The episode opens with a flashback to ten years ago, with Lorin and Amberle sneaking into the Sanctuary. Amberle touches the tree and sees a vision. The two are arguing about who won their little race when they’re caught by Went. Outside, Ander is sleeping with a young Tilton, and after the two separate, he goes through a secret passageway into the palace. Gnomes sneak in the same way as Ander.
Young Amberle faces her father, Prince Aine, who ends up forgiving her and joking around once they’re alone. He gives her the idea to run the Gauntlet when she’s older to “show those boys a thing or two.” As the two are walking through the palace, they see a dead guard, and Prince Aine sends her to her room. The gnomes corner King Eventine in the throne room, and Aine enters the room, pleading for diplomacy. A fight ensues, and Aine is killed. Prince Ander and Amberle enter the room to find Aine dead. Good job, Ander.
Returning to the present, Amberle is riding her horse and looking down at her father’s sword, entrusted to her care by King Eventine. Crispin tells Amberle that going through the forest is the best way, while Wil insists that they should untie Eretria so that they can go faster and that they should head into the valley. Crispin calls Wil a coward and the decision is made by Amberle to go through the forest.
The Dagda Mor is furious that the Changeling let Amberle escape and threatens to get rid of her/it, denying her/its request to follow her to the fort to take care of her. He tells her that he will send another to take care of Amberle, and the Changeling says she/it will be able to turn the Elessedils against Allanon.
The group stops for water, and Wil tries to get Amberle to forgive him for lying to her about Eretria, admitting that he was just embarrassed that she took advantage of him. While they’re talking, the Rovers attack and disable the entire Elven party.
Arion comes across a village that has been decimated by the demons, surmising that they’re amassing at the Breakline. Arion argues for taking the Elven army out to the flats to attack the demons, but Eventine insists that they stay and protect the Ellcrys. The two argue heatedly, and Arion tells Ander that the king’s fear is going to get them all killed.
Allanon finds Bandon suiting up with the army and tells him that his duty is to his gift, not to joining the fight. He takes him to the Sanctuary, where he tells him he needs him to communicate with the Ellcrys to try to talk to Amberle. Allanon has Bandon practice controlling his skill on him, and Bandon sees Allanon’s death, telling him that the druid in the vision could sense his presence.
Cephelo takes the Elfstones and Amberle, and you would hope that all this would bring Crispin down a peg, but he’s just as arrogant as ever. Cephelo leaves Wil, Crispin, and the guards tied up after cutting Crispin’s leg and telling them that the scent of his blood will bring the elf hunters for them.
In Arborlon, Tilton arranges a meeting between Arion and Ander, and Ander suggests leading a small party past the Breakline to find out the demon army’s numbers. When he mentions he’ll need the help of a guide and mentions Slanter, the gnome that killed Aine, Arion becomes angry and refuses.
To the south, Eretria makes ready to leave, and while Amberle offers twenty times what Cephelo is paying her, Eretria takes Cephelo’s gold and her freedom, and leaves. As she’s leaving, Cephelo shows that he intends to rape Amberle, but Eretria still takes off. Later, Eretria knocks Cephelo out just as he’s attacking Amberle, then gets Amberle to confirm she’ll pay her twenty times her price. They take Cephelo with them as insurance. Outside, Eretria has put the entire Rover camp to sleep.
Eretria returns to the area Wil and Crispin were left at, rescuing them from a wild beast. The next morning, Eretria returns the Elfstones to Wil, then they hear yelling and run back to find Crispin beating Cephelo. Oddly enough, Amberle orders Crispin to stop beating her would-be rapist and they press on. They’re on their way when Eretria points out there are no birds singing. Crispin sends a scout ahead, but the scout walks into a field with rusted metal barrels and is poisoned by gas. He face melts into a gratuitously gross puddle of goo.
Ander goes to the dungeons and makes Slanter the offer, telling him that the Dagda Mor has returned. The gnome tells him they are all doomed. How the heck a gnome knows who the Dagda Mor is anybody’s guess.
Bandon touches the Ellcrys and sees a vision of Amberle dead. The Dagda Mor speaks to him and imprisons him in a dream. Bandon’s eyes turn red and Allanon tears him from the tree, proving he’s not exactly the smartest of druids.
Amberle’s party reaches the fort, only to find the guards (and Katsin, dang it!) dead. A large demon charges at them, and Cephelo offers to help. Amberle cuts his bonds and Cephelo tells Eretria to take Amberle to hide while he and Wil face the demon with the Elfstones. Since they’re all suddenly following the plan of a Rover rapist/kidnapper/human trafficker, this is further proof that Crispin is probably the suckiest Captain of the Guards ever.
When Wil is unable to use the Elfstones, Cephelo tells him to run. Cephelo draws Wil’s blood to bring the demon to them, and the two race back to the field of gas, using two makeshift “gas masks” made by Cephelo (cue laughter by me). The Reaper chases them, and Cephelo throws a lighter into the gas, setting off an explosion and supposedly killing the demon.
Ander is leaving with Slanter when they’re surprised by Tilton and Arion. Tilton insists she will go with Ander and Slanter, and Arion returns to the palace to speak with Eventine. After talking about succession to the throne, Eventine insists once more that he will not give up the throne until his work is done. Arion stabs him and says he’ll just have to take it from him. Eventine lies dead on the floor while Arion shifts into his form, and the Changeling sits on the throne and says, “Long live the King.”
What are your thoughts on this crazy ending, fans?? Although Eventine does die in the book, this was definitely a huge change. I’m okay with it, but I’m still surprised they killed Real Eventine off so quickly.