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Official Trailer for The Wheel of Time Season 2: To Seek the Light, You Must Brave the Dark

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The first official trailer for The Wheel of Time Season 2 was unveiled by Prime Video on 19 July 2023 and was met with wild enthusiasm by fans of the series.

It bites us towards the end with the teaser line, “To seek the light, you must brave the dark,” and shows us just what that means. There are explosions, desperate screams, and earnest fighting in a visually epic launch video. We even have Halsey’s “Control” as an overture!

In this post, I’ll summarize all the significant beats and give you a taste of what’s to come in Season 2 of The Wheel of Time.

Young lovers Egwene al'Vere (Madeleine Madden) and Rand al'Thor (Josha Stradowski) are sat together in the Mountains of Mist.
Egwene al’Vere (Madeleine Madden) and Rand al’Thor (Josha Stradowski) in Season 1 of The Wheel of Time.
The face of a golden-eyed wolf on a brown background. Brown and white text reads “The Wheel of Time Season 2 Official Trailer.”

Official Trailer for The Wheel of Time Season 2

In case you haven’t seen it yet, and even if you have, take a moment to enjoy the first official trailer for Season 2 of The Wheel of Time:

Seeking the Light

To break this thing down, I’ve chosen to bullet-point the moments for each of the named characters we see prominently in the trailer.

I’ve tried to keep spoilers to a bare minimum, so if you’ve watched the trailer my analysis should be fine to read. I’m starting with characters we believe to be on the side of the Light, so let’s begin!

Moiraine Reflects on Choices

Moiraine is a central figure in the promotional video, wearing signature blue throughout. We see her looking like a woman on a mission in a village or town, searching for something or someone. Fittingly then, there will be many hunts taking place in Season 2 of The Wheel of Time. It is adapting Book 2 of the series, after all, The Great Hunt.

Moiraine’s first words emphasize choices and their consequences, providing a thematic introduction to the trailer. We see Moiraine in various emotional states as the video progresses, from contemplation to distress. Her determination to protect Rand and guide him becomes clear.

I surmise that Moiraine’s journey this season will be a balance between seeking a reconnection with the One Power and pursuing her greater mission to ensure the Dragon Reborn doesn’t turn to the Shadow.

In the trailer, we see Moiraine…

  • Wearing blue, standing in front of ramshackle buildings, market stalls, and ordinary folk. She gazes out and says in a voiceover, “Everyone has a choice.” The location is most likely the Foregate in Cairhien.
  • Crying in a bath as her voiceover continues, “and every choice has a consequence.” It is a nice callback to Season 1 Episode 1 where Moiraine heats the bath water with magic, but she can’t channel anymore and the juxtaposition tells us it’s weighing on her mind.
  • Telling us, “We didn’t defeat the Dark One. We set him free.” In a previous teaser, she says, “We set his ‘strongest lieutenant’ free,” so this is a deliberate edit. I think it’s fair to say that most people reading this will know by now that Fares Fares’ character isn’t actually the Dark One.
  • Holding a dagger as a defensive weapon (powerless, remember).
  • Galloping on a horse that isn’t Aldieb, the gray she rode for most of the first season. Aldieb was last seen being let loose with the other horses at the Waygate in Season 1 Episode 6. I expect Moiraine to be reunited with the mare at some stage as we see Lan on Mandarb, his black stallion. However, I can make an argument that the mounted shots we’ve seen of Lan are all dream sequences. That puts the future of Aldieb in doubt!
  • Telling Lan that, “Protecting Rand, guiding him, that is the only thing that matters.”
  • Kissing Siuan in the White Tower. This seems to be a flashback as both look younger.
  • Having her throat in Rand’s grip as he channels the One Power.
Moiraine Damodred (Rosamund Pike) is on her gray horse and looking at the Waygate, a stone structure with steps leading up to a gap between two monoliths.
Moiraine (Rosamund Pike) on Aldieb, last seen at the Waygate in Season 1 of The Wheel of Time.

