Alternative Character Interpretation: Some fans question what took place in the alternate timeline of "Reckoning". Is it possible Darken Rahl actually began to love Kahlan for real? When his reluctant wife was shown pregnant and he mentioned that she made him happier than he ever was, was he gloating or showing genuine joy? Was his pinching his newborn son to make him cry to keep Kahlan from killing his heir for power or to keep the idea of having a family from falling apart? Kahlan mentioned he was going to kill her after their son's birth, but didn't. Was it so she could raise their son or did he truly start to love her? Of course, they both die and Richard averts this timeline, so it remains unclear to some.
Author's Saving Throw: When Nicci originally appeared, she didn't look at all like her book incarnation and did not wear black. Then she was resurrected in a blonde body. Then she became badass. Then, for the season finale, she put on a black dress.
Cliché Storm: The show is a fantasy cliche hurricane. However, many of its fans cite this as why they love the show so much.
Darken Rahl, The Big Bad of season 1 and The Dragon to The Keeper in season 2, orders a mass infanticide, kills any he deems a threat, and tortures innocent peasants to keep his dark power. Rahl is also especially fond of blood sacrifices, using the blood as ink to pen notices and spells. Rahl also unleashes a plague on his own people in an attempt to blameRichard and cause the people to turn against him. Throughout the series, Rahl is shown as nothing more than pure, unadulterated evil.
Nicholas Rahl, Darken's son in season 1ís "Reckoning," was born of a Confessor. Most male Confessors get easily corrupted by their powers, and Nicholas starts off by Confessing his playmate and forcing him to cut off his own finger, because the latter refused to play with the same toys and games as Nicholas. When Nicholas's mother tried to kill him for fear of what he was becoming, Darken decided to execute her and Nicholas stopped him, saying "No, Father...let me do it." After executing his own mother, Nicholas proceeded to murder his father when the two were standing in front of her tomb. After that, he ordered his father's former servants (all of whom he all Confessed) to destroy the land and kill anyone who refused to be Confessed by him. 50 years later, Richard Cypher arrives and sees the misery that Nicholas caused and nearly all the world being either killed or confessed by Nicholas, except a few peasants who were hiding and told Richard that Nicholas was even worse than his father.
Engaging Chevrons: When Kahlan uses her Mind Control "Confession" power on a person the first time, the clouds part, the sky darkens, thunder rumbles, her eyes go black, and she passes out for nearly a minute. Averted, in that the production quickly tones it down for subsequent uses. By the second season, she barely breaks her stride.
Fanfic Fuel: The events of what Kahlan went through in "Reckoning" is a popular topic in fanfiction. The wedding, the moment she choose to sleep with Rahl, the time of her pregnancy and whether or not she or Rahl ever developed feelings for each other is never shown so this gets featured.
In the episode "Home," Rahl, as part of a spell inflicting a Lotus-Eater Machine on Richard, ends up role-playing as an old girlfriend of Richard's.
And apparently the Keeper and the Creator were once lovers. Part of the reason he wants to end all life is he's jealous of the affection she shows to them. And in "Creator", he desperately tries to have her avatar dragged into the Underworld to be with him again.
There's also quite a bit when Nicci is forcing Richard to lead her to the Stone of Tears.
Growing the Beard: The first two episodes are rather rushed, basically cramming the first third of the original book,Wizard's First Rule, into an hour and a half of screen time. The rest of the episodes have a more relaxed pace, and are a substantial improvement. In the premiere of the second season, this trope took a literal approach as well (Richard actually grew a beard.)
The second season marks a noticeable improvement. The series becomes darker and there is much more suffering for both the main cast and the people around them. The D'Haran army, now leaderless, has turned to pillaging and terrorizing villages and towns, each commander fashioning himself into a warlord. There is also some (very welcomed) character development, especially with regards to Richard: he no longer carries the Idiot Ball all the time and at several points displays downright tactical genius (tracking the movements of invisible wizard-monsters by the tracks they leave in the mud; the way he both had the Sister of Dark captured AND got out of the Sisters of the Light's monastery). The addition of Cara to the main cast also improved the series, since she is not only eye candy but has an interesting character development arc of her own.
Jerkass Woobie: Renn, in his first appearance. His upbringing as what amounts to a treasured slave has left him at once spoiled rottenand heartbreakingly resigned to the fact that no one ever cares about him as anything other than a means to an end. He gets better from learning from the example of the heroes and later the Sisters of the Light.
After several teasing shots of the Mord-Sith giving each other sponge baths, the two in question kiss in a later scene. Can also qualify as Fanservice. Cara's reaction to Triana's death in the Season One finale might suggest more to that relationship in the show, especially in light of "Eternity" and Cara's canon relationship with Dahlia. Let's just say the Sisters of the Agiel are all really close "friends".
Tear Jerker: The end of the first part of the second season finale. We've gotten to know Cara as a tough, no nonsense Mord-Sith who had nearly all her kindness and compassion beaten out of her. Then we're introduced to a Cara who got to live the peaceful life of a schoolteacher and has two young children with the man of her dreams... seconds before Zedd needs to turn back time and give her back the life she used to have as a Mord-Sith. Seeing Cara, bound, confused, panicking, and pleading for the sake of her children is... hard to watch.
The Woobie: Among the first things which happens to Jennsen Rahl are getting kidnapped and then watching her mother die. It tends to get worse from there, and in the first half of the Season Two finale, in an alternate timeline, she's kidnapped by Sisters of the Dark, who drain her blood and leave her to bleed slowly to death.
Kahlan Amnell, even more so in the alternate future of Season 1's finale, Reckoning. After seeing her friend Zedd killed and her love seemingly vaporized in an explosion, she's captured by Rahl and is given a marriage proposal so that he can end the resistance and have a powerful heir. She refuses and gets sent to a dungeon, where she learns Richard has been sent to the future and needs Confessor magic to return to his own time. With no other option, she accepts Rahl's proposal to ensure Confessors will survive. So, to save the world and the man she loved she had to marry the man she had nothing but hate for and let him impregnate her, raising a son she knew might one day become corrupt by his own power and be killed when she realized he had become too corrupt to help Richard and tried to kill her own son.
They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: While there are legitimate grievances to be had, some of the earliest complaints were along the lines of "They changed Rahl's hair color! SAM RAIMI MUST DIE!"
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Nicholas Rahl, the alternate timeline son of Darken Rahl and Kahlan Amnell. Partially due to his story is spliced with the story of Richard and Cara trying to return home, and partially because he's an original character who wouldn't exist due to obvious reasons. If he had at least appeared in more than one episode, maybe trying to ensure his birth in some way, that would at least be accepting.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The last episode of season one features two stories that connect. One of Richard and Cara in the future trying to return home, the other is an alternate timeline where Kahlan marries Rahl so she can give birth to an heir that will help Richard return home. The last episode felt like it crammed two episodes together. Both sides might have worked better if they were their own episodes. Especially Kahlan's marriage to Darken Rahl, which seems to be popular with fanfiction writers.
Too Cool to Live: Cara bore Darken Rahl a son, whom he had killed at birth. Just let all of that sink in for a moment. It may be a nod to a scene in the books, where Cara notes that Darken Rahl had taken her to his bed several times, but she was lucky enough not to get pregnant (in the books he tended to kill the mothers as well, and it happened to a number of her friends).