There’s Alchemy to be found in Netflix’s The Dragon Prince

23 Sep

Netflix’s The Dragon Prince is a curious beast. This action adventure fantasy series gets far more intriguing in the latter half of the nine-episode season. It combines some high fantasy style trappings from Lord of the Rings with the humour from Avatar: The Last Airbender. When considering series co-creator Aaron Ehasz was head writer and director of the latter, he’s bringing some of that award-winning formula into this new work instead of trying to reinvent the wheel.

In the world of Xadia, the elves are not your traditional kind. They are the protectors of dragon-kind. They are also different looking. In addition to their pointy ears, they sport satyr-like horns and speak with a Gaelic lilt. When considering the literary figure hails from Scandinavian and British sources, this oddity is not too weird. For the humans, they seem very atypical. Of course, a handful of them will do anything it will take to become absolute rulers.

Instead of the one ring, an egg which the humans stole needs to be returned whence it came. As the title of the series implies, it will eventually hatch into the Dragon Prince. Upon his return to mother, the two races have nothing to fight over. But a greater evil exists; ever since certain humans discovered black magic (alchemy to be specific), these individuals will stop at nothing to harvest the abilities of others for their own needs. This includes dragons. Shades of Dragonlance can be felt here.

The first nine episodes (season one) sets up a larger story arc. Life seems to be relatively peaceful for two young princes, Ezran and Callum, from the Katolis kingdom. But after meeting a would-be elven assassin, Rayla, and together they find the egg everyone wants was not destroyed, the trio plan to do the right thing and return the object to its mother. Of course, not everyone agrees.

The Dragon Prince has a strong back history which keeps me interested. I like this show more than Netflix’s Disenchanted. The thought of dark magic users are using alchemy—where various creatures are being distilled into essences—to fuel creations or new spells is appealing. There’s more to Viren, the mage advisor to the king than meets the eye. He may well be the series chief villain.

Just as important is with how magic users are revered. The series introduction holds this ability in high regard, and anyone with this ability is considered special. Callum shows some ability and requires a master to teach him the finer points. Dragons are generally regarded as highly magical creatures (especially in Dungeons and Dragons). Ignoring the fact the series is about one prince, I feel all of them (featured so far) will be important. They may well be the Princes of the Universe, all of them born to be kings of their mutual factions.

4½ Stars out of 5

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