REVIEW: ‘Wheel of Time’ 1×2 “Shadow’s Waiting”

The second episode of Amazon’s Wheel of Time, “Shadow’s Waiting,” finds a way to balance the action with its worldbuilding.

Following a strong pilot episode, Amazon’s Wheel of Time returns with its second episode, “Shadows Waiting.” When it comes to adapting a popular title like Wheel of Time, it’s important to ensure book fans are happy, as well as the general audience. Not everyone has had time to devour Robert Jordan‘s books, and Wheel of Time understands this. The series has found a way to tell its story without making newcomers feel unwelcome.

“Shadows Waiting” sees our foursome on the run with Rosamund Pike‘s Moiraine and Daniel Henney‘s Lan. With the group on the move, the trollocs are coming after them and they must find a way to escape. As it turns out, though, the trollocs are terrified of deep water, which Moiraine uses to their advantage. After bribing a ferriman, the group successfully crosses the water, but not without a casualty.

As the group finds temporary solace from the threat, Moiraine reveals to Egwene that she’s able to access the power of the One. There’s a hint of uncertainty on Egwene’s face as she walks away, but their conversation carries weight in later scenes. It is clear the group is unsure of whether or not Moiraine and Lan are trustworthy, however, they know they need to trust her if they want to survive.

One thing this episode does fantastically well is balance the storytelling with the action. The characters help to expand upon the world, helping to familiarize those who have not yet read the books. Yet, the dialogue doesn’t bog things down because the episode knows when to splice in action and tension. As the crew manages to escape two enemies, it appears as though they’re safe. However, it quickly becomes apparent that is not the case.

What follows thereafter, is a stunning sequence that sees our heroes split up against their will. The CGI does suffer at times, especially as the shadow encompasses the city and chases the group away. However, it’s a strong note to end the episode on, especially given the huge reveal at the end of the episode: Nynaeve is alive.

Overall, “Shadow’s Waiting” is a stellar second episode that both book lovers and series newbies will enjoy.

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