Review: ‘The Wheel of Time’ Episode 5 “Blood Calls Blood”

The fifth episode of The Wheel of Time, “Blood Calls Blood,” perfectly pays off last week’s somewhat underwhelming subplot for Egwene (Madeleine Madden) and Perrin (Marcus Rutherford) as the Tinkers face-off against the White Cloaks fairly early on in the episode, placing the pair into the path of certain danger. The bulk of this episode is actually dedicated to their storyline and the plot that is developing there. What is revealed not only has an impact on their individual futures, but for the future of their entire group of friends from the Two Rivers. As it turns out, while one of them may be the Dragon Reborn, they each harbor their own special abilities and I look forward to seeing how they grow and develop these threads as the story progresses. I don’t want to spoil too much, especially since these revelations are just the tip of the iceberg.

Wheel of Time Episode 5 Blood Calls Blood
Courtesy of Amazon Studios

Following the attack of the False Dragon’s followers in the previous episode, the Aes Sedai bury their dead, including Kerene Nagashi (Clare Perkins) which allows The Wheel of Time to really flesh out and deepen the human connections within this intricate web of worldbuilding. Early on it was established that the Aes Sedai and their Warders share a deep bond—like Moiraine (Rosamund Pike) and Lan (Daniel Henney)—but now audiences get the opportunity to see the depths of these bonds.

Kerene’s Warder Stepen (Peter Franzén) was first introduced in episode four, and served as a rather jovial counterpoint to Lan’s more stoic personality. He bonded with Nynaeve (Zoë Robins) around the Warder’s fire, caught up with his old friend Lan, and seemed to be in the best of spirits, right up until the tragic loss of Kerene. Now, with that bond effectively severed between the two, Stepen is very visibly drifting unmoored. Even his friendship with Lan, who does his utmost best to be there for his friend in extremely unprecedented times, is not enough to soothe the ache of Kerene’s death. Peter Franzén’s performance is utterly gutwrenching and refreshingly human for a realm that is so much larger than life. But his grief and heartache are easily overshadowed by Daniel Henney’s performance in the final act of the episode.

I have watched the episode three times now and I cannot get over just how guttural and agonizing Henney’s performance is and how dedicated he is to rendering every last soul-crushing emotion out of the audience. Both Franzen and Henney deserve a round of applause for bringing so much heart and anguish to characters that are still so newly introduced to audiences.

Wheel of Time Episode 5
Courtesy of Amazon Studios

Not to be forgotten, Rand (Josha Stradowski) and Mat (Barney Harris) arrive at the White Tower and are reunited with Nyaneve, who, up until this point, they believed had died in the Trolloc attack in Two Rivers. Nynaeve tries to offer some advice and comfort to Mat’s rapidly deteriorating health and mental state, but the outlook seems rather bleak. When they arrived in the city, the pair met Loial (Hammed Animashaun), an Ogier with a rather impressive library collection. Having not read the books, I know next to nothing about this character, but it seems The Wheel of Time fans are rather excited about his arrival! With Mat, Rand, and Nynaeve reuniting in the city, it is only a matter of time before Egwene and Perrin escape from their present situation and make their way to find them there.

The Wheel of Time keeps turning and with each new episode, it spins us further and further into this world full of compelling characters, heartwrenching storylines, and a delightful sense of anticipation for what’s to come.

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Maggie Lovitt is an editor and writer at Wealth of Geeks where she covers her favorite topics: Star Wars and pop culture nerdery. She is also a freelance writer and News Editor at Collider. She has had bylines at Inverse, Polygon, and Dorkside of the Force. She is also a member of the Hollywood Critics Association.

When she is not covering entertainment news, she can be found on one of her numerous podcasts or on her YouTube channel. In her free time, she is also a novelist, screenwriter, actor, and member of the Screen Actors Guild.