The Dragon Prince

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The Dragon Prince
The Dragon Prince.jpg
Promotional poster
Genre
Created by
Written by
Directed by
Voices of
Composer(s)Frederik Wiedmann
Country of origin
  • United States
  • Canada
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes18 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Running time25–27 minutes
Production company(s)
DistributorNetflix
Release
Original networkNetflix
Original releaseSeptember 14, 2018 (2018-09-14) –
present (present)
External links
Official website

The Dragon Prince is a fantasy computer-animated television series created for Netflix by Aaron Ehasz and Justin Richmond[1] and produced by Wonderstorm. The first season premiered on September 14, 2018. A second season was released on February 15, 2019.[2] A third season has been confirmed.[3] A video game set in the same world as the series is in development.[4]

Setting and synopsis[edit]

The series is set in a fantasy world on the continent of Xadia, which is rich with magic derived from six primal elements: The Sun, the Moon, the Stars, the Earth, the Sky and the Ocean. However, the humans - who could not utilize primal magic - discovered the use of dark magic, which is fueled by the life essence of animals and magical creatures.[5] As a consequence, they were driven off by the dragons and elves of Xadia to the other end of the continent, where they founded the five human kingdoms. The Breach, the border between the two halves of the continent, was guarded by Thunder, the king of dragons.

Now, after humans killed the dragon king and his egg, war is imminent. The elves attempt to assassinate the human king Harrow and his heir, the young prince Ezran, in retaliation for the egg's destruction. One among the elves, the young Rayla, along with Ezran and his older half-brother Callum, discovers that the dragon king's egg wasn't in fact destroyed, but stolen by the mage Viren, King Harrow's advisor. Together they undertake to return the egg to the dragons to prevent war between the humans and elves. But Viren, intent on conflict, seizes power after the king dies in the assassination attempt, and sends his children Claudia and Soren after the fugitives to kill the princes and recover the egg at all costs.

Voice cast and characters[edit]

Protagonists[edit]

  • Callum (Jack DeSena), Ezran's 14-year-old half-brother[6] and King Harrow's stepson. In the course of the series, he becomes the first human ever to wield primal magic.
  • Rayla (Paula Burrows), a 15-year-old Moonshadow Elf assassin who sides with Callum and Ezran.
  • Ezran (Sasha Rojen), the 10-year-old crown prince of Katolis and Callum's younger half-brother who has the ability to speak with animals.

Humans[edit]

  • Viren (Jason Simpson), King Harrow's advisor, a practitioner of dark magic and the series' primary antagonist.
  • Claudia (Racquel Belmonte), Viren's daughter, a somewhat ditzy dark mage and Callum's first romantic interest.
  • Soren (Jesse Inocalla), Viren's son, a braggish, dim-witted soldier.
  • King Harrow of Katolis (Luc Roderique), Ezran's father and Callum's stepfather.
  • Queen Sarai of Katolis (Kazumi Evans), Ezran and Callum's mother who died several years before the series' beginning.
  • General Amaya, the deaf maternal aunt of Callum and Ezran who communicates in sign language,[7] and commander of an Katolian outpost at the Breach.
  • Commander Gren (Adrian Petriw), Amaya's deputy.
  • Corvus (Omari Newton), one of Amaya's scouts.
  • Ellis (Nahanni Mitchell), a young mountain girl.
  • Opeli (Paula Burrows), a prominent member of Katolis' High Council.
  • Aanya (Zelda Ehasz), the juvenile Queen of Duren.
  • Captain Villads (Peter Kelamis), a blind and eccentric ex-pirate.

Elves and other denizens of Xadia[edit]

  • Aaravos (Erik Todd Dellums), a Startouch Elf[5] and master of both primal and dark magic, who is using Viren to accomplish his own goals.
  • Runaan (Jonathan Holmes), the leader of the Moonshadow Elf assassins sent to kill King Harrow.
  • Lujanne (Ellie King), a Moonshadow Elf illusionist who lives in the human realms near a focal area for primal moon magic.

