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The Wheel of Time Season 2 is just a short way away, premiering on September 1 — and its recent trailer shows the season will likely be even more epic than the first. Based on Robert Jordan‘s 15-book series (yes, 15, including the prequel), Season 2 picks up with our beloved characters scattered about the world. We know from showrunner Rafe Judkins that this season will be an adaptation of the second book, The Great Hunt, as well as drawing elements from the third entry The Dragon Reborn — but before we pick up with this season’s continuing adventures, where did we leave off at the end of Season 1, and what are those unfinished threads leading up toward now?
Moiraine Is Cut Off From Her Power in the Season 1 Finale
There’s no denying that Rosamund Pike‘s Moiraine is a big pull for the show’s audience. Moiraine is the character who jump-starts the series, dragging our five protagonists away from home in order to save the world. After Rand (Josha Stradowski) confesses to being the Dragon Reborn, they walk off into the blight to find the Eye of the World where they think the Dark One’s (Fares Fares) prison is. During the encounter with who they think is the Dark One, Moiraine tries to use the One Power against him — only he gets to her first, cutting her off from the Source, so she cannot touch it. After the battle, she is left in this state. While the show leaves it an open-ended question whether she was stilled completely or simply shielded, Moiraine can no longer touch the Source and cannot wield the One Power. She does not even have her Warder bond with Lan (Daniel Henney) anymore. In Moiraine’s final scene, Lan finds her unable to unmask their bond, and she realizes that they might have not defeated the Dark One, but set him (or possibly even someone else) free. This will be new territory for the story to keep things new for fans, as this plot point does not happen in the books, giving Moiraine a larger part to play in this section of the story.
What Happens to the Group From Emond’s Field?
Unfortunately for the rest of our protagonists, most of them are left amid terrible situations. After Moiraine and Rand leave them behind in the city of Fal Dara, Egwene (Madeleine Madden) and Nynaeve (Zoë Robins) are recruited to be the last defense to defend the city with several other women who can channel. Lady Amalisa (Sandra Yi Sencindiver) leads the circle of women — but after they successfully hold back the army of Fades and Trollocs, Lady Amalisa fails to release her control. Drunk on the ecstasy of the One Power, she burns out, taking nearly everyone with her. Nynaeve, in an effort to save Egwene, takes most of it and seemingly burns out too. In their final scene, Egwene is seen using weaves to heal her. It nearly looks like Egwene brings Nynaeve back from the dead, rather than simply healing bad wounds, and given there are no resurrections like that in the books, it may indicate a new direction for the series.
Perrin (Marcus Rutherford), along with Loial (Hammed Animashaun) and a few soldiers, unearth the Horn of Valere — an artifact that can call back great heroes of the Pattern to fight for the side of the light. The group is ambushed by Fades led by Padan Fain (Johann Myers), the peddler you may remember from Episode 1 (he also makes background appearances across the season as he follows our main cast), revealing him to be a Darkfriend! He steals the Horn, leaving Perrin to watch as he escapes with it and Mat’s (Barney Harris) cursed dagger. The soldiers are possibly killed, and Loial is stabbed. What will become of our friend who is trying to adhere to the Way of the Leaf, but may not have a choice of fighting in the future?
Mat, on the other hand, is a different story. There is much less we know about what’s happening to him ahead of Season 1. Due to both Harris leaving and complications due to the height of the COVID pandemic, Mat’s role is severely cut down in the final episodes. In the book, he follows his friends through the Ways to Fal Dara. In the show, we see him stay back as the Waygate closes, leaving him near the city of Tar Valon. In the final episode before the cliffhanger, we see him shuffling into the city, seemingly going back to The White Tower. Remember: Moiraine sent word for the Red Sisters to find him. Mat has been recast for Season 2, and will now be portrayed by Dónal Finn.
The Dragon Reborn himself, Rand al’Thor, is off on his own now. After his terrifying psychological battle with who he thought was the Dark One, he feels what all men who can channel will feel: madness. Earlier this season, we see what could be his future in the false Dragon Logain Ablar (Álvaro Morte), who attacks the Aes Sedai and is subsequently gentled by Liandrin (Kate Fleetwood), cutting him off from the One Power. One day Rand will go mad, and he will become a danger to those he loves. Fearing this, he leaves Moiraine at the Eye of the World, telling her to tell his friends that he died there. He walks off into the Blight, taking on his burden alone.
A New Threat Lurks on the Horizon
That’s not all: there is a new evil force arriving. Far on the Western shore, a fleet of threatening ships invades, spotted by a little girl on the beach. Ranks of channelers, with golden collars and gags, are forced to weave threads of the One Power to create a tsunami. It barrels to the coastline, leaving the girl unable to flee from the devastation. The show cuts to its credits here, leaving us on a cliffhanger to see what else these invaders will do. They are the Seanchan, an imperial force wanting to retake their ancestor’s land, but they bring the most human kind of terror to the continent that our protagonists will have to face.
The Wheel of Time Season 2 is less than a week away, and will likely not be going anywhere anytime soon. Showrunner Rafe Judkins has shared that his plan for the show is at least eight seasons, similar to that of Game of Thrones, though this series of course has a definitive ending, so that is nothing to worry about. The Wheel of Time has already been renewed and has filmed some of Season 3. Before The Rings of Power, The Wheel of Time broke Prime Video’s records by becoming its most streamed series on the platform. If the trend continues, it looks like we may have another long-running epic and lavish fantasy series on our hands.
Season 1 of The Wheel of Time is currently streaming on Prime Video, with Season 2 set to premiere on September 1. (Fun fact: watch the end of Season 1 to get a special sneak peek at Season 2!)