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Nightmare Fuel / The Dragon Prince

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"Turn Back"
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Taking place in a fantasy setting with magic, there's going to be plenty of creepy things ahead.

Moment Subpages are Spoilers Off. You Have Been Warned.


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General

  • Aaravos, in general, is kind of unnerving.
    • The mirror scenes, before he can talk, are given no context, and even Viren doesnt quite know what he’s looking at.
    • Then you have the moments where his image goes dark, and then his hand comes out of the shadows and presses against the glass.
    • When he finally does talk, you might be expecting a woman’s voice, but instead you get an nigh inhumanly deep baritone, which only adds to how alien this character is compared to the rest of the cast.
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    • The bug he uses for communicating is placed right on the ear. It could crawl in at any time... and it eventually does.
    • All attempts by Viren to read about him results in the text melting off the pages.

Book 1: Moon

     Moonrise 
  • Viren yanks Callum's voice out of his body to keep him from screaming for the King, after which he can't form a single word. Worse, the guards restrain him and let Viren do it. Imagine growing up in a setting where you always felt safe and then your honorary uncle and guard do this to you?
  • As Callum's leaving the King's tower, he comes across several dead bodies littering the stairwell. It's all Bloodless Carnage, but still a grisly sight.

     Bloodthirsty 
  • Callum and Ezran's fake hostage situation is a terrifying Adult Fear for their Aunt Amaya. In her eyes, her nephews that she swore to protect for her dead sister are now in the hands of a (supposedly) bloodthirsty elf and if she makes the wrong move the boys' lives are forfeit.

     An Empty Throne 
  • Viren taking what seems to be an enchanted butterfly, and after a flash of light in his office, he walks out refreshed while the butterfly looks grey and dead on the floor.

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     Through the Ice 
  • Ezran going underwater in the frozen lake and then not coming back up for a very long time. For a minute it really looked like the kid wasn't going to make it.

     The Dagger and the Wolf 
  • The Fantastic Racism of the whole town when the man with the dagger realizes that Rayla is an elf. They charge at her with pitchforks, brooms and anything else they can get their hands on, angrily chanting "elf" as they chase the trio out of town.

     The Cursed Caldera 
  • The giant leech monster that the heroes fight. The thing sucked the blood out of a previous creature and wanted to do the same to the group. Even once Rayla kills it, it erupts into smaller leeches and she gets covered in them before Callum knocks them all off.
  • According to Runaan, whatever the enchanted mirror's function is, it's A Fate Worse Than Death. He does not elaborate.
    • One of the drawings during the credits is the image of a hand clawing at the mirrors surface. From within. Without any context, it's impossible to know if it's a victim trapped inside, or "something worse than death" trying to get out...
  • Viren turning Runaan into a coin is pretty terrifying, complete with Ominous Latin Chanting and Viren's Nightmare Face. To say nothing of Runaan's horrifying screams - to put this in perspective, the fearless assassin, who's shown little to no emotion up until that moment had been reduced to screaming in terror. And it's pretty clear that Viren has done this to other people in the past...
    • Up until this point Gren has displayed Dissonant Serenity about being locked in a dungeon. But hearing Runaan scream and seeing Viren corrupted by dark magic and with Runaan trapped in a coin apparently disturbs Gren.

     Wonderstorm 
  • Rayla investigates a strange noise and finds someone spun up in a spider's web warning her to turn back. When she cuts them loose, the inside reveals nothing but dust. It's enough to freak her out to the point where she won't even tell Callum what she saw at first.
  • The face on the spider's back. It's an awful Slasher Smile with sharp teeth.

Book 2: Sky

     Heart of a Titan 
  • Remember when Viren said that the Dragon Prince would grow up to be the most powerful creature in the world? In this episode we see what his fear stems from when Avizandum, the King of the Dragons, is on full display. His very presence creates storm clouds which blot out the sun, fires lightning breath that could incinerate a human in one swoop and is overall an unstoppable juggernaut of destruction. Avizandum is only on screen for a few minutes but he backs up his reputation without hesitation.

     Fire and Fury 
  • Soren is slammed into a rock by a dragon, hard enough to shatter his spine. And we're treated to the whole thing without any cutaway, Sickening "Crunch!" and all.
  • The dragon's injuries are surprisingly graphic for the show's standards, complete with a spurt of blood when Ezran pulls out the ballista bolt. After sticking mostly to Bloodless Carnage, it's a bit of a shock.
  • Callum finally being driven to use dark magic. The Kubrick Stare really doesn't help matters, as is his coldness to Claudia before unleashing it.
  • The walled town would have had women, children, and old people living there, and the dragon was fire-strafing it indiscriminately. The gatehouse would be an obvious target, and if it gets hit then there would be no way to escape the flames and smoke, you'd looking at a lot of deaths and horrific injuries, possibly for almost the entire population.

