Season 1 Episode 7: The Dark Along the Ways
Author: Tomeina Raieese
|Main Characters||Supporting Characters||Minor Characters|
|Rosamund Pike - Moiraine Damodred||Hammed Animashaun - Loial||Guy Roberts - Uno Nomesta|
|Daniel Henney - al'Lan Mandragoran||Thomas Chaanhing - Lord Agelmar||Magdalena Sittova - Tigraine Mantear|
|Zoë Robins - Nynaeve al'Meara||Sandra Yi Sencindiver - Lady Amalisa||Michael McElhatton - Tam al'Thor|
|Madeleine Madden - Egwene al'Vere||Kae Alexander - Min Farshaw||Michael D'Cruze - Zahir|
|Josha Stradowski - Rand al'Thor||Johann Myers - Padan Fain|
|Marcus Rutherford - Perrin Aybara|
|Barney Harris - Mat Cauthon|
"Moiraine and her charges are diverted from their path by an unexpected encounter. This diversion, though, reveals many things – Moiraine’s true goal, Lan’s past, the fractures that have grown in the group, and the identity of the Dragon Reborn." -(Amazon The Wheel of Time on Prime).
The episode opens with a veiled, pregnant, Aiel woman, running through battle carnage. She stops at a rock, in obvious labor pains, and pulls down her veil as she leans against the rock to rest. An Illianer soldier attacks her with a sword. She defends herself, killing the soldier when more appear. The woman continues to defend herself against multiple attackers while fighting through labor pains. One of the soldiers takes advantage of her contractions and stabs her in her left side. She kills him before grabbing his cloak and crawling to a rock to give birth. As she prepares to give birth, a sword appears at her throat.
The gate closes on Mat as the Emonds Fielders cry out for him. Nynaeve and Rand insist that Moiraine opens the gate again. Moiraine and Lan move deeper into the darkness of The Ways leaving Rand, Nynaeve, Egwene, Perrin, and Loial. Nynaeve and Egwene discuss if they can open the Waygate and Loial tells them that they cannot use the One Power in the Ways or else Machin Shin will feast on their souls. Loial tells them that they should catch up with Moiraine since Ogier are not known for their speed. He walks off leaving Rand, Nynaeve, Egwene, and Perrin at the Waygate.
The group looks to Nynaeve for guidance as none of them want to leave Mat. She makes the hard decision for the group. Once their mission is complete, they’ll find Mat, wherever he is.
The group continues to travel along the Ways as it crackles all around them. Loial talks about how the Ways used to look so full with fruit trees and greenery but now one wrong step could have someone falling through an endless void or worse.
Lan jokes with Nynaeve and tries to reassure her that Mat is safer wherever he is than with them. Perrin sees something ahead in the dark that no one can see. It is a Guiding Stone. The Guiding Stone is defaced like someone has tried to destroy it, slowing the group down as they have to wait for Loial to try to read it through the slash marks. Moiraine tells them to get some rest as they wait. Rand asks Perrin how he could have seen the Guiding Stone in the dark but Perrin doesn’t know.
Lan asks Moiraine if she knows what could have damaged the Guiding Stone. She doesn’t answer and he says that there’s something following them. The Ways are too dark to see anything.
The group rests while Loial tries to read the Guiding Stone. Whistling in the distance wakes Egwene who then wakes Rand. They get up and the Ways crackle giving just enough light for Rand and Egwene to see a trolloc attacking them. Egwene channels by mistake to get rid of the trolloc. Perrin notices the temperature has dropped. Panicked, Nynaeve asks for more clarification on Machin Shin, which Loial tells her translates roughly to the Black Wind. Moiraine tells the group that Machin Shin will talk to them and that they should not listen to it. Lan suggests they make for Fal Dara as it much closer than their intended destination. Loial guides them to the Fal Dara Waygate. Machin Shin reaches them before Moiraine can open the Waygate.
Machin Shin speaks to each person in the group:
- To Moiraine: You’re wrong about everything you’ll murder these children and call it heroism
- To Egwene: You’re nothing. An imposter, a fraud.
- To Rand: Egwene will never love you as much as you love her she left you once and she’ll leave you again
- To Perrin: You wanted Laila dead out of the way. That’s why you killed her. Because you loved another woman more than your wife.
- To Lan: You can’t protect her. You’ll watch her die.
