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Renn, the Listener

Episode No.   Season
5 1x05 One
Original air date 22 November 2008
Written by Steven Tolkin
Directed by Mark Beesley
Chronological Information
Preceded by Brennidon
Followed by Elixir

Listener Episode Synopsis Edit

Richard, Kahlan and Zedd are watching as a group of Darken Rahl's best soldiers, his "errand boys" as Zedd describes them, march past. They realize that they can simply follow these soldiers straight to Darken Rahl. However, while following them, they see the soldiers stop to buy something from a trader they were heading to. The captain of the group of soldiers, Ashgar, demands a demonstration of what he plans to purchase. Richard wonders what they must be buying that is worth as much as the trader asks, and it turns out to be a boy. Ashgar asks the boy what his wife made him for breakfast before the expedition. Not only does the boy know, but he also knows what the captain is really thinking underneath that. Ashgar then asks to know something about his men he doesn't already, and the boy says there's nothing. Ashgar is unimpressed and begins to leave, and the trader pressures the boy into revealing something. The boy points out a soldier among them who wants to help the Seeker and kill Darken Rahl if he has the chance. The traitorous soldier, Masslar, tries to flee, but there's nowhere to go. He is captured by his brethren. The soldiers buy the boy, put him back in his enclosed prison of a cart, and march on. Zedd and Kahlan are astounded that this boy can read minds, as he is the first of what are called Listeners in the past seven hundred years. Richard wants to free the boy immediately, but Kahlan still wants to follow the soldiers and find Darken Rahl. Zedd suggests they do both.

Zedd alters his appearance magically with plans to infiltrate the soldiers, going with them towards Darken Rahl while Richard and Kahlan trail behind and attempt to save the boy. Zedd uses a magical object to make it appear as if shadow people were zooming around the soldiers, and he enters and blasts the spirits with his fire. He introduces himself to Ashgar as another wizard and offers his services. Ashgar is suspicious, noting Masslar, who is tied up. He asks for the Listener, Renn, to see whose side Zedd is truly on. The soldiers go to retrieve Renn only to find out he has been taken from them.

Richard and Kahlan are in the woods with Renn, who is very nervous and struggling to get away. Richard tries to explain that they want to help, but Renn kicks him in the crotch and runs off, but Richard and Kahlan catch up to him with relative ease. Renn says he doesn't mind if the soldiers catch him, because they're going to give him a big room in a castle, but he tells Richard he better be careful. Kahlan inquires about his parents. Renn explains his mother is dead and it was just his father left when he was taken away by a man who used him to cheat at cards. Kahlan wants to bring the boy home and then go back to following Zedd. Ashgar sends half his men out to look for Renn, including his best tracker. Ashgar orders they move on, and tells one of his soldiers to keep their eyes on Zedd.

Renn gets back to familiar surroundings with Richard and Kahlan, spotting his house and a man there, only to see it is not his father. The man knows nothing of where Renn's father is. Renn reads his mind and finds out the man heard he wasn't kidnapped, but rather secretly sold by his father. Kahlan tries to dismiss it as a rumor, but Renn is not convinced. Richard comes back, having found no family of Renn's. Kahlan suggests that they bring him to the Sisters of Light, who protect children with gifts in a magically hidden valley, and reminds Richard how important the opportunity to find Rahl is. They turn around after their discussion, only to find Renn has run off again.

Zedd is at the back of the group of soldiers, leaving a trail for Richard and Kahlan in the form of magically sprouted flowers. Masslar questions Ashgar about the terrible things he's done, and Ashgar threatens him. They stop for water, but with none for Masslar. Zedd magically breaks Masslar's bindings, and Masslar jumps on a horse and starts riding off. Ashgar is furious Zedd was seemingly powerless to stop him, putting a sword to his throat. Zedd says he is just gathering the magical forces necessary for his next bit of magic, and then freezes Masslar and his horse in time, paused in mid-jump. Ashgar is impressed.

Renn is playing cards against a man at a tavern. He beats the man, who grabs him in fury. Richard and Kahlan burst in, Richard with the Sword drawn, causing the man to back off. Renn still just wants Richard and Kahlan gone, but they take him out of the tavern anyway. Renn bites Richard and tries to get away again, so Richard decides to tie his hands up so he can't escape again. Kahlan is very emotionally disturbed by this and orders Richard not to bind his hands, grabbing him on the arm. Richard obliges, and tells Renn that he'll bring him back to the tavern and tell the gambler how Renn cheated him instead, should he try and run off. Renn, who has read Kahlan's mind, asks why she doesn't tell him why the rope upsets her so much. Richard gives Renn some food, but Renn is upset and demands pheasant with blackberry sauce, having become accustomed to being treated so well by people who needed his skills. Richard refuses, and Renn threatens to tell Kahlan a secret Richard has been keeping from her. Renn smiles mischievously, and Richard insists there's nothing. Renn knows he's lying and asks how Richard would like it if Kahlan knew what he thought of when he looked at her.

