One of the most ominous and thrilling parts of The Dragon Prince season 2 is the reveal of Aaravos and what lies beyond the mysterious magic mirror. As it turns it out, the showrunners planted this mystery very early on in the series.
Head writer Aaron Ehasz talked to Polygon about the big reveal, and how the fans who caught on that a brief tease in season one might mean something weighter for the world.
[Ed. note: This article contains spoilers for The Dragon Prince season 2.]
The mystery of the magic mirror plagued dark mage Viren for most of the first season. He explained to his daughter Claudia that the Dragon King and Queen kept it in their bedroom, and that he has been trying to figure out what secrets it holds since the humans snatched it up. But no matter what he tried, the mirror never revealed anything.
When he interrogated Moonshadow elf Runaan about it, the elf’s eyes widened, and he replied that it is “something worse than death.”
After Viren nearly destroys the mirror in a fit of rage in the second episode of season two, it begins to glow, revealing some sort of pocket dimension, which contains a room with a bookshelf, huge window, and a desk. He plants himself in front of the mirror, until, finally, a Startouch elf named Aaravos appears.
Does that name sound familiar? It just might.
Though we only got our first glimpse of Aaravos in season 2, sharp-eyed fans (who use subtitles) will notice that Aaravos isn’t just a mysterious and possibly evil elf — he also narrated the intro to the first episode.
“We have long planned this character. Someone asked me early on and they were like, hey, you got Eric Todd Dellums to do the narrator [...] you have something more in mind for the narrator,” Aaron Ehasz told Polygon.
Startouch elves are elusive and mysterious, even more so than other types of elves. According to the lore page on the Dragon Prince website, star magic “draws on the vast and timeless power of the cosmos, and involves divination, cosmic vision, and seeing into the ‘beyond.’” This describes an omniscient-sort of narrator, but the fact that Aaravos has now made an actual appearance indicates that his role stretches beyond just telling us the story of Xadia and the Human Kingdoms.
“The person who you thought was the omniscient narrator is in fact a character, an active player in this world, right? Or is some kind of player,” Ehasz continued. “We don’t entirely understand what his role is or what his role has been.”
Throughout season 2, Aaravos teaches Viren some more complicated dark magic spells. Though Aaravos is trapped within the mirror he manages to communicate with Viren after a magic ritual allows him to use a glowing worm to whisper in Viren’s ear. Aaravos encourages Viren to sow fear and dissent among the human kingdoms, so that he may take control. Viren isn’t the type of person who would normally take advice from an elf — it’s only after the human kingdoms refuse to listen to him that he does.
But what does Aaravos gain out of teaching Viren? It could be that his hands contribute to the show’s framing device, opening the book in every episode. So how much of the story at hand does Aaravos know? Is he a force for good, or an unreliable narrator sowing evil in the world?
The Dragon Prince is currently streaming on Netflix.