Rand Uses Magic and Sometimes Gets Dressed

Rand is shown gazing across landscapes, perhaps symbolizing his introspection and the weight of his destiny. His connection to Moiraine is consistently emphasized and the trailer strongly suggests that Rand is grappling with his newfound power.

Rand seems acutely aware of the danger he is in, and his resolve to control the One Power will be a significant aspect of his Season 2 journey.

In the trailer, Rand…

  • Stands alone on an outcrop, dressed smartly, in a desolate plain. The contradiction in outfit and location suggests this is an out-of-this-world experience.
  • Creates fiery orange weaves, suggesting he is beginning to use the One Power consciously even if he doesn’t have control yet.
  • Throttles Moiraine whilst channeling. A menacing voice whispers, “Kill them all,” at this point. The moment heavily implies that Rand is growing dangerously paranoid.
  • Is hugged by a dark-haired woman in blue. This is Natasha O’Keeffe’s Selene and you’ll have fun getting to know this character if you don’t know who she is yet.
  • Walks down a corridor using the “Cat Crosses the Courtyard” technique in a nod to fans of the books. This method of movement projects confidence and maintains alertness, but can be seen as arrogance when used in the presence of superiors.
  • With Selene standing behind him, fiery weaves around them. The magic could be coming from either of them though the trailer makes us comfortable that orange weaves are Rand’s.
  • Sitting with Logain, and saying to him, “I need to know how to control it.” My jaw drops to see Álvaro Morte returning for Season 2. Whoop! The implication of Rand’s question is obvious, but how will the False Dragon respond? Will Logain want to help Rand, or see him suffer a similar fall from grace?
  • Leans against an open window, shirtless, watching the sunrise.
  • Is shirtless again, but tied by the wrists to a large stone wheel that is balanced on the edge of a cliff. Again, an otherworldly experience that may exist in the Dreamworld or a mirror world (read—or watch… perhaps—to find out).
  • Wears his heron-marked blade on his back inside a walled city. He has a tan cloth wrapped around his shoulders and covering his head. I wonder if he has borrowed some clothing from the Aiel, who don’t feature much in this video. Rand’s voiceover says, “I’m tired of being a spoke in the Wheel.”
  • Listens to Siuan Sanche as she responds, “You’re not a spoke, boy. You are the water that turns the Wheel itself.” A very Wheel of Time thing to say, and a pleasing note on which to wrap up the first official trailer for Season 2.
Head and shoulders shot of Rand al'Thor (Josha Stradowski) fighting his conscience.
Rand al’Thor (Josha Stradowski).

Egwene Discovers Magic and Despair

Egwene demonstrates her burgeoning abilities as a channeler in this trailer but most evident is her emotional turmoil. The metal collar she is strapped in and her battered appearance more than hint at the horrifying challenges Egwene will need to overcome in Season 2.

Overall, I get the impression of Egwene’s underlying resilience. She is determined in the face of adversity and I stand by my assertion that Madeleine Madden will win the biggest praise coming out of The Wheel of Time’s second season.

This is what we see from Egwene in the trailer…

  • She performs a weave in the White Tower. The hall she’s in is very dark, lit by candles in the recesses and the threads of power she channels. It looks like training or practice to me, and Liandrin Guirale may be secretly watching her.
  • She wears a broad metal collar that seems to be confining her. Bloodshot eyes and a bruised face compound her despair in a brief, but terrifying moment. You can expect Egwene to face an unthinkable challenge to her independence in Season 2.
  • She weaves a shield with the One Power to block a blast of fire that seems to have come from women wearing similar collars. Egwene’s defensive action allows Ceara Coveney’s Elayne Trakand to escape into some trees. This must be the show’s interpretation of a pivotal scene from the books.
  • She falls into Nynaeve’s embracing arms in a scene that appears to be in the White Tower (Egwene is wearing her apron). Her discomfort may be from the less-than-pleasant life she finds for herself as a Novice. The company of friends has potency when Aes Sedai’s expectations for their trainees are so high.
  • Liandrin is talking to Egwene when she tells her, “It’s not always the most powerful who write history, it’s the ones who survive.”
  • She says to a seated Elayne, “If our friends are in trouble, why would I ever stay here.” Or appears to speak to Elayne, at least. I suspect the voiceover and visuals are tricking us here as Egwene’s tone is more belligerent than she would make it for a friend. My guess is that the line comes from the same scene with Liandrin.
  • She cries out in despair whilst wearing the metal collar. I am instantly reminded of Rafe Judkins’ comment at New York City Comic-Con where he said Egwene’s arc in this season is one of the best stories told in The Wheel of Time book series. I concur and hope the show does it justice. This trailer suggests it will.

