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      THE WAYS


Notable Credits

Season 1, Episode 107: The Dark Along the Ways
Written By: Amanda Kate Shuman & Katherine B. McKenna
Directed By: Ciaran Donnelly
Original Air Date: December 17, 2021 on Amazon Prime Video

Episode Synopsis

Episode summary by Crystal Fritz

Snow covers the ground and is speckled in blood. Bodies litter the snow and a single warrior clad in shades of white and taupe runs through the carnage as if perused. Her face is obscured by a black veil and shades of white. Long spears are strapped to her back, and she clothes one in her hand. She is filthy from battle covered in the bloody of others, and her own. The female warrior, ducks behind a rock and clutches her swollen stomach. She is heavily pregnant and in labor. Breathing through the pain of her contractions she moves just in time to avoid a sword through her skull from above. Using her spear to knock him off balance the grabs the long yellow cape he is wearing and drags him down to his back. In one fluid motion she raises her spear and plunges it through his skull. A guttural moan escapes her lips as another wave of labor pain washes over her, but she finds no respite. More men, clad in helmets and chest plates charge at her. Using all her skills she avoids their blades and one by one they fall. Two more men in armor and yellow cloaks charge at her, swords at the ready. She lowers her spears and deflects their strikes. A third man joins from behind and she is surrounded, spinning and striking with her spears. She holds them off and skewers one main through his chest. She falls to the ground overcome by contractions but is forced to fight once again. Killing a second man with a spear through his throat. The contractions are coming quicker, and the pain causes her to stumble, and she is wrapped up from behind. She bites the solider, attempting to escape, but is gifted a spear through her side. With the last of her strength, she hurls her body backwards and removes the knife from her side, her hand wrapped tightly around the hilt and the hand of the solider. With that knife she wrestles his arm until the knife is pressed to his throat and she drives it home. Bleeding out of from her wound and unable to stop the contractions she rips at her clothes and begins to push. She strains, bearing down hard, trying to bring her child into the world before she dies. A solider approaches and stands over her, holding a sword to her chest. She stares up at him, with both challenge and fear in her eyes. The weaves flow across the screen and the opening credits roll.

The voices of Egwene, Nynaeve and Rand cut through the darkness of the Ways as they call to Mat. A flame ignites in the darkness and Moiraine stares down the Two Rivers folk as she tells them Mat’s choice is made. She reminds them of the darkness that was inside him and questions if he was even ready to face what lies ahead. Moiraine forges ahead and leaves them to discuss their options. They want to try and reopen the Waygate, but Loial explains that they mustn’t attempt to open it again using the One Power or they may draw the attention of Machin Shin, the black wind which will feast on their soul. Loial decides to make haste to head after Lan and Moiraine Sedai. Nynaeve swears to find Mat when their journey is done.

Darkness surrounds them all, the torches they carry barely make enough light. Lan and Moiraine continue through the Ways, discussing what if Mat was the Dragon. What does that mean for their quest? Moiraine assures Lan that if it was him then he needed to stay away or he would side with the Dark One. The group is reunited and journey’s on in darkness, occasionally punctuated by lightening. Loial tells the group how the Ways used to be. There was sunshine, grass, and fruit trees on every island. Now there is only darkness, decay, and Machin Shin. If they make a wrong step, they will plummet in a void that is without end. Loial attempts to go on, but Rand silences him. Lan walks beside Nynaeve and tells her that he owes Moiraine Sedai three silvers. He had bet that Nynaeve would be pouting, but she is instead scowling. From the back of the group Perrin calls out for them to stop. He can see something up ahead that the rest of them cannot. Lan takes a torch and moves cautiously forward. The guiding stones that Loial is supposed to use to get them through the Ways is destroyed. The guiding is mangled, as if clawed and appears coated in blood. It will take him longer to decode the guiding, or Moiraine orders the group to rest. Lan reports to Moiraine only that there is someone following them through the Ways. Egwene curls up with Rand, while Nynaeve and Perrin lay alone. The group sleeps while Loial decodes the guiding and Lan keeps watch. It is Egwene that awakens first, she shakes Rand awake, asking if he could hear what she heard. They both stand and before they take more than a few steps a Trolloc jumps down to attack. Not wanting to die Egwene reaches out to the One Power and channels by instinct. The Trolloc is thrown from the bridge and into eternal darkness. Her channeling has drawn the thing they had been fearing, Machin Shin. They can feel it begin to get colder and Moiraine Sedai warns them that the black wind will speak to them, but they must not listen.

