Last (but certainly not least), here’s our ROUND 3 ANSWERS for our very first Discord Q&A!
This final round features responses from members of our creative team at both Wonderstorm and Bardel Entertainment, and primarily focuses on questions related to the creative process for The Dragon Prince, as well as more general questions about the team itself:
- Aaron Ehasz (co-creator)
- Justin Richmond (co-creator)
- Devon Giehl (lead writer)
- Paige VanTassell (senior writer)
- Joe Cocoran (staff writer)
- Michal Schick (associate writer)
- Eugene Ramos (associate writer)
- Emily Marzonie (franchise lead)
- Caleb Thomas (lead visual development artist)
- Katherine Lim (storyboard director)
- Hanna Hofer (character designer)
Click the links below to quickly jump to a specific category:
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our ROUND 1 (Characters & Plot) and ROUND 2 (Worldbuilding & Lore) answers for more behind-the-scenes insights! We also invite you to join our official Discord server—a cozy, family-friendly community any for fans of The Dragon Prince franchise to connect, collaborate, and (of course) chat about all things Xadia.
As a side note: Thank you so much for your patience while we navigated our team’s holidays, vacations, leaves, illnesses, and crazy production schedules to complete this final round of responses. We’ll be taking a short break on further Q&A’s for now, but will be using the downtime to develop more engaging programs (as well as more opportunities to connect with our cast, crew, and creative team) to host on our Discord server in the near future!
Q: “What inspired The Dragon Prince?”
Justin: There were and are many different inspirations, such as playing D&D as kids, reading all kinds of fantasy books, TV, movies, you name it. But the main kick off, as it were, for The Dragon Prince was when we started talking about kinds of magic.
What if there was a very difficult magic? One that required years of hard work and dedication and talent to use and master. And what if there were a much easier kind? One with a shortcut, but a large drawback. And what if one kind of people or peoples were born naturally connected to magic, and another group was not? What would that world look like?
That was the beginning of the show.
Q: “Why did you think having a fictional story about a group of children saving the world was worth telling? How did you think the audience would connect to that? What were some of the most challenging parts of creating the series? What do you hope the audience picks up from the series?”
Justin: When you are dealing with a story that has, at its heart, a world filled with generational violence, hate, and misunderstanding, some of the most interesting characters and people are those in a position to change the state of things. And while adults are usually the ones in power and who we’ll look to for change, they’re not always the most capable. Sometimes, it falls on the next generation—specifically, children and teenagers—to break the cycle. To succeed and save the world where their parents and grandparents could not.
In the case of The Dragon Prince, we feel this is a story worth telling because it’s relatable and real. And we hope those watching (kids and adults, alike) can see something in their own lives—or in themselves—that they can respond to. Something they can reflect on or even potentially try to change or look at in a different light.
That’s a big reason why we intentionally made this show for as wide an audience as possible. We’d love for it to spark meaningful conversations between kids and other kids, between adults and other adults, and especially between kids and adults. Because, even though Xadia is full of magic and dragons and elves, there’s a lot of very human connections and struggles that permeate the entire story—and we hope those moments open a door for fans (to find and talk to one another) that they might not have otherwise had.
Q: “What time periods, countries, and cultures (if any) inspired the setting, costumes, and design of the show? How did this change with the new designs in Season 4?”
Devon: Before our artists made anything real and pretty and spectacular, we talked a little bit about the show having a “modern” look to it. Meaning, we wanted it to have all the trappings of a classic fantasy-genre setting, but with a sort of sleekness and fashion-inspired look to the characters’ silhouettes, clothing, armor, and weapons. I think you can see the results of this general goal in things like Callum’s jacket, which is very modern-looking in its shapes and tailoring! Also stuff like Ezran’s backpack being covered in little pins, Rayla’s armor (and Moonshadow metalwork in general) having a sleek/lightweight/form-fitting look to it instead of the “heavy armor” of more traditional fantasy genre looks, and overall the “gadget” feel to Moonshadow weapons, etc. This didn’t really change much for Season 4, but simply evolved with the characters themselves.
