The Midnight Desert
Heroes and Masterminds
Hearts of Cinder
The Final Battle
The Dragon Prince is one of my favourite animated series. Alongside Dragonball Z, it’s the one I find myself binging through in record time and then obsessively waiting for the next instalment to be released. This year, I tried to hold off ploughing through this on day one and I’m so glad I did. The Dragon Prince is one of those rare gems that manages to strike a chord with kids, families and adults alike, tailoring its story to all age groups with an accessible and surprisingly deep storyline woven through every season.
With seven seasons worth of story all mapped out, The Dragon Prince left a lot of plot threads unanswered last time out (our recap for that episode can be found HERE) and this season wastes little time getting right to the heart of the drama. Callum and Rayla find themselves separated from the others and crossing into Xadia, intent on bringing Zym home, whilst seeing more of the dragon and elven lands spoken about for much of the previous seasons in the process. While they continue to press forward, Prince Ezran returns to the throne back home and finds life as King is not as easy as he may have first thought.
Taking advantage of this chaos lies Viren, the wildcard of the show and someone who continues to be controlled by the puppet master Aaravos, who makes his move late on this season. Without giving too much away, this conflict comes to a head during the final third in spectacular fashion, culminating in a final fight for Xadia’s future that resolves most of the conflict points but leaves things wide open for a follow-up season. I won’t spoil too much but suffice to say, it makes the build-up during the first few seasons well worth the wait and solidifies this show as one of the better fantasy offerings out there.
Along with its rich lore and detailed world-building, The Dragon Prince’s main draw comes from its characters. Bait and Zym are of course the adorable showstoppers but every other main player, whether it be human, elf or dragon, have a consistent and believable arc that progresses throughout the episodes. Callum and Rayla explore a different side to their relationship while Soren and Claudia step out from their Father’s shadow and make a decision over their future too, for better or worse. While some may be turned off from the generic manner Viren ascends to villainy, the rest of the season does well to add some originality and interesting ideas into the mix.
Aesthetically, the entire season shines with the same visual splendour we’ve come to expect from this show. The blend of CGI and hand-drawn animation works perfectly to really allow every scene to shine, while the fight sequences have some nicely animated choreography and variety of shots. Xadia offers up some beautiful locales too and whether it be the Sunfire Elf City or the Storm Spire surrounded by lush flat plains, there’s a great variety of colours and interesting topography used to help the world feel alive and brimming with history.
Overall though, The Dragon Prince continues to impress and deliver a story accessible to all age groups. While a couple of cliched plot tropes still crop up here and there, the rich lore and lovable main cast of characters should be enough to look past this. The Dragon Prince is high fantasy at its best and this third season rounds things out in a satisfying and action-packed final episode, while leaving plenty of questions for a follow-up season. Now comes the long wait for season 4 (please don’t cancel this Netflix) and another round of high fantasy to come. 2020 cannot come soon enough!
Verdict - 8.5/10