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‘The Wheel of Time’ episode 6 review: ‘The Flame of Tar Valon’

The Eye of the storm?

The story so far: After Perrin and Egwene are captured by Whitecloaks, Perrin’s mysterious connection with wolves helps them escape. Nynaeve, Rand, and Mat are reunited in Tar Valon where Rand make a curious acquaintance. There is great friction in the White Tower and much of it is centered around the Ajahs. As the world plunges further into chaos, lives are lost in all manner of ways.

Each episode of Amazon’s The Wheel of Time has had a chance to showcase something different. This one returns to focusing on characters. In particular, there are some amazing scenes involving the Amyrlin Seat, Siuan Sanche. The series has made it clear that even those who despise Aes Sedai recognize the power of their leader. That authority is on full display here.

In the previous episodes, there was a lot of distrust from the Edmond’s Field Five towards Moraine and Lan. While much of that still exists, things seem to be getting better. This is seen most obviously in an exchange between Rand and Moraine. This is a nice bit of character development as it does not happen suddenly. It has been a gradual change over the course of The Wheel of Time.

“The Flame of Tar Valon” has some of the most shocking revelations of the premiere season of The Wheel of Time. Much of this involves Moraine and mainly revolves around her dealings with the Amyrlin. This includes an emotionally charged scene involving her position in the White Tower. The end will also comes as a surprise to many viewers.

'The Wheel of Time' episode 6 review: 'The Flame of Tar Valon'

With so much grandeur and beauty, it is easy to overlook the strong acting. There are some great moments in this episode but the best may have been one of the more subtle moments of the entire season. When Nynaeve and Egwene meet the Amyrlin, Siuan makes a comment regarding meeting one of the most powerful channelers found in 1,000 years. The reaction from Egwene is laugh out loud funny thanks to an understated performance from Madeleine Madden and is a highlight of the episode.

There are some odd decisions along the way that lead to some anti-climatic moments. Still, the episode is immensely satisfying leading to an ending that is obviously going one way before it makes an abrupt turn. There will be the obvious comparisons to a certain HBO franchise, but that would be unfair to both shows. The Wheel of Time stands on its own merits and continues to be one of the most engaging shows around.

The Wheel of Time airs on Amazon Prime Video. A new episode releases every Friday

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