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Western Animation / The Dragon Prince

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"Destiny is a book you write yourself."note 

"Human princes, returning the egg to the Dragon Queen. That's the gesture that matters. That could end the war, and change the world."
Rayla, "Through the Ice"

The Dragon Prince is an American animated fantasy-adventure television series created for Netflix by Aaron Ehasz (a head writer and director of Avatar: The Last Airbender) and Justin Richmond, two of the co-founders of Wonderstorm. They are joined by Giancarlo Volpe as executive producer, who had also worked with Ehasz on Avatar: The Last Airbender before working on Star Wars: The Clone Wars. It is co-produced between Wonderstorm and Bardel Entertainment.

Long ago, the elves and dragons drove humanity out of their shared homelands in the east of the world after a human created dark magic, leading to a millennium of war and bitterness. This culminated in Thunder, the Dragon King, being defeated and killed by humans; his only egg, the Dragon Prince, was lost in the attack. A few months later, the two princes of the kingdom of Katolis, Prince Ezran and his older half-brother Prince Callum, and the moonshadow elven assassin Rayla, who had been sent to kill them, discover the survival of the Dragon Prince. Together they set out to return him to Xadia, forging an unlikely bond on their epic quest to bring peace and unity to their warring lands.

There are a planned seven seasons for the show, structuring the show in a three-act structure or trilogy. The first season was released on September 14th, 2018. The second season was released on February 15th, 2019. The third season was released on November 22nd, 2019. During the 2020 Comic-Con@Home, Ehasz and Richmond revealed The Dragon Prince had been renewed for four more seasons, completing the entire originally planned seven seasons saga. The fourth season was released on November 3rd, 2022. The fifth season is expected July 2023.

It is the first entry in a planned franchise including:

  • The Dragon Prince: Callum's Spellbook (March 2020): A Defictionalization of Callum's sketchbook, which contains information about Xadia, the human kingdoms, elves, dragons, and magic. It also contains notes from other characters who have "borrowed" his book at various times.invoked
  • The Dragon Prince Book One: Moon (June 2020): A novelization of season one written by Aaron Ehasz, containing new plot lines and information not seen in the show.
    • The Dragon Prince Book Two: Sky (August 2021): An adaptation of the second season.
    • The Dragon Prince Book Three: Sun (April 2024): An adaptation of the third season.
  • Through the Moon (October 2020): A Graphic Novel set between season three and four. Rayla, Callum and Ezran go on a quest to find Rayla's parents and Runaan in the "World Between Life and Death".
  • "Lunabloom: A Story from the Silvergrove" (September 2020): A side story published on the official website.
  • The Dragon Prince Battlecharged (October 2021): A card-based tactical miniatures game.
  • The Dragon Prince: Tales of Xadia (March 2022): The Roleplaying Game, using the Cortex Prime system. The game is set between seasons three and four, focusing on the Ruins of Lux Aurea where the corrupted sunforge is "radiating monstrosities" that the players will try to beat back and hopefully restore the forge so Lux Aurea can be reclaimed. The game also includes rules needed for players to make original campaigns as well.
  • The Dragon Prince: Bloodmoon Huntress (July 2022): A Graphic Novel set before the series about an adventure during Rayla's childhood.
  • The Dragon Prince: Puzzle House (August 2023): A Graphic Novel about the mysterious home of Kpp'Ar, Viren's former mentor.
  • The Orphan Queen (TBA): A Prequel of unknown media type.
  • Project Arcanum (Working Title) (TBA): A combat-based multiplayer video game.

Not to be confused with Dragon Prince, a book series released in the '80s.

Tropes in this series include:

