Season 1 Episode 1: Leavetaking

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Author: Nadezhda al'Lanahrin


"Leavetaking"


Season 1 Episode 1


Synopsis

"A strange noblewoman arrives in a remote mountain village, claiming one of five youths is the reincarnation of an ancient power who once destroyed the world – and will do so again, if she’s not able to discover which of them it is. But they all have less time than they think." (Amazon The Wheel of Time on Prime).

Cast

Summary

"Leavetaking" begins with Moiraine Damodred, an Aes Sedai, starting her journey with Lan Mandragoran. On their search, they come upon other Aes Sedai, led by Liandrin Guirale, capturing a male channeler and doing something to him with the One Power. The young man seems to be speaking to a person who is not there and Liandrin explains to the man that the One Power is "meant for women and women alone." Moiraine and Lan look on from a cliff, unseen by the Aes Sedai in the valley, she concludes that the man taken by Liandrin, is not who she is looking for. She decides to make for the Two Rivers where it is rumored that four ta'veren live.

The women of the Two Rivers prepare Egwene al'Vere for her rite of passage to be inducted into the Women's Circle. They braid Egwene's hair, a custom for the grown women of the Two Rivers. Nynaeve al'Meara, the Village Wisdom, leads this ceremony and pushes Egwene into the River, telling her to "trust the river." The young woman struggles against the current, but eventually accepts it and floats. She washes up on the shore and she heads back to the village.

Tam al'Thor and Rand al'Thor head to the Two Rivers from their farm to deliver wool and brandy. Tam tells his son about his mother, who has died, and how Rand used to run around in the woods. However, lately more wolves have been showing up in the past several years. Tam reminds Rand about how he used to pick berries for Egwene when they traveled to the village, when he was younger. The pair arrive at the village and bring their wares to the Winespring Inn, which is owned by Marin al'Vere and Bran al'Vere, Egwene's parents. Rand drinks with his friends, Mat Cauthon and Perrin Aybara. Perrin informs Rand and Mat that people from Taren Ferry have learned that there is a war in Ghealdan, a country in the south. Rand and Perrin discuss Mat's gambling.

Egwene returns from the river and is celebrated by the people drinking in the Winespring Inn. Off to the side, Rand tells Perrin he hasn't talked to Egwene since she returned from her test, he doesn't know why. Lan arrives at the Winespring Inn and introduces Moiraine to the Two Rivers. Moiraine requests a bath and a place to sleep from Mistress al'Vere. The Aes Sedai takes a moment to look at Rand, Perrin, Mat, Egwene, and Nynaeve, before being led to her room.

Perrin, who is a blacksmith, goes to the forge, where his wife, Laila, is working. He asks her why she didn't go to Egwene's ceremony and why she is still working. Perrin assures her that he loves her and holds her close. Mat sees his mother, Natti, outside the Inn. She tells Mat that his father, Abell, is flirting with a young woman in front of the whole town. Mat brings his mother home to sleep and he takes care of his sisters, Bodewhin and Eldrin. Mat's mother tells him that he will end up being just like his father.

Marin, Bran, Egwene, Tam, and Rand clean up at the Inn. Mistress al'Vere reassures Egwene that the Two Rivers will be fine and not to worry about the war in Ghealdan. Tam says that the Aes Sedai don't fight wars, but that they "pull strings of the world from their White Tower." He insinuates that if one of the Aes Sedai is there, then perhaps the war is something to worry about. They talk about celebrations for Bel Tine. The parents retire for the evening and leave Egwene and Rand to finish up in the kitchen. Egwene and Rand talk about her test and why she hasn't talked to him since then. They kiss and eventually have relations.

Moiraine and Lan take a bath. She uses the One Power to make the water warmer. Lan can tell that Moiraine thinks that Rand, Egwene, Mat, or Perrin could be who she is looking for, but she's not sure which one it could be. Rand and Egwene sit by the fire in the Inn after having relations. Egwene explains to Rand why she has been distant since her test. She tells him that Nynaeve has asked her to be her apprentice, meaning that she cannot marry, nor have children. He asks if she has decided and Egwene says she hasn't given Nynaeve an answer. This puts strain on their relationship, because they can't have a future together if she decides to learn to be a Wisdom. An Eyeless enters the Two Rivers.

Padan Fain, a peddler, arrives in the village with his wagon for Bel Tine. Egwene serves Tam breakfast, he tells her that Rand left before he woke. Mat meets Padan at his wagon to sell him the bracelet he stole from Danya. They barter, but eventually Padan gives Mat three lanterns for Bel Tine, in exchange for the bracelet. Moiraine and Lan look at the faces of the people in the village. The Aes Sedai can tell that Lan believes that one of the Eyeless is in the Two Rivers already.

