Original release date: September 1, 2023
A secret meeting of Darkfriends takes place where Ishamael, the Dark One’s most powerful servant, decides to observe Rand Al’Thor, the Dragon Reborn, instead of killing him. After the events at the Eye, Moiraine has been residing with Adeleas and Verin, her fellow Aes Sedai, gathering information while struggling to come to terms with the loss of the One Power. Meanwhile, Egwene and Nynaeve have joined the Novice book at the White Tower. Egwene is determined to succeed but is frustrated by the lack of recognition, while Nynaeve is struggling with a power block, only channeling when she is angry or afraid. Liandrin offers to train Nynaeve, but the other Aes Sedai are hesitant because Liandrin’s previous teachings had caused the deaths of novices. Perrin and Loial have joined a company of Shienarans led by Ingtar Shinowa to search for the Horn, which has been stolen by Padan Fain. They are joined by Elyas, a “sniffer” who shows interest in Perrin. Egwene and Nynaeve miss Mat, Perrin, and Rand, who they believe is dead. However, Liandrin has imprisoned Mat in the Tower at Moiraine’s request, while Rand is in hiding. Moiraine leaves to follow up on her plans alone but is attacked by three Fades. Lan tries to save her but they are both injured. Verin and Adeleas intervene, rescuing them and killing the Fades.
* * *
[Moiraine] The Dark One is waking.
His whispers are already in the backs of our minds.
But there will be one who can stand against him.
The Dragon has been born again.
And it’s one of you.
You’ve fully lost your mind.
I’ve heard about the bond between an Aes Sedai and their Warder.
That you feel what she feels.
It could be warmer.
I had nothing to live for and nothing to die for.
[Liandrin] This power, it’s meant for women.
And women alone.
And when you touch it, you make it filthy.
[Thom] The Dark One corrupted the One Power so men couldn’t use it without going mad.
[Moiraine] You have to watch him.
I’ve healed him of his connection to the dagger, but it was feeding off the darkness in him as much as he was of it.
If he touches it again, he may be lost forever.
[Egwene] I’m worried about him.
His eyes when Valda was torturing him.
They went golden, like a wolf’s.
[Moiraine] I’m no Aes Sedai, but you could be.
You don’t listen to the wind, Egwene.
It’s the wind that listens to you.
[Liandrin] The most powerful channeler we’ve seen in 1,000 years.
If I’m as powerful as you say I am, maybe it’s you, Aes Sedai, who shouldn’t underestimate me.
[Siuan] The Wheel calls you to this, whether you can bear it or not.
The Last Battle is coming.
[Perrin] What is it?
[Uno] The Horn of Valere.
[Yakota] To be blown at the Last Battle.
[screeching in distance]
There are Darkfriends inside our walls.
[Moiraine] If we do not stop the Dark One now while he is still weak, the whole world will turn to darkness.
[Moiraine] I need a message delivered to the Tower.
There is a man that they must find.
[Amalisa] To whom should I send this message?
[Moiraine] The Red Ajah.
[Lan] Moiraine masked our bond.
[Machin Shin] You cannot escape your fate.
You are the Dragon Reborn.
[Rand] It was here.
In the center.
I felt it.
Tell them I died here.
Tell them I didn’t make it back.
Unmask the bond.
I can’t touch the Source.
[Lan] I thought that heartstone couldn’t be scratched.
Not even the One Power could break it.
[Moiraine] So did I.
What does it mean?
That this wasn’t the Last Battle.
I fear it was the first.
[roaring, screeching in distance]
[the Man] Where is he now, the one who walks the world, the one who was and will be but is not yet the Dragon,
He released me at the Eye of the World, and he thinks he can hide.
[woman] We are to kill him?
[the Man] Perhaps he can be turned to my use.
Sooner or later, it will be served, in this age or another.
We’re in the middle of a meeting.
A quite important one, really.
Let me guess.
There’s something outside.
A monster, perhaps?
A lot of people call me a monster, too, you know.
Along with a litany of other unflattering names.
Father of Lies.
Betrayer of Hope.
Do you know why they call me and the other Chosen such hideous things?
‘Cause if they called me what I really am, no one would be afraid.
After all, how do you prove you’re not a monster?
How do you prove that the things you’re doing are good or evil?
Right or wrong?
Look at this creature.
It’s so hard to be something between.