Our franchise manager, Emily, also talked a bit more about this topic in our last Q&A round here:
“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: “I’ve always really admired the character writing in The Dragon Prince for having really interesting arcs and likable characters; what inspires the characterization in the show?”
Paige: We’re so glad you like the characters and their arcs! I was a fan of the show before I joined as a writer in Season 4, and that was one of my favorite aspects as well. Now that I work on The Dragon Prince, I can definitively tell you that the complexity of the arcs is very much intentional. The characters are all flawed in different ways, and the lessons they need will not be learned easily. But, when we do finally see the characters display their growth, it feels so good and earned!
Take Rayla, for example. By the end of the third season, she has seen the benefits of teamwork, of depending on others. She has learned that her parents did not abandon their post as Dragonguard, and that she had no need to make up for or punish herself for their supposed betrayal. However, just because Rayla had these experiences did not mean she fully absorbed the lessons. After all, she spent her entire life as the child of assassins—she lived by the code of self-sacrifice, of doing whatever it takes to finish the job. And she was so scared of failure (remember that everyone thought Rayla’s parents had failed at their mission, and that Rayla had also failed at hers). So, when she feared that Viren might still be alive, her instincts and training took over. She placed that burden on her own shoulders, and set off by herself to find him. It wasn’t the logical thing to do based on her very recent revelations, but it was a very Rayla thing.
But who knows, maybe in future seasons she’ll truly learn to depend on others and stop punishing herself all the time. Watch to find out!
Q: “I have many questions but, how did you build the lore of the world? I ask this as I play a lot of table top RPGs and was wondering if you have any tips on world building, as both Avatar and The Dragon Prince have outstanding lore in their worlds.”
Devon: I have a somewhat complicated answer to this, and a lot of writers and creators will have different approaches across the board, as there is no “right way” to create a setting.
Some folks enjoy a worldbuilding-focused approach: They’ll first think in very broad terms about the setting up front and consider “big picture” questions like how the setting’s societies function, the intricacies of a magic system, the flora and fauna abound, etc…
For The Dragon Prince, we actually didn’t start with much worldbuilding at all, and the framework of the broader story at that point was extremely simple: Three unlikely allies from opposite sides of a divided world discover a secret that could stop war from breaking out between their people. Instead, we focused on the characters first—who they were as people, their relationships to each other, and the journey they were going to go on across Xadia.
The characters and their journey dictated what worldbuilding details we needed to focus on up front: If Callum and Ezran are from a human kingdom called Katolis, what is Katolis like? If Rayla is an elf, what does that mean? Are there multiple kinds of elves? What kind is Rayla? What does it mean that she’s an assassin? The dragon egg will hatch a very powerful dragon—what kind, and what does that mean for the dragon’s parents/lineage?
We filled in what needed filling, but left a great deal of Xadia open-ended. In fact, none of the other human kingdoms had names until Season 2, when the direction of the story (specifically, Viren’s interaction with the Pentarchy) demanded that we give them more attention and thought. This has helped us avoid writing ourselves into too many corners by laying out too many “rules” for the universe in advance.
But again, this is just how we’ve approached storytelling as a creative team so far. Other creators/writers/etc. prefer the boundaries and constraints of more worldbuilding rules as part of their creative process!
Our approach did change a little when we made Tales of Xadia, too. TTRPGs generally demand a lot more up-front worldbuilding than an animated series. We got into a lot more in-depth discussion about the setting at that point and really fleshed out the bigger picture of the world of Xadia. Still, when we work on the series itself, the needs of the story and the characters dictate what makes it onto the screen.
Q: “For the writing team: how do you keep track of overall story lore and world building? What is your favorite memory from the writers room of season 4?”
