Earlier this month, we hosted our very first Discord Q&A, and we’re both excited and humbled to reveal that over 500 questions were submitted. Given the sheer volume of submissions, we won’t be able to individually respond to every single question; however, we will be splitting our answers out into three different rounds to ensure we can address as many as possible.
Today, we’re happy to share with you our ROUND 1 ANSWERS!
This initial round features responses from Aaron Ehasz (co-creator), Justin Richmond (co-creator), Devon Giehl (lead writer), and Stephanie Johnson (communications lead), and primarily focuses on questions related to our characters and plot for Season 4 of The Dragon Prince, as well as more general questions about the series itself.
Click the links below to quickly jump to a specific category:
We’ll be sharing ROUND 2 (Worldbuilding & Lore) and ROUND 3 (Creative Process & Team) answers in the coming weeks, so stay tuned! In the meantime, be sure to check out our official Discord server to learn more about future Q&As and how to participate.
Q: “How many seasons are there going to be of the dragon prince? It is a really good story.”
Aaron: The Dragon Prince saga = seven seasons!
Q: “I wanted to know if this season of the dragon prince was more like ground work to set up other seasons?”
Justin: Season 4 does pull forward many of the plotlines and questions from the first three seasons, but it also lays new ground that Seasons 5, 6, and 7 are being built upon. After the Battle of the Storm Spire, the world of Xadia has had some large changes! Humans and elves are having more contact with one another, in some cases even living in the same city or getting married. That doesn’t wipe out all those years of war and mistrust, so there is much to unpack for our gang, as well as Xadia at large. Book Four: Earth is about both playing out where we were headed as well as pointing the story in new directions for the future.
Aaron: Season 4 = Earth = “ground work” (haha)
Q: “Why call this season ‘Mystery of Aavaros’ instead of ‘Where is Aavaros?’ Or will we see a lot more of him in he next season? Biggest disappointment of the whole season, that the most interesting character had not even 5 minutes of screen time.”
Stephanie: “Mystery of Aaravos” isn’t the name of Season 4! Instead, it’s the name of the larger story we’ll be telling over the course of Seasons 4, 5, 6, and 7. This means two things: One, you’ll continue to see the “Mystery of Aaravos” logo and subtitle used for future seasons. And, two, you definitely haven’t seen the last of Aaravos. There will be plenty of opportunities for you to not only properly discover what exactly is so mysterious about the Midnight Star, but also enjoy a lot more screen time with your favorite Startouch elf. (With that said: Can we all agree those five minutes were absolutely murderous? His verbal smackdown, heretofore known as the Aara-roast, was just **chef’s kiss**.)
Q: “Love the new season but now i can’t wait [for] it to continue. Is Season 5 in [the] works already?”
Stephanie: We’re so glad to hear that you enjoyed Season 4 of The Dragon Prince! (And, like you, we can’t wait to dig deeper into the “Mystery of Aaravos” and for you to see how that story unravels.) To answer your question, though: Yes! Seasons 5 is currently in development—as are Seasons 6 and 7. We’ve been working on this latest set of seasons for some time now, which means the gap between Season 4 and Season 5 will be much shorter than the gap between Season 3 and Season 4. In fact, we’re looking to release Season 5 later next year!
Q: “Which of the writers had the obsession with fart jokes this season, and why was an entire scene dedicated to Terry’s farts intercut with the scene of Viren having a panic attack? Many viewers including myself felt those jokes were in rather poor taste, especially with previous statements of the series supposedly being more mature in terms of tone and story elements”
Aaron: So, first, I will offer a learning, and then an explanation.
First, the learning: I think we went too far with fart jokes this season! To be clear, we have done jokes like this in the past, but Episode 402 (“Fallen Stars”) had too many too close. I think that threw a segment of our audience and made them feel the show was too young. In retrospect, I would have gotten rid of some and toned some down.
But, second, an explanation: The exchanges between Claudia and Terry in front of Viren were sort of MEANT to be awkward and cringe. Claudia is trying to show off her new boyfriend, and how great their relationship is—and she’s excitedly sharing lots of inside jokes with her dad because of how proud she is, also because she’s just happy to have him back. Like the fact that they call their high fives a “high four-and-a-half,” and then asks: “Isn’t that hilarious?” The petrichor exchange was supposed to be an example of Claudia oversharing, so it was supposed to be wildly inappropriate, which it was, and make Viren uncomfortable, which is did.
