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Season 1, Episode 106: "The Flame of Tar Valon"
Written By: Justine Juel Gillmer
Directed By: Salli Richardson Whitfield
Original Air Date: December 10, 2021 on Amazon Prime Video

Episode Synopsis

Episode summary by Crystal Fritz

A small shack sits nestled on the banks of a river, surrounded by a forest and steep hills. A girl sleeps in a rope hammock. It is a young Siuan Sanche, her decolletage covered in tattoos. Many of the same symbols adore her father. She and her father take their small boat out on the river to fish. Her dad struggles with only one hand to untie the knots in their fishing net. With an apparent ease Siuan reaches out to the Source and uses it to untie the knots. Though he cannot see the weaves, he knows that she has channeled. Her father complements her progress but chastises her using the One Power out in the open. He is worried that someone will see her. It is not safe to be someone who channels in Tear. When they return to shore with the days catch, their shack has been burned to the ground and a red dragon’s fang was scrawled on what remained of their door. It was clear that it was past time that Siuan leave her small fishing village. Her father gives her their only boat and sends her away to Tar Valon. “Siuan Sanche, daughter of the river, clever as a pike, strong as the tides.” Tears stream down both their faces, and pain fills their eyes as they say their final goodbye. Siuan continues her journey down river as the credits roll.

Moiraine stands in the center of the Hall of the Tower, a blue jewel held on her forehead by a delicate golden chain. Her face is painted with trepidation as Leane Sharif (Jennifer Cheon Garcia) intones “Attend you all, she comes. The Watcher of the Seals, the Flame of Tar Valon, the Amyrlin Seat.” Siuan makes her slow and dramatic ascent to the Amyrlin seat. Moiraine is flanked by Alanna Sedai to her left and Liandrin Sedai to her right. The remaining Aes Sedai whom traveled with them stand a pace behind. Encircling the room in groups of three are the Sitters for each Ajah, identifiable by the colors that they wear. Once seated the Amyrlin seat calls for the false Dragon Logain Ablar to be brought before her. She orders him unchained, since gentled her poses no threat to a room of women who can touch the Source. Her serene nature is a star juxtaposition to the venom Logain spews. He is intentionally insulting, and throws out Kerene Sedai’s death as a conquest, in hopes that he can anger the Aes Sedai and bring about his death. Wise as she is, the Amyrlin Seat sees through his rouse and sentences him to serve as an example for all other false Dragon’s and men who channel. He will be watched and studied and never know freedom again, his only release will be when the madness takes him. He is removed from the Hall begging for his death.

Siuan’s attention then turns to the trio of Aes Sedai before her. She believes that Logain deserved a fair trial “not battlefield justice” and calls to question if Liandrin remember her training. Alanna begs clemency and backs up Liandrin’s assertion that Logain had to be gentled. With Moiraine adding that all the Aes Sedai would have died had they not acted as they did. Siuan determines that the fault lies with Liandrin, and she will set her a penance. Still perusing her own agenda Liandrin Sedai makes mention of Nynaeve and, in not so many words, questions the Amyrlin’s lack of interest in the matter of the most powerful channeler the Tower has seen in one thousand years. She then turns her attack on Moiraine. Outlining that the blue sister had been in and out of the Tower for twenty years. Revealing that the Blue Ajah’s purpose is to gather secrets and discover danger before it strikes at the Tower. She openly questions why Moiraine did not raise warning of the Trollocs or Logain’s army. It was strategic to call her out in front of the Hall of the Tower. A sitter for the Blue Ajah, Maigan attempts to deflect the questions as business of the Blue Ajah, but it is not allowed. Siuan questions where Moiraine has been and what was the purpose of her travels. All Moiraine can utter is, “I cannot say,” even when Siuan sends her to her knees. Calling her out for her noble birth, being the Lady Moiraine Damodred. The Amyrlin delivers a tirade while Moiraine’s face is pressed to the marble, reminding her of the power that she possesses. She promises to think on a penance for Moiraine as well. As Alanna and Moiraine leave the Hall with their Warders they are confronted by Liandrin and her fellow red sisters, with a promise of reckoning to come.