Devon: Keeping track of the overall story is something that’s a lot more challenging than you might think. We pitch all sorts of things over the course of development that don’t make it all the way to a final script, and even the most seasoned among us sometimes catch ourselves going, wait, what version did we end up liking the most…?
So, because we’re all slightly scatterbrained headcases, we share a lot of the responsibility of keeping track of what we’ve finalized, discussed, and put forward as the “vision” for every beat of the story. In actual practice, that means we take a LOT of notes. Every meeting, every pitch, every discussion is typically jotted down by someone on the team, either the writers’ assistant or the writer(s) responsible for a particular episode, and we do our best to keep ourselves organized around this pile of notes.
But “keeping track of the story” doesn’t stop there!
One thing I often try to emphasize to writers (and creatives in general trying to break into or understand the process of production) is just how much communication and clarity is necessary to make an animated series: hundreds of people work on The Dragon Prince, and every single one of us is constantly striving to align around a vision for every episode, every script, scene, and shot of the show. Very often our job as writers and producers is to reiterate what’s written in the script over and over again, describing the intent behind everything and collaborating with the wider team (board artists, animators, etc) to bring that vision to life in a way that’s both impactful storytelling and feasible within production limitations. It’s hard work that goes so far beyond the craft of writing or storytelling alone—communication and collaboration are absolutely key to The Dragon Prince’s success!
Paige:To answer your second question: One of my first writers’ room memories was not from Season 4, but Season 5. When Eugene Ramos and I joined as staff writers, the room was doing what we call “breaking the story,” or figuring out the main beats, for an episode in Season 5 that is just…a super emotional ride for the characters. And it was a really tough story to crack! I remember taking a few breaks where we all went for long walks and just cleared our heads. Devon told Eugene and I several times that this was not normal, that this was an exceptionally hard episode. But now that the episode is nearly finished, I gotta say, the metaphorical and literal banging of our heads against the wall was absolutely worth it. It’s a very cool episode. There are pirates in it. Get ready for Season 5, y’all.
Q: “Does producing episodes in smaller chunks influence your team’s approach to writing the series when it comes to the overall story of the saga?”
Devon: There might be a small misconception here. We actually don’t develop the episodes in smaller chunks. Instead, we’ve been working on the entire “Mystery of Aaravos” arc (so, all of Seasons 4-7) at the same time!
What this means in practice, for example, is that when we were putting the finishing touches on Season 4’s episodes, Season 5 was already approaching final animation and heading into a phase called LRC (lighting/rendering/compositing – see attached image)—where the episodes actually start to look “real,” even though there’s still plenty of work to be done. And while all of that’s going on, we were writing scripts even further out in the saga. This is the same approach we used when developing Seasons 1-3, and we talked a little bit more about that process previously here.
What this means is that our team had the luxury of considering the stories of all four seasons at once rather than worrying we wouldn’t get another season and having to compartmentalize. We didn’t have to come up with “an ending” prematurely, and could think of the broad narrative strokes of each individual season as sort of “one big story.” This doesn’t mean we could know or solve every last detail up front, of course—we still have timelines and budgets and constraints—but it did give us a lot of freedom for the pacing and tone of the show to build and escalate over the course of Seasons 4-7. We hope the payoff of that luxury is apparent as the “Mystery of Aaravos” arc continues.
Q: “Regarding the designs of the character are there any earlier scratches/ideas/designs that may have changed during the creation of the series?”
Hanna: I do distinctly remember Corvus being described as an old, gruff “Geralt of Rivia in Witcher 3” kinda guy, but then Dorothy drew him super hot and younger—thus he was re-written to being a young, hot “Geralt of Rivia Witcher 1” kinda guy LOL
Caleb: Every character is a fun collaborative process where changes are made all the time! Pretty much all of them have had different iterations and I get a kick out of seeing the first concepts of a character vs. how they end up in final!
Q: “my question is about our favourite villain, so elegant and mischievous 🙂 how did you come up with Aaravos? was your initial idea to make him so manipulative (and handsome 👀)? and what about his design?”
