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WOT on Prime Episode 8 - SPOILERS
I appreciate that Thal. But I've had a while to go over it, think about it, and examine things- and my feelings haven't changed. I am incredibly disappointed in the decisions they've made with the entire season. And it can't all be blamed on Amazon giving only 8 episodes to do it. Not by a long shot.

Anyway, that's all I'll say.

Merry Christmas everyone!!!!
"Good and ill. 
We're like the wind, 
we blows both ways."
- Mad Sweeney, American Gods
I don't mean that they didn't have enough episodes, or that the cuts/changes were because of Amazon or time. Just that it's an adaptation of the whole series, and that might inform changes that seem odd now but make sense later. However, it still needs to work episode by episode and season by season. You gave it a fair chance, can't ask for more than that.

Merry Christmas!

Jay Wrote:Ishamael stole LTT"s ring? 

That bitch!

Lews totally wore it better.
"Rivers are veins of the earth through which the lifeblood returns to the heart."
[Image: thal-banner-scaled.jpg]
 | Sothis Lethe Alethea | Miraseia |
So, change of pace. I can't talk anymore about the things I didn't like about the series because I am tired of it, but also because so much of it made no sense. The adaptation is one of the series, I totally get. But given the payoff in the 1st season (when it was most crucial to get to know the main characters better, to develop a connection to them and begin to have favorites), and given the very limited episode number and length, it makes less and less sense that time was spent on things that could not be afforded. Things that had no pay off in the first season. Everyone comments on an extra 5 minutes here, and extra 5 there. I can tell you where that time could have come from. Telling the story from Moiraine's perspective was critical. She was the right lens from which to do it. But that didn't mean that came at the expense of not getting to know the other main characters. This was RJ's problem during the slog, when we saw more of the peripheral ones than the main ones or got caught up in things that ended up not mattering.

When you have 8 hours to tell a story, every minute counts. You are building a world. But this isn't just a reading aloud of the Big White Book. The world building needs to happen, but not at the expense of the main story. While there was potential to make the warder bond, and more particularly what happens if an AS dies, a big part of the story, this wasn't the time- especially since it DIDN'T end up being crucial to this season. Again, time is precious and should be spent on things that have relevance in a new series.

In all honesty, the characterization of Rand, Mat and Perrin is minimal. Egwene and Nynaeve are a bit better, but only because time was taken to go on about their potential. To show more sides to them. To flesh them out. I think it could have been done without giving away the dragon mystery (which I think worked.) Instead, they are all very one note. And Perrin, frankly...well, I joked to others that it seemed Rafe set his goal of getting Perrin to the lame and mopey Perrin of the later books as fast as possible- and with the handicap of not having Faile or her kidnapping, no less! And damn, but did he prove it could be done.

I said I wouldn't talk about it, but then I did. So change of pace, part 2 (electric boogaloo. Heh, doubt anyone get's that reference ;-) )

Things that were absolutely great.

1) the AoL really looked fantastic. Someone was able to match that sweeping scene outside LTT's window (at 3:45 in ep 8) with one in the first episode ( They DO match!. That was a very cool visual reference (having it be in midst of war with jocars and shock lances and sho-wings alongside Dragkar and Wyrms would have been cooler though ;-) )

2) Loved Ishy. He WAS very cool and subtle. I liked his smile at the.

3) Joiya- nice nod there. During Egwene's Accepted test, she is married to Rand and has a daughter Joiya. Secretly she learns he can channel and ends up having to leave both of them to go through the doorway.

4) the test was really cool. Here you think Rand's question will have stumped fake-Egwene. But this is truly like the worlds of "if" which I've always believed were accessed through the Accepted (and AS) tests. And how Ishy manipulates's like he has all the cards and no matter what Rand does, it only accomplishes his will.

This was a HUGE improvement on the book ending. There, it was sort of unclear what Ishy wanted. "Join me?" Yeah? How? What did he want Rand, exactly, to do? The whole ending was a mess. Here, it was clear he wanted Rand to help break the seal. Not sure how that happened, exactly. Seals are unbreakable unless it's because of the taint/true power.

