The mysterious villain at the center of Prime Video’s The Wheel of Time already has audiences wondering exactly who is the Dark One. The main antagonist remains an ambiguous figure three episodes into the series, but his past and future are complex and he has an army at the ready for an epic confrontation. This makes him a dangerous opponent for The Wheel of Time’s major players and ensures that he will be a prominent figure throughout the series.

Based on Robert Jordan’s 14-novel saga, The Wheel of Time is a classic fantasy tale of good versus evil that follows a group led by Rosamund Pike’s Moraine Damodred. Moiraine is searching for the Dragon Reborn, a prophesized figure that will be able to face off against the Dark One and prevent the Breaking of the World. Moiraine believes she has found the Dragon Reborn in Emond’s Field, a small village in the Two Rivers where Rand al’Thor, Egwene al’Vere, Nynaeve al’Meare, Perrin Aybara, and Mat Cauthon reside. When Emond’s Field is beset by a group of Trollocs led by an eyeless Fade, Moiraine must channel the One Power, The Wheel of Time‘s magic system, to fight the evil off and save the five youths.

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The Dark One remains a hidden antagonist, a threat that has lingered off-screen instead of one that The Wheel of Time‘s characters have encountered directly. Still, his presence looms over the first three episodes prominently as various characters talk about the encroaching threat of his evil and that will only grow as the series goes on. So, exactly who is the Dark One? Here’s everything audiences need to know.

Everything We Know About The Dark One So Far

In the first three episodes of The Wheel of Time, very little is revealed about the Dark One. For the most part, the Dark One’s minions do his bidding for him, but it’s clear that he has a vast network of allies to carry out his plans. The eyeless Fade leading the Trollocs to Emond’s Field is just one of the weapons the Dark One has at his disposal and seeing as he is still trapped in a prison made for him thousands of years ago, it’s clear that they are a valuable asset in executing his plans.

The Dark One may not be able to directly reach the physical world himself, but he is able to appear in the dreams of many. In The Wheel of Time episode 2, the Dark One appears to Rand, Perrin, Mat, and Egwene in their dreams. Depicted as a charred figure with flames in his mouth and eyes, the Dark One attacks Rand after he pulls a dead bat out of his mouth. When he awakes, the ground in front of Rand and the group’s camp is littered with bats. This makes it clear that, despite being trapped in a prison made by the Aes Sedai, magic-wielders in The Wheel of Time, the Dark One is still able to touch the lives of those he is trying to reach.

By the end of The Wheel of Time episode 3, this is more clear than ever. After Rand and Mat are separated from the rest of the group, they take shelter in a small mining town. Although it appears they may have found safety with a barmaid who provides them with shelter, she quickly reveals herself to be a Darkfriend who hopes that, in capturing Rand and Mat, she can earn the Dark One’s favor. It is here that the Dark One’s goal is revealed – he does not want to kill the Dragon Reborn, but rather work with him to remake the world in his evil image.

Who Is The Dark One In Wheel Of Time Books?

In The Wheel of Time book series, the Dark One’s true name is Shai’tan, but people rarely speak it in fear that they evoke his presence. This leads to him being referred to by many other names throughout the series including Father of Lies, Sightblinder, Soulsbane, and Lighteater. He is also referred to as Ba’alzamon in the books, although this is a misconception as that name belongs to another of his allies. Still, like the Creator, the Dark One is an eons-old being whose goal is to destroy the Wheel and remake the world in his image.

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At the beginning of Prime Video’s The Wheel of Time series, the Dark One is imprisoned, but his shackles are loosening and he is fighting his way out in the hopes of inciting another Breaking of the World to remake the World of the Wheel in his own image. He had previously fought against the last Dragon Reborn, Lews Therin Telamon, and it is implied that he has fought many Dragons throughout history. Now that he is imprisoned, though, he must fight the current Dragon through his proxies – the Foresaken, the Trollocs and Fades, and Darkfriends.

Dark One’s Story & Future In Wheel Of Time Explained

Throughout much of The Wheel of Time, the series’ characters fight against allies of Shai’tan. Still, that doesn’t prevent the Dark One from haunting their dreams and attempting to bring them over to his side. By promising glory and riches beyond their wildest dreams, the Dark One and his Darkfriends hope to bring the Dragon Reborn to the side of evil and turn the world on its head.

Although The Wheel of Time has changed much from the books, it seems much of the Dark One’s story will remain intact. This means the Dark One won’t appear much in The Wheel of Time season 1, save for one final confrontation. In the first novel, The Eye of the World, the Dark One does not appear in person, but he does face off with Rand at the climax of the novel. In seeking out the Eye of the World, Moiraine, Rand, and the rest of their group head to the Blight, a place controlled by Shai’tan. The Eye of the World itself contains one of the seven seals of the Dark One’s prison and it is there that Rand is confronted by two of the Foresaken, Aginor and Balthamel.

It is during his confrontation with the Foresaken, the most favored allies of the Dark One, that Rand meets the Dark One face-to-face in battle for the first time. Of course, since the world of The Wheel of Time encompasses a total of 14 novels, there will be plenty more confrontations in the future as the Dark One shores up more power to fight against the Dragon Reborn and his allies. While The Wheel of Time‘s primary villain may not have much of a physical presence in season 1 of the series, his villainy will be felt (and seen) through the various ways in which he tries to kill and entice those who seek to aid the Dragon Reborn.

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