TV Review: The Dragon Prince S2 (Spoilers!)

In September of last year, fans of animation and “Avatar: The Last Airbender” were able to sink their teeth into the amazing first season of “The Dragon Prince”, which was released on Netflix. Created by some “Avatar” alumni and then some, this new animated series gave children and adults alike a whole new world to explore, especially as the first season whet our appetites in terms of its potential and all the other things that can be explored within this show and maybe even franchise. Last February 15, 2019, Netflix released all nine episodes of the show’s second season, which continues to impress. Not only is the animation better, but this time around, we get even more world building, and our main characters are allowed to breathe a little which also gave time for much needed character development, while still leaving us with interesting story points that will drive the story going forward in season 3.

The second season, entitled “Book 2: Sky”, which had nine episodes, were all released on Netflix on February 15, 2019.

Image Source: The Dragon Prince Facebook Page

The second season of “The Dragon Prince” picked up where the first season left off, with the new little baby dragon prince being hatched, and with our main team staying for a couple of days with the Moon Mage Lujanne (Ellie King) at the Moon Nexus. However, the season not only follows our main team, but Soren (Jason Inocalla) and Claudia (Racquel Belmonte) as well, and also begins to show us how critical things are what with Sunfire Elves starting to show up at the Breach, and Lord Viren (Jason Simpson) trying to rally the human kingdoms in order to settle their long conflict with Xadia by means of force once and for all. This season also saw Rayla (Paula Burrows) stepping back from the limelight as the story progressed and in order to give room to the character arcs that Soren, Claudia, Callum (Jack de Sena) and Ezran (Sasha Rojen) went through this time around.

The second season was able to once again balance out both storytelling, character arcs, and world building well, just like the first season. And this time, they allowed us to have some time to further flesh out new locations, new concepts, and allowed us to develop the characters of our main cast a little bit more. (I’m also glad that it was mentioned how long it had been since they started their journey, which allowed it to make more sense as why they wanted to do more sitting and waiting for this leg of the journey before going on the move again.) We got to learn more about magic and the primal sources; see new elves; encounter interesting new characters; got our fill of great action sequences; and got some interesting backstory on both King Harrow (Luc Roderique) and his wife, the late great Queen Sarai.

Happy Rayla!
Image Source: The Dragon Prince Facebook Page

As I mentioned earlier, Rayla’s character arc took a step back a little bit this time around, but did not neglect both characterization and a character arc, albeit small.

Lord Viren wondering when the mirror would give up its secrets to him.
Image Source: The Dragon Prince Facebook Page

We got to see more of Viren’s backstory, as well as get to know Claudia and Soren a little bit more. From the very beginning of the series, it was plain to see that these three aren’t just your plain everyday antagonist, and the second season really played this up, as we got to realize all the shades of grey that are in their characters; and how complex they are. This is quite refreshing, and complex and complicated villains don’t usually appear on children’s television fare.

The two princes sharing a moment.
Image Source: The Dragon Prince Facebook Page

This season allowed Ezran to do more, as he tried to step up to the plate in terms of being a good role model and father figure to the newborn dragon prince. His trying to do this really informed his character arc, and allowed him to make a mature and wise, yet rather surprising decision by the end of the season.

This season, however, was truly Callum’s time to shine, as searched inwards in order to try to reconnect with magic, and his chosen primal source, the sky; and went through all sorts of challenges that tested him and allowed him to come out as a better person in the end.

I also like that we got hints of the dragon prince’s, Zym’s, own personality and character development, and I can’t wait to see where they will take that down the road.

The storytelling was paced well, and kept me hooked all the way until the end, with its smoother animation, and all the plot points that were left hanging for season 3 to answer.

The second season of “The Dragon Prince” really built upon what was already started, and felt bigger in scope than before. The Wonderstorm team did a great job at balancing character development, the pace in which its story is being told and world building all at the same time, while taking into consideration all the criticisms without having to pander to the fans or sacrificing its quality. This show still lives up to its potential and has the potential to become even better as seasons go by.

Now, you know the drill! From here on out, there will be spoilers!

This season did a lot to further the show’s overarching plot while giving us a lot of worldbuilding as well. They did the world building in a way that it didn’t feel like they were overwhelming us with too much information, although there were a lot of new concepts, areas, and characters that were given to us this season. Aside from this, the flashbacks about King Harrow and Queen Sarai not only allowed us to understand Ezran and Callum more, but it also shed some light on Viren as well.

