A lot of people are likely tripping on why Mat didn’t join the group along the Ways, since it would appear that much like other moments in The Wheel of Time series, it’s deviating from the books in a manner that people didn’t expect. What’s amusing about this is that there are people that will roll with it and see where the story goes as a result and those that will whine and complain that things aren’t going the way they expected. But the point of this is that the series is moving forward at a clip that’s making it evident that the finale is going to be something that will undoubtedly get a lot of people talking in a number of ways that will create a debate as to whether the second season will be worth watching. If things are still building then the answer from this source will be yes, absolutely, especially since upon reading the books one will find the differences, and might even agree that they’re not quite as bad as some might think. But learning the few things that stem from the reveals that are found in this episode, one can’t help but wonder what the story will hold for the rest of the group.
As always, if you haven’t watched the latest episode then you might need to stop reading since there are spoilers coming, such as the fact that Rand has found reason to believe that he is the Dragon Reborn, while Nynaeve has found reason to doubt the quest at every bend and turn in the road. When the group has to leave the Ways earlier than expected due to the presence of something that causes them to doubt each other and themselves, things tend to get a bit tense for a bit. The doubt that’s allowed to spring forth is enough to get the group to start snapping at one another as Perrin and Rand almost come to blows, and eventually, Rand does feel the need to apologize to Egwene for doubting her friendship with Mat.
But the truth is, Mat is not a trustworthy individual, at least not as far as it’s been seen, since not only is he lazy, but there is a darkness in him that makes a person wonder what he’ll be like once he shows up in the story again. At this point, it’s hard to like anyone but Lan, especially since he doesn’t appear to have any hidden secrets that could harm anyone, or allow him to make assumptions about anyone that might be false. Moiraine, as important as her quest is, almost feels as though she’s being a bit naive, but also a little dubious since she has a good idea that whoever she takes to the Eye of the World might not be coming back. It feels a bit soon in the series to be this climactic, but it could be that those who have read all the books could tell a lot of us a few things if we only asked. It’s better to savor the mystery however and hope that things will turn around for the heroes, or that something else will happen that will keep the action going and the story moving in a direction that will make sense of it all.
In the meantime, the fact that Moiraine has dampened her link with Lan and decided to head out with Rand after he revealed what he was told by a seer is worrisome since despite being a strong pairing, it feels as though Rand’s lack of experience in the world is going to be a serious failing that will end up making life a lot harder. But that’s a part of the story most of the time, there needs to be a struggle in order to make it all worth it. The ending of this episode painted a vivid picture of how hard the way forward is bound to be for the heroes, and also gave a less than certain idea of whether Lan and the others would follow Moiraine and Rand. But the fact that the seer managed to tell of things to come makes it obvious that the story isn’t bound to end on a note that will anger the fans. For one, the idea that the Amyrlin Seat will be the downfall of Moiraine is tough to think about after the previous episode, and the fact that something dark appears to be on the horizon for Perrin, maybe, is haunting enough to think that things won’t end anytime soon. Season 2 is bound to take a while to emerge, but that will probably give a lot of people time to read the books, if they desire, and catch up on the lore of The Wheel of Time. Then folks might understand why the series isn’t following the story step for step.