Wheel Of Time’s New Villain Setup Creates A Major Challenge For Future Seasons

Warning: Spoilers for The Wheel of Time season 2, episode 5




  • The Wheel of Time sets up new villains, Moghedien and Graendal, for future seasons, creating a challenge for the show to overcome.
  • Ishamael and Lanfear are established as the strongest Forsaken, indicating that the other villains may be weaker and lacking in competence.
  • To avoid the new villains being underwhelming, the show must find ways to make them worthwhile foes by showcasing their unique abilities and skills.

Setup for new villains in The Wheel of Time creates a major obstacle for new seasons to overcome. The Wheel of Time season 2, episode 5, titled “Damane,” laid the groundwork for multiple villains from Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time books to make appearances at some point in the show’s future. Thanks to comments made by Lanfear, both Moghedien and Graendal are confirmed to exist in the canon of Amazon’s live-action adaptation.

There’s been no doubt, of course, that the Forsaken will be problems for Rand and his allies for years to come. Two of them, Lanfear and Ishamael, are already on hand. As for the rest, the show has hinted at there being less Forsaken than there are in the books, but hasn’t outright confirmed this detail as of yet. In other words, there’s some question over which Forsaken the books will use and what’s to be expected of them. Now that the series has name-dropped two more members of the Forsaken, and provided additional details on the Forsaken in general. In doing so, the series also set up a new challenge for itself that will have to be dealt with in future seasons.

The Wheel Of Time Reveals Ishamael & Lanfear Are The Strongest Forsaken

Ishamael in a room with candles in Wheel of Time season 2

In the books, it’s understood that Ishamael and Lanfear are the strongest of the 13 Forsaken. The same seems to be true of the TV characters, as Moiriane has already acknowledged the gap between them and the other Forsaken. It was also addressed by the Forsaken themselves. During a talk with Lanfear, Ishamael pointed out that he was the first one woken up by the Dark One and asked Lanfear why she thought that was the case. She responded by explaining that Moghedien is “insane,” Graendal is a “vain idiot,” and the male members of the Forsaken are incapable of making good plans.

What their exchange implies is that not only are the other Forsaken less powerful than Ishamael and Lanfear, they’re also lacking in competence. This characterization is of huge importance, considering that these new villains represent future threats for Rand and the others to fight later. Characters like Graendal, Moghedien, and Rahvin served as main villains of key arcs in Jordan’s novels. Presumably, these are the characters Wheel of Time will look to if and when it moves on from Ishamael and Lanfear. For that reason, it makes sense for them to be depicted as truly menacing opponents on par with season 2’s villains.

How Wheel Of Time Can Avoid Its New Villain Problem

Rand and Lanfear Selene in Wheel of Time season 2

Since it’s already established that the other Forsaken are weaker and less threatening than the two the show is already using, the series will have to find ways to make them worthwhile foes for Rand and company. Despite the limitations that came with its first big villains being stronger than their contemporaries, the books managed to meet this challenge. Forsaken like Rahvin and Sammael, for instance, caused problems through clever scheming (rather than raw power), hence why their TV counterparts could take similar routes.

The books also reintroduced Lanfear and Ishamael through reincarnation, allowing them to continue being thorns in the main characters’ sides. To avoid having to revive old villains to deliver compelling stories, The Wheel of Time will be best served relying on the unique abilities and skills possessed by the other Forsaken. It needs to prove that Graendal, Moghedien, and the others aren’t as incompetent as Natasha O’Keeffe’s Lanfear thinks.

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