At the end of Critical Role’s The Legend of Vox Machina season 1 (animated by Titmouse Animation), the merry messy band of Vox Machina restored the sun and justice to Percy’s home kingdom of Whitestone. But upon a homecoming to their homebase kingdom of Emon, a force of dragons, called the Chroma Conclave, descended upon the region. And in season 2, the band will have to face more than just dragons, according to the cast, who assembled at the 2022 New York Comic Con.
The ragtag Vox Machina crew consists of the half-elven archer twins Vax (Liam O’Brien) and Vex Vessar (Laura Bailey), the goliath barbarian Grog Strongjaw (Travis Willingham), the gnome bard Scanlan Shorthalt (Sam Riegel), the gnome cleric Pike Trickfoot (Ashley Johnson), the insecure druid Keyleth (Marisha Ray), and the tormented gunslinger Percy de Rolo (Taliesin Jaffe). Foul-mouthed, drunken, and morally gray, they’re easy to underestimate but they get the job done. The main cast and original Critical Role Dungeon Master, Matthew Mercer (who voices various roles and will voice more next season), led the NYCC conversation on just what to expect from season 2, which will arrive in January 2023.
Where the characters are in Vox Machina season 2
The panel kicked off with a clip of Scanlan singing a rap ditty recapping all of season 1. More music is confirmed for season 2, and it isn’t exclusively sung by Scanlan the bard. “There’s a song in season 2 that I’m very proud of. It’s very sweet and also very stupid. I got sing my butt off,” said Reigel. “Multiple people on this stage will get to sing in season 2.”
Will the rogue sex-loving Scanlan find love? Riegel revealed, “He will evolve a little bit. He’s a horndog and a silly singer. In this upcoming season, he’ll be a mature singer and a horndog. He finds he doesn’t just want to hook up anyway. He might not find it [love]. He might find love in a place we wouldn’t expect.”
Vex and Vax’s ride-or-die sibling relationship may waver. According to O’Brien, “That’s going to come into question. They’re going to have to grow outside of each other and with each other.”
“And face trauma together,” added Bailey with sibling energy. Bailey promised “the moment where she [Vex] breaks down [her emotional] walls… It’s my favorite moment in the season.” O’Brien also vaguely teased “an upgrade” for Vex.
Johnson said that Pike and Grog’s friendship will also get tested, but “can’t say what it is.” She did share that “Pike does more healing, possibly. And maybe, there’s some singing. Her personal journey with the Everlight continues.” Last season, Pike underwent a crisis of faith and temporary split from the group to retrieve it. This time, “She definitely gets to stick around a little bit this time… Maybe we get to meet some people from Pike’s past.”
Unpacking Pike’s past in season 2 means her bestie Grog will also have his history revealed. Williamson spilled that “Grog is always looking for the newest and fastest way to increase his might to protect his friends. We will start to see elements of his backstory, who Grog is and why he is as he is.”
Now that fans have seen all of Percy’s not-so-pretty Whitestone history, Jaffe shared what’s up with Percy after his traumatic homecoming: “Percy is going to be spending some time trying to figure out the best way to be embarrassed and ashamed of everything he’s ever done.” It seems that there’s no end to the lingering trauma of his last journey. “Percy is going to make a series of particularly terrible decisions that will affect everyone negatively. That’s character growth!”
Speaking of Percy’s trauma, Mercer marked the Briarwood arc campaign as “the moment the Vox Machina narrative became personal, and the stakes were dark and real. It went from flippant fun to accessible trauma, thirst for revenge... a dark place. That was the moment we all realized in our campaign that we could go into these deep dark human places as performers.”
Meanwhile, Keyleth is growing like her vines. Ray teased, “I’m most excited with the growth in her relationships. You know, plural…” The crowd cheered before she added, “It’s probably not as dramatic as you think.”
The Legend of Vox Machina 3?
So what will Vox Machina face with these new winged terrors on the horizon? Mercer exposited for those unfamiliar with the campaign: “[The Conclave] is a group of dragons that have formed a union that has its own tension and dynamics. It’s a serious threat to Exandria and we get to see how the world at large deals with it and how [Vox Machina] struggle with the idea of responsibility that’s quite unexpected.”
Adapting a meaty arc with the Conclave was a challenge. So Reigel dropped this bombshell: “To try to adapt it to a single season is a daunting task. We were trying to find out if it was possible. Thankfully, we got greenlit for season 3.” Across the crowd cheers, Reigel informed them to expect the Conclave arc to extend into season 3.
“There are delicious dark moments in season 2,” Mercer teased. “I am excited that the Vox Machina story begins to enter the realm where the stories are personal and step into a space that is cosmic and their fates intertwined with elements of the world that are bigger than themselves.”
Willingham added, “The action scenes are crazier. We’re taking it to a whole new level. Season 1 was just a warm-up. Now you get Vox Machina, what their trauma is, and how are they going to resolve it. When we pitched it, Amazon was like ‘did it happen like that [in the Critical Role source material]?’ and I said, ‘damn right.’”
The panel also previewed an exclusive season 2 clip that picks up where season 1 left off, with the dragons assailing the kingdom and Vox Machina fleeing the chaos. When the clip concluded, Reigel jested, “Right after that clip, it cuts to Mario arriving and saying, ‘What, I’m Chris Pratt?’ Sorry, sorry.”