Here is my The Wheel of Time S2 Episode 7 review and I think this is an episode where the adaptation changes are put to the test. As always I will staying as SPOILER FREE as possible in this review, so let’s get to it. The events of Episode 6 saw Egwene at least partially broken, Rand accosted, Moiraine summoned and the Amyrlin in town. The biggest character focus this week is on Moiraine, Rand and Siuan and for once, Matt. We get updates to the story of Nyn/Elayne, Loial, Perrin and Egwene, but only small snippets here and there.
Now, the showrunner hinted this week that there would be some major talking points for book fans in Episode 7. I think any book reader can spot one obvious answer to this riddle and one potential answer.
Without spoiling anything, I’ve been enjoying the recent episodes as so much was lifted from the books. However, the story of Moiraine, Rand, Siuan and really everyone else in Cairhien is going in a different direction from the books. For some characters, only a nudge, for others, it’s quite the push. The question is, does this work in the context of the show?
The easiest answer to give for now is, yes. The story told here provides some very interesting drama that is vital for a TV series like this. Is this suddenly bad writing or non-logical to the flow of the story? No, it actually does work in the context it is provided. Yet, the question for me will be how this plays out farther down the line? I do not expect Siuan’s story to match the books, I’m not sure how you’d pull that off without an actor change (book fans know what I mean). I think therefore the show has endeavored to give Siuan a new arc for this turning of the wheel.
It’s just going to take me a bit of time to adjust to this one and see where it goes. I’m not unhappy in any way, but I am perhaps cautious because of how Season 1 ended. Season 2 has transformed my opinion of this show, so the team has earned some wait and see points from me. Ergo, I will wait and see before I judge this adaptation change.
We do get some more Matt this week and here is where my concern is particularly tested. For any book fans reading this, my anxiety is that the show will not cover the Finn angle. Now that means nothing to show only fans and I won’t clarify in any way. My worry is that Matt’s scenes in Episode 7 are some kind of replacement for something that happens in book 4 of the series. This event is a turning point for Matt in more ways than one.
My copium, is that Ishy is literally the father of lies. Just because of what he said, it makes it seems like Matt is experiencing that. However, that does not make that actually true. My worry again though, is that I am giving the writers too much credit here and that the obvious answer is actually the obvious answer.
Let me put it this way. If things go as I fear they might now, it won’t be a deal breaker for me to stop watching. However, I will always maintain that this decision was a mistake, and once we get to that point in the show, I’ll be more vocal about why. If instead we still get the ‘thing’ I want in Season 3, then I will look back on this as clever writing and wag a finger at showrunner Rafe Judkins like Bobby De Niro in the classic gif.
What for us Show fans?
I apologies if that was a tough read for show only watchers. However, I just don’t want to spoil big aspects of the books that may or may not be used in the show. Other than my concerns above, the episode was still great. The performances were all spot on and I really felt this was an episode for Rosamund Pike and Sophie Okonedo to shine. Their relationship is where the real drama is in Episode 7 and both really pull it off.
I kinda had a few concerns about how Rand is ‘treated’ this week. I think by this point in the story what we see Rand experience would not happen. He would already have learned too much. However, I have a suspicion this has been planned very deliberately to sell something I anticipate happens in next week’s finale. Want a hint for book fans? In the trailers we’ve seen Rand in battle this season, what we see I’m not sure this Rand could pull off. So how can Rand suddenly improve between this week and next week? I have a theory. However, I’ll keep it to myself as it is based on book knowledge, which is also cheating.
There are some great little moments here. Verin actress Meera Syal continues to impress me and I can see a lot of very careful and subtle writing around her scenes so far. This gives me confidence that the writers understand her character very well indeed. Lanfear continues to eat every scene she appears in with pure evil and she’s brilliant. I’m just not 100% sure what she’s playing at yet, which I like. I know it won’t be exactly what Ishy is planning anyway. Meanwhile poor Egwene’s situation has not improved, but the little we do see this week shows us she is still not utterly broken yet. I think we will learn some important secrets next week about how the Sul’Dam and Damane link works.
Perhaps my only criticism this week is who worked out a certain secret which was revealed. I’m not sure Lan was the correct character to piece that puzzle together. Yet in some ways Lan was more like book Lan this week and it allowed for a some great lines and a chance for Daniel Henney to act again. So is that really a criticism? I think the way I would have done the same thing might not work as well with what is planned to come next. So I’ll forgive this again if it works out like I hope.
Other than that, it depends where they go next? It’s really hard to rate an episode which could go up pr down depending on next week. Yet, that’s where I am right now.
Ergo, my grade below is optimistic. If things instead go down the pessimistic angle I’d give it a B. But that would be as a book fan, not as a show only viewer.
Overall, Season 2 continues to be better than Season 1 and a good TV series. But for anyone who is looking for a more direct adaptation then some changes may annoy you. Just remember that somehow this show has do 14 books in 8 Seasons and if they didn’t change or add some things here, then they’d have to have them explored in the book way later on. If you can’t hack that as some fans cannot, then either look at this as a bit of fun, or don’t watch it. However, this is probably the only adaptation you will ever see of this story, so why not give it some slack as long as it isn’t just silly rubbish like last Season’s finale?
As always, let me know what you thought of my Wheel of Time S2 Episode 7 review and share your own Episode 7 thoughts or reviews below.
The Dragon Reviewed for S2 Episode 7 will be filmed and out today or tomorrow folks. Feel free to check out what Kyle, Christine and myself thought of Episode 6 Here.