Explanation aside, our goal was never to make our fans uncomfortable. I think we missed the mark in this case because obviously there’s been a strong reaction. So, lesson learned! We’re definitely keeping an eye on things like this for future seasons and will pull back anywhere we think goes too far again.
Q: “will the following seasons have a more mature tone? while s4 definitely had its dark moments the overall tone of the season didn’t feel any more mature than before, and arguably quite the opposite more often than not (many moments which i personally think should’ve been handled more seriously ended up with jokes inbetween). i wonder if this will be the case for the remaining seasons or if there will be a ‘full commitment’ to darker stuff at some point. like maybe by the end of the series?”
Aaron: We see now how, for some people, some of this season’s jokes may seem to contradict the more mature tone of the story, and we own that. But the truth is there is always going to be a balance. The show will go deeper and darker with each new season, but there will always be humor as well. Certainly, we don’t want that humor to step on or overshadow emotional moments, and we are as mindful of that as we can be (and will be even more mindful moving forward)… but sometimes Soren, being Soren, is going to say something silly during a deep moment and that’s just who he is! In addition to tackling more serious subjects, that’s also what The Dragon Prince is. And that playfulness isn’t going to change or go away, no matter how high the stakes may get.
Q: “the lack of subtitles for amaya’s sign language is intentional? i know gren does the interpretation most of the time, but there are several scenes (especially during seasons 2-3) in which amaya is alone. it’s a way to make a statement about the general public not knowing sign language?”
Stephanie: We wanted all of Amaya’s scenes to feel very intimate, but also authentic for the audience who may or may not know ASL, so we made an intentional choice to not subtitle her lines unless a translator (like Gren) was present.
Q: “Was Callum’s in episode 9: “I’m so glad that you’re come back!” Actually, the reaction to her coming back a second time now (meaning how she left again in episode 9). So the reaction to her second comeback?”
Devon: Yes, it was written this way to have a double meaning! Great catch. This was an opportunity for Callum to say and do the thing he feels he should have done the first time he saw Rayla in Episode 402 (“Fallen Stars”): Hug her and tell her he’s glad she came back!
Q: “Callum and Rayla are understandably awkward in season 4, and Callum is understandably angry with her; however, his behavior in particular often seems intended to antagonize her. To what extent is he just so mad around her that he can’t think straight, or is his behavior calculated to get back at her for hurting him?”
Devon: In Season 4, we get to see Callum struggling with a lot of difficult feelings. This is in part because he’s a teenager—and that on its own is ROUGH—but it’s also because someone who hurt him deeply (a person whom he still loves deeply) has now come back into his life. He expresses some of this struggle to Ezran—that he’s both angry and happy that Rayla has returned, and that it’s hard to sort out. Callum definitely does intentionally antagonize Rayla a little, which is obviously not the healthiest response to everything that’s happened between them. I wouldn’t call it calculated, though, just him emotionally lashing out. By the end of the season, though, Callum does come to realize that his happiness in having Rayla back in his life very easily wins over his anger at her—which we get to see with the “I’m so glad you’re back” hug reunion at the season’s end.
Q: “will we get a longer callum & rayla conversation and apology about how much she hurt him by only saying goodbye through letter, leaving for 2 years, and suddenly coming back?”
Devon: This kind of growth and healing between Callum and Rayla happens gradually. In future seasons, they’ll have some discussions about trust—and what to share with each other vs. what they keep to themselves. It’s an important part of the dynamic of their relationship going forward. They have so much to work through!
Q: “Obviously you can’t spoil too much, but can you give any hints about what Callum and Rayla’s relationship dynamic will be like going forward?”
Devon: The line between deep friendship and romantic love is a complicated one, isn’t it? 😊
Q: “We’ve seen that Callum is definitely upset with Rayla for leaving, but are others upset too? Are they holding back their emotions for the sake of her and Callums feelings?”
Devon: Of course they’re upset, but in a very different way than Callum. I think it was a little easier for Soren, for example, to reconnect to Rayla after so much time had passed—even though he was probably at least a little bummed out to learn she’d left, especially because they’d only just started to become friends. When she returns, Soren sees it as a happy occasion: another chance to connect with this strong, respectable elf he’d only just gotten to know before! Another chance for Team Good Guys! Ezran is an almost endless well of empathy. He was also hurt by Rayla’s leaving, but did his best to understand her reasons, and is the type of person who can put hurt aside and express his joy at Rayla’s return up front. (It takes Callum all season to do this, in contrast.)
