The season finale of The Wheel of Time has arrived with a journey to “The Eye of the World” as Rand (Josha Stradowski) and Moiraine (Rosamund Pike) make their way through the Blight to stop the world from ending. In Fal Dara, things are growing tedious as an army of Trollocs led by a Shadowspawn mount an attack against the city, leaving Rand (Marcus Rutherford), Egwene (Madeleine Madden), and Nynaeve (Zoë Robins) to help hold the defensive line.
The episode opens on a flashback, similar to the penultimate episode’s cold open, but this time over 3000 years before the present storyline. Laura Posae Decume (Katie Brayben) argues with Lews Therin Telamon (Alexander Karim), the Dragon Reborn, about how to handle the Dark One—setting the scene for what Rand is about to face at the Eye of the World.
When Moiraine and Rand finally reach the Eye of the World, they are met by the Dark One who tempts Rand with the power he could have as the Dragon Reborn. He slips into a dreamlike state where his deepest wishes are on display: a quiet life in the country with Egwene, and a baby. The vision looks vaguely similar, like the one Min (Kae Alexander) saw for him in the previous episode, which begs the question if—at that time—Min saw Rand giving into the Dark One’s temptations and creating a perfect life for himself.
Rand ultimately chooses to fight against the Dark One, unwilling to force anyone, especially Egwene, into a life that she likely wouldn’t choose for herself. With the Dark One dispatched, Rand makes the decision to let his friends believe he died because he felt the madness that comes from touching the One Power.
Before Lan (Daniel Henney) departs Fal Dara, in search of Moiraine, Nynaeve offers him advice on how to find Moiraine, and the pair share a tender moment. Warders are bound to their Aes Sedai and Wisdoms never wed. As they depart, Lan delivers one of the most romantic lines of 2021, telling Nynaeve, “I will hate the man you choose because he is not me, and love him if he makes you smile.” The kiss may have been swoon-worthy last week, but this line delivery absolutely destroyed me. Without a doubt, Lan and Nynaeve have been two of the most interesting characters of the season—offering unique experiences within the realm of The Wheel of Time, while also exploring a beautiful little romance.
While Perrin and Loial help inside, Egwene and Nynaeve join Lady Amalisa outside the walls of Fal Dara to fend off the approaching Trollocs. Amalisa uses them, and two other women who can touch the One Power, to channel their magic, pulling power from everywhere to easily defeat the Trollocs, but it comes at a great ghost. The power overwhelms Amalisa and the two other women, burning them up from the inside. Nynaeve recognizes what is happening and uses her own power to shield Egwene from dying, effectively killing herself in the process. As Egwene grieves the loss of her friend, she manages to revive Nynaeve.
Lan sets out to the Eye of the World to find Moiraine and when he arrives, he begs Moiraine to unmask their bond—which is an impossible feat, considering she has lost her connection to the One Power after going toe-to-toe with the Dark One. Most unnervingly, Moiraine tells Lan that she fears that it was not the Last Battle, but the first.
“The Eye of the World” ends on a fairly somber note, with the five friends from the Two Rivers, once again separated—with Rand setting out on his own path, Mat returning to Shadar Logoth, Perrin, Egwene, and Nynaeve are left to deal with the fallout of the attack on Fal Dara. But it also sets the scene for the next season, leaving fans sitting on the edge of their seats, waiting for more. Fortunately, the second season has already been renewed and has been filming for several months.
The first season of The Wheel of Time has been such a delight to watch over the past six weeks, and it has been, without a doubt, one of the best series of 2021. From introducing a rich new fantasy realm to get lost in, to delivering strong performances and engaging stories each week, the series has set the bar incredibly high for fantasy series going forward.
Maggie Lovitt is the Managing Editor of Entertainment 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.