Still, they might have worked out the metaphysics here.

5) The Seanchan are wonderfully frightening. The CGI was rough, Ill say (like the xbox 360 trollocs). And the look of collars is different. But I can imagine animating (or acting around practical) leashes would be a nightmare. The concept of a leash is to show enslavement. The look of the damane does the job effectively.

6) did you note the Suldam matching the movements of the damane? what a clever way to show the suldam are controlling them. Like, genius.

7) Padan Fain is a bad ass. Loial isn't dead thankfully (though if he was stabbed with the SL daggar, not sure how that happens. It was off screen, so, there is that.) But, regardless, having Fain walk through Fal Dara with two Myrdraal at his heels- awesome. Just awesome. He's not the grandiose and pathetic man that he was in book 1 and he's not the schizo in book 2. He's not mad at all. Which makes him a much more effective villain.

8) (skipping over the whole plotline of the horn's location and the complete lack of logic- more like the plot driven decisions, really, for its introduction. could have been done a million times better.) I really liked the way they've immediately jumped into the plot of book 2 with the hunt of the horn. Because that's what was what a lot of the book was about.

9) Rand leaving at the end....It may be that Rand is excised from that hunt and instead goes on his book 3, dragon reborn vision quest, and that the hunt of the horn ends in Tear, along with callendor's taking and the intro of the Aiel as people of the dragon. That seems like a fitting way to merge both books while giving a satisfying story.

10) then again, speaking of the the battle over falme and the blowing of the horn really going to be cut? (I won't lie, if they give this to Nynaeve and Egwene, this bothers me. They have their own stories. Nynaeve saving Egwene with min was awesome.) Rand has to confront and defeat the ever victorious army. But they haven't made it to Tear. So...this is a conundrum. And decisions will have to be made...this is a pickle.

so those are my thoughts of a more positive nature, this time around.
I would love to see the original script, prior to Barney Harris leaving, to see how major the changes were (we can guess at some I think, and honestly, my gut feeling is the revisions here have made a major difference). Episode 7 and 8 weren’t given to Sanderson for feedback either because of the tight turn around, and (though I enjoyed them both) I think it shows.

Episodes 3-5 were standout imo, and I think 6 would have also been excellent if not for the massive changes forced to explain Mat staying behind in Tar Valon. I’m convinced the Ways were originally filmed as being opened by the Avendesora leaf, and that scenes with Loial were cut as a result. This means we were also given less context for Fain entering the Ways (and why), and would have had major repercussions on the whole dagger plot. I liked Perrin’s confrontation with Fain but I can’t help but wonder if it was an adapted scene meant for Mat.

Episodes 7 and 8 had problems, but for me they still made me excited and gasp and feel, so I call that a win, and I’m looking forward to the second season. And I want all the merch lol.

I saw the AoL landscape picture yesterday, it’s a fabulous detail! This was near the Two Rivers right? Or did we see it somewhere indeterminate in ep1? (I can’t remember other than it was near the beginning) I just wondered if it meant anything for where the LTT and Latra scene was set.

Was it a world of “if” or a dreamshard? My thought was that Ishy had lured them to the Eye (through Suian’s dreams) and touching the AS symbol was the trigger for Rand getting trapped. This is one of the things I think is potentially quite frustrating with the series – we aren’t always given enough context or information to work out exactly what’s going on, or it’s left vague and never confirmed one way or the other. The show understanding of who Ishy is and his mastery over dreams is never really revealed, because the characters are ignorant of it. Even Moiraine’s line about the WT libraries being purged by darkfriends was glossed over.

