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Episode 1: The Wheel Turns

Updated: Jan 17, 2022

Estimated Runtime: 58 minutes (Script Breakdown)


Opening Credits


EXT - Mountains of Mist, Morning.


Pan over the mountain passes, the lush green fields of the Two Rivers Valley.



MOIRAINE (Voice-over)

In times of darkness, men pray for their salvation. But they do not
consider its price. In the last Age, thousands of years ago, the Dragon,
that arrogant man, that desperate hero, broke the world trying to save it. I
shudder to think what the Dragon Reborn will do to it. I shudder to think
what I will do to ensure that they succeed. I don't pray for salvation. I
pray that there will still be something left to save.



Ext Mountains of Mist, Morning. A mountain road overlooking Emond’s Field.


MOIRAINE, her face serene and confident despite the burdens of her mission, rides into view, followed shortly by her warder, LAN.


LAN

You’re sure this is the place, Moiraine?

MOIRAINE

You have doubts?

LAN (dryly)

I have saddle sores. (He leans over to stroke his horse) And I can’t
imagine Mandarb here has enjoyed giving them to me.

MOIRAINE

You’ll forgive me if I don’t waste my energy healing those. Don’t worry.
I’m sure Emond’s Field will be more hospitable for the both of you.

LAN

If this village really has what we’re looking for… then I doubt it.

MOIRAINE
The wheel weaves as the wheel wills, Lan. Come.


MOIRAINE moves to ride forward. LAN follows after. The camera sweeps by with a gentle rush of the wind, rising over the fields, and giving us our first glimpse of the town of Emond’s Field.


EXT Emond’s Field. MORNING.


A modest isolated village in the Two Rivers valley, nestled up against the Mountains of Mist. The people are not wealthy, their homes made of wood and thatch, luxuries hard to come by. But they carry themselves with the quiet confidence of folk who have survived harsh winter after harsh winter together, and know they can take whatever life throws at them.


EXT The Winespring Inn. MORNING.


RAND and TAM AL'THOR are unloading casks of ale in preparation for the festival. RAND’s earnest face stands in contrast with his more serious, more solid, father. MARIN AL’VERE, the innkeeper, is wiping down some of the tables on her porch nearby.

RAND, somewhat distractedly, attempts to lift a barrel alone. He manages, for a little while, before his knees begin to buckle. TAM sees him and rushes over, grabbing the other end and giving him a hand.


TAM

Whoa, Rand! (They ease the barrel down to the ground.) You alright?

RAND (embarrassed)

I’m fine, dad.

TAM

What were you thinking, trying that on your own? You could’ve gotten
hurt.


MARIN AL VERE comes over at the commotion.


MARIN

Give the lad a break, Tam. At least he’s trying to help. Better than some I
could mention.

MARIN cocks her head over to the right. Pan to MATRIM CAUTHON, dicing for coppers on the village green. His ears perk up as soon as TAM, and MARIN look over, as if he can sense their disapproval.


MARIN

Besides. I bet he’s just distracted. Special day, and all. I know Egwene
was all out of sorts when she left the house this morning.
RAND (with visible relief)

She was? Really? I mean. (His eyes widen at the innkeeper) Um…

MARIN (laughing)

It’s alright, Rand. Light knows that my Bran was jittery right up to the
day we got married. Myself too. There’s no shame in it.

RAND

Egwene and I have been talking about it. But now that we’re both old
enough, it just feels so much more real. I’m excited, and scared at the
same time. I guess it’s… comforting, that she is too.

MARIN

They grow up so fast, don’t they, Tam? I still remember you and Kari
bringing the boy round’ here to introduce us. Him no taller than my
knee, Egwene the same, and all excited over having a new friend to play
with.

TAM

Those were good times, Marin. Good times.

There’s a beat as TAM and RAND’s expressions turn downcast. MARIN shares in their sorrow for a moment. She shakes it off.


MARIN

None of that. It’s almost Bel Tine, and that’s no time for sadness. Your
mother would be so proud of you, Rand. Remember that.

MARIN smiles and gives RAND a motherly pat on the shoulder before going back to work inside. TAM’s face grows soft with emotion before he swallows it. RAND looks at his dad, unable to do the same.

TAM

Well. Keep on like you were doing, and you’ll break your fool back
before you even get the chance to ask Egwene to marry you.


RAND (teasing)

When I get married, will I finally stop getting lectures from you?
TAM

After you’re married, you think you’ll be needing my advice less? Ha!
Don’t you worry, lad. It’ll be a long time before you’re rid of me
nattering on in your ear.

With a smile, the two resume working, this time, together.



EXT The Two Rivers. MORNING A stony cliff overlooking a rushing river.


NYNAEVE sits behind EGWENE, braiding her hair as a group of other women look on.


NYNAEVE (quietly)

You’re sure you memorized it all?

EGWENE
As sure as I was when you asked me this morning. Or yesterday. Or last
week. Last month.

NYNAEVE

I’ve seen more than one woman forget the words out of
nervousness. You can’t fault me for being careful.

NYNAEVE finishes with EGWENE’s braid, before standing back, and raising out a hand for her to stand as well. The mood shifts, the idle women behind them growing attentive, NYNAEVE’s friendly expression turning serious.


NYNAEVE

Who is she who comes before us?