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  • Action Girl: Rayla, Amaya, Janai, and Claudia have all been shown to be competent warriors, and there are plenty of women in both human and elven armies.
  • Advertising by Association: Some advertising associated the show with Avatar: The Last Airbender due to Aaron Ehasz and Giancarlo Volpe's work on that show, as head writer and director, respectively.
  • Aerith and Bob: Many fantastic names (Rayla, Lujanne, Viren) alongside accepted given names in modern times (Soren, Claudia, Marcos). Although Elves and Dragons seem to be firmly on the "Aerith" side of things.
  • All Animals Are Dogs:
    • Despite being a glowtoad and vaguely resembling a chameleon in certain ways (long tongue, ability to change color), Bait exhibits certain dog-like behaviors, namely panting and growling.
    • Ava is a wolf but acts more like a dog. For example, she barks which is not a behavior that wolves normally do, unless they're domesticated.
    • Zym's vocalizations  are that of a puppy, and he barks, whimpers, and whines the way that a dog would. What's more, he curls up like a dog when threatened in a Troubled Fetal Position.
    • Played extremely straight when Zym is literally transformed into a dog as a disguise in season four.
  • All-CGI Cartoon: Though it's stylized to resemble hand-drawn animation with its limited movement and camera angles.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • A few days before the show debuted, the official social media accounts posted a chartnote  listing ages, heights, and birthdays for the characters that had been revealed thus far. An updated version with additional characters was posted on the official website after the show debuted.
    • The official website includes things like a map of the continent and information on the six sources of magic.
  • Ambiguously Jewish: The kingdom of Katolis is designed as a stereotypical European fantasy setting (aka a mix of Jewish, English and German influences), but have some noticeable Jewish design influences. The names "Ezran" and "Sarai" are both of Jewish origin, and the "jelly tarts" shown throughout the show are clearly Jewish Hamantaschen, generally made by Ashkenazi Jews for the Purim holiday.
  • Anachronism Stew: Ostensibly, the show takes place in a classic Heroic Fantasy setting, but occasionally some small modern touches slip in, like Rayla adopting a southern drawl for her human impression, using expressions like "bring it in", and suggesting a high-five (before realizing that her four-fingered hand would break the illusion).
  • Animation Bump: The animation in season one was much more choppy (which was intentional to make it look more cartoonish) but after criticism from fans over the jarring animation style, the animators then went with a smoother animation in later seasons.
  • Antagonist Title: The second arc of the show gains the subtitle, Mystery of Aaravos, the logo framed in front of a star field, signifying the character taking centre stage as the show's Big Bad.
  • Animesque: Despite being created by 3D CGI animation, the show uses visible outlines and a low frame-per-second rate to look hand-drawn, and the character designs wouldn't be out of place in an anime.
  • Arc Symbol: Katolis' sigil are two upright rectangles, one shorter than the other, representing the two towers of Katolis' castle. The crown, which is forged in the shape of this symbol, is an important symbol throughout season 3.
  • Armed Females, Unarmed Males: Callum is a male mage who eventually learns to cast spells bare-handed, while Rayla is a girl who fights with dual swords. Averted in season four, when Callum is given a weapon in the form of a staff.
  • Artistic License – Space: In the title screen for each episode of season 4, as the camera pans across the stars, the parallax suggests that the stars are much smaller, much closer together, and much closer to the earth, than they are in real life.
  • Authority Sounds Deep: Each of the Archdragons of Xadia, but especially the former Dragon Kings, Avizandum and Sol Regem, speak with deep commanding voices.
  • Background Magic Field: The Primal Sources have aspects of this, given that they are the Sun, Moon, Stars, Ocean, Sky, and Earth, with different types of Primal Magic being more or less powerful based on the conditions present (like Sun magic being weaker at night, and Ocean magic being strongest at high tide), with Primal Stones serving the purpose of allowing a mage to cast spells related to the corresponding Source even when it's not present, like Sun magic at night. Part of Callum's realization in his Vision Quest that allows him to grasp the Sky Arcanum and use Sky Primal Magic without a Stone is that the world itself is like a giant Primal Stone that he's inside of, with Sky magic all around him, but also inside of him with every breath that he takes.
  • "Back to Camera" Pose: This poster shows the gang facing away from the viewer towards Sol Regem.
  • Bad Powers, Good People:
    • Claudia uses dark magic, but is a cheerful and earnest person. Subverted when said bad powers and Claudia's reliance on them begin to transform her into more of a villain, especially once she starts listening to Aaravos.
    • Ziard, the founder of dark magic, who was Good All Along.
  • Being Human Sucks: Humans are apparently the only creatures in the world who are not born with even a tiny bit of magic. Human mages need to either use a Primal Stone or use dark magic to take the magic from other creatures in order to cast spells, unlike the apparently Long-Lived Elves, whose mages have the advantage of having a natural connection to a Primal Source, called an "Arcanum". It turns out that humans can use magic, but need to forge their own connections first. A flashback scene in season 3 reveals that humans were apparently living in squalor before they started using dark magic.
  • Betty and Veronica Switch: Claudia started out as the Betty (Callum's childhood friend who he's had a crush on for years) while Rayla started out as the Veronica (An exotic Moonshadow Elf who's a bit of a Jerk with a Heart of Gold), and both are implied to have feelings for Callum. However, due to Character Development, both Claudia and Rayla have evolved in different ways. Claudia has (somewhat) taken on a more antagonistic role, while Rayla has proven herself to be a trusted friend to both Callum and Ezran. As of season 3, the switch has fully solidified, with Claudia developing into a full-on villain, and Callum and Rayla becoming a canon couple.
  • The Big Board: Used in Katolis flashbacks where Harrow and Viren were planning the attack on Thunder.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • Some of Amaya's sign language, such as her speech to Sarai's memorial, is left untranslated. Word of God is that this was a deliberate choice.invoked
      "[...]we decided that when Gren wasn't speaking for her, she spoke for herself. [...] And she's a deaf character — we wanted it so that understanding what she's communicating here is for the deaf audience."
    • In "The Book of Destiny", a page of the titular book contains a poem written in Arabic that hints at Elarion's past relationship with Aaravos. A different book is written in Danish, and when translated, details a relate from someone (possibly a human) meeting Aaravos, referring to him as someone who looks on their kind nicely.
    • There is also a shot of a page with text in Danish referring to Aaravos.
  • A Birthday, Not a Break: Rayla leaves without Callum to spend the next two years searching for Viren on the night before Callum's birthday.
  • Black Magic: The humans have learned how to use Life Energy as a source of magic, which understandably disgusts the elves and dragons and unnerves Callum when he sees it. It also corrupts humans' appearances the more they use it, and even Callum has suffered lingering effects on multiple occasions despite only using it once. Part of why humans mages use it is because without a Primal Stone, it's believed to be the only kind of magic they can wield, as they lack a natural connection to the Primal Sources like the elves do.
  • Bloodless Carnage: There are numerous people killed on-screen in combat, but blood is very rarely shown being shed:
  • Blow You Away: The sky is one of the six sources of magic. Callum is seen using wind and lightning spells.
  • Buffy Speak:
    • Rayla asks one of her fellow assassins if she can borrow their "sharpener thingy" (whetstone).
    • Ezran refers to the assassins' bindings as "assassiny ribbony things."
    • Soren also gets in on the action by referring to a zip line as a 'Slidey-Sling Go-Fast Rope'
    • In season 3, Soren provides another example when offering to "smoosh" Aaravos' insect form.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp":
