(Red Eagle) is a Spanish live action TV show about a masked hero
who fights injustice in 17th Century Spain. Best known for its use of Ninja
motifs, the show is (according to an article in the Spanish branch
most watched show in Spain's history, and also the most costly, with a budget of almost one million euros per episode.
The series tells the story of Gonzalo de Montalvo, a man who (after being forced into exile to the Far East) learns Ninja-like skills, and then returns to Spain- only to find his wife murdered by a conspiracy known as "La Logia" (The Lodge). Adopting the identity of Águila Roja, he fights the corrupt local Sheriff, Hernán Mejías, and investigates the Lodge's plans- all while raising his young son, Alonso, who is unaware that his father is a hero. He also picks up Satur, a lovable scoundrel who helps him with his wiles and adds a touch of humor to the otherwise dead-straight show.
It is eventually revealed that La Logia wants to kill The King, that Hernán is actually Gonzalo's brother, and Gonzalo himself is the King's son.
The series counts four seasons so far and a movie adaptation came out in April 2011. However, since the show was produced by the public TV channel Radio Televisión Española, it felt victim of the severe budget cuts by Mariano Rajoy's government in early 2012, and was on hiatus until May, 2013, when its 5th season began.
Tropes in Aguila Roja:
- Adipose Rex: King Philip IV of Spain is pretty stout.
- Adult Fear: The episode where Alonso is buried alive is shockingly effective.
- Affably Evil: Cardinal Mendoza.
- An Arm and a Leg: Águila's katana cuts limbs like a hot knife through butter.
- All Monks Know Kung-Fu: Agustín fits this to a T.
- Also, an episode features some infanticide monks who fight with Daggers Akimbo.
- Anachronism Stew: The most common criticism about the show. For example, one of the sound effects for the muskets appears to be the same sound effect for the Sniper Rifle on Halo.
- Anyone Can Die: The number of people killed off in the series is surprisingly high, and includes one child! (not Alonso. Nor Nuño)
- Aristocrats Are Evil: Many times.
- Artistic License - Astronomy: Two nights before a solar eclipse there's a full moon. Even Satur says "it's almost full moon", implying it has something to do with the approaching eclipse, which does not: there should be a new moon in the sky.
- Artistic License - Martial Arts: Gonzalo's swordmanship is peculiar to say the least. He sometimes wields his katana like a rapier with too much Weapon Twirling.
- Ax-Crazy: Hernán has his moments.
- Badass Normal: Gonzalo has no superpowers to speak of, although his frequent Bullet Time certainly gives the impression.
- Badass Teacher: Gonzalo.
- Big Bad: The role has been diffuse through the seasons, but currently the Cardinal Mendoza occupy it.
- Blow Gun: Eva's Moor bodyguard uses one. It's powerful enough to punch through Gonzalo's Plot Armor.
- Calling Card: A red feather that Águila leaves at the scene of his attacks.
- Cain and Abel: Hernán and Gonzalo.
- The Cameo: Motorbike racer Jorge Lorenzo appears in one episode as a famous donkey racer.
- Cannon Fodder: Hernán's guard must have reserves.
- Characterization Marches On: In the Pilot, Sátur is introduced as very physically gifted, being able to hold his own while cornered by some tavernmen and showing an agility level which rivalizes Gonzalo's. This competence is swiftly forgotten for the rest of the series, leaving him as a extremely Bumbling Sidekick who constantly trips over his own feet.
- Clark Kenting: In contrast with Águila's elaborate costume, Sátur "disguises" himself with a simple hood that clearly reveals his face. Wisely, he never exposes himself when they go out.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Characters actually *die* from it.
- Coincidence Magnet: Many characters are this. Tons of coincidences happen through the series, both positive and negative.
- Combat Pragmatist: Hernán and, surprisingly, Gonzalo.
- The Conspiracy: The Lodge.
- Corrupt Church: The Lodge includes high ranking priests. Also the Cardinal Mendoza and his collaborators.
- Corrupt the Cutie: Irene goes from being The Ingenue to a Manipulative Bitch in two seasons.
- Crapsack World: In the series's setting, virtually each unnamed character is a raging Jerkass.
- Dark Is Evil: The Sheriff always dresses in black.
- Disappeared Mom: Gonzalo's wife dies in the Pilot. Their son Alonso blames him for not being there with her to save her life.
- Dodge the Bullet: Constantly.
- Everythings Better With Ninjas: The show can be described as Alatriste... if he was a ninja.
- Evil Twin: Sátur gets one. We are never told his name.
- Fanservice Extra: A lot in each episode.
