With the end of The Wheel of Time season 2, we have to question whether we were wrong in saying that there wasn’t enough excitement because the last episode certainly delivered on that front. However, on further introspection, we have to conclude that a strong beginning and an ending do not mean an overall strong story. But on a different note, the end of season 2 is full of promise and has enough of a hook for The Wheel of Time season 3. While we wait a year or two for it, let us take a look at this season.
What Is The Prophecy?
It all started three thousand years ago, when Lews Therin (the original dragon), Lanfear, and Ishamael were the best of friends. Eventually, the latter two turned to the Dark One, and that was the end of their relationship. Lews was the only one who held out, and when he captured Ishamael, he imprisoned him in a state of consciousness but immobility. Three millennia later, Rand, who is the dragon reborn, ended up freeing him. The prophecy about Rand is that he will be announced to the world in the city of Falme after the place is saved from great danger. So far, throughout The Wheel of Time season 2, we have known that the friends will have their reunion in Falme, but it is only now that we have heard of the ‘great danger’ approaching the city, which is none other than the Children of the Light coming to attack the Seanchan. All the friends are there for various purposes, all of which are connected to one another, and they have to collectively battle not just the zealous humans but also Ishamael and his dark forces to protect themselves and prevent the wheel from breaking.
Do Mat And Perrin Learn Who They Are?
In so many ways, this season was a sort of ‘coming of age’ story for the friends, but it was most prominent with Mat and Perrin. Perrin meets Elyas Machera and finally discovers that what he has been sensing since season 1 of The Wheel of Time is actually his ability to communicate with wolves. He is a ‘wolf man,’ who is connected to the animals, and Ishamael is aware of it and plans on using his power in the army he is bringing together. For a while, Ishamael is captured by the Children of the Light, but he escapes from there with Aviendha, who is an Aiel, a tribe that lives in a desert and is looking for someone to lead them. Initially, we thought that it would be Perrin, but the final episode showed that it was Rand who would be their “Car’a’carn.” But Perrin finally accepts his powers when he sees Hopper, the wolf who had kept him company on his journey, die at the hands of the leader of the Children of Light. He fully embraces his power and kills the man, thereby making him an enemy of Dain Bornhald.
Meanwhile, Mat is released from prison by Liandrin, but it is only a trick to bring him closer to Ishamael, who will manipulate him to use against Rand. A girl named Min can see visions of the future, and she sees that Mat will kill Rand, which is why Ishamael wants to make use of him. When Mat escapes, he takes Min with him, which was Liandrin and Ishamael’s plan all along. But Min has a conscience, and she confesses everything to Mat, who is left in tears since he has somewhat fallen in love with the girl. On a positive note, he meets Rand, and they both decide to go to Falme, but soon after that, Mat is kidnapped by Ishamael, who shows him visions that target all of the boy’s insecurities in an effort to break him down and make him malleable to Ishamael’s schemes. But we find in the final episode of season 2 that just because Mat wears his insecurities on his sleeve doesn’t mean that he is weaker than the others. In fact, he brings out the cunning part of him that we hadn’t expected to see after season 1, and we once again remembered why his character is so important to The Wheel of Time.
What happens with Elayne, Nynaeve, and Egwene?
The friendship of these three women is a central plot of The Wheel of Time season 2. When Liandrin makes her moves, she underestimates just how much these three would be willing to fight the world to stand by each other. Even Egwene, waiting by the arches despite knowing the hopelessness of Nynaeve returning, did not tell Liandrin anything. But she kidnaps the three of them and hands them over to Seanchan. However, while Nynaeve and Elayne manage to escape, Egwene is left behind, and she is made a Damane by Renna, who is called her Sul’dam. A Damane is a woman with the ability to channel, who is collared and made a slave, to be controlled by her Sul’dam. Renna is awed by how powerful Egwene is, but the latter is not ready to be a subordinate tool.
After a lot of struggle, Egwene understands a crucial fact that could earn her the freedom she had been so desperate for. Egwene recognizes that a Damane and a Sul’dam are able to connect only because the latter also has the powers to channel, but they are so weak that they remain undetected. This means that the a’dam, which is the collar, can be placed on a sul’dam. A Damane’s collar only falls off when she dies, and Egwene finds a collar after their tower is hit. She immediately places it on Renna, and the latter is beholden to Egwene the same way she was to her. However, in this situation, Egwene’s willpower is stronger. Even though she feels the pain of Renna, she is not willing to let go of her, and Renna ends up giving in first and releasing Egwene from her collar. But Egwene does no such thing and makes good on her promise to kill Renna.
What Happens Between Rand And Ishamael?
We have yet to completely understand why Lanfear is helping Rand. She had initially been with him under the disguise of Selene, ready to kill him when the opportunity arose. But she probably fell in love with him, or at least developed a soft spot for him, because of his similarity to Lews Therin, who Lanfear was in love with. While entering Falme, she transports Moiraine and Lan to a different place and just takes Rand with her, leaving him at the tower to rescue Egwene. Needless to say, Egwene did not need to be rescued, but Turak is dead. Lanfear tells Ishamael that she has brought Rand to Falme because he will join the Dark One’s cause, but this is an obvious and impractical bluff that no one will believe.
Ishamael knows that Lanfear has betrayed him, and he arranges for Rand to die so that he can wait for his next life to manipulate him, as that is an impossibility in this life. He asks Suroth to have her Damanes ready to still him, and when Rand is on the rooftop with Egwene, those Damanes shield him, preventing him from using his powers. They are waiting for Ishamael’s instructions to still Rand. In the meantime, Mat has made his escape, and when he blows the horn in a moment of desperation, he remembers who he is—an answer he has been looking for for so long. He remembers that he was a warrior of a past age, and the horn has summoned his friends and fellow fighters from the time.
In the present day, with this memory and a new-found confidence, Mat sets out to help Rand but accidentally ends up injuring him due to a visual created by Ishamael, thus proving Min’s prophecy to be true. But luckily for him, Egwene is strong enough to stand against Ishamael and hold him off, even if only temporarily. Meanwhile, Nynaeve and Elayne reach the tower, and the latter ends up healing Rand. However, he still cannot help Egwene since he is being shielded, but this is where we realize just how much Lanfear has been helping Rand. Moiraine sees the ships with the Damanes using the shielding weave, and she realizes what is going on. She takes down the ships with her power, thus releasing Rand, who immediately stabs Ishamael with his heron-marked sword, fulfilling the object’s destiny.
Is Ishamael Dead?
The Wheel of Time season 2’s ending reveals that Ishamael dies, just like he has always wanted to, and the friends stand together as one, ready for the next stage of whatever is to come. Moiraine creates a dragon of fire that surrounds the tower, thus announcing Rand as the Dragon Reborn to the world. During the final moments, Lanfear discovers that she was not the only Forsaken to be released by Ishamael. There are others, and she meets one called Moghdien, who is ready to kill Rand any minute she gets the opportunity. Lanfear wants to protect him, but she realizes that she is in deeper waters than she bargained for.
There is no point in denying that the finale was the season’s strongest episode. The Wheel of Time season 2 has been an upgrade from season 1, but not as much as it should have been. Either way, season 3 is already in the works, and we have enough to go on to want to watch when it releases. Hopefully, that will bowl us over the way we have been wanting this show to go since the beginning.