What if he isn’t evil?
What if he isn’t wrong?
What if he’s just… hungry?
Look at me.
Do I look like a monster to you?
I knew I liked you.
It’s all right.
[bell clanging in distance]
Verin. Must you speak so loudly?
[Verin] Are you hungover?
I’m speaking at a perfectly normal volume.
Could you move to the left a little?
You know, it is so warm today, and it must be unbearable swinging your sword wearing such heavy woolen trousers.
A rider’s coming.
Another one of her visitors, hmm?
Still no word from Moiraine about who they are, what news they bring?
Don’t look at me.
She doesn’t tell me any more than she tells you.
[door creaking shut]
Another visitor is here for you.
Send him in.
This one is from Illian.
Send him in.
[man] Moiraine Sedai.
My customers usually do be coming to me, not the other way round.
Especially this far from a good harbor.
And yet here you are.
I didn’t have much of a choice, did I?
Oh, everyone has a choice, Master Domon.
And every choice has a consequence.
Now… if you’re done posturing,
I believe we have business to attend to.
Is the Amyrlin back?
You talk to her?
First time we were here, she told us we were called by the Wheel itself.
But all we’ve done since we signed their Book of Novices is clean.
Being a novice is a rite of passage.
Every single Aes Sedai has done it, even the Amyrlin.
It builds… character.
I have enough character.
[Alanna] Clear the table.
Leave the bucket.
What are the five threads of the One Power?
Air, earth, fire… spirit and water.
When you touch these threads, you pull at the elements of the world itself.
By the end of today, each one of you will drink the water in your glass.
Those of you who master this weave will enjoy far more than those who do not.
Draw threads of earth with your right hand, from the stones of this tower itself.
With your left hand, pull threads of water from the moisture in the air or even this glass in front of you.
Now weave them together.
Now pick up your glass.
Pour it through your weave.
It will take you many tries to get the water perfectly clean.
But you will get better.
You have two capable hands.
It will be easier if you use them.
I didn’t come here for easy.
Why are your eyes open?
You haven’t even embraced the Source.
So I can see when you’re looming over me.
Picture the bud of a flower… in your mind’s eye.
It’s ready to…
It’s not working.
I did try again.
In Fal Dara, the two of you saw your true potential.
Lady Amalisa flattened an entire army of Trollocs.
Using your power, not hers.
It will take you years of hard work to learn how to do that yourself.
But you can.
No one should have that much power.
You can either embrace what you are or fear it.
Egwene is strong, stronger than most, but you… you have ten times that power, Nynaeve, whether you want it or not.
Five months now in this tower and you haven’t channeled, not once.
Whatever block is holding you back, it’s time to break through it.
No one leaves today without drinking their glass of water.
Now close your eyes.
Close your eyes.
You didn’t say it had to be clean.
[Sheriam] Egwene al’Vere… how is she coming along?
She needs to… loosen up a bit. Nynaeve al’Meara, however…
[Alanna] She hasn’t channeled ever since she arrived at the Tower.
Perhaps she needs a more effective teacher.
We’ve all tried.
Uh, my apologies… all of us who are not explicitly forbidden.
Perhaps our beloved Mistress of Novices might make an exception just this once.
A novice died in your care.
The One Power is dangerous. Using it is dangerous.
Any loss is too many.
This tower used to be full.
But year after year, fewer girls come to us.
And with less power.
Yet the world around us simmers.
The hunt for the Horn of Valere called in Illian, Trolloc raids near Arafel and another false Dragon has declared himself in Saldaea.
They say he’s even more powerful than Logain.
You can feel it.
Something is coming.
And we’re not ready for it.
Nynaeve is the single most potent weapon we’ve found against the Dark in a thousand years. Uh…
Let me talk to her, at least.
That’s it. Now get out of here, the lot of you.
This is a mistake, sister.
Oh. Now, Alanna, who’s ever been hurt by a little talk?
[men chattering in distance]
[Loial] They are saddling the horses.
I’ll be right there.
Another letter for Mistresses al’Meara and al’Vere?
Nynaeve and Egwene are all I have now that Rand’s… gone.
And who knows where Mat is.
I keep asking back home about him, but…
The hunt for the Horn of Valere awaits.
The new tracker Lord Ingtar has hired has put up a signal fire.
He’s found something.
Uno won’t be happy.