EGWENE

A woman grown. A woman alone.

NYNAEVE (feigning scorn)

A woman grown? All I see is a child.

The other women join her in making severe faces, as if mentally chastising her, a child, who dared to stand before them.


EGWENE (pushing down her nerves)

A woman. That is what I am. I came alone. Without my mother to guide
me, to shelter me. I came alone.

NYNAEVE

You would face us alone? You would stand before us and claim to be our
equal?

EGWENE

I do as I must. I go where I must. I am what I must be. I am not a child,
but a woman.

The looks of scorn fade, replaced by warmth.


NYNAEVE


You are what you must be. A child thinks that strength is in the rock. A
woman knows it is in the river. Strength is not in foolishly weathering
the wind, but letting it stir the current within. In being like water.
Changing your shape, but never your nature. In being what you must be.

NYNAEVE steps forward and leads EGWENE to the cliff’s edge.


NYNAEVE

You faced us and named yourself our equal, just as all of us have done
when our time came. You wear this braid like we do in remembrance of
this experience that we share. Though you came here alone, now and
forever, you do not walk alone. (softly, not as part of the ritual) Make me
proud. And remember. Trust the river.

NYNAEVE pushes her off the cliff. EGWENE plunges into the river. At first she fights the current, but then relaxes, reaching the end of her journey safely. She makes it onto the shore, seeing a new dress laid out for her, and the other women cheering and applauding her from the cliffside.


EXT Emond’s Field, the entrance to town. DAY


EGWENE returns triumphant from her induction into adulthood along with NYNAEVE, the wisdom. EGWENE has dried and changed after her plunge into the river, having been provided with a new dress by the women overseeing her ceremony. Her hair is in a braid, symbolic of her new status as an adult.


NYNAEVE
Right. Egwene. We need to get the maypole hauled in. The tables need to
be set around the green for the dancing tonight. And someone needs to
get the peddler and the gleeman settled. Then there’s the ribbons for
the little ones. I won’t have a repeat of last year, them screeching and
crying the whole day because we didn’t have enough to hand out.

EGWENE

All that? Right now?

NYNAEVE

You’re a grown woman now. Did you think there’d be less responsibility?
(Smiling) Don’t worry. There’ll be plenty of time to celebrate at Bel Tine
tomorrow.

EGWENE

I meant, I was hoping to talk to Rand. So I can talk with him about what
you and I talked about?

NYNAEVE (sympathetically)

Alright. But you hurry back, hm? We’ll need all the hands we can get.

EGWENE nods gratefully and rushes off, breaking away from NYNAEVE, who with an absent-minded tug of her braid, strides forward decisively, ready to get things done.



EXT Emond’s Field, DAY the center of town.


The peddler has pulled into town, hawking his wares and attracting a sizeable crowd. PERRIN AYBARA, the blacksmith’s apprentice, looms awkwardly in the crowd. The camera slides over to EGWENE, walking towards the village green and catching sight of PERRIN. She waves for him to come over to her. He nods, but is unable to get through the crowd. He awkwardly fumbles asking people to move, unwilling to push them aside, even gently.


EGWENE

Perrin!

PERRIN

I’m coming!

PERRIN is still unable to get through the crowd of eager townsfolk swarming the peddler. EGWENE sighs and wades into the crowd herself. She pushes and nudges as she must, until she reaches PERRIN and brings him out.


EGWENE
You swing a hammer at the forge every day for hours on end. But you
can’t find the strength to push your way through a crowd?

PERRIN
I know it’s silly. Just feels rude is all.

EGWENE

It’s not rude to push yourself forward, Perrin. Especially when you’ve
got things to be doing.

PERRIN (choosing not to argue the point)

Hm. You needed something?

EGWENE

Rand. Have you seen him?

PERRIN

Saw him unloading barrels with his dad at the inn this morning. You
checked there yet?

EGWENE

I passed by on my way over. Didn’t see him.

PERRIN
Well, we can try…

A quarterstaff swings down into view of the camera.


MAT

My money, or my life!

The camera turns to MAT CAUTHON, holding a quarterstaff outstretched towards the two of them, a wide grin on his face. He twirls the staff playfully before laying it back across his shoulders.


PERRIN

I don’t think the phrase goes like that, Mat.

MAT

Well, it should. I’ve lost most of my money, and my life’s boring as piss.
So, frankly, you’re welcome to them both.

EGWENE

It’s nice to see you too, Mat.

MAT

(gaping at her braid). Blood and ashes! That was today? I… forgot! How
was it?

EGWENE (amused)
It was good. How was… losing your money, I guess?

MAT

Ah, could have been worse. A few coppers. I’ll make it all back with the
quarterstaff tournament tomorrow. Speaking of which. Where’s Rand?

EGWENE

That’s what I was going to ask! Why are you looking for him?

MAT

Well, I’ve got long odds on Wil Al’Seen to make it to the semifinals
tomorrow, so I need Rand to take a div- I mean, I need him to spar with
me. Practice. I’m gonna win.

EGWENE

You’re a fool to take that bet, Mat. I’ve got money on Ewin Finnegar to
make it out of that bracket. And your dad to take the title.

MAT
What, no coin on me? Or Rand?

