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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    ClericGirl

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    Default The Dragon Prince: A Blind Viewing

    Well, I'm five days into knowing a new, intrigue-riffic Bryke show exists, five episodes into the first season, three episodes into spamming my sister's text messages with all the inanity I've come up with on the spot, and ready to get at least Mark Oshiro proper about it. This is clearly the kind of show that'll throw me for at least a bit of a loop every single episode, and that's what blind viewings are made of.

    Thoughts so far:

    Spoiler: The Dragon Prince and Friends
    Show

    Rayla's overwhelming desire to fit in and intrinsic inability to do so make her painful to watch. Not as painful as most characters who spew lies they have to know are going to bite them - charming accent, cute dork, good in an action scene, does what's right considerably more than she says it - but still, she's definitely my least-favorite character thus far.

    Callum is a doof, but he's got potential. Aang meets Sokka, intuitively enough.

    Ezran is the best. He knows no things and therefore gives not one rip and he is just downright adorable. The downside to Ezran is he's clearly played by an actual child, and I don't think that child has the emotional range Ezran is going to need down the road.

    Bait is no Appa, but he'll do.


    Spoiler: Meanwhile in Katolis
    Show

    This is currently the pulsing heart of the story, but I expect that to shift as we go on.

    Gleb(?) (the blond guy with the freckles) is a ninny. I think Amaya was either projecting her own voice onto him pretty hard or choosing the only honest person in sight when she tasked him with retrieving the princes. Should have gone with one of the Cavalry of Extras, there. Also, I guess, left someone to keep an eye on Viren, but Amaya's way too blunt for that to have any success even if she'd thought of it.

    There is nothing else wrong with Amaya. Except the occasional need for subtitles. Amaya is the shiz. Is she Callum's aunt or is she Ezran's? I'll say Callum's. I don't remember how the princes greeted her, but the way she's characterized, she's possibly responsible for Harrow's change of heart, which would make her the second wife.

    (Definitely leaning toward Callum. He is pretty callow for a prince of his age. But the age difference between Callum and Ezran makes it anyone's guess who the second wife is. I'll just put a pin in it.)

    Claudia is going to become more of a villain and she will redeem herself in the end. We can take both those things to the bank.

    Soren's about as lovable as a jerk can be, but his conscious slide into evil last episode has to be taken into consideration. Especially as it may not really be a slide per se. Actually, that may go for Claudia too. Um. Best bump most of that downthread. But I think there was something in that history book she didn't want Callum to see. Back to Soren, though: was Viren's plan A to send him to the Winter Lodge on a mission of assassination? Would Soren have gone through with it even if he did stand a snowball's against Amaya? He seems to like Callum, fundamentally. Did Viren know Amaya was even there, I don't remember


    okay, okay, time for Viren.


    Viren. Dang. What a villain. I don't know how much of this is an accurate read, but here goes nothing: Oscar-caliber liar, so ambitious it's eating him alive, but clearly not much for long-term planning. (With the possible exception of the dragon egg. I'll just guess that one's the last piece to fall into place.) He has decided the ends justify the means so often that not only does no one trust him, he has just become so totally untrustworthy that even he doesn't know what he's going to do from one moment to the next.

    He is a servant. He is a servant. Deeply significant. I know I haven't got a bead on this. But I think it means, in his mind, that he needs to win the war yesterday, at any cost. Or almost. I can't actually

    okay miscellanies before we Viren to that topic

    Why is he killing butterflies with dark magic as a morning ablution? Has Claudia not yet informed him she invented coffee? Is dark magic like a drug? Was he wounded offscreen? Is he unfathomably old? If he's unfathomably old, why does he have two teenage children? Either way, where is their mother?

    Right, okay, on to the real festivities.


    Spoiler: The Great Offscreen Full-Moon Event
    Show
    Viren didn't kill Harrow.

    He's unstable, no doubt about it, but you'd have to be WAY more unstable than he is to turn from "prepared to sacrifice my life for you" to "kill you and save the assassins the trouble" at one bad turn of conversation. Also, on a meta level, he's already doing all the other traditional usurper activities, so it'd be one heck of a let-down if the big secret is that he also killed the king.

    But he did come pretty close.

    Moonshadow elves at the height of their power turn out to be formidable, but a long mile from unstoppable. I don't know how much of an iceberg I'm missing under that statement, but it's enough to go on for now.

    He definitely does want Harrow to use the soul-snake. Harrow's death isn't part of the plan. Yet twice, he refers to the coming assassination attempt as a turning point in history.

    The guards emerge from the king's chambers unscathed and, of course, Viren starts backing out of the conflict before Callum has even left, criminy.

    Call it a trial by combat. The guards (who, Soren aside, are clearly not too wild about sacrificing themselves for Harrow after all the evil exploits that happened in the backstory) are told to stand aside. If Harrow manages to fend them off, then all the softy-softy stuff has fallen by the wayside and Harrow can rule and make war like in the good old days. If not, well, it becomes Viren's job to do what Harrow would have done. He is a servant. He is a servant.

    (By which Harrow quite unambiguously meant "stop being an evil chancellor already", but never mind.)

    The time lag between the chief assassin's escape to the balcony, Harrow's actual death, and the arrival of the guards, probably contains a good deal in it. Last words? A different assassin escaping the other way to enable a devastating scene down the road where Ezran notices the guy's bracelet matches Rayla's? Soren strongarming everyone into shutting up?

    What's with the doorway scene? Did Viren go all Ursula the Sea Witch on Harrow before moving on to Callum?

    Would the bracelet have been unbound if anyone outside the circle of assassins had killed Harrow? If the soul-snake had been employed? Rayla doesn't appear to know, but I bet the chief assassin does.

    I don't know where Claudia fits into this, but she's complicit enough to be trusted with the care of the chief assassin. Maybe with the help of Ursula the Sea Witch, though. That would be incredibly frustrating, wouldn't it, as we're about to get an episode focusing on the guy that might otherwise shed some light on all this?

    ETA: I am overlooking the closed casket, but I don't really see it as feasible that Harrow isn't dead and I especially don't see it as feasible that his body isn't dead. Mangled, maybe.


    The existence of the other thread is a godsend here. Please spoiler-mark your morbid speculations about what's going to throw me for a loop, and reserve unmarked spoilers for the main Dragon Prince thread. Once it dies down.

    This evening, in Episode 6: I have no idea what's going to happen, but the chief assassin will be involved. Here's hoping things are actually revealed thereby.
    Last edited by DomaDoma; 2019-12-03 at 01:28 PM.
    Don't blame me. I voted for Kodos.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

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    Default Re: The Dragon Prince: A Blind Viewing

    Amaya is the aunt of both princes, Callum and Ezra have the same mother, different fathers. There isn't anything that indicates that the king had a second wife that i can remember.

    Viren is using the butterflies as part of an illusion to cover up how black magic has changed his appearance.

  3. - Top - End - #3
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    Lord Torath's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Dragon Prince: A Blind Viewing

    Gren (not Gleb) is Amaya's interpreter (strawberry-blonde w/ freckles).

    Ezra's voice actor is, indeed, a child, but I've not noticed any issues with her emotional range (And I've seen through the end of Season 3).

    There's a big debate over whether Viren used Dark Magic to put Harrow's soul in the body of his bird. I personally don't think the elven armband magic would be fooled by such a trick. I also don't think the wristbands care who does the deed, only that the deed gets done. But that's pure speculation on my part.

    Bait really grows on you.
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  4. - Top - End - #4
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    ClericGirl

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    Default Re: The Dragon Prince: A Blind Viewing

    Quote Originally Posted by Aresneo View Post
    Amaya is the aunt of both princes, Callum and Ezra have the same mother, different fathers. There isn't anything that indicates that the king had a second wife that i can remember.