A little later, Renn is happily eating pheasant with blackberry sauce. Renn wants to rest then, and Kahlan tries to explain the importance of their journey continuing. Richard gets fed up and tries to drag Renn onto his feet, yelling at him, and Renn begins screaming, attracting the attentions of the D'Harans who were not far away. They run towards the noise as Richard covers Renn's mouth. It's too late to run. The soldiers charge in, and Kahlan and Richard ambush them and battle against them while Renn hides behind a tree. A soldier spots Renn and runs after him, and he screams to get Richard's attention. Richard gets slashed in the arm by one of the soldiers. He and Kahlan finish off the soldiers, and she tends to his wound.

Renn tells Richard that he isn't worth Richard's life. He also asks why Richard wants to defeat Darken Rahl if he's not interested in his power or money, as he has never met anyone like that before. When asked what the Sisters of Light are like, Kahlan says they're kind as anyone she's known. Renn think he's bad and doesn't belong with them then because of all the people who have been killed when their truths have been revealed. Richard says he didn't have a choice, and Renn says that what happened to Kahlan was just as bad. Richard wants to know what happened. When Kahlan was a child, her mother put her father under her control using her power, the one Kahlan and her sister possessed, because she had to. Kahlan's mother died when she was five and her sister was three, and her father was freed from control. He made them control people and have them do terrible things to get what he wanted, and he would bind their hands if they resisted. She never used her power back on him because he was her father. When she was eleven the Sisters of Light found them and took them away, showing them so much kindness and gave them real lives for the first time.

Kahlan is sleeping later, while Richard lies awake and Renn is startled awake by an owl. Renn feels guilty for Richard's injury. He also asks why Richard hasn't told Kahlan how he feels. He says Richard is just scared she doesn't feel the same, but not to worry, because she feels the same. Richard asks why Kahlan never said anything, and Renn says it was something about being afraid to hurt him with her powers. Kahlan then wakes up and urges them to sleep, and sings Renn to sleep. They continue on in the morning. Renn wonders why he can't stay with them, but it would be too dangerous.

Masslar is singing a song about the Seeker defeating Darken Rahl. Ashgar whips him and kicks him, and decides to execute him before they get to Lord Rahl. Masslar is upset with Zedd, who says that times are hard for everyone. Two men ride up on horses to where Richard, Kahlan and Renn are. One of the men says that he is Renn's father, and that it was just a rumor that he sold Renn and he has been searching for him for five years. Renn looks into his eyes and says it is true. He goes off with his father, even though Kahlan insists he couldn't keep Renn safe. Kahlan and Richard go after Zedd and the other soldiers. Renn's father, who is apparently just his step-father, returns him to another group of Darken Rahl's soldiers for a large payment. Renn says he was planning to work for the D'Harans anyway, so it did him a favor. He demands pheasant with blackberry sauce again, and they rapidly accommodate and talk of getting to the meeting point.

Richard and Kahlan are walking nervously, seriously doubting their decision to let Renn go. Tied to a pole, Masslar's neck is marked and the executioner readies his axe. Zedd stops the axe, saying there is an enchantment on Masslar that will bring harm and possibly death to whoever kills him. The executioner swings his axe again, and Zedd secretly twists his hand, turning Masslar into a bird soon enough to be missed by the axe. Masslar, now a bird, flies away. Ashgar accuses Zedd of doing it, and though Zedd insists it must have been the enchantment he mentioned, Ashgar says Darken Rahl will decide and has Zedd's hands bound to prevent him from doing magic.

Renn's step-father rides up past Richard and Kahlan, who ask where Renn is. The step-father laughs saying it is not their concern and rides off, but Richard cuts part of the saddle, causing the man to fall down as his horse runs off. They find out who he sold Renn to and what direction he's in, and Richard takes his money. Richard and Kahlan find Zedd's trail, realizing he and Renn are headed to the same place. Renn arrives to where Ashgar and Zedd are, and Ashgar tells Renn to tell him all about Zedd and who he's working with. Renn reveals that Zedd is a spy who wants to kill Darken Rahl, but then tells Ashgar that Zedd is working with one of his soldiers, making the information seem more believable by also providing information on something true the soldier was hiding, a flask of spirits. Renn also says another of his soldiers, Ashgar's longtime friend, organized the whole thing, and reveals that he was sleeping with Ashgar's wife. Ashgar kills his friend, and Renn says that several other soldiers were also in on the plot with Zedd, and Ashgar orders them arrested. This has all the soldiers fighting amongst each other, while Renn tries to free Zedd's hands. Ashgar realizes what's going on and tries to kill Renn, but just then Richard and Kahlan arrive. They begin killing the soldiers, and Richard duels Ashgar. Ashgar grabs Richard's wound and kicks him down, and is just about to kill him when Zedd blasts him from behind with fire, completely obliterating him.

