through? Will they remain the same or will they begin to dwindle? These are slight worries that only time will tell.

Moiraine looking regal at the White Tower
Moiraine looking regal at the White Tower

This week is going to be a rush of emotions. Within the next 48 hours we will start getting reactions from those at the premiere in London as well as those that were lucky enough to score tickets to the Monday night premiers in select cities across the United States and elsewhere. Unfortunately, I was not one of them. By the time I signed up at the closest to me (Silver Spring, MD), it was already filled up. I’ll just have to wait a few more days with everybody else.

In the end, my trepidations and worries are few. I am mostly content with what I have seen so far and excited to see it play out. I know there is MUCH more that we haven’t seen yet. I even inquired about a tweet that the show guru, Sarah Nakamura, tweeted out back fore the age of madness where she teased us about what she was looking at. She replied that she still couldn’t answer that question and to come back in a few weeks.

In any case, the clock is ticking. This weekend, I half expect social media to be abuzz as people swarm it with thoughts and impressions of the show. I plan on being one of those. Shortly after watching the first three episodes, I will publish a general review and reaction of all three episodes (mostly spoiler-free). Then by the end of the weekend, I plan on having much more thorough (and spoiler-filled) analysis of each episode. It’s going to be a wild ride from here to December.

Links

Shadiversity – YouTube

Metatron – YouTube

My Newborn / The Wheel of Time / My Book Status

It’s been a while… here is an update on what’s going on with me.

Life has been busy. It has been over a month since my last post. Since then, I have been spending time with my family (especially my newborn and older daughter), working on getting my novella ready for publishing, and being overwhelmed with excitement for the upcoming The Wheel of Time TV series, as well as the Ghostbusters: Afterlife movie premiering the same day. So, without further ado, let’s dive into it…

MY NEWBORN

My youngest daughter Sophia Marie

It has been a little over a month since my second daughter was born, and we brought her home from the NICU. While it is a wonderful event, I have to say… It has been an adjustment. Afterall, it has been 6 years since the last time we had a newborn in the house. She has been adjusting well, despite developing a little cold a couple weeks ago. Her sister, Savannah, adores her. Still, it has clearly been an adjustment for her as well dealing with a crying baby all the time. We have been doing our best to check in on her feelings and to ensure her that we love her too, despite all the attention baby Sophia is getting. That has been the greatest challenge, perhaps. But I feel that things should be settling down by the holidays as Sophia begins to get more control and moves out of the newborn stage.

My daughters… Savannah and Sophia

THE WHEEL OF TIME

Another excitement that has been sweeping over me. The onslaught of marketing for Amazon’s The Wheel of Time has been making me giddy. The trailers, clips, posters, spotlights, and more that has been pouring out is a constant reminder that the days are ticking closer until the release. When news that they were hosting premiers on the 15th in select theaters around the states, I took a shot at the closest to me… Silver Spring, MD. Alas, I was too late as the registry was already filled by the time I got signed in (about a half hour after the announcement).

So, I suppose Monday evening, I will be following Dragonmount, The Dusty Wheel, Daniel Greene, and the other lucky content creators who are heading to London for the world premiere. Still, with just more than a week away until the official release, I will be checking in as soon as I am able to. I do plan to do a review of sorts here on my blog. I haven’t decided whether I will do one entry per episode (there are three episodes dropping on the 19th) or react to all of them. Whatever the case, I will likely record my thoughts after each episode and before starting the next one. Maybe I’ll do a spoiler-free look at all three with a spoiler free deep dive into each episode (perhaps released a day or so later).

Red Carpet Coverage for The Wheel of Time Premiere

Also, look for a review of Ghostbusters: Afterlife that weekend too. I am planning on taking my daughter on Friday. I have been very excited to see this movie and I am hyped by the reception that it has already received. I also feel that it might help Savannah feel a bit special to have a daddy/daughter date after she gets out of school that day.

MY BOOK STATUS

And finally, the status of my book is that it is coming along. It has been in a “beta-read” status since I completed the first draft at the end of August. I have made several revisions already thanks to the feedback that I have received from several beta readers including Glenda C, Robbie Seal, Robert Young, Norma Garcia, and Shannon Casey. They have provided a lot of great feedback regarding the grammar, structure, and content of the book. I have also been pleased by the responses, so far, to the story itself.

I was planning on ending the beta stage at the end of October. However, I am extending it as I go through the story for continuity. I have been working these past couple of weeks (and I am still in the process) of extracting information from the book for my worldbuilding “bible.” For this, I am utilizing several programs and outlets, including MS Excel (for quick lists), Campfire Write (formerly Campfire Blaze), and World Anvil. I am also looking into a couple other tools. Look for reviews on how these tools work for me as I hope to do a worldbuilder feature blog soon.

Other aspects of the book are still a work in progress. I have reached out to an artist for the cover art, though I know she has a lot on her plate at this time. Also, the business aspect of founding a publishing company is in the works and I hope to have the foundations laid out by sometime in January. With all of that, I anticipate (and plan for) officially releasing my novella in early Spring. Look for more details of it after the New Year. I would like to do a cover reveal, preorder, and at least a sample chapter.

It has been a busy month and the months ahead are loaded with trials and challenges. But I look forward to them all. Happy Veterans Day to all my fellow veterans.