- Fashionable Asymmetry: Hernán's signature eskrima jacket.
- Femme Fatale: Eva de Almeida, although surprisingly well dissembled.
- Flanderization: For several seasons, Alonso did not have more personality than his tendence to blame his father of everything and childishly rant against him at every opportunity. Fortunately, the last season has seen some development for him.
- The Guards Must Be Crazy: Even a loudmouthed British platoon can sneak into the Santillana palace with being noticed.
- Historical Fiction: With the Historical part being quite low, but still.
- Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: Alonso finds himself as prey when he accepts a shady proposal from a group of aristocrats.
- I Am A Humanitarian: The "giant" in the forest.
- I Know Karate: Gonzalo. And apparently, Kung Fu, Wushu and some Jujutsu too.
- Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Many, but specially the Sheriff's soldiers.
- Just in Time: Águila Roja tends to save the day with seconds to spare.
- Kung-Fu Proof Mook: Eva's cloaked mook, who seemed to know Karate and Gun Fu. In fact, he could have stuck a bullet in Gonzalo's head if his gun had not jammed while he had him in point blank.
- Katanas Are Just Better: Even if you use them as a rapier or a machete.
- Love Dodecahedron: There are a LOT of love triangles in this show.
- Loves My Alter Ego: Margarita develops feelings for Águila Roja, albeit briefly.
- Made a Slave: Happens to Margarita in episodes 2x03 and 2x04, when she is abducted by Barbary Pirates... near Madrid (It Makes Sense in Context). The plotline comes complete with:
- Arab Oil Sheikh: The prospective buyer. Minus the oil part, obviously.
- Bathe Her and Bring Her to Me
- Closest Thing We Got: Margarita is enslaved because one of the pirates' girls escapes and they happen upon her while tracking the other. Since they are tasked to bring a fixed number of slavegirls, they just take her instead.
- Fate Worse than Death: Marta, a friend of Margarita also being enslaved, tries to commit suicide.
- Go-Go Enslavement: Margarita is forced to wear a Belly Dancer's outfit and dance for the sheikh.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Par of the course for the slavers when they get a new captive. Margarita is spared that only because they are late for the delivery when they abduct her.
- Sex Slave: The expected fate of the abducted women from the beginning, though the Sheikh is so impressed with Margarita that he decides to keep her for himself rather than trading her off.
- Slave Brand: Immediately upgraded to Mark of Shame.
- Technical Pacifist: Gonzalo teaches against violence, but Águila Roja will certainly maim and kill to stop the evildoers.
- Ms. Fanservice: Marchioness Lucrecia, and lately, Irene.
- Mix-and-Match Weapon: Hernán's gun-sword (They really existed).
- The Movie: Involves an adventure in three European countries.
- The Obi-Wan: Agustín. He even looks like AlecBaldwin!
- Old Master: Agustín.
- Overprotective Dad: Gonzalo to Alonso, though given their situation, it's to be expected.
- Playing Against Type: Francis Lorenzo, a talk show host and mainly comedic actor best known for playing a Cool Teacher in the Save Our Students TV series Compañeros during The Nineties, plays here The Dragon, the utterly evil Sheriff... and his enemy is a teacher!
- Plucky Comic Relief: Sátur.
- Put on a Bus: Lucrecia in the last season.
- Rule of Cool: The show lives on it.
- Running Gag: Sátur complaining about his lack of an elaborated costume like Gonzalo.
- Shout-Out: To El Zorro.
- And to Batman.
- One to the famous Arab swordsman scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark happens near the end of "Buscando a Margarita". Águila Roja finds himself alone, face to face against the chief Algerian slave trader on a rowboat. The slaver pulls a dagger and makes many showy movements while smugly smiling at him. Águila Roja then pulls his own throwing knife and stabs him in the heart.
- Spoiled Brat: Nuño begins like one.
- Stripperific: Lucrecia's dresses.
- Swashbuckler: Missing the fun side for the most part, but otherwise fits the genre.
- The Vamp: Lucrecia.
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works: From time to time.
- Training from Hell: Gonzalo is known to have passed one in China and Japan.
- Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Cipri and Inés.
- Unnecessary Combat Roll: Backflips and somersaults to jump down of a second floor. Yeah.
- Wilhelm Scream: At least once each episode.
- The Worf Effect: If a character survives a fight with Gonzalo, pay attention on him, as he will probably kick his ass later - or at least will give a intense fight.
- You Have Failed Me: Herán and the cardinal Mendoza are prone to this with their mooks.
- Young Future Famous People: Implied at least - One of Gonzalo's school buddies is a kid with a talent for drawing, whose name is Murillo.