The Wheel of Time Season 1 Episode 7 Review: The Dark Along the Ways

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The Wheel of Time's penultimate episode raised the stakes as one of our villagers makes a discovery that changes everything.

Elsewhere on The Wheel of Time Season 1 Episode 7, we are introduced to a score of new characters, including Min, a Seer.

This hour of suspense and discovery brilliantly sets up what promises a great finale.

Moiraine and Lan in Fal Dara Walking - The Wheel of Time Season 1 Episode 7

The opening scenes see a woman who has fought for her life for what seems like a long while during a war.

She's very good at defending herself, as she manages to take down many different soldiers all on her while also dealing with a personal circumstance.

We'll discuss the context more later, but this opening scene is very badass and, without the context (revealed at a later time), left us intrigued and confused.

Heading into the Ways presented itself as a big deal in The Wheel of Time Season 1 Episode 6, and sadly it ended up being a minor factor.

Egwene in Fal Dara - The Wheel of Time Season 1 Episode 7

The travelers leave Mat behind because if Moiraine channels inside The Ways, the Machin Shin will drive them all insane.

The Machin Shin (which means Black Wind) hunts every living thing within The Ways and is powerfully attracted to a being that channels.

Even if they wanted to reopen the gate, Loial implied that it could not be open, and Moiraine no longer trusted Mat because of his darkness anyway.

Once inside The Ways, the story became fascinating, but the production quality tanked.

The dialogue was indistinguishable, and the scenes were entirely too dark to see what transpired.

Rand and Nynaeve - The Wheel of Time Season 1 Episode 7

There only happened to be one scene where the darkness paid off: when Rand accidentally channeled.

Egwene thought it had been her, and as a viewer, it looked very well like it could've been her defense against the Trolloc.

It is later revealed in the city of Fal Dara that Rand channeled, not Egwene.

Once the channeling happened, the Machin Shin swarmed our group, and they tried to escape.

They could not reach the exit gate they wanted to, which is how they ended up in the great city of Fal Dara.

Rand and Egwene Making Up - The Wheel of Time Season 1 Episode 7

Fal Dara welcomed our travelers, and Moiraine made sure to warn them about the Trollocs inside The Ways.

There was tension between Moiraine and Lord Agelmar, which resolved quickly once no ulterior agendas were revealed.

Some of Lan's past resides in Fal Dara, and we get to learn more about what happened to his family.

He and Nynaeve have become close, and it's lovely to see him open up to someone as he is usually highly reserved.

In an intriguing turn of events, Nynaeve and Lan opened up more than just their minds to each other.

Nynaeve with Lan Looking On - The Wheel of Time Season 1 Episode 7

Innuendos aside, Nyaeve and Lan's relationship takes a sexual turn.

The writers have been toying with their relationship for some time, so it's interesting to see it playing out.

Moiraine knew, or at least we think she knew, and it also provided terrific cover for later on when the Dragon's identity revealed itself.

When the Machin Shin swarmed the group, the Dark Wind caused terrifying whispers in everyone's ears, either about dying, killing, or losing everything they have: except for one of the villagers.

This specific villager received terrifying whispers, confirming them as the Dragon Reborn.

Moiraine Looking Over Her Shoulder - The Wheel of Time Season 1 Episode 7

Before we get to the big Dragon Reborn reveal, we need to discuss Min.

Min proved to be one of the best side characters introduced (up there with Thom), and we hope she'll be on our screen a lot more.

Portrayed by Kae Alexander, Min is a Seer that Moiraine visits while in Fal Dara to try and see if she can tell who the Dragon Reborn is.

Min: It's quite invasive this. They know what I am?
Moiraine: No, no one does thanks to the Aes Sedai. I mean if we revealed what you are you'd be hounded every minute of the day! Or worse.
Min: The big brooding one has-
Moiraine [interrupting]: They're both big. And they both brood.

Min cannot tell who the Dragon is to Moiraine but did confirm Perrin's yellow eyes (his connection to the wolves).

Moiraine feels defeated and presents the situation to all of the villagers.

Moiraine In Fal Dara - The Wheel of Time Season 1 Episode 7

She wanted to bring them all to the Eye of the World, which would mean any one of them that is not the Dragon will die.