They must alter their plans and make for a much closer Waygate to Fal Dara. They speed through the darkness, only Lan looking behind. Illuminated by a flash of lightening Padan Fain stands well behind the group, staring after them. They reach the Waygate, picking their way precariously across a bridge only a stone wide as Machin Shin draws ever closer. The wind buffets the group and horrors are whispered to each. Moiraine hears that she is wrong about everything, and that she will murder these children and call it heroism. Rand is told that he is an imposter and a fraud and that Egwene will never love him as much as he loves her. She will leave him again. Perrin’s worst fears are whispered to him. That he’d meant to kill his wife and loved someone more than his wife. Lan hears that he cannot save her and that he will watch her die, and Nynaeve that she will watch them die like she heard her parents die. The wind tells her that she will lose the rest like she lost Mat and will forever be alone. Nynaeve physically fights back against the wind, walking forward, the One Power flows into her and she creates a protective shield that drives away Machin Shin. Moiraine stands at the Waygate working to get it open. In tandem they fight against the darkness of the Ways to save the group. The gate opens and Moiraine calls them through, unable to move on her own Lan grabs Nynaeve and pulls her through the gate.

They are in a barren land, not too far south from the eye of the world. Moiraine assures them that they have friends in Fal Dara and will be able to rest before they continue. All of their eyes are rimmed with red and many of them glisten with tears from the painful words Machin Shin had whispered. “Whatever it was you heard in the winds, put it out of your minds.”

They walk towards a city that rises out of the barren landscape, its stone walls much the same color as the arid soil that surrounds it. They are welcomed to Fal Dara, the men who greet them speak to Lan and call him Di’Shan and welcome him as if he is coming home. Moiraine and Lan are taken to have an audience with Lord Agelmar (Thomas Chaanhing), who seems somewhat less than pleased to see them. Before they have a chance to explain he accuses his sister of writing to the White Tower and blowing out of proportion the trollocs raids and encroaching Blight. He is offended at the insinuation that Fal Dara cannot protect its own. Moiraine attempts to assure him that they have no intention of advising him, but she has come with a warning about the Dark One using the Ways to move trollocs south. He immediately orders it done. To make amends he offers her and all her companions a place at Fal Dara for as long as they need. He did not intend to insult Moiraine.

Back at the Waygate Padan Fain slowly saunters towards Fal Dara with a casual but purposeful gait.

In the halls of the fortress Moiraine Sedai walks with Lady Amalisa (Sandra Yi Sencindiver), who casually channels to light the lamps as they pass. Moiraine asks after Min (Kae Alexander) and is told she is still in the city. Lady Amalisa questions why Moiraine and her group traveled the ways. Instead of giving her a straight answer she reminds Amalisa of her time training in the White Tower, but Amalisa says that her allegiance is to the city of Fal Dara not to the Amyrlin Seat. Moiraine asks Lady Amalisa to send a message to the White Tower, the Red Ajah, that they must find a man name Mat Cauthon.

Moiraine, Nynaeve, Rand, Egwene and Perrin walk through the city, as they pass a small group Perrin thinks that he saw Padan Fain, but Nynaeve tells him that the Peddler died that night in the Two Rivers. On Bel Tine when the Trollocs attached. They arrive at a tavern, where the Two Rivers folks sit with their drinks while Moiraine questions Min at the bar. When Min views the group, she sees images around them that she explains to Moiraine. In Perrin she can see his yellow eyes, and there is blood running down his chin. She sees Ran rocking a small dark-haired baby. Around Nynaeve and Egwene she sees a golden ring and white flame. She can also tell that they are all linked, she can see sparks of light around them, trying to fill the darkness. Min looks at Moiraine and sees that the Amyrlin Seat is going to be Moiraine’s downfall. Darkness falls through Tarwin’s Gap and they return to the fortress.

Moiraine explains to them that Min sees glimpses of the Pattern. She had hoped that Min could tell her who was the Dragon Reborn so that the others would not have to die. Since Min could not she intends to take them all to the Eye of the World, knowing that three of them will not return. Nynaeve attempts to stand up to Moiraine but is simply told that no matter how far they run and hide they cannot hide from the weaving of the Pattern. After Moiraine leaves, Egwene and Nynaeve argue about if they should go. In Egwene’s mind if there is even a small chance that Moiraine is right, they need to go. She points out that Nynaeve’s pride is holding her back because she does not want to go for Moiraine. Rand lashes out at Egwene in defense of Mat and Perrin steps in, telling Rand he cannot speak to her that way. He demands that Rand apologize, but before the two friends can come to blows Nynaeve spills what has already been implied. That Perrin loves Egwene as well, that he has always loved Egwene. Perrin denies that he loved another woman besides his wife, but the truth is written on his face.

