Arkayna's Sacrifice

Last week's episode of Mysticons called "All Hail Necrafa" was a low blow for Princess Arkayna, the dragon mage leader of the Mysticons. The series has had an ongoing trend of episodes that end badly or unresolved, which is unusual for a princess show. This episode, in particular, ended on a huge cliffhanger with the most powerful villain in the show's universe freed from her dimensional prison. Queen Necrafa is a perfect example of how all queens seem to be evil in stories that center around princesses. There is a good queen in the show, but as is also common in princess tales, Arkayna loses her parents in the first episode and is forced to fend for herself. All is not lost, however, as they were not dead, but merely placed under a spell that turned them to stone. Arkayna wishes to use the Codex to free them from this rocky prison, but the astromancers, who are supposed to be magical allies to the Mysticons, do not want her to risk using it before destroying the magical book because it contains the power to release Queen Necrafa.


At the beginning "All Hail Necrafa," Arkayna's friends help her come up with an elaborate scheme to take the Codex back from the astromancers and free her parents before ultimately destroying it. The plan almost works. Queen Goodfey's eyes and mouth are freed from the stone prison as she looks at her daughter and tells her "You know what you must do." The bad guys chase after them from every direction to take the Codex for themselves while this is happening, and Arkayna realizes that she won't have time to free her parents before they get to it. Oddly, stopping the spell instantly returns the queen's face to stone, dashing any hope Arkayna has of talking to her mother again. She almost manages to destroy the Codex in the nick of time but is blocked by the astromancers' ship, at which point it immediately falls into the hands of the enemy. To top things off, the statues of Arkayna's parents fall deep into the ocean where they may never be found again. "We've lost everything" sobs Arkayna as she watches her parents sink into the sea.

This is some pretty heavy stuff for a Nickelodeon cartoon. It was bad enough that Arkayna lost her parents in the first episode, but now she lost them twice. Murphy's law seems to be active in full force when she decides to do the right thing and fails horribly. The show seems to enjoy torturing here, which is one of the cons of being the hero in an action story. Princesses usually experience the love of their parents during their childhood, lose that love when they become teenagers, and find it again later with a romantic partner. Heroes lose everything they love and use their anger to make themselves stronger as they seek revenge. Arkayna is both a princess and a hero, which makes her fate uncertain. She may have underlying chemistry with Malvaron, but that doesn't mean there's a happy ending in store for her anytime soon. Will she ever see her parents again, or will her stepbrother Gawayne ruin Drake City by taking over the throne?


It seems like Arkayna may have to suffer through all the tropes of being a warrior princess even though she had the upbringing of a sheltered one. I hope this massive cliffhanger leads to a big payoff because right now, everything seems pretty hopeless. Arkayna has to learn to fend for herself without relying on her parents in order to become a capable leader, but at the same time, it's cruel to rip them away from her twice. Also, no one wants to see Gawayne stay king forever. "All Hail Necrafa" seems to be teaching kids the difficult lesson that not everything works out just because you want it to. Even the heartless Dreadbane learns that lesson at the end of the episode when Queen Necrafa double crosses him after he frees her, telling him that his feelings toward her are unrequited.

It's hard to say what will happen next in a princess show that does not rely on happy endings. Nickelodeon threw Arkayna a bone this week after her big sacrifice by dubbing it "Arkayna Week." They have several Arkyna-themed videos featured on their YouTube channel and posts devoted to the red-headed princess on their Facebook page. Though she came off as somewhat bland at the beginning of the show, it's hard not to feel something for her now after everything she's had to sacrifice.

Comments

Hope35 said…
And for poor Kay it just keeps getting worse. 1st we have the lost princess twin sister mix-up that occurred earlier this year then...

apparently evil Proxi has more hatred for Kay than the other 3 heroines (even though Zee technically was the winner of the position in the family she coveted but only briefly gained and lost when the truth came out - so I thought she'd hate Zee the most and would have imprisoned and impersonated Kay to attack Zee - not the other way around).

I really liked a lot of the latest ep "Game of Phones" but still seeing Proxi as a heartsick villain who now wants to kill Kay really sickens me and IMHO is a big disservice to 2 of the show's coolest characters (if Kay can have all these troubles and NOT be corrupted by them why does Proxi have to be corrupted by her own problems?).

We have just 6 eps left of this show (no word on if Sean Jara, Nick or anyone else will produce any more or just let the story be continued in the upcoming books) so I'm wondering what will happen. Kay I'm sure will get some sort of happy ending. I know we both hope the same for Proxi but that may be a bit harder to get.
Hope35 said…
I'm realizing now, not that I want to sound too crazy, but it might have made a more interesting "corrupted hero" arc if Kay were the one corrupted by the Necrafa mask leftovers.

Yeah, I probably wouldn't have wanted to see Kay evil for a story arc any more than any other good character (yep, including Proxi) BUT it might have been really interesting to see that happen and have the Mysticons and Proxi have to work together to save her from the evil masky (more Piper props - she's SO cute!).

IMHO it would have been fun to see Zee and Proxi, both of Kay's "sisters", having to work together to find a way to save Kay. There might be some jealousy and tension between them but I think they're more alike than most people realize and could become really good friends and allies if given the chance.

Maybe these 2 could be the ones who figure out how to free the King and Queen from being garden statues too and then the King and Queen can work with Proxi and the other heroes to break the mask's hold on Kay and finally destroy it so it doesn't corrupt any other good people.

I also really don't believe that the Rift of Ruin is the only way to destroy the evil masky. Somehow half of the evil masky was destroyed along with Necrafa due to Kay and Zee's double-dragon attack and I don't believe any of the characters sent that half to the Rift of Ruin on mail order at that time.
Hope35 said…
I found a recent Overly Animated interview with Sean Jara and Matt Ferguson about Mysticons at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmH_fGXp85I&t=1432s that was really a fun listen.

But the reason I'm posting here is get this, at about 23:20, Sean was a bad boy and revealed he either wanted to have Kay mysteriously disappear at the end of ep 26 with the Mysticons thinking she was killed and mourning for her in ep 27 (which would have made for a very different ep than the Proxi humiliation conga we got) and possibly having to go to a different dimension to rescue her.

Not that we would've wanted to see Kay die, even in a heroic way, but it did feel like the show was leading up to that possbility by revealing Imani's heroic sacrifice and that Zee did have a strong leadership ability if it would be needed.

I was thinking that if Kay were definitely killed or seemingly killed and unable to be the Dragon Mage because of that, the Dragon Disk might change up the Mysticons a bit on the Dragon Mage front in 1 of 2 ways both to protect Gemina and if it's possible help with Kay's rescue as quickly as possible:

1. Zee would change from being the Ranger to the Dragon Mage and the Ranger Mantle would either go to Kitty or possibly Proxi (normally I wouldn't normally picture a rules-bound smart gal like Proxi being a Ranger but her evil stint did show she has a rebellious side). It would be interesting to see how Zee would handle that big change too.

2. The team configuration mostly remains the same (including for Zee) and Proxi becomes the new Dragon Mage. Proxi thought she could be a better Mysticons leader than Kay in ep 20 but it would be interesting for her to find out via that experience that actually actively being the Mysticons leader is NOT that easy.

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