The Wheel of Time (Season 2), Episodes 1, 2, 3: The Wheel of Time series, by author Robert Jordan, was always going to be a tough nut to crack regarding a screen adaptation. High fantasy novels, with their separate appendices, are detailed to a T. The Wheel of Time series has 14 volumes in the main arc, with the final three volumes being written by another high fantasy writer, Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn) due to Robert Jordan’s demise in 2007. Amazon’s attempt to adapt such exhaustive content resulted in the eight-episode first season of The Wheel of Time, with Rafe Judkins acting as the showrunner. 

The attempt succeeded in converting trepidation into rapid engagement. A diverse cast led by Rosamund Pike, impeccable production value, great magical action pieces, and exciting turns of events in each episode made the first season thoroughly riveting for viewers. Even for those who might be wanting in patience and desire to go through the nomenclature that this kind of fantasy series demands you to go through. For the more engaging audience, Prime Video has the ‘general trivia’ section popping up whenever a jargon or a specific event is mentioned for the first time, thus making the experience quite rewarding. 

The second season starts unhurriedly after the events of season one. The first season mostly had all the main characters in one singular arc, apart from a brief moment where the team was separated into three factions. This season, however, has every single individual having a separate adventure on their own. The first three premiere episodes concentrate on establishing them in their new roles, in their respective environment. Some of these separate arcs might appear more engaging than others. But, all of them fulfill the purpose of welcoming the beloved characters back, even with a recasting. 

The Wheel of Time (Season 2), Episodes 1, 2, 3 Recap:

The Wheel of Time (Season 1) Ending:

The first season ended with Rand al’Thor (Josha Stradowski) discovering, and thus confirming to Moiraine (Rosamund Pike), that he was the Dragon Reborn. The prophesied mighty channeler of One Power (the magical power source in this world), who could defeat the Dark One. Or join the Dark One to end the world. Rand and Moiraine tried to defeat the Dark One at its source, the Eye. Instead, they released one of his lieutenants, Ishamael (Fares Fares). Moiraine lost her power to channel the One Power. Rand left for nowhere, asking Moiraine to tell others that he had died. 

On the other hand, when Fal Dara was attacked, Perrin (Marcus Rutherford), and Loial (Hammed Animashaun) joined Fal Dara’s trusted warriors in retrieving the “Horn of Valere.” They were interrupted and grievously injured by a couple of Fades, accompanied by Padan Fain (Johann Myers), who is revealed to be a Darkfriend (Dark One’s Warriors). The women, Egwene (Madeleine Madden) and Nynaeve (Zoe Robins) helped Fal Dara’s channelers in stopping the Trolloc army. 

Moiraine and Lan Separate

After losing her powers, Moiraine struggles to live the life of a non-channeler. She, along with her loyal Warder, Lan (Daniel Henney), takes residence in the house of fellow Aes Sedai, Verin, and Adeleas, who are semi-retired. It becomes apparent that the relationship between Moiraine and Lan has become frosty. Moiraine had disconnected the bond, which allows the Warder to feel exactly what the Aes Sedai feels. Thus affronting Lan, who seems to be getting no response from Moiraine. 

When Moiraine learns about a broken Heartstone from a seller, she gets intrigued. She buys the poem that came with the Heartstone. On that night, Moiraine tries to leave undetected and alone. But a couple of Fades cross her path and she immediately falls in danger of losing her life, without her One Power. Lan makes the necessary intervention, but he also gets outnumbered by the Fades. Had it not for the timely arrival of Aes Sedai Verin and Adeleas, both Moiraine and Lan would have been dead. 

Despite the attempts from their hosts, Moiraine and Lan seem to be at loggerheads. Eventually, Moiraine asks Lan to leave for the White Tower, for which she has already made arrangements. She tells him she wants to do her task alone now. The distraught Lan leaves.

Egwene and Nynaeve’s Progress

Egwene and Nynaeve have come to the White Tower to train to become Aes Sedai themselves. Egwene is earnest, but not making the impression she wants to. While Nynaeve is always considered to be the most important channeler of this generation, even when she does not try. Disappointed with Nynaeve’s half-hearted attempts, Red Ajah leader, Aes Sedai Liandrin (Kate Fleetwood) convinces the Aes Sedai in charge of novices to take Nynaeve’s test to be accepted as Aes Sedai earlier than intended. In that way, Liandrin would be able to directly train Nynaeve, as she cannot train novices. 

The test involved Nynaeve going through three magical arches. The experience is said to be traumatic of various ranges, and many who attempted could not get out of it. Meanwhile, Egwene makes friends with a new novice. Elayne (Ceara Coveney) is the daughter-heir of Andor, one of the wealthiest nations. 

Rand Meets an Old Foe

Rand is shown to be staying in the Foregate, the poorest part of the city of Cairhien. He is in a relationship with local innkeeper, Selene (Natasha O’Keeffe). When not struggling with his own Dragon-Reborn power, he works in the local institute where mentally unstable men are treated. In that place, Rand finally sees the person whom he desperately wants to meet. For whom he has taken this journey to Foregate. Logain Ablar (Alvaro Morte), the False Dragon. Logain was gentled (removed from his connection with One Power) by the Aes Sedai in the last season. False Dragon he may be, but Logain still showed immense power. Rand proposes to Logain if he could help him control the power. To that, Logain says as he laughs that a male channeler cannot control it. Rand would just have to embrace it.

Mat’s Imprisonment

Moiraine, in the last season, alerted the Red Ajah about Mat Cauthon (Donal Finn replacing Barney Harris). Mat showed a hint of affiliation towards the “Shadows” (Dark One’s Side) side when he possessed an evil dagger, which, in turn, possessed him. Liandrin kept Mat imprisoned while occasionally bringing novelty food items for him. 

