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On Ninjago’s Tale of Benthomaar & King Trimaar

FEAF8B65-87BA-4019-8023-1AB5133A9AD0By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

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Spoiler Alert

“The Tale of Benthomaar” is a very tragic story about an aquatic kingdom at the edge of entering a civil war. It’s hard to tell if Merlopia is politically divided because there aren’t enough supporting characters taking sides. Kalmaar’s hatred for the surface world existed even as a child, and all this episode shows is (maybe) a legion of soldiers accepting his edict.

Benthomaar’s innocence is truly that, and he’s neither human nor a squid. He wasn’t a survivor of a nearby sunken ship as he can breathe underwater. As for whether he’ll become Aquaman of this world, more episodes are needed. If he’s to take over, he needs more than Lloyd, Kai, Cole, Jay, Zane and Nya at his side. He’s going to need the various aquatic species to help and he doesn’t know how to speak manatee.

After a successful escape, Bentho finally tells the group how he came to be part of this kingdom. The info doesn’t add to what’s already known. The time-line, like how long Merlopia has been around, is the only detail given expansion. King Trimaar is a compassionate ruler and his blood son, Kalmaar, is stone cold. His obsession with Wojira is hammered in, and there’s not a lot of additional information offered to this eighth episode of the Seabound saga.

It’s safe to assume the prince will fall, but as for whether the next in line can rule, that’s tough to say. Even in flashback, neither he nor Bentho prove themselves capable to lead a kingdom. Kalmar is immersed in his studies (trying to find Wojira’s lair) and I’m not certain how many loyalists he has gained since.

Bentho is enjoying his life at the palace, and I’m curious why he isn’t doing more to discover life beyond the palace. He has his sports, and that says little. He doesn’t ask questions. Plus, I’m still curious how a human remains a human here. I suspect there’s other kingdoms hidden in the deep, perhaps in the Abyssmal Zone, to note where he truly came from. He’s capable of navigating the deepest waters of this world without issue. The fact humanoids can exist in deep water explains how Nya’s bloodline may be from here, and why they are capable of magically controlling the water element.

This season will not conclude as cleanly as Masters of the Mountain. Queen Vania’s offer to help Lloyd and team is not a throwaway statement. I fully expect heaven, land, air and sea to unite in some epic conflict still to come.

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