Animals and magical beasts[edit]

  • Azymondias ("Zym"), an infant sky dragon and the titular Dragon Prince.
  • Bait, Ezran's grumpy Glow Toad pet.
  • Thunder, the late King of the Dragons, archdragon of the sky, and Azymondias' father.
  • Sol Regem, the archdragon of the sun.
  • Ava, Ellis' three-legged wolf friend.
  • Pip, King Harrow's pet bird of prey.
  • Phoe-Phoe, Lujanne's Moon Phoenix companion.
  • Berto (Paula Burrows), Villads' parrot first mate.

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

The series was first announced on July 10, 2018.[8] It was co-created by Aaron Ehasz and Justin Richmond.[8] Ehasz was the head writer and co-executive producer of the animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender, and a longtime writer and story editor for Futurama, while Richmond co-directed the video game Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception.[9] Giancarlo Volpe, a former director for Avatar, is an executive producer.[9]

The Dragon Prince is produced by Wonderstorm, a multimedia production studio co-founded in 2017, by Ehasz, Richmond, and Justin Santistevan to work both on The Dragon Prince and a related video game,[9][10] and animated by Vancouver-based studio Bardel Entertainment.

The Dragon Prince is also the first children's television series to present a homosexual relationship openly.[11]

Style[edit]

The Dragon Prince is created using three-dimensional computer animation. A reduced frame rate was applied to the first season to offset "floatiness";[12] the frame rate was adjusted for the second season in response to fan feedback.[13] Backgrounds are done by a mix of 3D-modeling and hand-painting.[14]

Writing[edit]

The ending of season 2 was changed from the original plan in order to stay true to what the characters would choose.[15] According to Ehasz, one of the creative team's fundamental goals regarding The Dragon Prince is "to portray a fantasy world that feels more diverse and representative than fantasy worlds and stories we’ve seen in the past."[15]

Release[edit]

The Dragon Prince is available on the streaming service Netflix, in all territories where the streaming service is available.[16] The first season was released on September 14, 2018.[1] Episodes were released simultaneously, as opposed to a serialized format, to encourage binge-watching, a format which has been successful for other Netflix original series.[17]

A trailer was released in July 2018 at the San Diego Comic-Con.[1] The first season premiered in September 2018. A second season, announced in October 2018,[18] was released on February 15, 2019.[2]

Episodes[edit]

SeasonSubtitleEpisodesOriginally released
1Book 1: Moon9September 14, 2018 (2018-09-14)
2Book 2: Sky9February 15, 2019 (2019-02-15)

