Fans of the Netflix epic fantasy series, The Dragon Prince, got great news at this past WonderCon 2019. They were gifted with the confirmation of an upcoming third season with a premiere date still to be determined.
For the uninitiated, The Dragon Prince is a Netflix Original animated series about two human princes and an elf assassin looking to broker peace between humans and the mystical creatures of Xadia, by returning the last dragon egg back to its rightful owners.
But at the end of Season 2, we found our protagonists having accomplished that without much reinforcements or any kind of defense against an angry, ancient dragon that does not like humans.
It’s a terrific television series, layered with complexity and subtlety, that brings the majestic wonder and depth of the fantasy genre to a level that can be enjoyed by the entire family.
Monsters & Critics was able to speak with co-creators Aaron Ehasz and Justin Richmond about some of the major characters, their upcoming storylines and what we can expect from Season 3.
Monsters and Critics: How much time is going to be spent in Xadia?
Justin Richmond: A lot of it takes place in Xadia.
M&C: How crazy is it going to be from the get-go?
Aaron Ehasz: It’s freaking Xadia time! First of all, where we left our characters at is not the best welcome mat [laughs]. Rayla has some concerns as there’s this ancient powerful dragon in their path.
M&C: We’ve yet to see the dragons speak, will they? And how much personality is going to be shown for each individual dragon?
Ehasz: Yes. Dragons can speak, we used to make a joke amongst themselves like, he started talking early when he was 75. So it’s something where young dragons do not speak, but they are highly intelligent and they have long lifespans and actually, dragons talk many languages.
M&C: General Amaya is one of the more fascinating characters of the series and Callum and Ezran need more support. You feel like she’s on the cusp of getting there as she conducts her investigation, but how important is she?
Richmond: Amaya is super important so we’re definitely going to see more of her. She’s awesome and super cool to write sequences for and I agree the kids are pretty outnumbered and with the way they’ve been set up at the end of Season 2 they don’t have a lot of allies, so that’s an astute observation.
Ehasz: Amaya is a force to be reckoned with. She is in charge with the defense of the Breach, this fortress that’s stayed secret for many years and it’s an entry point into Xadia. Now we know it’s been discovered, that sunfire elves are on the other side, in particular, there’s this sunfire knight adversary who we know her name is Janai.
So the question is, what is the final showdown going to look like? How is Amaya is going to fulfill that duty and make sure that crossing point doesn’t become violated? There’s a big showdown to come with her and she’s a force.
M&C: Amaya works well in animation. I don’t know if a live action series would devote as much time to a deaf character, sadly, and in comics she wouldn’t pop off the page like she does animated.
Richmond: It would be really hard to write a super compelling character using sign language in comics because of the limitation of the medium. I’m sure it could be done, but it’d be much more difficult. Having her sign, to see how that works (with other characters) and how that looks is really, really cool.
M&C: There have been moments where Amaya’s signing hasn’t been translated for the viewer, forcing the audience to do some research or gather the context from the surrounding scenes. First of all, thank you for that, but will you be planning on writing more moments like this?
Richmond: The idea is that she should feel integrated into the world as everybody else does, right? So many times when she’s signing, she’s either signing her thoughts and no one’s around, so of course there wouldn’t be a translation, or she’s talking to someone that knows some or a lot of sign language so there wouldn’t be a translation for that either.
We want to treat her just like any other character. She’s special and she’s got all of this cool stuff, but we’re trying not to make a special case for her. Of course we want to make sure people know what’s going on, but that’s the goal.
Ehasz: We always feel like you can understand the story; you can understand she’s joking around with her sister, or she’s having a sad moment at her grave; you can understand what’s going on emotionally. There’s something extra for the fans that do sign. By the way, if you’re interested in signing, this is a great opportunity to learn a little more about it, to go deeper and find out what she was saying.
M&C: Ezran has just realized he is the new king, while Callum has gone from protector to supporter and at the same time has been reborn with the new ability to do what he’s dreamt of always wanting to do — magic. How much are Callum and Ezran going to change this season?
Richmond: They’re going to change. That’s the ride of the season, right? Ezran has been set up in this position to be king, but he’s a kid. So what’s that going to mean for him to go back to that castle and try and take it over? What’s it like for Callum to know he can do primal magic?