I definitely think Ishy was always holding all the cards. Since I love a good villain, I enjoyed that  a lot. I presume the seals are already weakening but he needed Rand to expedite the process, and trigger Ishy and the other Forsaken’s release. He just needed Rand to channel extreme amounts at the seal, that’s it I think. It didn’t actually matter if it was to make Joiya real or to “kill” the DO because it was engineered that he’d be channeling in the same spot, and the result would have been the same – the seal broken. It was what made his taunt to Moiraine about how Rand was channeling and she did not know if he was strengthening the chains or breaking them so effective; it never mattered, so long as he did channel. She thought she was in control by holding a knife to Rand’s throat, but it was all totally doomed from the start. Even if she slits his throat, the Light loses.

I was waiting for that epiphany at the end but it was just a vague “this isn’t over.”

The Seanchan look terrifying. I like the stylistic choices for the sul’dam and damane.

I’m gonna refrain from predicting season 2, because I really have no idea, haha. I did wonder if Rand might stumble over a certain daughter heir before ultimately realising his task as the dragon is not over.
"Rivers are veins of the earth through which the lifeblood returns to the heart."
[Image: thal-banner-scaled.jpg]
 | Sothis Lethe Alethea | Miraseia |
Me again Tongue

Watched with my husband now. Second time round I pretty much loved it. He did too. I thought the cgi was pretty great and not cheesy or weak. And I got a better look at the Seanchan helmets this time. I want one too now XD

Question! How much did Moiraine really know about the identity of the dragon??

She makes a point of saying the sa’angreal was created by male channelers. We know this is the sa'angreal we see her wrap in cloth and pack at the beginning. If she didn’t think the dragon was going to be male, why did she have it? There’s no indication she has a female sa’angreal (if she did there’s no chance she wouldn’t have used it herself before now).

I’m really starting to think that Moiraine personally suspected Rand from almost the beginning and that this obfuscation was the biggest example of unreliable narration in the series. She was never 100% sure – the prophecies are varied, unreliable, and tampered with by darkfriends – but I wonder if she manipulated and used that uncertainty so she could misdirect everyone around her and the audience. She never admits who she thinks it is. Not once, and not even to Suian. She nearly always relates it back to what the “prophecies” say, which is to say “potentially” the dragon could be lots of things.

Even when Rand says he thinks she thought it was Egwene, she doesn’t answer. In the face of a male dragon, who wouldn’t have hoped for a woman. And if we’re going to be really ruthless, Egwene as a powerful channeler in her own right , and more importantly one who is tied and loyal to the White Tower, is their best shot at controlling Rand as dragon, and perhaps staving off the madness for long enough for him to do his job. Everyone, including Ishy, realises that at this point Egwene is the most important thing in Rand's life.

I also think there is evidence that she wanted Rand to come to the conclusion on his own, and take responsibility for it too. No box here, he has to make the decision for himself. What Asc said before, about her not telling them Machin Shin told lies, but just to put it from their minds. I wonder if she was waiting for Rand to come to her. And the explanation Fain finally gave for ta’veren (also, interesting that at this point he names Rand as the dragon). Moiraine knew that too. She knew she needed them all, even if she suspected which one of them was the dragon.

I can’t decide if it’s absolutely masterful or I’m just overreaching how clever and manipulative Moiraine is (or how intricate the writing is).

About the horn, I think it being under the throne was a simplification. Maybe they’ll just dispense with the hunters. The heroes still seem to be part of the public mythos (the Bigitte doll) and it’ll still have to be retrieved from Fain. The “Lord Yakota” character may have also had a part to play in that bit feeling a bit weak. He was supposed to be Ingtar, but was renamed due to the actor being unavailable for season 2. The thing I actually disliked most about it was the insistence that it should be saved for the dragon. Uh, hello, your city is on its knees. Fuck the prophecy, someone just blow the thing. Oh, wait, no... okay, sure, let's go and investigate that noise in the hall. It'll be safe right here *pat pat*

Also wondered if it's actually in the box since we never see it XD

Still didn’t like Egwene healing Nynaeve. If Nynaeve was only “mostly” dead that should have been far clearer, and I think it would have made for a more powerful scene too. The connections, bonds, and different forms of love between the characters is a wonderful highlight for me. Showing how much the girls love and fight for one another is beautiful but the scene just missed the mark and fell into cheap thrill territory. It's a shame because the scene of them crying and holding one another in the middle of the carnage was pretty emotive otherwise.