Nynaeve is Heavily Tested

Nynaeve’s involvement in the trailer suggests that her presence in the White Tower is going to send shockwaves through the establishment. The formidable Wisdom will be a pillar for her friends and she’ll use the One Power if she must to protect the ones she loves. Trials and setbacks await Nynaeve as the trailer gives an explosive look at her role in Season 2.

This is what we see from Nynaeve in the trailer…

  • “No one should have that much power,” she says to Alanna Mosvani. Unless it’s you, Nynaeve, I think to myself with a warm smile. She could be speaking about anyone here, to be honest, but my modest guess is that she’s referring to the Amyrlyn Seat. Siuan Sanche’s position holds influence in most nations of this world and Nynaeve has demonstrated mistrust of the Aes Sedai already. We shall see.
  • A wheel opens a heavy door and Nynaeve walks through to find several archways in a hall of the White Tower. She says, “Together we face the impossible, but now in our separate corners of the world…” She never finishes the thought which tells me this isn’t a line from the show, but an introduction to the visual delights we are watching.
  • She is covered in blood and something drops from Nynaeve’s hand. The former Wisdom will undergo a test to become an Accepted in the White Tower. It goes from Novice to Accepted, to Aes Sedai, but only if you have the ability and the temperament. These scenes seem to be part of that initiation ceremony and the challenges she must endure.
  • She is in the middle of a white blast of the One Power and screams in anguish near a small, wooden building. This could easily be a terrifying experience in the Two Rivers, and part of her test. No one said it was going to be easy to become an Aes Sedai.
  • It’s blink and you’ll miss her with Nynaeve in this trailer. She comforts Egwene in the White Tower.
  • She stands in a white nightgown as Leane Sharif, Keeper of the Chronicles, weaves threads of the power around the pillars of an archway.
  • She uses a sword in the White Tower training grounds, which is a scene we’ve seen before in the sneak peek video. She spars with Alanna’s Warders (Maksim and Ihvon) though it looks more brutal at speed.
  • She stumbles through an archway, blood on her white nightgown. We’ve already had a glimpse at what Nynaeve suffers to gain approval in the White Tower. Expect this episode to be amongst the best of Season 2.

Elayne Trakand is a New Best Friend

Though not prominently featured, Elayne’s interactions with Egwene imply a new friendship. We also see her association with the White Tower as a Novice. Otherwise, Elayne’s involvement in Season 2 is kept under wraps.

The trailer has Elayne…

  • Escaping through trees as Egwene channels in self-defense.
  • Seated in the White Tower, wearing Novice white, and talking to Egwene.
Egwene (Madeleine Madden), Nynaeve (Zoë Robins), and Elayne (Ceara Coveney) hold lanterns in the White Tower.
Egwene (Madeleine Madden), Nynaeve (Zoë Robins), and Elayne (Ceara Coveney).

Perrin Goldeneyes

Perrin is seen in battle, his physical prowess on display in combat for the first time since the Season 1 premiere. Sharing a look with a wolf and having golden-yellow eyes suggests a connection to the creatures.

It should be a transformational season for Perrin Aybara and his interactions with the Aiel will be super interesting, uniting a warrior society with a passive blacksmith.

