Wizards is a 2020 American computer-animated television series created for Netflix by Guillermo del Toro, produced by DreamWorks Animation and Double Dare You. It is the third and final series in the Tales of Arcadia anthology.
Trouble is afoot in Arcadia once again, but this time it's not Trolls, or Aliens, but Wizards who threaten the seemingly peaceful town. It's up to Merlin's very own apprentice, Douxie, to gather the heroes of the town together to once again fight to save the world. Things don't go well from the start though when during a battle the team is sent to the past, to the time of Camelot.
The series premiered August 7th, 2020. You can see the first trailer Here.
- Apathetic Citizens: Now on their third apocalypse less than a week after the last, the people of Arcadia don't run from the Order's floating fortress as much as they groan and walk home.
- Ascended Extra: Douxie, who has never had more than a few small speaking parts in Trollhunters and 3Below, is now the main character. Though it's always been heavily implied he's more than he seems.
- Ambiguously Evil: Shadow Magic is referred to as being sinister and to be looked at with caution, it being the only form of magic Merlin apparently never uses or teaches. Morgana and Claire are shown to possess a natural affinity to it and its use is looked at with fear and skepticism. While Morgana did turn evil, it had nothing to do with her affinity to it. In the case of Claire, she has only ever used it for altruistic purposes, helping the escaping trolls by blocking out the sun and later learning how to conjure portals without a staff under Douxie's tutelage.
- Ambiguously Gay: Morgana seems to have been just as in love with Guinevere as Arthur was.
- And the Adventure Continues: Douxie is protecting Nari and the world from the Arcane Order, Jim has regained his human form and may wield Excalibur to protect Arcadia along with his friends.
- Been There, Shaped History: Thanks to getting chucked back in time without the means to come back, Douxie, Steve, Claire, and Jim end up shaping the events that would lead to the creation of the Trollhunter and the banishment of the Gumm-Gumms.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: The Arcane Order (mostly Bellroc and Skrael, after Nari pulls a HeelFace Turn), who could count for this as the entire franchise as it's revealed that they're the ones who turned Morgana evil. The Green Knight, a resurrected King Arthur, serves as somewhat of a third member as The Heavy.
- Bittersweet Ending: Jim regains his humanity, albeit without the amulet but he might be worthy of wielding Excalibur, and Douxie finally becomes a wizard but sadly, Merlin, Arthur and Morgana are now dead with the latter in a Redemption Equals Death battle against her brother, Douxie leaves Arcadia to protect Nari and the Arcane Order are still at large.
- Both Sides Have a Point: Claire and the Guardians arguing with Merlin about saving Jim and protecting Nari from the Arcane Order. Merlin believes that there's no way to bring Jim back as the corruption in his heart is too powerful, yet Claire believes that Merlin is just being too stubborn, due to his strong belief in The Needs of the Many.Merlin: I empathize, Miss Claire, but we cannot go back to save him.
Claire: Come on, this is our friend we're talking about! Your Trollhunter! You want us to just forget about him? No way!
Douxie: [Uneasily] Surely there's something that we can do—
Merlin: The risk is too great for a rescue! [Douxie facepalms] We must keep Nari safe from the Order. The fate of existence is at stake!
Toby: This is why nobody likes you, dude!
Merlin: I care not for your "likes." James Lake is corrupted, gone! There is no bringing him back!
Claire: Or you're just too stubborn to try!
Douxie: Please, you both have solid points.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: The Green Knight infects Jim's soul with dark magic, enslaving Jim to his will.
- Cain and Abel: Morgana and Arthur. Though which one is Cain and which one is Abel flips around a few times before finally settling on a repentant Morgana as the Abel to Arthur's Came Back Wrong Cain.
- The Cameo: A few characters from Trollhunters show up in bit parts. Angor Rot gets a single scene where he saves Morgana from the sea and delivers her to the Arcane Order without knowing who she is (unintentionally saving the woman who'd later enslave him) and Gnome Chompsky shows up briefly during the finale when Douxie is playing a game of cups with the Arcane Order.
- Came Back Strong: The Arcane Order is fond of doing this.