Sitting out on the balcony of a tea house, Moiraine pours and slowly sips a cup of hot tea. Behind her, on a balcony across the street we see Nynaeve and Loial leave a room. Lan returns to Moiraine to report what he has seen. Moiraine has found Rand and Mat. Crossing the street, she orders the innkeeper to stay away no matter what he hears and enters the room. Rand seems only slightly surprised to find Moiraine alive and in his room. From the bed, Mat rolls over and groans. Rand tries to play off Mat’s illness as a fever insisting that he cannot channel, but when Mat’s rumblings draw their attention Rand pulls his sword on the Warder in defense of his friend. Lan disarms Rand and holds him down. Moiraine gets close to Mat and he lunges at her with the dagger he took from Shadar Logoth. Stopping the knife with a weave of the One Power she uses another to delve Mat and begin removing the darkness that the knife infused into him. She takes on the evil herself to pass it back into the knife and save Mat’s life. She steps out for fresh air, trying to gather herself. Rand thanks her and she makes it clear that she would have done the same to save any of them. She warns Rand that the evil that fed on Mat could consume him if he ever touches the dagger again. Nynaeve and Loial enter as she finishes her warning. Nynaeve stares down the Aes Sedai, but it quickly chastised for not alerting Moiraine the second she had found Rand and Mat.

A dark room, with twisted columns that reach the ceiling is filled with steam. A topless woman adds more water to the coals which rests upon a heated dais where Moiraine sits. The blue sitter Maigan that we saw in the Hall of the Tower sits down to join her. Maigan recounts all that has happened. A green and a blue sister spoke up for a red, which implies a world gone mad. In addition, ships are disappearing of the West coast, there have been Aiel spotted on this side of the spine of the world, and there were Trollocs in the Two Rivers. Lastly, she mentions than Aes Sedai sank the Taren ferry. All signs that something is wrong in the world. Maigan insists that Moiraine supports Siuan and that Moiraine settles down in the White Tower. Just as Maigan is getting ready to leave one of Moiraine’s informants delivers a note. Perrin and Egwene have been found!

The Yellow Ajah has healed Perrin of the wounds at he took at the sadistic hands of Eamon Valda. He is still asleep when Moiraine arrives. She and Egwene speak, Moiraine dances around telling Egwene that the rest of her friends have already arrived. Clearly, still furious Egwene gives Moiraine the rings that Valda had collected as trophies from the Aes Sedai he’d killed. She also tells her of Perrin’s golden eyes. Whatever Moiraine thinks of this revelation she warns Egwene not to tell anyone what she knows. She implies that Perrin could be hurt or killed.

Later, back in the White Tower, Lan enter Moiraine’s room demanding to know why she has masked his bond. He cannot protect her if he cannot sense her. Unbothered by his distress, even when he reminds her that the Tower is not as safe as it once was, she continues to unpin her hair and ready herself for bed in a small mirror. Moiraine reminds him that he needs to focus on protecting their friends from the Two Rivers. She pointedly tells him goodnight, but before leaving he suggests firmly that she return before dawn. He also says, “Give her my love.” Lan leaves to stand guard. Looking towards the small picture frame on the wall Moiraine closes its door and steps back, embracing the source. Weaving into the frame, a bright light surrounds her, and she steps through. When the light fades, we see Siuan Sanche sitting in her night down, weaving a net. She chastises Moiraine for the display she put on in the Hall. The desire and longing are apparent in Moiraine’s eyes as she watches Siuan cross the room towards her. Siuan muses about “No life, no love of one’s own, only the Seat.” They look into each other eyes and Siuan’s hand reaches out to cup Moiraine’s neck and pull her close. Their lips meet for a passionate kiss.