Q: “Rayla’s gift speech heavily implies that she is still ghosted and hasn’t been in Silvergrove. If this is correct, is this because she still technically abandoned her assassination mission or because they are unaware or willfully ignorant that it was her who returned Zym?”
Devon: Unfortunately, yes. The Ghosting spell still stands. Returning Zym to the Dragon Queen does not erase or make amends for what is considered by the Silvergrove to be the reason for the Ghosting in the first place: The fact that Rayla betrayed her oath and abandoned her mission, and that these choices led to the deaths of Ram, Skor, Callisto, Andromeda, and (presumably) Runaan—elves who all had friends and family who cared about them. One grand, sweeping gesture of goodness and progress does not resolve the very real pain in the lives of the Moonshadow elves who are still suffering. While Ethari may have forgiven Rayla, others in the Silvergrove have not.
Q: “Now that Rayla has the coins containing Runaan, Tiadrin and Lain will she go on a quest to release them or will someone else break them free?”
Justin: That’s the question, isn’t it? The fate of the entire world on one side vs. the very real chance to potentially see your parents and mentor/adoptive father again. Rayla has a lot to think about!
Q: “Did Callum know that Earthblood Elves say ‘Trees to meet you.’ or was that just coincidence?”
Devon: Callum’s a nerd, and he read it in a book somewhere. He’s lucky it was a real greeting in the book and not a joke he absolutely beefed.
Q: “In season 4 Ezran called Callum ‘the first human primal mage in centuries.’ Does this mean there have been others?”
Justin: There have been a (very) few other human primal mages in the ancient past, but they are exceedingly rare and far between. So rare, in fact, that nearly all information about them has been lost to history. Callum is alone in trying to figure out his path through magic.
Q: “What all spells has Callum learned since we see him use a few new spells in the new season, has he learned a few or all the available Wind spells? And will he learn spells from the other elements?”
Devon: Callum has learned a TON of Sky spells, both practical (his lil’ umbrella spell) and powerful (blanketing the forest in fog to slow down the Drakeriders was no simple feat). There’s still plenty he doesn’t know, though. He’s definitely interested in learning magic from some of the other primal sources, and HAS spent some time studying them, but—as we saw before—cracking an arcanum isn’t something you can just pick up out of a book. For Callum to master another type of primal magic will require challenges and experiences and realizations about himself that don’t come easily.
Aaron: Yes, and I would add that—with Rayla gone the past two years—Callum has obsessively dived into studying magic as a coping mechanism. Not the greatest emotional tactic, but side effect is he has leveled up A LOT.
Q: “When Claudia tells Soren that the elves and dragons are taking advantage of him, and that ‘to them, you’ll always be just a human.’ How does she reconcile that belief with the relationship she has with Terry? Does she think he thinks less of her? Does she see their relationship one of mutual use rather than love?”
Devon: Personally, I think Claudia is just so taken with Terry as a person and not an elf that she hasn’t quite begun to apply how she feels about him regarding “dragons and elves” as a whole. He’s different—so much so that, by her measure, he almost “doesn’t count” towards her deeply hostile and hateful feelings towards the rest of Xadia. She sort of sees him as an exception to the rule: “Dragons and elves are my enemy, except THIS one, who is unique and special in a way that only I could possibly understand.”
Aaron: I also think Terry agrees with Claudia that the elves and dragons were wrong to divide Xadia and drive the humans out. This doesn’t mean either of them universally hate all elves and dragons, but it means they each have a specific belief about Xadia’s history and how humans were treated in the past.
Q: “How is Terry so cool with the idea of dark magic? So far all the elves and dragons we’ve seen are superbly against it, but Terry just rolls with it, even though it involves killing creatures from his homeland.”
Devon: In the same way that humans in the real world are comfortable with various degrees of, say, eating meat or consuming natural resources, Xadia has layers of complexity, too. Terry sees a bigger picture than the black and white of “it is inherently evil to do dark magic,” especially in regards to Claudia, who does a lot of what she does out of love for her father—which Terry finds beautiful and admirable. He has a line, though: he won’t stand for it when Claudia does something to just be cruel instead of as a means to an end.
Q: “In the upcoming seasons, will there be more emotional scenes regarding relationships and things that happened in seasons 1-3? Especially involving Viren’s family, it felt like all of the betrayal and conflict were ignored and not payed attention to at all this season. For example, Viren gaslit and manipulated Soren constantly in previous seasons, Soren actually KILLED the illusion of Viren IN FRONT of Claudia last season, and it felt like all of that tension and weight of the situation was discarded this season.”
