The Hidden Foe You Might Have Missed in The Wheel of Time

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The Wheel of Time is hiding one of its biggest foes in plain sight. Amazon Studios’ The Wheel of Time is over halfway through its first season and fans seem to love the high fantasy series. And while the show has made several major deviations from the book series it’s adapting, it’s also brilliantly setting up one of the books’ biggest threats by hiding them in plain site.

In the first episode of The Wheel of Time, viewers are introduced to Padan Fain, a traveling merchant played by Johann Myers who arrives in Emond’s Field for Winternight. Fain seems to be a bit disreputable, given that he’s comfortable buying clearly stolen goods off of Mat. However, when the Trollocs attack Emond’s Field, he’s seen smiling as the carnage unfolds, clearly hinting that he’s on the side of the Dark One.

Although Fain’s most prominent appearance was in the first episode of The Wheel of Time, he’s made two subsequent “blink and you’ll miss it” appearances. Fain’s second appearance is in the second episode, when the group enters Shadar Logoth. As Mashadar (the shadow-y entity that dissolves a horse) begins to manifest, Fain’s shadow can be seen and he’s heard whistling the same tune as he did when he made his first appearance on the show. Fain’s most recent appearance was in Episode 5, where he’s seen watching Logain being paraded through Tar Valon. It’s a brief appearance, but he can be seen in an alleyway and laughs right before the parade reaches Rand and Mat.

We won’t spoil Fain’s role in the books, but it’s pretty clear that he’s following Rand and his friends in the show. The real question is whether he’ll turn into an active threat this season like The Dark One or the Whitecloaks, or if he’ll just be content with lurking in the shadows until the time is right. However, Fain’s small cameos in the background clearly are a portent of disturbing things to come.

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The Wheel of Time is airing on Amazon Prime now.

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