The Wheel of Time Reaches New Heights In "The Dragon Reborn"
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Spoiler Review: The Wheel of Time Reaches New Heights In “The Dragon Reborn”

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BY December 3, 2021

Episode 4 of The Wheel of Time is titled “The Dragon Reborn” which is a phrase we hear often in the world of this epic fantasy adaptation. The show still has not fully explained who the Dragon was (although you can find out in one of my Guides to the World of Wheel of Time). So far the series has only hinted at the Dragon, a mythical hero or villain who could save the world, or destroy it anew. The legends of the Dragon are thousands of years old at this point, and the title has been claimed by many over the centuries.

Who Is The Dragon Reborn In The Wheel of Time?

Logain Wheel of Time Image via Amazon Prime

The newest claimant to the title of The Dragon Reborn in The Wheel of Time is Logain Ablar. Episode 4 starts with Logain, immediately establishing his importance to the world. He was a minor noble in Ghealdan, and it was he who started the war in the south. By opening with Logain, we also see a man channel for the first time. The difference is immediately apparent, with the One Power appearing as thick smoke instead of silvery threads that the Aes Sedai weave. Logain has a surprisingly advanced degree of control over Saidin. Perhaps he has learned from these mysterious figures whispering in his ear. But with them comes madness, as it does for all male channelers. Logain is keeping the whispers at bay, but for how long?

It is clear that Logain actually does believe himself to be the Dragon Reborn. He is taking the job seriously, and it is easy to see how he rose to power. He is intense and charismatic, and absolutely has the look of a prophesied savior about him. Actor Álvaro Morte is magnetic in role, imbuing Logain with humanity and intelligence. It’s hard not to root for him, even though he is incredibly dangerous and a threat to all that we know about the world so far.

Getting To Know The Aes Sedai & Warder Communities

Wheel of Time The Dragon Reborn Image via Amazon Prime

As Moiraine, Lan, and Nynaeve join their fellow Aes Sedai we get to know many more characters alongside Logain. There are actually more Aes Sedai on-screen in this episode than I can name (although I tried). The most visible are Alanna and Kerene, both of the Green Ajah. It is Kerene who heals Moiraine at the beginning of the episode.

Alanna is an old friend of Moiraine’s, as they were novices together at the White Tower. The episode does an excellent job of depicting the bonds of sisterhood amongst all of the women. Not many of them trust one another, and there is some open hostility. But every one of them would lay down her life to save another sister, as we see in this very episode.

Wheel of Time Lan Photo by Jan Thijs via Amazon Studios

We also get to know the brotherhood of the Warders, and this is an inclusion I am particularly fond of. Largely it continues to build Lan’s character and gives him relationships outside of Moiraine. In turn this develops his relationship with Nynaeve, who does not trust the Aes Sedai and prefers the company of the men.

It also reveals the varied relationships between Aes Sedai and their Warders. Some are lovers, a few are in polyamorous queer relationships (a great detail that I was happy to see included). Others are platonic partners like Moiraine and Lan. The bond between an Aes Sedai and her Warder is closer than any other, linked both physically and emotionally. When an Aes Sedai dies, her Warder often loses the will to live unless bonded quickly by another.

The relationship between Nynaeve and Lan also continues to develop nicely in this episode. The two of them have a quiet moment where Nynaeve finds Lan praying, and he references his lost homeland of Malkier. Nynaeve opens up and reveals a bit of her own sad backstory, by reciting the last thing her parents ever said to her. She doesn’t even know what the words mean, as she does not speak the Old Tongue. But Lan does, and gives her the gift of this translation in an extremely emotional moment. You love to see it.

A Shadow Haunts Our Heroes

Wheel of Time Mat Photo by Jan Thijs via Amazon Studios

Elsewhere in the world, Mat and Rand are on the road with Thom Merrilin. We find them travel weary, searching for a barn to sleep in when they are confronted by a farmer. There is a nice character moment for Rand here, where he diffuses the tension and sways the family into helping them. Could this be the Ta’veren effect at work?

