We’re back with our ROUND 2 ANSWERS from our very first Discord Q&A!
This round features responses from Aaron Ehasz (co-creator), Justin Richmond (co-creator), Devon Giehl (lead writer), and Emily Marzonie (franchise manager), and primarily focuses on questions related to the worldbuilding and lore of The Dragon Prince, as well as more general questions about our expanded universe.
Click the links below to quickly jump to a specific category:
Click here to read through our ROUND 1 (Characters & Plot) answers. And then stay tuned for ROUND 3 (Creative Process & Team), which we will be sharing in the coming weeks!
In the meantime, be sure to check out our official Discord server to learn more about future Q&As and how to participate, as well as connect with fellow fans of Xadia.
The Human Kingdoms
Q: “Will we get to see more from the other human kingdoms?”
Aaron: Yes, some!
Q: “Could you tell us anything about the other rulers of the human kingdoms?”
Aaron: Queen Aanya was orphaned quite young, as you know, but here’s something you don’t know: She has an adopted big brother named Grark, who is an exceptional warrior.
Q: “In Season 4, we get a glimpse of how the elf-human relationship building is going, but I also really want to know what the situation is like between the human kingdoms after the Battle of the Storm Spire in Season 3?”
Aaron: Katolis is definitely the most “pro-Xadia” of the Human Kingdoms, and Duren is closely linked to Katolis—partially due to the friendship between Ezran and Aanya. The other kingdoms remain more skeptical and suspicious of Xadia (and elves and dragons). Between the human kingdoms specifically, I imagine there could be some lingering tension between Neolandia and Duren after what occurred… but, I also suspect even King Ahling might concede that Kasef had gone too far and was part of a literally monstrous war effort.
Q: “Are humans still banished from Xadia as of Season 4?”
Aaron: No, they are not! The border that was created between the Human Kingdoms and the magical lands of Xadia still exists, and it’s a real impediment. But the true enforcers of the border were the Dragon King himself and the Sunfire elves, so flow between the East and the West of the continent is beginning to happen again. Still, the established powers in the West are human, and the dominant powers in Xadia remain dragon and elven.
Q: “Will we ever get to see how the other human kingdoms think of dark magic? We’ve only seen Katolis so far, so I’m wondering if we will ever get to see dark mages from the other kingdoms?”
Emily: The other human kingdoms and their citizens likely have varying opinions about dark magic—just like opinions vary within Katolis itself—but their royalty no doubt sees the benefit of having a dark mage available, and would have an understanding of their capabilities. Take Duren, for example. We can glean from the fact that they came to Katolis for aid during the famine that it’s unlikely they had a dark mage themselves at the time, but were open to working with Viren and leveraging dark magic to siphon warmth from the Titan’s heart for the sake of their people. We can also look at Tressal—one of the playable characters in Tales of Xadia who’s not only my favorite (and best boy), but also a Neolandian dark mage connected to the royal court. And while not much is known about her, we’ve also established that Evenere has its own High Mage who serves as a guardian of their Royal Library.
Q: “Is Viren’s title of Lord a hereditary title, which he inherited, or one which came with his position as the high mage of Katolis?”
Devon: Viren’s title of Lord is one he earned when he came into the position of High Mage of Katolis, yes! Katolis does have some societal stratification, with wealthy families and poor families and all things in between. Viren certainly did not come from a wealthy family, though.
Elves & Dragons
Q: “Are elves strictly vegetarians or do they have more mixed diets similar to humans?”
Aaron: Vegetarianism is very common in elven culture. Some elves even see meat-eating as akin to using dark magic.
Q: “Are the marks on Rayla’s (and Runaan’s and Ethari’s) eyes birthmarks or makeup or tattoos?”
Aaron: They are like henna tattoos, but much longer lasting.
Emily: Elves officially have the STRONGEST eyeliner game ever.
Q: “How long does each type of elf live? Aaravos is thousands of years old, but what about Moonshadow elves, for example?”
Aaron: There’s no clear or consistent answer here. Average life spans appear to vary, though in general elves live longer than humans.
Q: “I’m curious how do Sunfire elves age work? We know they live longer, but Aditi looked young when she disappeared, not exactly grandma age, and it seems Janai and Khessa remember her. And in Callum’s Spellbook, it says Khessa was the one who took the throne after she died.”
