The Wheel of Time is about to spin up for another installment of Prime Video's other massive fantasy series.
Almost two full years on from the release of The Wheel of Time season 1, we're finally returning to the world of Robert Jordan's epic saga this autumn when The Wheel of Time season 2 premieres this September.
Season 2 finds all the Two Rivers gang scattered across the world, with threats new (and old!) attempting to seek them out in the battle between Light and Dark. But since that first season arrived quite so long ago, we've put together a full recap of what went down in The Wheel of Time season 1 finale so you're up to speed on where we left Rand and the rest of his friends last time around.
The Great Blight
The Wheel of Time season 1 opened with a flashback set 3,000 years in the past during the Age of Legends, where we see a far more utopian vision of the world. Here, we meet Lews Therin Telamon (Alexander Karim), aka the previous Dragon Reborn, and bear witness to the growing division between the Aes Sedai.
Lews reveals his plan to imprison the Dark One once and for all, whilst Latra (Kaytie Brayben) opposes him. Lews' efforts go on to cause the Breaking of the World and the corruption of the male half of the One Power.
In the present, we join Rand (Josha Stradowski) and Moiraine (Rosamund Pike) as they trek through The Great Blight on their way to The Eye of the World, passing evidence of the Dark One growing stronger.
During their trek, Rand has one of his recurring nightmares and sees Moiraine being murdered by an entity known only as "The Man". The Man proceeds to taunt Rand about his ancestry... leading Rand to stab himself with his sword in order to escape the dream.
Subsequently, Rand asks Moiraine to teach him to wield the One Power, though she refuses for fear that the madness that comes with men channeling would consume him. Instead, she gives him a sa'angreal, an artifact that will boost his capabilities greatly when he's forced to channel the One Power to try and banish the Dark One (Fares Fares) all over again.
Over in the city of Fal Dara, Egwene (Madeleina Madden), Perrin (Marcus Rutherford), Lan (Daniel Henney) and Nynaeve (Zoë Robins) deal with Rand and Moiraine's sudden departure. Egwene is determined to follow them, but Perrin talks here down. Following their evening together, Nynaeve reveals to Lan that she'd been tracking Moiraine the entire time from the Two Rivers, and tells him she can show him how to follow her.
Later in the day, horns blow in town, signaling that the Dark One's forces are descending on the city. Rand and Moiraine spot the army in the Blight, though she tells Rand the only way they can stop his forces is by defeating the Dark One himself.
The city's leaders brace for the invasion. Lord Agelmar plans to hold them off at a fortress known as Tarwin's Gap with his men. If they're unable to successfully repel the Trollocs and Fades, then defense of the city will fall to the women, especially any of them who can channel the One Power.
Agelmar later tells his sister, Lady Amalisa (Sandra Yi Sencindiver) that he believes the Dark One's power is already too strong, and that The Gap will fall in this, "The Last Battle". Instead, they resolve to delay the invasion as much as possible and send messengers to warn other cities. Amalisa, however, is far more resolute: "I will not let our city fall", she states.
Moiraine and Rand reach the Eye of the World. When he touches it, he appears in a sort of dream world, witnessing a vision of a blissful life in the country with Egwene and their child. Whilst he's frozen in the dream, the Dark One materializes in the real world and severs Moiraine's connection to the One Power as she tries to defend Rand.
The Last Battle
The men at The Gap make a defiant stand against the Dark One's forces whilst Lady Amalisa prepares Fal Dara for the impending assault. Word is sent around requesting any women who have even the slightest connection to the One Power, and yes, that includes Nynaeve and Egwene, who join Amalisa on the front line.
Elsewhere, Perrin is left feeling frustrated that he's not helping, but Loial encourages him to ask how he can help without resorting to violence. They join some men who are digging up the floor in Fal Dara's throne room. They're after the Horn of Valere, an ancient artefact designed to be blown at The Last Battle to summon help to fight alongside the forces of good. Out of the corner of his eye, Perrin spots an old associate from the Two Rivers during his ordeal: Padan Fain, the merchant from the season premiere.
Back in the dream world, Rand starts to recognize that things are not quite right. As he continues to question this reality, time stops, and the Dark One strolls in. He tells Rand that this is a potential vision of his future, telling him that he could remake the world as he saw fit using his Powers, and that he could show Rand how. Outside, Moiraine brings a knife to Rand's neck whilst the Dark One continues to taunt her, stating "If he doesn't choose the light, I'll choose for him."
Whilst the Dark One continues to try and seduce Rand to his side, his forces overrun The Gap. Amalisa and the other women join forces and begin to channel the One Power to defend the city. Amalisa draws more and more power from them, leading to an explosive display of magic.
Perrin follows the sounds of combat to a bloody scene, finding Padan Fain alone amongst the bodies. He's led a squadron of Fades into the castle, and they slaughter everyone else (including Loial!) before Perrin's eyes. Fain then tells him that he'd been spying on the group for the Dark One in the Two Rivers.
Rand might be the Dragon Reborn, but Fain reveals that all five of the Two Rivers group are 'ta'veren', five focal points for the Wheel of Time itself, and explains that they'd sent the Trollocs to the village in order to bring all of them before the Dark One, as they've all got a part to play in the story to come. As he explains that we need 'balance' and that some of the ta'veren will turn towards the Dark, we see a brief shot of Mat Cauthon (Barney Harris) standing in the shadow of the White Tower, the seat of the Aes Sedai's power.
Choosing the Light
Rand refuses to succumb to the Dark One's temptations. Having realized that Egwene does not seek the same easy life he does, he finally awakes from the dream world and produces the sa'angreal, channeling the One Power to banish the Dark One back from whence he came (for now, at least).
Nynaeve tells Lady Amalisa to stop channeling the Power as they've repelled the invaders, but she's no longer able to control it, and it begins to disintegrate the other channelers. She finally manages to cut herself off, but only Egwene survives the ordeal.
At the Eye of the World, Rand tells Moiraine that he's not going back to his friends, as he felt the madness attempting to take hold of him whilst channeling. Fearing that he may one day kill his friends, he urges her to tell his friends that he'd died, and wanders off on his own, without telling her where he's going.
Lan soon arrives on the scene and finds Moiraine, revealing she can no longer touch the source. On the battlefield, Egwene taps into the One Power and manages to bring Nynaeve back from the dead.
Lan notes that he thought the stone at the Eye couldn't be scratched, even by the One Power, though it was scarred by Rand's power when he banished their foe. Moiraine takes this as a sign that this is not "The Last Battle", but the first.
The first season originally then ended with a short tease of a new invading force. We jump over to "The Far Western Shore", where we see a lone child playing on a beach who spots a fleet of imposing ships off the coast. Channelers walk out onto the deck, where they summon a giant wave that threatens to come crashing down on the child.
At the start of August 2023, Prime Video added an extra sneak peek at the end of the final episode. This is the very first scene from season 2, the Darkfriend Social prologue from the second Wheel of Time novel, which shows that Rand hadn't quite managed to seal away his foe as well as he might've thought.
The Wheel of Time is available to stream on Prime Video, and season 2 premieres on Friday, September 1. If you're looking for more shows to stream, check out our recommendations for the best fantasy TV shows available right now.