May 27, 2024

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

The Wheel Of Time “Shadow’s Waiting”

Season One, Episode Two

Aw man.  You mean that Mor’deth will not be actually appearing on this show to give Mat that cursed dagger?  I am so…well, not disappointed.  I mean, I like heavy-handed name symbolism as much as the next fantasy fan, but that might have been a bridge too far for people who aren’t, you know, what I just said.

OK, pilot episode sets up the characters in the basics, so the second needs to establish the overall plot and how it will affect the characters while also giving them a bit of a progression.  For a show like this, we have four villagers, one of whom is the Dragon Reborn.  Now, I did read the first book and know who that person is.  But I also know the others all have special destinies of their own, and this episode does push three of the four young people running from the Trollocs with a sorceress and her bodyguard in the right direction.  These characters need something to do, something that will set them apart from each other and make them distinct.

So, how does that shake out?  Rand, for now, gets nothing.  That’s fine.  Do as little as possible with him, and it will be make his eventual revelations, whatever they are, much more impressive.

Egwene is basically just told she can be an Aes Sedai, but that means Moiraine can also explain a bit about how her magic works.  She can’t kill except in the defense of herself or her Warder, and she can’t tell a lie.  Not, like, she swore an oath and shouldn’t.  She literally can’t, but she does demonstrate that she can be a bit…creative with the truth when the group runs into the local Whitecloaks, a religious-looking organization that really has it in for the Aes Sedai but aren’t fans of the Dark One or his Trolloc armies either.

You know, no one expects the Whitecloak Inquisition!

That basically means Egwene gets the most direct development.  Perrin, by contrast, gets the most subtle since he keeps hearing howling, and when a pack of wolves surround him, he isn’t attacked or anything.  They just, you know, look in on him and wander off.

And then there’s Mat.  He decides that Chekov’s Gun doesn’t apply to him.  Lan has to take the group to a cursed city, a place even the Trollocs following him won’t go, and…how desperate or dumb do you have to be to go somewhere that even the evil horde of pig monsters won’t go?  Anyway, told not to touch or eat anything, Mat naturally finds a box in a moonbeam with a nice dagger inside.  It’s the only thing in the entire city that doesn’t look like it’s falling apart.  And sure, I know it’s cursed.  Mat doesn’t.  But Mat might be the group dumbass because somebody has to be.  He can even be reasonably intelligent, but that doesn’t mean he can’t be the dumbass compared to all the others.

Oh, and it turns out that cursed cities have killer shadows that, like, eat living beings.  That’s, I’m guessing, is what the title refers to.  Also it ate a horse in, like, seconds.  Poor horse…

Point is, good development, Trollocs are awful, Whitecloaks don’t seem much better, and no one trusts the Aes Sedai.  Possibly for good reasons.  All I know is, this was some good worldbuilding.