The Wheel of Time 1×08 Review: “The Eye of the World”

Nynaeve and Egwene in “The Eye of the World” (Screengrab: The Wheel of Time Season 1 Episode 8)

The Dragon Reborn finally arrives at the eye of the world for a long-awaited showdown with the Dark One in “The Eye of the World.”

With the Dragon Reborn finally revealed in “The Dark Along the Ways,” the season finale sets the stage for a showdown with the Dark One in “The Eye of the World.” Though the battle concludes by the end of the episode, it becomes clear that the Dark One is not fully defeated. Meanwhile, the city of Fal Dara falls under attack by the Dark One’s armies, clarifying that each of the other four heroes will be needed to help Dragon Reborn Rand (Josha Stradowski) defeat the Dark One once and for all.

The journey begins with Rand and Moiraine (Rosamund Pike) making their way to the Eye of the World through the Blight. The Dark One begins to manifest in Rand’s mind in the form of a charming man named Ishmael (Fares Fares). The journey is surprisingly quick as it doesn’t take long for them to reach their destination. With all of the buildup to this journey, the fact that Rand and Moiraine don’t find more obstacles in the Blight is a little underwhelming.

Back in the city of Fal Dara, Perrin (Marcus Rutherford) comforts Egwene (Madeleine Madden) over Rand’s departure. While the potential love triangle between Rand, Egwene, and Perrin still feels unnecessary, Perrin’s comforting of Egwene is a nice moment. Meanwhile, Nynaeve (Zoe Robins) offers to help Lan (Daniel Henney) track Moiraine.  Lan’s heartfelt love confession to Nynaeve is a highlight of the episode.

Unfortunately, the group doesn’t have much time to rest as the city of Fal Dara comes under attack by the Dark One’s armies. The city quickly mobilizes an attack but finds they are no match for the overwhelming numbers. It is up to Nynaeve, Egwene, and a group of other inexperienced magic users to keep the armies at bay. The effort ends up killing Nynaeve and everyone else besides Egwene. Thankfully, Egwene finds a way to revive Nynaeve. While Egwene’s sudden ability to bring Nynaeve back from the dead is a little convenient, Nynaeve is too great of a character to kill off permanently.

During the chaos, the mysterious Padan Fain (Johann Myers) steals the Horn of Valere. Perrin recognizes him as a merchant from their village and Fain reveals that he has been working with the Dark One the entire time. The reveal is surprising and makes what was a seemingly irrelevant background character more intriguing. His warning that the battle is far from over and that each one of them will play a role in what comes next is ominous, though expected.

At the Eye of the World, Ishmael begins to tempt Rand to turn to the darkness. He shows Rand a vision of a simple life of him and Egwene raising a baby in a small village. Though Rand is initially tempted by the offer to make this vision a reality, he is able to resist. While not breaking any storytelling ground, Rand’s ability to turn away from the darkness due to his love for Egwene and his desire to not stand in the way of her dreams is still a powerful moment.

Rand and Egwene in “The Eye of the World” (Screengrab: The Wheel of Time Season 1 Episode 8)

However, the triumph is short-lived. Moiraine ends up losing her connection to her power in a standoff with Ishmael. It will be interesting to see how Moiraine and Lan navigate their lost connection and how she will regain her abilities.

Rand, fearing that he will succumb to madness and kill his loved ones, asks Moiraine to tell everyone that he’s dead as he leaves the Eye of the World on his own. Both revelations are heartbreaking but have interesting story potential going forward.

Though Rand defeats Ishmael, Moiraine concludes that the battle is far from over. This isn’t a surprise, as the series is already in production on a second season.

While there were many highlights throughout this first season, season two promises to be bigger. It will be exciting to see the journey each of these characters takes, and what surprises await viewers in the episodes to come.

Here’s Farid’s reaction to the finale!

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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