Aaron: The initial idea was not necessarily that Aaravos was manipulative. In fact, from very early on, we wanted to hold fast to his own claim that he never lies. However, we did and do want it to be mysterious whether he is, at his deepest core, benevolent or nefarious.
For his design, we have drawn on the biblical archetype of Lucifer—who gives humans knowledge but in doing so corrupts them and brings them into sin. But we also drew on the mythical archetype of Prometheus—who gives humanity fire, to elevate them, but is punished by the gods for doing this. In a way, they are the same story, but the first is a corrupter and the second is a self-sacrificing giver, who defies the arrogant gods. Some of it is a matter of perspective, some is a matter of intention.
Anyhow, Aaravos is complicated and confusing in many ways, and our brilliant character designers made him super-sexy just to make matters worse!
Q: “Was it difficult aging the characters by two years? Especially Callum and Ezran?”
Caleb: While it was a little difficult getting Callum and Ezran in a good place to move forward with, I personally get a lot of joy out of exploring characters at different ages. The challenge ends up being a good opportunity to just delve into the narrative and/or aesthetic possibilities. And, even though not every idea gets used, it’s still fun to imagine and collaborate with everyone else!
Q: “Don’t know if this question has been asked before but how did you go about with designing the new looks for each character? Do they reflect anything in particular that the character might have gone through during the 2 year time skip when it comes to character growth?”
Caleb: The goal was to age everyone up in a way that matures them while making sure they’re instantly recognizable. Out of everyone, I feel like Rayla was given a bit more room to deviate from her previous appearance since she has been out and about on her personal mission.
Q: “What was the process like for creating the new characters this season? How did you know when you wanted to introduce us to someone new versus bringing a previous character back?”
Devon: For creating new characters for Season 4 specifically, the theme of the season is Earth, so we wanted to explore that primal source and characters connected to that part of Xadia. We knew early on we’d be telling a story where the characters embark on a journey to Umber Tor to meet the Archdragon of Earth, Rex Igneous. From there, we had to fill out the details, and we always try to think about thematic ways to land the beats of the bigger picture story. That’s how we ended up choosing a story where the heroes find an Earthblood elf guide to help them navigate Umber Tor, which led to us introducing N’than and the antagonistic Drakeriders.
Q: “the trans representation we got through terry was one of my favourite things to see this season. it felt so accurate to my own experience, so i was wondering what goes into making a character feel so relatable in that way? were there trans team members that helped make sure his story was told with such care?”
Devon: We’re so glad he resonates with you! None of the writers on The Dragon Prince identify as trans, so we wanted to make sure we went about Terry’s characterization with as much thought and input from outside the team as possible. We were lucky that Netflix was immensely supportive in this: They hooked us up with GLAAD, who read our scripts, gave feedback, and helped us develop the scene in which Terry opens up to Viren about his identity. Terry’s voice actor, the amazing Benjamin Callins, was also immensely helpful in the process, and weighed in on Terry’s design. The artist behind Terry also identifies as non-binary!
Season 4 Development
Q: “[Was there] a scene [in Season 4] that was hard to do (Emotionally and/or technically) but you did it nevertheless for the sake of the story?”
Devon: Writing-wise, we put a lot of effort into planning the end of episode three, where Claudia fights Ibis. The scene—combined with the intercut scene of Ezran’s speech—required a lot of things to fall into place. One, Ezran’s speech needed to resonate and sound like it came directly from his heart—and from a place of vulnerability, because his rather hasty and naive assumptions about peace and understanding had been challenged. Second, Sasha needed to nail Ezran’s emotional delivery in her VO performance…and she did! Third, the storyboarding team and the episode’s director needed to execute on a really complicated back-and-forth between two simultaneous scenes.
When you watch the scene now, you’ll notice a few shots where Ezran appears in the fight scene with Claudia and Ibis—that wasn’t actually in the script! The storyboard team found a very clever way to make the scenes feel more visually thematically linked than we as writers had initially imagined. Ezran’s speech in contrast to the violence playing out between Ibis and Claudia illustrates the challenges he’s got to face as a leader: Is this a world that will ever be capable of peace?
