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YMMV / Raven

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For the Series:

  • Accidental Innuendo: One of the riddles featured on the DVD game's Riddle Bridge minigame was as follows: "When I get hot, rise I must. In time I grow hard, like my crust." The answer? Bread, obviously.
  • Archive Panic: There are 10 series of the original show (20 episodes each), the three spinoffs (also 20 episodes each), series 11 and 12 (15 episodes each), and the 6 episodes of the Gaelic version. It would take 131 and a half hours or nearly 5 and a half days to watch all 296 of the episodes nonstop.
  • Awesome Music:
    • The Opening Theme. In fact, most of the music qualifies.
    • On the topic of theme songs, the Secret Temple's opening theme is absolutely epic and adventurous, and set to Indian/Middle Eastern-tinged music.
  • Broken Base: A small but noticeable and relatively fierce one developed around Aksu and Yonra's decision to oust Sonro as the leader of the Panthers during the Spirit Trials in The Secret Temple. While Sonro was undeniably focused more on the team's jewel count than keeping his team intact (not wanting to bring back Arton after his first elimination being the standout example) and was overall more of an individual player than a team player, the rest of his team were regularly either criticising or in some cases flat-out ignoring his status as leader, with Aksu consistently being Sonro's most vocal critic from the very first day of the Spirit Trials before he had really had a chance to prove himself as a leader. Therefore, to some viewers, Aksu announcing the decision to replace Sonro as leader with herself comes across less as a team pushed to replace an unbearably awful leader because said leader was a genuine detriment to the team, and more as Aksu having wanted this outcome from the very beginning. Basically, viewers tend to either firmly side with Sonro or Aksu/Yonra on this with only a handful choosing the position of acknowledging both that Sonro wasn't a good leader but it was still perhaps an unfair move to demote him with only three days of Spirit Trials left. The fact that this was the only example of a team choosing to replace its leader without said leader having been permanently eliminated occurring on any of the three spinoffs despite leaders like Halsem only adds more fuel to the fire.
  • Fanfic Fuel: a few fans have written their own series which involve either Original Characters or characters from other media competing in Raven's tournament. It's justifiable to do so since Series 11 implied that Raven had more tournaments/quests than what was shown in the original run.
  • Growing the Beard:
    • While James Mackenzie had a lot of stubble in Series 1, it had grown into a full beard by Series 2. Other changes for Series 2 that would last for the rest of the original run include the six emblems, redeeming rings for lives, using Way of the Warrior as an eliminator challenge, Raven's Staff of Power, Demon Square, The Last Stand and Nevar.
    • Series 7 is often considered the best series of all; not only nailing the aesthetic and challenges, but also having some of the most memorable moments in the series: Lenat and Anmah's incredibly close Last Stand, Danil's amazing attempt at the Way of the Warrior, and Hanso's heartbreaking fall from grace on the last day of the quest.
  • Narm:
    • You either love the corny, ancient dialogue these guys come out with or you hate it.
    • There's the final set of challenges within the Castle of Shadows during The Dragon's Eye. After these kids have faced some frankly unbelievable challenges, including scaling cliff faces, crossing raging torrents, and solving difficult riddles, they face the very last challenge before one of them will Reach the Dragon's Eye - this involves reaching into Feely Boxes. You know, those things you put your hands in and there's creepy stuff inside? Very common at parties? Disgusting, yes, but after all they'd done it seemed a bit of a letdown. Add to the fact that in at least one of the boxes (which Raven's voice over described as being filled with "abominable creatures") were a couple of frankly adorable albino hedgehogs.
    • From the same spin-off, Ervan's deadly magical tomatoes. Or stones.
  • Narm Charm
  • Periphery Demographic: Even though it's a kids' game show, it has developed a strong following of teen and adult fans over the years, most of whom grew up watching it.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
    • James Mackenzie would go on to star in other shows, some for adults (River City) and others for kids (Dani's House and Molly and Mack) after the original run of Raven.
    • As mentioned on the main page, Melka aka Aimee Kelly was a warrior in series 6 before starring as the protagonist of Wolf Blood.
      • A week before Aimee Kelly competed, Hannah Laing (Galna) placed 5th in her heat. She would later go on to be a successful DJ who had a U.K. top 10 hit during summer 2023.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Linma is a borderline case: many did not think he deserved to win the fourth series as the other two finalists, Dejan and Kinsa, were more skilled and likeable.