Devon: Yes, we will absolutely revisit this. Trauma, its impact, and the different ways we deal with it is a central theme for “Mystery of Aaravos,” and the relationship Viren has and has had with his children—as well as the relationship Claudia and Soren have with each other— is one of the core journeys we’ll take across the next three seasons. It’s something we want to unpack bit by bit, though, not at all once.
Q: “Will Viren ever have a moment to really think about the things he’s caused? Over his son turning against him and his friend being killed (other than about Claudia being used by Aaravos). Or maybe not in the show but in another graphic novel? I would get that in a heartbeat.”
Aaron: When Viren fell from the Storm Spire to his death, many of his life choices raced through his mind. And, in Season 4, as he grapples with his second chance at life, we see more self-reflection. Now, he’s been swept away on a quest with Claudia to find Aaravos and, in doing so, save his own life. At the end of Season 4, after hesitating and avoiding it the entire season, Viren uses dark magic once again… Do you think he will return to his old ways, full force now? Or is this a bump on his inner journey?
Q: “”Why was there no reunion scene or any dialog between Soren and Viren ? Will there be any flash-back on this?”
Aaron: I think it’s fair to want to know what happened after Soren and Viren reunite in Episode 407 (“Beneath the Surface”), but the truth is: It wasn’t a very satisfying moment. Viren is too caught up in his own head to say much to his now-estranged son, and Soren is (both uncharacteristically and understandably) relatively silent as well. What I think you may be asking is: Do Soren and Viren have an opportunity to confront each other, after what happened between them at the Battle for the Storm Spire? And the answer is yes. We will see more of their relationship play out in the future. I think their most meaningful interactions are yet to come.
Q: “How does Viren feel about Soren at the moment?”
Devon: Distant. Cold. Viren is very much trying to shut down the swell of regrets and doubts he felt upon his resurrection to follow Claudia and help her complete the spell by finding Aaravos. Soren’s presence introduces a lot of complicated feelings that he just can’t stomach right now as he’s tunnel-visioning on trusting Claudia and Aaravos to keep him alive. I think, in his mind, “there will be time for Soren later”—whether that means reconciliation or further estrangement, though, well… he can’t think about that yet. It’s a well so deep he’ll drown in it.
Q: “How did aaravos feel during and after he was locked away? Was it a painful experience for him, emotionally and physically?”
Devon: I think the experience of being imprisoned has been more painful for Aaravos emotionally than physically. His pride was wounded, his plans interrupted and delayed, and he was cut off from the world entirely…or so was the intent. (You can see some of his resentment and the deep churn of his loathing in the short story “Patience,” as well as the little birthday note we wrote for him a few years ago.) Aaravos has had a long, long time for all of his anger to fester into something even more dangerous than it was before he was imprisoned.
Q: “Aaravos shatters the mirror after possesing Callum which i assume means that they can no longer spy on aaravos through the mirror and vice versa. My question is why did he choose to shatter it then? (assuming he could shatter it whenever he wanted to).”
Devon: In some ways, Aaravos is very arrogant. He’s extremely confident that the things he’s set in motion—perhaps more than what is immediately obvious to us, the viewers—will all play out in his favor. He does not need the mirror anymore; thus, he shatters it. Now, Aaravos is waiting for all of his puppets to play their parts.
Aaron: Aaravos is showing them he will not be contained—and letting them know his power can reach them. It’s a warning, a threat, and a flourish…
Q: “I’ve been really curious about this – was Aaravos able to posess Callum because he’s used dark magic before or simply because he’s a mage?”
Justin: Mages, especially human ones, do seem to be drawn to Aaravos across history. However, simply being a mage isn’t enough. Callum was indeed able to be possessed because he used Dark Magic before. (Dark Magic, Not Even Once™.) Aaravos is very specific about what he does and what he chooses not to do. Simply because he can do something, doesn’t mean he always will. For him, everything is according to
Q: “i loved janai & amaya in season 4, but is there any chance that they’ll join our main heroes?”
Devon: If you recall how the journey of Amaya and Janai eventually collided with the journey of Rayla, Callum, and Ezran in Season 3 for the Battle of the Storm Spire, I think you’ll have a good idea of what we’re aiming for here (“here” being Seasons 4-7) structurally. Everyone will have their parts to play, and yes! They will all meet again.
Q: “What can we expect for Ezran moving forward? Will he ever learn how to fight? Will we ever explore a darker side of Ezran? Can we expect him to participate in fight scenes in future seasons?”