As for the Claudia and Ibis fight itself, we had a few goals. We wanted it to start as a “mage fight”—with the characters slinging spells and out-magicking each other, true “fantasy genre” stuff—but to slowly become a more physical brawl, something more grounded and frightening and real. Aaron’s reference for this scene was actually a fight in the film Saving Private Ryan. Taking such heavy reference for its resonance—“two people fight for their lives, slowly becoming more and more physically exhausted, and both know they can’t falter or the other will kill them first”—and translating it for a much, much younger audience was a delicate task in of itself, and we think the teams at Bardel did a fantastic job rising to the task.
Katherine: Technically, it’s always tricky to board human-sized characters with giant archdragons and not break the bank! Especially when your dragon is having a meltdown (see: Rex Igneous in “Escape from Umber Tor”).
In general, though, pacing is always a challenge, whether it be action or emotional. As artists and directors, we’re always trying to visually tell the best version of the story that respects both the writers’ vision and our own.
Q: “My question is for season 4, was there any plot point or particular moment that went through a huge change from start to finish? Anything that happened in the story that was originally going to be something else entirely but ended up being vastly different?”
Devon: When we initially started brainstorming Zubeia’s visit to Katolis, we thought about holding some kind of elves vs. humans tournament-style games, but it very quickly became something that would be difficult to scope out and animate or give enough story space to be effective. Still, imagine: dragonriding races!
Q: “If there is any, could you guys share deleted/cut scenes from S4?”
Devon: I’ll share two.
The first was from 409 (“Escape from Umber Tor”), which we had to cut for time—and tone, too, since it didn’t fit well with the vibes of the last few scenes—even before we took the script to the animatic stage. But, I love this little exchange from the first draft between Janai and Amaya at the very tail end of the season, so here it is:
And here’s a little bit more completely unnecessary (and therefore trimmed for scope and episode length) silliness from 408 (“Rex Igneous”):
For The Team
Q: “Who is the lead/head character designer for the show?”
Emily: That would be Caleb Thomas—who brings so much thoughtfulness, creativity, and life to every project he touches! Caleb is one of those artists who’s able to coax a unique personality out of each character, even when they’re in that typical, neutral pose used during the early design process (not quite the aggressive T-Pose™, but you know the one).
In a way, Caleb is just as much a storyteller as anyone on our writing team. The more you look at his designs, the more you recognize how intentional each of his decisions are and what they’re trying to tell us. Sometimes, they make us stop and consider things from a character’s point of view, like: “Why would Rayla choose this color palette for her new outfit? What journey was she on and how did she adapt what she wore to suit the challenges she came across?” Other times, he’s able to incorporate elements for us (as the audience) to find as narrative parallels. I love searching for similar shapes, textures, and colors between our characters and their environments in Caleb’s designs—they’re often subtle and sometimes even unexpected! He really puts himself right in the world of Xadia and adapts to each character’s distinctive set of “shoes.”
Caleb also created the art for our “Reflections” series, and I was always blown away with how the expressions and body language of every character in every piece enhanced the words of each short story. He’s just a master of what he does.
Q: Okay I do in fact have another question cause I’m dealing with this right now: Do you guys ever go through creative burnout? And if so what do you do to keep going?”
Devon: lol. lmao
Okay but for real, of course we all deal with creative burnout. Bluntly, the summer of 2022 was the absolute busiest I’ve ever been in my life in terms of the amount of stuff we had in production at once, and I struggled a lot! Everyone’s different, but almost everyone I know has hit a burnout wall at some point.