Ehasz: King Harrow says that the great illusion of childhood is that adults have all the power and freedom but a child is freer than a king. Now we have a child who is a king. How free is he? How powerful is he? What can he change? That’s what we’re going to test.
He’s a brave kid, he has all the courage and deep true wisdom but the world is set up with conflicts, pre-existing conflicts. There are advisors who are going to push him in certain directions. How is he going to stand up to that? I’m excited to see it.
M&C: That makes two of the five human kingdoms officially led by children. Is that significance explored?
Ehasz: Thematically. As we grow up, the things we were initiated into as adults are compromised. Our compromised ideas of the world are compromised ideas of what we thought friendship, love, and forgiveness looked like. So now you have two young people holding on to what truth they have, or have been given. Are they going to be compromised as they are pulled up into adulthood? Or are they going to change things by holding on to the truth and wisdom they have?
M&C: A lot of the introductory missions and goals of the series have been accomplished with the delivery of the egg, or Zym. So where does that leave Rayla?
Ehasz: Well, what do you think? What propelled her to Katolis and what caused her to steer different?
M&C: To me, she was a follower but was lost in the middle. She seemed to be at ease and purpose with the princes.
Ehasz: She comes in as an assassin, right? She’s out for revenge and…she has a moment in Season 2 where she has a chance at redemption where all she knows is to protect this fallen dragon.
She feels this sense of being a guardian, a protector, a defender, she’s not an assassin or a killer. Right? So this season is following through on her purpose that she’s discovered for herself.
Richmond: She’s made a promise to herself and seeing how that plays out is interesting.
M&C: The mysterious Startouch Elf, Aaravos, is such a rich character. Voice actor Erik Dellums [who some might remember as the chilling Luther Mahoney on Homicide: Life on the Street and Koh on Avatar: The Last Airbender], is incredible in his portrayal of Aavaros and adds multiple levels of creepiness to the series. Aaron and Justin, is Aavaros more powerful to keep on that limited basis, or are you tempted to get him out of the mirror and running around?
Ehasz: His power and influence are going to grow. We’re going to see more of him, we’re going to hear more from him. He has a deep history.
There’s a reason for where he is, there’s a reason for why the scrolls and books change when Viren saw his name for an instant. There’s a reason for Runaan’s reaction to the mention of his name, but something has been unlocked and his influence and power are going to grow. We have a lot of fun with him.
Richmond: And Erik’s great. He’s super fun to work with. When we did the last recording for Season 2 we did it via Skype because he’s on the East coast…
M&C: Wait a minute. You watched Erik record his performance through the computer screen? That’s meta.
Richmond: That’s a little weird, right? I didn’t realize that until I just said it. Now I’m freaked out a little bit, but we had a lot of fun watching him through the computer.
M&C: Claudia and Soren have experienced things that are testing their faith in their father, Lord Viren. Now they have to make a decision on their own about where they stand with their father. Do they bond up and go rogue or is the pull of family still strong, that they try to reason with him?
Ehasz: Some of the secrets that he burdened them with, before he set them out into the world, and that they’ve shared with each other, have started to unravel. I don’t think Claudia knows what to think. Soren went through something where he was glad to be paralyzed so that he couldn’t do what his father asked him. That’s pretty big.
I don’t think Claudia is ready to believe that yet. So they’re both headed home worried about what he will think, worried about his judgement. What happens when they ask him for the truth? And what they don’t know is when they get back there, he’s not in the same position he was in when they left. What’s in store for Claudia and Soren is a HUGE question mark. They’re going to have a lot to sort out, and Season 3 is going to be big developments for them.
M&C: Finally, are dragons the biggest threat in Xadia?
Richmond: If you’re standing in front of a dragon, I’d say yes [laughs], but no, I don’t think dragons are necessarily the biggest threat to humans. There are other big bad things out there.
END NOTE: This season of The Dragon Prince promises to be full of big developments you won’t want to miss. Hopefully we will get word of a premiere date. Until then, if you are currently a fan of The Dragon Prince, or become one soon, Ehasz and Richmond told us these first three seasons are just the tip of a huge saga.
There are many more seasons planned, but it’s not a given that Netflix is going to give them the green light without growing interest. So for now, they need help from the audience to tell Netflix through social circles and feedback that you and your friends want to see the entire Dragon Prince saga. It’s a story that is too good to be left unfinished.