     The Book of Destiny 
  • Callum's fever dream is quickly becoming a nightmare. A very bad nightmare, with very REAL danger.
    • Poor Rayla is taken completely off guard by this, Claudia's veteran attacks might have very well been her only previous encounter with Dark Magic. Thus making Callum's rookie dealings with Dark Magic seem only trivial to her. It isn't until Callum starts gasping for air, does she realize what possible danger the young prince might be in.
      • As a matter of fact, knowing might be even worse. Because despite her knowing Callum is in danger, there is nothing she can do. All she can do is watch as her friend, who she may have feelings for, gasp helplessly for air as fights in the prison in his own mind.

     Breathe 
  • Rayla's panic from the previous episode is only growing, for good reason. She is well aware, that at any moment the young prince she may be coming to love, might very well die in her arms at any moment... and all she can do is offer meaningless pleas for him not to die.
  • Claudia taking a milkberry that she was searching for and offering it to a young deer while the other two flee. She tells it that it's young, strong and healthy, which was why she needed it. The next scene of her shows her hands sparking with magic, her eyes glowing dangerously and she uses that magic to heal her brother. We can already tell what happened to the young deer.
    • Claudia does not look or sound well after the spell either. Her hidden face keeps us from seeing her expression, but her voice sounds manic and slightly unhinged.
  • Remember back in Book 1 when Claudia used dark magic to create wolves made from shadow and smoke? Viren takes it further by using the same spell to recreate Runaan's party as shadowy monsters he sends to terrorize the other kingdoms. To make this worse, reversing the dialogue to hear the words of the spell reveals that the material component he used to cast it was the ashes of those same elven warriors.
    Viren: (when played backwards) Ash of fallen, rise again. Smoky assassin.
  • Aaravos manages to boost Viren's magic to the point that he can fight off an entire group of guards easily including freezing and shattering one and vaporizing another, only being forced to surrender due to the sheer number of guards overwhelming him.
  • The worm Aaravos used to communicate with Viren crawling into his ear at the end.
  • The Moonstone Path presents a safe path into Xadia, but it's also extraordinarily dangerous. The path can only be traversed at night, with a visible moon, and consists of stepping stones over a lava river. If the sun rises before you're all the way over (and it's a pretty wide river), the runes disappear, and you're screwed. You can't even risk waiting, since the rocks sink behind you.

Book 3: Sun

     Sol Regem 
  • The episode's titular dragon is a massive juggernaut of flame and hate. Formally king of the dragons, he was powerful and callous enough to singlehandedly obliterate an entire city just to punish a single rebellious mage... and that was before being driven mad by pain and blindness. In the present, he roams through Xadia attacking anything that gets in his way without knowing nor caring who he's trying to kill. And while he may have lost his title and his sight, he's retained ALL of his strength and fire. His fury is so intense that he's willing to murder Rayla and Zym, his own prince, because they begged him to spare Callum's life.
    • His facial wounds are nothing to scoff at either; the scales have been melted away leaving an ugly, raw mess of scar tissue over a half mutilated face. It looks both revolting and painful in equal measure. We even get to see him receive it during the Cold Open.

     The Midnight Desert 
  • Aaravos' familiar sewing a web of silk directly onto Viren's eyeball. The end result makes his eye look a perpetual milky white, which looks creepy even without accounting for the fact that, again, a worm wove a web directly onto his eyeball.
  • Remember that soul-leeching serpent that Viren had back in season 1? Rayla and Callum find where it came from. The midnight desert apparently has thousands of the damn things squirming beneath the sand, and a single bite does worse than just poison you; your own soul is devoured, leaving your body as a mindless, empty husk. It's best not to consider what your soul goes through after the serpents take them.
    • Nyx remarks in passing that they should try and avoid the "husks" as they pass through the desert. Apparently, the former victims of said serpents are still wandering about... and are dangerous enough for a seasoned traveler to avoid them like the plague.

     Thunderfall 
  • The slow, agonizing death of the Dragon King Avizandum (a.k.a. Thunder) by petrification. Even King Harrow, who'd wanted Thunder dead in revenge for the death of his wife, was horrified.
    • As some people have pointed out, when Harrow throws the spear, you can hear the voice of Sarai screaming "no".