What helped me last summer—and what continues to help me now—is making sure I had other creative outlets besides The Dragon Prince to keep me going. It’s hard for me personally to focus on just one creative endeavor at a time, and when I hit a wall or get stuck on a creative problem it can feel insurmountable if I have nothing to distract myself with. So, while I try to put as much effort and brain energy into TDP as I possibly can for work, I also work on other things on the side: silly fanfiction, drawings, cooking… basically anything that engages me creatively but -isn’t- my main project or focus. Stuff with lower “stakes,” I suppose. Stuff that’s ultimately just for me. This helps me feel a little less atrophied or blocked (or just plain frustrated with) “the problem” or “the wall” I’m experiencing with my main work focus.
That said, I’ve heard other people need to just completely take breaks from doing anything creative at all to get over burnout! There’s no shame in letting your creative muscles rest!
Q: “Is there a moment you as writers are most proud of?”
Devon: Might be an indulgent answer, but I’m really proud of Rex Igneous’ voice and dialogue overall. We put a lot of thought into crafting his character, and I think he’s a fun twist on the idea of a “dragon who keeps a treasure hoard.” He’s intelligent and eloquent but jaded and hateful and he remains my favorite archdragon. 🙂
Q: “What was the biggest production challenge during the pandemic? (So grateful this still came out, even after 3 years!)”
Katherine: For me, personally, the biggest challenges working from home during the pandemic as both a storyboard artist and unit director were 1) not being able to go into live editing sessions with our editors and 2) as someone who doesn’t reside on the west coast of North America (where most of our series team resides), just being in a completely different time zone from everyone. Communication was something that could have been a setback, but I was blessed with very collaborative and supportive teammates who are also fans of the show!
Q: “do the creators binge read the reception of the news seasons after release, on various platforms (facebook, discord etc). or is there a team whose job is to monitor it? is it even possible, to resist the temptation of reading most of the reactions? 😄”
Devon: It’s kind of up to every individual member of the team how much they want to look into reviews/reactions and engage with fans, because sometimes some of y’all can be a little mean, and we’re still human beings over here doing our best. :’)
But, it’s important to us as a creative team that we continually listen and understand and learn, and that we get a sense of what’s working and what isn’t. So, we also work really closely with our publishing team, who keep their fingers on the pulse of your conversations and filter critical and constructive things back to us as best they can and as often as they can.
It’s hard to resist the temptation to just read everything everyone says about The Dragon Prince, but as time has gone on I personally have gotten a little better about picking and choosing what kind of feedback I want to perceive (ie – what’s actually helpful vs. just cruel). It can be really encouraging and rewarding to see people react to our work, but also exhausting!
Q: “What’s everyone on the crew’s favorite game? Oh also, any tips for writing stories and lines between characters? I’m writing a comic and I would like to know the secrets!”
Devon: My best advice for writing dialogue is always to read what you write out loud. You will be able to tell when things sound natural and when they sound a little weird.
My other favorite advice comes from a college professor I had, which is to pay close attention to the way people around you in real life speak and interact with each other. Everyone has different ways of communicating. Some people speak in long, precise sentences, but they are a bit slower to say anything at all because they take the time to think before they speak. Others are a little more energized, a little more hasty, and will open their mouths before their brains catch up to them. Think about the difference between Ezran and Callum here. Ezran is much more thoughtful and “adult” in the way he speaks, and Callum’s always talking a million miles an hour, even if it means he sometimes stumbles through what he’s saying. Thinking this way also leads to good moments of contrast, like how it stands out when Ezran’s flustered or caught off guard, or when Callum gets serious.
Ask yourself questions like: How would I describe the way I talk? My best friend? My parents…? You’ll start to notice little details you didn’t think about before. For example, my husband’s Scottish accent becomes more noticeable when he’s riled up about something (it’s true, and hilarious). My grandma has about ten thousand funny stories ready to deploy at any moment in any conversation, and they’re always well-told—she never stumbles in recounting them. And my dad is a very reserved and businesslike man with most people, but will make up songs about baseball for his close family and friends.
Also, my favorite games are probably World of Warcraft and Bloodborne. 🙂
Q: “Which characters (reoccurring or newly introduced this season) have been y’all’s favorite(s) to work on so far?”
