Wheel of Time Episode 2 Review (with some spoilers!)

Wow, so they really kicked it up a notch with episode 2, eh? Vindictive shadows, magic maelstroms, trolloc armies and even a pack of friendly wolves? I must admit I’m more and more sold the more I watch at this point.

The episode kicks off with a jarring scene where the Whitecloaks, immaculate, are burning an Aes Sedai, filthy, at the stake. I wasn’t too sure about this going in, but the strange juxtaposition of the man’s refined voice and his sermon on brutality hooked me. The flavour comes from the bones and beak splitting open your mouth? Gross. Almost as gross as the bat scene. I thought both were phenomenal, as was the cinematography of witnessing the woman burn in the goblet’s reflection.

Then, of course, Moiraine establishes herself as a badass by killing a man just for trying to reach his son. Obviously, she has her reasons yaddah yaddah, but she’s kind of a terrifying enigma at this point in the show – as she’s supposed to be. The magic CGI is decent, I’d say. I prefer a visual representation of magic in films. It is a visual media after all. Likewise, the visuals of the Dark One in Rand’s dreams had just the right spooky vibes. As in the first episode, the soundtrack was spot on for eliciting feeling. I felt ebullient watching Perrin with the wolves and thoroughly enjoyed that whole scene, but maybe that’s because I enjoyed his storyline in the first three books. The music for the initial entry into Shadar-Logoth was enough to give you chills, and the music for the exit was suitably dark and urgent. I really should take a moment here to say that the Fade looked fantastic in the scene by the river. Thanks for the nightmares, Amazon.

Sure, there were some touching moments between friends, like Egwene trying – and failing - to lie with Rand, or Mat giving his knife to Perrin, but let’s move on to the meat of the meal, shall we? Shadar-Logoth. Oh my god, I thought this was done so well. It actually looked and felt (you know what I mean!) like a ghost city, and the scale of it was staggering. The shadow was not perfect, to be honest. It’s hard to be scared of a shadow. But at the same time when it exploded out and oozed through all those windows at once in some of the broader shots, it did look pretty damn cool. So kudos on that. Oh, and the ending ... where Nynaeve manages to get the jump on Lan Mandragoran? Wow. Girl got skills. And a mysterious backstory apparently. Hmmm ...

All in all, I’d say Wheel of Time has stepped up its game in this second episode – as you’d expect of a show with such a whopping budget. I’m excited to watch more! Make sure to stay tuned for the review of the next episode :)

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