The Wheel of Time has premiered its first three episodes. If you’re not familiar with the books, you may have some questions about the characters, the Aes Sedai, or the world. As Moiraine indicated a few times, the Dragon Reborn sits at the heart of the story. She and Lan have been searching for the prophesied figure, as has the Dark One and his forces. If you’re curious to learn more about what The Wheel of Time’s Dragon Reborn is without plot spoilers for the books or TV series (we won’t reveal who it is), here’s a guide.
What Is the Dragon Reborn?
Reincarnation exists in the world of The Wheel of Time. The Wheel turns and spins out a person’s soul and puts that soul in another body. Some key figures have multiple reincarnations in an Age, but the Dragon comes back only once during an Age. The previous dragon, Lews Therin Telamon, lived during the Age of Legends (the Second Age). He caused the Breaking of the World but also helped seal the Dark One and his powerful followers away into prisons. The Dragon Reborn will be a reincarnation of Lews Therin and will be someone who can channel the One Power. Maybe a male channeler like Lews Therin. However, men who can channel have been rare since the Breaking, because the Dark One tainted the male half of the One Power, a.k.a. saidin. Men who channel eventually go mad.
The Dragon Reborn is not an actual dragon. In fact, The Wheel of Time books don’t include your traditional fire-breathing dragons from fantasy. It’s more like a mythical idea of a dragon. Lews Therin’s banner depicted what could be a dragon though. It’s described as a sinuous figure like a serpent with red and gold scales along its body and legs, and clawed feet.
We should also note The Dragon Reborn is the name of the third book in Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series.
Why Is the Dragon Reborn So Important to The Wheel of Time?
The Dragon Reborn will confront the Dark One and the Shadow at the Last Battle in the current age, the Third Age. This person will either save the world or destroy it. Some worry the figure will bring about another Breaking. That’s quite a risk, but without the Dragon Reborn, the world stands no chance at all against the Dark One.
So of course the Aes Sedai want to identify this figure and do what they can to help him or her prepare for the Last Battle, a.k.a. Tarmon Gai’don. Some say the Aes Sedai truly want to control this person for their own good. Many have that same goal.
Prophecies About the Dragon Reborn
Many prophecies discuss the Dragon Reborn and how to identify him or her. In the TV series, Moiraine references one of her Aes Sedai sisters who saw the Dragon Reborn’s birth. That’s how Moiraine knows approximately how old the Dragon Reborn is. In the books, we know more details about where and to whom the Dragon Reborn was born. Many scholars and characters in the books reference “The Karaethon Cycle: The Prophecies of the Dragon.” The collection of prophecies details signs of the Dragon Reborn’s arrival.
Darkfriends have their own prophecies, too. The Dark One and his followers have their eye on the Dragon Reborn, hoping to turn the figure to their side.
Not all men who have the ability to channel have the potential to be the Dragon Reborn. For example, we meet Logain Ablar in the TV series; the Aes Sedai have captured and caged him. A male channeler, he’s proclaimed himself as the Dragon Reborn, but he doesn’t fit the prophecies. He’s what’s known as a False Dragon. Aes Sedai, usually the Red Ajah, hunt False Dragons with the purpose of gentling them—taking away their ability to channel.
They must feel certain that a man is a False Dragon before they gentle him though; they don’t want to risk gentling the Dragon Reborn and thus stopping him from being able to fight the Dark One. As you can imagine, it’s not always black and white
Will We Learn Who the Dragon Reborn Is?
The book series pretty much makes the Dragon Reborn’s identity known in the first book, though it doesn’t really cement it until books two and three. But The Wheel of Time TV series obfuscates who the Dragon Reborn is—so much so that I’m not entirely convinced it will play out the same way as the books. Moiraine thinks it could be one of the youths from the Two Rivers, though Nynaeve seems a touch too old to fit the prophecy. I am hoping we’ll have an indication of the Dragon Reborn’s identity by the end of season one, but I’m not positive.
Do not, I repeat, do not look at any wiki for the books if you don’t want to see spoilers about who the Dragon Reborn is.
The Wheel of Time drops new episodes each Friday on Prime Video.
Amy Ratcliffe is the Managing Editor for Nerdist and the author of A Kid’s Guide to Fandom, available now. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.