At the end of The Wheel of Time season one, Moiraine found a stone fragment from a smashed seal on the ground at the Eye of the World. It shattered when Rand seemingly defeated the Dark One. She calls it cuendillar, or heartstone. As she holds the broken stone, Lan comments that he thought the material couldn’t be scratched, that not even the One Power could break it. The crumbled cuendillar set up a mystery we find Moiraine investigating in The Wheel of Time season two premiere. Here’s context on what cuendillar is and why it’s important with only minor spoilers from the books.
What Is Wheel of Time’s Cuendillar?
Cuendillar, also known as heartstone, is a near-indestructible material. Aes Sedai in the Age of Legends made the material with the One Power, which seems to become stronger whenever someone tries to break it. Contemporary Aes Sedai don’t know how to create cuendillar, so the objects made of cuendillar date back to the time before the Breaking of the World. Because of that, the rare material is valuable. We see this when Bayle Domon tries to sell the heartstone in his possession to Moiraine for a high price.
Why Does Moiraine Care So Much About Broken Cuendillar?
Moiraine lost her connection to the One Power at the Eye of the World. For many channelers, losing the ability to channel has a number of negative effects, including losing the will to live. However it seems Moiraine is pouring her energy into heartstone research to stave off those effects—or some of them, at least. The broken cuendillar seal at the Eye made Moiraine think that Rand didn’t fight the Last Battle with the Dark One, but that instead, it was only the first one.
Since destroying heartstone should be impossible, she’s on a mission to find out why it shattered. The implications could be huge, particularly if no one can repair the cuendillar or identify why it is suddenly vulnerable. The broken cuendillar could relate directly to the return of the Dark One and the Forsaken, his servants.
She’s been researching in a library for months, keeping Lan at arm’s length. Mysterious people visit her, including Bayle Domon. Based on their conversation, Moiraine has been searching for answers and trying to find other pieces of heartstone. Bayle brings her a chunk of cuendillar wrapped in cloth. He tells Moiraine he acquired it outside Cairhien and has had the heartstone for a couple of months.
Cuendillar and the Great Seals
The piece of cuendillar Moiraine picked up at the Eye of the World was from a seal in the floor. In The Wheel of Time books, cuendillar is used to make important objects—the kind you don’t want to break. For example, it was used to forge the Great Seals. Those are cuendillar disks that seal the Dark One’s and the Forsaken’s prisons. One of the Amyrlin Seat’s titles is Watcher of the Seals, and it means the seals on the Dark One’s prison. If those seals are breaking, Moiraine would be desperate to know why and to see if she can keep them whole. We’ll have to see who she chooses to share this knowledge with.