To fully understand and appreciate a story of the present, sometimes you have to look into the past. The latest The Wheel of Time trailer does just that by showing Moiraine’s (Rosamund Pike) past just as she begins her life as an Aes Sedai. The footage also hints at some of the many dangers our young group of characters will face as they leave their sheltered village and head out into the world with Moiraine and her Warder Lan. Prime Video’s adaptation of Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series looks to be right on track, with this tease showing off some elements from the first book, The Eye of the World. Plus, this is a 360 video, a first-of-its-kind YouTube experience.
We recommend watching The Wheel of Time trailer once without scanning around. Then head back, watch the trailer again, and see what you discover. Between the 360 navigation and the spatial audio, you’ll definitely notice more once you move around. It lends itself to multiple viewings.
But cool format aside, let’s break down some of The Wheel of Time trailer’s key moments without any plot spoilers from the books. First of all, the trailer confirms the images we’ve seen of Moiraine in the White Tower are indeed flashbacks. We see her in the white of an Accepted (likely not a Novice) before she goes in front of the Amyrlin Seat to swear the Three Oaths of the Aes Sedai. Moiraine says those in the trailer. The Oath Rod is a ter’angreal that binds the person who swears upon it to their words. No Aes Sedai can break the three oaths. (You can learn more about all things Aes Sedai here).
Moiraine wears her kesiera, the chain with a blue stone at the middle. She wore this in the books and apparently as a younger Aes Sedai. By showing Moiraine becoming an Aes Sedai many years ago, the series is kind of getting around not giving the Aes Sedai the ageless look The Wheel of Time books describe (the series decided to spend their VFX budget on other things besides making all the Aes Sedai look ageless).
Another Aes Sedai’s Warder, likely Stepin, explains what Aes Sedai means in the old tongue: servants of all. They serve the world in whatever ways the world requires. This leads to Moiraine’s quest, a path she didn’t choose but says she will follow. She believes one of four youths in the Two Rivers fits the prophecy of the Dragon Reborn, a reincarnated figure destined to fight the Dark One. Moiraine takes Rand al’Thor, Egwene al’Vere, Perrin Aybara, and Mat Cauthon with her. Nynaeve al’Meara comes too, but she’s a few years too old to fit the prophecy.
As they travel across The Wheel of Time‘s world, the trailer shows some of the threats the group must face. First, there’s the Dark One’s creatures, Trollocs and Fades. of course. But a military organization of humans poses a huge risk too: the Children of the Light, more commonly known as Whitecloaks. They wear white cloaks, you see. Cult-like and dangerous, the Whitecloaks dedicate themselves to finding Darkfriends, and anyone they believe is evil or corrupt. To say the Whitecloaks are overzealous is an understatement. And they largely believe Aes Sedai are all evil.
In the trailer, we see one Whitecloak with a trophy collection of Aes Sedai rings, representing Aes Sedai of various Ajahs. That’s specifically Eamon Valda. He’s watching a woman burn at the stake, so we assume that means he’s killed multiple Aes Sedai and taken their Great Serpent rings. Later in the trailer, Whitecloaks circle Perrin and Egwene. Yikes.
We also get a glimpse at Fal Dara and presumably Lord Agelmar. Fal Dara is on the northernmost border of Shienar, right up against the Great Blight. The Great Blight stands bare and rotted due to the influence of the Dark One. Think of it as Minas Tirith and Mordor. Soldiers of Fal Dara regularly fight the Dark One’s creatures and keep them at bay, protecting the rest of the world.
Moiraine says if they do not stop the Dark One, the whole world will burn. No pressure. The final moments of the trailer come with so much intensity. Scenes of Trollocs in the village with Moiraine channeling the One Power. A look at Logain Ablar, a false Dragon, channeling the tainted male half of the One Power, saidin. Shienarians taking up weapons. Then we see Aiel engaged in battle, which I think is likely a flashback to the Battle of the Shining Walls—the battle that saw the birth of the Dragon Reborn.
The Wheel of Time premieres with its first three episodes on Prime Video on November 19.