A time later they lay in bed, entangled in each other’s arms. Moiraine tells Siuan that she has found the Dragon. She is unsure which of the five Two River’s folk it is. Nynaeve is too old but cannot be discounted because of the immense power she possesses. In her travels Moiraine has heard numerous tales of the Dragon, each one slightly different from the rest. A gleeman had mentioned the possibility of a many headed Dragon. She expresses confusion and frustration. Siuan assures her that no matter who the Dragon is, one fact remains the same. “The Dragon will defeat the Dark One or join him.” She mentions that she has been seeing the Dark One at the Eye of the World in her dreams. She believes that if Moiraine takes the Dragon Reborn to the Eye of the World they may be able to end him before the last battle begins. They finalize their plans for the next day. Siuan must exile Moiraine so that she can take the Two Rivers folk to the Eye of the World to defeat the Dark One before he gains his strength.

The next day Lan and Moiraine walk through the Tower. Lan revealing that Mat has recovered enough to start drinking again and is well enough to ride. Liandrin confronts them on their walk, revealing the knowledge she has about Rand and Mat. Making vague threats and questions if the Amyrlin knows about the boys. Turning towards her, and moving within inches of her face, Moiraine tells Liandrin that she knows about the man she visits in North harbor. She orders her to forget what she has learned or Moiraine will tell the red sisters what she knows. Leaving Liandrin looking shocked, Moiraine and Lan enter her rooms where Loial is waiting. They are asking Loial for help with an unknown task.

Moiraine and Egwene are in the Hall of the Tower when Lan enters with Nynaeve. The women are thrilled to see each other again, but do not have time for a prolonged reunion. The Amyrlin Seat is waiting. They enter to see a casual Siuan, with none of the adornments she had worn in the Hall. She welcomes Egwene and Nynaeve to the White Tower. She complements Nynaeve and thanks Egwene for returning the rings of the dead Aes Sedai. Nynaeve is impatient and crass. Siuan attempts to change her approach and relate, but it seems to have no effect on Nynaeve. The Amyrlin remains steadfast that they have been called; the Wheel sets their path, as the whole world grinds towards the Last Battle.

Standing high up in the Tower, Moiraine looks down on the river and the city of Tar Valon before her. Lan offers to accompany Moiraine to the Hall, but she refuses and urges him to assure that they are there. The Hall of the Tower is full, the sisters watching on as Moiraine approaches the Amyrlin Seat and kneels to kiss her ring. Siuan sentences Moiraine to exile and compels her swear an oath of fealty on the Oath Rod. “By the Light and my hope of salvation and rebirth, I Moiraine Sedai, swear to obey the judgment of the Amyrlin seat and never return until she calls me home or may the creators face turn from me and the darkness consume my soul.” The Oath Rod glows with the One Power and Siuan says the oath she intends to Moiraine to swear. Subtly, Siuan extends a single finger to brush Moiraine’s hands where it grips the Oath rod.

Moiraine’s voice drops to a whisper as she swears... “...I Moiraine Sedai, do swear to honor and obey Siuan Sanche, daughter of the river, clever as a pike, strong as the tides and never return until she calls me home. Or may my creators face turn from me and darkness consume my soul.”

Turning to face the rest of the Aes Sedai, they all turn their faces from hers as she makes her solitary walk from the Hall. Tears fall from her eyes, but soon she is mounted and rides through the wilderness. Entering a clearing she approaches a large structure. As she dismounts her horse, Loial the Ogier arrives with Perrin and Egwene. From another direction Lan, Mat, Rand and Nynaeve arrive. The Two Rivers five exchanges smiles and hugs, but once again Moiraine cuts their reunion short. She sends off the horses, as they will not survive the Ways. Loial explains that the Ways are ancient pathways that are outside of time and space; with Moiraine informing them that they are the fastest way to the Eye of the World. The place where the Dark One’s prison resides. She is taking them to the Eye to face the Dark One. Moiraine cannot promise them what will happen to them. Stepping into the Waygate Moiraine embraces the One Power and uses it to weave open the door that will allow them to enter the ways. Inside it is darkness, stone, and lightening. Looking into the darkness Moiraine utters “The Wheel weaves as the Wheel wills.” Slowly she makes her way forward and the others follow. Only Mat holds back. The others urge him on as the gate begins to close, but he stands firm. Lightning flashes as Moiraine stares out at him and the credits roll.


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Promotional Images from this Episode

All images courtesy of Amazon Prime Video

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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