Here’s Everything You Need To Know About The Wheel Of Time's Dragon Reborn
There's so much hype.
Warning: Spoilers for The Wheel of Time Season 1, Episode 4 follow. The opening episode of The Wheel of Time brought Moiraine to the Two Rivers on the hunt for someone she refers to as "The Dragon Reborn." Instead of coming away with one candidate, she winds up with multiple possibilities: three guys (Rand, Perrin, Mat) and two girls (Egwene, and later, Nynaeve). But other than the very obvious "chosen one" moniker for this hero's tale, the series hasn't done a lot to explain who The Wheel Of Time's Dragon Reborn is.
In The Wheel of Time's first episode, Liandrin Sedai and her band of Red sisters chased down a man who can channel. High above, Moiraine shook her head. Whoever they captured "isn't him." That narrow band of candidates reared its head again in Episode 4 when Moiraine and Lan found Liandrin and her most recent catch, Logain. "He's at least 10 years too old," Lan stated of the potential Dragon Reborn.
Meanwhile, Illa of the Tuatha'an and Thom Merrilin both brought up the idea of rebirth, how the Wheel of Time spins out the same souls in new bodies. Illa told Perrin of her daughter, Aram's mother, who bandits murdered for sport. She works now for peace, so when her daughter is reborn, it will be into a better world. Thom spoke about losing Owen, his nephew who could channel, and was gentled by Aes Sedai
The Pattern and the Wheel turning out souls for rebirth is a central tenet of the Wheel of Time. Moiraine references it in passing in Episode 1 when she calls Rand, Perrin, Mat, and Egwene "ta'veren," aka souls around which the Pattern will weave events. Some of these souls are new, but not all. In the case of one of them, they are the Dragon Reborn.
The "Dragon" is a figure whose arrival heralds the rebirth of the world. The last time the Dragon was spun out, his name was Lews Therin Telamon. The most powerful Aes Sedai of his Age, he was "First Among Servants" (Aes Sedai means "Servant of All") and he wore the Ring of Tamyrlin. (The current head of the Aes Sedai is called the Amyrlin, derived from it.)
Telamon led the forces of the Light against the Dark One in the previous Last Battle, riding out with 100 Companions, all male Aes Sedai. They were victorious, but as the Dark One fell, he tainted the male half of the One Power as payback. The companions lost all grip on sanity and went on rampages, destroying cities, boiling seas, raising mountains, and collapsing valleys. Telamon suffered worst of all; he went home and murdered everyone he ever loved. When he realized what he'd done, Telamon took his own life by drawing in more One Power than he could handle, and created a giant mountain where he stood, called the Dragonmount.
The prophecies state the Dragon will be reborn on the slopes of this unpopulated mountain; the last encampment was 20 years ago, hence Moiraine and Lan's narrow age range. Though Nynaeve let out a massive burst of the One Power at the end of Episode 4, she may not be the Dragon Reborn. When Moiraine asked her age, she said she was 25.
This matters because whoever the Dragon Reborn is, they must be kept alive until the Last Battle. That is especially difficult if it is a man, as men who can channel are gentled and left to take their own lives. Either way, Moiraine needs to gather her flock and find a way to protect them from those like Liandrin, lest Alanna's fear that they find themselves without the Dragon Reborn at the Last Battle comes true.