    Viren is using the butterflies as part of an illusion to cover up how black magic has changed his appearance.
    I definitely do appreciate being told the things I missed through inattention. Here I thought Viren was looking like a shadow with teeth strictly for artistic effect!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Torath
    There's a big debate over whether Viren used Dark Magic to put Harrow's soul in the body of his bird. I personally don't think the elven armband magic would be fooled by such a trick. I also don't think the wristbands care who does the deed, only that the deed gets done. But that's pure speculation on my part.
    I will just go ahead and assume that we're talking about a debate that happens circa episode five, rather than a debate that is currently ongoing. For one thing, if a plot point is still a standing debate by the end of season three, that's a spoiler. For another, if this particular plot point is still a standing debate by the end of season three, I will need to strangle the writers.

    As such, my theory on the bird is as follows: episode four ripped off Lion King a lot.

    Okay, on to episode six: Through The Ice.



    Nothing about the chief assassin after all, except that - Moonshadow Elves not being supposed to show fear and all - he might not be unreasonably bloodthirsty so much as not really wanting to cut off his own hands with gangrene by breaking his oath, as Rayla is now scheduled to. (And so, I guess, is he. I backed up a skosh just to make sure Claudia didn't have the capacity to do anything about it, and he tied it around his biceps like the macho vengeance machine he is but it's there, sure enough, and bruising him an episode before it becomes a plot point. Attention to detail, this show.)

    I am glad she got the bracelet matter off her chest. (Mostly. No one in this story who's under the age of eighteen has any ear for severely ominous dialogue cues.) Very bad timing for sure to do it on top of a not-very-frozen lake, but I am not worried that the egg is going to die at this early stage of the game, cliffhanger or no. That said, I do want to see how they save it and probably Ezran too, because I don't think any of them has the resources to make fire. The review for episode seven is, therefore, also coming tonight.

    Anyway, Rayla. In my good books now.

    Needless to say, the stars of the show in episode six are Soren and Claudia. Boy, did I read Soren wrong last episode. He likes to have the high-prestige missions. That's all there is to it.

    Or anyway that's all there is to this mission. King's guards still definitely did not make a full fight of it. What gets me there is there was no buildup. Beginning of episode three, Claudia is totally assured of Viren as Harrow's dependable right-hand man; end of episode three, Soren basically lets the assassins in. I wonder if Harrow said something pretty awful, in the Great Offscreen.

    But whatever the case may be, killing Ezran is very clearly a whole 'nother ballpark where Soren is concerned. Those jelly tarts brought me as close to tears as anything in this series has. And, yeah, Claudia, not exactly the ruthless pragmatist either. Viren really needs to hire mercenaries if he wants to reliably delegate ruthless tasks and oh hey that just clarified to me that the guy with the grappling hook is not Viren's mercenary. Where the heck is that guy coming from, then?

    I guess the Protectorlets will meet up with the Princes in fairly short order. As such, they took care to remind us that Callum has an enormous crush on Claudia. Boo. Bryke are just not very good at romantic subplots. Stick to the adventurer camaraderie, guys.

    (Actually I didn't notice either of their names in the credits. This series is very very Avatar-esque, though. How does the production break down?)

    Random thought on the magic system, while I hold it: dark magic components are clearly different for every spell. Barring (I guess) sun magic, do you need a live black widow each and every time you want to start a magical fire???
    Don't blame me. I voted for Kodos.

  5. - Top - End - #5
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    Default Re: The Dragon Prince: A Blind Viewing

    Quote Originally Posted by DomaDoma View Post
    Random thought on the magic system, while I hold it: dark magic components are clearly different for every spell. Barring (I guess) sun magic, do you need a live black widow each and every time you want to start a magical fire???
    Dark Magic works by draining the magic out of living creatures. Most creatures (dragons, elves, etc.) are magical innately. Primal magic works by tapping into that innate power. Dark magic, on the other hand, siphons that power from another living being--killing it in the process.

    So I don't think it has to be a black widow specifically, but it does require some kind of living sacrifice.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    ClericGirl

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    Default Re: The Dragon Prince: A Blind Viewing

    Dried limbs of dead animals also definitely count as dark magic components. Dark magic isn't apparently fussed, as such, about whether you kill the thing right then. But it does seem to be fussy about what you use for what purpose: this dead limb for a silence spell, that other dead limb for a diagnostic spell, glowing butterflies to cover up using too much dark magic... so I think black widows are designated for fire.

    Anyway:

    Episode Seven: The Dagger and the Wolf

    They won't get through the Caldera? That's not that much of a cliffhanger, is it? If a helpless little dog-loving girl can make it up the Cursed Caldera without seeing anything worse than scary faces, how tough can it be? Is it a pure-heart thing? Is that why the local torch-and-pitchfork brigade is so afraid? As for the horse, horses are wimps. Scary faces in just the wrong context really are enough to ruin a horse for life.

    No, my concern with this questlet is that the nature spirit is going to be entirely too vested in that egg.

    Also I guess there are no shortcuts and Rayla is actually going to lose a hand. Or they kill off Ezran. And that is not going to happen.

    I just legitimately wrote down that paragraph not realizing that the nature spirit is probably good for that, too. But if the pure-heart scenario obtains, Rayla, while obviously a very good person, is going to have a harder time of the Caldera than a little peasant girl who wants only to save her sweet three-legged puppy. But as I say, that's not the main thing, I don't think.

    Resolution of last episode's cliffhanger, where Ezran is concerned: they got to a cave and built a fire, what, you think Rayla hasn't got a tinderbox? Which is reasonable. As it was with the dramatic cry of "stop the coronation!" resulting in... stopping the coronation, perfectly legitimate claim, we're all family here, let's resume hostilities somewhere quiet. It's kind of cheap and Netflix-binge-begging to do it like that, but it's refreshing at the same time to have mundane and sensible solutions where that's what's indicated.

    It's no better in the sketch than in the statue: their mom looks uncannily like Amaya without a face tattoo. And, I guess, smiling much more often. They wouldn't be able to get away with a semblance that close if she weren't dead.

    We also have confirmation that elves live longer than humans. Oddly enough, it never occurred to me that they did in this universe.

    Meanwhile, with Soren and Claudia: Soren is concerned his dad is going to kill him, and I don't think he's talking figuratively. That's a legitimate concern. I think we'll have ourselves two new party members when the dust settles. But I have to imagine Viren is giving Soren the obviously evil half of the work for the exact reason he said: Soren is going to be the crown prince. He's gotta be ruthless just like Dad. That would bolster my going assassination theory.


    Actually, the fact that at least two villagers are now aware there's a dragon egg could very well be the prime challenge next episode, couldn't it? The Protectorlets need some time to catch up, so it can't be them in any case.
    Don't blame me. I voted for Kodos.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    ClericGirl

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    Default Re: The Dragon Prince: A Blind Viewing

    Last-minute things I should have realized sooner:

    -Runaan (I looked up his name) is going to escape with a little help from his gangrenous limb, isn't he?
    -The reason that no one in this at least halfway-open-to-the-outside village mentioned that the king was dead is that Rayla is going to have to, if they have any hope of getting up the Caldera. And, yeah, the fact that she was holding out on that one is not going to be received with charity.


    Miscellaneous fun stuff:

    I'm not usually one for picking out songs that fit characters, because most of the songs I know are more along the lines of "Cambria fends off the Saxon invader" or "Charles Lindbergh endorses Herbert Hoover." Fortunately, the Moonshadow Elves have Irish accents, which gives me a leg up.

    Five out of six assassins endorse this song.

    Rayla is running full-tilt toward this one instead.


    Lastly: my sister informs me that I will need to have a higher tolerance for cliffhangers if this viewing's blindness has any hope of being maintained. Stoicism begins tonight.

    Episode Eight: Cursed Caldera - a play-by-play

    I missed that the mirror was stolen from the Dragon Royal Family? Good grief. I am glad there are recaps.

    A++ line: "How do you plan for indescribable terrors? I feel like you need to be able to describe them first."

    Wait. Is this the highest mountain in the kingdom? Because I think it might be the highest mountain in the kingdom. It's a mountain, it's high, Claudia and Soren are probably not on a time delay longer than necessary.