EGWENE

Rand’s always preferred archery. And you never practice. That’s why
you never win. You can’t get by on talent and luck alone, Mat.

MAT (wrapping an arm around Perrin.)

Look at her! Our little Egwene! One day into adulthood, and she’s
already full of sage advice.

EGWENE

Better than being full of shit. And I’ll prove it by taking that overgrown
stick from you.

MAT
Oh, you will now, will you?

PERRIN
Mat. Egwene.

EGWENE/MAT

What?

PERRIN

I found Rand.

PERRIN points to the entrance to the village, where RAND is walking through, flowers in hand. EGWENE walks towards him, trailed after by MAT and PERRIN.


RAND

Egwene! Sorry, I didn’t think it would take me so long. (presents her the
flowers). Here. For you.

EGWENE

Rand… They’re beautiful. Thank you.

MAT (Breaking in)

Before you two have a moment, Rand, I need to talk to you about –

PERRIN (grabbing Mat)

Let’s see if we can’t get you into fighting shape by tomorrow, Mat. And
Egwene. Congrats. Really. It’s a big day, and we’re all happy for you.


MAT

Convince him to take a dive, and I’ll be even happier for you!

PERRIN exits, half-dragging MAT away, leaving RAND and EGWENE by the village entrance.


EGWENE

Mat Cauthon… sometimes I wonder what would happen if the three of
us weren’t around to keep him in check.
RAND

That’s a frightening thought. Mat, unleashed on the world. And us,
bored to death without him.

EGWENE

I… Rand. I wanted to talk.

RAND

What is it?

EGWENE

…In private.

RAND and EGWENE depart, walking towards the inn.



EXT Emond’s Field, the edge of town.


MAT and PERRIN are sparring with quarterstaffs. PERRIN’s blows are slow but heavy, raining down like a hammer. It is clear that he is trying to give a challenge, but not actually hit MAT. MAT is quick and agile, spinning and turning them away like a bird in flight. A few of the other men are watching.


MAT

Come on, Perrin! I know you’re holding back. I’m not made of
glass, you know?

PERRIN says nothing. MAT steps away with a huff.


MAT

Alright, alright, you big softie. (he turns to the crowd). Anyone else
fancy a match? Maybe put some coin on it?

The crowd seems to balk at the suggestion.


MAT

I’ll take you two on one! With even odds, mind. My coin for yours.

Two men look at each other, and grin. They step forward.


MAT

Ewin, Wil! It’s good to see you. And your money. Rest assured, it
will soon be in far better hands than yours.

MAT hands a few coppers to PERRIN, who collects the same from the two men. He steps off to the side and lets them begin. The two men press in cautiously, testing MAT’s defenses. He lets them almost hit him, feigning distress. They grin confidently, and press in at the same time.


MAT has to work now, fending off their blows with his signature agility. PERRIN, watching from the sidelines, pumps his fists when MAT narrowly snatches a win, flooring both men in what looks like a desperate effort. MAT makes a show of wiping the sweat from his brow before smiling at the crowd. PERRIN comes forward and helps both men up, almost lifting them up with his bulk. He hands the money to MAT. MAT winks before making an even bigger show of his fatigue.


MAT

Thank you, thank you! Oof. Those two almost had me. Maybe
another pair of you might be luckier than them, and win all of this
coin back! Huh? What’d you say? Any takers?

A voice calls out from out of view.

TAM

I could be interested.

The camera pans to TAM AL’THOR, and ABELL CAUTHON, MAT’s dad.

TAM

What do you think, Abell? Two on one seem fair to you?

MAT’s eyes widen at the second man.


MAT

D-dad!

ABELL

Son. What’d I tell you about gambling with honest folk?

MAT

It’s… easier than gambling with the dishonest ones?

ABELL

Ha! That’s my boy.

TAM hands ABELL a quarterstaff before taking one himself. Both carry them with a master’s ease. MAT gulps nervously.


MAT

Now hold on. That’s not fair. The two of you have got that, flame
fighting technique thing.

TAM and ABELL exchange a look. As they speak, they encircle MAT, occasionally jabbing at him with a staff.


ABELL

The flame and the void isn’t a technique, Mat. It’s a way of
concentrating. A way of life.

TAM

In a fight, you have to feed all that fear, all that worry, into a flame.
Until you become the flame, burning with that power. But clear-
headed in the void that those feelings left behind.

MAT

Don’t see what good it does to forget that you’re scared shitless.
Seems to me like that’s a healthy instinct. A reminder to get out
while you can.

ABELL

I don’t think we’re getting through to him. I guess we’ll have to
give my wayward son a more practical lesson, eh, Tam?

TAM grins. MAT gulps and raises his quarterstaff again. The crowd snickers, although they also settle in to watch what is sure to be an interesting fight.



EXT Emond’s Field, DAY, the village green.


NYNAEVE is speaking to the peddler, PADAN FAIN, who's got his cart and wares occupying the green.


NYNAEVE

For the last time, Padan Fain! We’ve got a gleeman in town, and
he’ll need the green this evening to perform.


PADAN FAIN

I’ve been bringing my goods to this village for near on ten years
now. And you’re telling me I have to give up the best spot in town
for some raggedy old gleeman?

NYNAEVE

Best spot -? Fain. No other merchants are in town today. What do
you need a good spot for? Anyone who wants to buy something
will find you.