Asc, shall we set up an Ishy fanclub? I’m smitten XD

I have another question, this one about what went down at the Eye 3000 years ago. Because by what Rand saw, Lews really did meet Ishy there. So what actually happened? What IS the Eye and why did darkfriends purge all records from the Tower library?

Oh, and final thought, about the Aes Sedai who beat Moiraine into channeling. Do we think Elaida? Because now Moiraine is shielded (and I wonder if she is not sure herself whether it’s that or a stilling, she will never have been shielded by a man) I wonder if she might seek this woman out to help her channel again.
"Rivers are veins of the earth through which the lifeblood returns to the heart."
[Image: thal-banner-scaled.jpg]
 | Sothis Lethe Alethea | Miraseia |
How do 4 untrained channelers and one woman who flunked out of Tower school destroy an entire army of Trollocs but 5 full AS and their warders struggle to hold off an army of Logain's followers in Episode 4?

Yeah. Amalisa burned a few out but they were untrained at holding the power. You'd think that 5 full sisters linked could have defeated Logain's motley army without issue. From the ending od episode 3, it was clear where they camped was one with a well defended entrance with high vantage point. A vigilant guard, a defended perimeter and an effective response plan would have kept their camp safe from attack from forces any competent commander would know was coming.

The AS could have easily set up their own little Dumai's Wells like Amalisa did.

It feels like channeling is magical and follows no rules except whatever the plot dictates. Hence Egwene suddenly healing Nynaeve from the brink of death when no indication is given she has that talent (and in the books Egwene was training to be wisdom and even when power trained, could maybe handle a few bruises.)

Felt very deus ex machina and plot driven.
"Good and ill. 
We're like the wind, 
we blows both ways."
- Mad Sweeney, American Gods
Alanna pretty much dealt with the army on her own without needing to link. She even sends the other Aes Sedai to the cave and Logain AND still manages to arrive in time to help gentle him. We see that battle through Nynaeve's eyes which is perhaps why it looks so frantic.

Kerene's wards warned them. They say more than once before the attack that they believed Logain's army had run home. Why they believed that is unclear; presumably arrogance.

Amalisa wasn't strong enough to become Aes Sedai, and was expecting to link with the power of similar women (non Aes Sedai and therefore weak). She was vastly unprepared for the power of two of the strongest channelers the Tower has ever seen. The amount we see her wield is entirely down to Nynaeve and Egwene. I'm not sure you can call what she did nuanced. She lost control and killed two women and herself. Lore change aside (and I suppose you could argue she didn't know how to link safely) it illustrated the point excellently.

Egwene's healing I disliked. I'd like to see them explain that but not sure they will. Other than that it makes sense though, and like it's following internal rules even if some of them vary from book rules.
"Rivers are veins of the earth through which the lifeblood returns to the heart."
[Image: thal-banner-scaled.jpg]
 | Sothis Lethe Alethea | Miraseia |
I suppose that's something. It's a good explanation, all considered. Rafe should get you to write some of these. It wouldn't take much for these things to be smoothed out. Still don't like the seemingly inconsistent rules and it wouldn't be hard fix things.
"Good and ill. 
We're like the wind, 
we blows both ways."
- Mad Sweeney, American Gods
I have some thoughts too. This is mostly just my stream of consciousness for others to read should they want. It also gives me something to look back on in the future to see how right or wrong I was. haha. read if interested. No worries if you skip it. I am just grateful for the opportunity to discuss.

Part 1: 

Some of you may know that I came to love WoT after finding EotW sitting on the kitchen table at my big brother's house. After I read the series, we talked about it so much, that my mom read the series next. 

Fast-forward like 30 years and my 70-year-old mother has re-read the series probably more times than I have. So she is pretty well versed in the WoT story and characters. I'm probably more well-versed in the mythology but only because I've studied it so much for RP'ing purposes. 

