The Wheel of Time Season 2 Finale Review – “What Was Meant to Be”

Review: The Wheel of Time Season 2 Finale

Full spoilers ahead for season 2, episode 8 of The Wheel of Time, now streaming on Prime Video.

Season 2 of The Wheel of Time reaches its climax in Falme, drawing parallels to the epic battle of King’s Landing in Game of Thrones. However, despite its moments of poignancy and drama, the finale falls short, highlighting the challenges of condensing Robert Jordan’s expansive novels into just eight episodes. The season suffered from the inclusion of superfluous plotlines that wasted valuable screen time.

The Noble Cruader

While the Children of the Light are largely depicted as cruel zealots, “What Was Meant to Be” introduces the nuanced character of Geofram Bornhald. Stuart Graham masterfully portrays the conflicting nature of a man who is committed to stopping Seanchan slavers but also shares his group’s misogynistic views towards women who can channel. The chilling effect of the Whitecloaks using children and censers to obscure their cavalry’s path is a highlight of this episode.

Regrettably, Bornhald’s screen time is brief, as he meets a brutal end at the hands of Perrin Aybara. Perrin, seeking vengeance for his slain wolf companion, delivers a thrilling act of justice reminiscent of John Wick.

Darker Turns

The show takes a darker turn with its characters compared to the books, particularly with Egwene al’Vere. In an act of cathartic revenge for the Children of the Light’s cruelty in the previous season, Egwene rains fire upon them without mercy. Madeleine Madden powerfully embodies Egwene’s resolve and showcases her steely determination. The removal of Egwene’s braid, a symbol of her home, is portrayed as a deeply brutal violation.

The Consistent Highlight

The flashback scenes featuring Ishamael and Lanfear highlight the consistent excellence of Fares Fares’ performance. Ishamael’s demise is beautifully depicted, signaling a fitting end for the character. However, it is notable that the writers felt the need to introduce six new Forsaken to fill the void left by Ishamael’s departure.

Lanfear separates Moiraine and Lan, placing them away from the battle. Their intimate conversation on the beach successfully conveys the deep connections between them, surpassing romantic relationships. The renewal of their mystical bond is a visually stunning effect.

A Battle of Mixed Emotions

Rand’s duel with a blademaster and subsequent display of magic leaves much to be desired. While the visual effects are decent, certain moments, like Moiraine conjuring a giant flaming dragon, come across as underwhelming. Similarly, the chaotic movements of the warriors summoned by the Horn of Valere blur the overall impact of the battle.

The introduction of Uno Nomesta feels hollow due to the lack of character development. Insufficient time was dedicated to exploring his worthiness as a guardian of the Horn.

Missed Opportunities

The importance of the Horn of Valere is not adequately conveyed in the show, diminishing its impact on the battle and Mat Cauthon’s character. Mat’s brief glimpses of his past lives are insufficient in justifying his presence among legendary warriors. Additionally, his makeshift spear feels like a concept out of a Dungeons & Dragons game and undermines the complexity of Padan Fain as a villain.

Unfortunately, Nynaeve al’Meara’s role is limited in this episode, rendering her efforts to rescue Egwene fruitless. Her immense power remains largely untapped in the battle. The reunion of the five ta’veren from Two Rivers feels exaggerated, relying too heavily on the power of friendship to combat Ishamael.