PADAN FAIN

Bah, I don’t need to be lectured on my business by some slip of a
girl, barely old enough to –


NYNAEVE (commandingly)

You are being spoken to by the Wisdom of Emond’s Field. You’d do
well to remember that, Fain. It shouldn’t matter that you’ll have to
move by this evening. No one should be buying anything after dark
anyway. They’ll be too drunk to bargain sensibly. Unless, that was
your plan all along?

PADAN FAIN (nervously, eying the listening customers)

I, um, not at all. I’ll move, Wisdom. Really. It’s fine.

NYNAEVE snorts derisively before walking away and approaching THOM MERRILIN, the gleeman. His patchy cloak lays atop a well-fitted though worn traveller’s garb. His bright eyes shine above a carefully trimmed salt and pepper beard.


NYNAEVE

Master Merrilin. The green will be yours this evening. If you need
to practice beforehand, I’m sure a space can be found for you.

THOM

My name is Thom, Wisdom. Please. ‘Master Merrilin’ makes me feel
twice my age. And I’m not exactly a young buck to begin with.

NYNAEVE

Alright. Thom. I also wanted to talk about what sort of songs would
be appropriate for tonight and tomorrow.

THOM

Hm. Yes, I thought that might come up.

With a flourish of his hands, THOM begins to juggle, catching the attention of MAT, PERRIN, and a few others who’ve clearly given up on sparring and are instead lounging under the spring sun.


THOM

So, it’s appropriate stories you’re looking for, eh? Well I’ve got
those. Stories properly suited for these times. (He adds a ball to the
juggling pattern.)A man has proclaimed himself the Dragon Reborn
in Ghealdan. They say this one can channel the One Power. That
he’s raised a great army. I shall tell you the Karaethon Cycle in full,
the prophecies of the Dragon Reborn, and let you decide if this
man is who he claims to be. (He adds another ball to the juggling).
The Great Hunt has been called in Illian! Even now, hundreds,
thousands of adventurers seek out the Horn of Valere, lost to time
and legend. The Horn, when blown, will summon the champions of
the Light from ages past to fight again. I shall tell you of those
heroes: Artur Hawking, Birgitte Silverbow, Gaidal Cain, all bound
to the mighty horn!(He adds another ball). The Blight, the barren
waste of the Shadow beyond the Borderlands, has advanced into
civilized lands. I shall tell of the horrors that can be found there,
trees that drink the blood of men, worms the size of hounds that
tunnel beneath your feet, watching, waiting, hunting… And of
course. The Eye of the World. A sanctuary within the shadow of the
Blight, found only by those who seek not glory, but salvation. I
shall-

THOM drops the balls, catching sight of MOIRAINE and LAN who have stepped out of the inn and are watching the performance. His eyes stick to MOIRAINE’s face with a look of shock that quickly fades into barely concealed discomfort.


MOIRAINE

Did I interrupt, gleeman? Please. Do not stop on my account.

NYNAEVE, agog, pushes herself into the situation.


NYNAEVE

Thom. Stories about the Heroes of the Horn are well and good. But
there’s no need to frighten folk with talk of the Dragon Reborn, or
the Blight.

THOM is still looking at MOIRAINE. His eyes flash towards LAN, looming behind her.


THOM

Very well, Wisdom. If you’ll excuse me. I think I shall take your kind
offer and find a space to prepare.

THOM leaves. NYNAEVE turns to MOIRAINE and LAN

NYNAEVE

Marin mentioned we had visitors. I am Nynaeve Al’Meara. The
Wisdom. (Her eyes narrow suspiciously. She too catches something in
Moiraine’s face). I’ll tell you now. We don’t like trouble here in
Emond’s Field. No matter who starts it. We do not like it.

MOIRAINE (not rising to the bait)

I am Moiraine. This is Lan. You’re this village’s Wisdom?

NYNAEVE

(stiffens) Does that surprise you?


MOIRAINE

Little surprises me, my dear. Perhaps we can sit down and share
some tea. I have travelled a long way, and would like to know more
of your village.

NYNAEVE

Why? What are you looking for?

MOIRAINE

I am a student of history, Nynaeve. And I’ve often found that the
most interesting tales dwell in the most distant of places.

NYNAEVE

I don’t have time for gossip. I’ve got too much to do. Excuse me.

NYNAEVE moves to leave but MOIRAINE stretches out a hand to stop her.


MOIRAINE
I did not mean to offend.

NYNAEVE

You didn’t. If there’s nothing else?

MOIRAINE

…Yes. Why don’t you take Lan with you? He can help you with your
errands. It’s only fair, since we’ll be in town to enjoy your festival.

LAN, who has remained stone silent throughout the exchange, darts a surprised look at MOIRAINE, then at NYNAEVE. NYNAEVE sizes him up thoughtfully.


NYNAEVE

Alright. Light knows I could use an extra pair of hands. Come on
then.

NYNAEVE turns and walks away. LAN does not follow, turning to MOIRAINE.


LAN (incredulously)

Moiraine…

MOIRAINE

The gleeman knows what I am. And the Wisdom suspects. I doubt
she will talk freely with me, or let me talk with her people. But
perhaps you can distract her. Or get some information out of her.
Some do find that brooding stare of yours quite inviting.