    • Hamantashen are called jelly tarts.
    • After Soren invents the zip line, he decides to call it the "Slidey-Sling Go-Fast Rope".
      • Other inventions of things similar to coffee, chocolate, and Silly Puddy are also given some more eccentric names in this universe.
  • Calling Your Attacks: To unleash a spell, mages need to say a trigger word in draconic. This is not a strict requirement though as Aaravos can use spells without saying the incantation, implying that better mages don't need them.
  • Canis Latinicus: Ancient Draconic, the language used for magic incantations, is represented using Latin. The terminology is mostly based on actual Latin, but some loose-and-fast translation lead to some spells not meaning quite what the writers likely intended them to. For instance, a freezing breath spell, Aspiro Frigis, seems to mean something like "cold wind" — but frigis is actually the second-person singular form of frigere, "to fry" (the Latin term for "to freeze" is glaciare), leading the phrase to mean something like "I breathe, you fry" — rather ironically, given the spell's effects.
  • Cassandra Truth: No one from Xadia believes the idea that the Dragon Prince is still alive after rumors of the egg's destruction. Rayla and Callum had to prove it with the egg to Rayla's allies and later with the hatchling Zym to the dragon Sol Regem.
  • Cave Behind the Falls:
    • Callum and Ezran were once tricked into investigating a supposed treasure behind a waterfall by mischievous raccoons. No treasure... they just ended up soaking wet.
    • In season 2, the humans have an encampment inside a cave behind a lava waterfall.
  • Chekhov's Boomerang: The Ominous Cube in the lodge. Callum leads the group to find it believing it to be important, but as Rayla points out it does nothing and is just a toy. Soon after however, they discover that it is actually capable of detecting magical sources nearby. In season 2, it's revealed that the cube is an ancient Xadian relic that once belonged to Aaravos.
  • Children Are Innocent:
    • Part of the reason the heroes are kids, as they're not as jaded as their elders and don't see the war between humans and elves as inevitable. Callum wants to make peace, Ezran views it as a big misunderstanding, and even Rayla clearly thinks that her mission will end things once and for all, and once she sees the dragon egg, is eager to find the truth and make things right between their peoples.
    • Due to the grudge of Harrow and Avizandum, things lead to ordering the deaths of the sons of both kings despite neither of them deserving to die for what their fathers did, Harrow understood this after the elves came after him.
  • Close-Call Haircut: Rayla loses a braid to an arrow fired by General Amaya's archers. Several episodes later, Claudia and Soren find the braid, which Claudia is able to use to perform a tracking spell.
  • Convection, Schmonvection:
    • Zig-Zagged with the enchanted fire dagger. Rayla remarks that the sheath has to be specially made, otherwise the blade will burn the wielder, but people who hold it close to their bodies apparently have no problems. It does hurt Rayla just by holding it too close to her arm.
    • Played straight with the Moonstone Path. Despite being over a river of molten rock, Callum and Rayla cross without even mentioning the heat. Likewise, the rocks themselves do not appear to share any of the heat of the lava they are floating on, whereas realistically they would have been rendered hot enough to burn skin on contact.
    • Amaya and a Sunfire elf battle near a literal waterfall of lava. The only time heat becomes a factor is when the elf introduces it.
    • After the Magma Titan is killed, characters have to have it pointed out to them that the molten rock its blood consists of is about to run over their feet before they notice it. Even then, King Harrow and a soldier stand with their feet centimeters away from the lava pouring from the magma titan's corpse and suffer no ill effects.
    • In Season 4, the protagonists again need to cross a magma cavern, and while the heat is mentioned as problematic, it's still not anywhere near as deadly as it should be.
  • Color-Coded Wizardry: Dark Magic is associated with purple and green while Callum's "Sky Arcanum" is blue.
  • Cycle of Revenge: A Central Theme of the series.
    • Pointed out by Callum when Rayla is trying to kill him, thinking that he's Ezran, saying that even if she kills him and gets revenge for the King of the Dragons and his egg, someone else will just get revenge against the elves and keep the cycle going. Season 2 reveals that the killing of Thunder was in fact revenge for the death of Queen Sarai, and the humans are now planning revenge on the elves for the death of King Harrow, making a straight example of this. Rayla provides a Call-Back to this scene in Season 2 as a life lesson that Callum taught her.
    • Exemplified and defied in season three with the Army of the Broken Chain. Their willingness to defend the elves and dragons helps to break this cycle, despite everything that has happened so far between their people.
  • Deal with the Devil:
    • Viren's dealings with the imprisoned Startouch elf Aaravos have all the markings of this, at least by the end of Season 2.
    • In Season 3, Ezran accepts one of these to stop a war between Katolis and the other human kingdoms. In exchange for allowing anyone who doesn't want to fight to leave the army, Ezran trades places with Viren, the latter on the throne and the former in chains in the dungeon.
    • As of Season 4, Claudia has blatantly made one with Aavaros, to free him in exchange for making the resurrection spell she used on her father Viren permanant.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: This is the source of conflict with the Amaya & Janai subplot of the fourth season, that humans are unaware of the importance of sunfire elf religious rites and that Sunfire Elves are unaware of Humans' sense of pragmatism.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: The earth is one of the six sources of magic.
  • Doesn't Trust Those Guys: Or humans, for that matter. When humanity created dark magic the elves and dragons almost immediately enacted a pogrom against them and drove every human that they didn't kill out of Xadia without giving them a chance at explaining themselves or reconciling their differences. This level of racial hatred has persisted into the current timeframe of the show, with the friendship between Callum, Ezran, and Rayla being possibly the only positive relationship that humans and elves have had in a millennium. It gets worse with the revelation that humans cannot naturally perform Primal Magic the way the elves and dragons can, meaning that dark magic is the only recourse that mankind has against the magically superior elves until Callum forges a connection to the Sky Arcanum.
  • Egg MacGuffin: The whole plot centers around the eponymous Dragon Prince, who's still an egg at the start of the show. He later turns into a MacGuffin Super-Person.
  • Elemental Powers: Magic is derived from six natural sources. Until the events of the series, where humans have discovered a seventh natural source... Life Energy. Notably, rather than the "building blocks of the universe" type (i.e. fire, water et cetera) they're more of a force of nature/location type (sun, moon, seas et cetera).
  • Elemental Weapon:
    • Primal Stones, like the Sky Primal Stone Callum uses, allow a mage to use magic even when its source is not present, like casting sun magic at night or sky magic underground. They're also the only known way for humans to use magic that isn't dark magic, since they lack the direct connection to the Primal Source(s) that elves and magical creatures do.
    • The Sunfire Elves are known for making blades that retain the heat of the forge.
  • Enchanted Forest: The Moonshadow Forest is a vast woodland in the magical lands of Xadia. Magic permeates everything there, and as a result the forest is filled with exotic plant life such as musical lilies and gigantic mushrooms. Even its soil is charged with enough magical energy to set off Callum's magic sensor.
  • The End of the Beginning: The series is divided into three parts each consisting of 3 to 4 seasons. The end of season 3 is quite literally the end of the beginning.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • Rayla (an assassin) and Ezran (her target) team up to save the egg of the Dragon Prince (whose alleged death was the reason why Rayla was sent to kill Ezran).
    • Amaya and Janai (the leaders of the human and elven forces on the border between Katolis and Xadia) get into plenty of skirmishes on the border, ultimately leading to the destruction of the Breach and Amaya's capture by Janai. But after Viren destroys the elves' capital city, Amaya and Janai fight together against him.
