The Dragon Prince Season 4 (Review)

If you prefer your dragon fantasy series light, fluffy and PG-rated, then you may be pleased to know that Netflix has a new season of The Dragon Prince.

This is more of a sequel to the original three seasons that ended with the bulk of the plotlines resolved as well as the genre-mandatory epic battle of good and evil. There were several intentional loose ends though. In particular, behind all the conflict in the first three seasons was the mysterious figure of Aaravos. Who is he? Where is he? What is he up to? These questions were left unanswered, which helped lend an air of underlying mystery to the story.

Season 4 jumps ahead two years. Ezran is king – very young still but older. Callum is now the chief mage and coming to better understand his powers. Rayla the Moonshadow elf is missing having gone on a quest of vengeance to find Viren, the mage who (under the influence of Aaravos) had caused the death of her family. Meanwhile, Viren’s daughter Claudia has spent this intervening time working to bring Viren back from the dead with the help of Aaravos…

It’s a decent enough set up but the supposed “mystery of Aaravos” is revealed via info dump a few episodes in and the main plot becomes a race to find his magically hidden location. As with the previous seasons, the dialogue is very kid friendly and often a bit twee or silly but the show also manages to deliver a quite richly imagined world and a genuine interest in all of the characters. Central to this is the idea that nobody (except maybe Aaravos) is essentially evil. Claudia, who is now a powerful dark mage, remains a goofy nerd but a goofy nerd bent on unleashing an agent evil.

Fans of General/Aunt Amaya will be pleased to know that she has her own plotline that explores the tension between the displaced Sunfire elves and the humans helping them rebuild. Currently, that plot doesn’t really interact with the main storyline though.

The Dragon Prince was setting out to fill that space mapped out by Avatar: The Last Airbender with a smart and often thoughtful animated fantasy epic framed for a young audience. As fun as the initial seasons were, it never reached the impact of Avatar but that is a very high bar. As with those original seasons, if you find the more intentionally silly elements grating, then you won’t enjoy this new season. I personally enjoyed watching it but the story just didn’t feel as layered as the original. With the new story arc as yet unresolved, I’ll be interested to see where it goes in further seasons.


10 responses to “The Dragon Prince Season 4 (Review)”

  1. Our little guy absolutely loves this series! We’re watching the new season at the rate of two episodes (one hour) per day, and he really looks forward to it. He’s real sick with RSV at the moment, unfortunately, and it’s very frustrating to be unable to do very much to help him, so it’s nice to have something like this that lifts his spirits.

    Since people will probably post to suggest treatments, 🙂 I’ll just list what we’re already doing: we check his temperature (2 degrees of fever) and pulse oxygen (98-100%) twice a day. We give him lots of fluids and try to get him to eat. We give him Tylenol, ibuprofen, and cough syrup (dextromethorphan hydrobromide) at the limits of what’s allowed. We try to get him to stay in bed, but he usually ends up lying on the couch in the living room under a blanket watching documentaries. He still has a hacking cough, wheezes when he tries to talk, has a miserable sore throat, and a bad headache. This is the fourth day, and RSV lasts from one to two weeks.

    And hugs. We give him lots of hugs. He’ll put his head on my shoulder and whisper, “I feel awful.” I feel pretty awful too, but at least I know it will be over in a week or so. I can’t imagine how parents must feel when they know their children probably won’t get better.

    Liked by 2 people

    • RSV is miserable, sorry to hear that.

      Glad he likes Dragon Prince. I think the one thing is absolutely nails is that if you like the characters, you can throw anything at them. It’s an odd choice to make everybody likable but it freaks me out a little how Claudia reminds me of a lovely colleague I once had who was really sweet, interesting and absolutely the wellspring of a huge chunk of office toxicity.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Claudia is weirdly adorable for someone so ultimately willing to do terrible evil. And yes, she’s familiar from real life, too, it’s just the real life examples don’t, IME anyhow, have access to dark magic or any life direction that requires them to pick up a knife and murder cute things.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry to hear about your kiddo. This RSV is nasty. We’ve avoided it so far but who knows. At least they still mask up willingly.

      Like

  2. I’ve seen a lot of positive buzz for this show, usually from people who are quite a bit younger than me. Since I like good animated shows, I may actually have to check this one out.

    From what I’ve seen, the relationship between Callum and Raylla seems to be what lots of people like.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I quite enjoyed the first three seasons (Haven’t had a chance to start 4 yet), but I am also a shameless watcher of things animated and targeted mainly to kids. As long as the animation is fairly pretty. I think I like more recent kids’ animated shows and movies than my kids do (I think they might like more if they sat down to watch, but they tend to refuse to.)

      Liked by 1 person

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