In the Season 2 trailer, Perrin…

  • Rides with Shienarans through a valley. They will go in hunt of Padan Fain and the stolen Horn of Valere this season.
  • Faces a wolf as a male voice says, “You know you have something inside you.” I’ll be disappointed if this isn’t Elyas Machera, who makes Perrin aware of his hidden abilities in the books. Perrin’s eyes turn golden yellow.
  • Smiles in pursuit of a young girl as they run through a field together. It is the strongest sign I’ve seen so far that we may see mirror worlds in the TV series, but it could also be a dream or part of Nynaeve’s test.
  • Hits someone in battle though we don’t see the weapon. It will be interesting to see if the show chooses to arm Perrin with a sword, or an axe. Just saying.
Head and shoulders shot of Perrin Aybara (Marcus Rutherford)
Perrin Aybara (Marcus Rutherford).

Mat is Explosive

In this trailer, Mat remains tempted by the mysterious ruby-encrusted dagger he took from Shadar Logoth. His connection to dark forces is hinted at, setting the stage for viewers to wonder which path he’ll take in the end.

Hopefully, Mat doesn’t balk at the next big decision he needs to make. We don’t want a repeat of the Waygate scene from Season 1, Episode 6.

Mat has minimal exposure in the trailer, but we do see him…

  • Sitting in a chair, staring at the ruby-encrusted dagger from Shadar Logoth.
  • Jumping and stabbing someone or something with a spear, followed by an explosion that blows up the gate to the walled city we’ve seen before. It sends soldiers flying through the air and hints at a climactic moment in The Dragon Reborn, Book 3 of The Wheel of Time.

If we see that scene from the third book, it will be heavily reinterpreted for the show, as might be his spear. The blade Mat uses has a curved tip that is similar to his ashandarei weapon from the books. The show may be avoiding its deviation from the source material in this trailer, so be forewarned.

Mat Cauthon (Dónal Finn) holds what may be a quarterstaff.
Season 2 may deliver our favorite moments, but is unlikely to be a faithful adaptation.

Lan is Still Moiraine’s Warder

Lan’s loyalty and devotion to Moiraine are evident as he is shown in discussions with her. His steadfast commitment to protecting her underscores his importance as a Warder. All this from two brief moments in the trailer:

  • Moiraine says to Lan, “Protecting Rand, guiding him, that is the only thing that matters.”
  • Lan rides a horse in a forest and, in a different scene, tells Moiraine, “You can’t do this by yourself.”
Lan Mandragoran (Daniel Henney) rides his black stallion through a forest.
Lan Mandragoran (Daniel Henney)

Siuan Sanche Holds Court

Siuan’s position of authority as the Amyrlin Seat is clear, and her interactions with Rand suggest her involvement in shaping his path. Siuan’s role in guiding the characters and her insights into their destinies will make her arc intriguing as events unfold. The indication is she travels from Tar Valon to Cairhien and holds court with Rand there, and possibly Moiraine too.

We see Siuan…

  • Seated on the ornate white throne also known as the Amyrlin Seat. She says, “You can’t control him.” My guess is that she is talking with Moiraine about their plans for the boy.
  • Kissing Moiraine in the White Tower. She doesn’t have her tattoos in this scene and is wearing large, gold earrings. She’s also wearing blue. The Amyrlin Seat is supposed to be of all Ajahs and none, but Siuan was a Blue before being raised, so there are several clues that this is a flashback as already noted.
  • Saying, epically, “You’re not a spoke, boy. You are the water that turns the Wheel itself.” Siuan is in a dim room with the rising sun of Cairhien tiled on the floor. It raises speculation that she has brought Logain to the city. This might be to show him off as an example of Aes Sedai supremacy or to help Rand in some way. We shall see.
Siuan Sanche (Sophie Okonedo) sits on the Amyrlin Seat dressed in gold with her hands touching each other on her lap. Her gold Aes Sedai ring is visible.
Siuan Sanche (Sophie Okonedo) sits on the Amyrlin Seat.

Aviendha Dons Her Veil

We see Ayoola Smart’s Aviendha covering her face with her shoufa (the cloth Aiel use to cover their head and neck). The only Aiel I’ve spotted in this trailer but appearing ready for battle as one might expect.