  • Evil Is Easy: While it's still ambiguous how evil it truly is, part of the allure of Dark Magic is that using the life energy of magical creatures allows a mage to do what would normally take natural talent (with only elven mages naturally having a connection to a Primal Source), a Primal Stone, and/or years of study to achieve, fitting in with Viren's obsession with pragmatism. In his Vision Quest after using it to save Rayla and free the dragon Soren and Claudia had captured, Callum expresses surprise and discomfort at just how easy it was, despite feeling that it's wrong.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Book 4 highlights the Time Skip by showing all the heroic character's with new hairstyles.
    • Callum has Anime Hair.
    • Soren has grown his out along with Perma-Stubble.
    • Corvus ditched the man buns for a shorter style.
    • Ezran ties his into a ponytail.
    • General Amaya has grown her's long to the left side, keeping it short on her right.
    • Janai puts her's up as Queen, and only let's it down in private.
    • Rayla has adopted a braided Prim and Proper Bun.
  • Eye of Newt: Dark Magic is made by using the Life Energy of magical creatures. In practice, this typically takes the form of the mage crushing some animal or animal part — ranging from eyes and tentacles to feathers and flowers — in their hand when casting. Specific spells also tend to require specific components — for instance, a spell for making an arrow track its target requires a griffin's eye, and Claudia mentions in "Wonderstorm" that there are interesting things that can be done with a wasp's thorax.
  • False Flag Operation: When the monarchs of the other four kingdoms refuse Viren's idea of uniting Humanity to fight against Xadia, he decides to send shadows of the Moonshadow assassins to kill them and give their kingdoms an excuse to invade Xadia. As we learn midway into Season 3, it's proven to garner a degree of success.
  • Family Theme Naming: All of the Sky Dragons have at least one "a" and "z" in their name: Avizandum, Zubeia, and Azymondias.
  • Fantastic Racism: The elves and humans are deeply mistrustful of and prejudiced against each other, something that comes up as a recurring theme in the series.
    • The humans believe the elves to be dangerous, literally bloodthirsty monsters who will kill innocents with no provocation, and the mere sight of an elf is typically enough to send human characters in varying states of panic.
    • A number of elves believe all humans to be lying, corrupt, dishonorable and untrustworthy, and in the past exiled the entire human species from their homelands in response to an individual human creating dark magic.
    • Sol Regem, the former dragon king before Thunder, was known for being so racist and petty towards humans that even elves and his fellow dragons can't stand him. So he spends his days living isolated in a canyon where no one visits. The fact he makes very clear he will happily murder any elves or dragons that don't murder humans on sight may have something to do with it.
  • The Farmer and the Viper: Twice, Ezran has shown forgiveness and worry for Claudia, despite her trying to kidnap him and Zym, and siding with her father after he's accused of treason. This bites him in the butt twice; the first time, Claudia helps her father invade Xadia with four armies after Ezran was forced to abdicate. The second time, Ezran reached out to a fleeing Claudia at the end of season three. She used the opportunity to summon an illusion of Viren that would have killed the prince if not for Soren's timely sword swing. Then Claudia reveals with a Psychotic Smirk that the real Viren has already cornered Zym, and Ezran won't reach him in time. Soren doesn't chase after her because he and Ezran immediately turn around to rescue the dragon.
    • On the other hand, in the first instance Ezran had to pronounce summary judgment on both Claudia and Soren, and he had no reason to condemn one while forgiving the other; and even if he had forgiven Soren but condemned Claudia, it's unlikely that Soren would have been so quick to help him escape Katolis. Gaining Soren as an ally more than made up for Claudia's betrayal.
  • Fatal Flaw: A recurring theme, especially among the adults, is them holding to this and to their values even when they should bend. King Harrow shows Honor Before Reason, Runaan shows Revenge Before Reason, and Viren's pragmatism eventually tips him into full blown villainy territory.
  • Fate Worse than Death:
    • Being a victim of a soulfang serpent bite can be seen as this, since they feed on spiritual essence and turn their victims into soulless zombies.
    • Invoked using Viren's spell to trap a person in a coin. He has a whole bag of coins with elves in them and taunts Rayla about joining them.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Runaan tells Rayla that she's not willing to do whatever it takes for justice. Throughout the first season, Rayla is slowly and painfully losing her left hand to the binding that commands her to kill Prince Ezran, but never even considers it, saying she'll lose the hand rather than lose the chance at peace or her friend.
    • When talking about how she traversed the Cursed Caldera, Ellis says that she was really young at the time. The fact that the Cursed Caldera is actually safe and the monsters are just illusions is hinted at by the fact that a small child managed to go through it easily.
    • While praising Callum's magical talent, Ellis tells him she's certain that he would be great even without the primal stone that enables him to do magic in the first place. In Season 2, Callum figures out how to do magic without needing the primal stone.
    • Similarly, Ava says that there is no healer. This foreshadows that her leg wasn't actually healed, but is just an illusion.
    • Ezran's ability to speak to animals is actually shown a couple times before he actually reveals it in "Wonderstorm", but could have easily been brushed off as just him goofing around.
    • In the second season, Callum is trying to learn Primal Magic despite it supposedly being impossible for a human to do that kind of magic without a Primal Stone, humans lacking the natural connection to/understanding of a Primal Source, called an "Arcanum", but there are a few hints that it is possible to do so, namely Villads and his understanding of the wind and Ezran's own ability to communicate with animals, which seems to fit with the aspect of Earth magic relating to flora and fauna. There's also how Aaravos is said to have mastery of all kinds of Primal Magic despite only having a natural connection to Star magic as a Startouch elf.
    • Ezran and Zym mimicking each other while both are asleep foreshadows the fact that they have a psychic link which is put to good use in the second season finale.
    • Lujanne tells Rayla that real trust is about accepting even the dark parts of your friends. Rayla blows her off at the time, but by the end of the season, Callum uses dark magic and Rayla finds it in herself to forgive him for it.
    • The ending credits early in the third season show an image of Queen Aanya wielding a bow, and later show her being visited by Corvus, Opeli, and the baker. This foreshadows her Big Damn Heroes moment in the finale.
    • In the first episode of Season 4, a Culture Clash happens during an elaborate proposal involving one of human-elf romantic pairs. Later, the clashes between the two cultures result in a much more serious and violent situation.
  • Full-Contact Magic: Spellcasting with Primal Magic appears to be mostly this, and in the novel is described as "supercharged melee" when used in combat. While some exceptions exist, many spells are almost indistinguishable for magically enhanced strikes.
  • Functional Magic: There seem to be several flavors of this trope in this world. Dark Magic functions like alchemy (in that it uses the magic inherent in the materials used, rather than magic from the "caster"). Primal Magic, on the other hand, comes in two forms. The first is Rune Magic, used by Callum and other mages can use by drawing a rune and saying an incantation in draconic. The second, more nebulous form is Force Magic, whereby a magical creature can tap in to a Primal Source and use it for magical abilities (such as Lujanne's illusions). It can also be used to augment said creature's physical speed and strength, as was the case with Phoe-Phoe and the Moonshadow assassins. Callum first taps in to this form of Force Magic at the end of season 2, when he connects to the sky arcanum.
  • Fungus Humongous: The understory of the Moonshadow Forest includes toadstools the size of small trees.

