Wheel of Time - S1E5: Blood Calls Blood

Wheel of Time - S1E5: Blood Calls Blood

This week’s episode was less of a spectacle.

Summary

We’re in and around Tar Valon this week, home of the Aes Sedai. We begin with a funeral for Green Sister Kenobi, who died last episode, and follow her ex-Warder’s trials and tribulations.

Meanwhile, Perrin and Egwene, still traveling with the Traveling People, stumble on the Whitecloaks again. The Whitecloaks beat up the Travelers and capture Perrin and Egwene for … reasons? I guess they looked suspicious? Anyway, bad things happen to them, reminding us that Whitecloaks are Evil. But then they escape with the help of the mysterious wolves.

Rand and Mat arrive at the outskirts of Tar Valon where they reunite with Nynaeve. Rand meets Loriel the Ogier at a library.

Reactions

This episode was a bit of a let-down from the last one, but it was still good enough, about on par with the third episode.

At this point it seems clear we’re tossing the books out as reference material. There’s only a vague resemblance to the first book now. It doesn’t bother me, but book purists are probably hate-brigading every comment section they can find.

I haven’t mentioned the title sequence yet. I like it. I don’t think they’ve discussed “the weave” in the show, but it was a prominent metaphor in the books, and the opening visuals certainly reinforce how much the Aes Sedai and the White Tower live at the center of the Wheel of Time universe (at least, I think those are the colors of the Aes Sedai Ajahs represented there in the titles).

Nynaeve tugged on her braid!

We got a “one month later” title card in this episode. It was enough time for Rand’s hair to turn curly, presumably so he looks less like Hayden Christensen and viewers like me will stop making fun of him for looking like Hayden Christensen.

Creepy scene with Egwene and Perrin and the Cartoon Evil Whitecloak Guy. (I don’t remember Cartoon Evil Whitecloak Guy’s name, in the show or the books.) I don’t much care for these Whitecloaks, not because they’re Evil but because they’re too Evil. It’s a bit silly and over-the-top. But I suppose he’s there to be a gender opposite of Liandrin Sedai.

Another scene with Nynaeve and Liandrin Sedai! I don’t know the actor Kate Fleetwood (playing Liandrin) but she’s good at facial expressions.

I think we saw the first significant mention of the Forsaken in this episode.

That last scene of the Sad Warder Guy’s funeral was a nice bookend to the first burial scene (and the middle funeral scene). Very powerful. And the music over end credits was very good, the first time I’ve noticed the music being better-than-average.

Best Scene

The last one. I got really choked up actually, especially seeing Morraine and the other Aes Sedai there. They are doing a good job in the show at communicating a lot of emotional subtext without having to explain things. But then, it might be because I know all the subtext from the books. I can’t really tell.

Best Lines

Rand, on seeing Tar Valon: “Blood and ashes!” Hehe.

Nynaeve: “Don’t worry. I promise you, the pain will never go away.”

Characters

Morraine. Again low-key in this episode. I’ve noticed that Morraine is always slumping her shoulders like she has osteoporosis. Maybe that’s a thing Rosamund Pike does. Or it might be a trick of the shoulder pads on her costume.

Lan. Played more of a supporting role to Sad Warder Guy, but good character development. He’s developing into much more of a lead character than he was in the books.

Rand. Curly hair doesn’t make him any more sympathetic.

Mat. Getting a little carried away with the evil dagger schtick. Ready to move on from that now.

Perrin. GoldenEye makes an appearance. Good scene revealing his deep dark secret to Egwene.

Egwene. She’s somewhat passive in the show so far. Stuff happens to her, she doesn’t really make things happen. She needs to get her butt into some Novice Aes Sedai training pronto.

Nynaeve. Not much happened with her in a month, considering what happened in the last episode. She’s a hot commodity at the Tower though. We were reminded that it’s the Yellow Ajah who are the healers.

Thom Merrilin. He’s not dead, right?

Loriel the Ogier. I didn’t dislike him per se, but I didn’t think he added much to the show, either. Just kind of there and gone, without any context.

Sad Warder Guy. Yeah, I don’t know his name. It takes me a ridiculous amount of time to learn the names of characters in television shows if they don’t constantly say them out loud. It’s especially difficult with Wheel of Time names. Was it Kenny? Something like that. Kenner? I don’t know. [It was Stepin.] Anyway, he had a good guest starring role. The temporary guest stars are out-shining the regular cast so far.

Cartoon Evil Whitecloak Guy. Terrible character so far. This isn’t an anime, you’ve got to give me a good reason for acting like a sadistic monster. Who’d give that guy a good performance review when the bosses do their yearly evaluation? Anyway he’s dead now, right? I actually forgot Egwene stabbed him until I re-watched the episode. But I have a feeling he’ll turn up again someday.

Book Spoilers

Still no Elayne. In the book, Rand met Elayne while he was sitting on that balcony watching Logain go by. That was in Caemlyn, though, which they’ve completely cut from the show so far.

I, having slogged through those fourteen books, understand and feel deeply the pain and weight of that separation between an Aes Sedai and her Warder when one of them dies, so those funeral scenes were very powerful to me. But I wonder if someone who hasn’t read the books would feel the same? Probably not. It’s only been five episodes. Ah well.

That was Dragonmount next to Tar Valon, right? I don’t remember it being right next to Tar Valon.

Tar Valon in the show doesn’t look anything like I imagined it would. I seem to recall it being described as being built from something like glass. And I thought it would be pointier on the top, like the Disney World castle, not round.

It occurs to me that, from the beginning, the goal for the characters was to reach Tar Valon, and they did. So now what? I don’t remember how or why they left Tar Valon in the books, or why they went to find the Eye of the World. Or even what the Eye of the World was.

There was some passing mention of the impending return of the Amyrlin Seat in the show (whose name I cannot pull from my memory but it was two names that started with S… Saucy Seachin? Seani Soophle? Siri Sommers? Something Something? Not even close, it was Siaun Sanche). Perhaps they’ll be focusing on Aes Sedia politics in Tar Valon for a while? Trying to emulate the whole Game of Thrones court intrigue thing? That’s the place to do it if they’re going to.

I think there was more to Perrin and Egwene’s escape than was depicted in the show. I think Morraine may have actually rescued them. I purposefully skipped those chapters in the audiobook a while ago because I figured that might be coming up in the show.

Other Notes

I’ve watched every episode so far twice. I had to watch this one twice because I didn’t remember much of it when it came time to write this post in the middle of the week.

I’ve slowed down on the Eye of the World audiobook. There’s not much point in refreshing my memory on things that aren’t even in the show.

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