Leane Sharif Returns

It’s great to see Jennifer Cheon Garcia returning as Leane Sharif, the Aes Sedai and Keeper of the Chronicles in the White Tower. In the trailer, we see Leane weaving the One Power around two pillars in what is thought to be the scene of Nynaeve’s Accepted Test.

Braving the Dark

The trailer introduces several enigmatic and potentially antagonistic characters who contribute to the sense of mystery and conflict within the story. Here’s an analysis of the shadowy characters depicted in the video:

Liandrin Guirale is Sneaky

Liandrin’s presence in the trailer is rich in secrecy and possible treachery. Her watchful eyes and actions suggest manipulation and allegiance to different factions. She will surely be a source of malice and spite in Season 2, as she was in Season 1.

In the trailer, we see Liandrin…

  • Watching from a dark window, probably at Egwene as she practices channeling.
  • Standing before the Flame of Tar Valon, where Stepin burned Kerene’s ring in Season 1, Episode 5. Will she destroy her own Aes Sedai ring before the season is done, or has she suffered a loss of her own?
  • Walking city streets at night, in disguise. Liandrin has a hood over her head and a dark coat that covers her clothes. She has a wicker basket and looks guardedly over her shoulder. She may be going to visit her unknown man in the city, as sleuthed by Moiraine in Season 1.
  • She says, “It is not always the most powerful who write history, it’s the ones who survive,” proving she is despicable, if not plain evil.
Liandrin Guirale (Kate Fleetwood) wearing a red dress in the White Tower. She looks fierce.
Liandrin Guirale (Kate Fleetwood)

The Dark One’s Influence

The trailer alludes to the Dark One’s presence in the world, though Moiraine’s declaration that he has been freed is a misdirection. Nonetheless, the Dark One is still a malevolent force that threatens the world.

We see a Fade being impaled by a flaming sword and another that is breathing loudly, open-mouthed. A more human figure drips with blood as it comes alive.

The man we recognized as the Dark One last season is seen creating perfect weaves in one scene, vanishing in another, and standing alongside Seanchan dignitary in a third. We see him at the head of a round table too, in a meeting known to fans as the Darkfriend Social and which we now know will be the cold open to the first episode of Season 2.

We also hear a voice say, “The Last Battle’s coming.” This is known as Tarmon Gai’don in the books, the ultimate fight between the Light and the Shadow.

The Seanchan Invaders

The soldiers with insect-like helmets are part of the invading Seanchan army. We saw these hostile people raise a tsunami in the Season 1 finale, bringing with them women in metal gags who can channel and use the One Power as a weapon.

Judging by this trailer, the Seanchan will be the show’s largest and most dangerous antagonistic force to date. The Whitecloaks have been trumped.

High Lord Turak Can Taste Power

The bald man with long fingernails, wearing ornate armor, is Daniel Francis as High Lord Turak. Turak is nobility and a blade master. He leads the Seanchan army and, if you weren’t already sure of his motives, gives the statement, “The whole world will be ours.”

Turak seems to have the chest containing the Horn of Valere in his possession which gives credence to his premonition. The Horn can raise dead Heroes to fight for whoever sounds it, and Turak doesn’t seem to have the Last Battle in mind for its use.

The Woman with Long Nails

The woman with unnaturally long nails is almost certainly High Lady Suroth, also of Seanchan nobility. She is a monstrous character in her own right and we’re sure to enjoy her costume and prosthetics if not her malice. In the trailer, we see her in the center on an imposing throne. She wears almost insect-like golden armor on her shoulders and head, with a golden mask covering most of her face.

Two masked women in elaborate robes walk with *part retracted* (Fares Fares). Loial (Hammed Animashaun) is behind them. Soldiers watch on either side of a dusty road.
The Seanchan

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What did you make of the first official trailer for The Wheel of Time Season 2? Speculate in the comments below this post and I’ll respond to your thoughts. Are you excited for the season ahead, and which moments are thrilling you the most?

Until next time, may the Light shine on you, my friends!

Russell

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