  • Gender Is No Object: There doesn't seem to be an issue with women serving alongside men as guards for Xadians or humans, soldiers and, in the case of Amaya and Janai, generals.
  • The Ghost: The Crow Lord's absence is a Running Gag, and his duties are fulfilled by his second, the Crow Master , who is eventually promoted to Assistant Crow Lord.
  • Giant Flyer: Dragons, of course, but Lujanne also rides on a giant bird, revealed in Season 2 to be a Moon Phoenix.
  • Gigantic Adults, Tiny Babies: Archdragons are the size of hills when fully grown, but their babies are the size of large puppies. The one time we see the two together (Zym meeting his mother) the baby is smaller than the adult's nose.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid:
    • Viren's plot in season 2 involves trying to get the other kingdoms to answer his call to invade Xadia. When Queen Aanya of Duren refuses, the others pull back as well. This leads Viren to send magical assassins against the four leaders, to make their countries frightened enough to do it.
    • In season 3, Soren does a smaller version when he sends a message to Lujanne to come and help Ezran escape Katolis and rejoin Callum and Rayla.
    • Before the finale of season 3, Ezran journeys on Pyrrah, a fire dragon, to gather help from other dragons to protect the Dragon Queen and Zym from the magically-enhanced forces of Viren.
    • Opeli and Corvus journey to Duren and meet Queen Aanya. They tell her of the coup, of Viren's invasion into Xadia, and requests the kingdom's help. Queen Aanya leads the army and turns the tide in the hero's favor.
  • Gratuitous Latin: Ancient Draconic, the language used for magic incantations, is basically Latin. Some words/phrases used: Regina Draconis (to send a message to the Dragon Queen Zubeia), Aspiro (to blow a gust of wind), Fulminis (lightning). At the same time, it occasionally borders on Canis Latinicus. For example, that same Regina Draconis actually means "queen of a dragon". "Queen of Dragons" would be Regina Draconum. Or Sol Regem's name, which is presumably meant to mean "King of the Sun", has Sol in the nominative (subject) case and Regem in the accusative (object). "King of the Sun" is actually Solis Rex.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: According to King Harrow, the war between elves and humans is this, and there are "wrongs on both sides". The elves think they're avenging the Dragon King and his egg, but it turns out that the egg is still intact in the palace. The use of Life Energy as magic by human mages might have been morally ambiguous (even if it's the only kind of magic that they can do without a Primal Stone), but the elves banishing their whole race for the actions of a few seems rather excessive. Throughout their war, both sides commit atrocities and prove they Would Hurt a Child.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: It's noted that while Ezran's Animal Talk is useful in certain occasions, it's better for defusing a situation or gaining knowledge about a quest rather than having a tactical advantage in a fight. Plus, certain animals can lie like raccoons. Then we find out that he developed a telepathic bond with Zym as a result of this gift, and has been giving him flying lessons. In the Season 2 finale, when Zym needs to fly to save Rayla and Callum as they cross the border, Ezran uses the bond to give Zym instructions remotely and flaps his arms for the dragon to mimic
  • Here There Were Dragons: The human kingdoms were once part of the united land of Xadia, but while modern (eastern) Xadia still teems with magical creatures, the humans now live in a mundane world with hardly any. It's implied that human dark mages overhunted magical creatures in the western lands to the point of near-extinction.
  • Heroic Fantasy: The protagonists are on a daring adventure in a world filled with magic. Unlike in High Fantasy, the conflicts are personal and political rather than great world-ending threats, and morality is definitively in shades of gray rather than black and white. However, like high fantasy and in contrast to Low Fantasy, the tone of the show is generally optimistic about human (or elven) nature, and the scale of the story is greater than the heroes' mere personal lives.
  • Horse of a Different Color:
    • When the elves are shown exiling the humans, some of them are shown riding what look like hippogriffs.
    • Ellis rides her pet wolf Eva like a horse.
  • Hot Blade: Sunfire Elves enchant their weapons to remain as hot as the moment they were forged. This allows them to slice through ordinary weapons with ease.
  • Human Resources: From the dragons' and elves' perspective, dark magic requires humans to harvest the Life Energy, organs, and/or body parts of creatures born with magic, like elves, dragons, and lava titans, and so on, to cast spells. For the elves and dragons in question who stand to risk their own organs and life energy harvested off the chopping block, dark magic is Powered by a Forsaken Child. (Lord Viren himself also shows that he is not above trapping the souls of elves into coins, and is implied to have done worse in the past.)
    Claudia: That's the great thing about dark magic. You find creatures that are born with magic, and you just squeeze it out of them!
  • I Am Not My Father: Quite a few of the younger characters make decisions that are deliberately at odds with what their parents did:
    • After Viren tells Aanya about how her parents had fought alongside Katolis to save both of their people, Aanya decides that even though her parents probably would have said yes to an alliance of the human kingdoms against Xadia, she herself will not.
    • Ezran realizes that a decision to make peace with Xadia is at odds with what his father (and grandfather, and great-grandfather, etc.) fought for, but he makes that decision anyway.
    • Soren decides, after watching his father commit so many atrocities in the name of peace, that he can't stand by and do nothing; he defects to Ezran's side and fights against his father.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Deconstructed. Sacrifice is a central theme of season 1, and it's repeatedly shown how sacrificing morality (Runaan deciding to kill the ten-year-old Ezran, Viren's decision to kill the princes) in the name of a "greater good" is often indistinguishable from genuinely evil deeds or a cover for more selfish motivations like revenge or power. This is in contrast to the heroes, who repeatedly sacrifice themselves (Rayla's hand, Callum's Primal Stone) for a greater purpose. A big part of why Soren realizes how much of a terrible person his father is precisely due to realizing just how much his father can paint any terrible action as this, no matter how much it isn't, while a large number of humans buy into it. When Aaravos questions Viren about his goals and reasons, he noticeably sounds unconvinced every time Viren tries to paint his actions as for the greater good. Given that Aaravos not only continues to support Viren but tells him how to achieve victory via mass murder, it comes off more as Aaravos being a tad frustrated that his protege is lying to himself about his own nature.
  • It Has Only Just Begun: Even after getting Zym to the Dragon Queen and making a start towards a tenuous peace, the story is far from over. Aaravos seems to have found a way out of the prison Avizandum put him in and he's more powerful than Viren ever was and doesn't seem to have as much as him in the way of scruples.
  • Killed Offscreen: King Harrow's fate is not shown, but Rayla's right wrist binding falls off, indicating that he died — not to mention Runaan, the leader of the assassins sent to kill him, sending the magic message that indicates their success. Likewise, because none of Runaan's party are shown being taken captive, it is logical to assume that all of them were slain as well. Season 3 confirms the deaths of all of the assassins other than Rayla and Runaan. Moonshadow elves when sent on dangerous missions leave glowing magic crystals in a pond in their village, which sink to the bottom upon their deaths. Rayla's crystal is the only one still floating, while a final shot underwater shows four dead crystals on the bottom and Runaan's crystal just barely above the bottom and with a very faint glow, reflecting his current status, neither dead nor truly alive.
  • Language of Magic: Casting spells requires two steps. First, the mage draws a rune corresponding to the effect they want. Then to project it, the mage has to speak the accompanying word in the dragon tongue. Callum knows the wind spell because Claudia casts it in front of him, but he has trouble with the lightning spell because he cut her off before she could finish the incantation. Dark Magic on the other hand is cast by speaking backwards.