Devon: Khessa, Janai, and Karim refer to Queen Aditi as their “grandmother” even though she’s several generations back from them. She is an extremely important figure in their lineage!
Q: “Does Moonshadow elves have special powers or is there a group of elves who uses the bloodmoon or lunar eclipse?”
Emily: Not all Moonshadow elves have the ability to connect to their primal and turn practically invisible in the way that Runaan and the other assassins can during a full moon—it’s an ability one typically has to work and train for (although some have natural talent for it, like Rayla). Though it is said that, like the phases of the moon, there are absolutely different ways for Moonshadow abilities to present or be enhanced. The Bloodmoon Huntress, for example, consumes literal blood to magnify her powers…and perhaps also her connection to the veil between life and death itself.
Aaron: Kim’dael uses a dark ritual to infuse blood with the light of the full moon… allowing her to do unusual things.
Q: “What happened to the Startouch elves? Why are they considered “heavenly beings” when they’re also capable of evil?”
Aaron: To answer your first question, you’ll learn more about Startouch elves in the coming seasons! To answer your second: I am not sure if we have ever used the term “heavenly beings” in the show or in the novels to describe Startouch elves. Zubeia did say that Aaravos was “literally a being from the heavens,” but we used the term “heavens” here to describe the vast cosmos above, not necessarily “heaven” like a place where good people go after death to play harps with angels, if that makes sense…
Q: “Are we going to see a Tidebound elf in the near future?”
Aaron: We will see more than one Tidebound elf in Season 5!
Q: “Can dragons die of old age or do they just keep aging?”
Emily: [insert Legolas’s “This forest is old, very old, full of memory… and anger” image here] If dragons die of old age, then it’s an old age on an astronomical scale that humans could not fathom…
Q: “From my mum: What do dragons eat?”
Aaron: Anything they want! Really though, tell your mum that they have diverse diets…
Q: “Why can Pyrrah not speak? Can only archdragons speak?”
Justin: Pyrrah can certainly communicate, but she cannot speak. Only archdragons have mastered the ability to communicate through language with the humans and the elves.
Q: “What is an archdragon? Is it like an elected role or like a common ancestor? After Luna Tenebris died, was there a new archdragon of the moon?”
Aaron: Archdragons are extremely rare dragons that are especially intelligent, large, powerful, and connected to a specific primal. And there have been many Archdragons of Moon including Luna Tenebris and her “unsuitable” heir…
Q: “How many Archdragons of one primal source can there be at a time. We knew that Both Avizandum and Zubeia were both Sky Archdragons and both of them existed at the same time.”
Aaron: There’s not a specific limit, but they are very rare.
Q: “Will there be a Dark Magic archdragon?”
Aaron: I suspect this would not be a naturally occurring dragon type…
Primal & Dark Magic
Q: “Is Dark Magic addictive?”
Aaron: No. Not in any modern sense of the word. But, as with many things that are beyond our normal moral boundaries, once someone has engaged in dark magic, they may be likely to continue to do so unless they purposefully and consciously decide to stop.
Emily: Dark magic also amplifies the values and emotions of the mage who uses it, whatever those values or emotions might be. And, through that, it leaves a trace of corruption with each use, eventually manifesting into the physical signs we see on mages like Viren and Claudia.
Q: “Can any human use magic if they know how the arcanum works? Even without primal stones?”
Aaron: What do you think? Is there something unique about Callum that makes him capable of doing this while other humans cannot? Or was he just the first human in ages to defy the naysayers and persist until he had a breakthrough?
Q: “Do the primal sources engage in pairs, like the five colors of Magic the Gathering color pie (ie – opposing and allies sources). Does Sun and Star magic oppose each other, for example?”
Aaron: I think there are natural balances and sets within primal magic, absolutely.
Q: “I have a really nerdy question to ask about primal spells! In the show, we’ve seen Callum fail to cast a “fulminis” spell because he didn’t know the draconic word. My question is: can someone who’s mute perform primal magic? It would be interesting if Amaya connected to an arcanum, and then signed the draconic words…Would the spell still work?”