    Viren. That is all.

    David Lynch's least lucrative decision was not copyrighting his version of the Arrakis sandworm. Every third time someone needs an indescribable monster, it's a giant worm with a tripartite maw.

    Dude WHAT IS IN THOSE COIN-SOUNDING THINGS. Are they the local equivalent of the Black Soul Gem? Do they contain Runaan's comrades? I. DUDE.

    Rayla's Real Talk is actually more painful than her Fake Talk. One must remember how recent this identity crisis is. But the main point is that Ezran is, just, the sweetest boy there ever was.

    That is also how leeches' mouths are. Yes.

    YUP THAT IS WHAT THE COINS WERE. Also the staff is NOT DECORATIVE, which I'd considered it being, given the nature of dark magic and Viren's sole reliance on it, but SOUL-RIPPING, YEAH THAT'S CONSONANT. Even Gren cannot smileyface this one away, and, like, Viren is not exactly troubled about him being a witness so I don't think he's long for this world... barring some random-guard intervention. Viren's weakness, as I say, is that there is really no Team Evil at this time. It's just him on his sole, if formidable, resources.

    Aaand of course Runaan is now down for the count as a witness to the Great Offscreen.

    How can Ez possibly know there's no miracle healer? Does he speak Wolf? He's the biggest optimist there is, so there has to be a reason he says this, but... eh? That tree definitely has the look of Oasis about it and I don't know what else there is to go on. Then again, Ellis definitely has the look of the bandit princess from The Snow Queen. I can't understand what her con could be at this late stage of the trek, if there is a con, but... hrm. I will withstand the cliffhanger in any event and I have no idea what it signifies and I will just let it go.

    I stand by my prediction that Soren and Claudia are at the top of the mountain. (They came during the daytime, because Claudia has read up on this.)

    Oh. OH. Did they kill the miracle healer? She does look fairly elf-like. Might could be. Might could be. That would sour a possible alliance with the princes pretty effectively, if so.

    On the other hand, I mean, the Dragon Prince has to live somehow. He's the title of the entire show.

    The more I ponder these cliffhangers, the more cliffhanger-y they become, but stoicism must reign. See you Monday.
    Don't blame me. I voted for Kodos.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Narkis's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Dragon Prince: A Blind Viewing

    Oh man, there are so many things I want to comment on but I can't because spoilers.
    Many thanks to Assassin 89 for this avatar!

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: The Dragon Prince: A Blind Viewing

    Quote Originally Posted by DomaDoma View Post
    How can Ez possibly know there's no miracle healer? Does he speak Wolf?
    Do you really want to know the answer to this? Because I think you probably already realize the answer to this.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    ClericGirl

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    Default Re: The Dragon Prince: A Blind Viewing

    If you want to comment on spoilers, use spoiler tags. I won't touch 'em till I'm caught up to the mainstream, promise.


    Viren stuff that has bubbled to the top of my head in the interim, bearing in mind that I am not about to re-watch episode three (or any other) at this early date:

    There is a third alternative re: Gren, but I don't think it likely. He could be next in line for interrogation and being deliberately terrified accordingly. But so far as we know, all he really knows about is Amaya. She's safely out of the way, full of false reassurance, AND fighting the elves with her no-doubt-considerable might, and I think Viren couldn't improve on that. (Also, I think Xaadian oranges and asking politely would be a much surer way to get intel out of Gren than conspicuous blood-curdling necromancy.)

    Claudia has lingering all-black eyes after pedestrian dark magic; in a macrocosm, Viren's dark-magic horror look is apparently induced by spells of unfathomable evil. (And then papered over by yet more dark magic. If this guy isn't the living embodiment of a Macbethian spiral...) Is it also the state his face naturally reverts to at this point? If not, then what exactly happened the night of the not-coronation?

    He wants to use the egg for a "weapon", or at any rate that's what he told Claudia and he's not outright lying to his kids; in fact he's trying to make them into worthy delegates and successors. What does "weapon" mean? Raise him so that Katolis has an attack dragon in their corner? But his own kids haven't been raised as war machines. Is that their mother's doing, or is this ruthlessness obsession comparatively new for Viren? That coronation painting might be just a decade old. Viren might actually have specified the age of the painting, at that.

    ON THE OTHER HAND: Viren distinguishes himself as a villain by his total lack of charm. A key component of his descent into evil is that his sheer "pragmatic" creepiness alienates everyone. He is, I'll grant you, about half oblivious to this fact. Harrow calling him out as an overvaunting no-good-nik caught him completely off guard. But does he think he's good enough to manipulate a dragon into doing his bidding? Or will we find, when the egg inevitably hatches, that he went for - ah - the more standard Viren method of getting things done?

    Regardless of the scenario with the egg, why would he have decided that Harrow would like him better as a babykiller?

    This may mark the beginning of my transformation into the crazy guy with the yarn charts, so I won't check on this till the end of the season, but I believe there have thus far been exactly two occasions where Viren has been shown holding his staff directly in front of him. One was ripping Runaan's soul from his body (assuming a body is left?? but that scene was horrifying), and the other: just when the assassins were reaching the doors. I don't know what that would portend and I imagine Viren's staff has multiple... configurations?... and the soul-gem ritual as observed isn't good for combat, but anyway people definitely died.

    On that note: we don't know that the four missing assassins are the ones trapped in the other coins. That clink makes four sound like a good ballpark figure, but we just don't know. Viren probably did not have the time to do this to them assuming the candles and all that were necessary, and he has, by Harrow's account, a pretty extensive evil backstory. Runaan is a Lad Like Barry, chest-deep in blood feud, but hatred is a fire to fuel, not a parquet that needs to match up. Of course a human who collects the anguished souls of HIS OWN KIND is a next-level evil even by human standards.

    Finally, said backstory. Viren says he's not a monster, but a pragmatist. I'm sure he believes it. ANYTHING to win the war. And yet he's the same guy who provoked the war in the first place. He must, then, have believed provoking the war to be a pragmatic decision.


    Was he right?


    Last, mostly unrelated pondering: the humans were exiled west because dark magic was the only magic they could do and it was a clear and present danger, right? (Feel free to correct me on this. This was episode one.) If so, what's up with some humans having innate magical ability? Are they all descended from dark mages? Is Callum's dad a dark mage?



    On to the episode.

    Episode Nine: Wonderstorm

    ...was apparently the end of the season. Because Netflix doesn't need you and your traditional broadcasting conventions. So, actually, it is not insane for questions re: the Full Moon Event to be outstanding as of the end of season three. Twenty-four episodes is a reasonable timeframe for preserving the mystery... as long as we get something, guys. I'm begging you.

    I thought, during the recap, that I would be exactly right about Soren and Claudia. Nope! Just needed like three hundred feet of altitude, though.

    My most disquieting speculation is debunked; the Dragon Prince is all-natural cute li'l dragon and he is fantastic. No awkwardness about naming him in the absence of his mother, either, as he already knows his own name. Azimondias, right? Good dialogue cues on the spelling. He may think Bait is his mommy, I'm not sure.

    Ezran does, in fact, speak Wolf. The wolf does, in fact, have good reason to believe there's no miracle healer. (I thought Eva's appetite was the issue, not her three-legged-ness, but Ellis's local celebrity probably helps there. I get the impression she's living independently now.) The raccoon story was fantastic, as was the Jerkface Dance (around a lot of illusory webs, right?), and I am glad that giant spiders don't really screech in this universe because it may be the first audiovisual world to make sense like that.

    Ellis is now a part of the team, then. I'd had the impression early in that Ez's blitheness concealed a hardcore action hero, but he's really just very naive and innocent. Ellis is the one filling the blithe-badass slot, no question.

    Rayla says fitting in is "boring." Which must be a symptom of her still trying to fit in, because the way she does it, the associated emotion is "up in the middle of the night with a writhing stomachful of guilt."