Kahlan asks why Renn went with his step-father if Renn knew he was lying. Renn reveals that he had found out his step-father had men with knives waiting to kill Richard and Kahlan if they didn't hand him over. He then saw that Zedd was Richard and Kahlan's friend, so he helped Zedd. Richard and Kahlan are both teaching Renn the lessons they have to teach as they make their way to Thandor, where the Sisters of Light are. They arrive at a stone wall. Kahlan speaks some words and the wall opens, revealing the valley. Renn meets one of the Sisters of Light and some of the other children with special abilities. Renn and Kahlan say goodbye, sad at leaving each other. He tells her to tell Richard how she feels, and that it will be OK. Renn apologizes for kicking Richard, and Richard tries to give Renn some last bits of helpful knowledge before Renn goes. Richard says to Kahlan that they have some practice for if they ever become parents, which prompts a bit of an awkward silence. A large black bird flies around Richard. Zedd returns the bird to its true form, Masslar, who pledges to help Richard however he can. Before leaving to make sure his family is safe, he tells Richard about a city he heard Darken Rahl is sending his forces to. Kahlan suggests they set off then, but Zedd reveals that the city in question was destroyed 2,000 years ago, buried under millions of tons of rock.

Cast Edit

Guest Starring Edit

  • Benson Anthony as Renn
  • Colin Moy as Ashgar
  • Matthew Dwyer as Masslar
  • Evan Matthews as Kranthor
  • Will Wallace as Sarik
  • Paul Paice as Duggin
  • Jane Thomas as Sarafin
  • Chris Stewart as Constable
  • Gilbert Goldie as Merchant
  • Justin Curry as Rough Gambler
  • Patrick Hales as Man

Writers Edit

  • Stephen Tolkin Writer
  • DirectorsMark Beesley Director
  • Executive ProducersSam Raimi Executive Producer
  • Robert G. Tapert Executive Producer
  • Joshua Donen Executive Producer
  • Ned Nalle Executive Producer
  • Kenneth Biller Executive Producer

Producers Edit

  • Chloe Smith Producer
  • Erin Maher Producer
  • Kay Reindl Producer
  • David Roessell Producer
  • Mark Beesley Producer
  • Supervising ProducersMike Sussman Supervising Producer
  • Chad Fiveash Supervising Producer
  • James Stoteraux Supervising Producer

Episode Cast and Crew Details Edit

Zedd tries to disguise himself as an unknown wizard of the first order to the D'Harans. We have also learned that even Darken Rahl knows there have only been three wizards of the first order born in the past seventy years (one being dead, one working for Darken Rahl and the last being Zedd). The D'Harans should not have been calm about finding a wizard of the first order.

Book Difference: Edit

In this episode, Kahlan goes into her own and her sister and mother's past regarding men. In the books, Kahlan's sister is adopted. During this episode while going into her past she makes no reference to her sister being adopted, even though it would be relevant with what she was telling.

Some playing cards in the Midlands include the rose, lion, bull, and star.

Trivia Notes Edit

Original International Air Dates: United Kingdom: August 27, 2009 on Sci Fi/Sci Fi HD Germany: November 8, 2009 on ProSieben Sweden: February 26, 2010 on TV6 Slovakia: July 11, 2010 on JOJ

Quotes Edit

Renn: (Talking about Kahlan) Why haven't you told her what you feel about her? Richard: It's complicated. You'll understand when you get older. Renn: It's not that complicated. You're just scared she doesn't feel the same way... But you don't have to be scared. She feels the same way you do.

Ashgar: Let's see if you're the real thing. What did my wife make me for breakfast the day I left on this expedition? Renn: It's not the lumpy porridge and the greasy eggs you're thinking about... It's the black eye she gave you the night before.

Richard: We're not stopping to pick blackberries and hunt pheasant. Renn: (Referring to Kahlan) Then I guess I'll have to tell her about the secret you've been keeping from her. Richard: I don't have any secrets with Kahlan. Renn: I'm a Listener. Do you think there's anything you can hide from me? How would you like her to know what you think about when you look at her? (Cut to a bit later: Renn is eating pheasant meat with blackberry sauce)


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