    • Halsem, leader of the Otters in The Dragon's Eye, for his arrogance, his "leading from the rear" strategy that saw Arkil practically carry the entire team, openly telling Vesak and Kesha he wouldn't buy them back, and outright lying to Kesha over the nature of the Torrent challenge so he could qualify ahead of her. Which makes the prompt Laser-Guided Karma of Vesak overtaking him at the last moment even more satisfying.
    • Kelin, a member of the Eagles in The Dragon's Eye is also a borderline case. Having narrowly lost the leadership challenge to Varan, he quickly became something of a backseat driver in the team, constantly criticising and questioning Varan's decisions and leadership skills and often directly contradicting her - the most egregious example being in Puzzle Count where he inexplicably announced that a spider has 6 legs, briefly arguing with Varan who told him the answer was 8, and then (after Varan's answer being proved correct) complained via Confession Cam that Varan apparently wasn't giving any answers to the questions. Not to mention he was the only member of the Eagles to be eliminated twice, both times primarily due to his own stubbornness and carelessness. For many, the only thing that prevented him from becoming as loathed as Halsem was that he was, for the most part, a genuinely capable warrior on quite a few challenges.
  • Special Effect Failure: Often gets away with it specifically because it keeps the special effects to a minimum. However that means when effects are used (such as the floating fireball from the challenge Fire Demon) it stands out like whoa. Plus, the men in cloaks aren't all that convincing.
    • You've also got to ignore the safety wires, life jackets etc. Admittedly, they're artfully done.
    • The challenge Boulder Run in series 7 involved pushing a boulder through an obstacle course; while the set looked fairly convincing for the most part, there was a cluster of obviously rubber bats that looked like they'd been purchased from a crappy Halloween shop.
    • In the original iteration of The Last Stand, the warriors had to dodge lightning bolts from Nevar, which in reality were paintballs. It’s not uncommon to see the paint either on the armour of someone who was hit, or on a nearby palisade after a miss.
  • Tearjerker:
    • The Wolves' performance in Cursed Earth in episode 15 of The Dragon's Eye. Both Hareb and Arros were eliminated and Lemec only had enough stones to bring one of them back without falling way behind the Eagles and Otters. She ultimately decided to bring back Hareb. It doesn't help that the 3 remaining Bears team members had been eliminated in that same challenge in the previous episode.
      • For that matter, the Bears total defeat in their attempt at Cursed Earth. The devastation and horror on their faces as they realise they're all going to fail the challenge in its final moments is genuinely heartrending, especially their desperate attempts to just keep going even though they know it's hopeless.
    • Hanso losing every single challenge on the last day of series seven and throwing her substantial lead away to finish second to Versad is almost hard to watch, especially after she's Trying Not to Cry after failing Boulder Run because she dropped a ring.
    • Bornos dropping a ring and losing Raven's Rock as a result in Series 10.
    • Kinia failing to make the leap in Leap of Faith the first time she attempted the challenge in Series 2 when her fear got the better of her. She was even in tears afterwards. At least she was able to make the leap in the final week when she had to face the challenge a second time.
    • The events of The Island spinoff if you think of it from Raven's POV. Imagine having to leave the place you grew up and then having to send 12 of your trainees there to retrieve something that might help defeat your worst enemy, not knowing if they will be able to do it, hoping that your childhood friend's limited assistance and the training you gave them is enough to increase their chances of success. What's worse is that Raven can't help them directly since that would put them in more danger.
    • Way back in series 1, Gaale had injured her leg during the Stepping Stones challenge. The very next day, her injury worsened during Long Staff, causing her to drop out early and reinstate Sejen.
    • Thyran's elimination in series 8 as a result of injuring her wrist in Ring Rack. This incident resulted in the challenge not returning in the two revival series.
  • That One Level: The infuriatingly difficult Way of the Warrior challenge. Just look at it! (Granted, this challenge is designed to be difficult, as it serves as an Elimination Stage at the end of each episode, giving the contestant with the fewest remaining lives one last chance to stay on the quest). Only four contestants have completed the Way of the Warrior to date (and it will remain that way due to the format of Series 11 and 12 not using the challenge).