    Viren is now up on the parapets in full horrorface like whatcha gonna do about it, punk (though maybe just because it's the middle of the night and/or he's coming direct from the horrifying necromancy session), and he's not actually giving full authority to his obviously-reluctant kids; he gave them the showiest tracking spell that could possibly exist so he could follow up in person. Good thing the merry band have an old elf sage who knows roughly what's up and has access to a moon gryphon. And/or a Juncture, whatever that is. Gateway to the astral plane that governs moon magic, maybe? Sounds both trippy and highly dangerous.

    Said moon, for reference, is waning and gibbous. This first season was maybe four and a half days long. That feels right for most of the cast but dang has it been a rough week on Viren's sanity and overall claim to the greater good.

    Callum is the star of this one, of course. He is, still, Aang meets Sokka. Which is a really good combo for a protagonist, actually: feeling his way into the fine points of his newfound magical abilities and the strategic leadership thrust upon him while being a lovable dork most of the time. And just deft enough in the two spells he knows to create a really fantastic set piece. EDIT: Doy, he sacrificed the primal stone and unleashed the storm it had captured. Which might be from the mountain in the opening credits. Lovely touch.



    So. Nice, happy, largely conclusive end of season! I will ignore this golden opportunity and torment myself further this Wednesday. For (happy) personal reasons, I won't be able to get to episode two until the twenty-third at the earliest, so I'd best be getting myself in suspense for it.

    ETA: They still don't know their dad is dead. That'll do for a start, won't it.
    Last edited by DomaDoma; 2019-12-09 at 08:22 PM.
    Don't blame me. I voted for Kodos.

  11. - Top - End - #11
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    JadedDM's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Dragon Prince: A Blind Viewing

    I remember when I first saw the first season, I just assumed that using the dragon egg 'as a weapon' meant using it as a super potent dark magic component to a really powerful spell. I've no idea what kind of spell would require a dragon egg, but I imagine it's probably level 9.

    I'm not sure it's ever actually confirmed, though, what specifically Viren had in mind for it.

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    Default Re: The Dragon Prince: A Blind Viewing

    Have re-watched the first three episodes as an end-of-season refresher. And now, an informational catalogue of what we know by the end of the first season.

    Full Moon Event:


    I presume Harrow is looking at a picture of his late wife when Viren comes in?

    Harrow is not seen or heard from after calling Viren on the carpet, but he isn't dead until roughly twenty seconds after Runaan staggers onto the balcony. This is no guarantee that an assassin killed him.

    Viren is seen backing out of the fray but he does NOT, at any time, hold his staff directly in front of him.

    Whatever transpired has left Runaan grievously wounded and out of shadowform but, more pressingly, writhing with shock and fury. He was stoic through Rayla's betrayal, but not whatever just happened in the king's bedroom.

    Apprehending Runaan (thirty seconds behind) are Soren (trailed by Claudia), and three of the crossbowmen originally stationed on the balcony, none wounded. The three swordsmen seen running across the courtyard are not there as reinforcements, but rushing toward something else yet to be revealed.

    Three guards are confirmed dead with a probable fourth further down the staircase. All other guards and assassins are unaccounted for, as is the soul snake.

    Viren and Pip are nowhere to be found for crucial parts of the evening, but return without fanfare in episode four. Pip is no longer trusted with an open perch.

    The casket is closed and to be burned much sooner than is proper.

    Necromancers are still seeking channels to contact the wraith of Jeremy Brett about all this.



    Other:


    The war was provoked only last winter, at which time Thunder was killed, the egg and the mirror and quite possibly the Primal Stone were stolen. On the same journey, Viren, possibly accompanied by Claudia, picked up a soul snake in the desert. All Viren's other "shortcuts", and "travels in Xadia", preceded this.

    Callum is a "mongrel." Does that mean he's a half-elf? Only it doesn't seem half-elves are a thing in this universe. Anyway, Viren does NOT approve of his parentage.

    Either Claudia or Viren has Harrow's note to Callum by now. Probably Viren. Claudia would say something.

    Amaya was able to arrive by horse at the Winter Lodge one DAY after receiving a message at the breach. The breach is not far from Katolis. The other four human kingdoms are further from the border, but I'm still pretty sure the adventure will lead in that direction at some point.

    We still don't know where the bounty hunter with the grappling hook came from or why he's so well-informed about Rayla.

    Human mages are versatile; elf mages are specialized. That's why the elves of a thousand years ago decided the solution to dark magic was to exile all the humans just to be sure. Elf dark mages are probably not a thing.

    Elf villains are definitely a thing, though. Particularly, the elves of a thousand years ago may very well still be alive. Makes it way more difficult to end a blood feud if the original instigators still have a hand in it!

    Dragons are also an established (but presumably small) demographic in Xadia. Happily, they don't go in for air bombardments of the human kingdoms.

    The Introductory Narrator and the Star-Spangled Scroll-Wielder are probably characters we will meet. Bodiless omniscient exposition doesn't have ostentatious features, or get the facts wrong.


    Modest Predictions for Next Season:

    Zim is not going to be so easy for Ez to carry and conceal. He's a baby. He wants to explore. Many many problems will ensue.

    Callum is no longer a powerful mage. This will hurt, but he will find his niche as the Idea Guy and work his way back to magic the long way round.

    Circumstances will align so that Soren, Claudia or both do end up siding with their dad after all.
    Don't blame me. I voted for Kodos.

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    Default Re: The Dragon Prince: A Blind Viewing

    Quote Originally Posted by DomaDoma View Post
    I presume Harrow is looking at a picture of his late wife when Viren comes in?
    I don't think it's ever made explicit, but I can't imagine anything else.

    Harrow is not seen or heard from after calling Viren on the carpet, but he isn't dead until roughly twenty seconds after Runaan staggers onto the balcony. This is no guarantee that an assassin killed him.
    Could be Runaan stabbed him, and it took this long to bleed out.

    Whatever transpired has left Runaan grievously wounded and out of shadowform but, more pressingly, writhing with shock and fury. He was stoic through Rayla's betrayal, but not whatever just happened in the king's bedroom.
    I assumed this was all from his fight with the King's guard.

    Three guards are confirmed dead with a probable fourth further down the staircase. All other guards and assassins are unaccounted for, as is the soul snake.

    Viren and Pip are nowhere to be found for crucial parts of the evening, but return without fanfare in episode four. Pip is no longer trusted with an open perch.

    The casket is closed and to be burned much sooner than is proper.

    Necromancers are still seeking channels to contact the wraith of Jeremy Brett about all this.
    Yes, there has been a longstanding theory ever since S1 that Viren switched Harrow's soul with his bird after he was told to kneel. I can neither confirm nor deny whether there's more evidence about this late on.

    The war was provoked only last winter, at which time Thunder was killed, the egg and the mirror and quite possibly the Primal Stone were stolen. On the same journey, Viren, possibly accompanied by Claudia, picked up a soul snake in the desert. All Viren's other "shortcuts", and "travels in Xadia", preceded this.
    Runaan says there have been four full moons since the Dragon King was killed. I don't think the Primal Stone was stolen then, but it's not that important anyway. Otherwise, correct.

    Callum is a "mongrel." Does that mean he's a half-elf? Only it doesn't seem half-elves are a thing in this universe. Anyway, Viren does NOT approve of his parentage.
    Callum is half-white/half-asian (or their fantasy equivalents). I think Viren was just using a word he knew hurt at that moment, not that he really is a racist like that.

    Amaya was able to arrive by horse at the Winter Lodge one DAY after receiving a message at the breach. The breach is not far from Katolis. The other four human kingdoms are further from the border, but I'm still pretty sure the adventure will lead in that direction at some point.
    Katolis is the largest human kingdom. It and Duren are the only ones bordering the breach. The other three are in more inhospitable land, further away from the elves. I don't think this is ever stated in the show, but there's a map on their website.

    We still don't know where the bounty hunter with the grappling hook came from or why he's so well-informed about Rayla.
    Corvus is the tracker Amaya sent to free the princes after the lodge. He's been following them for a while.