Aaron: Yes! Someone who is mute would be able to sign the draconic words to trigger the spell.
Q: “In an interview a few years back, you mentioned a few interesting things about how magic works in The Dragon Prince universe. There, you also mentioned a magic that you called Deep Magic. Will we see/hear more about that in future seasons? Or about the mechanics of magic in Xadia?”
Aaron: There is an important deep magic spell coming up next season. 🤔
Q: “Are elf cultures inspired by real-world human cultures? The same for the human realms?”
Emily: Elven and human cultures across Xadia come from a wide variety of inspiration.
The human kingdoms probably have the most direct real-world influence, but even then it’s never singular or intended as a direct parallel. For Evenere, for example, we looked at cultures around the globe that had close connections to marshes, swamps, and rivers, such as the Cajun Bayou, the Amazon, the Malaysian wetlands, etc. We always try to cast a very wide net when seeking inspiration, then we use that insight as a springboard for discussion and creativity.
For elves, we often look at their primal source and consider the traits and preferences it would naturally influence within the culture rather than looking at anything specific in the real-world (though that’s not to say it doesn’t come up as a source for inspiration, too). For example, while working on Skywing elves, we knew that their culture was more individualistic and nomadic, valuing freedom above all else. How Skywings live, dress, and express themselves is built based on that insight.
When building these cultures out further or expanding on them—like for Tales of Xadia—we consider any already established lore and use that as guardrails for further research and brainstorming! As an example here, when we were developing Ponmalar (our Evenerian playable character from Tales of Xadia), one of the artists shared a concept for a massive bow for their weapon. Looking at the bow design and taking into account Evenere’s swampy environment and more insular community, our internal team discussed how this likely meant Ponmalar’s archery style was going to be sniper-like—where they would be lying in wait for hours for one precise shot vs. rapid firing any given target. So, we suggested increasing Ponmalar’s camouflage. I thought it would be cool if their cloak resembled Ashitaka’s from Princess Mononoke, but made from leaves and other foliage that would blend easily into a dark marshland.
Q: “Will we see the two rock guardians again? And are there any plans for more lore on Golems in Xadia in general?”
Aaron: Yes. 🙂
Q: “Will we ever see what a Moonberry Surprise looks like?”
Aaron: Oh yes. You will even see a new character based on Moonberry Surprise.
Q: “Have there ever been Elf/Human hybrids? Is it possible?”
Aaron: Yes. Devon will probably remind me that acknowledging this will create all kinds of speculation and weirdness in the fandom, but it’s just the truth. I am not sure they would refer to themselves as “hybrids,” but we know what you mean.
Q: “Will the next seasons get a “The Art of The Dragon Prince” book too?”
Aaron: I hope we will do something for the “Mystery of Aaravos” seasons…
Emily: That’s the goal!
Q: “Will there be more books / graphic novels for The Dragon Prince in the future, and more about the two year gap between Season 3 and 4?”
Emily: Yes! We’ll have a new graphic novel, Puzzle House, and the next core novel, Book Three: Sun, coming out in late Summer / early Fall 2023. We’re also in the process of kicking off the next graphic novel after Puzzle House, and all I can tell you is that it’s a wonderful story about family and building trust! (And I’d love to cover different parts of the two year gap in some of the story-focused expansions we’re planning. 👀👀👀👀 Devon and I have been discussing some really cool and interesting ideas that I’m excited to explore.)
Q: “Is there any new merch coming out soon that you are able to share with us?”
Emily: Yes! We just released some new t-shirt designs with Hot Topic and we have a brand new partnership with What’s Your Passion (amazing jewelry) that I’m *very* excited about. So keep an eye out!
Q: “If the 63 episodes are set in stone, is there any chance a spinoff will be created to explore the stories not touched on in the show, e.g., Through The Moon?”
Aaron: Xadia is big and wondrous, and there are eras with great stories we would love to tell…
Devon: We’d love to write something about the Mage Wars someday!
Q: “Will there be a DVD and Blu Ray for The Dragon Prince?”
Aaron: I think so? What extras would you want to see on something like this? Or would you just be happy with a sweet box/packaging? In your mind, is there value to having a physical version of this, or would a digital product with some cool extras do the trick here?