LAN

Would you like me to paint my face and dance the tiganza for her
while I’m at it? (a sigh) It is a good idea. I’ll do as you ask.


NYNAEVE returns with a bundle of colorful cloth and twine, which she throws into LAN’s arms.


NYNAEVE
Well? Time’s wasting.

LAN grunts, hefting the bundle over his shoulder, and darting a final dirty look at MOIRAINE before he follows NYNAEVE away. MOIRAINE chuckles before setting her piercing gaze on MAT and PERRIN, who remained with the crowd that listened to THOM. We see her eyes flash, and then as if looking from her point of view, an aura of light surrounds MAT and PERRIN both. MOIRAINE smiles and approaches.


MOIRAINE

You two look like some knowledgeable young men. Could I trouble
you with a few questions?

EXT The Winespring Inn, Day.


EGWENE and RAND are sitting quietly out where RAND and his father were unloading the barrels earlier. It is as private as they’re likely to be in a small town like this.


EGWENE

Nynaeve says I can Listen to the Wind. Like she can. And I’ve got a
good head for herbs. A good head, in general. She thinks I have
what it takes.

RAND

To be Wisdom.

EGWENE

Her apprentice. But yes. Wisdom, someday. Probably not in
Emond’s Field. Since we already have one.


RAND


I see.

EGWENE

It just seems right, Rand. I’d be good at it. And don’t I have a
responsibility? Good Wisdoms make a good village, and Light
knows we need more good in the world. You know that’s true. You
know it.

RAND

Wisdoms seldom wed. Their village is supposed to be their family.


EGWENE

That’s… what they say.

They sit in silence. The flowers from before lay sadly in EGWENE’s lap. RAND takes her hand. His eyes are determined.


RAND

‘Seldom’ isn’t ‘Never’. If this is what you want, then I want to
support you. We can make it work. I can live in another village. I
have to ride to get from the farm to Emond’s Field anyway. What’s
an hour’s ride more?

Her uncertainty flickers for a moment.


EGWENE

What about children? If I become a Wisdom, I won’t be able to stay
at home with them all the time.

RAND


You won’t have to. I’ll help out. And even if the two of us are busy, I
know that my dad, and your folks would love having a little one to
look after, and spoil rotten.

EGWENE

And… if I can’t give you that? Wisdom or no, if I just… can’t. My
parents. They had to try. And, fail. So many times. Before they
could have me.

A beat as RAND takes that in.


RAND
I didn’t know that. You never told me...

EGWENE

It’s hard to talk about. Light, I wasn’t even going to bring that up.
But with Nynaeve offering to train me, and now that we’re old
enough to be engaged, and it’s just… Rand, I feel so overwhelmed
by it all. It feels like everything is changing.

RAND

I feel the same way. A lot is changing. But Egwene. The one thing I
know will never change, is that I love you. Do you love me?


EGWENE

Of course, I do.

RAND

Then that makes it simple, doesn’t it? Egwene, if being Wisdom
means we have to make sacrifices, that’s fine. If kids aren’t in the
picture… then that’s alright too. I do want children. But I need you.
Egwene, I love you. I want to be with you. Even if it’s complicated.
Even if it’s hard. I can’t imagine a life where we’re not together. I
just can’t.

EGWENE temporarily quells her uncertainty in the wake of this passionate declaration.


EGWENE

Rand Al’Thor… Is that a proposal?

RAND


Egwene Al’Vere. When I do ask you to marry me, you’re not going
to have to ask that question.

Overcome by the moment, they kiss and he holds her close. EGWENE looks happy but flickers of uncertainty still knot her brow. RAND is oblivious to that, beaming ear to ear.




EXT Emond’s Field DAY.


NYNAEVE is on LAN’s shoulders, hanging one end of a colorful cloth streamer to the roof of one of the buildings on the green.

NYNAEVE
Stop squirming! I’ll never get this in place if you keep shuffling
around like that.


LAN

I do not squirm. You just have poor balance.
NYNAEVE


P-poor balance? Ridiculous, I -

NYNAEVE shifts to hang the streamer, and LAN stumbles. The both of them disentangle and fall to the ground. LAN dusts himself off first, standing and offering a hand to NYNAEVE. She accepts it, begrudgingly.


NYNAEVE

I… thank you.

LAN

Hn. Why is the village Wisdom hanging up decorations?

NYNAEVE

Someone has to do it. And most of the village are busy enjoying the
peddler’s tales, or chatting up the gleeman. They’ve earned it. We
had a hard winter.


LAN

You take a lot on yourself.

NYNAEVE (challengingly)

I can handle it.

LAN (seriously)

I can see that.

NYNAEVE she examines him for a sign of mockery. Finding none, she smiles.


NYNAEVE

Well. We’ve got plenty left to do. Let’s not dawdle, hm?

LAN (now amused)

As you say, Wisdom. As you say.


INT The Winespring Inn, Day



PERRIN MAT and THOM are sitting at a private table. THOM is idly tuning his instruments as the other two pepper him with questions.



THOM

I haven’t the foggiest.


MAT

Oh, come off it. You know her. I saw it. One look at her and your
face looked like you’d accidentally kissed a horse’s–

THOM


I’ll interrupt what I’m sure was going to be a - memorable -
aphorism, with this. I’ve never met the Lady Moiraine in my life.