    Human mages are versatile; elf mages are specialized. That's why the elves of a thousand years ago decided the solution to dark magic was to exile all the humans just to be sure. Elf dark mages are probably not a thing.
    Dark Magic can do anything with the right components. Elf mages are generally limited to the Arcanum they were born with. So, yeah, pretty much.
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    Default Re: The Dragon Prince: A Blind Viewing

    Quote Originally Posted by Narkis View Post
    Oh man, there are so many things I want to comment on but I can't because spoilers.
    I'm not afraid of spoilers! write please!

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    Default Re: The Dragon Prince: A Blind Viewing

    Last, mostly unrelated pondering: the humans were exiled west because dark magic was the only magic they could do and it was a clear and present danger, right? (Feel free to correct me on this. This was episode one.) If so, what's up with some humans having innate magical ability? Are they all descended from dark mages? Is Callum's dad a dark mage?
    Suposedly there isnt such a thing as innate magical ability for a human.
    Since they are lacking an arcanum. Dark Magic i would say, is a bit like programming?
    Everyone can do it potentially. But its just not everyone who have the head for doing it right.

    And else i would also say the humans were less exiled because dark magic was a clear and present danger, i dont think its more dangerous than regular magic.
    More it seemed like a kne-jerk reaction from the elves. I think the hints have been that everyone is at fault for the current messy situation.
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    Default Re: The Dragon Prince: A Blind Viewing

    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    Suposedly there isnt such a thing as innate magical ability for a human.
    Since they are lacking an arcanum. Dark Magic i would say, is a bit like programming?
    Everyone can do it potentially. But its just not everyone who have the head for doing it right.

    And else i would also say the humans were less exiled because dark magic was a clear and present danger, i dont think its more dangerous than regular magic.
    More it seemed like a kne-jerk reaction from the elves. I think the hints have been that everyone is at fault for the current messy situation.
    Well, since Dark magic does both require you to kill and syphon magical Beings to cast it AND is far more flexible than any other magic, it posing a significant danger makes a lot of sense.

    Spoiler: SPoilers Season 2+
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    However, given the large amount of arrogant Asshats amongst the Xedian Races we meet, I am loathe to put the blame even MOSTLY on human shoulders.

    Even moreso given Virens....lets call him "Mentor" in Season 3. ^^

    A neutron walks into a bar and says, “How much for a beer?” The bartender says, “For you? No charge.”


    Later: An atom walks into a bar an asks the bartender “Have you seen an electron? I left it in here last night.” The bartender says, “Are you sure?” The atom says, “I’m positive.”

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    Okay. I watched episode one of the first season, and am writing this, on the twelfth. Personal circumstances turned out a little more overriding than I thought!

    Viren's quite probably lying about dragons in the skies of Katolis, and if I were the high priestess I wouldn't give him an inch either, but if I were not the high priestess I would say he's got a serious point and this is not the time to stand on ceremony. Likewise, he's overstating Amaya's report – the whole army is not massing at the breach – but a party of Xadian scouts on the western side of the breach, one of them armed with a sunforged blade, is probably bad news. (Oh and to get to the western side they had to cross a freaking lava canyon, apparently the line of fire on the map is NOT symbolic.)

    Even if the other court members distrust Viren on the level of the high priestess, I think the other four monarchs would understand that a massing Xadian threat should be cause for an international council all the more because they assassinated the king of Katolis and kidnapped the princes? This is an unreasonable level of hidebound.

    In short, Viren is the reasonable one in the room for once, and I don't think he was supposed to be... except in Harrow's chambers. That was legitimate grief we saw, and it kind of throws you for a loop after five episodes of colossal mounting villainy.

    On the other hand, using the royal seal is bound to be more trouble than it's worth. The kings come to council expecting to see King Harrow or King Ezran or Lord Protector Viren and then the entire rest of the castle has to 'splain them a few things. But that's Viren – subtle, ruthless, does not think ahead.

    Is the Crow Master the same guy Rayla chose not to kill? I think he is. I wonder what that portends.

    Datum: the family portrait was just where Harrow left it in episode three. Harrow's silence before the coming of the assassins is that much more likely to be key. Favors Soulpip over Trial By Fire. (So called because I remember the old days of Harry Potter, where contested major theories were, ideally, named things like “HOG”, “Parallel Generations,” “Chess Set,” “Big Bang,” “Dumbledore's Man.” I need that color in my life.)

    Also, Amaya's shield. Wicked cool. Possibly also sun-forged, if Soren is anything to go by? (Same stuff the showman's scabbard was made of? I don't remember that explanation.) Did Amaya win that in combat, or is it something more involved?

    Good exposition with the Moon Mage. Xadia was once one land, and that means the exile ran two ways, and it left Moonhenge as scorched earth. Her innate philosophy yields all sorts of benevolent and mischievous illusions, but her human counterparts, lacking any means to make good of that philosophy, are mostly stuck filling makework humanities requirements and writing cheap rhetoric. She's essentially correct about perception as we know it, but we without magic had better stick close as possible to reality regardless. At least the principle seems valid in-universe, Guru Pathik.

    Would Callum consider turning to dark magic? He might. After all, Claudia does it and she's not an abomination, she's a dreamboat. That would be a good, plotty, twist-the-ship-to-suit-the-characters moment for once in the Avatarian cartoons, but I still really hope Callum's better than that.

    But meanwhile, of course, Claudia is giving Soren the go-ahead to behead Rayla. Predicted resolution to that cliffhanger is one or a combo of the above: 1) the rose Rayla picked counteracts the sleep spell, 2) Claudia's stopped playing the sleep ocarina, 3) the moon is about to rise and it's a Nexus which means Rayla AND Callum might have a chance. But anyway, threatening Rayla WILL put a damper on her as an example.

    (How did they get up the mountain? Probably by bashing everything that threatened without ever being aware it was illusion. Not the most discerning pair, but they're pretty dang good at combat. On the other hand, we'll probably never know, so I vote that Soren makes a wiseacre comment about how Callum of all people could possibly have gotten past that last one and then the pin drops.)

    Ezran, Bait, Zim, Ellis, Eva, all very cute. Nothing else of note with them this episode besides that Bait has a sun arcanum (I'd guess Eva has nothing, just like a human?), but flying lessons well worth the watch. Silly kids. Don't they know plot is the only way to get a magical creature to come into its own? (Actually, Bait might know that, or else he knows a dragon's development cycle. Very dubious grunts from Bait.)
    Don't blame me. I voted for Kodos.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DomaDoma View Post
    Okay. I watched episode one of the first season, and am writing this, on the twelfth. Personal circumstances turned out a little more overriding than I thought!
    You mean episode one of the second season, right? I'm gonna assume you do.

    Viren's quite probably lying about dragons in the skies of Katolis, and if I were the high priestess I wouldn't give him an inch either, but if I were not the high priestess I would say he's got a serious point and this is not the time to stand on ceremony. Likewise, he's overstating Amaya's report – the whole army is not massing at the breach – but a party of Xadian scouts on the western side of the breach, one of them armed with a sunforged blade, is probably bad news. (Oh and to get to the western side they had to cross a freaking lava canyon, apparently the line of fire on the map is NOT symbolic.)

    Even if the other court members distrust Viren on the level of the high priestess, I think the other four monarchs would understand that a massing Xadian threat should be cause for an international council all the more because they assassinated the king of Katolis and kidnapped the princes? This is an unreasonable level of hidebound.

    In short, Viren is the reasonable one in the room for once, and I don't think he was supposed to be... except in Harrow's chambers. That was legitimate grief we saw, and it kind of throws you for a loop after five episodes of colossal mounting villainy.

    On the other hand, using the royal seal is bound to be more trouble than it's worth. The kings come to council expecting to see King Harrow or King Ezran or Lord Protector Viren and then the entire rest of the castle has to 'splain them a few things. But that's Viren – subtle, ruthless, does not think ahead.
    Yes, Viren is a wonderful villain. He was a genuine friend to King Harrow up till their final meeting, his motives are generally understandable, and his flaws are everpresent. We've had some good discussion about him in the other thread, after you've watched everything. Also
    Spoiler: Season 2, episode 7
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    See? Viren wasn't lying about the dragons.