Mat is clearly struggling with the corruption from the dagger he picked up in Shadar Logoth. But Thom reads the situation differently. He explains to Rand how he had a nephew who went through similar changes. Mood swings, animals frightened by his passage, and no one knew what was happening until he threw a rock with his mind. Owyn could channel, and the Aes Sedai cut him off from the source. He lost the will to live, and Thom is haunted by guilt for not protecting him.

Wheel of Time Rand Photo by Jan Thijs via Amazon Studios

This leads to an extremely spooky dream for Rand, where he sees symbolic representations of the struggles his friends are enduring. Perrin is endlessly killing his wife – with the hammer this time instead of the axe. Mat has darkness in him, and bloody hands. Egwene is calling for him, but the man with ember eyes is muffling her voice. When he awakens, Rand and Thom race into the farmhouse where they find the dead bodies of the family that took them in. Mat is staring sightlessly into the shadows, and lifts his cursed dagger to point at the Fade. True to his word, Thom protects the two young men and engages in battle with the Eyeless. Once again, Mat and Rand run for their lives.

The Leaf Does Not Fight The Wind

Wheel of Time Tinkers Photo by Jan Thijs via Amazon Studios

Possibly the only people having a good time in “The Dragon Reborn” are Egwene and Perrin. They are safely ensconced with the Tinkers, with no danger currently lurking except for endless turnip curry. The young Tuatha man Aram flirts and dances with Egwene, but it is clear her heart is elsewhere.

Perrin is still brooding, finding peace in work and helping to repair the wagons. He has several important conversations with Ila, the head of the Tuatha in this episode. Maria Doyle Kennedy really shines in this role. A veteran genre actress who brings warmth and soul to every role she inhabits. Her speech to Perrin about The Way of the Leaf and why she follows it is heartbreaking. It also helps to enrich the world and set up Perrin’s internal struggle between pacifism and violence.

Nynaeve Channels For The First Time

The Dragon Reborn Nynaeve Wheel of Time Image via Amazon Prime

As Logain struggles to break free of Aes Sedai control, he deals a lethal blow to most everyone on-screen including Moiraine and Lan. As the characters start to bleed out, it is Nynaeve who steps in. She takes one look at Lan’s slit throat and presses her hand to the wound, refusing to let him die. Suddenly she erupts with light, channeling more of One Power than anyone else in the room could safely hold. Her area of attack healing spell touches everyone in the room, healing their wounds and reviving Lan. It is a powerful moment, and executed beautifully.

How To Gentle A Man

Wheel of Time Aes Sedai Photo by Jan Thijs via Amazon Studios

In the end, the Aes Sedai prevail and Liandrin leads the circle in cutting Logain off from the One Power. It is a devastating moment for him, but a triumphant one for the Red Ajah. Although the episode does (through Alanna) ask the question: “What if the Dragon Reborn is supposed to be at the Last Battle and the Reds have already gentled him?” It is clear that the way to handle men who can channel will come up for some debate in the White Tower. And the Aes Sedai involved in this illegal gentling will certainly face repercussions from the Amyrlin Seat.

Wheel of Time Trailer Tar Valon with The White Tower in the foreground and Dragonmount in the background | Image via Amazon Prime

If Logain is not the Dragon Reborn spun out by The Wheel of Time, then who could it be? All of the Ta’veren so far have exhibited unusual abilities, and no one truly knows what will  happen when the Dragon Reborn comes into their power. The rules are changing in the world, and the Aes Sedai must keep up. Next week we will see the aftermath of all these dramatic events, as the show begins to arc toward the end of the first book.

For all of the latest Wheel of Time news and reviews, be sure to follow Comic Years on Facebook and Twitter today. And for more discussion on the series from two book fans, be sure to check out the Comic Years Podcast as well!

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Emily O'Donnell is a writer and photographer with roots in some of the earliest online fandoms. She cut her genre teeth on the Wizard of Oz books at the tender age of 6 years old, and was reading epic adult fantasy novels by the age of 10. Decades later, she still consumes genre fiction like there is no tomorrow. She is delighted to be living through the golden age of sci-fi and fantasy popularity. She is unashamed of the amount of fanfiction that still lingers online under her name.

AdaptationsAmazon Prime VideoEpic FantasyThe Wheel of TimeWheel of Time

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