MAT


Then what was that about earlier? She was asking us all kinds of
questions afterward. Strangest thing.

THOM (serious)

She asked you questions? About what?

PERRIN

How long we’d lived here. Any old stories we’d heard. Said she was
interested in stories.


MAT

And she asked about our friends. If there were other young people
in the village. Said she’d pay us all to run errands.

THOM

What did you tell her?

MAT


I… mentioned Rand and Egwene. Figured if anyone deserves a
little extra coin, it’s those two.


THOM (concerned)

I see… Be careful, lads. Be very careful of what you say to that one.
She’s an Aes Sedai.

PERRIN

Aes Sedai? Really?

MAT

I thought you said you didn’t know her.

THOM

I don’t. But there’s… a look, an Aes Sedai gets, when she’s been
using the One Power long enough. It’s something in the eyes. An
agelessness. You learn to notice it, when you’ve been out in the
world like I have. And if that Lan isn’t an Aes Sedai’s warder then
I’ll eat my harp.

PERRIN


Sounds like a tall tale to me. No offense, Thom. But they just
seemed like people. Not like monsters out of one of your stories.

THOM

If you think Aes Sedai are monsters, you’ve been listening to the
wrong stories, boy. They are just people. Powerful, yes, but only
people. That’s what really makes them frightening.

MAT

But they broke the world, didn’t they? Seas boiling, mountains
shattering, all that?


THOM (with a decidedly somber tone)

Thousands of years ago. And that was the men of the Aes Sedai.
After they sealed away the Dark One. And went mad for it.

PERRIN

She was asking us questions… Mat. Does she think that one of us…?
I mean, we’re not. We can’t. Really. We’re normal.

THOM’s eyes turn sharp and worried before he shakes it off.


THOM

If the White Tower thought this village had a man who could
channel, they’d send more than one Aes Sedai to gentle him.
Whatever this one’s after, it’s not that. Doesn’t make her any less
dangerous though. The White Tower weaves plots and schemes the
likes of which not even I’d want to be tangling with. Which means
farmboys like yourselves better step wisely.


MAT

Don’t talk to us like we’re still wet behind the ears, gleeman.

THOM

I’ll talk to you however I please, boy. If you’re wise, you’ll take my
warning. And don’t go spreading this around either. The less folk
are involved, the better. For everyone’s sakes.

PERRIN

It’s good advice, Thom. Thank you.


RAND and EGWENE walk in from where they were talking before, hand in hand.


EGWENE

What’s this about then? Oh! Master Merrilin. I'd heard we had a
gleeman in town.

MAT draws breath to explain before THOM interrupts

THOM

Call me Thom, please. And I was just telling these two what
the city of Caemlyn’s like. Figured Andorans like yourselves ought
to know a thing or two about your own capital.

RAND and EGWENE settle in at the table, eager to hear more.


PERRIN (catching wise)

Andorans? I guess Emond's Field is part of Andor. On the map at
least.

THOM

You guess? Ha! I can’t imagine your Queen would take kindly to
that.

PERRIN

Never met the Queen. Or any of her folk. Not sure what I’d make of
them.


THOM


I dare say she wouldn’t be sure what to make of you either…


RAND

You’ve met her? The Queen?

THOM

I’ve seen her. And heard stories, of course.

EGWENE


Caemlyn. Is it really as big as the stories say?

THOM


Bigger. And grander. The Ogier had a hand in its greatest wonders.
It’s no Tar Valon, but Caemlyn is still a wonder to behold.

RAND (to Egwene)

Maybe we could visit some day. Go up with one of the merchant
caravans when they take our tabac to market?


EGWENE

Mmm. How could we go away from the village for that long?

MAT

How couldn’t we? I think you’ve got the right idea, Rand. There’s
got to be more to the world than just looking after sheep all day.

RAND

Now I’m having second thoughts.

EGWENE

It would be nice, Mat. But we can’t just hare off on a whim. We’ve
got to think it through.

PERRIN

Not exactly Mat’s specialty.

MAT

Leave it. If it weren’t for me, you lot would’ve never even gone as
far as the Mire.

RAND

Only you would take credit for bravely leading us into a swamp.

PERRIN

I was cleaning mud out of my hair for weeks.

EGWENE


I’d never seen my parents angrier than when we tracked all that
muck back into the inn.


NYNAEVE(from outside)

Thom? They’re ready for you!

NYNAEVE walks into the inn, turning to look at the four others seated at the table.


NYNAEVE

So this is where you lot have been all day? Lounging around, like
there’s nothing to do?

THOM

That sounds like my cue to leave.

THOM picks up his harp and flute and leaves the inn. NYNAEVE sits down at the table with a sigh of exhaustion.


EGWENE

I’m so sorry, Nynaeve. I got distracted.

NYNAEVE
Distracted? (she looks at Rand and laughs). That’s what they’re calling it
these days?

MAT

‘These days’? What are you, my aging grandmother? Don’t pretend like
you’re that much older than us, Nynaeve.

NYNAEVE (annoyed)

It’s not the years that count, Matrim Cauthon. It’s the wisdom.

MAT

Well, good thing we have you around, Wisdom. Because you wouldn’t
catch me with any of that. (Thinks about that for a second.) Wait.


