Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Wheel Of Time Scene That Went Too Far

As epic fantasy adaptations for television go, the presumed king of the dragon-topped hill would seem to be HBO's spectacularly successful "Game of Thrones." Clearly intending to cast a similar spell over fans of the genre, Amazon's recently launched big-budget series "The Wheel of Time" is off to an auspicious start, conquering Nielsen's Original Series streaming chart for November 16 through 21 and racking up a staggering 1.16 billion streaming minutes during its premiere outing. With a total running time of 169 minutes for its first three episodes, the series clocked an average of seven million viewers per episode (via Comicbook.com).

Based on the iconic, much-loved book series by authors Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, the story of a sprawling, alternate fantasy realm ruled by magical powers both light and dark took no less than 14 lengthy novels to complete. Long considered simply too complex, expansive, and unwieldy to be contained in any TV or film adaptation, the series is populated by some 2,782 individual, named characters (per The Verge) and is loaded up with an eye-straining 4.1 million words (via TowardsDataScience.com). And while fans of the series seem pleased overall with Amazon's efforts to bring the series to life on the small screen (per Rotten Tomatoes), there's one scene in "The Wheel of Time" that some viewers think went too far.

Mat Cauthon makes an impulsive decision to steal a dagger

"The Wheel of Time" stars Rosamund Pike as Moiraine Damodred, a leading member of the magically empowered Aes Sedai. The early episodes of Season 1 follow Moiraine and her companion, Lan (Daniel Henney) as they travel with a small group of young villagers: Egwene Al'Vere (Madeleine Madden), Rand al'Thor (Josha Stradow), Perrin Aybara (Marcus Rutherford), and Mat Cauthon (Barney Harris). Moiraine believes one person in this group is the Dragon Reborn, a chosen one who will either save the world or destroy it. (Audiences, too, should hope her theory proves correct because we're told she and Lan have been searching a long time for this special person.) 

While every member of this hallowed quartet of young adult protagonists is worth tracking throughout Season 1, it's worth noting that Mat emerges as one Dragon Reborn candidate to watch based on his behavior in the first two episodes. A poor villager who's a bit of a rogue, Mat's wily nature gets him and his traveling companions into trouble when makes a fatal decision in Episode 2, "Shadow's Waiting." Near the end of the episode, Moiraine sustains a near-fatal injury that forces Lan to take the entire group to Shadar Logoth, a deserted city where trouble lurks, waiting to strike.

While there, Lan instructs the group to avoid touching or eating anything they didn't bring with them, as the city is infected with latent evil and can awaken to their presence should anyone interact with an object left behind by the city's residents Ignoring this sound advice, Mat picks up and conceals what looks to be a valuable dagger while wandering through ruined buildings. It's an act that has serious consequences for the group.

Fans were not happy about Mat's decision in Episode 2

Mat Cauthon's decision to take a Shadar Logoth dagger isn't just selfish, but it has a larger impact on his traveling group than he could have predicted. After Mat takes the dagger, a darkness floods through the city, consuming any living matter it touches. This forces the group to split up, with Rand and Mat going in one direction, Perrin and Egwene going in another, and Lan forced to carry Moiraine out of the city on horseback in yet another direction. Suddenly, everyone is far more vulnerable than they were earlier in the day, and that's not good considering there's an evil army searching the country for them.

Fans responded vehemently on Twitter to this scene from "The Wheel of Time." Twitter user @ThatAuntZelda wrote, "Oh Mat. Oh, why must you take the dagger? Even my roommate knows nothing of 'Wheel of Time' and even they were like 'what are you, a dumbass?'" In that same vein, @MegWritesWords agreed his behavior was inexplicable, chiming in with, "I do think they're dumbing down character motivation to a ridiculous degree. Mat is poor and needs a new dagger ... so he steals a ruby-hilted dagger. Like we need such an obvious hand-holding through-line." Also complaining that the script's deviation from the novels didn't give enough warning about the city's innate dangers, @Yeshua_94_Hume tweeted, "Not explaining why Mat shouldn't take the dagger, come on..." 

All in all, while the series seems to be delivering on its promise of fantasy on a larger-than-life scale, this is one scene in "The Wheel of Time" a few fans thought went too far.