Amazon’s The Wheel of Time released its last episode for now, and there’s a lot to like about it. Compared to the less eventful and more angsty episode 7, the finale was quite action-packed, bringing significant progress to the story. Season 2 is already in the making, and, while it won’t hit our screens for some time yet, the first season gave us plenty to think about. So, here’s a breakdown of The Wheel of Time Season 1 finale:
The Wheel of Time Ending Explained: What Happened Between Rand and the Dark One?
Dreams in fantasy are rarely coincidental. In fact, the case is almost always the opposite. Cliché as this is, the importance of dreams has been stressed time and again throughout the first Wheel of Time season.
As the apparent Dragon Reborn, Rand is affected by the Dark One more than any other character. After suffering a misleading dream, Rand finds himself trapped in what his past self would consider his dream life; happily married to Egwene, and having a child with her. The mysterious person who appears to be the Dark One has fabricated this vision to lure Rand into channeling in his favor.
Fortunately, Rand realises that the Egwene he loves is the real one, who wants to be an Aes Sedai and have an unconventional life. In choosing the real Egwene over the one who would fulfil his own dream, Rand refuses to give up his power to the Shadow. As Moiraine had predicted the Dragon Reborn managed to channel when the Dark One confronted him. But was it enough?
It might be enough for now (and now only), but Rand is keenly aware of the taint found in all male channelers. Worried about the inevitable madness all men who use the One Power will, at some point suffer from, he decides on a solitary path. Telling Moiraine to proclaim him dead, he leaves his loved ones behind to protect them.
The Wheel of Time Ending Explained: What Happened to the Other Main Characters?
Following Rand’s confrontations with the alleged Dark One, Moiraine finds herself cut off from the One Power’s Source. Unless this is somehow reversible, it’ll be a huge change from the books. To take away a female channeler’s powers in The Wheel of Time universe is known as “stilling,” same as cutting off a man is “gentling.”
If this is truly what has happened to Moiraine, it would be a major blow for her character. Not only will she be unable to share her feelings with Lan, but a permanent lack of powers will severely jeopardize her place in the world as an Aes Sedai. Of course, nothing is certain at this point, and we expect to see more of her in Season 2.
During the Trolloc attack in Fal Darra, Nynaeve is mortally injured protecting Egwene. The latter then brings Nynaeve back, or, perhaps, Nynaeve manages to save herself much like she did for others earlier on. This is another forking from the source material, which makes One Power-related damage and burnout reversible.
Meanwhile, Perrin finds out that he and his four fellow villagers are ta’veren, very strong channelers, making them a rarity in Two Rivers. Eager to play his part, Perrin finds the Horn of Valere which was used by the Dragon to call strong warriors. As it turns out, Padan Fain, a regular in the Two Rivers, is actually a Darkfriend, only visiting because he believed that at least some of the ta'veren would choose the dark side.
A scene with Mat right after suggests he might be the one to join the dark side, though, frankly, it might just be that Barney Harris never rejoined the filming following the halt mid-production due to covid. Given his recasting, we might see Mat's story taking a different turn than whatever the books prepared us for.
Related: The Wheel of Time Filming Locations
The Wheel of Time Ending Explained: Will the Dark One Return?
More accurately, we should be asking; have we seen the Dark One's potential at all? It's no spoiler to say no; else there wouldn't be a second season, nor so many books in the series. Moiraine explains that the battle we've just witnessed is not the last one - just the first.
Remember that the Dark One is a primordial force, rather than a single human. and Rand's trip to the Eye of the World is unlikely to have made things right once and for all. The series ends with ships, manned by people from an unknown culture, and channeling powerful waves. Is this at all related with the Dark One? The connection isn't clear yet, but they surely have a role to play in the battles yet to come; and we expect many battles to come.