When we last talked about the series Dragon Prince on Netflix, it was in part because it caught us so off guard. Without much warning at all Netflix dropped a pretty remarkable family-friendly series from the creators of Avatar: The Last Airbender and we didn’t want you to miss it.
So, with the release last week of Dragon Prince season 2, does it hold up? The short answer is “Yes!” but check out below some of what continues to make this series so good.
Why Dragon Prince Season 2 is Great
First, as a fantasy loving fan but living in the modern world, it is impossible to ignore their incredible commitment to a diversity of characters. It stood out last time in the choice to have a deaf warrior woman who used American Sign Language to communicate. In all the characters, we saw a diversity of skin color and ethnicities.
In season 2, it is furthered. Two decisions that particularly stood out to me were the addition of a lesbian royal couple that were revealed in a flashback and the way that the most fierce combatants were women in many of the fight scenes.
Any time that you have a cartoon, it is pretty easy to make the moral backdrop of the show pretty generically “good versus evil.” Over the course of season 2, we see that sometimes moral quandaries aren’t so black and white. This tension is explored in a flashback when the king makes a decision to attack something to save many lives. Along similar lines we see a character have to make a strong choice towards evil in an effort to heal a hurt sibling.
While there truly is still evil and darkness, the way the show challenges the audience to consider how someone is tempted and deals with those choices is pretty powerful, especially for “a kid’s show.”
Likewise, the show is willing to deal with some powerful themes, including life and death. Though we know that the father/step-dad King was killed in season 1, it is revealed to the two brothers over the course of this season.
Watching them wrestle with that reality is touching, especially the way they lay out a flashback scene where the king has to tell his stepson that the queen has died with a scene where the stepson tries to tell the prince that his father has died as well. When a cartoon can get you right in the feels, you know they are doing phenomenal work in the storytelling department.
Finally, even as all this is happening around them, they grew the world of this fantasy setting. We learn of the other human kingdoms and the alliance that they have together. We get the flashback sequences that help us gain insight into some characters who are gone, namely the King and Queen. We get a clearer sense of magic, how it is supposed to work and one character’s calling to get past the barriers that they just accepted in the past.
We also gained some interesting new characters, such as a pirate ship captain who is blind in both eyes, a lately introduced tracker character, who looks to be the new King’s guard for next season and a young queen, who was the only one willing to stand bravely against the idea of all the human kingdoms fighting against the elves, including the newly introduced dark elves who seem to be connected to the earth and magma in particular.
All in all, like season 1, Dragon Prince season 2 gets a definite recommendation as it is just 9 quick episodes that are fully worth the investment.