- They resurrect Morgana after Arthur kills her, turning her into the unstoppable monster she is in Trollhunters. Though when they do it again they keep her at her normal level before she died, possibly not trusting she wouldn't turn on them.
- They later do this with Arthur but with a lot more Came Back Wrong to make him easier to control.
- Distressed Dude: A downplayed example; Jim spends most of Wizards like this. First, he has a rock shard slowly penetrating his heart, leaving him weakened and unable to summon his daylight sword. Then when he hurries the process to try and gain an edge over the Green Knight, he falls under the Order's control.
- Evil Makes You Monstrous: Jim's human side is completely suppressed by the Green Knight's dark magic, causing him to grow into a full-blooded troll even bigger than AAARRRGGHH, but semi-feral and under the Order's control.
- Excalibur in the Stone: Arthur's defeat leaves Excalibur without a wielder, embedded into a rock. Nobody is able make the sword budge, leaving it without a wielder, for now.
- Familiar: Archie is Douxie's shape shifting talking cat dragon familiar.
- Fantastic Racism: Arthur and his knights hate trolls and don't seem to like magic users much either, only tolerating them as long as they are useful or stay out of the way.
- Five-Second Foreshadowing: In the series finale, when Jim dies/turns to stone, he does so in the same pose as AAARRRGGHH at the end of Trollhunters Season 1 and Draal in the episode Unbecoming, neither of which were permanent deaths.
- Foil: Wizards ultimately shows many counterparts between the time-traveling heroes (Douxie, Claire, Jim, and Steve) and the people of Arthurian legends (Merlin, Morgana, Arthur, and Lancelot) being opposites to each other respectively, despite their similarities.
- Douxie and Merlin: Douxie and Merlin are both wizards who fight for the good of magic and mortals alike. However, while Douxie cares about all life, as well as his friends', and is willing to save one life for countless others, Merlin fights for the greater good of the world and believes that losing one life is a necessary sacrifice. Douxie lampshades to Archie what he would've been like if Merlin were a different person like Charlemagne, or even if he himself actually became much like Merlin if the said wizard had never found him.
- Claire and Morgana: Both possess the gift of shadow magic and deeply care about magical creatures. However, while Claire wishes to try to find peace for trolls and humans, Morgana allows her pride and hatred for mankind's prejudice against magic to consume her and destroy all mortals, seeking to use Gunmar's tyranny to allow magics to control the world. Ultimately, Morgana is likely what Claire would become if she allowed her dark magics to overcome her. Claire is afraid of becoming much like Morgana and is instantly wary of her dark gifts, but is encouraged by Douxie that she is nothing like Morgana and, even though they share the same magic, her shadow magic is still hers to control.
- Jim and Arthur: Both Jim and Arthur were chosen to wield magical weapons (Daylight and Excalibur respectively) and destined for greatness. However, unlike Jim, who continued to care for the magical beings around him, sacrificed himself to protect his friends from Morgana when she was still evil, never gave into the beliefs of evil beings, and moved on from his losses, King Arthur came to the conclusion that trollkind should be wiped out, sliced off Morgana's hand which would lead her to fall to her first death, gave into Skrael and Bellroc's belief that the world must be wiped out and made anew, and never moved on from his loss of Guinevere. Ultimately, King Arthur is an example of who Jim could've become if he let his emotions control him instead of the other way around. It's even hinted that Jim can one day wield Excalibur after Arthur's demise to make it his own and fix Arthur's past mistakes.
- Steve and Lancelot: Somewhat subverted. Both are quite egotistical and boastful. However, while Lancelot follows Arthur's prejudice without question, Steve is willing to blow his validation of knighthood to protect his friends, even protect half-troll Jim and Claire's magic secret. Lancelot was clearly outraged when Steve purposely made him miss Troll Jim with an arrow once (unaware that said troll is actually one of Steve's friend).
- Genre Shift: While previous stories went more for a Urban Fantasy approach, this one is more straight up High Fantasy without any Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World aspects, with most of it being set in Camelot and the entire plot being concerned with battling evil.
- Greater-Scope Villain: The Arcane Order resurrected and empowered Morgana, making them responsible for everything that she did past that.
