“Flame of Tar Valon” – The wheel of time episode 6 review
Moiraine deals with the politics of Aes Sedai as the would-be Dragon Reborns prepare for the next leg of their journey in The wheel of time season 1 episode 6, “The Flame of Tar Valon”.
After reaching the city of Tar Valon in “Blood Calls Blood”, each of the main characters finally find themselves in “The Flame of Tar Valon”. The main focus of this episode is on Moiraine (Rosamund Pike), as she is betrayed by Liandrin (Kate Fleetwood) and struggles to bring the group together again. While Moiraine was an interesting character before, “The Flame of Tar Valon” really reinforces the investment in her character and the high stakes of her mission.
The action begins with the trial of Logain (Alvaro Morte), whom Siuan (Sophie Okonedo), leader of Aes Sedai, condemns to a lifetime of suffering because of his madness. The trial is an interesting window into the workings of the Aes Sedai. After Moiraine and Alanna (Priyanka Bose) defend Liandrin’s actions in battle against Logain’s army, Liandrin immediately throws Moiraine under the bus accusing her of neglecting her duties and hiding Nynaeve (Zoe Robins) from the rest. of the Aes Sedai. Liandrin has been a hateful character from the start and hopefully she will eventually receive some sort of punishment for her ruthless actions.
As she prepares to be sentenced, Moiraine finds the newly arrived potential Dragon Reborns with the help of her network. First, she finds Rand (Josha Stradowski) and Mat (Barney Harris), curing Mat of the madness afflicting him and crying out at his stupidity to steal the dagger. Rand’s protectiveness of Mat continues to be nice to see, and Moiraine is able to prove that she cares about young adults even if she isn’t always open about everything.
Next, Moiraine reunites with Egwene (Madeleine Madden) and Perrin (Marcus Rutherford), who are still recovering from their run-in with the Children of Light. Egwene tells Moiraine of Perrin’s mysterious connection to wolves, but no answer is provided about it. It’s odd that Moiraine would lie to Egwene about Rand’s whereabouts, especially since the two reunite seamlessly by the end of the episode.
The most exciting and surprising revelation of the episode is when Moiraine secretly visits Siuan, and it is revealed that the two are lovers in a forbidden romance. While romance is implicit in the books, the expansion of subtext is a welcome addition to the series. The wheel of time The live-action adaptation did a great job of expanding the diversity of the world, and the LGBTQ+ representation adds to that. The relationship between the two is both passionate and playful, and it’s easy to root for both of them. Moiraine tells Siuan about her plan and demands that she be banished in order to complete it without Aes Sedai’s interference.
The next morning, Moiraine reunites Egwene and Nynaeve before taking them to meet Siuan. The reunion between Egwene and Nynaeve is worth the wait, and Nynaeve’s candor in meeting Siuan is fun. Moiraine then makes arrangements with Lan (Daniel Henney) and Loial (Hammed Animashaun) before receiving the requested sentence. The grief between Moiraine and Siuan is powerful, as the two are not to give any hints about their relationship with the rest of the group. Moiraine changing the binding oath of accepting her sentence to subtly declaring her love to Siuan is made even more compelling by the strong performance of the two actresses.
Leaving the tower, Moiraine encounters Lan, Loial, Rand, Mat, Egwene, Perrin, and Nynaeve in a stone structure. The reunion between the group is short but sweet. Moiraine creates a portal to take them to the “Eye of the World” where The Dark One is, telling them that she still doesn’t know for sure which one the Reborn Dragon is. She leaves out that the others will most likely be killed in the battle between the Dark One and the Reborn Dragon, and hopefully withholding this information doesn’t backfire on her in the future.
Most of the group follows her through the portal, but Mat refuses to go with them and he is left behind when the portal closes. While Mat has always been the most skeptical of the quest, his decision to stay behind is worse after all that everyone, Rand in particular, has done to support him on his journey. As the journey to the Dark One draws closer, it will be exciting to see what challenges await you through the portal in the final two episodes of the season.
Farid’s reaction video for “The Flame of Tar Valon” is below.
Author: Jessica Wolf
Jessica Wolff graduated from Drexel University with a BS in Film/Video. She has a passion for entertainment and representation in entertainment. She currently resides outside of Washington, DC.
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