Katherine: I’ve deeply enjoyed the scenes that I’ve had with Soren. He’s the “everything bagel” character that inspires a lot of slapstick comedy, cool action, and he’s very in touch with his feelings. As an artist and a fan, it’s been a treat to expand Soren’s character arc and see where it goes! (And I can’t leave out the all-knowing and wise Bait. He’s the best.)
Paige: To build and expand on Soren Appreciation Day… I wrote an episode for a future season about Soren and Corvus going on an adventure, and I had a blast with those two! I adore an odd couple pairing, the goofball and the one who begrudgingly tries to keep the goofball on task. And I love that, beneath the jokes and the eye rolls, there’s a real friendship and respect between them.
Q: “What gift would YOU present (or bake) for Rex Igneous to avoid certain death?”
Joe: What do you get for the dragon who has everything? An iPad, I guess. Nobody needs an iPad, but they’re pretty fun. Or a nice robe. We meet Rex as he’s lounging in the hot tub so I feel like he’s a dragon who understands luxury.
Michal: I’m not going anywhere NEAR anything called “The Path of Despair,” but I’ll give you a cinnamon babka to take with you. That should work. I hope.
Paige: I’d get him a sun lamp. There’s no way he’s getting enough Vitamin D down in that mountain lair.
Eugene: An air purifier. There are no windows down there, so I can only imagine that the air is pretty stale.
Q: “What are the crew members’ favorite primal sources?”
Michal: Am I allowed to say Dark magic? Yeah, it’s morally questionable, but the aesthetic is unimpeachable. I’d stop after my first white streak! Probably.
Paige: I mean, the Star primal is pretty ultimate. I want to open weird portals and hide stuff like Stella does.
Joe: I’m pretty fond of the Ocean primal. We haven’t seen a ton of it in the main series yet, but as deep and strange and diverse as our oceans are, there’s a lot of hidden depth to the Ocean primal. Surprising magic, charming and unique Tidebound elves, and other secret things I can’t talk about yet!
Eugene: Star. Mainly because of the unicorns.
Q: “If you were any kind of elf in Xadia, what do you think you would be?”
Joe: Earthblood! We’ve met a few Earthblood elves by now, and one thing I’d say they have in common is a sense of humor and calm approach to life. Even when things are getting out of hand, they remain down to (I’m sorry…) earth. I might be more of a N’than than a Terry, though, when it comes to nerves.
Paige: I grew up swimming and love being in the water, so probably a Tidebound elf. Also, you’ll meet a Tidebound elf in Season 5 that I do, at times, relate to pretty hard.
Eugene: Moonshadow. Being invisible can come in handy. But I’m bad at accents, so I’d probably stick out anyway.
Michal: Earthblood. I too am suspicious of strangers and guard my territory with excessive ferocity.
Q: “What was your favorite scene in s4 and why?”
Michal: I love the “two cakes” scene. Great advice, and more cake for everyone!
Joe: The ending of 404 (“Through the Looking Glass”)! Aaravos doing extremely Aaravos things, being snarky, blowing kisses. It’s an awesome way to give our heroes a glimpse of what they’re up against.
Paige: I enjoy Soren giving Rayla the advice to “work through the weird,” and that “the heart do what it do, and don’t what it don’t.” Props to Iain Hendry for that poetic bit of wisdom.
Eugene: I personally love the scene between Soren and Claudia where they have their first meaningful conversation in years. At one point, Soren gently holds a butterfly while they argue. That moment shows how diametrically opposed they’ve become, because Claudia would not have been so gentle with that butterfly. Soren so fittingly, and hilariously, puts it: “Claudia, I don’t think we have the same bone feelings.”
Katherine: The whole ✨ moment ✨ of Callum being possessed by Aaravos was super cool! This was an element of The Dragon Prince that was previously hinted at, but we hadn’t seen happen before—and it was haunting!