Rightfully, anger ensues, with Nyneave being the most resistant and Egwene being the most convincible.

Eventually, they all decide that the right thing to do is go to the Eye, but it's too late, and the Dragon themselves approached Moiraine, and they had already left the city.

We can't keep it contained anymore, so if you haven't seen the episode yet and want to keep the identity of the Dragon a secret until you watch...

SPOILERS AFTER THIS IMAGE!!!!

Min, The Seer - The Wheel of Time Season 1 Episode 7

With the Dark Wind's whispers in his ears, his ability to channel, and the Seer revealing his unknown past, the Dragon gets revealed.

The woman fighting in the snow happened to be 20 years ago, and she was pregnant, about to give birth.

As a soldier almost killed her, he let her live long enough to give birth.

That soldier? Tam al'Thor. That badass woman? Rand's biological mother.

Lan: Moiraine masked our bond.
Nynaeve: I don't understand.
Lan: She left.
Nynaeve: By herself?
Egwene: Rand!

Rand al'Thor is the Dragon Reborn -- Min tells all of this to Rand when he approached her.

Rand Letting His Frustrations and Doubts Out - The Wheel of Time Season 1 Episode 7

Book readers can rejoice! Your worries about them changing the identity of the Dragon were in vain.

I may not know most of the details changed, but I know that Rand al'Thor is the Dragon in the books.

I'm grateful it's Rand because all of the other characters have so many other things on their plate that it wouldn't make sense.

Egwene and Nynaeve are powerful channelers and have a bright future with the Aes Sedai, while Perrin has much to discover with his wolf relation.

On the other end of the spectrum, Mat may not end up fairing so well.

Perrin in Fal Dara - The Wheel of Time Season 1 Episode 7

Moiraine alerted her confidant in Fal Dara about him and how she should give his name to the Aes Sedai.

When explicitly asked which Aes Sedai, Moiraine said the Red Ajah.

Moiraine has now (essentially) put out a hit on Mat.

She does not trust the darkness inside him and wants to ensure that he is dealt with properly.

Nynaeve: What's gotten into you?
Perrin: I could've sworn I just saw Padan Fain walk past us.
Nynaeve: The peddler? Perrin, Padan Fain's dead.

Interestingly, we got to see the back of a man walking towards Fal Dara that looked suspiciously like Padan Fain, which raises so many questions about his character that we haven't seen in a long time (and presumed dead).

Lord Agelwar - The Wheel of Time Season 1 Episode 7

Did I say finale?

Moiraine and Rand are on their way to the Eye of the World, Lan and the others are left at Fal Dara to deal with the fallout (and possibly catch up), the Red Ajah now wants Mat, and there's only one episode left?

With so many opened threads, we cannot wait until the 8th and final hour of the first season; but we are also dreading having to wait for season two.

Thankfully, a second season is already confirmed, so we at least know we are getting more of the story.

Nynaeve Brooding - The Wheel of Time Season 1 Episode 7

The pacing of this hour proved to be the best of the season.

It launched the plot to a specific point that will lead to an explosive finale while still developing personal stories and new characters.

We wish the production quality were better during the scenes in The Ways, especially the sound (which only minorly improved for the rest of the episode).

One final issue: Loial disappears! Once they enter Fal Dara, we don't see him quite often, and he's nowhere to be seen at the end.

Where did you go, Loial? We missed you!

Perrin and Egwene in Fal Dara - The Wheel of Time Season 1 Episode 7

This episode did resolve a few questions, but it added so many more!

How do you think this season will end?

Are you looking forward to the finale?

Let us know what you think!

The Dark Along the Ways Review

Editor Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (23 Votes)

Michael Stack is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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The Wheel of Time Season 1 Episode 7 Quotes

Lan: Moiraine masked our bond.
Nynaeve: I don't understand.
Lan: She left.
Nynaeve: By herself?
Egwene: Rand!

Nynaeve: What's gotten into you?
Perrin: I could've sworn I just saw Padan Fain walk past us.
Nynaeve: The peddler? Perrin, Padan Fain's dead.