[Uno] Some tracker.
A bloody signal fire’ll let Padan Fain and his Darkfriends know exactly where we are.
I know very little about this new tracker, this “sniffer” Lord Ingtar’s hired.
But I’m sure he’s no match for you, Master Nomesta.
Though it’s been weeks since we’ve seen trace of Fain, it always seems you’re on the verge of a fresh discovery.
Are you taking the piss?
Mate, he’d never.
Tell us again of the near miss at Watch Hill.
So close to Padan Fain I could smell his Light-forsaken arse.
If you lot hadn’t splashed across the stream like a herd of breastfed cattle, I’d be roasting his corpse on a spit and playing a tune on the Horn of bloody Valere.
You are taking the piss.
You disrespectful goat…
[birds screeching in distance]
Do you want to put out that signal fire before you bring Fain and his Darkfriends crashing in on us?
Fire’s not mine.
[quietly] May they shelter in the palm of the Creator.
There was a child who made it out.
[birds screeching in distance]
The dog was trying to protect her.
[Loial] One of Fain’s Darkfriends.
A Shienaran, it seems.
He must’ve been one of the men who helped Fain into Fal Dara.
Has been traveling with him ever since.
We will bury the slaughtered and follow in the morning.
[chimes tinkling softly]
You’re sure it’s from before the Breaking?
Spend my fair share of time haggling Sea Folk.
And they are the best in the game.
You’ve got no interest in that.
It’s the heartstone you want.
[dog barking in distance]
Pieces of cuendillar are rare, yes, but what makes you think I want this one?
Stuff’s made from the One Power itself.
And you and I both know it has one defining trait.
The bond made things easier.
It was like a friend walking along with us, chatting away so we never had to.
She’s tired, she’s hungry, she’s angry, she’s afraid.
And now silence.
You don’t strike me as a man who’s afraid of a little silence.
[goats bleating in distance]
She wants me to leave.
An Aes Sedai needs a Warder.
Adeleas manages fine without one.
She has you.
So does Moiraine.
Should she need me.
I’m not leaving.
You’re almost as stubborn as she is.
When did this come into your possession?
[Domon] Couple of months back.
[Domon] Outside Cairhien.
The old moon dial there shattered one night this spring.
I know you have men following me.
I want them gone, too.
I don’t take kindly to unwanted company.
Your enemies are your own.
It seems there’s something written on this.
The whole dial was covered in a poem when they found it.
Written in blood.
I have a copy, actually.
If you’re interested.
Always loved me a good poem.
No, no, no, no, no. I think that’s enough questions.
You can have the heartstone… for 50 marks.
The poem… that’ll cost you five more.
For a poem?
That could buy me the finest Domani racehorse.
Aye. True enough.
One mark for the poem then.
But I’m not budging on the heartstone.
50 marks or I walk out of here with it.
This is all I need.
Thank you for your time and travel.
But the heartstone…
Sea Folk might be
good at the game, Master Domon, but the Aes Sedai invented it.
Be careful when you insult one.
Ah, serves me right, I suppose.
These men you say are following you, what do they look like?
Only caught a glimpse from a distance, once, when we, uh, left the dock at Whitebridge.
Two men in black cloaks on horseback.
Did you see their faces?
Their hoods covered them.
Go back to your boat. Now.
Take it to Illian, don’t stop, and then on to the sea.
Sail east or west as far and fast as you can.
Spray’s a-a riverboat. She…
Then stay to the shadows, but go, now.
Here are ten marks for provisions.
What have you got me wrapped up in, eh?
The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills, Master Domon.
Light be with you.
I knew we should’ve stuck to the wooden swords.
Why? She’s good.
I almost had you.
You’ll be bonded to an Aes Sedai before you even become one.
I’m in no danger of becoming an Aes Sedai.
[Ihvon] I take it class today did not go as planned?
I know you love her, but Alanna’s a real piece of…
Alanna Sedai to you.
It’s not her, it’s this… It’s this whole place.
I don’t know.
The first month of Warder training, they force you to fight ten other men alone.
Usually only get in one hit, maybe two, while you’re being beaten within an inch of your life.
[Ihvon] There’s only one thing that keeps you going.
The reason that brought you here in the first place.
[scoffs] Different for everyone.
What was it for you?
I fell in love with a Warder.
