Editor’s note: The below contains spoilers for Season 2, Episode 2 of The Wheel of Time.
The Wheel of Time Season 2’s eventful first episode, “A Taste of Solitude,” spends very little time with Rand (Josha Stradowski), an oversight that “Strangers and Friends” quickly corrects. With visions and nightmares plaguing him, the madness threatens worse than ever. Now in hiding in the Foregate, outside Cairhien, he spends his nights with the innkeeper Selene (Natasha O’Keeffe), and with his head shaved as an attempted disguise, by day he works as an orderly at a sanitarium and has integrated himself into the village. His charge, Errol (Nasser Memarzia), daily mistakes him for an Aiel, the warrior people of the wastelands, and is scared of him — but Rand is gentle with the forgetful war veteran.
At a festival, Rand decides to intimidate one of his more antagonistic coworkers, but accidentally hurts him further with the One Power. Terrified by what he’s done, he tries to send Selene away, but she stays anyway. Selene admits she lost the man she loves, and being with Rand allows her to pretend he’s still there. On the other hand, Rand says he’s trying to forget his past. Arriving at work, Rand learns that due to his coworker’s absence, he’ll be getting a promotion. His new position allows Rand to meet Logain (Álvaro Morte), who once believed himself the Dragon Reborn and was stilled by the Aes Sedai in Season 1.
Moiraine Pushes Lan Away in ‘The Wheel of Time’ Season 2
While recovering from their wounds from the Fade attack in Episode 1, Moiraine (Rosamund Pike) and Lan (Daniel Henney) prepare to leave for the White Tower despite Moiraine’s banishment by the Amyrlin Seat (Sophie Okenedo). The ice between them hasn’t thawed, and they are both still weak. Luckily, Verin (Meera Syal), Adeleas (Nila Aalia), and Tomas (Heikko Deutschmann) plan to accompany them. Verin offers to help Moiraine in her quest to protect the Dragon, saying she will locate the prophecies at the White Tower, but first, she needs to be sure how far Moiraine will go.
That same night, Moiraine and Lan recount their first meeting for the rest of the group, an encounter that happened before she chose him as her Warder. Revisiting their past brings them to a place of vulnerability, and Moiraine shares her plan to send him to the Tower alone, but Lan resists. Finally, Moiraine admits her mistake, that she and Rand set free the Dark One’s lieutenant Ishamael (Fares Fares) at the Eye of the World. She also shares the truth about Rand’s whereabouts, saying she protected him above others because that is her only loyalty, while telling Lan they have never been equals and reminding him that he failed to save her from the Fades. The argument is cut short by the arrival of Alanna (Priyanka Bose) and her Warders, whom Moiraine has summoned to take Lan back to the Tower. She rides off alone, leaving the heartbroken Lan behind.
The White Tower Has No Shortage of Drama in ‘The Wheel of Time’ Season 2
Liandrin (Kate Fleetwood) takes Nynaeve (Zoë Robins) to watch the Accepted members of the Aes Sedai work on a girl with breakbone fever, which starts to change Nynaeve’s thinking about how the One Power can be used. While Nynaeve helps, Liandrin pockets a vial of crimsonthorn root. Afterward, Liandrin attempts to recruit Nynaeve, saying healing is a reaction to sickness, but the Red Ajah stops the disease at the root. Nynaeve isn’t swayed. Even so, Liandrin announces she is taking over Nynaeve’s training, which will move her from novice to Accepted. The bump in status is too good for Nynaeve to refuse, though she knows the dangers of working with Liandrin. Still, it isn’t a wise path, or at least Alanna doesn’t think so, as she and her Warders initially meet with the Mistress of Novices, Sheriam (Rima Te Wiata), to challenge Liandrin’s training of Nynaeve. But Sheriam doesn’t change her mind. With the Last Battle imminent, they’ll need all the recruits they can get
Concerned about the vial Liandrin stole, which could be used as a poison, Nynaeve follows her soon-to-be tutor, discovering a secret way out of the White Tower. She discovers Liandrin visiting and caring for a sick man, despite the Red Ajah’s hate for men. Liandrin uses the vial she stole to help him, but Nynaeve tells her the pain has passed beyond that. Furious, Liandrin strikes Nynaeve before ordering her to leave the room and then apologizes to her “beautiful boy,” heartbroken that she can’t do anything to stop his pain. Later, a bitter Liandrin reappears outside Nynaeve’s room to take the novice to her trial ceremony to officially make her an Accepted.
Meanwhile, Egwene (Madeleine Madden) meets a new novice, Elayne (Ceara Coveney), the daughter-heir of Andor. Though their introduction starts out rough, with Elayne complaining about how small their rooms are, she is eager to make friends. Egwene shows the new girl around, but Sheriam finds them, angered by the number of personal effects the princess has brought to decorate her room, and Elayne readily accepts her punishment despite her status. Elayne is happy to be treated the same as the other girls for a change. She admits that in the past, she had been kept separate from others and, as such, has no friends of her own, but she and Egwene quickly grow to like each other. Having heard about Nynaeve’s incredible power, Elayne asks her new friend about the other girl, and Egwene vents about Nynaeve’s absence and progress in spite of the lack of interest she displays toward their training, while Egwene feels as though she’s working so hard and not getting the same recognition. Elayne advises Egwene against the jealousy she hasn’t even realized she’s been feeling. However, it’s too late, as Nynaeve overhears their conversation through the door.
Mat and Perrin Have Their Own Journeys in ‘The Wheel of Time’ Season 2
Liandrin visits Mat (Dónal Finn) in his room, bringing him a sweet cake he initially thinks is poisoned, so he waits until she leaves to eat the treat and return to his slow method of escape. Mat gets through the wall and discovers Min (Kae Alexander), the bartender who can see visions of the future (and whom we first met back in Season 1). Min and Mat work together to make the space between their rooms larger until she can crawl through, and Min shares her wine as she tells him why she’s a captive. Mat is unimpressed by her visions of the future, not even asking what she sees — and though she doesn’t tell Mat, she does have a vision of him killing Rand with the dagger from Shadar Logoth.
Following Elyas’ (Gary Beadle) tracking, the Shienarans are on Padan Fain’s (Johann Myers) trail. They come upon a house where Perrin’s (Marcus Rutherford) odd abilities allow him to see the long-ended attack from a Fade. Elyas suggests that Perrin should learn the difference between vision and reality, but Perrin blames the other man for what is happening to him. There, the group discovers a murdered Fade, raising the horrifying question of what could have done that to the creature. They keep on the trail, and at their next stop, Elyas cryptically warns Perrin that the Shienarans are not his “pack.” That night, newcomers enter the town, attacking Perrin, the Shienarans, and the villagers alike. The Shienarans fight back, taking out several enemies. Perrin saves Loial (Hammed Animashaun) before the enemies reveal themselves to be the invading Seanchan. Using their power, they beat the Shienarans and win the battle. As the Seanchan leader enters the town, she brings Ishamael along, putting Perrin and the rest of the group in a precarious position.
The first three episodes of The Wheel of Time Season 2 are now available to stream on Prime Video.