In the latest episode of The Wheel of Time, “Daes Dae’mar,” which translates to “the Great Game” in the Old Tongue, a number of characters made important discoveries. Mat found out about Ishamael’s existence. The Seanchan learned of Egwene’s incredible strength in the One Power. Rand probably embraced some newly inflamed feelings about Aes Sedai after his encounter with the Amyrlin Seat. But the biggest revelation involved Moiraine and her loss of the One Power.
A flashback showed the moment Moiraine and Siuan learned about the Dragon Reborn’s coming from a Foretelling. That event 20 years ago changed the course of their lives. Moiraine was to find the Dragon and guide him. Siuan was to prepare the White Tower and gather the Aes Sedai’s support for the Dragon. Siuan lays failure for Rand’s lack of skill at Moiraine’s feet and seemingly blames her for losing access to the One Power. But as it turns out, Ishamael did not still Moiraine; he only shielded her.
Occasionally in season two we’ve heard characters say that women cut off permanently from the One Power, known as being stilled, often lose the will to live. They cannot handle the absence of the connection that has always been present within them. To lose access to the One Power is to undergo a severe trauma. Verin tells Lan how strong Moiraine has been to keep moving forward. Not entirely convinced, and probably fairly unhappy about Moiraine threatening to have Alanna take Lan’s Warder bond by force, Lan does some digging worthy of a sister of the Brown Ajah.
Lan pulls statistics on Aes Sedai who were stilled and how many survived. He questions Logain, a false Dragon who the Aes Sedai gentled but who can still see One Power weaves made by male channelers. Logain tells Lan weaves sit on Moiraine, something Rand later confirms. Rand sees a knot, meaning Ishamael placed the weave and tied it off—an ability lost since the Age of Legends. Aes Sedai believe they have to actively maintain weaves for them to work. We see this in the episode when the sisters take turns maintaining the shield on Rand.
Truth, unbelievable as it may be to Moiraine, uncovered, Lan urges Rand to channel and cut the knot. Moiraine regains access to the One Power and uses it immediately. Moiraine has stood on her own without the One Power all season and confronted some painful external and internal challenges. She probably sees truth in Siuan’s criticism and believes she’s a failure for not guiding and protecting Rand. It must be bittersweet for Moiraine to regain such an important part of who she believes she is at the same time as her and Siuan’s mutual betrayal.
The Wheel of Time‘s season two finale airs next Friday, October 6.