    • From within the challenge in question, the shields obstacle. Despite being one of the simplest in terms of function, many contestants have been eliminated by the shields after being shoved off the path.
    • A few other levels were like this, such as Dragon's Blood (a balancing level where contestants had to move about two containers of green faux "dragon's blood" on the end of poles, through a maze, without spilling a drop, Troll Trap (involving a cage and high speed movement on the contestants part) and Demon Square.
    • Thrall Demons as well, with the particular challenge of one contestant guiding the other (blindfolded) through a web of string with bells on it. Touch a string lightly and whoosh! there goes a life.
    • Snake Charmer from Secret Temple, for literally being a Luck-Based Mission that eliminated one of the strongest contestants for no reason. Even worse, there were only four snake-free baskets for the five remaining contestants; essentially, someone HAD to get eliminated through no fault of their own. Raven himself points out how blatantly unfair it is, but it's apparently a test of the warrior's "character".
    • Conundrum from series 9 and 10 was a difficult mental challenge due to the fact that one warrior had to put a puzzle together, describe what the image was and the other warrior had to find the square with the matching image then do it again to find a ring; they had to find three rings total before time ran out or they would each lose a life. Most teams failed this one as they couldn't do it fast enough (2 teams won in series 9). This challenge was made much easier in series 11-12 in the sense of what images needed to be completed and described.
    • Dwarf Mine and Torture Chamber, two leadership challenges from the middle of the show's run, were rarely won, mostly due to their unforgiving time limits.
    • Two new challenges in Series 10 suffered from this; Sunken Symbols for its incredible easiness and being a communication-based team game that required no greater interpersonal skills than "shouting out the name of an object" and "knowing basic Year Four spelling". Skull Assault was detested for being a convoluted, seemingly-random series of tasks that didn't mesh together well at all.
    • Fire Demon in series 2 seemed more luck based than skill based to most viewers and it didn't help that the challenge was played twice a week and the CGI effects were not great. Fortunately, when the challenge returned in series 6, it was only played once a week and the CGI effects had improved (even though it still isn't liked by some).
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Some fans had this reaction to the changes made for Series 11 and 12 though some think the latter series did improve in terms of editing and having James Mackenzie involved a little more via doing voice over commentaries on some of the challenges.
    • Some fans had this opinion as early as series 8 when Raven switched filming locations to Aviemore after having been filmed around Castle Toward for the first seven series. Other changes fans disliked were showing CGI scoring in place of the live scoring scenes and the warriors responding to being asked if they were ready to start a challenge by shouting "Ready" when before, they would nod their heads.
  • Values Resonance: The fact that Raven never comments on some of the warriors having disabilities and instead treats them equally to their abled peers comes across as showing abled viewers how these warriors are just as human as anyone else without falling into the Positive Discrimination or Flawless Token tropes. That (possibly unintentional) lesson is just as important in the 2020s and beyond as it was in the early 2000s.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: it can be easy to mistake Linmis from Series 5 for a girl at first due to the length of his hair. The same is true of Lonas in series 6, who had a ponytail.
    • Kafsum in series 9 is also a guy despite having long hair in a ponytail.
  • The Woobie:
    • Ardhu from series 7. She was a good warrior but was unlucky enough to be on losing teams for all three team challenges, causing her to be the first week 2 warrior to be eliminated.
    • Any warrior who has to leave via Non-Gameplay Elimination (e.g. Kefra or Thyran) could also count since you can't help but wonder how far they would have gotten if they had not left when they did.
    • Raven of Old himself in the spin-off shows. He has to deal with the fear of losing his warriors (who have been trained by him in-universe before each quest) and either not being able to bring them back (in Raven: The Island) or only being able to do so once during the first three weeks of each quest (in Raven: The Secret Temple and Raven: The Dragon's Eye). Not to mention being exiled, having his homeland put in danger via an eternal winter, being betrayed by Ervan, and nearly being corrupted by the Dragon's Eye. Then it gets worse in the main show: as revealed in the Series 11 intro, the spell Raven of Old casts to banish Nevar also causes the former to get banished to the same desolate realm. Fortunately, a former champion recovers Raven of Old's Staff of Power and becomes the new Raven. Unfortunately, Raven of Old can't do a lot for the current Raven except be temporarily summoned to give her advice, fight off demons and, as of Series 12, use a talisman to watch the current warriors do each challenge. Yet he keeps moving forward and doesn't complain despite it all.