    Is the Crow Master the same guy Rayla chose not to kill? I think he is. I wonder what that portends.
    Nope, the guy-Rayla-spared's hair was similar but simpler. We'll see him again
    Spoiler: when
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    on Season 3.

    Good exposition with the Moon Mage. Xadia was once one land, and that means the exile ran two ways, and it left Moonhenge as scorched earth. Her innate philosophy yields all sorts of benevolent and mischievous illusions, but her human counterparts, lacking any means to make good of that philosophy, are mostly stuck filling makework humanities requirements and writing cheap rhetoric. She's essentially correct about perception as we know it, but we without magic had better stick close as possible to reality regardless. At least the principle seems valid in-universe, Guru Pathik.
    Moon mage is a great character. Very far from what you'd expect from a wise old mentor, but her personality fits very well with Moon philosophy.

    (How did they get up the mountain? Probably by bashing everything that threatened without ever being aware it was illusion. Not the most discerning pair, but they're pretty dang good at combat. On the other hand, we'll probably never know, so I vote that Soren makes a wiseacre comment about how Callum of all people could possibly have gotten past that last one and then the pin drops.)
    I really don't remember if it was ever explained, but yeah brute force is my guess too.

    Ezran, Bait, Zim, Ellis, Eva, all very cute. Nothing else of note with them this episode besides that Bait has a sun arcanum (I'd guess Eva has nothing, just like a human?), but flying lessons well worth the watch. Silly kids. Don't they know plot is the only way to get a magical creature to come into its own? (Actually, Bait might know that, or else he knows a dragon's development cycle. Very dubious grunts from Bait.)
    Bait is older and wiser than he first appears.
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    Default Re: The Dragon Prince: A Blind Viewing

    Quote Originally Posted by DomaDoma View Post
    Also, Amaya's shield. Wicked cool. Possibly also sun-forged, if Soren is anything to go by? (Same stuff the showman's scabbard was made of? I don't remember that explanation.) Did Amaya win that in combat, or is it something more involved?
    Huh. I thought she lost a "corner" of her shield to the sun blade. Maybe I'm mis-remembering. Maybe I need to go re-watch that episode.
    Spoiler: Sun elf 'captain' question
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    Is the captain of the sun elves at The Breach the same one we see later in Season three 'capturing" Amaya?
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    Default Re: The Dragon Prince: A Blind Viewing

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Torath View Post
    Spoiler: Sun elf 'captain' question
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    Is the captain of the sun elves at The Breach the same one we see later in Season three 'capturing" Amaya?
    Spoiler
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    Yes. Unless she has an identical twin sister, that is.

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    Episode 2: Half Moon Lies

    Resolution to last week’s cliffhanger: it was indeed the rose, not because it had magical properties, but because thorns hurt one's fingers. And then Callum broke it up because of the established fact that he is friends with all of them. I LOVE the practicality of these things.

    Best out-of-context exchange:

    “I just want to make you’re on mission, not just having fun.”
    “You built a zip line today!”
    “I took no joy in that!”

    So, Soren is taking the suicide-by-cholesterol approach to assassination. And, hey, “accident” is technically what his dad said! But still, if I had to pick just one of the siblings for Team Viren, it would be Soren. He’s trying, in his extremely lunkish way, for underhanded tactics to evil ends. “I took no joy in that” is probably something Viren tells himself a lot (and he, unlike Soren, is no longer honest when he says it.)

    Claudia, meanwhile, though still very content as a dark mage (I would’ve gone for those pancakes, myself, after two mornings of illusion-coated millipedes) is accommodating to Callum’s distaste for dark magic, ready to make Zim into a thousand cat memes, and (this should not have been a surprise, but it was) sufficiently honest to beat Rayla to the punch.

    Ouch, by the way.

    Soren lying about Harrow’s death indicates nothing about his knowledge of events. He’s as impulsive as Viren without the brains to back it up. But dang. Low. I think it might end up the final push to a Sibling Rivalry: his attempt to be “sporting” got him bushwhacked, his attempt to “use his words” got him nowhere… maybe next he’ll attempt to be honest, like Claudia was, and reveal his mission? That one’s not going to skate on the “friends since forever” card, and the lesson he draws is liable to be "virtue will get you nowhere." The rift may well be permanent.

    The romance between Claudia and Callum is surprisingly real and sweet and may not go anywhere, not for any cringingly histrionic reason like the entirety of Korra, but just because, y’know, they’re teenagers and kind of unprepared. It’s not as plotty as I imagined, which is also good, because what it put in plot’s stead was humanity.

    Also… Lou Jane? Let’s just stick to Moon Sage… her bad advice about deception and her consequent three ex-husbands. Point being, Mr. Ehasz understands how actual romance works, and it is wonderful.

    Who-knows-what tally: Claudia knows about the Nexus, and also knows about the Moon Sage but doesn’t think she’s actually real. Both siblings know about the Dragon Prince. Viren knows, for the time being, only that there is a stylish red chair in a crystalline room he’s never seen before, but also that the mirror operates by exposure to lots of fire.

    I conclude that Regina Draconis is a fire-breather and could have jump-started this plot four months early if Viren hadn’t stolen her mirror for the fairly flimsy reasons that a) it was near her sleeping-place and b) it had runes on. (It would have been a pretty awesome twist if it really had been just a mirror.)

    Oh, and Ezran does not know that Harrow is dead. Please don’t let it be Soren who tells him?
    Don't blame me. I voted for Kodos.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DomaDoma View Post
    Oh, and Ezran does not know that Harrow is dead. Please don’t let it be Soren who tells him?
    Without giving any spoilers one way or another: Mwah hah hah hah hah!

    Lujane (Moon Mage) is hoot. So much useless advice, and she's not even self-aware enough to see how useless it is!

    You're quite right about Soren. All the impulsiveness of his father with none of the wit to back it up.
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    Episode 3: Smoke and Mirrors

    ...is a reference, of course, to the climactic getaway at the end, but much more literally to the mysterious exchange (exchange-like sequence of events?) between Viren and the Opening Credits Unscroller whom I will hereafter refer to as Starskin. (And who, incidentally, is about as difficult as V to pin down for a pronoun, at least until they get a line of dialogue.) I gather that Regina Draconis had a line open to this personage, which means that, assuming she did indeed dispatch Runaan's assassins (which I have no reason to doubt), Starskin is probably of a like mind: read, probably not really regretful about the divided kingdom situation, as I'd imagined they were.

    (Regina Draconis is not a forgiving sort. I really do need to keep that in mind. Central plot point, guys.)

    Anyway, Starskin has twigged to Viren's observation. Bad news for him, no doubt, but he'll weather it. If Viren's not a prime player, this show has lost half its essence.

    Back to the climactic getaway: the siblings are both, as I was inclined to believe, Team Viren. But there is still this distinction: Claudia is there because she imagines she's doing what's right, but Soren is there because he imagines he's doing what he must.

    And this distinction, too, just to add a wrinkle to things: Claudia will think it good and proper to return to Castle Katolis and admit failure, whereas Soren will probably prefer to press on until either there is success or the two of them can get themselves good and lost. The dice are still very much in the air as to where these two eventually land. But one thing's certain: if they do go back to Katolis, the Moon Nexus is in trouble.

    I did see it coming, that Rayla would be forgiven the instant Callum found himself in her shoes. But the fact remains: he had the moment. He squandered it. And, just to bring it home, rode off on the Journey Ahead exactly like episode three of the last season. Ezran is in for a lot of hurt and I am flinching I know not how far in advance.

    (Nice callback to the sandwich joke, though.)

    Miscellany:

    Azimondias is pretty okay with Ezran's backpack. At least sometimes. Good to know.