So of course my mom was really excited for the show. She watches it every week and the next day we get together and talk about all the details. Since my brother is gone, it's kind of like something that we do in his honor and share what we think he would have really liked. 

So the point of my post here. 

My mom ordered amazon prime simply to watch this show. She was not a Prime subscriber before this. Rafe said that he knew the hardcore fans of the books would probably dislike their changes, and they would lose the hardcore book fans. He also said the following:

Rafe Judkins Wrote:Rafe Judkins: When we started out, we knew the show had to appeal to a huge audience in order to justify its existence. So we always imagined that we’d likely lose absolute hardcore book fans who’ve read the series multiple times because the show would be too different from the books. And conversely, that we’d lose people who’ve never watched a fantasy show before because it’s too much like the books (which are very high fantasy). The target was always more people who read some or all of Wheel years ago or are fantasy/genre fans but not familiar with Wheel. Which is a huge breadth of people. 

My mom loves the show. She loves fantasy in general, including LotR and Star Wars, but is a casual fan of both. She just loses herself in the story and doesn't pick apart every detail like hardcore fans. For instance, she doesn't care if the Horn of Valere was in Far Dara or the eye. She is just trying to remember what the Horn of Valere even is. lol. So here are some of the things I asked her about. Keep in mind, she has read the books multiple times through.

I asked if she liked Isha'mael. She was confused by my question and thought that 'the man' really was the Dark One until I reminded her. Point being, the show's misdirection worked.

I asked if she liked the showdown with Rand at the end tempting him to turn to the Dark. She loved that scene and thought it was super sweet how Rand was offered everything that he wanted all along. That he considered Egwene's feelings made him be so self-sacrificial and very Dragon-like. She really thought the channeling at the end was so powerful and cool looking. 
She didn't realize the cracked Aes Sedai symbol on the floor was a seal on the dark one's prison. She remembered the seals of course, but didn't know that's what that was. Of course, the show doesn't actually explain that. All the book-fans are just inferring it's the seal. Once I explained that's what we think it is, she said it made sense because the seals are all breaking. She doesn't care how it broke or why Rand's channeling broke it. She recognized that it breaks and is satisfied with that.

I asked what she thought about the girls channeling in the circle at the gap. She loved that scene. It made the women all look really powerful and she noticed that the untrained channelers burned out faster than the others. she didn't really understand how Nynaeve made it so that she pulled more power through herself than Egwene in order to spare Egwene burning out. But she said she noticed Egwene healed Nynaeve's burns and thought it was really sweet and sisterly. she said she figured Nynaeve wasn't dead because you can't heal death. My mom is a nurse and knows for sure the difference between almost dead or dying and all the way dead. It seemed completely plausible to her. The mechanics of how one woman pulls more power through themselves than another during a circle is irrelevant to her. It made for an exciting and moving scene. That's all she cares about.

After I read the Q&A last night with Jason Denzel, I had an epiphany. He talked about the highs and lows for him on the show and why he's stayed so positive as a fan in the face of the fandom. My epiphany was this. 
I bought my son a Darth Vader lightsaber for Christmas. Does my son care about apparent Force mechanic contradictions in Episode VII-IX? Of course not. He's 6 and a huge fan of Star Wars. I will still watch Mandalorian, Boba Fett, Ahsoka and Obi-Wan because I love the fun and escapism of Star Wars. 

Rafe said above that their target audience was book fans who maybe read them years ago or general fans of fantasy. Their audience is my mom. Just like Manflesh, who appreciates fantasy but is not a fan of High-Fantasy (elves, goblins, orcs, dark elves, light elves, magic, wizards, mages, sorcerers, basically D&D). He liked GoT, but not the fantasy mythos of GoT, he liked the characters the best and the cool scenes. He has never watched LotR all the way through and can't keep the characters straight anyway. He doesn't watch Witcher or Masters of the Universe. They're too complicated. 

That is my epiphany: WoT is too complicated for most people. They have to "dumb it down" to be blunt to appeal to the wide-audience Rafe describes is necessary to justify its existence. 