Mat, while trying to escape, befriends Min, who is staying in the cell beside him. Min, if you remember from the last season, could see visions when she looks at someone. Visions that tell her what is going to happen to that person, at any time in the future. Mat’s imprisonment ends when Liandrin allows him to leave, saying that he is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. Mat, who thought of paying a visit to Egwene, chooses to leave the city. He is accompanied by Min. However, we see that Liandrin does not think Mat to be irrelevant at all, as Min’s involvement in Mat’s adventure is a clear ploy by her. 

The Wheel of Time Season 2 Madeleine Madden (Egwene al’Vere), Zoë Robins (Nynaeve al’Meara), Ceara Coveney (Elayne Trakand)
CR: Jan Thijs/Prime Video

Perrin’s Encounter with Seanchan Invasion

Perrin, who is traveling with Fal Dara warriors and Loial, continues to explore his wolf connection. The group tries to hunt down Padan Fain and retrieve the Horn of Valere. They, however, quickly encounter deathly dangers as they get right into the middle of the Seanchan invasion, which was teased in the final moments of the last season. The Seanchan warriors, and their channelers, overpower the villagers and Perrin’s gang. With one display of brutality, all of the hostages, a reluctant Perrin included, kneel in front of Lady Suroth of the Seanchan empire. 

When the Seanchan party is taking the hostages, Perrin’s friends from the first season appear the wolves. With the help of them, Perrin makes an escape. 

The Wheel of Time (Season 2), Episode 3 Ending Explained:

How Did Nynaeve Get the Second Gate to Leave the Test?

Nynaeve’s test with the arches begins quite smoothly. Despite some hiccups, Nynaeve successfully completes the two arches. The third and final arch, however, completely throws her off. In the third test, Nynaeve does not see the gate but gets lurched outside of the arch, into the testing room. In front of Liandrin and others. Nynaeve, and we the audience, get fooled into thinking that the test ended there where in fact, she was still inside the arch-world. She thinks of the arch-world reality as the real one, and she refuses to be accepted as an Aes Sedai because the test made her feel that she had killed Lan in order to pass it. 

She leaves the White Tower and is surprised to see Lan coming (which was possible as Moiraine sends him to the White Tower). Nynaeve is elated to see him and embraces him, and at that exact time, the actual gate appears. But Nynaeve does not notice it properly as she fully believes that the test was done. 

Years pass in that arch-world. Or so it seems. We see Nynaeve happily married to Lan. They have a daughter, often visited by Perrin and Mat. Egwene is an Aes Sedai. This third arch test does not put Nynaeve in any traumatic experience. It puts her in her utopia, in a world she gets everything she ever wanted. Except that, Trollocs invade this world as well. She sees everyone she loves die. These deaths, with the urge to protect her daughter, trigger her to release the One Power. 

We have to remember that it was told One Power is not available inside the arch. However, Nynaeve seems to be channeling that inside the arch. It appears that if the trigger is enough, Nynaeve can channel One Power anywhere. This is not surprising as Nynaeve once did the exact same thing to heal Lan, Moiraine, Liandrin, and everyone else during the fight with the False Dragon, Logain. This use of One Power seems to open up the second gate from the arch. As Nynaeve walks through that, apparently with her daughter, she lurches forward in the room where the test has started. Right into Egwene, who was refusing to believe that Nynaeve is dead. 

Why Did Moiraine Ask Lan to Leave?

It is quite clear that Moiraine does not ‘not care’ for Lan. When she says that she never saw him as her equal, that was probably her way of hiding the truth. Probably Moiraine puts Lan’s well-being a higher priority than her own. With Moiraine’s power being gone, it is not only dangerous for her, but for Lan as well. Moiraine protects Lan as he protects her. Her inability to do so makes her worry for Lan. 

Also, it is likely Moiraine wanted Lan to reconnect with Nynaeve. Moiraine is aware of Lan’s feelings towards Nynaeve. But Lan and Nynaeve cannot be together as long as Lan is Moiraine’s warder. That could play a role in Moiraine being so rude to Lan. In order to drive him away from her employment. 

Who Are the Seanchan Rulers?

The imperialistic brutality shown by Seanchan’s contingency would be one of the most violent moments of this season. It strongly pits the Seanchan empire, and their leader Lady Suroth, as one of the most important villains of the season. The Seanchan Empire seems to have an agenda against Aes Sedai, and any woman who can channel. They are the representation of an authoritative regime. 

The Seanchan Empire comes from the province of Seanchan, an overseas nation. They invaded the Westlands, believing that the territory rightfully belonged to them. The brutality in the village is just a glimpse of what they can do. And it seems they have Darkfriends by their side as we see Ishamael sitting by the side of Lady Suroth. Seanchan empire believes in enslaving the channelers of One Power so that they cannot use the power unchecked. The gag and collar in the Seanchan channelers, known as Damane, are tools that allow the authorities to control them. 

As the Damanes pick the women who can channel one by one, the Aes Sedai of the Westlands world are in for a great battle. 

Read More: The Wheel Of Time (Season 1): ‘Prime Video’ Review – Rosamund Pike And Álvaro Morte Cannot Salvage This Lullaby Of A Show

The Wheel of Time (Season 2), Episodes 1, 2, 3 Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes
The Wheel of Time (Season 2), Episodes 1, 2, 3 Cast: Rosamund Pike, Daniel Henney, Madeleine Madden
Where to watch The Wheel of Time

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