  • Latin Is Magic: Ancient Draconic, the language used for magic incantations, is represented using Latin. Phrases used include "Regina Draconis" (to send a message to the Dragon Queen), "Aspiro" ("I breathe", to blow a gust of wind), and "Fulminis" (to generate lightning).
  • Life Energy: The seventh source of magic. A human discovered he could cast dark magic by draining the life force from magical creatures.
  • Luxury Prison Suite: Aaravos is imprisoned in one. To Viren's eyes, it doesn't look like a prison at all, and Aaravos admits that it is "very well appointed."
  • Lying to Protect Your Feelings: For a good portion of the first and second seasons, Princes Ezran and Callum don't know that their father/adoptive father King Harrow is dead, killed by the elven assassins Rayla came to the castle with. Rayla, who has been traveling with them, makes it a point not to tell. Later, when Claudia and Soren show up, Soren lies that their father is really looking forward to seeing them. Claudia is embarrassed by her brother's behavior, but later uses the truth as a means to try to get Callum to come back with her. Callum is mad at Rayla for not telling him the truth. Later, however, he can't bring himself to tell Ezran and realizes how Rayla felt and why she didn't tell them. The two discuss the matter and Callum wonders if maybe Soren wasn't doing the same thing.
  • MacGuffin Escort Mission: Once the Dragon Prince's egg is found alive, Callum, Ezran, and Rayla set out on a quest to return it to Xadia in order to stop the ongoing conflict between the two lands.
  • Magic is Evil: Dark magic is incredibly creepy. It also takes a toll on the body, but not necessarily on the mind; dark magic's effects on a person depend quite a bit on the character of the one who's casting the spell.
    • In Season 2, it's zigzagged. Dark magic can be physically dangerous to its user and can be damaging to their sanity, as seen when Callum uses dark magic to free a dragon. But this was mentioned by Claudia to be inexperience on the part of Callum. Even so, over two years later it is revealed that Callum is vulnerable to Aavaros's possession magic due to being "touched by darkness."
    • Viren uses dark magic multiple times, and it appears to corrupt him the longer he uses it. But Ziard, dark magic's creator, is indisputably compassionate and caring. Thus, it is Viren's lust for power and vengeance, not his use of dark magic, that makes him a bad guy.
  • Magic Is Mental: Very much the case for Dark Magic, where learning spells and rituals are practically an academic pursuit. Primal Magic, however, is decidedly less so, where a great deal of spirituality is required to connect to a Primal Source, and magic itself is a product of both mind and body (dancing, arm/hand movements, breathing, etc).
  • Make-Out Kids: Rayla and Callum are very openly affectionate after they get together, often holding hands and kissing each other, once even doing so in front of Ezran before they'd even told him they'd become a couple.
  • Making a Splash: The ocean is one of the six sources of magic.
  • Meaningful Echo: When Callum learns about Harrow's death in season 2, he tries to talk to Ezran about it and starts to give him a speech about life. We find out later in the season that Harrow gave this same speech to Callum when he had to tell him that his mother died.
  • Memorial Statue:
  • Missing Mom: Fathers are fairly present in the story — Callum and Ezran have King Harrow; Soren and Claudia have Lord Viren — but Queen Sarai is dead, and Soren and Claudia's mother divorced their father and moved away. Only Rayla speaks of her parents as a unit, and she's estranged from both of them. Season 3 reveals they're both dead, or worse.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: An animal called a banther, a cross between a bear and a panther, is seen in season 2.
  • Maligned Mixed Marriage:
    • Callum and Rayla joke about having to hide their relationship from the Dragon Queen, in case she doesn't approve, but the Season 3 finale shows she's actually quite approving.
    • Played with in season 4 when Amaya and Janai get engaged. While Janai's brother is supportive of the relationship and likes Amaya personally, he worries about the political implications of marrying a human and how it would look to their people for their queen to marry a human so soon after a human army powered by dark magic had just displaced them from their homeland.
  • Mooks: The human guards, once they begin to side with Viren.
  • Morality Kitchen Sink:
    • The overarching conflict between the humans and elves is Grey-and-Gray Morality verging on Evil vs. Evil: both sides have historically been extremely ruthless and seem to be motivated primarily by power combined with fear and hatred of the other side.
    • The conflict between the main characters and Lord Viren is Black-and-White Morality once Viren jumps off the slippery slope. The protagonists are largely goodhearted and self-sacrificing idealists who are trying to bring the human-elven war to an end with minimal bloodshed while Viren is willing to have them killed, not simply to protect the kingdom, but with the intention of taking the war to Xadia and reclaiming the lands for humanity.
  • Most Writers Are Adults: The child characters act like, think like and are able to verbalize their thought just like grown ups.
  • Muggle–Mage Romance: In season 3 Human mage Callum and Elven assassin Rayla, develop a romance after they both realize how much they truly admire the others bravery and selflessness.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • Dark Magic, a taboo art that drains life from magical creatures to do such things as grow crops to feed an entire kingdom in the dead of winter or kill the king of the dragons himself, can apparently also make your pancakes extra fluffy, according to Claudia.
    • Similarly, Lujanne uses Moon magic to make grubs look and taste like cake and ice cream.
  • Narrative Profanity Filter:
    • While speaking with Viren, General Amaya signs "Guard, send me a stableboy. I seem to have come across a large pile of bull... droppings." From the look on Translator Buddy Gren's face, she didn't sign "bull droppings."
      • Oddly enough Amaya actually signed "droppings" meaning that Gren himself almost swore, likely assuming what came next.
    • Amaya gets in another one of these in season 3, this time carefully paraphrased by Sunfire Elf linguist Kazi:
      Janai: Well? What did she say?
      Kazi: If my interpretation is correct, and it is, she suggested an unusual way in which your body might accommodate your sword.
  • The Needs of the Many: Repeatedly examined, played with, and deconstructed. Sacrificing one person rather than many often comes off as the best solution, but it's just as often used as a way to find an easy way out and not actually solve the problem at hand, causing more problems later.
  • New Neo City: Neolandia, one of the human kingdoms.
  • New Season, New Title: After the first arc from Book 1 to 3, the second arc is set under the subtitle of Mystery of Aaravos.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • In "Fire and Fury", a dragon has been flying over a small town for a couple of days, but the soldiers refuse to take action because it hasn't attacked, with Corvus suggesting it's just intimidating the townsfolk. Soren decides to take command and tries to shoot it down with the town's ballistas, but after the first shot is fired, the dragon immediately retaliates and starts raining fire upon the town.
    • In the past, King Harrow and Viren decided to kill a magma titan so Viren could cast a spell to ensure a food supply throughout the winter. When they actually get to the titan, killing it is much tougher than they realize, and before they can retreat back to their territory with the heart, Thunder catches them. The queens of Duren and Queen Sarai die buying time for the others to escape, and their intrusion sparks a war with Xadia.
  • Not Quite Dead:
    • The titular Dragon Prince's egg was believed to be shattered, but that turns out to not be the case. Viren stole the egg, and is keeping it under the castle in Katolis.
    • After a particularly bad spot with ice, the trio make it to the supposed mystic healer, but the egg's stopped glowing, indicating the dragon prince is dying. However, Callum sacrifices the Primal Stone he used to cast magic, helping to hatch the egg and save the prince's life.
    • Runaan is believed dead, but is actually sealed in a coin by Viren's dark magic. It's implied that the same is true of Rayla's parents.
    • Played with in Viren's case at the climax of season 3. After Rayla pushes him off the top of the Storm Spire, it seems like he falls to his death. In the last scene of the season, however, we see him wake up in a cave, and he even wonders if he survived the fall. Turns out, he didn't: Claudia brought him back to life with dark magic.