Moiraine stands out on her balcony in the darkness, watching Tarwin’s Gap. Lan joins her and they discuss when they met. He assures her that he gave her something to live for and something to die for, and that he does not regret his choice. As Lan starts to leave Moiraine tells Lan that she likes Nynaeve, but Lan refuses to acknowledge what she means. He heads out into the night, being followed, unbeknownst to him, by Nynaeve. She watches Lan’s happy reunion through the windows. He sees her and goes out to confront her and invite her inside. He introduces Nynaeve and they assume she is an Aes Sedai, which she quickly tells them that she is not. They greet her warmly and welcome her to their table. At the end of the evening Lan and Nynaeve walk back to the fortress. There is much unsaid between them as Lan closes him door for the night.

Standing at his bedside Lan removed his gauntlets and sword and begins to undress. He removes his shirt to expose a back littered with large scars. He is standing, shirtless when Nynaeve enters his room and asks him if he wants her to go. Lan does not answer with his words, but with a long and passionate kiss.

Outside in the yards Rand is alone in the darkness. He is practicing with his bow and arrow when Egwene approaches him with reprimands about not coming to apologize. With a smile he tells her that he has learned that she will usually come looking for him. Rand does apologize upon seeing her frown and tells her that he knows she does not have feelings for Perrin. That is not what made her mad. She was upset that he thought she did not care about Mat. Rand urges her to go to the White Tower and to learn to use the power inside her. He promises to come with her to the White Tower and that he will be her Warder. They lock in a passionate embrace, Egwene assuring Rand that she will always stand by him. No matter what they face.

In Lan’s room Nynaeve dresses to leave, when Lan questions her she turns it back on him. Wanting to know why he was called Di’Shan. It is a title given to future kings of Malkier. It was a fallen kingdom that was taken by the Blight a long time ago. Lan’s entire family was slaughtered but his father’s guardsmen smuggled him out and brought him to safety. It is this story that helps Nynaeve to understand why Lan bonded himself to Moiraine. “You are a king without a kingdom, a boy without a family, and now you finally belong....to her.” Lan equates his bond to the feelings Nynaeve has for Rand, Mat, Perrin, and Egwene and bids her to stay with him.

In another room in the fortress Egwene sleeps peacefully at Rand’s side, but he lays awake. His mind is reeling with visions of the attack on Bel Tine. Tam taking an injury with a sword, and Rand carrying him to Nynaeve. Tam is sick and he spills out memories of his past, thinking he is speaking to his dead wife. He reveals that he found Rand, a tiny baby on a battlefield. Back out in the night Rand aims and fires his bow again and again. In the wind Rand heard that he was the Dragon Reborn. Pairing that with his father’s stories and he knows it to be true. He goes out into the city in search of Min. He asks her to tell him that he is not the Dragon Reborn. She makes Rand promise that he truly wants to hear what she sees.

Min had her first vision as a small child walking down an ally in Tar Valon. She turned a saw a man in armor carrying the same heron marked blade that Rand carries.

Back out in the snow that man, Tam al’Thor stands over the female warrior in the snow, his sword pointed at her chest. He offers the woman his hand and helps her deliver her child before she dies. Min continues to tell Rand the early story of his life, born on the slopes of Dragon Mount and raised in a small village surrounded by sheep. He is the Dragon Reborn. When asked when she sees now, she says "Rainbows and carnivals and three beautiful women." She also sees the Eye of the World but does not see that he makes it back.

The dawn breaks in Fal Dara and Egwene is at Nynaeve’s door. She is not in her rooms and Egwene knows that she has been with Lan. Nynaeve apologizes for what she said about Perrin, just before he enters. The three of them agree that they want to go to the Eye of the World. Rand’s absence is noticed.

Rand knocks on Moiraine’s door and when she answers he confesses that he is the Dragon Reborn.

Lan enters the room with Nynaeve, Perrin and Egwene and tells them that Moiraine has masked his bond and that she gone. Egwene tells him that Rand is gone as well.

North of Fal Dara Rand and Moiraine enter the Blight. The blasted lands they must make their way through in order to get to the Eye of the World. A journey they face alone.


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All Season 1 Episodes

S1, E1: Leavetaking S1, E2: Shadow"s Waiting S1, E3: A Place of Safety S1, E4: The Dragon Reborn S1, E5: Blood Calls Blood S1, E6: The Flame of Tar Valon S1, E7: The Dark Along the Ways S1, E8: The Eye of the World

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