Loial’s fate confirmed by Wheel of Time showrunner Rafe Judkins. It goes without saying that since Loial’s fate was left uncertain in the finale of Season 1 that anything Judkins says about Loial is a potential SPOILER for Season 2. If you’d therefore rather not know Loial’s fate. Better skip this article. For fans of the books, you’re probably going to want to read on. Show fans? Well, that’s a choice I leave to you.
Wheel of Time Season 2 SPOILERS Below!
If you are reading on then you know Loial was stabbed by Padan Fain in the climax of Season 1. This event caused some pain to fans online, was Loial killed off in Season 1? Whilst I won’t get too much into book spoilers, I will say that Loial was never killed in early books so this came as a bit of s shock. However those books fans should not panic too much as when speaking to EW Rafe Judkins confirmed that Loial is alive and present in Season 2.
“Loial is not dead. He is alive and well and shooting in Prague. I wanted people to be a little on their toes, because real deaths are coming for characters that don’t die in the books. We have to, because we can’t hold 2,000 series regulars through multiple seasons. It’s coming, and I want people to emotionally prepare themselves. The thought that Loial might be gone will hopefully start to get people emotionally prepared, but I couldn’t. He’s my favorite.”
That’s a relief to be sure, although that doesn’t answer a lot of confusing questions for me about that finale. Loial was, it seems stabbed by the ruby hilted dagger that infected Matt. For a start, we are never shown how Padan Fain gets that dagger. Did Lan just leave it lying on the floor of that Inn in Episode 6? Jointly, book readers like me know that being stabbed is one thing, but being stabbed by that dagger is a little more severe. I guess I’m saying that if this was the books and Fain stabbed Loial with that dagger, he’d be beyond probably even a trained Nynaeve or Narishma I think.
As for killing characters that live in the books. We had two in this finale alone. Both Lord Agelmar and Lady Amelisa survive until the final book in this series. I totally get why characters who don’t appear often may need to be killed off. And yet, I kinda feel we didn’t get to know either Amelisa or Agelmar that well to make that an emotional end for either. However at the same time, I’m not gonna cry that either are gone because I’ll miss any of their important moments later., frankly there were none major enough to force their inclusion.
In the related link above I reviewed that season finale poorly. At least compared to the rest of the season, which I enjoyed. However since then, I have become aware of certain mitigating circumstances. Brandon Sanderson who completed the final three books of The Wheel of Time after creator Robert Jordan’s untimely passing was consulted on episodes 1-6. However given the COVID lockdown and the problems that caused, Sanderson never got a chance to offer comments on the last two.
Watching Sanderson’s finale after thoughts on The Dusty Wheel watch party was rather illuminating. Not only did Sanderson have some better ideas for how the script could have been improved, he also talked about how at this point the production was in ‘crisis mode’. For a start one of the stars Barney Harris never returned to film those final two episodes. Hence Matt’s absence in the final two. However the production was also unable to get any of the Trolloc actors back either. Therefore all the enemies in that Season finale had to be CGI. I think that shows, sadly.
The scenes between Padan Fain and Perrin were probably written for Matt. For show only fans, they clearly have a connection through that Ruby Dagger. All this plus the fact the finale of book 1 was very weird anyway has given me some perspective. It doesn’t change my C Grade at all, I can only call it as I see it. However it does dampen some of the concerns I began having about whether Wheel of Time showrunner Judkins and his team could actually pull this off.
So Loial’s fate confirmed by Wheel of Time showrunner Rafe Judkins. Are you happy knowing Loial is not in fact deceased, expired, bought the farm, kicked the bucket etc.? Thoughts below as always.