- To Nynaeve: You’ll hear their screams as they die. Just like your parents and you’ll do nothing to save them. You lost Mat and now you’ll lose the others one by one, till you have nothing and no one. You can’t protect them. You can’t
Nynaeve tries to prove Machin Shin wrong and uses the One Power to push back Machin Shin and protect the others. Moiraine opens the Waygate for the group to go through. Lan grabs Nynaeve and pulls her through the Waygate. They step out into the desert. The entire group is clearly affected by what Machin Shin said to them. Nynaeve asks where they are and Loial tells them they are in the “fortress city of Fal Dara, the last bastion against the Blight.” Moiraine tells them they have friends in the Borderlands. Moiraine sees the emotion on each other group’s faces and tells them all to put out of their minds whatever they heard in the winds.
The group enters Fal Dara. Lan is obviously a known and beloved man in Fal Dara. He is called Dai Shan and welcomed back on behalf of Lord Agelmar. Uno Nomesta also welcomes Lan home.
The group meets with Lord Agelmar who warmly welcomes Lan home, also calling him Dai Shan. Lord Agelmar is confident that Fal Dara can and will protect its own against The Blight and reminds Moiraine that they’ve protected themselves for over a thousand years, fought large of armies of trollocs, and have won. Moiraine makes it known that she’s not there to take over, only to warn him that the Dark One is also using the Ways and that he should wall up the Fal Daran Waygate in addition to looking to the Blight. Lord Agelmar agrees and opens up his palace to the group and reiterates the mutual support between Fal Dara and the White Tower.
Padan Fain walks out of the Waygate towards Fal Dara.
In the palace, Lady Amalisa uses the One Power to light the candles on the wall as she escorts Moiraine to her room. Moiraine asks after Min Farshaw, The Seer, so that she can talk with her. Lady Amalisa asks Moiraine why they had no word of a sister traveling to Fal Dara and why they were in the Ways. Moiraine asks Lady Amalisa for discretion, after pointing out that though Lady Amalisa may have trained in the White Tower for many years, she was not powerful enough to become an Aes Sedai. Moiraine asks for a message to be delivered to the Red Ajah, that there is a boy they must find – Mat Cauthon.
Moiraine walks in the streets of Fal Dara as the Emonds Fielders follow her. Perrin sees Padan Fain and stops to watch him walk. Nynaeve notices that Perrin stopped and asks why. Perrin says he thought he saw Padan Fain and Nynaeve tells him that he’s dead because they didn’t find him after Bel Tine.
Moiraine enters a bar with the group. As Nynaeve, Egwene, Rand, and Perrin talk at a table, Moiraine asks Min what she sees when looking at the group.
Min focuses on each person in the group and sees images around them.
- Perrin: Yellow eyes with blood running down his chin.
- Rand: Rocking a baby. She does not know whose baby it is.
- For Egwene and Nynaeve she sees a White Flame and a Ring of Gold. She does not specify which vision belongs to which woman.
- All four are linked. This is unusual. She also sees sparks of light trying to fill the shadows and the shadows trying to swallow the sparks. They’re all clear visions. Min clarifies that the more important someone is to the Pattern, the clearer the vision, though none of them stand out more than the other.
- Moiraine: The Amyrlin Seat wearing full regalia and she’ll be Moiraine’s downfall.
The Emonds Fielders talk in a common room as Lan and Moiraine enter. Moiraine tells them they leave tomorrow at sunrise. Perrin asks Moiraine about the Bartender. Moiraine reveals that Min can see glimpses of the pattern. She was hoping that Min could tell her which of them was the Dragon Reborn so that she could save the rest. Moiraine tells them that if they are not the Dragon and they go to the Eye of the World, then they will die. Moiraine plans to take them all to the Eye knowing that three of them will die. Perrin questions if it could be Mat. Moiraine tells them that she may not have chosen this path but she’s following it because she knows what is right. Nynaeve tells Moiraine that they’ll make their own choice and that Moiraine can’t drag all four of them against their will. Moiraine tells them that they can’t hide from the weaving of the Pattern and that they need to make their decisions tonight because they leave at dawn. Moiraine and Lan leave.
Rand tells the others that Moiraine will force them if she wants to. Egwene says that they left the Two Rivers to protect their families no matter the cost. Nynaeve points out that it’s all based on whatever Moiraine has told them. Egwene’s decision is to go because it’ll be worth it for the chance that Moiraine is right and appeals to Nynaeve’s heart as a Wisdom. Perrin brings up that the Dragon could be Mat and that it might not be any of them. Egwene scoffs and Rand defends his friend accusing Egwene of never giving him a chance. Perrin defends Egwene and Nynaeve implies that she’s tired of them fighting over Egwene. Rand walks off, followed by Egwene, then Perrin, and Nynaeve is left alone.
