The Wheel of Time season 1, episode 1 recap – the premiere explained

November 19, 2021
M.N. Miller 0
Amazon Prime, Streaming Service, TV Recaps


The Wheel of Time’s opening episode is a suspenseful, action-packed outing that could be the beginning of Amazon’s breakout series.

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The Wheel of Time’s opening episode is a suspenseful, action-packed outing that could be the beginning of Amazon’s breakout series.

This recap of Amazon’s The Wheel of Time season 1, episode 1, “Leavetaking,” contains spoilers. You can check out our spoiler-free season review by clicking these words.

Wow, there’s a lot to unpack here.

The Wheel of Time season 1, episode 1 recap

The series starts with two very scared men running sway from a half-dozen horrifying women riding horses. When the men are about to enter a small opening in the mountains to save their own lives, the pack leader causes an avalanche with a flick of her wrists. They fall backward, avoiding being crushed. One of them tells the other, “We can’t die like this. You can fight them!” The other man stands up, a miniature version of a Jason Momoa type, and yells, “Don’t hurt him. It’s not his fault!” A blonde woman, the leader of the women in pursuit, jumps off her horse and offers, “Who are you talking about? There’s no one else here.” The Momoa guy looks to his right, and his partner who told him to fight is gone.

Apparently, someone has already grabbed him, and the one left behind has touched a power meant only for women. He makes it dirty. So, all of the pursuer women point their rings at the man on all fours who is begging for his life. What happens next is him giving his best scream queen.

Two people are watching from above. A man and a woman. “It’s not him,” she states. The man argues that he was born twenty years ago (I’d check that ID) around the time of the dragon prophecy. She repeats, “It’s not him.” And they are off to the village of Two-Rivers.

Her name is Moiraine (Rosamund Pike). She is an Aes Sedai, a group of powerful women who would use magic as leverage. And they are looking for the reincarnation of the dragon. A prophecy that predicts this person will save the world or destroy it.


Moiraine is lying in a bath at the local hotel. It’s filled with therapeutic minerals, salts, and leaves when Lan Mandragoran (Daniel Henney) joins her. He is in a mood, but don’t worry — Moiraine waves that magic ring around the waters and turns up the heat. “Better?” she asks.

You have to love it.

The following day they both go for walks. Moiraine corners Nynaeve (played by Zoë Robins) while she is given the sacred pool’s honorable duty.

Meanwhile, al’Lan takes a walk and comes upon literal lambs to the slaughter. Thirteen, to be exact. All killed, bloodied, and laying on a pattern that spells out the number “nine” (or “six” depending on how you look at it).

Something is coming.

Rand al’Thor & Egwene al’Vere

Egwene (played by Madeleine Madden) has a woman whisper in her ear, “Let the river guide you.” Sounds reasonable enough, but she is then pushed in from behind, high above a cliff (there was a girl arrested for doing that last summer). She is frightened and is struggling against the raging waters. Then she remembers those words of wisdom and lets the river guide her to safety.

Rand (Joshua Stradowski), a Hayden Christensen look-a-like who is motherless and raised by his father. He sees Egwene had is thrilled to find her alright at her parent’s bar/restaurant (I assume it’s called “Two-Rivers Bar & Grill). He helps her with the dishes, and after they make love, she breaks the news to him — they want to teach her how to listen to the wind.

Now, you and I have no idea what that means, but to these two lovebirds, they have to go their separate ways now (think of it as high school sweethearts, and one is going away to college).

Feast of Lights

Feast of Lights is a celebration so their loved one’s souls can make it back to them. It’s a carnival of sorts. They are marking the end of the year. Rand’s father explains that this tradition is done wherever they are, as they hang a light in front of their own home. “How long does it take before the Wheel of Time turns someone’s spirit back into the world again?” His father replies, “I wish I knew. But I’m sure there’s a reason people don’t remember their past lives.”

The wheel keeps turning, no matter deaths, wars, or heartbreaks. They can take comfort in that they get to do it again the next time.

They are all about to learn the hard, cold truth of that sentiment.

The Trollocs have invaded Two-Rivers. They are the foot-soldiers in the Dark One’s army, and they are looking for the same thing Moiraine is. A cross between animal and man that walks upright and kill anything that moves, these sadistic creatures are winning the battle until Moiraine and al’Lan show up. She uses her magic powers to strike down any Trolloc. She finds it displeasing, and he covers her back while she is doing it.

The ending

Not everyone can be saved, however. There are just too many of them. Egwene and Nynaeve try to keep a fallen neighbor, a Trolloc grabs Nynaeve and drags her off. While killing one of the beasts, Perrin, here’s one behind him, swings an ax and is horrified to see it strike his love in the stomach — she bleeds out instantly. Mat (Barney Harris) goes off to find his two little sisters, who were not kept safe by his drunk parents. Finally, Rand and his father fight one off at home, but not before his father is injected with Trolloc poison.

They only survive because Moiraine refuses to leave and summons all the power from the “Light” as she uses her magic to send any rock, boulder, and brick she can find to fend off the last of the Trollocs.

With three-hundred Trollocs coming the following day, and after Moiraine cures Rand’s father, she takes Rand, Mat, Perrin, and Egwene to try and figure out which of them is the prophecy and to lead the filthy beasts away from two rivers.

What did you think of Amazon Prime’s The Wheel of Time season 1, episode, “Leavetaking,”? What was the symbol on Rands’s Father’s sword? Which one do you think is the result of the prophecy? Let us know in the comments below!

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