A tragic, yet epic expedition.
Image Source: The Dragon Prince Facebook Page
Lord Viren practicing dark magic
Image Source: The Dragon Prince Facebook Page

Viren is a complex villain because, like his children, his motivations are actually good. He doesn’t want to burn down Xadia in the name of utter chaos and destruction, but because he wants to preempt the threat of imminent war by winning it before the other side can strike. He believes that this is what is best for the Human Kingdoms, and would go to any lengths in order to protect it. This, of course, is quite dangerous, especially as seen in this season with his alliance to the mysterious Star Touch Elf Aaravos (whose design is just so pretty), whom I think will end up being the true big bad by the end of the entire series. With the season ending with Viren taken into custody and sending out fake magical assassins to the other kingdoms; and with the Breach getting more susceptible to attacks by Sunfire Elves, it isn’t hard to see that war is truly just over the horizon for this world.

Aarovos, one of the most interesting new characters (with the best design ever) that debuted in this season.
Image Source: The Dragon Prince Official Website

Just like their father, both Claudia and Soren are painted in shades of gray. Both of them do want to please their father, but even more than that, they will both do everything in order to make sure that they are both safe.

Soren, their prisoner, and Claudia, trying to help a village from a dragon’s wrath.
Image Source: The Dragon Prince Facebook Page

We see that Soren does have a heart of gold, as he was glad that he was paralyzed as this would mean that he wouldn’t have to hurt his friends, Callum and Ezran. Of the two, I do believe that Soren will not really go down the slippery dark slope of villainy as much as his father and sister, and might be the one to wake them up from it.

Claudia does believe in being honest, although she won’t shy away from a little lying here and there sometimes. She truly believes that even though dark magic isn’t that great, she does try to do it for good, or what she believes is good. She would do anything for Soren, as seen in how she literally exhausts herself in performing a powerful spell that would allow him to walk again. Claudia does have the potential go down the slipper dark slope of villainy, and I think that we will be seeing this played up when war starts breaking out, as she’ll be using dark magic in order to protect her people. Again, only Soren will be able to keep her from becoming totally irredeemable.

Callum getting a lesson in Moon Magic from Lujanne.
Image Source: The Dragon Prince Facebook Page

As mentioned earlier, Callum had the biggest character arc this season. First off, he had to cope his step-father’s loss while on a quest, which didn’t give him much time to grieve. Aside from this, I’m pretty sure that he felt pressured to become a good example to his younger brother. At the same time, he was feeling frustrated because he lost the one thing that he felt that he was good at- magic-and there’s extra pressure there because he wants to be able to be useful to their little ragtag team. This came to a head when he saw how powerless he was to help Rayla, who decided to defend a fallen dragon, which led him to use dark magic although he is averse to it.

I found it interesting that the effect of using one dark magic spell was so strong on him, but I think that it was because not only is he a pure soul, but he does have the potential to become a really strong dark sorcerer if he so chose it. That struggle and that temptation to give in to dark magic was a character defining moment for him, and him rejecting it allowed him to gain the clarity that he needed in order to finally connect to the sky archanum and become the first ever human being to do magic without a primal stone.

I do have a feeling that Callum might be the antithesis of Aaravos, and we will have an avatar situation in which Callum will end up learning how to use every primal source to do magic, and then we’ll have an epic showdown between the two. Even though it may sound cheesy, I think that it would be pretty epic.

It was also great seeing Zym stepping up to the plate in the end and helping Rayla and Callum get across to enter Xadia. And since part of our team will be in Xadia, I think we’ll see Callum learning more magic, and Zym stepping up to the plate in showing the dragons that not all human beings are bad.

Callum, Bait, Ezran and Zym on their way to Xadia by ship.
Image Source: The Dragon Prince Facebook Page

Ezran grew up a lot in just these nine episodes, although his character arc wasn’t as big as Callum’s.

First off, he had to become an almost father figure to Zym while using his own natural abilities to connect to creatures and animals to try to teach him how to fly. In the end, he was able to do so using telepathic communication with the young dragon prince.

This allowed him to mature by forcing him to become responsible for someone other than himself, and taught him patience as well.

I was surprised at his decision to return to Katolis to rule his kingdom even though it went against what he truly desired- to continue on with the quest to return Zym to his mother. This shows great maturity on his part, and shows us that he’ll most probably be an even wiser king than his father was.

Him returning to Katolis will definitely be a wrench in Viren’s plans, as he’ll  most probably be crowned right away, and his special connection with Zym will definitely be a great catalyst to try and sow peace between the Human Kingdoms and Xadia.

There are also some very interesting theories circling around that do make me wonder if they are true, such as the theory that Harrow might have survived and might actually be in Pip’s body, but only time will tell.

For now, I’ll just sit back and relax as this wonderful tale unfolds, and as they start rolling out some exciting new things related to this world, which includes an actual game that will greatly flesh out the world they exist in.

Have you seen the second season of “The Dragon Prince”? What did you think about it? Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Image Source/s: The Dragon Prince Facebook Page, The Dragon Prince Official Website

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