I just finished watching S2 of The Witcher and I really enjoyed it. But to be honest, I fast-forwarded through most of the fighting about other nations whose names I can't pronounce even though they've said it a bunch of times. I skipped the parts with the mages fighting in their mage-city place. I only cared about The Witcher, the girl (Ciri) and the purple-eye lady Yennefer. I really got lost in all the bits about elves and elders and the rules of the mages. I don't understand why they can't use magic spells that involve fire. I didn't understand that "Chaos" is their word for their magic source until almost the end of season 2. They kept talking about controlling Chaos and I was lost. And this is me! I'm a huge nerd for fantasy. You all know that. I'll watch S3 for sure. But then I read The Witcher-book fandom hate online and all the things they hated, I liked! I don't care of Jaskier was too young looking for 42 years old. Nor do I care that the Baba Yaga monster was made up for the show. I'm doing my best to keep up with the fact that there is some sort of multi-verse of other planets Ciri can some how tap into that multiverse, and the Baba Yaga lady just wanted to go home to her planet. 

The changes on the show were necessary to keep me engaged. Yet they're talking about the changes like it's this absolute POS product that should mean Netflix be burned to the ground. It makes me feel stupid for liking the show like I'm some sort of idiot. They (the witcher-fandom) has no right to say these things. They don't own the books. If I wanted to read the books, I'd go get them. But I don't want to. I want to watch the show. If they'd overcomplicated the series any more with all the details that the book fans want, I'd be totally lost. 
The same thing has to happen to keep the generic fantasy-fan WoT watcher like my mom and manflesh. Most people suspend reality anyway. Perrin's character is sympathetic. Egwene and Nynaeve want to go to the White Tower. Mat has to face his demons. Rand is going to try to save those he loves. That's it. Simple with clean stories and goals. What I love about the books, the nuance and complexity and depth, is just too much for a show. 

Case in point, the show has to explain the concept of a wheel with time ever-repeating and lives ever reborn. They did a great job demonstrating the concept of endless rebirth. They've also laid down this concept (which is a change from the books) that there is a Dragon Reborn in every age. So to call LTT the Dragon Reborn in the AoL is simple. Explaining that the 2nd age was the first inclination that there was a man called "Dragon" (which is also illogical given that dragons don't exist in WoT and the word 'dragon' has no meaning in the old tongue. Where did that word even come from and why attach it to LTT? No explanation. We just have to accept it) and that the man reborn in the next (3rd age) would be the reborn version of the dragon is way more complicated. There is a dragon reborn every age. Bam. simple. Different from book "rules", yes. Does it change anything? Not really.

We're watching Hawkeye as a family lately in the evenings. It took me pausing the show and explaining what the heck Ronin was to manflesh to even kind of connect the dots as to the plot of the whole show. He gets that Ronin was Hawkeye but not why Hawkeye wants to protect some girl from the mistakes he made as Ronin. Too complex! It's gotta be simple and straightforward. Hawkeye wants to be with his family. Hawkeye feels guilty. Boom simple easy. 

Part 2: 

I had another epiphany after watching the behind the scenes for episode 8. They talked about originally planning to film the Blight in the laurel forest of the Canary Islands but before they could get there, the pandemic hit. There was no travel allowed and they had to pivot and build the Blight on a set stage instead. OMG I wished they could have done the shoot in Canary Islands. 1) that would have saved a ton of money on the set Blight and surrounding CGI. Maybe they even had a spot that could have been the Eye much like the bridge to Fal Dara was a real bridge in Prague. Anyway I am certain that they had to pivot within a matter of a few months and redesign the Blight on a set stage and what they came up with was brilliant btw. The consequential CGI and set building funds probably meant there was no budget left to do blight monsters (draghkar? Wyrm? Others?) which I wished for. I wanted more element of 'danger' in the blight. But the bodies grown into the plants was a good compromise. 

