Today, we move boldly into season 2 of The Dragon Prince and continue the story. If you missed the review for season 1, it can be found here.
My expectations for season 2 were higher than I’d normally give to most shows. Season 1 nailed all of the critical elements to create a perfect opening into a long form story, we learn the essential relevant history of the world, we are introduced to our key players, and we discover what forces are at work. In season 2, it needed to dig deeper into the motivations of the characters, learn their weaknesses, and watch them try and then fail to meet their goal.
And it totally does.
We end season 1 with the dragon egg hatching, which gave us a little closure as well as changing up the challenges going forward. In season 2 we see three distinct groups at work; Viren, the advisor to the assassinated king who has taken control of the Kingdom and wants nothing more than to eradicate the elves once and for all; the elves who want payback for what the humans have destroyed; and our heroes who are caught in-between as they work to restore the now baby dragon to it’s mother.
Season 2 gives us a more in-depth view of why Viren is trying so hard to vanquish the last of the elves by sharing the story of what really happened when they ended up killing the Dragon king. Like many antagonists, he believes that his actions were justified for the good of the people. In this case, he needed a powerful magical ingredient from the heart of a Xadia magma titan to bring an end to the drought and provide food for two starving kingdoms. To succeed in his quest to vanquish the elves, he needs the support of all five kingdoms to agree to go to war – and they won’t give it to him. He turns to more dark magic to force their hands.
Meanwhile, Callum hasn’t told Ezran that his father, the king, is dead and struggles to find the right way to do it without breaking Ezran’s heart. They continue their quest of taking the baby dragon back to its mother, knowing now that it’s more important than ever to heal the rift between elves and humans. When Ezran learns of his father’s death through other means, he feels compelled to return home.
We end season 2 with Ezran being crowned king and taking on a responsibility that he knows he’s not ready for.
Season 1 excelled in building the frame of the story and giving us just enough to want to know more. Season 2 charged ahead in filling out that story and gave even more emotional depth to the many conflicts that weave themselves together. Every character has a significant challenge they they are working to overcome and all of these challenges work together in a way that makes the story that much greater as we see the successes and failures start adding up.
Season 2 also dives deeper into the contrast between dark magic, which is stolen magic that is practiced by humans, and the natural magic of the elves who can pull power from their assigned nexus. We see this in Viren’s growing desperation to gain the power and support he needs from the five kingdoms by cooperating by a mysterious mirror artifact. We also see this in Callum’s efforts to access natural magic, even though as a human it should be impossible for him.
There is quite a lot of drama in this season, and all of it fits beautifully into the story to amp up the tension and make things that much more compelling, which I love. When this is done right, it’s amazing. When it’s done wrong, it feels artificial and forced.
Dragon Prince totally does it right.
There’s so many good things going on in Dragon Prince that there is something for every fantasy lover out there ranging from danger and adventure, to the political intrigues and quests for power. My only warning is for those sensitive to the idea of dark magic and subversion, Viren does dabble in quite a bit of it during season 2 and doesn’t let up going forward.
I give The Dragon Prince, Season 2 5/5 for maintaining it’s awesomeness.
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