On November 26, Episode 4 of The Wheel of Time will be dropping. The episode is titled “The Dragon Reborn,” written by Dave Hill, and directed by Wayne Yip. Here is our spoiler free review.
Let’s start with the character we were introduced to at the end of Episode 3: Logain Ablar, played by Alvaro Morte. Morte brings a quiet confidence, almost an arrogance to Logain. You can tell he truly believes that he is the person of prophecy that could save the world.
In the Tinker’s camp, we got two very good performances from Maria Doyle Kennedy (Ila) and Daryl McCormack (Aram). Kennedy’s touching, emotional role challenges Perrin to try and look at the world in a different way, and McCormack’s Aram endears himself to the audience with his mix of charm, skepticism, and inner conflict.
Alexandre Willaume continues his phenomenal portrayal of Thom Merrilin. He really steals every scene that he is in. I personally find that I enjoy this version of Thom much more than his book counterpart. His motivations are clearer, and despite the shorter screen time (since we don’t meet him in the Two Rivers in the show) the essence of his character comes through perfectly.
Daniel Henney and Zoë Robins continue to have fantastic chemistry as Lan and Nynaeve; their interactions are a highlight of the entire series so far, and book readers will love one particular interaction. Robins especially steals the show for me with a scene near the end of the episode. I enjoy the little snippets of personality that the writers and Henney have brought forward in Lan, as they make him more relatable to the audience while still being perfectly in character.
Kate Fleetwood’s Liandrin is another standout of the episode. Her attitude is intense but her motivations are mysterious, leaving the audience guessing whether she will end up being an ally or antagonist to our main characters.
We also have our first scenes with Alanna Mosvani, played by the charming Priyanka Bose. Bose is delightful in the role and, as with Willaume’s Thom, she gives Alanna’s character more depth than her book counterpart.
Writing and Plot
The writing has continued to improve with each episode and Episode 4 is no different. This episode is the best example of “show, don’t tell” that we have seen so far. One such scene has brought all of us to tears every time we’ve watched it. This episode balances advancing the plot with a whole lot of worldbuilding, to where it doesn’t feel like it’s running in place to explain things. Each separate character group gets plenty of screen time and no plot line was noticeably weaker like in Episode 3. Interestingly, this episode also has the most content that is not straight out of the books, although most of the additions did occur off-screen in the books or were combined with book scenes (such as Lan, Moiraine, and Nynaeve meeting up with the Logain party). I really enjoyed these and think that they helped flesh out this story for the audience. Everything felt intentional, and we’re not getting changes just to make changes.
Now I come back to what I said in my review for episodes 1-3: we are judging this against Rafe’s comments on keeping the “spine and heart of the books” and that they are adapting “the entire series, not just each book individually.” I believe that both continue to be true for this episode. This is my favorite episode of the season so far. I really enjoyed the worldbuilding and character development, especially in the Aes Sedai plot line. As I said before, I can’t get enough of Lan and Nynaeve’s interactions. We got some excellent character work with Perrin, Egwene, and the Tinkers. Thom, Rand, and Mat add more twists and turns to the season-spanning mystery of the Dragon Reborn’s identity (plus an Easter egg that book fans will love). This is an episode that I have been waiting to see fans’ reactions to since first watching it, and I hope you all enjoy it as much as we did.
Episode 4 – The Dragon Reborn (Overall: 4.5/5)
Lane: 4.5/5, Sara: 4.5/5, Eri: 4.5/5, Omar: 4.5/5
I'm just a farm kid that grew up loving fantasy and science fiction. The Wheel of Time is my favorite book series. I love watching sports, reading, playing video games, and learning about the film making industry.
I hope so, a little disappointed in the first 3.
I’m so excited to watch it! Thank you!
I forget that many non-book readers are watching the show. Here are some observations from a non-book reader I know:
-What is up with the rings? Do they use/need the rings to do the magic?
-The guy in the cage at the end of EP 3 is the same guy they caught at the beginning of EP1?
-Did Mat get a knife because he gave his knife to Perrin? Did the place know he needed a new one?
I think I can reply to these without spoilers…
– The rings are just to signify they are Aes Sedai, these rings don’t have power as a magical artifact although rings that have abilities do exist in the world, not the ones we’ve seen so far. There is a gem in the ring you see, the colour is relevant to the characters wearing them
– No, different guy. 1st one was just to show what people like Liandrin tend to do to men who can use the power. 3rd one will be revealed in ep 4, although given they have just dropped a trailer for that episode in the last 30 mins I can say he claims to be the Dragon
– The relevance of the knife comes from Lan’s warning when they arrived not to touch anything. Although he was a little too pre-occupied to say why. It was possibly symbolic in the show that he lost one and gained one, but no real significance.
The dagger from Shadar Logath had long-term effects on Matt (at least in the books) and I imagine that will not be fropped.
Not sure where anyone could say an onscreen character ks ever better than the books. Especially in this adaptation.
Just by watching the show and reading the books then having an opinion on it. Simple really.
Thanks! Enjoying the breakdowns and the spoiler free reviews. Can’t wait until Thursday night, trailer looks epic.
1-3 so far do a great job of introducing us the WOT world and the main characters. Lots of action and mystery as to what is going on.