The Wheel of Time 1×06 Review: “The Flame of Tar Valon”

Flame of Tar Valon Wheel of Time episode 6 review
Siuan in “The Flame of Tar Valon” (Image: The Wheel of Time Season 1 Episode 6)

Moiraine deals with Aes Sedai politics as the potential Dragon Reborns prepare for the next leg of their journey in The Wheel of Time season 1 episode 6, “The Flame of Tar Valon.”

After reaching the city of Tar Valon in “Blood Calls Blood,” each of the main characters finally reunite in “The Flame of Tar Valon.” The primary focus of this episode is on Moiraine (Rosamund Pike), as she is betrayed by Liandrin (Kate Fleetwood) and works to bring the group back together again. While Moiraine was an interesting character beforehand, “The Flame of Tar Valon” really solidifies investment in her character and the high stakes of her mission.

The action begins with the trial of Logain (Alvaro Morte), who Aes Sedai leader Siuan (Sophie Okonedo) sentences to a lifetime of suffering from his madness. The trial is an interesting window into the workings of the Aes Sedai. After Moiraine and Alanna (Priyanka Bose) defend Liandrin’s actions in the battle against Logain’s army, Liandrin immediately throws Moiraine under the bus by accusing her of neglecting her duties and hiding Nynaeve (Zoe Robins) from the rest of the Aes Sedai. Liandrin has been a detestable character from the beginning and hopefully, she will eventually receive some sort of punishment for her ruthless actions.

As she prepares to be sentenced, Moiraine finds the newly arrived potential Dragon Reborns with the help of her network. First, she finds Rand (Josha Stradowski) and Mat (Barney Harris), curing Mat of the madness plaguing him and calling out his stupidity of stealing the dagger. Rand’s protectiveness of Mat continues to be great to see, and Moiraine is able to prove that she cares about the young adults even if she isn’t always forthcoming about everything.

Next, Moiraine reunites with Egwene (Madeleine Madden) and Perrin (Marcus Rutherford), who are still recovering from their run-in with the Children of the Light. Egwene tells Moiraine about Perrin’s mysterious connection with the wolves, but no answers are provided regarding it. It is strange that Moiraine lies to Egwene about knowing where Rand is, especially since the two reunite with no issue by the episode’s end.

The most exciting and surprising revelation of the episode is when Moiraine secretly visits Siuan, and it is revealed that the two are lovers in a forbidden romance. While the romance is implied in the books, the expansion of subtext is a welcome addition to the series. The Wheel of Time live-action adaptation has done a great job at expanding the diversity of the world, and LGBTQ+ representation adds to this. The relationship between the two is both passionate and playful, and it is easy to root for the two. Moiraine tells Siuan her plan and requests that she be banished in order to complete it without Aes Sedai interference.

The next morning, Moiraine reunites Egwene and Nynaeve before taking them to meet Siuan. The reunion between Egwene and Nynaeve is worth the wait, and Nynaeve’s bluntness in their meeting with Siuan is amusing. Moiraine then makes arrangements with Lan (Daniel Henney) and Loial (Hammed Animashaun) before she receives her requested sentence. The heartbreak between Moiraine and Siuan is powerful, as the two must not give away hints of their relationship to the rest of the group. Moiraine changing the binding oath of accepting her sentence to subtly declare her love to Siuan is made even more compelling by the strong performance of both actresses.

The Flame of Tar Valon The Wheel of Time season 1 episode 6 review
Moiraine, Lan, and Loial in “The Flame of Tar Valon” (Image: The Wheel of Time Season 1 Episode 6)

Upon leaving the tower, Moiraine meets up with Lan, Loial, Rand, Mat, Egwene, Perrin, and Nynaeve at a stone structure. The reunion between the group is short but sweet. Moiraine creates a portal to take them to the “Eye of the World” where The Dark One is located, telling them that she still doesn’t know for sure which one is the Dragon Reborn. She leaves out that the others will most likely be killed in the battle between the Dark One and the Dragon Reborn, and hopefully withholding that information doesn’t backfire in the future.

Most of the group follows her through the portal, but Mat refuses to go with them and he is left behind when the portal closes. While Mat has always been the one most skeptical of the quest, his decision to stay behind feels worse after all that everyone, Rand, in particular, has done to support him through their journey. With the journey towards the Dark One growing closer, it will be exciting to see what challenges await through the portal in the season’s final two episodes.

Farid’s reaction video for “The Flame of Tar Valon” is below.

Author: Jessica Wolff

Jessica Wolff is a graduate of Drexel University with a BS in Film/Video. She has a passion for entertainment and representation in entertainment. She currently resides outside of Washington, DC.


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