    Ellis has nothing to do with anything, she's fine, also good to know. (If there were any line of communication to Team Zim, might not put it past Soren to try a hostage situation. But there's not.)

    That phoenix is going to want to return to Lujane, right? I mean, I can understand under the circumstances why the phoenix was gifted without fanfare, but still, probably showier than it's worth and also definitely not having any personal bond with any of them.

    While Viren's obsessing for hours on end over the mirror in his murder-dungeon, I presume his council colleagues are busy actually running the kingdom. I'm inclined to think this won't matter in the long run, but it's fun to imagine it would.
    Don't blame me. I voted for Kodos.

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    Episode 4: Voyage of the Ruthless

    Okay, the question that really needs addressing at this point: are elves actually morally superior to humans in this world?

    My bold answer: Slightly.

    By this point, we know that elves are:

    -Patient and unhurried.
    -Unmoved by money.
    -Not hypocritical (although Runaan and Rayla have both danced pretty close to that line.)
    -Accepting of cure li'l three-legged wolf puppies.
    -Not, in fact, responsible for starting a violent war.

    On the other hand, we have seen elves to be:

    -Vengeful.
    -Dishonest.
    -Capable of divorce.
    -Racist as all git-out and responsible thereby for the divided kingdom.

    So, where does Starskin fit in? He (I'm going with "he") certainly has got patience in spades. The whole encounter between him and Viren is presented as a beautiful opportunity, tragically crushed under the moving wheels of war and usurpation.

    And yet, I think I'm going with my first assessment.

    Viren knows nothing of Starskin or his chamber. He just burned a bunch of stuff and lo, Starskin was there in front of his own mirror.

    Starskin knows that Viren is a human and has a mirror he doesn't quite understand, and I daresay he has a shrewd idea how that came to pass. Not the basis for a beautiful friendship.

    What, then, was the ritual? Getting Viren to work some dark magic on himself, maybe. No longer sure that elves can't do it, because it takes a lot to bamboozle Viren on a point like that, and he could else have cut his hand first, just as he drank the cup.

    But the wistful tone of the exchange may, nonetheless, be justified. Viren is honestly, ravenously curious. That's the only reason he would ever play ball with an elf like that. It speaks to how he might have began: as a scholar who loved learning about Xadia for learning's own sake.

    Meanwhile, as Viren's been sitting in front of a mirror at all hours (totally noticed among castle staff, by the way), the Breach has officially become a Front and the Pentarchy is about to convene. Awkward questions about royal seals will probably not loom too large, under the circumstances, but at the same time Viren is sounding pretty oh genocidal about it. In front of the waitstaff, too bad the guy's utterly spineless.

    Where is the Crow Lord, anyway?

    As for Team Zim, human jokes aside, this was a silly throwaway episode. Just two points to consider:

    1. That parrot is sentient. Probably has a Moon Arcanum, the way he mercilessly screws with captain and passengers alike, but come to think of it have we met a land vertebrate that was NOT sentient? Ezran?

    2. Callum has almost certainly not given up on his dreams of magehood. Whether Primal or Dark, that's bound to present a serious

    wait wait wait hold the phone here

    Human mages can use Primal Stones. Why? Because they're there, basically. Animals with Arcana? Probably the same deal. I think that's what dark magic is... and Callum probably hasn't a clue.

    Hopes for next time: Soren and Claudia are in it and Callum doesn't unwittingly reinvent the black arts.
    Don't blame me. I voted for Kodos.

  25. - Top - End - #25
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    Default Re: The Dragon Prince: A Blind Viewing

    Okay, the question that really needs addressing at this point: are elves actually morally superior to humans in this world?
    My bold answer: Slightly.
    I would say not at all.
    Seemingly, elves have a longer lifespan. So its much easier for them to be patient. And for that matter, patience is not always a virtue.
    It can just as easily lead to stagnation.

    And its also very easy to judge other species use of magic, when your born with it yourself.
    So i dont think we can say anything besides that elves are different.

    Human mages can use Primal Stones. Why? Because they're there, basically. Animals with Arcana? Probably the same deal. I think that's what dark magic is... and Callum probably hasn't a clue.
    It has been explained already that human mages can use primal stones, because everyone can.
    Primal stones are a captured Arcana. And so the bypass the whole issue of not having one.
    Dark magic is a bit the same. Again bypassing the lack of inate magic by taking it from something thats naturally magical.
    thnx to Starwoof for the fine avatar

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    ClericGirl

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    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    I would say not at all.
    Seemingly, elves have a longer lifespan. So its much easier for them to be patient. And for that matter, patience is not always a virtue.
    It can just as easily lead to stagnation.
    Patience is a means-virtue. Example: Patience is good for the ends of the Thalmor. Impatience is bad for the ends of the Nords. The Imperials are more patient than the Nords but not really clear on what to do with that time so a fat lot of good it does them. So the end is the real rub, but patience, once all the other variables are in place, is better for its practitioner than the alternative.

    Change versus stagnation is, of course, dead neutral depending on what the status quo and the change in question are. Lothlorien is stagnant, which is what makes it just this side of holy. My read on Starskin is that he is sticking immovably by the hallowed precept of "HUMANS OUT," which is bad. Viren is all about change and revolution, which is considerably worse. Team Zim are also about change and revolution, and that's good.

    Anyway, this one will be a twofer, it couldn't not be, but I did write part one in advance.

    Episode 5: Breaking the Seal

    ...is an event that happens in this episode! Only at the end, of course, cliff-hang-mongerer that Mr. Ehasz is, but either Viren is eavesdropping on Harrow's bedroom banter and then relaying it to a twelve-year-old girl as a supporting point for how awesome dark magic is, or the breaking of the seal is just part of a continuous true narrative.

    Bad news first. To wit: Mr. Ehasz gets romance. He gets friendship. But as regards monarchy.... good grief.

    You're a ruler with a consort and an infant heir. Your people are on the brink of starvation. The line of succession goes to your consort first, I think, in this universe. So what do you do but take your consort into battle with a giant lava monster. Which battle, of course, is in fact going to end up killing three of these people. Okay, we don't know that Serai and Anya's parents die fighting the Titan, I haven't seen the next episode, but on the other hand of course they will.

    Actually, I'm not clear on whether Anya's parents have a regnant-consort relationship. They seem to bear themselves like perfect (very formal) equals who collaborate on the very same decisions. I'll admit that that has been done in the history of governance, but it never went, y'know, well, and that's without being married into the bargain.

    Anyway the point is they are all risking a succession crisis which does in fact come to pass in both kingdoms. Slap them.

    Meanwhile in Xadia, Thunder didn't think to hire a night shift.

    Meanwhile in Katolis, no one is fixing to assassinate the king for his starvation policy.

    But I'll give you this: Harrow, though his speech about Lady Justice sounds like something out of a '90s Montessori assembly (is inter-human racism even a thing in this universe?), he is very much the Just Fantasy King in practice. (He could, into the bargain, have taken a leaf out of Queen Definitely-Not-Anya's-Birth-Mother's book and joined the breadlines. Viren wouldn't mind, either, I think - he strikes me as the sort who eats to live when he doesn't forget to eat.)

    And Anya was definitely written with an eye to history. I dig her.

    Now, this Titan concept, in and of itself, does make sense on its face even now. So here, I think, is the catch: it's at the expense, not just of one rock titan (and three monarchs with a death wish), but of Xadia as a whole. How? I don't know. But we'll find out: something happened to change Harrow's mind, and Serai's death wasn't it.

    Okay but the character stuff. What a wealth of it we have here.

    Harrow was already married with two children at the time of the coronation. It seems a purely happy occasion, so I'm guessing his surviving parent had been dying for quite some time. He suffers from the "illusion of childhood" hardcore despite being maybe twenty-eight at minimum: what does it mean to be king? JAM TARTS IN BED. And he chooses, in the end, to spend his last moments with the family portrait - perhaps Serai in particular - which is sort of a tacit slap in Viren's face, isn't it? Well, tacit to him. Quite overt to Viren, I'm sure.