I fell in love with an Aes Sedai.
[chuckles] You always make me feel like the third wheel.
The Aes Sedai will devise special tortures to put each of you through during your training.
But rest assured, the intention is the same.
So you’ll save yourself a lot of time and hurt if you can answer that one simple question.
Why’d you come here?
[Alanna] Come in.
Do you need a moment to get dressed?
[Alanna] I said come in.
No, thank you. [clears throat]
I wanted to talk to you about what happened this morning.
Um, juggling two things at once, no matter what I do, it feels very… messy.
When I first started experimenting, I found it very difficult to split my focus.
You just have to relax and let go of all expectations.
When we are used to one partner, it can be very difficult to open ourselves up to two.
My advice… focus on your own pleasure.
When it starts to feel good, you follow that sensation.
Let it bloom deep inside of you.
Um, I’m sorry.
I-I think you may have misunderstood me.
I was talking about, um… the weave from class.
It’s-it’s hard for me to focus on the earth threads and the water threads at the same time.
In that case, you’re probably focusing on the individual grains of dirt instead of the collective mass.
You’re trying to use hundreds of weaves instead of just two.
That makes sense.
Thank you, uh, so much for… all your help.
Remember, things are messy before they are perfect.
Nothing worthwhile is neat and tidy.
What are you doing here?
I’ve been keeping tabs on you, you know.
And to be perfectly blunt, you’ve proven to be quite the disappointment.
You’re wasting your time with swords.
It’s beneath you.
The Warders have taught me more in the last five months than all of your sisters combined.
Yeah, swords are for the weak, for men.
If a man came at me with a sword, I could meet him with another blade.
Made from the air, better than most steel blades, but still… not much use, because now I have to fight hand-to-hand, draining my strength.
Putting me in a vulnerable position.
I don’t want it to be a fair fight.
I want to win.
Let me go!
You asked me once why Reds don’t have Warders.
Because they are a distraction, a weakness.
We can protect ourselves.
Warders are nothing more than glorified dogs.
Following at their sisters’ heels.
Showering them with praise, stroking their egos.
And the most loyal of Warders, like your precious Lan, usually end up a footnote casualty in some fight their Aes Sedai forgets before they…
There she is.
You saw that weave only once, and you were able to copy it.
If you don’t let me go right now…
What did you do to me?
I shielded you from the Source.
You can still feel it, but you can’t touch it, can you?
It’s making you angry.
Use that anger.
My sisters would have you believe there’s only one way to channel, one way to become an Aes Sedai.
But they’re wrong.
You’re here to learn.
Not about silt or swords but about power.
I want to see you become so powerful that no man, no woman, will ever be able to take that away from you.
Not even me.
[door opens, closes]
Why are you doing this for him?
He betrayed you all.
He was a Dark friend.
All men deserve a proper burial.
If it was up to Uno, he would’ve left his corpse to the vultures.
Which is why I’m in charge and Uno is not.
Does it bother you?
That I’ve bestowed this small mercy on him?
Hundreds of your people died in Fal Dara because that man opened the gates.
And that doesn’t make you angry?
You don’t want revenge?
If Shienarans sought revenge for all the wrongs done to us, there’d be no Shienarans left in the Borderlands.
As for anger…
That won’t bring my men back.
[Perrin] Folk in Two Rivers were so kind to Padan Fain.
We’d always stop to chat.
We’d offer him a pint and a warm meal.
A place to sleep.
I keep seeing this image of him waving to my wife.
And Laila, big smile on her face, waving right back.
And in return for all of that kindness, he brought the Trollocs to our door.
There’s a rage inside of me.
And the closer we get to finding him, the more it grows.
I’m scared that when we finally come face-to-face, I won’t be able to stop myself.
Watching him bleed out in front of me like Laila did.
Perhaps Fain had a reason.
For doing what he did.
Now, you may not like the answer, but you may find it worth asking the question.
How did it go?
Who was he, Moiraine?
A sailor from Illian.
Why was he here?
What did you want from him?
Is an Aes Sedai not allowed her secrets?
Don’t smile at me.
Shut me out and try to drive me away, don’t you dare smile at me as if everything is fine, as if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing.
I’ll have my dinner up here tonight.
Make it yourself.
And have it wherever you want.
Look what came, from Perrin.
What’re you doing?
It’s Bel Tine.