Then, they didn't know that Barney Harris wasn't coming back until well into the pandemic. They had to redo so much for that workaround. I am sure that there is so much more to that story and the impact than we even know. That is why they had to put that storyline on Perrin's shoulders. Which meant, how do we introduce Perrin to the horn? Well he has to be present when the horn is stolen. If he's present, he can't be out on the field fighting. We have to keep him in the castle. But how do we explain keeping him in the castle. His crisis of what to do during a fight (which I really identify with) is one way to keep him around. Like so much work just for one moment. 

My epiphany was this. There was a much bigger consequence of the pandemic than we even know. The what-if's are endless. Like the Blight being completely different design has huge ramifications for episode 7-8. What we don't know about the ramifications could be mind-blowing. That they pulled it off at all is incredible. 

Finally, they are quite clear in stating they have to give Moiraine a story in S2 to justify Rosamund Pike. The same thing with Daniel Henney. They are not unknowns. They have to have a plot and probably contractual minutes of screen time. To get actors of their quality (and pay scale), they have to have more minutes devoted to them than we'd like. An entire episode dedicated basically to Moiraine (E6) and Lan (E5) is just business. They were able to accomplish those commitments and keep some screen time for the others. What does their contracts say? Nobody knows. It's a trade off for great actors. And everyone is gushing over Rosamund and Daniel. 

Part 3

Finally, this part is just to answer my thoughts to things from previous posts in this thread. Not trying to be argumentative or anything. Just how I interpreted the events.

Egwene healing Nyn: 
It is stated early in the season that Egwene has the capacity to become the next wisdom (aka; healing). That's foreshadowing. There is also a thought out there that they will show Egwene has the potential to be drawn to or join all 7 of the Ajahs. Being healing represents Yellow. I bet in season 2 they will highlight characteristics of the other 6 Ajahs that suggest she could join any one of them. This is of course symbolic of her being all Ajahs and of none. The healing that occurs is no where near the intensity of healing that Nynaeve pulled off in the cave. Moiraine says that "when the moment comes and your life is on the line the power will be there." That logic is consistent with Egwene's healing. Is it a little contrived? Sure. But so was Ascendancy being healed by Jensen James after the attack from Armande's ijiraq. Did it make that thread any less awesome that it was contrived? Nope! IMO I still love that thread dearly! It just makes for fun tension.

Amalisa was an accepted. She trained for many years. We don't know why she didn't become Aes Sedai, but I would bet serious money it's because she didn't want to be one. She wanted to be in her home and help her people. As Aes Sedai, she could have been sent anywhere/everywhere else. Her loyalty lies with this city, she says, not the Amyrlin Seat. She didn't want to be Aes Sedai. Accepted are taught to link. She knows how. Seems straight-forward. The kicker was being thrust into a circle with 2 of the most powerful women of 1000 years. She lost control, and I'd argue that even an Aes Sedai could lose control too. The 2 unnamed women do not need to know much about channeling to join a circle. All they need to know is to bring themselves to the brink of embracing and the circle leader does all the work. So untrained or not, they survived long enough to old age and knew how to touch the source. 

Logain's army:
Alanna was the only Green. A gaggle of Reds are not battle Ajah. And I'd say that Alanna handled Logain's army pretty well. I don't see any struggle there. They did defeat his army. That's why they were able to all go to the cave. They also defeated Logain pretty easily (only after forming the circle). 

The baby:
Was the baby in Min's vision Joiya? I think it was foreshadowing to make the audience think that Rand may choose "dark" and the life with Egwene and the baby.

Edit to add epiphanies:

1. The books are too complicated. The show has to be dumb-downed.
2. The scope of what went wrong due to the pandemic is bigger than I ever realized.
3. The show is not an adaptation of the books. The books are the source material for this show.

Once I thought of #3 in particular, it completely changes my enjoyment and entertainment.
I appreciate your sharing, Asc, especially those very personal memories. It was wonderful.
"Good and ill. 
We're like the wind, 
we blows both ways."
- Mad Sweeney, American Gods

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