The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again. In one Age, called the Peak TV by sone, an Age yet to come, an Age long past, the official trailer for a TV show rose above the great mountain- and sea-ringed valley of Hollywood. The show was not the beginning. There are neither beginnings nor endings to the Wheel of Time. But it was a beginning.
After labeling the first trailer a “teaser,” we get another full trailer labeled the “official trailer.” This one didn’t jack my excitement up like the first one did, but that is because it remains high from the first one. I won’t (or at least will try not to) dwell on this one as long as I did the first one, but that is because of the nature of this one. This trailer is much more about setting up the conventional story book readers know and love. It doesn’t have as many surprising points (although we do get some impressive and exciting visuals). For the most part, my wild speculation about how the season will play out remains intact after this trailer. Not that that will stop me from adding some new speculation.
Let’s get to it!
We see Moiraine swear the Three Oaths. I am annoyed right off the bat because they truncate the third oath, which reads in full: “Never to use the One Power as a weapon except against Darkfriends or Shadowspawn, or in the last extreme defense of her life, the life of her Warder, or another Aes Sedai.” Leaving off the Shadowspawn and defense part undercuts the binding nature of the Oaths, since Moiraine is clearly using the One Power as a weapon later in the trailer. This is the only real misstep of the trailer.
We see Moiraine lining up against Logain. More evidence that Logain will play a bigger role in season one than in book one. I still think at least part of the fellowship will link up with the Aes Sedai escorting Logain to Tar Valon. But I think this shot precedes Moiraine’s trip to the Two Rivers.
Don’t let the shots in Tar Valon fool you, the actual dialogue choosing to trek to the Two Rivers takes place in the woods. Sure, it could be Tar Valon’s Ogier Grove, but I am guessing this scene takes place between a Logain scene and Moiraine and Lan’s arrival in the Two Rivers. Something has to happen before that bit of dialogue for it to be necessary. I would have expected her to be introduced on arrival to Two Rivers. The most plausible explanation is Moiraine’s involvement with the capture of Logain. The show will use Logain to show, not tell, the danger of male channelers.
This statement by Moiraine might be the most interesting in the trailer: “The Dark One is waking. But there will be one who can stand against him. And it’s one of the five of you.” This is in keeping with my prior predictions that the show will play coy with who is the Chosen One, and even the gender of the Chosen One. Jordan tried the former a bit, but using Rand’s POV rendered that ineffective. The show doesn’t have that problem, but it will be interesting if other clues are retained (down to little stuff like Perrin and Mat deferring to Rand as their leader). Note, too, that Moiraine never uses the word Dragon Reborn. It may be that memory of the Dragon has faded in the show-world, at least among lay people. Moiraine does use the term in the Moiraine’s Quest teaser. And I suspect she knows his gender but is playing coy (there is no lie in the above statement either way).
Also we get an epic braid flip by Nynaeve here.
Narg sighting! I was initially thrown off by Trollocs in action, but I think that was mainly the weird 360 video trailer Amazon first put out.
The surroundings look very Aiel Waste, but this must be Fal Dara. It certainly looks like the swooping black hawk of Shienar on the backs of the guards, and the topknot is a dead giveaway. I speculated that they might cut out Fal Dara, so that is one bit of speculation I can mark down as wrong. But if we return to the debate over which cities Amazon spent the FX budget on, note that Fal Dara doesn’t look much like a city here but rather a fortress. And that may be (a scaled down) Tarwin’s Gap in the background.
I suggested in my post analyzing the first trailer that the Whitecloaks might not show up until Toman Head in season two. That is a second prediction contradicted by this trailer (and the GQ photo). I have gripes with the GQ photo, but I love this. The reflection in Valda’s goblet of the woman burning at the stake, the blood on his fingers and the towel, the juxtaposition against all the white. It’s an arresting visual. The string of Great Serpent rings from the next shot provoked an almost visceral reaction from me even when I thought they were bells.
We also get confirmation that the Whitecloaks still capture Perrin and Egwene. And that looks to be a Tinker on the ground (no surprise they decided to make the Tinkers more subdued visually then they are described). I wonder how the rescue will go down if Lan is to be with Logain instead of here. I also hope this doesn’t mean they cut Elyas (and the ravens!).
As is standard practice, we get a flurry of images toward the end of the trailer. The most excited by far is our first look at the Aiel. This is obviously a flashback to the Blood Snow. The biggest question is whether it is from Lan’s perspective or Tam’s. Tam makes more sense because his role there was just so much more important in the grand scheme of things. It makes playing coy with the Chosen One’s identity hard, but the drama of Rand hauling a feverish Tam through the woods to Emond’s Field is just too good to pass up. I thought they might leave Tam and Rand in the village on Winternight for simplicity’s sake, but the Narg scene suggests they will return to their farm that night after all.
Sir Not Appearing in this trailer are Thom and Fain. Thom is definitely in season one, but they are playing coy. Fain could in theory be cut, but I expect we will see him both at the beginning and the end of the season. Elayne’s late casting confirms she got pushed to season two. I still see no indication that Caemlyn will make it into season one. I suspect they will wait to introduce Min as well.
There is a lot more focus on the five villagers here, and I am happy to see that. This trailer also does a better job giving a sense for what the story is for the non-book reader, I think.
Just a few more weeks!
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