The Wheel of Time Episode 6 is called “The Flame of Tar Valon.” It’s a reference to the Amyrlin Seat, a throne and a person. Essentially a position of supreme power within the Aes Sedai currently held by a fisherman’s daughter named Siuan Sanche (Sophie Okonedo). The title could also be a cheeky nod to the hot and steamy romance that’s been happening in secret behind all the Aes Sedais’ backs. The Wheel of Time Episode 6 “The Flame of Tar Valon” on Prime Video reveals that Moiraine (Rosamund Pike) isn’t at odds with the Amyrlin Seat, but in love with her. The two have been working quietly to find the Dragon Reborn (in between clandestine hookups that have been going on since they were novices).
Moiraine’s romance with Siuan in The Wheel of Time show is not only a nice nod to Jordan’s reference to them being “pillow friends” in the prequel novel New Spring, but it’s also a powerful bit of character development for Pike’s character. Only by understanding what Moiraine is willing to sacrifice to complete her mission to locate, protect, and watch the Dragon Reborn can we see how serious she is about the task. This isn’t a fun theory or selfish quest. It is of the paramount importance for the fate of the world. That’s why Moiraine is willing to give up the things that matter most to her â a place of honor in the White Tower, time with her beloved â to see it through.
Moiraine’s relationship with Siuan is a masterstroke that transcends fan service by giving an enigmatic character an profoundly human backstory.
Amazon’s The Wheel of Time is based on Robert Jordan’s sprawling 14+ book series of the same name. It starts off as a winsome homage to Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring, with the magically-powered Moiraine and her brooding Warder Lan (Daniel Henney) whisking a quartet (plus a stubborn Wisdom) out from their pastoral village on a quest to face down evil itself. Moiraine fulfills the Gandalf role, the Merlin gig. She is the sage leader whom the youths aren’t totally sure they can trust. Because of this, Jordan depicts Moiraine from the Two Rivers kids’ point of view. She is the powerful leader of their enterprise protecting them from harm, but it’s also clear she’s not being wholly transparent about everything. (Something that chafes the stubborn Two Rivers boys and inspires them to be even more obstinate.)
Making Moiraine an inscrutable puzzle of a woman might work on the page, but it’s not going to fly as well on screen. Prime Video’s The Wheel of Time needed to humanize Moiraine for us to understand who she is as a person. So far, we’ve been privileged to Moiraine’s bond with her Warder, her brilliance as a tactician, and her savvy political maneuverings against fellow Aes Sedai. Revealing her romance with Siuan Sanche made Moiraine a three dimensional figure. It also revealed just how seriously Moiraine takes her quest to find the Dragon Reborn.
The scene where Siuan and Moiraine met in secret was tender and dreamy. The chemistry between Pike and Okonedo was sizzling when it needed to be and heartbreaking where it had to be. In just two scenes, The Wheel of Time revealed a romance of true depth. It was sexy. It was sweet. It was full of snarky word play. Most of all, it was clear that Siuan and Moiraine consider themselves equal partners in their plot to secure the Dragon Reborn. This is important not just as character development for Moiraine and Siuan, but as a fascinating peek at the complexities of political position within the White Tower. Siuan publicly exiles Moiraine, but only after her lover pitches the idea in private.
Amazon’s The Wheel of Time has been bringing the world of Robert Jordan’s books to life with a combination of detailed attention to the texts and creative additions inspired by them. Moiraine’s romance with Siuan is hinted at on the page. By showing it on screen, the Prime Video show is expanding our understanding of the Aes Sedai. More importantly, it’s giving Moiraine the dimension she deserves.
Moiraine might be a fictional character with the ability to hurl fire balls with magic power, but Episode 6 proved she’s a whole human being, too.
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