    Hearts of Cinder 
  • A casual line from the Sunfire Queen towards Viren serves as this. All those times he's drained butterflies to restore his appearance? He hasn't been feeding on their energy to restore himself. He's just been using them to power an illusion of an ordinary appearance. Without it, he always looks like a corrupted shadow of himself.
  • There is a deep groove worn into the floor of the Sunforge that the beam travels through on it's way to "purify" Viran. just how many "impure" people have the elves killed in such a way?
  • Viren's familiar has grown from the size of an inchworm to the size of a snake, revealed when it crawls out of his throat. It gets even larger by the episode's end, where it can drape around Viren's shoulders like a living, many-legged shawl.
  • We see what Aaravos is capable of on his own, and it is horrifying. First, he takes over an elf's body, then uses his power to darken the sky above the city. He wipes out all the guards in a single blow, before dissolving the Queen just by touching her chin. Keep in mind, Aaravos is still locked away in the mirror at this point, so this is probably not even the peak of his power!
  • One unfortunate soul gets bitten by Aaravos's worm, leading to Aaravos's taking over his body. From the way he screams it definitely isn't painless, and by the way he falls over afterwards, it likely isn't something you live through.
  • Aaravos whispers the fate of the sunfire queen's grandmother to her, horrifying her, before doing something that causes her body to just dissolve into nothingness. Even better? Despite having the entirety of her face and head dissolved, she still somehow lets out a blood curdling scream as her armor falls from the tower.
  • Viren's, or rather, Aaravos's plan to fight the elves: steal the power of the sunfire elves and use it to transform the human army into a legion of burning monsters. This isn’t a legion of volunteers either. After converting the prince from another kingdom, he becomes big, scary, and seemingly no longer capable of forming words, Viren, seeing how the rest of the army still isn’t sold on this, he turns the spell into a large-scale AOE, which converts people half a mile away.
    • Even worse; you would think that the solders would be a bit miffed at the man who focably twisted them into abominations, but they appear almost slavishly loyal afterwards. He didn't just warp their bodies; he took their minds as well.
      • Let that sink in; Viren can twist anyone he chooses into a monstrous slave. Anyone. Even Callum, Ezran, or Rayla... and he was about to do it to his own son, first.
      • Thankfully, it may not be that simple, or Viren, being the pragmatist that he is, would have done exactly that.

    The Final Battle 
  • The eponymous final battle does not shy away from the violence of a large scale battle. Bloodless Carnage is in play, but there are still multiple deaths shown on-screen. Prince Kasef's death stands out, first with the arrow that impales him through the palm, then the two that nail him in the heart and head.
  • Claudia resurrecting Viren, bluntly telling him that he didn't survive the fall from the top of the Storm Spire. The first thing he sees is her eyes slowly turning from black to their normal color, and the left half her hair having turned fully white; he turns and sees the crown mangled and bloodstained next to him. Resurrecting the dead must be a complicated enough ritual, but it's heavily implied that Viren did not avert the Chunky Salsa Rule.
    • Blink and you'll miss it, but as the shot frames Claudia and Viren in profile and Claudia goes over to tend to him, you can see one lone boot sticking out from behind a cave rock, unmoving. Given that she had to kill a deer to heal Soren's paralysis, Claudia may have just killed an elven survivor to resurrect her father.
  • The transformed soldiers did not revert back to normal after the battle; what will life be like for them after the war is formally over? With the man who preformed the change presumed dead there may be no reversing the process, trapping them as soulless monsters for the rest of their lives.
  • Callum watches as Rayla throws herself and Viren off the Storm Spire. He leaps after her, trying desperately to summon mage wings, all the while Rayla and Callum extend their arms towards each other, both too far away to comfort each other. And from Callum's perspective, she's only in this situation because he failed to stop Viren from climbing up the Spire. She might die because he failed to protect her. He's probably going to have nightmares about this!
    • It must have been bad for Rayla as well; from her perspective, Callum had just killed himself in a futile effort to save her. If he hadn't conjured mage wings at that moment, those would have been her final thoughts.
  • Even though the heroes had won and peace between humans and Xadia a real possibility, Aaravos, Viren, and Claudia all survive. Worse, Aaravos' caterpillar familiar had entered a metamorphosis, indicating that whatever it was he wanted from the conflict, he seems to have gotten it.

End Cards

     Book 1: Moon 
  • There's someone with four fingers trapped inside the mirror Viren took. That someone turns out to be Aaravos.

     Book 2: Sky 
  • As the Crow Master works on his papers, there's a looming shadow behind him.

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