  • Old Magic: Most humans can only use magic by drawing from a magically-charged object. Viren and his daughter Claudia figure out how to take magic from living magical creatures, albeit at terrible costs to themselves (and to the creatures.) Later, Prince Callum figures out another, less harmful way of using magic, by learning to comprehend arcana on an instinctive level, tapping into an even older magic than even Viren and Claudia's.
  • Ominous Cube: The Key of Aaravos is a magical dice-like cube with runes that dictate the six Primal Sources on all sides.
  • Only One Name: Like in Avatar, there's no reference to any of the main characters having surnames. The only exceptions are the famous explorer "Sir Phineas Kirst" and Callum making up a name during a I Have This Friend story.
  • Orphaned Etymology: Several words that in real life originate from other (non-Anglophone) cultures appear, despite none of those cultures existing.
    • The leaders of the five human kingdoms are collectively known as the Pentarchy (from the Greek words meaning "five rulers") despite the absence of a Greece-analogue.
    • Soren at one point composes a haiku. Since the world is Animesque, the actual language spoken there may be Japanese-sounding, and containing the word "haiku".
  • Our Mages Are Different: First, there are Dark Mages, who are a mix of Scholars and Chemists (Dark Magic spells require components to produce a desired effect). However, there are also Primal Mages, who seem to be a combination of Naturalists, Monks, and Race. Usually, a mage has to be born with a connection to a Primal Source—called an arcanum—to practice this kind of magic (Callum and Aaravos are the only exceptions thus far). Along with that connection, mages need to draw from Primal Energy in the natural world or within themselves. While some study is involved in learning spells, Primal Mages primarily resemble Monks, in that they must cultivate a deep connection to their arcanum, using willpower and mental discipline to perform complex abilities such as crafting illusions, super-strength, or flight. Mages in Primal Magic may also be Athletes, depending how much physical exertion is actually required for their magic.
  • Place of Power: While the different types of Primal magic naturally vary in strength depending on the location and environment, there are six locations, one for each Primal Source, where each type of magic is at its peak, called a Nexus. As of season 4, we have seen most of them:
    • Late in season 1, Callum, Ezran, and Rayla venture to the Cursed Caldera. As Callum learns early in season 2, this is the location of the Moon Nexus, a mountaintop lake which perfectly reflects the image of the full moon, where the ancient ancestors of the modern Moonshadow elves performed rituals, even opening a world to another plane, described as a "shimmering world beyond life and death". It's abandoned save for a single guardian now because it fell on the human side of the land when humanity was forced out of Xadia.
    • In the middle of season 3, Aaravos uses Viren and the Star Caterpillar to corrupt the Sun Nexus located in the middle of Lux Aurea. Apparently, before its corruption, it was powerful enough to purge dark magic from a human's body.
    • The Storm Spire, the lair of the dragon queen Zubeia, is the location of the Sky Nexus.
    • Umber Tor, the lair of the Earth archdragon Rex Igneous, is the location of the Earth Nexus.
  • Power Dyes Your Hair: With repeated use of dark magic, Viren's hair has become whiter. Claudia is also seen with a white streak after using dark magic to heal Soren. After bringing Viren Back from the Dead, almost half of her hair has become white.
  • Power at a Price: This is how dark magic seems to work, requiring the lifeforce or essence of at least part of living being in order to cast a spell. Excessive amounts of usage also seems to take some kind of toll on the user, as evidenced by Viren draining the life of magical butterflies in order to hide his darkness-stained skin and eyes and keep himself looking like a middle-aged man.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: From the dragons' and elves' perspective, dark magic is especially abhorrent because it allows humans to harvest the Life Energy and/or organs of magical creatures like them to fuel magic that could rival their own. Now, imagine the roles were reversed and it was elves who were not born with magic, but found a way to rival human magic by harvesting the organs and/or life energy of human bodies... (It doesn't help that Claudia and Lord Viren both hint that they or other humans have harvested magical creatures like dragons, unicorns, and lava titans in the past, the first of which definitely has sapience and the latter two might as well.)
  • The Power of the Sun: The sun is one of the six sources of magic. Sunfire elves are masters of this magical art. A piece of their handiwork, an enchanted dagger with a heated blade, appears toward the end of Season 1, while they are introduced properly during Season 2. A Freeze-Frame Bonus indicates that Bait's a magical creature that draws from the sun.
  • Praetorian Guard:
    • The Katolis court has the Crownguard, a collection of the kingdom's finest knights assigned to protect the king. Soren is part of it.
    • Rayla mentions that her parents were part of the Xadian equivalent — they were assigned to guard the Dragon King and his family. She's ashamed of the fact that they apparently deserted and failed to protect the prince's egg.
  • Previously on…: Each episode starts with a recap of what previously happened.
  • Purple Is Powerful: Dark magic, which is powered by Life Energy and has a variety of powerful effects, is represented mostly by the color purple. A human's eyes glow purple when casting it, and dark magic spells tend to have some shade of purple in their magic once cast.
  • Revenge: At least part of the reason the elves are angry at the humans is that the humans killed the Dragon King and destroyed his egg. However, Ezran finds the egg intact in the palace, hinting that something more complicated is going on.
  • Rightful King Returns: Ezran's return to the Katolis capital in season 3 rings of this, unfortunately the moment is overshadowed by his doubt and insecurities overtaking the throne. Sure enough, despite his good intentions Ezran's lack of training and experience causes him to make foolish mistakes, and he's ultimately pressured into abdicating in favor of Viren in order to avert the capitol going under siege.
  • Road Trip Romance: Rayla and Callum begin their mission just as uneasy allies pulled together by their mutual desire to prevent a war by returning the titular Dragon Prince, discovered by Ezran, to his mother. By the time they meet the Dragon Queen both are unashamedly in love with the other and are a couple.
  • Runic Magic: Primal magic users rely on runes to cast magic.
    • Mages must draw the rune by hand in the air and recite the corresponding draconic incantation in order to cast spells. Callum, who has a photographic memory and impeccable drawing skills, is able to pick up primal magic without any study simply by observing others.
    • Runes can also be placed on an object to enchant it, as seen with sunforged blades, the Moonstone Path, and the magic mirror. In addition, mage wings involves drawing runes on one's arms, which turn into wings once the incantation is complete.
  • Running Gag: Through Book One's credit images, there are several of Soren doing push-ups with increased weight on his back, which includes Bait, Claudia and then both plus Callum and Ezran.
  • Scenery Porn: Almost all scenes in Xadia by season 3.
  • Sdrawkcab Speech: Conjurings for dark magic spells sound like speech spoken backwards.
  • Secondary Character Title: In the first season, the Dragon Prince is just an egg, and the true protagonists are the Power Trio of Ezran, Callum and Rayla who are trying to protect it.
  • Ship Tease: Rayla's awkward nervousness around Callum after his near-death experience indicates she may be developing feelings for him. They confirm their feelings for each other in season 3 and are still together by the end of the season.
  • Shock and Awe:
    • According to the website, Thunder the Dragon King could turn into lightning to travel from the sky to the ground instantaneously
    • Callum's spell "fulminis" allows him to summon lightning.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • General Amaya uses accurate American Sign Language, and her interactions with people who would be familiar with her disability are authentic. Characters who know her address Amaya directly so she can read their lips, and because talking to a signer's interpreter is considered rude and dehumanizing in Deaf culture. Rayla turns her head away when talking to her during their first encounter, which angers Amaya.
    • The weapons and armor tend to be historically-accurate, to the point that one can easily find the real-life reproductions of the historical swords, crossbows, and halberds that they were clearly modeled after.
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page.
  • Side Bet: In "Breaking the Seal", during a flashback to when King Harrow and his wife Queen Sarai are sparring and discussing a dangerous mission, Sarai successfully disarms and bests her husband. Two guards are watching the spar and the one on the left discretely hands over some coins to the now smugly smiling right guard.
  • Single Language Planet: Even though they're separated by a river of lava and a generations-long enmity, the Humans from the Five kingdoms on one side and Elves and Dragons in Xadia on the other side all speak the same language. The different elf tribes do have different accents, but there's no indication that these accents come from an underlying different language.
  • Sins of the Father: A running theme of the show. The Cycle of Revenge and how Vengeance Feels Empty are frequently on display here. Whether they're good or bad, everyone in the setting has to deal with the consequences of the actions of their forefathers, their parents, or their culture.
    • The entire mess started due to dragons not wanting humans to have the power of magic. Or so the humans claim, anyway. It's much more morally gray than that, as revealed in the third season.
    • Season 3 reveals a lot of the reason why the races of humanity and the races of Xadia despise each other. King Harrow's wife was killed by the dragon king, Thunder. In retaliation, Harrow and Viren used a spear fueled by dark magic to turn Thunder to stone and steal his egg. Four or five months later, the quest of the three main heroes is repeatedly stymied by having to deal with the fallout.
  • Sneaking Snacks: Ezran often sneaks jelly tarts from the kitchen, even using the castle's secret passageways for this purpose.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Avatar: The Last Airbender. It's written by some of the ATLA staff, there's a system of partially-hereditary, partially-spiritual Elemental Powers, and a group of heroes helping a chosen messiah fix a Gray-and-Grey Morality conflict. To top it off, each season is a "Book" named after one of the elements of Xadia.
  • Spoiler Title: Being named "The Dragon Prince", it's no surprise when it's revealed the dragon king's egg wasn't actually destroyed.
  • Star Power: The stars are one of the six sources of magic. According to the official website:
    Star magic is little understood. It draws on the vast and timeless power of the cosmos, and involves divination, cosmic vision, and seeing into the "beyond." Creatures connected to the Stars are extremely uncommon and rarely seen.
  • Standard Fantasy Setting: A magical fantasy world where humans and elves are at war. Design-wise, the kingdom of Katolis evokes a fantastic vaguely European monarchy, and the plot centers around restoring the titular dragon prince to the neighboring land of Xadia.
  • The Stinger: The ending card illustrations occasionally act as this:
    • A couple of episodes have used them to show Corvus' current progress in catching up to the protagonists.
    • A couple images from Season 1 are the only appearances of Ethari before he's seen in the series proper in Season 3.
    • One from the Season 1 finale gave a glimpse of the mirror's secret.
    • One from the Season 2 finale showed Gren being found by some guards.
    • Season 3 has a few of these, such as two where Lujanne (under a glamour that makes her look human) is seemingly flirting with a human man, and another where we see Opeli, Corvus, and the baker bowing to Queen Aanya.
  • Stock Sound Effects: About once an episode, you'll hear a sound effect from an old 90s PC fantasy game, including The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall, Dungeon Siege, or the Neverwinter Nights series.
  • Succession Crisis: Downplayed. Harrow has a clear heir in Ezran, but both he and his half-brother Callum are underage. A regent is typically appointed under these circumstances, and Viren volunteers — before Harrow's corpse is even cold, flouting traditional mourning rites in the process, which he justifies by saying Katolis needs a leader in a time of crisis. Several high-status people don't buy it, however, among them General Amaya and High Priestess Opeli. (The fact that he also "volunteered" to take over the kingship when Ezran and Callum were believed dead probably didn't earn him any confidence.)
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Viren's attempts to persuade the other four kingdoms to help them, while well-meant, are ultimately rebuffed because he has no concrete proof that Xadia is planning on invasion and the other kingdoms won't risk their own armies and the wrath of Xadia for nothing.
    • Soren is knocked around a bit during a fight, then gets thrown into a rock by a dragon. It's the sort of thing most shows would wave off, but here, it actually paralyzes him from the neck down.
    • After the meeting of the pentarchy, Viren is found to have lied about getting the position of Lord Regent so he could summon them all to start a war with Xadia. When the Council of Katolis finds this out, Viren is stripped of all power and arrested.
    • Unlike in many fantasy series, Rayla's attempt to cut a metal chain with a simple sword doesn't work very well. This is immediately lampshaded by Soren.
    • Ezran not only fails to persuade the hotheaded Prince Kasef that peace is possible by returning Azymondias, but further enrages Kasef by reinforcing his belief that he's really just dealing with a naive child after all.
    • Likewise, Ezran shows mercy towards Claudia and Soren after their father is arrested and they are detained as traitors. Even though they tried to attack him and his brother, he says they shouldn't have to pay for their father's crimes and gives them a pardon. While Soren takes this to mean he should earn back the Prince's trust, Viren takes the opportunity to manipulate Claudia into doing his bidding. This culminates in Viren staging a coup, imprisoning Ezran, and preparing to slaughter the inhabitants of Xadia. Sometimes kindness will bite you in the butt.
    • Rayla leaving for two years, leads to Callum becoming angered and upset at her when she returns despite still loving her, and it takes most of season 4 before he begins to reconcile with her.
  • Swiss-Army Weapon: Rayla's dual swords have sickels inside the handles that she uses to climb, or to unexpectedly hook an enemies weapon/limbs to throw them off balance. They even resemble large multi-tools with folding handles.
    • Runaan, Rayla's mentor, uses a bow that can split into dual swords for melee combat.