Can’t believe I forgot.
What does the letter say?
He says they’re still searching for Padan Fain and the Horn of Valere, but they’ve lost the trail.
What is it?
“There’s something about being with these soldiers.
They have this saying about swords and shields and enemy fire.
It’s very complicated and involves a lot of birds…
…but the basic idea is that if you stand alone with a shield, much of your body’s still exposed.
But if you stand in a group covering each other with your shields, nothing can touch any of you.
It made me think of us, all of us, and how together we face the impossible.
But now, in our separate corners of the world, every day feels exposed.
Which is a long-winded way to say I miss you both.
And Rand, Laila.
Especially now, this close to Bel Tine.
Let’s promise that come next year, the four of us will celebrate together.
Loial and I could meet you two in Tar Valon.
And if we’re lucky, wherever he is, Mat will manage to stay out of trouble and join us, too.”
[Liandrin] “I miss you both, and Rand, Laila.
Especially now, this close to Bel Tine.
Let’s promise that next year, the four of us will celebrate together.
Loial and I could meet you two in Tar Valon.”
Now, that must be painful.
A dozen letters now, and not a single mention of Mat Cauthon.
I suppose it would be difficult to forgive you… for abandoning them.
What do you want from me?
Naivety doesn’t suit you.
I haven’t touched that dagger in six months.
I am not a threat to you or your Red sisters, or Moiraine, or the entire bloody world.
Merry Bel Tine, Mat.
I just miss Rand so much.
No matter how much I complain about this place, I’m not going anywhere.
I’m here. I’m here with you always.
May his spirit find his way back to us, in this life or the next.
He gave his life to save us all from the Dark One.
I’m proud to have called him “friend.”
[indistinct chatter nearby]
[Tomas clears throat]
Want us to wait?
Tonight, she’ll come.
Yes, of course.
Soon, I’m sure.
Perhaps she just ate an uncharacteristically late lunch.
Lan, I think you’re taking this all too personally.
It has absolutely nothing to do with you.
[sighs] It only affects you if you let it, and I am unequivocally unaffected by it.
You are not her Warder.
But she’s living in my house.
Technically my house, that I allow you to live in.
[takes deep breath]
When a woman who can channel is cut off from the One Power, it feels like the most brutal form of assault.
Your body no longer feels like your own.
Your mind reliving the trauma again and again, remembering what you once were and what you’ll never be again.
Most women never recover.
Most women die.
[Verin] But not Moiraine Sedai.
Every single day, she fights.
She wakes up, and she puts one foot in front of the other.
She fills up those buckets, no matter how many trips to the well she has to make.
No matter how much water she spills along the way.
I don’t look at Moiraine Sedai and see a selfish woman.
I look at her and I see strength.
More strength than any of us could possibly muster.
[Tomas] The bond between an Aes Sedai and her Warder is one way we communicate, but not the only one.
The 20 years you’ve spent together are the common language you share.
Perhaps, instead of trying to force her to speak, it’s time for you to be quiet and really listen.
I think that’s the first time in my life someone’s told me I need to be quiet.
[screeching, growling nearby]
[Verin] Cover your ears!
What aren’t you telling me?
[Nynaeve] Together we faced the impossible. All of us.
But now, in our separate corners of the world, every day feels exposed.
[Moiraine] At the Eye of the World, we didn’t defeat the Dark One.
We set his strongest lieutenant free.
The Last Battle’s coming.
And we’re already losing it.
[Rand] The Wheel never gives anyone what they want.
[Selene] If you want something, you have to take it.
Let her face what she fears.
[Loial] The hunt for the Horn of Valere awaits.
With this, the whole world will be ours.
His friends will turn them all to the Dark.
There’s a rage inside of me.
I’m leaving. You don’t have to come.
If our friends are in trouble, why would you think I’d ever stay here?
[Liandrin] It’s not always the most powerful who write history. It’s the ones who survive.
[Selene] There are many paths to walk through the night.
[Lan] I am not looking to repeat my failures.
I believe in what you do.
[Rand] I’m tired of being a spoke in the Wheel.
[Siuan] You’re not a spoke, boy.
You are the water that turns the Wheel itself.
Or dashes it to pieces.
You were born to protect this world.
Not just the ones you love.
[Loial] The heroes of today, that is what we are now.
It’s time we start acting like it.