Episode 1: The Wheel Turns
Updated: Jan 17, 2022
Estimated Runtime: 58 minutes (Script Breakdown)
EXT - Mountains of Mist, Morning.
Pan over the mountain passes, the lush green fields of the Two Rivers Valley.
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.
You’re sure this is the place, Moiraine?
You have doubts?
I have saddle sores. (He leans over to stroke his horse) And I can’t
imagine Mandarb here has enjoyed giving them to me.
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.
If this village really has what we’re looking for… then I doubt it.
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.
Whoa, Rand! (They ease the barrel down to the ground.) You alright?
I’m fine, dad.
What were you thinking, trying that on your own? You could’ve gotten
MARIN AL VERE comes over at the commotion.
Give the lad a break, Tam. At least he’s trying to help. Better than some I
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.
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…
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
When I get married, will I finally stop getting lectures from you?
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.
You’re sure you memorized it all?
As sure as I was when you asked me this morning. Or yesterday. Or last
week. Last month.
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.
Who is she who comes before us?
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.
You would face us alone? You would stand before us and claim to be our
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.
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.
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.
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.
All that? Right now?
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
I meant, I was hoping to talk to Rand. So I can talk with him about what
you and I talked about?
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.
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.
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?
I know it’s silly. Just feels rude is all.
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?
Rand. Have you seen him?
Saw him unloading barrels with his dad at the inn this morning. You
checked there yet?
I passed by on my way over. Didn’t see him.
Well, we can try…
A quarterstaff swings down into view of the camera.
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.
I don’t think the phrase goes like that, 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.
It’s nice to see you too, Mat.
(gaping at her braid). Blood and ashes! That was today? I… forgot! How
It was good. How was… losing your money, I guess?
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?
That’s what I was going to ask! Why are you looking for him?
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.
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.
What, no coin on me? Or Rand?
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.
Better than being full of shit. And I’ll prove it by taking that overgrown
stick from you.
Oh, you will now, will you?
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.
Egwene! Sorry, I didn’t think it would take me so long. (presents her the
flowers). Here. For you.
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.
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.
Mat Cauthon… sometimes I wonder what would happen if the three of
us weren’t around to keep him in check.
That’s a frightening thought. Mat, unleashed on the world. And us,
bored to death without him.
I… Rand. I wanted to talk.
What is it?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I could be interested.
The camera pans to TAM AL’THOR, and ABELL CAUTHON, MAT’s dad.
What do you think, Abell? Two on one seem fair to you?
MAT’s eyes widen at the second man.
Son. What’d I tell you about gambling with honest folk?
It’s… easier than gambling with the dishonest ones?
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.
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.
The flame and the void isn’t a technique, Mat. It’s a way of
concentrating. A way of life.
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.
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.
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.
For the last time, Padan Fain! We’ve got a gleeman in town, and
he’ll need the green this evening to perform.
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?
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.
Bah, I don’t need to be lectured on my business by some slip of a
girl, barely old enough to –
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.
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.
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.
Alright. Thom. I also wanted to talk about what sort of songs would
be appropriate for tonight and tomorrow.
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.
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
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.
Did I interrupt, gleeman? Please. Do not stop on my account.
NYNAEVE, agog, pushes herself into the situation.
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
THOM is still looking at MOIRAINE. His eyes flash towards LAN, looming behind her.
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
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?
(stiffens) Does that surprise you?
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.
Why? What are you looking for?
I am a student of history, Nynaeve. And I’ve often found that the
most interesting tales dwell in the most distant of places.
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.
I did not mean to offend.
You didn’t. If there’s nothing else?
…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.
Alright. Light knows I could use an extra pair of hands. Come on
NYNAEVE turns and walks away. LAN does not follow, turning to 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
To be Wisdom.
Her apprentice. But yes. Wisdom, someday. Probably not in
Emond’s Field. Since we already have one.
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
Wisdoms seldom wed. Their village is supposed to be their family.
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.
‘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.
What about children? If I become a Wisdom, I won’t be able to stay
at home with them all the time.
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.
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.
I didn’t know that. You never told me...
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.
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?
Of course, I do.
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
EGWENE temporarily quells her uncertainty in the wake of this passionate declaration.
Rand Al’Thor… Is that a proposal?
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.
Stop squirming! I’ll never get this in place if you keep shuffling
around like that.
I do not squirm. You just have poor balance.
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.
I… thank you.
Hn. Why is the village Wisdom hanging up decorations?
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.
You take a lot on yourself.
I can handle it.
I can see that.
NYNAEVE she examines him for a sign of mockery. Finding none, she smiles.