  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Rayla initially only tolerates travel with Callum and Ezran because it'd be meaningless to take the Dragon Prince back to Xadia by herself, she needs it to be given back by two Katolian princes as a peace offering.
  • Time Skip: The SDCC 2022 trailers for Season 4 reveal there was a two-year timeskip between Viren's death at the end of Season 3 and his resurrection, during which time Callum became the High Mage and has been trying to unravel the secrets of Aaravos' mirror. Claudia also got an Earthblood elf boyfriend named Terrestrius, a.k.a "Terry" for short, during the years.
  • Toilet Humor: Claudia is absolutely thrilled by her boyfriend's (an Earthblood elf by the name Terrestrius, shortened to Terry) farts smelling of petrichor (the smell when rain falls on dry earth).
  • Tunnel Network: Katolis Castle has secret tunnels and passages within it. Exploring them is how Ezran first found out about the Dragon Prince's egg.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: After the third episode, the plot switches between Callum, Rayla, and Ezran on their journey and the happenings at the castle.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: Viren attempts to rapidly consolidate power immediately after Harrow's assassination, ignoring traditional mourning procedures and brazenly announcing he will "humbly" accept the "burden" of regency. It doesn't work; he overplays his hand and Callum and Ezran are still alive. When he tries to circumvent Katolis and unite the Pentarchy to invade Xadia, he is stripped of his position on the Council and is arrested by Opeli.
  • Unicorn: Xadian Unicorn's once roamed the lands long ago, but are thought to have been driven to extinction by Dark Mages for their horns, as they were powerful magic ingredients. In a flashback in Book 3, Viren reveals that Claudia somehow managed to acquire one for a spell which was strong enough to fell the Dragon King.
  • Vague Age: According to the official bios of the cast on the show's website, none of the parental figures have listed ages. Amaya is listed as "Aunt-ish", Harrow and Viren are "Dad-ish," and Runaan is "Uncle-ish."
  • Wants a Prize for Basic Decency: In Season 1, Rayla says that Callum and Ezran should trust her because she hasn't tried to assassinate them in the whole time she's known them. Callum notes that "isn't trying to kill me" is a very low bar to clear.
  • Weird Moon: Downplayed. The phases of the moon are accurate to the date; for example, a waning half moon is shown about a week after a full moon, which is accurate; and for the next few days after that, the moon is a waning crescent. However, the position of the moon in the sky is not always accurate to the time of day; said waning crescent moon is not always shown in the eastern sky just before dawn.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Deconstructed. Many characters are willing to go to extreme lengths to achieve otherwise noble goals, but all those actions ultimately only serve to exacerbate the problem in the long run. And as the issue escalates, they resort to increasingly extreme methods that only make things even worse.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: The conflict between humans and the magical creatures of Xadia. While most humans find dark magic to be unsettling at best, most of them accept it more or less as a way to solve difficult problems, and/or level the playing field with magical creatures like dragons and elves. But from the dragons' and elves' perspective (who very much have human-level intelligence), some humans being able and willing to literally cut up magical creatures like themselves and harvest elven and dragon organs and/or life energy is a case of Powered by a Forsaken Child, and most don't want to be anywhere near humans given the damage that humans can (and have) done to them.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Mostly averted, especially for a show like this that might be expected to drag out any romantic subplot. There are some vague hints at the very end of the second season that Rayla and Callum might have feelings for each other beyond friendship. It only takes a couple of episodes into the third season before they figure out the interest is mutual and then they just go for it.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: The novelizations say that Ezran was eight years old (Book One: Moon, page 1), and they also say that Harrow became king nine years ago (Book Two: Sky, page 155) and that Ezran was already born by then (ibid, page 157).
  • Wrong Context Magic:
    • Ezran's Speaks Fluent Animal powers don't seem to fit in neatly with the established magic of the series, especially considering the fact that humans supposedly don't have any inherent magic of their own. In the second season finale he even demonstrates that he can do Animal Eye Spy, which he uses to help Zym fly. the website hints that it might be some kind of Earth Primal Magic.
    • Aaravos can use all kinds of Primal Magic despite supposedly only having a natural connection to Star magic as a Startouch elf.
    • Callum, despite being a human and supposedly unable to use it at all, manages to cast Sky Primal Magic without a Primal Stone by the end of season 2.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: A recurring theme of the first season is that several of the main characters, namely Callum and Rayla, really sell themselves short on their abilities and potential. Rayla believes that her inability to take a life makes her a poor assassin and Callum thinks that without the primal orb he stole from Claudia he just isn't special. Thankfully there's people around them that assure them that Callum is plenty special without his magic orb and that Rayla not wanting to kill people is a good thing.


Rayla Talks To Callum

After spending two years on a fruitless quest, Rayla returns to see Callum, who's naturally uncertain about how he feels about her and isn't ready to talk yet. After a night of sitting beside each other, Rayla speaks to her sleeping mage.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / ConverseWithTheUnconscious

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