Wheel of Time Ep 7

The Wheel of Time Season 2, Episode 7: Daes Dae’mar

The Wheel of Time Season 2, Episode 7: Daes Dae’mar

Amazon Prime, 2023

Reviewed by Steven Poore

And now the already impressive second season of The Wheel of Time kicks up yet another gear and twists the knife deep into the characters and relationships it has carefully built up through the last few episodes. Lanfear’s scene with Liandrin Sedai was a practice run for the pain that Moiraine and Siuan Sanche (Rosamund Pike and Sophie Okenedo) must go through as the presence of the Dragon Reborn forces both women to make hard and irrevocable decisions.

            And Donal Finn finally gets some really meaty scenes for himself as Matt – through most of this season, he’s been a bit of a loose cannon, his arc unanchored to the source material. But now Ishamael tries to force him to commit to the Dark and Finn plays the conflict for all its worth, helped by some focused and imaginative photography that sees him literally fighting himself. Underused until now, this is the Matt Cauthon we deserve to see.

            A development I didn’t see coming is the revelation that Barthanes, Moiraine’s nephew no less (played in foppish mode by Will Tudor), is already a Darkfriend. Dotted through the last few episodes as a sort of harmless, cuddly eye candy to add depth to the scenes between Moiraine and her sister Anveare (Lindsay Duncan), Tudor has form in the genre and does a fine job of hiding the Dark until it’s needed.

            The setup for the season finale is rounded out by Egwene’s continued travails in Falme. As in the previous episode, she’s been fairly beaten into submission by her Seanchan handler but remains stubborn enough to retain a core of resistance. It’s the set-piece arc that holds closest to the books, along with Nynaeve and Elayne plotting to rescue her, and even if you’ve already read the series the show still manages to retain an element of danger and uncertainty – Egwene is very definitely hurt and traumatised here and there’s no guarantee that she’ll be allowed to recover.

            From here, all roads lead to Falme and, hopefully, an excellent season finale.

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