Season 1 (2018)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
11"Echoes of Thunder"Giancarlo VolpeAaron Ehasz & Justin RichmondSeptember 14, 2018 (2018-09-14)
A prologue explains the setting: Long ago, humans used dark magic and were driven off by dragons and elves. Now, after humans killed the dragon king and his egg, war is imminent. Elven assassins assemble to kill the human king Harrow and his heir Ezran. The youngest among them, Rayla, is disavowed after she shows mercy to a guard.
22"What Is Done"Giancarlo VolpeAaron Ehasz & Justin RichmondSeptember 14, 2018 (2018-09-14)
Harrow rejects his advisor Viren's plan to foil the assassins by swapping the king's soul into another body. Rayla infiltrates the castle on her own, intent on killing Harrow and Ezran, but relents after Ezran shows her the dragon king's egg that was believed destroyed.
33"Moonrise"Giancarlo VolpeDevon Giehl & Iain HendrySeptember 14, 2018 (2018-09-14)
Rayla, Ezran and Callum decide to return the egg to the dragons to prevent war, but they can convince neither Viren's daughter, the mage Claudia, nor the leader of the assassins, Runaan, of their plan. They are forced to flee with the egg as the other assassins begin their assault. They are defeated and Runaan is captured.
44"Bloodthirsty"Villads SpangsbergDevon Giehl & Iain HendrySeptember 14, 2018 (2018-09-14)
King Harrow is cremated and Viren, appointing himself Lord Protector, declares war on the elves. Callum discovers his magic talents, and that he carries a rare primal stone of sky magic. The three fugitives arrive at the royal winter lodge, where General Amaya, their aunt, catches up with them. Rayla's presence incites conflict, and the three flee again.
55"An Empty Throne"Villads SpangsbergAaron Ehasz & Justin RichmondSeptember 14, 2018 (2018-09-14)
The fugitives continue their journey to the elven lands. Beset by a river monster, Callum electrocutes it with magic. Rayla admits she's trying to redeem her parents, who fled instead of protecting the dragon king. Amaya refuses to let Viren assume the throne. After she leaves for the border garrison, Viren imprisons her deputy Gren.
66"Through the Ice"Villads SpangsbergAaron Ehasz & Justin RichmondSeptember 14, 2018 (2018-09-14)
Rayla fights off Corvus, one of Amaya's trackers searching for the boys. As the fugitives cross the mountains, she reveals that her ritual assassin's armband will eventually cut off her hand if Ezran doesn't die. The egg falls into icy water and loses its luster. Viren orders his son Soren to find and kill the princes, so that Viren can seize the throne.
77"The Dagger and the Wolf"Villads SpangsbergDevon Giehl & Iain HendrySeptember 14, 2018 (2018-09-14)
Disguised as a human, Rayla tries to cut off her armband with a human's magic blade, but fails. The boys seek help for the egg, and the young girl Ellis tells them of a healer who saved Ellis's wolf companion Ava. Soren and Claudia set out to find the princes.
88"Cursed Caldera"Villads SpangsbergAaron Ehasz & Justin RichmondSeptember 14, 2018 (2018-09-14)
Chased out of town, the fugitives and Ellis seek out the healer atop the Cursed Caldera. A monster leech chases them up a rock, but working together, they manage to defeat it. Viren fails to extract information about his magic mirror from the captive Runaan, and traps him in a coin with dark magic.
99"Wonderstorm"Villads SpangsbergAaron Ehasz & Justin RichmondSeptember 14, 2018 (2018-09-14)
The fugitives are set upon by a giant spider, but Ezran recognizes it as an illusion. The "healer" is revealed as Lujanne, an elven illusionist. Callum sacrifices his primal stone to save the egg by hatching it. The baby dragon Azymondias ("Zym") emerges, chewing off Rayla's constricting armband. Using magic, Claudia and Soren locate the fugitives' position.

