The Wheel of Time season 2 is quite far along, and it seems like it will end on a rather different note than what we had expected. That makes for a great binge-watch since the narrative is quite easy to devour, but we are once again left unimpressed with the characters. Mat is forever insecure, Rand gives us nothing, Moiraine is too headstrong, and Nynaeve will remain annoying. It feels like a disservice to the story that the characters remain one-dimensional despite everything they have gone through. Either way, here is a recap of episode 6.
Does Mat Go With Rand?
We are happy to see Mat make a reappearance after two episodes. It feels rather underwhelming that he is the same person he was in the first season, because if he has changed, The Wheel of Time series is giving him too little screen time to show us that.
Meanwhile, we are sure that we made it pretty clear that we are not fond of Rand. He is supposed to be at the center of everything, yet he does very little or seems to have next to no agency in anything. As he meets Lanfear in his dreams, she is not outright hostile to him and lets him know that she was the one to protect him during the time she was with him by not letting Ishamael into his dreams. There has to be an element of manipulation in that statement, but it is a concern for later. Right now, Rand asks Lanfear to prove to him that he can trust her by doing something for him. Lanfear agrees, but on the condition that he distance himself from Moiraine, which is what Rand does as soon as he opens his eyes. What did we say about his impulsivity and thoughtlessness? No wonder Moiraine is always so stressed out.
When Rand wakes up from a nightmare where he has killed all of his friends, he realizes that distancing himself from them has pushed them closer to Ishamael. He needs to show himself to them and stick together as a group so that they can fight the Dark One together. The next day, he meets Logain and asks him to teach him how to use the power, just as Moiraine wanted him to. Logain doesn’t like the idea of handing over his hard-won knowledge, but Rand convinces him that this is Logain’s only way of making sure that he leaves a mark on this world. Logain, being the showman that he is, agrees to help, and that is when he sees just how much power Rand is capable of wielding. Logain tells Rand not to worry about his finesse with his powers because the sheer force of them is formidable enough to conquer whoever he wants.
As Rand leaves the asylum, he finally runs into Mat, and honestly, this wasn’t the first reunion we were expecting. By this time, Lanfear has already shown Rand where Egwene is, so that is Rand’s next mission: to save her. He tells Mat that he is going to Falme to save Egwene. Rand is aware that it might be a trap by Ishamael and Lanfear, but he has to do what he has to do. Mat wants to go with Rand as he shares his faith that the friends need to stick together. He only has one last job, which is to tell Min about his leaving, and when he goes to do that, she lets Mat know that he will be the one to kill Rand.
Mat figures out that Min has been a planted spy all along. She keeps asking him not to go with Rand, but Mat may not listen. Or it could be that he sets off anyway but tells Rand about Min’s vision. Either way, we don’t doubt that they will be traveling together. However, before Mat can get to Rand, Lan finds him and tells him that he cannot go anywhere. It was always impossible that Lan would let his bond with Moiriane get severed just because she said some harsh words. When he sensed that she and her mission were in danger, he had to come back to her, and whatever happened next, he would be with the whole group together.
Why Does Egwene Give The Glass Of Water To Renna?
There is a particular thing that Loail says about Egwene: that she is made of steel, underneath that gentle exterior. Throughout The Wheel of Time seasons 1 and 2, we have understood this wheel as being a dictation of people’s fates across time that spins the narrative of the world. Egwene had not been able to tap into her complete powers in the White Tower, and looking at her current situation now makes us think that the purpose of it was to allow her to become her most powerful self. Renna, who calls herself Egwene’s Sul’dam, insists that they must be bonded, and Egwene becomes a ‘Damane.’ Essentially, this bond would mean that Egwene’s entire existence would be centered around Renna, and Egwene could never cause her any pain because she would end up feeling double that. The collar around her neck, which is called the a’dam, makes sure of this subservience and will not allow Egwene to hurt Renna in any way, which means that the former has no means of escape. She has to submit Renna if she ever hopes to make it out of the kennel.
Egwene resists as much as she can, but Renna seems to have done this drill before. If we read the scenes between them right, there seems to be an expectation of love here, with or without consent. At one point, Renna teaches Egwene to tap into her powers, and after she successfully does that, she asks Egwene for a glass of water. The purpose is that as long as Egwene thinks of the jug as a weapon, she won’t pour water on Renna but try to hit her with it, and the a’dam will prevent that. Egwene seems to forget about the collar around her neck for a second, and when it stops her once again, Renna is furious that Egwene has not submitted to her.
This cycle continues, and Renna keeps hitting Egwene until she doesn’t have it in her to fight anymore. At the end of Episode 6 The Wheel of Time season 2, Egwene finally pours the glass of water for Renna, implying that she won’t think of hurting her again and has submitted to being a Damane. As Egwene cries at the loss of her freedom, she hears a voice from the adjacent cell. This woman was once a sitter for the Blue Ajah, and she has been in captivity for years now. The next episode will tell us how they will fight back against their captors.
There is a lot to expect from the episode next week. The White Tower needs to be informed about Liandrin being a part of the Black Ajah. Egwene needs to be rescued by Nynaeve and Elayne, and we know that Ryma has been taken into captivity, so what has happened to Egwene will now happen to her. Perhaps breaking out of their chains will be their part in the finale of season 2.