RAND

I am sorry, Nynaeve. Really. I should’ve helped.

NYNAEVE

Oh, it’s alright. I'm not really upset. I’m glad you enjoyed the day.
Besides. I got the help I needed in the end.

Music drifts in from the outside, along with THOM’s voice.



NYNAEVE


What are you waiting for? Go on, enjoy yourselves.

EGWENE

What about you?

NYNAEVE

I’ll be on in a bit. Do me a favor though? A cup of ale from the counter?
Some of your mother’s good stuff, if you can.

EGWENE goes to the counter to get a mug. RAND helps her unstopper one of the casks, and pour. MAT swoops in at the last minute to snatch the mug, and move over to NYNAEVE. He bows, making a show of presenting her the ale like a servant. NYNAEVE swats at him gently on his way out. RAND and PERRIN leave shortly after. EGWENE pauses to give NYNAEVE a quick hug.

NYNAEVE

You told him?

EGWENE

He took it well. Maybe a little too well.

NYNAEVE

What does that mean?

EGWENE


He was romantic and sweet and fierce, like usual. He was so
confident that we can just deal with it all. It was nice, but I’m not
sure he’s really thought through what it means. Being husband to
the Wisdom. And… I’m not sure how to tell him that.

NYNAEVE (knowingly)

It’s a rare man who can work in a woman’s shadow. Let alone a
wife’s. Let’s sit down, the three of us, and talk about that
sometime. I’ll make sure he thinks seriously about what he’d be
committing to.

EGWENE (gratefully)
Nynaeve…

NYNAEVE

What kind of Wisdom would I be if I wasn't there
when my people needed me? You go on now. Enjoy yourself. (She
raises her tankard). The Wisdom has some business of her own to
see to.

EGWENE smiles again and leaves. The camera stays on NYNAEVE for a moment longer. She takes a drink and looks thoughtful.



INT a room at the Winespring Inn. Dusk.


LAN and MOIRAINE are speaking as MOIRAINE enjoys a cup of tea.


MOIRAINE

Mat, Perrin, Rand, and Egwene. Not exactly names out of a
gleeman’s tale.

LAN

It’s one of them? Those four? You’re sure?

MOIRAINE

The only thing that Gitara’s Prophecy told us for certain is that the
Dragon Reborn was born eighteen years ago, and was raised
amongst an ancient bloodline. This place does have ancient roots,
even if the people here no longer remember. And they are all the
right age.


LAN

You include the girl in that list. Wouldn’t the Dragon be born again
as a man?
MOIRAINE


A soul is nothing more than a thread in the Pattern, Lan. The One
Power has male and female halves, but the Pattern is not so
discerning. When the Wheel of Time weaves our threads out into
our next lives, who’s to say whether we stay men or women?

She takes another sip of her tea as LAN ponders that.


MOIRAINE

Did you learn anything useful from the Wisdom?

LAN

A few curses I’ve never heard before. Not much besides that.


A distant smile, and a pause before something flickers on LAN’s face.

MOIRAINE

Is everything alright, Lan? I sense… distress from you.

LAN

A pity our bond can only be shielded one way. I’m fine, Moiraine.
Just tired.


MOIRAINE inspects him more closely.


MOIRAINE

Do you ever regret it, Lan? Becoming my warder?

LAN

When we met, I was a king with no kingdom, a boy prosecuting a
pointless war. You gave me purpose, Moiraine. Something real to
fight for.

MOIRAINE

It’s a lonely life. Always on the road. Always guarding my back.
Some men would resent that.

LAN

I regret nothing. I am as committed as you are to this mission.
Shepherding the Dragon Reborn to Tarmon Gaidon. To the Last
Battle. What could be more important than that?

MOIRAINE

…I see. Why don’t we go down and join the villagers in their
festivities? Perhaps that will give me the chance to get a look at
those other two. To see if they’re ta’veren like Perrin and Mat.


LAN

The odds of four in one village are astronomical.

MOIRAINE

Two was astronomical, Lan. Four should be impossible. But
ta’veren bend chance by their mere existence. Who’s to say what is
impossible with them involved? And we did leave the White Tower
looking for the impossible. (A worried sigh). How does one mark the
ending of an Age? With thunder and blood? Or with a chance
encounter in a sleepy, isolated village?

LAN (dryly)


The wheel weaves as the wheel wills, as you are so fond of
reminding me. It will be as it will be, Moiraine Sedai. There’s no
use in worrying about it.

She nods before they leave the room, LAN leading the way.



EXT Emond’s Field, the village green, dusk.


THOM has just put down his harp. A man eagerly hands him a cup of ale. He makes a show of downing it, to raucous applause, before picking up his flute. He nods to a boy with a drum, and sets out a fast-paced dancing tune. RAND and EGWENE dance across the green. MAT is wildly gesturing to a listening crowd, telling some kind of tall tale. PERRIN is helping an old man who’s had a little too much to drink find his way to a table. TAM, MARIN, and BRAN (MARIN’s husband), share a private toast as they watch their children dance. NYNAEVE sits off to the side, still nursing her ale. The dance ends. RAND shares a look with his dad, who nods, and RAND leads EGWENE off the floor.