    • Haryad in Raven The Island if one can get passed the fact that he is quite pessimistic about the odds of the quest succeeding. Considering the fact that he would likely die with the Enchanted Oak if an acorn is not retrieved from it and he is concerned about the warriors' ability to succeed (partially because he does not think they can do well due to being children), often expresses worry for their safety in the voiceover commentary, and feels bad about not being able to be optimistic and brave in episode 11, it almost makes one want to give the poor sprite a hug.
    • Poor Cermal from the Dragon's Eye had to face possibly the hardest Spirit Trial, Thrall Threads, on just day three. She was eliminated almost as soon as the challenge started, giving her hardly any screen-time at all. The only other warrior to be eliminated for the next nine days was Janot, who was even brought back after his first error.
    • Kesha of the Otters; while Halsem and Vesak constantly butted heads and Arkil outshined everybody with her sheer ability, Kesha was quietly competent and managed to survive the entire spirit trials without elimination- good thing, too, because Halsem outright told her that he wouldn't bring either her or Vesak back. Despite being better at the Torrent than finalist Vesak, he went through instead of her because Halsem outright lied about the nature of the challenge.

For the Pinball:

For the Wrestler:

  • Awesome Music:
    • His WCW theme simply known as "Raven", which is an instrumental cover of Nirvana's "Come As You Are". Agressive and somewhat mournful, it fits the Flock's nihilistic cult leader very well.
  • Growing the Beard: From a pretty boy/surfer to a wisecracking manager/commentator to an "anti-social grunge freak", cult leader and icon.
  • Ho Yay:
    • In early 1998, Bruce Mitchell, a columnist for the wrestling newsletter The Pro Wrestling Torch held nothing back in his analysis of what he saw as the gay elements of Raven's Flock, saying that the group should be called "Raven's Rough Trade." He referenced what he saw as Raven and Stevie Richards' "butch/fem abusive relationship," Perry Saturn's Biker Boyz Magazine look, Van Hammer's "peep shows" look and fishnet, Lodi's "college gay bar" look, Billy Kidman's "bus station runaway" look, and Raven's wanting to "recruit" Scotty Riggs. He could've mentioned Sick Boy's denim, dirty flannel and hairy chest Deliverance look too. Incidentally, Raven did recruit Riggs, after giving him an eye-injury with his trademark drop-toehold into a steel chair on the October 27 Nitro. Interestingly, after Raven had hit the move, Kidman came in and successfully begged Raven to lay off of Riggs. Raven defeated Riggs in a rematch at the World War 3 1997 PPV on November 23, followed by Van Hammer carrying Riggs to the back. The next night on Nitro, Riggs, now wearing an eyepatch, climbed the guardrail to join Raven's Flock.
    • In this bizarre promo, Kanyon (a closeted gay wrestler who came out several years after this promo was shot) visits Raven at his swanky mansion. He and Raven go out for a night on the town, which mostly consists of shopping for Versace. They return to Raven's home dressed to the nines, but the scene cuts, and the next thing we see is Kanyon running down stairs to greet Raven's mom, while frantically trying to pull his pants back on (!). Raven follows after him, also dressed in his old grungy clothes. The surely unintentional subtext is that Raven took Kanyon out on a date, and they were getting hot and heavy upstairs before Raven's mom rudely interrupted them.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: He had two themes based on Nirvana's "Come As You Are" - his WCW theme, imaginatively titled "Raven" (and written by Jimmy Hart), and his TNA theme, "Scream", which was a remix of the WCW version. His other TNA theme, "Offspring", was heavily based on "Come Out and Play" by The Offspring, which had been his Real Song Theme Tune in ECW.
  • Wangst: In WCW, Raven's nihilistic attitude was revealed to be a result of his incredibly wealthy family being annoying rather than due to depression. This was officially declared Canon Discontinuity by ECW, and Raven has not mentioned the angle since it happened. Which sucks on some level, since it could easily tie every single one of his characters together, with Johnny Polo's sometimes-eccentric commentary hinting at mental issues that a family so blinded by wealth would miss and Raven being the result of an irreversible psychological break caused by this strange spoiled young man having one too many disappointments their money should've protected him from.