Season 2 (2019)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
101"A Secret and a Spark"Villads SpangsbergAaron Ehasz & Justin RichmondFebruary 15, 2019 (2019-02-15)
The High Council opposes Viren's intention to call on the Pentarchy, a summit of the five human kingdoms. He steals the king's seal in order to be able to do so. Rayla, Callum, Ezran and Ellis recuperate with Lujanne. She shows Callum the places of power of the Moonshadow elves, and tells him that, as a human, he can't do magic without a primal stone. Zym tries and fails to fly. On patrol, Rayla is ambushed by Claudia and Soren.
112"Half Moon Lies"Villads SpangsbergAaron Ehasz & Justin RichmondFebruary 15, 2019 (2019-02-15)
Viren interrogates his magic mirror but learns nothing. Callum stops the fight between Rayla and Soren. Claudia and Soren attempt to persuade the princes to return with them. On Viren's orders, Soren attempts to engineer an "accident" for Ezran but fails because of Rayla. Callum, though seized by his crush on Claudia, rejects her offer to learn dark magic. On a moonlit date, they almost kiss until Claudia reveals Harrow's death.
123"Smoke and Mirrors"Villads SpangsbergDevon Giehl & Iain HendryFebruary 15, 2019 (2019-02-15)
Viren watches a mysterious elf's room through his mirror. Callum can't bring himself to tell Ezran that their father is dead. Claudia gives Callum a sealed letter by Harrow, and she and Soren join the fugitives on their mission. Underway, Viren's children turn on the fugitives. An intervention by Amaya's scout Corvus allows them to escape on Lujanne's phoenix, albeit without Ellis.
134"Voyage of the Ruthless"Villads SpangsbergNeil MukhopadbyayFebruary 15, 2019 (2019-02-15)
Amaya leads a patrol across the border, barely escaping a trap set by Sunfire Elves. The mysterious elf in the mirror notices Viren, and shows him a magical ritual. With their phoenix out of magic, the fugitives embark on an ocean crossing on the blind Captain Villads's ship. Callum attempts to reconnect to sky magic, and Zym is struck by lightning.
145"Breaking the Seal"Villads SpangsbergAaron Ehasz & Justin RichmondFebruary 15, 2019 (2019-02-15)
At the summit, Viren asks for a military alliance against the elves. To convince young Queen Aanya of Duren, Viren recounts how Harrow strove to be a just king. He helped Duren in a famine, even though his own people had no food to spare. To allow Viren's dark magic to feed both kingdoms, Harrow undertook a quest to slay a Xadian magma titan.
156"Heart of a Titan"Villads SpangsbergAaron Ehasz & Justin RichmondFebruary 15, 2019 (2019-02-15)
Viren continues to recount how he, Harrow, Harrow's wife Sarai, Amaya, and Duren's queens – Aanya's mothers – defeated the titan. But the Dragon King caught up with them, and the three queens sacrificed themselves to cover the retreat and save Viren. Nonetheless, Aanya rejects Viren's request of military help. In Harrow's last letter, he implores Callum to read history as a narrative of love instead of strength, and informs him about the magical relic he bears – the Key of Aaravos, ancient elven grandmaster of all magic.
167"Fire and Fury"Villads SpangsbergDevon Giehl & Iain HendryFebruary 15, 2019 (2019-02-15)
Claudia, Soren and the captive Corvus arrive at a town. Soren provokes a dragon into attacking the settlement, but Claudia's magic drives her off. Nearby, Ezran, Callum and Rayla watch the humans chaining up the wounded dragon. Rayla intervenes and, aided by Callum using dark magic, helps the dragon escape.
178"The Book of Destiny"Villads SpangsbergAaron Ehasz & Justin RichmondFebruary 15, 2019 (2019-02-15)
Corvus catches up to the fugitives, hailing Ezran as king. Traumatized from his use of dark magic, Callum is seized by fever dreams. The elf in the mirror reveals himself to Viren as Aaravos.
189"Breathe"Villads SpangsbergAaron Ehasz & Justin RichmondFebruary 15, 2019 (2019-02-15)
Ezran joins Claudia in town, revealing that he can talk to animals, and decides to assume his responsibility as king in Katolis. A vision of his mother helps Callum connect to the sky arcanum, one of the six sources of primal magic. The council has Viren arrested, but not before – with Aaravos's help – he creates shadow creatures to scare the other kingdoms into an alliance. Rayla, Callum and Zym continue their trek into Xadia, but encounter an obstacle in the ancient dragon Sol Regem.

Reception[edit]

Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reports that 100% of nine critics gave the series a positive review; the average rating is 7.8 out of 10.[19]

In an advance review of the first episode, IGN's Aaron Prune praised the series for "comfortably exploring dark story elements while giving audiences an assortment of lovable characters to engage with" and described it as a "worthwhile animated series for audiences of all ages."[20] Reviewing the first three episodes, Alex Barasch of Slate was also positive towards the series, saying that despite the "slightly shaky animation and some markedly shakier accents", fans of fantasy or Avatar: The Last Airbender will like it. Barasch especially praised the show's inclusivity—such as King Harrow and Ezran, who are both black—and Harrow's relationship with Viren, which he described as "most compelling aspects of the show".[21] Also reviewing the first three episodes, Gavia Baker-Whitelaw of The Daily Dot similarly reacted positively to the show's racial inclusion, writing that it "combines goofy humor with a solid basis for longterm storytelling and character development, [with] the character designs show[ing] a deep affection for the genre". She criticized Rayla's accent as "the worst part of the show", and the dearth of female characters.[22]

Video game[edit]