EGWENE

You have to go?
RAND

Some last things to take care of at the farm. I’ll be back for Bel Tine
tomorrow. Save a dance for me?

EGWENE

Always.

RAND moves off to join TAM, who gives him a proud pat on the shoulder as they depart. EGWENE watches him go. She looks to MAT, still talking nonsense. She rolls her eyes, but goes over to listen in and laugh along.


INT Emond’s Field, the forge. Night.


MASTER LUHHAN is hammering something into place on the anvil, a spike on a long woodsman’s axe. The door opens, and PERRIN steps inside.



LUHHAN
What are you doing here, lad? I gave you the day off.

PERRIN

I saw the forge was lit. Thought you might need a hand.

LUHHAN

Perrin, my boy. You need to learn how to relax.

PERRIN

I just like having something to do. Nothing wrong with that.

LUHHAN

I wasn’t complaining. Light knows I appreciate a hard working
apprentice. But it might be good for you to ease up on yourself
sometimes.

PERRIN (uneasy)

I… I don’t think that’s true, Master Luhhan. Least not for me. You
remember how I was like. Before starting here. All wild, out of
control. I need structure. I need the work. It keeps me grounded.
Calm.

LUHHAN

You’re being hard on yourself, Perrin. You were a handful, that’s
true. But your parents didn’t send you to me for that. You’ve got
talent, and a good head on your shoulders. But, if it’s work you’re
looking for, I guess I have some for ya.

PERRIN smiles gratefully, taking an apron from the wall and eagerly putting it on. He moves to the bellows and assists MASTER LUHHAN with this work.


INT The Al’Thor home, NIGHT A modest home in the mountains.


RAND and TAM walk inside.



TAM

Good work tonight, Rand. The fence on that pen should hold for
another few months.

RAND nods, moving with a tired sigh to sit down at the table.


TAM

Sorry we had to leave early. I know you wanted to spend more time
with Egwene.


RAND

It’s alright. There was work to do. I understand.

TAM moves towards the back of the room, rummaging around for a long wooden box. He opens it, drawing out a simple sword with a heron gilded on the blade.


RAND (seeing the sword)

Dad?

TAM

Heard from the gleeman about the war in Ghealdan. Refugees and
bandits running from the armies. Could be a few find their way
into the Two Rivers.

RAND (uneasily)

You think we’ll have to fight?

TAM

Fight? Doubt it. Someone who comes by here will probably just be
looking for a meal, a place to sleep. But if someone comes looking
for trouble… a little steel should scare them off.


RAND

I’ll string my bow.

TAM

Any trouble comes, you get out and you let me handle it. I haven’t
had to use this in years, but at least I do know how.

RAND

No. It’s like you said earlier. You can’t take on everything yourself.
Let me help you, dad.

TAM

(he examines the sword again, with a faint look of distaste). Alright,
Rand. If something happens, you can stay. But you do what I tell
you.

RAND nods.


Enough dark talk. Let’s see about scaring up some dinner.




EXT Emond’s Field, Night.



The Winternight revelry continues. LAN is standing off to the side, watching the crowd - and MOIRAINE in it - carefully. NYNAEVE approaches him, a fresh tankard in hand, curious.



NYNAEVE

What? No dancing for you?

LAN
Not my kind of music.

NYNAEVE

What would that be? Your kind of music? Should we get some battle
horns in here?

LAN (grunts)

Why aren’t you out there? Dancing?

NYNAEVE

Most of this town can remember when I wasn’t even old enough to
have my hair in a braid. No need to remind them of that. They can
be difficult enough to deal with as it is.


LAN

All that work arranging things, and you don’t even get to enjoy it?

NYNAEVE

We all have our burdens to bear.

LAN (thoughtfully)
We have a saying where I come from. Duty is heavier than a
mountain. Death, lighter than a feather.

NYNAEVE looks curiously at him before offering her tankard.


NYNAEVE

You need this more than I do.

LAN looks tempted for a moment before alarm flashes on his face. His nose wrinkles, like a hound that’s caught a scent.


LAN

Something’s wrong. Stay here!

LAN rushes off, hand on the hilt of his sword. NYNAEVE drops her tankard, quickly checks her belt knife, and follows after.


INT the Al’Thor home. NIGHT.


RAND and TAM have finished their dinner. They’re clearing up the dishes, when there’s a heavy sound from outside. TAM motions for RAND to hang back, grabbing his sword. He approaches the door slowly. A goat headed Trolloc kicks it in, hefting a double headed axe. TAM engages the creature.

TAM
Rand! Run!

RAND hesitates before fear wins out, and he runs out of the house. He looks back to see the silhouette of his father leading the creature out of the house, and into the open. He keeps running into the forest, haunted by the shouts and growls of the beast.


EXT Emond’s Field, the outskirts of town. NIGHT.


A man moves drunkenly between the houses, looking for a place to sit down. He stumbles along, until colliding with a hard surface and falling to the ground. He groans, trying to get up. He looks up, eyes widening, mouth wide in voiceless horror as he gazes into the eyeless face of a Myrdraal, flanked by a legion of snarling, boar-headed Trollocs. The Myrdraal decapitates the man with a stroke of its black blade. Two trollocs move forward to feed messily on the remains. The Myrdraal steps forward, and with a lazy sweep of its sword, directs the Trollocs to charge into town.
















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