- Gory Discretion Shot: Any time a human is killed the shot will quickly jump to reactions instead of showing what happened.
- Here We Go Again!: Steve, Toby & Krel are basically annoyed that the world is ending again and it's up to them to save it again.
- Late-Arrival Spoiler: You're going to need to have watched at least all of Trollhunters and some of 3Below before seeing this.
- Like a Son to Me: It takes him until his literal dying breath, but Merlin admits this is how he feels about Douxie.
- Logo Joke: This time, the Heart of Avalon is shown as Archie flies toward it. He reaches it and the green energy recedes to form the crescent moon shape (with the DWA text forming below); as he perches, he prepares to start licking himself, then turns towards the camera, going "Meow." in a deadpan voice.
- Magitech: We get a couple instances of this.
- Zoe and the hedgemages at Hextech combine magic with human technology for profit.
- Krel is able to combine a shard of the Heart of Avalon with Akaridion technology to make a trap that sends the Arcane Order shooting through time for a bit.
- Mentor Occupational Hazard: Merlin for Douxie, Lancelot for Steve, and (to a lesser extent) Morgana for Claire, whom all meet their ends.
- Never the Selves Shall Meet: Averted, Douxie and his past self interact several times with no apparent consequences.
- Ominous Floating Castle: The Arcane Order fly around in a giant, skull-faced castle. Merlin also retrofitted Camelot's castle for flight and time travel.
- Redemption Equals Death: Morgana ends up killing herself and her brother in the final fight realizing there was no saving Arthur from what he had become. Its slightly ambiguous if Morgana actually killed herself or if as she died she just made sure her brother didn't live much longer as she can be seen slumping over just before a tower of Camelot falls on them both. Either way, she ends up joining Merlin in the afterlife.
- Sequel Hook: The Arcane Order is still around and looking for Nari, which was announced the same day the series dropped that the saga will be concluded in Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans. Excalibur is also stuck in a stone, awaiting a wielder once more.
- Sequel Non-Entity: Pretty much everyone of Trollhunters continuity come back or makes an appearance here, but Kanjigar the Courageous (Jim's most recent predecessor) is strangely completely absent. It wouldn't be as strange if Draal (his son) didn't show up.
- Shout-Out: A few.
- Nimue's true form bears a resemblance to Starro.
- Douxie, a wizard's apprentice, is introduced enchanting a broom to make his work easier and being admonished for his mentor for it allá Mickey Mouse in The Sorcerer's Apprentice.
- Upon confronting Arthur during the final episode, Morgana says "Brother, I would have words with you."
- So Proud of You: Merlin states to Douxie how long he's been protecting the realm, considering all life important, and doing whatever he could to aid others even if it had the potential to come at great costs. All because he cared for life. Even when it would have broke others to face those kinds of odds. You can hear the pride in Merlin's voice, and it's enough to drive his apprentice-turned-master to tears.Merlin: Remember when I told you that magic is mastery over life? Nine hundred years you've guarded this realm. You've disrupted time, freed ancient beasts, fought to save one life at the risk of countless others, because you believed every life was precious. And still... despite such relentless hardships, you managed to protect those dearest to you. My, Hisirdoux, what a life you've lived. What a Wizard you've become.
- Start of Darkness: "History in the Making" and "Witch Hunt" delve into how Morgana became who she is in Trollhunters.
- Swiss Army Tears: Claire's tears falling on the petrified remains of Jim's full troll form allow Jim to revive as his human self from the remains.
- Time Travel: Douxie and his team end up stuck in the past during the time of King Arthur and Camelot, before the creation of the Trollhunters and the famous Battle of Killahead Bridge (which has been mentioned most often throughout Trollhunters).
- We Will Meet Again: Morgana swears she will return to claim her revenge. Claire tells her she's seen that already, and she fails then as well.
- Yank the Dog's Chain: Arthur's death frees Jim from his control, only for him to petrify almost instantly. Thankfully, Claire's tears restore Jim to his human form.
- You Already Changed the Past: Although they worry about changing history, it turns out that the actions of the time-stranded heroes were always part of it.