Links

Watch The Wheel Of Time – Season 1 | Prime Video (amazon.com)

News – Dragonmount.com

The Dusty Wheel – YouTube

Daniel Greene – YouTube

Ghostbusters: Afterlife | Official Website | Sony Pictures

BetaBooks: Reader management software for authors. | BetaBooks

Campfire – Tell Your Story (campfirewriting.com)

World Anvil Worldbuilding tools & RPG Campaign Manager | World Anvil

The Wheel of Time Trailer

The 1st trailer Amazon Prime’s The Wheel of Time has been released and I am over the moon! Having watched it numerous times, here is my take on what was shown…

I was supposed to write a blog entry a couple days ago. That entry was to be about the fact that I finished writing the first draft of my novella. The last couple of days, however, my brain has been in a bit of a “reboot.” Now that it is getting back to a “ready status,” I must hold off on that entry as something big has dropped that I need to talk about. Yes, Amazon Prime has dropped (what they call) the teaser trailer for their The Wheel of Time adaptation.

For anybody who has been following my blog, I have been anxiously awaiting this first glimpse of the show. Having started my journey in this series back in 2007, it has been a long wait. For many who have been following from the beginning, it has been about 30 years since the first book was published. After watching many other fantasy adaptations come to life (for good or for ill), this trailer is the stamp of reality that it is happening. As an expecting father, I can relate it to the third trimester sonogram when the feeling actually hits that this is happening, and it is happening soon!

Diving into the trailer…. It opens with the characters of Egwene (Madeleine Madden and Nynaeve (Zoë Robins) standing on a cliff before Egwene is shoved off into the water below. From there, we hear Rosamund Pike (who plays the Aes Sedai, Moiraine) begins reciting the first line from the opening paragraph of the book as the trailer goes on showing shots of various characters, scenes, effects, and other surprises. From glimpses of the trio of Rand (Josha Stradowski – First name pronounced ‘yo-sha’), Perrin (Marcus Rutherford), and Mat (Barney Harris) to the epic Lan (Daniel Henney) kicking shadowspawn butt, every cut, every scene had me glued. I’m not going to recap the whole trailer, that would take a while. I was certainly pulled into the trailer as it carried on, trying to take in every scene and every word.

I watched it many times already. I have reveled with other fans on social media including Facebook groups and #TwitterOfTime. Needless to say (but I will anyway), I am excited! My reactions were of awe and wonderment as my eyes searched out every detail. By and large, I think it is safe to say that (initial reactions at least) the majority of the fanbase is as over the moon as I am. There have been a few that have been nitpicking some details like some of the CGI effects and the rich color palette used (I, for one, love the color palette). But overall, I am satisfied, and November 19th can’t get here soon enough.

Shortly after the trailer posted, Showrunner Rafe Judkins and Rosamund Pike took to social media to answer questions. It was wonderful to see Rosamund join in the Q&A festivities. When asked what part in the trailer are they most excited for us to see in full, Rafe answered “Winternight” and Rosamund answered Shadar Logoth. In another question, Rosamund answered what drew her to the role of Moiraine. Her answer was that it was how the women “harness the elements of the universe to unleash incredible power. For more of the Q&A you can check out this thread on twitter here: Rafe/Rosamund Q&A

While the pair answered many questions regarding the show, there were a few questions that I know that did not answer. Of course, they weren’t going to answer any questions that gave anything away. The question that I submitted appears to have been glossed over (even though I know I wasn’t the only one to ask it). That question is regarding the unique “profanity” used in the books. For those that don’t know, these are expletives that are commonly used throughout the series by characters much like our own swear words. Things like “blood and ashes,” “flaming,” fish guts,” and “mother’s milk in a cup!” They add a certain character to the series, and I worry that the show will be lacking these terms.

What else has me worried is regarding the plot. It was clear from the trailer that many scenes have been changed from the source material. It has long been expected that there would be changes from the books. There are certainly scenes in the trailer (like the opening scene with Egwene and Nynaeve) that were added to the show. Perhaps the most concerning aspect is how this will affect the story going forward? Many elements from later seasons could be greatly affected by the events changed for the first season. Because of that, epic moments from the books could very well be cut, and that is a great concern. However, I am refraining from judging too much until I see season one for myself. Until then, I will trust in Rafe Judkins, book consultant Sarah Nakamura, their team and crew, and the blessings of Harriet McDougal (Robert Jordan’s widow) and the rest of team Jordan who were consulted.

Regardless, the trailer has certainly whetted my appetite for the series. It is, perhaps, the second biggest thing I am looking forward to this year (after the birth of my daughter Sophia a month before its premier). The more I see it, the more I love the colors of the different Aes Sedai (pr. eyes said-eye – the female magic users of the world) ajahs (pr. ah-jah) the different sects of said Aes Sedai).

The long wait is almost over. It is a sure bet that in a couple of months, my eyes will be feasting upon every beam of light emitted as this series plays out on my TV screen. With trollocs and half-men aplenty, battles and magical weaves galore (sorry, I couldn’t resist it) … I am ready to take on another turning of the wheel.

For further reviews, reactions, and info, check out the links below. Just beware… there may be spoilers!

LINKS

(1631) The Wheel Of Time – Official Teaser Trailer | Prime Video – YouTube

The Wheel Of Time on Twitter: “Rosamund Pike and @RafeJudkins answer your questions about #TheWheelOfTime!” / Twitter

Daniel Greene – Wheel Of Time Trailer Breakdown! – YouTube

The Dusty Wheel – Wheel of Time Trailer LIVE COVERAGE! #TrailerGaidon – YouTube

WOT UP – Wheel of Time Trailer Breakdown! – YouTube