The Wheel of Time turns, and ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again. In one Age, called the Third Age by some, an Age yet to come, an Age long past, a wind rose in the Mountains of Mist. The wind was not the beginning. There are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the Wheel of time. But it was a beginning.
The Wheel of Time: Season 1 had a lot of potential… and also a lot of issues. Especially when it came to the last couple episodes. COVID, sure. A main actor leaving, I get it. But it’s still a rough ending.
So it was with cautious optimism, we approached Season 2.
It’s very much a new turning of the wheel. Some things they changed really do work well. It’s not the books, but it’s a new story in the same world. Some… less so. But not everything is perfect.
Things I loved:
The casting. Ishamael was great in Season 1 and even better in Season 2. Lanfear is a great counter to him. Aviendha and Elayne fit really well.
It bears repeating: Ishamael and Lanfear are great. Leaning a bit more into terrifying even than the books, which quite frankly they needed. I can’t wait to see (and hope they don’t screw up…) the rest.
Almost everything about the Seanchan. They feel ‘off’ in just the right way. The one exception… the Damane pacifiers. I really don’t get that at all.
Liandrin. She’s still terrible, but I really like how they turned up the reason why she is as she is. And she’s quite the actor to pull it off.
Things that I did not:
- The ending. Check out the individual review for more details, but … this wasn’t any better than the previous season. And they don’t even have unexpected troubles to deal with. I’m starting to feel they really just don’t know how to write endings… which is weird.
Anyways, other than a few things, I quite enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to Season 3. Onward!
Mini-reviews of individual episodes (spoilers):
1. A Taste of Solitude
The Forsaken are monsters! Or are they?
Moiraine is depressed. Legit.
Egwene and Nynaeve are … cleaning.
Nynaeve: No one should have that much power. Alanna: You can either embrace what you are. Or fear it.
Elyas is the guide for Perrin instead of Hurin. That works out well enough.
Liandrin… is a force of nature. She’s so wonderfully cast.
It’s odd how slow some things felt, but I think I like it.
Side note: Thomas has some major Qui Gon Jin vibes going on. The hair and the voice.
2. Strangers and Friends
Well that’s most certainly an opening. Rand having quite the dreams and waking to Selene. Oy.
Perrin, on the trail of Fain. Adequately creepy.
Liandrin taking Nynaeve to a heaping to recruit her? Interesting. She’s still quite the casting. Doubly so given the reason…
Meeting Elayne! Oh she’s a Daughter-Heir all right.
And the Seanchan. That’s quite the entrance.
3. What Might Be
The way back will come but once…
Powerful. And that last arch … Sneaky. I even mostly remember that scene from the books.
Seanchan… still intense. Not really sure about that the a’dam, or whatever that is in their mouths… Uno was quite the thing though.
Mat and Min. Rather a new plot. I’m cautiously optimistic!
4. Daughter of the Night
Family issues. So weird being the younger older sister.
Perrin beginning to learn! A touch different. It works.
Lan’s without his bond a bit early. Makes me wonder how many seasons they’re aiming for.
Rand and Selene… For a bit there, I wondered. Is … she not the Selene of the books?! That would be quite the thing to change.
With the possible exception of the a’dam pacifiers, I’m really loving the Seanchan. The audio in their scenes is delightfully creepy as well.
Lanfear is rightfully terrifying. And the (unexplained) use of the True Power? Nice.
Perrin, the return of Valda, and the introduction of Bornhald. Valda is so well cast. Bumping up Aviendha to take Gaul’s place as captured Aiel? It works. Interesting to see her sooner.
Liandrin. (Now obviously) Black and showing the human side of turning to the dark. Also wonderfully cast.
Moiraine and her sister. Completely new. And I love it as well.
Is it true? Does Rand really need your protection?
6. Eyes Without Pity
Liandrin. Stuck between Forsaken.
Egwene. Reena. Damane training.
Lanfear showing Rand Egwene.
I’ll do anything.
Oh this season is good.
7. Daes Dae’Mar
Everyone making it to Falme, one at a time.
The Damane pacifiers remain … an interesting choice.
Mat going on a memory quest was an interesting change. Ishamael sending on his way. Why?
Rand captured. A bit early and a bit odd. But he’s barely trained. So it’s feasible.
Still enjoying Aviendha and Perrin. It’s an interesting dynamic.Moiraine working together with Lanfear, even for a short period... Oh that's a twist.
8. What Was Meant to Be
And so it ends.
Mat got sneaky.
Egwene got dark.
Lanfear is on her own side.
The Horn looks… kind of bad. Yay the Heroes. But… that’s all they did? Uno should not have been there.
Ingtar got dead. That was not worth it.
Also… how could Moiraine kill the Seanchan she did. I suppose her life was threatened? Seems weak.
Rand Indiana Jones’ing Turak ? I like it. He hasn’t the training otherwise (yet). It works.
And the final confrontation just. Doesn’t. Make. Sense. Ishamael somehow can't overcome Egwene or... attack from behind? Everyone shows up and Perrin just hangs out holding a shield for reasons. And Rand... walks forward? That's... it? Plus the giant fire dragon of Moiraine's just doesn't make sense. Sigh.
Moghedien was awesome though.
I really liked the season, but once again, the ending was weak.