Aviendha in ‘The Wheel of Time’: New Twists & Ties Revealed in Season 2

Aviendha’s Grand Entrance

In the recent episode of “The Wheel of Time” Season 2, the audience witnessed the introduction of Aviendha. For followers of Robert Jordan’s epic saga, her name is not new. She stands as one of the paramount figures in the Dragon Reborn narrative. Ayoola Smart portrays this intricate character in the series, hinting at the possibility of her playing an equally central role as her literary counterpart. However, eagle-eyed fans might have spotted the altered dynamics and events surrounding her TV debut.

Upon her rescue by Perrin, played by Marcus Rutherford, Aviendha swiftly asserted herself as a formidable ally. Her interaction with the Whitecloaks, as well as her decision to align with Perrin, sheds light on her motivations and the responsibilities she feels deeply about. Central to her mission is the pursuit of the “Car’a’carn,” or the “Chief of Chiefs.”

Who is the Car’a’carn?

Josha Stradowski’s character, Rand al’Thor, carries multiple titles in Jordan’s universe, one of them being the “Dragon Reborn”. Another significant label attached to him is the “Car’a’carn”. For the Aiel, a desert-dwelling group, this term bears immense importance. The Aiel prophecy foretells the emergence of the Car’a’carn, who will emerge as their ultimate leader. This “He Who Comes With The Dawn” is believed to guide the Aiel out of their barren lands.

Maiden of the Spear: Aviendha’s Warrior Title

The recent episode gave viewers a glimpse of Aviendha’s formidable battle prowess. This expertise is rooted in her identity as a Maiden of the Spear, a title given to elite Aiel women warriors. The Aiel society is fragmented into various clans, with the Maidens comprising the crème de la crème of their female fighters. These women are not only trained in combat skills but also swear their lives to the warrior path, forgoing the conventional route of marriage.

In the literary version, the Maidens serve as Rand’s protectors, especially since the prophecy points towards the Car’a’carn being the offspring of a Maiden. Given Rand al’Thor’s lineage, which ties him to a former Maiden, it’s evident that Aviendha and her clan will play a pivotal role in his life.

Love and Loyalty: Aviendha’s Personal Dilemma

Beyond the battlefield, Aviendha’s life is intertwined with Rand in a more intimate manner. Prophetic visions hint at Rand’s romantic involvement with three women, one of which is Aviendha. Their evolving relationship is beautifully depicted in the books, especially the complexities arising from Aviendha’s loyalty to her friend Elayne, another of Rand’s romantic interests.

Diverging from the Text: The Wheel of Time’s Creative Liberties

What’s particularly intriguing for book enthusiasts is the evident departure the series has taken from its source material. While the current season draws inspiration from “The Great Hunt”, Aviendha’s introduction in the books occurs later. The show’s decision to tether Aviendha’s story to Perrin introduces an entirely new dynamic, rooted in the concept of “toh”, an integral part of the Aiel’s honor system.

Aviendha’s obligation, or “toh”, to Perrin in the series is due to a life debt, while in the books, this sense of indebtedness is directed towards Rand and Elayne. How the series chooses to navigate these intricate relationships in future episodes is a tantalizing mystery for both new viewers and book loyalists.

For those eager to continue unraveling this epic tale, “The Wheel of Time” airs new episodes every Friday on Amazon Prime Video.