Moiraine and Lan discuss in her chambers. Lan reassures her that they’ll go, that Moiraine has given them all they need. Moiraine expresses to Lan that she feels that she’s taken everything from Lan and that she’s too much of Lan’s life. Lan has some goodbyes to make in the city. Moiraine tells Lan that she approves of Nynaeve.
As Lan goes to make his goodbyes, Nynaeve follows him through the city. Lan visits another Malkieri man, Zahir, who also wears the hadori of Malkier. Lan surprises Nynaeve outside the house and invites her in. He introduces her to the family, much to their surprise. Zahir also calls Lan “Dai Shin”.
Lan and Nynaeve walk in the hallways of the palace to Lan’s room. He says good night and enters his room, leaving Nynaeve in the hallway. As Lan gets ready for bed, Nynaeve enters his room. She steps into his space and they kiss.
Rand is outside alone, shooting arrows alone at night by himself. Egwene approaches him. Rand apologizes for his behavior earlier and admits that he’s scared and doesn’t want to lose Egwene. Egwene believes that they’re all going to come back and that Moiraine is wrong. Rand tells Egwene that no matter what happens, she has to go to the White Tower. Egwene lets Rand know that if he’s the Dragon, she’ll stand by him, always.
Nynaeve sits on the edge of Lan’s bed, re-doing her braid. Lan wakes and Nynaeve asks why Zahir calls him Dai Shin. Lan tells her that it’s a title given to future kings of Malkier. Malkier was taken by the Blight. Nynaeve asks who Zahir is to Lan, he treats him like a son. When Lan’s family was murdered, Zahir smuggled Lan out of the palace and brought him to Fal Dara. Nynaeve now has a better understanding of why Lan bonded to Moiraine. Lan is a King without a Kingdom, a boy without a family, and found a place to belong alongside Moiraine. Lan reaches for Nynaeve’s hand and assures her that he is his own person. He asks her to stay.
Rand lies awake next to a sleeping Egwene thinking about all that’s occurred since Bel Tine. He gets up and goes back to the archery range. As Rand shoots arrows, all hitting the bullseye, a series of flashbacks occur:
- The Trolloc attack on Bel Tine where he carries his father to the village after he was stabbed by the Trolloc. In his father’s haze, he talks to Rand as if he’s talking to his late wife. Tam talks about finding a baby boy on a mountain and that he couldn’t just leave him there.
- Rand trapped by Dana. Dana declares the door is made of Ironwood and couldn’t be broken. Rand breaks down the door using Saidin.
- His walk with Mat to Tar Valon. He thinks he’s seen the mountain before. The mountain which was in the opening of the episode.
- The Ways when a Trolloc attacked Egwene. Both he and Egwene channeled to protect her. Machin Shin then told Rand that he was the Dragon Reborn. “It’s you. You’ve always known its you, deep down. No matter how fast or how far you run, You are the Dragon Reborn.”
Rand goes back to the bar and finds Min. He asks her to tell him that he’s not the Dragon Reborn. She immediately does, with no sincerity, and continues cleaning the bar. She tells him to look her in the eye and tell her that he wants to hear what she has to say. Min talks about her first vision: She saw a man in armor, carrying Rand’s heron marked blade.
The scene cuts back to the fight at the start of the episode. Min narrates her vision as it plays out. The Illianar soldier who had his sword to the Aiel woman’s throat, puts in aside and takes off his helmet. It is Tam al'Thor, Rand’s father. The woman gives birth on the slopes of Dragonmount before dying. The soldier takes him with him. Min tells Rand that the man takes the baby home with him and raises him in a wooden house beside fields of sheep in a village between two rivers. She then goes to say that the “baby was something impossible.”
Rand asks Min what she sees now looking at Rand. Min sees, “Rainbows and carnivals and three beautiful women.” He asks if she sees the Eye of the World and she says that wishes she didn’t. She doesn’t answer when he asks if he makes it back.
In the morning, Egwene goes to Nynaeve’s room, but her bed is still made from the day before and clearly not been slept in. Nynaeve enters her room and Egwene teases her about it. Nynaeve apologizes to Egwene for stirring up trouble. Perrin enters Nynaeve’s room and closes the door. They’ve decided to go to the Eye. No one has seen Rand yet.
Rand knocks on Moiraine’s door and tells Moiraine that he’s the Dragon.
Lan enters Nynaeve’s room and tells them that Moiraine’s masked their bond and that she’s gone. Egwene puts it together that Rand has left with her.
Moiraine and Rand walk up to the edge of the Blight. The episode ends as they enter.