    Harrow is a servant. That's why he judges common-law matters among bakers and is willing to sacrifice even his own people to see that others don't starve. Viren is a servant. Like Harrow. Because wasn't that rock-titan episode just the most fantastic accomplishment? Those were the days.

    Viren already has the staff at this time. Maybe it has less horrifying uses than that we've seen, but then again maybe it doesn't. We'll see.

    Amaya has "slain monsters before." (By the way, what a colossal early blunder on Callum's part. I want to read AUs where he DOES just tell Amaya what's going on with Rayla.) This event, then, also contributes to Amaya's anti-Xadian ferocity, and quite possibly also her hostility toward Viren. Hmmmm.

    Soren and Claudia might be in the custody of their beautiful-but-ditzy mother at this point. Divorce is a thing and Viren can't be easy for a wife to live with and in any case they are totally absent from this flashback.

    Meanwhile in the present, Viren is lying about Ezran's presence in Katolis. That'll damage him, if it comes out, but the Sunfire Elves will fix his standing quick enough. Or maybe he could be voted down because of some additional context re: the Great Titan Miracle courtesy of Anya. Like, say, that succession crisis she's had to weather for the past nine years. Either way, there is an invasion and that's the point.

    Meanwhile, Ezran and Zim are mirroring one another in their sleep. Not sure what to make of that or of Bait's resulting gray skin. Either he wants to stop something or he's just jealous that Ezran is bonding so well with a creature other than himself, but regardless the mirroring is weird.

    As to the effect on Callum from breaking the seal-- I'm going to say the Xadian repercussions I hypothesize are going to be foremost (in terms of what Callum does now, rather than finding out how his mother died which is obviously going to be the biggest.) Maybe he'll be prevented thereby from accidentally inventing dark magic? Here's hoping!

    Soren and Claudia are not in it, even as moppets. I don't care. Rulership issues aside, this is awesome.


    Episode 6: Heart of a Titan

    "So then you killed Thunder out of revenge and started this war you colossal idiot, you have ZERO idea how to commit resources, and you want to command MY army?"

    That's what Anya should have said. Instead, she seems to talk as though the choice before her is "war or nah" rather than "massive strike force under Viren or defend your own borders." I'm a little disappointed in her and I don't see why her beside-the-point utilitarian conceit swayed the other three kings so immediately.

    But I am severely disappointed in her parents. I mean, they both elect to sacrifice themselves and then Viren comes to buy them time and perhaps escape and they're all NOPE let's commit to Operation Die As Fast As Possible. For Anya. And we know how that went. Ghghgghghhh.

    It wouldn't chafe me so badly if they weren't presented as so noble for it.

    But let us back up. The battle with the Magma Titan actually goes pretty okay for the named characters. It's just that it leaves wounded, including Amaya, which slows them up in time for Thunder to show up okay suddenly I LOVE this unguarded-border plot device. That was a legit dilemma. Harrow did the only thing he would ever do, and it was probably not the right move - Serai probably could take care of herself and Amaya and Wounded Footsoldier #27 for one night. But all the same my first thought was "ah, so THAT'S how she dies." Crossed Harrow's mind, too, I have no doubt.

    But of course she instead dies to save Viren.

    Dude.

    I have no words.

    Viren's staff has, at least, legitimate battle uses, but only in conjunction with the Primal Stone, which of course he no longer has. So.

    Lots of philosophical tangents in this episode, so here goes:

    History is properly about love rather than power. PREACH.

    Learn from history but ultimately don't be shackled to it... PREACH in the abstract, but I think that's what Anya's supposed to have done, and she kind of missed the mark. Also, it is totally what Viren is doing.

    Know yourself and you'll always know what to do in every circumstance that befalls you... I mean, better genuine than fake when it comes to skillset and monetary exchange, but not so much with morality. I mean, the firstfruits of Viren's mind are the firstfruits of his hand. He knows himself, and he acts accordingly in every situation. Combine with the "don't be shackled to history" moral: he doesn't know the order of his loyalties from moment to moment and that's what makes him such a terrifying loose cannon. Runaan knows his loyalties, but he's too fixed in the momentum of events. Rayla knows her loyalties, AND knows which is the highest calling even if it's just turned up. Here the show's morals in practice are far better than its morals as stated.

    Anyhow, the cliffhanger: I'm not sure where Team Zim are at present, but there is definitely a dragon somewhere in human skies. If the Moonshadow Elves are making war and the Sunfire Elves are making war and Xadia is generally on the same page, I'm guessing that dragon is there to make war. We've got a ticking clock here: can peace be made before too many fresh resentments make it impossible?

    Complaints have been filed about the way the kingdoms are run around here, but I still cannot wait to see what comes next.
    Don't blame me. I voted for Kodos.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    ClericGirl

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    Episode 7: Fire and Fury

    Did I ever imply that Harrow's death was the most maddening possible central mystery? You will have to excuse me. I had not met Starskin yet.

    Definitely a guy, now we've heard him talk. He makes James Earl Jones sound feminine.

    But what is this guy's game? Why does he get to unfurl the opening credits? What's his connection to the mirror? I think I may have to find alternatives to the idea that the Dragon Queen is a fire-breather who was using the thing (I do so reluctantly: that definitely is a fire-breather who just learned the Dragon Prince was alive and went off to share the news), because what would that leave? He was imprisoned by the Dragon Royal Family centuries ago for some unspeakable evil, in a luxury two-room prison with a severe blind spot, access to alchemical materials, and a magic mirror he is perfectly capable of exploiting? Or maybe no blind spot and two magic mirrors? You know, as you do? But regardless of the scenario I am hard-pressed to account for his solitude excepting some sort of imprisonment. He can't be lying about it. It could not be clearer he wants access to a wider world than he currently inhabits. Maybe the best call was for the Dragon Royal Family to smash the mirror. Maybe that destruction would have Repercussions, so the best they could do was to keep an eye on it. But wherever I turn there are serious questions of how Starskin's living situation ever came to pass.

    But a couple things are, at least, clearer.

    1. Compared to this guy, Viren is only a dabbler, magically speaking. Let's go ahead and say he is Rumaris. That spoils perhaps the finest name you could give a palette-swapped Drizzt clone in Elder Scrolls, but on the other hand, if Starskin is Rumaris, Callum is most definitely going to be looking for details on the guy and that is a powerful plot thickener.

    2. Unless, for the sheer sake of subversion, the show is going to go with something less completely awesome, Starskin is shaping up to be the Stormbringer to Viren's Elric. The Audrey II to his Seymour. The Xykon to his Redcloak. (If TVTropes doesn't have a name for this, please remedy that at once. I suggest "The Apprentice Hires The Master.") Whether he keeps his hold on Viren would depend, I guess, on the extent of their agreement about Xadia. Whether he becomes too powerful to care by that point is another dimension again.

    Meanwhile!

    -Soren might be dying. Or quadriplegic, in a situation where he was already supposed to be abandoned on the field, so let's go with "doomed" all around unless what's wrong with him is something easier to fix.
    -Callum used dark magic and it was fine, seriously. Obviously the best choice there. But it will definitely complicate the poor red dragon's report. Like, those guys shot him down with a dark magic ballista bolt and those guys who apparently are friends with the Dragon Prince, who is apparently alive, saved him by dark magic, and they all seem to know each other. The whole thing being staged is not out of the question.
    -On the other hand, in the likely bad case, you could say that Callum indirectly killed Soren.
    -The dragon was... scouting, I guess. Being a mobile garrison. The whole thing where dragons can't talk to most bipeds is a serious diplomatic handicap, generally. I'm sure there's some subcategory of elves that's more fortunate, but humans other than Ezran... yeah, Ezran is going to be critical in the grand scheme.
    -Ezran is still best kid. He is making foolish kid mistakes and he continues to be the best.
    -Oh and it seems Anya followed up on that "regent" business. Good on her.

    Much more on Starskin next week, I'm sure!
    Don't blame me. I voted for Kodos.

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