Wheel of Time: What Might Be   Show Only 
September 1, 2023 9:19 AM - Season 2, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Nynaeve faces her greatest fears.

Rand seeks guidance on his powers from an unexpected source.
posted by Faintdreams (12 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
That Novice final test is .. infuriating.

it's one of the fantasy tropes I think I like the least.

The " We have a small pool of rare candidates and so we will test them in such a way that if they fail they die and so we loose the personal/utility/skill completely ". ..

It's such bullshit and nonsensical world building - and yes I know there are real world (non fatal) parallels but that doesn't make it any less bullshit.
posted by Faintdreams at 4:19 AM on September 2, 2023 [2 favorites]

Indeed, making the interns run a deadly gauntlet just to qualify for a training program is classic toxic workplace behavior. The powerful Aes Sedai may not be afraid of trollocs, but they should certainly fear OSHA.

I'm enjoying watching this show because I've forgotten nearly everything about the books, which I read in the 90's, and it's fun to see what little bits of remembrance come burbling out of my subconscious. Season two is doing a bang-up job of capturing just how terrifying Ishamael is. What a great villain.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 10:44 AM on September 2, 2023 [6 favorites]

It's even better when you think that, like...

You are the ancient and powerful servants of all.
You keep finding these relics of a more advanced age.
When you try them out, sometimes death or stilling happens.
You find these particular arches that don't seem to make any sense or act consistently except that they definitely make you experience your greatest fears.
You sigh with relief because now you have finally found the perfect test for the lowest and least prepared level of students! They simply must try it!
posted by Acari at 11:41 PM on September 2, 2023 [6 favorites]

Well, they definitely managed to subvert my expectations. I thought Nynaeve wouldn't be back until the beginning of episode 4.
posted by wierdo at 12:29 AM on September 3, 2023 [3 favorites]

As I watch the show, I remember the vague broad strokes of the books and then, confuse myself by wandering "is this an adaptive license or did this really happen?" One of those was Mat seeing Egwene crying and just noping out of there. Was that in the book or was it just focusing more on Mat taking his different path?

The Arches, meanwhile, was one of those things I remembered happening, granted, not necessarily the details surrounding them. I can't recall the significance of Nynaeve weaving inside, other than perhaps it was a sign of her power. As is...I'm sitting on my hands waiting for that darn dagger to play a role again. :x
posted by Atreides at 6:56 AM on September 5, 2023 [1 favorite]

Review and recap of the first three episodes of Season Two on Tor.com- beware of possible spoilers (mainly in the comments I think).
posted by Coaticass at 3:48 PM on September 9, 2023 [1 favorite]

So the Trolloc Whisperer is also in league with the Necromongers and he makes a commission on the wolf force? Pick a lane guy!
posted by ActingTheGoat at 11:40 PM on September 14, 2023 [1 favorite]

Nynaeve: utter badass. Perrin: whuss. Come on man. Just do the wolf thing, get to it. Matt: even bigger whuss.

Seriously though, the actress who plays Nynaeve is great. And the character is a badass. Loved it when she told the Aes Sedai to get fucked.
posted by natteringnabob at 9:05 PM on October 2, 2023

I appreciate how they subvert people’s expectations- because of the nature of the adaptation, at first I was like “wait are they writing her out?” But no, well played.

I’m also liking what they’re doing with Liandrin more and more. But I think actually they’re getting Mat away because the novice/accepted drama needs its own space to breathe.
posted by corb at 7:48 PM on October 9, 2023 [1 favorite]

I have a surprising number of thoughts about this one!

Like Atreides, I vaguely remember the Arches from the books, but don’t have much recollection of the specifics. By contrast, the show’s portrayal was powerful, and captured the absolute cruelty and horror of the ritual in a way that the books clearly did not.

And, yes. It’s an infuriating trope, but possibly an intentional one here? Maybe it wasn’t the intent in the books, but I’m pretty sure we’re supposed to be horrified by the Aes Sedai’s complete nonchalance about the fatality rate of their rituals.

It would have been a good narrative touch for Nynaeve’s channeling to have destroyed the arches after she emerged, but alas. The Inception-style fake-out, on the other hand, was very good, and seemingly worked better on-screen than it did in the books.

Also… how do the arches even work? Shouldn’t Nynaeve have noticed that she can’t channel in her dream-within-a-dream? I think we’re meant to believe that what happens inside the arches isn’t real, because Nynaeve can’t carry her daughter through the arch… but blood and other stuff can be transported between worlds? Am I overthinking this?

The way that Elayne was dropped in and bonds with Egwene also feels jarring and unearned. Maybe that’s intentional as well?

I… don’t like what they’re doing with Rand, Perrin, or Mat? It’s fine to make Rand insane and unlikable, but it’s becoming a bit much for all three to be sulking assholes. The women are absolutely carrying this show.

I too like what they’re doing with Liandrin.

Man, some of Robert Jordan’s coined words, phrases, and place names do not roll off of the tongue. The actresses seemed to struggle with Ter'angreal in particular, and I don’t blame them!

Generally, the quality of the episodes seems to be going up, much like Season 1. The first episode of this season was pretty rough, and felt clumsy and dry even by the standards of a Robert Jordan adaptation.
posted by schmod at 5:16 PM on November 1, 2023 [2 favorites]

Oh. Also, the cold-open was pushing 21 minutes in this one, which seems just a little excessive.
posted by schmod at 7:55 PM on November 1, 2023 [1 favorite]

Alternate title:
White Tower / Black Mirror
posted by schmod at 8:33 PM on November 3, 2023

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