Egwene finds Rand in the mountains at his favorite spot. He tells her that he goes there to think about the future he will have, his wife, and his children he is going to have. Egwene tells Rand that she is going to accept Nynaeve's offer and she cries because she knows that this puts them on two separate paths. Rand comforts her. Moiraine finds Nynaeve cleaning the sacred pools. The Aes Sedai talks with Nynaeve about her birth and when she came to the Two Rivers, having not been born there. Nynaeve tells her that she is twenty-six (26), old enough to be the Wisdom, despite her young age. The Wisdom tells Moiraine that the woman who raised her, who was Wisdom before her, went to the White Tower and was turned back because she was poor. This makes Nynaeve dislike Aes Sedai and, by association, Moiraine. She says that she will protect the town, even if it means protecting it from the Aes Sedai.

Rand, Perrin, and Mat drink outside in the middle of the village. Mat believes something happened with Rand and Egwene, but Rand won't say anything about it. Nynaeve finds Egwene crying on the bridge. The Wisdom asks if Egwene can hear the noise that is in the wind. She says that it sounds wrong. She asks what it means, but Nynaeve says she doesn't know, that she hasn't heard anything like it. Meanwhile, Land is in the woods tracking the Eyeless, when he comes upon mangled sheep corpses. They are arranged in the form of a symbol. In the town, Moiraine observes Rand, Perrin, and Mat talking where they were before. Rand and Perrin feel bad that Mat gambled all his money away the night before and give him money to buy lanterns for Bel Tine. Mat tries to give the money back, but Perrin insists. They say goodbye to Rand, who leaves the town to go back to the farm with his father.

Tam and Rand make it back to the farm, where they light a lamp for the late Mistress al'Thor. Rand asks his father when the Wheel of Time spins a person's soul back into the world again, after they have died. Tam says he doesn't know, but that "all we can do is the best we can with the life's that given to us." In the village, people are lighting their lanterns and placing them in the water. Moiraine looks on from the other side of the river and notices Egwene. Mistress al'Vere starts the festival and the music starts and the people start dancing with it.

Lan informs Moiraine that a Fade (also known as an Eyeless, or Myrddraal) has dozens of Trollocs with it. He asks the Aes Sedai if she knows who she is looking for yet, but she says she doesn't. Egwene dances with Tom Thane but he is suddenly killed by a Trolloc. The village reacts quickly and tries to get away from the Trollocs. However, many people are killed . Mat tries to find his sisters, while Nynaeve and Egwene try to save an old man from dying. At the al'Thor farm, Tam and Rand are attacked by a Trolloc. They fend it off, with Tam pulling a sword out of a box from under his bed. Tam fights the Trolloc, but ends up vitally injured in the process. Rand ends up killing it with a poker from the fire place. Rand takes his father on horseback to the village to be seen to by Nynaeve. In the town, Nynaeve and Egwene are attacked by a Trolloc. Though, they are saved by Moiraine who used the One Power to split it in half. The Aes Sedai defends the Two Rivers by using her magical powers. Daise Congar and other women fight back against the Trollocs. Perrin and Laila are attacked in the forge by a Trolloc, they fight back and kill the beast. However, in a frenzy, Perrin accidentally hits his wife with his axe and she dies.

Nynaeve and Egwene are attacked again, but this time Nynaeve is taken by one of the Trollocs. Moiraine is wounded during the battle, but she carries on nonetheless and defeats the Trollocs. She uses a lot of her energy to Heal people with the One Power. When Rand brings Tam into the village, with his father's sword on his hip, the Aes Sedai Heals him as well. Rand blames Moiraine for the Trollocs attacking the Two Rivers. She explains that they came for the same reason that Moiraine did, for the four of them (Rand, Egwene, Perrin, and Mat). She says that twenty years ago that an Aes Sedai, who could see glimpses of the future, foretold that the Dark One is waking and that the only one can stop him is the Dragon Reborn. She tells them that one of the four is the Dragon Reborn. They believe she has lost her mind, but more Trollocs are seen approaching the village, estimated to be three-hundred or more.

The episode ends with Moiraine, Lan, Rand, Egwene, Perrin, and Mat departing the Two Rivers on horseback. Nynaeve is still missing.


"The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again. In one Age, called the Third Age by some, an Age yet to come, an Age long past, a wind rose in the Mountains of Mist. The wind was not the beginning. There are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time. But it was a beginning." (The Eye of the World, Robert Jordan).

Questions

  • Who are the Aes Sedai and what do they do?
  • Who is the Dragon Reborn and why are they important?
  • What is a ta'veren and who are the ta'veren that Moiraine speaks of?
  • Why are men not supposed to channel?
  • Why didn't Laila go to Egwene's ceremony?

Production


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