Devon:Ezran is well-intentioned, but ultimately…his good heart still has a lot of naivety in it. We started to see some of this in Season 4: his good-feelings visit from Zubeia didn’t go exactly as planned, and his attempt to make a heartfelt speech at Rex Igneous didn’t really land, either. Maybe good feelings and heartfelt speeches aren’t going to be enough to break the complicated cycles of hatred and violence that have dominated Xadia for hundreds of years? Ezran has a lot to grow into, and it won’t all be easy.
Q: “How does ezran and Zym communicate also how does ezran understand zym?”
Justin:Ezran connects to animals on an instinctual, mind-to-mind level. This is much deeper with Zym, and the longer they spend together the more connected they become. It’s a true mind meld, where they aren’t talking; they are directly sharing feelings and emotions. They are able to intuit what the other’s state is, even if they aren’t next to one another—and this includes Ez being able to see “through” Zym’s eyes.
Q: “Will Zym get a voice like the other dragons as he grows or will he stay like his adorable puppy-self?”
Aaron: Archdragons eventually talk… when they are a bit older!
Q: “Why is Bait primary with Callum instead of Ezran now?”
Devon: Bait’s a great friend to both Callum and Ezran! But he definitely bonded with Callum over the first three seasons—like on Villads’ boat, specifically, while Ezran was busy taking care of Zym—so now he splits his time a little bit more evenly between the two brothers.
Q: “That big door only started moving when Bait helped. Is Bait confirmed as the strongest and most powerful character in the whole show?”
Justin:Bait is the most powerful creature in Xadia…in his own mind. While Bait is strong, in this case he’s the straw that broke the camel’s back, giving the final bit of effort needed to push open the door and get everyone to safety. That being said, you don’t want to arm-wrestle with Bait—glow toads pack a mean punch for their size.
Q: “Will we see how rayla and Stella met? If not do you guys have any funny stories/head canons regarding them?”
Devon: I can’t say much about how Rayla and Stella met right now, but as a funny story: Our storyboard artists and animators decided to start putting in these little background details where Stella just… steals stuff. She’s unrepentant. An absolutely shameless criminal. Please keep an eye out for her heinous crimes in upcoming seasons.
Q: “Can we get official birthdays for some of the newer characters like Stella and Terry? Also one for Zym I don’t think he has one yet!”
Stephanie: We absolutely love that you love celebrating our characters’ birthdays! Canonical birth dates for more characters are coming (including Terry, Stella, and Zym), and we’ll be sure to include them in our official party posts starting next year.
Q: “Why does the creature that guides Claudia Viren and Terry know that they have to go to Umber Tor? I understood that Aaravos doesn’t know where he is locked up, and the creature that is guiding them was the one that came out of the mirror so that Aaravos could communicate with Viren, therefore he shouldn’t know that Rex Ignious can help them or know something about where he is Aaravos prison.”
Devon: Aaravos does not know WHERE he is imprisoned—or even the very nature of his prison—but he does know WHO imprisoned him. He also knows that Avizandum is dead. So, the creature born from the chrysalis (which is infused with at least some of Aaravos’ will, I’d say) guides Claudia, Terry, and Viren to Rex Igneous as a functional first step in seeking out answers.
Q: “Will we get to see more about the key of Aaravos?”
Devon: You will learn more about the Key of Aaravos! But it may not be what you think it is…
Q: “As far as we know, there are four coins with people in them, and we know who’s in 3 of them. Are we eventually going to see who’s in the last coin? Is it a character we’ve already met? I’m sure you can’t, but could you give us a hint about who it is?”
Devon: Will you eventually find out who’s in the fourth coin? Absolutely yes. Is it a character you’ve already met? Technically, no. Will we give you a hint about who it is? Absolutely no. For now, you’ll just have to speculate. (Got any good theories?)
Q: “What happened to the rest of the dragonguard?”
Devon: Hendyr tells us that they fled—but did they all flee? Or did Viren do something so horrible to the Dragonguard on the front lines at the Storm Spire that most of the others could only run in terror, abandoning their posts? Of course, Rayla’s parents, Tiadrin and Lain, stayed behind to fight and, well…we now know how well that turned out.
Q: “Who is this?”
Aaron: Justin and I just talked about her recently in an interview Cartoon Universe! We call her The Jailer. She is a human mage who is a sort of mastermind of prisons and puzzles. Any guesses why she matters?