Concurrently with the series, Wonderstorm is developing a video game based on the series and expanding on its plot. The game will be a combat-based multiplayer game, but not an MMO. Players will be able to play as characters from the series. No information about supported platforms or release dates has been made available.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Patches, Matt; Haasch, Palmer (July 21, 2018). "Avatar: The Last Airbender team's new Netflix show The Dragon Prince drops first trailer". Polygon. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Marshall, Cass (January 12, 2019). "Season 2 of The Dragon Prince hits Netflix on Feb. 15". Polygon. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  3. ^ Griffin, David (March 30, 2019). "Netflix's The Dragon Prince: Season 3 Announcement and New Poster Revealed". IGN. Retrieved April 16, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Clark, Nicole; Zaragoza, Alex (January 17, 2019). "Get Hyped for the Upcoming 'Dragon Prince' Game". Vice. Retrieved January 18, 2019.
  5. ^ a b Radulovic, Petrana (February 15, 2019). "The end of The Dragon Prince season 2 forces everyone to grow up for season 3". Polygon. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  6. ^ Aaron Ehasz [@aaronehasz] (September 16, 2018). "They are half brothers. Callum is Harrow's step son. Sounds like the descriptive audio got it wrong? There is more story to tell about their mom, Queen Sarai, for sure... and if we are lucky to keep this going for a while I am sure we will learn about Callum's birth dad too" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  7. ^ Barasch, Alex (September 21, 2018). "How The Dragon Prince carefully handled General Amaya's deafness". Polygon. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  8. ^ a b Lovett, Jamie (July 10, 2018). "'The Dragon Prince' From 'Avatar: The Last Airbender' Writer Headed to Netflix". ComicBook. Pop Culture Media. Archived from the original on July 24, 2018. Retrieved January 10, 2019.
  9. ^ a b c Robinson, Tasha (July 10, 2018). "Netflix announces new animated series from Avatar: The Last Airbender writers". The Verge. Vox Media. Archived from the original on November 15, 2018. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
  10. ^ "About Us". Wonderstorm. Archived from the original on January 10, 2019. Retrieved January 10, 2019.
  11. ^ Hogan, Heather (February 18, 2018). "Netflix's "The Dragon Prince" Reveals Some Kickass Lesbian Queens". Autostraddle.com. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
  12. ^ "r/TheLastAirbender - We're the creators and showrunners of the newly released show, The Dragon Prince. Ask us anything!". reddit.
  13. ^ Petrana Radulovic; Cass Marshall (January 31, 2019). "The Dragon Prince season 2 changed animation styles in response to fans". Polygon.
  14. ^ thedragonprince (November 27, 2018). "The Dragon Prince Environments and Backgrounds".
  15. ^ a b Freeman, Molly (February 12, 2019). "Aaron Ehasz & Justin Richmond Interview: The Dragon Prince Season 2". Screen Rant.
  16. ^ "The Dragon Prince". Netflix. Archived from the original on January 9, 2019. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  17. ^ Pomerantz, Dorothy (May 29, 2013). "Binge Watching Is Our Future". Forbes. Integrated Whale Media. Archived from the original on January 9, 2019. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  18. ^ @NXOnNetflix (October 5, 2018). "Return to a world of magic, friendship, and dragons in 2019. Are you ready for Dragon Prince Season 2?" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  19. ^ "The Dragon Prince: Season 1 (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Archived from the original on January 9, 2019. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  20. ^ Pruner, Aaron (July 29, 2018). "Netflix's The Dragon Prince: Review - Comic Con 2018". IGN. J2 Global. Archived from the original on October 16, 2018. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  21. ^ Barasch, Alex (September 14, 2018). "The Dragon Prince Is an Engrossing Fantasy Set in a World As Diverse As Our Own". Slate. The Slate Group. Archived from the original on December 31, 2018. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  22. ^ Baker-Whitelaw, Gavia (September 7, 2018). "Review: Netflix's 'The Dragon Prince' Is a Charming Fantasy Adventure - With One Cringeworthy Flaw". The Daily Dot. Archived from the original on January 9, 2019. Retrieved January 9, 2019.

External links[edit]