Media Essays: What If Dana Terrace Joined The Dragon Prince?
Written by The Wandering Fox
Hey guys, me again, and once more I’m here with a interesting glimpse in The Dragon Prince. But this time it’s more of a idea of what things could be done if someone were to join the writers group and help improve the series. But who could that be? Dana Terrace.
For who Dana Terrace is, she’s a Disney veteran and a experienced artist, writer and director, worked on Gravity Falls, Ducktales, Mitchells vs the Machines, and the creator of The Owl House. Dana has quit Disney, and with her not doing anything, you wonder what she’s doing now or where could she go? I thought about it and she can go to The Dragon Prince. I love both that show and The Owl House, and both have similarities, like a human trying to learn magic, falling in love with a magic girl, a few of the villains are cosmic, and both delve into the toughness of growing up, including the theme of fathers. Though if you know me, I hadn’t been happy with season 4 of The Dragon Prince, and I’m worried for season 5.
I think Dana Terrace, along with her writing team from The Owl House could be helpful to improve the series. But first I have to say this, I’m not wanting anyone on The Dragon Prince writing team to lose their jobs, I don’t want Dana replacing anyone. This is more of what she could bring to help the series given season 4 has been the biggest gripe a few fans have had. Have some of the fans been a bit mean in their criticisms? Yes, suggesting the writers have a fart fetish is harsh. I didn’t like the fart joke, but that wasn’t my only gripe with season 4, and I’ll get into why, because I think Dana can help. But look, for all I know Dana might love The Dragon Prince and doesn’t want to go over and help. But hey, we can talk about what she can do.
But let’s look at The Dragon Prince and the way I think it turned out quite bad recently.
The Dragon Prince Season 4: What Happened?
The Dragon Prince began in 2018 and had three seasons, following Princes Callum, Ezran, the elf Rayla in their journey to return the dragon Prince Zym back to his mother to unite dragons, elves and humans, with Callum learning to grow his confidence, Rayla learning to find her strength in other areas, and Ezran taking on responsibility. The seasons had solid character arcs for these guys including Soren and Viren, with Callum and Rayla falling in love with each other and becoming more stronger people by the end of season 3, Soren bravely facing up to his dad and Viren’s struggles and fears over what humanity can do, including introducing the mysterious Startouch elf Aaravos. Season 3 ended with Zym back with his mum, Ezran as king of Katolis, Claudia ran away, Rayla and Callum became a couple and there’s a hint we’re in for more mature stuff with the final battle of season 3 as Aaravos and Viren tricked three of the human kingdoms into invading Xadia and Katolis and Duren stood against them.
But what happened next? It went on hiatus for three years, coming back on screen in 2022 with season 4. All of us were thinking the show was cancelled but in 2020 the series is returning to finish it’s story of seasons 4 7, and then we got the next entry in the series through a book called Through the Moon, set in between seasons 3 and 4. This is where I think they made a massive mistake. Through the Moon doesn’t give us any of the bigger stuff from the end of season 3, Rayla has nightmares of Viren murdering Callum, Runaan hasn’t been found after he was taken prisoner in season 1. They return Phoe-Phoe’s feather to Lujanne and Rayla goes into the Moon Nexus to find if Viren is dead. Though she couldn’t find him, Rayla vowed to hunt him with Callum. But after having another nightmare, Rayla goes off alone, on her boyfriend’s birthday, gone for two years.
Okay, first of all, I will say this, them doing a major plot point in a book was a very poor choice, not everyone read the book and were confused by why she was missing in season 4 and they hyped up her absence in the advertising for the season, leaving casual viewers very confused. Combine that with a two year timeskip, and a few fans angry that they did this to the couple, was a weak choice on the writers. Then you have elements in the book that could’ve worked better on screen, for example Viren is in a cocoon to keep him well preserved, and Runaan killing Harrow has left a bit of a bump between Rayla and Callum, and the moon nexus could’ve been better done on screen.
The other complaint I have to this book is….I don’t mean to upset the artist but the art was bland, it had a few good panels here and there, but the characters looked flat including a few visuals, and it didn’t have the charm you have in the end credits art of the seasons. Rayla’s choice at the end divided the fandom, many feeling she regressed into a loner character more closer to her season 1 self, that she didn’t deserve Callum, and that she had a view that he was weak. Another half feel this is a good character flaw for Rayla for her cultural upbringing in the Moonshadow elf society has still warped her and she feels as her being his girlfriend, Rayla sacrifices everything to keep her boyfriend safe. I’m on the former personally, as I feel this was done to really divide them then bring them back together for the sake of the shippers, not helping is we have Rayla coming back empty handed and didn’t say sorry to him or caving to those who said the couple was rushed….yet we had JanaixAmaya and TerryxClaudia with little development.
Yet the show continued to do this, relying on other media to start building up their lore, we had a prequel book about the Bloodmoon Huntress, a Moonshadow elf that is a vampire like elf who does blood magic, is the reason why Rayla is scared of water, and we get more from Runaan and Ethari. Then we had a few online web stories that had Janai grieving for Khessa with Karim, Callum finding Aaravos’s mirror. Then we’re getting another prequel book about Soren and Claudia exploring the house of Viren’s mentor.
You see? The show has already turned to other media to try and tell more stories it could’ve easily done. The fans who take in everything will buy these, but not casual fans. There was many wondering where Rayla was gone, asking who Kim’dael was, and of course, why didn’t we get to see the other human kingdoms on Season 4?
Season 4 gave us a time-skip in which characters were either regressed like Soren, or stayed the same like Ezran, or being OOC like Rayla, a traumatic moment for Callum and Viren ruined by jokes, characters being idiotic like Zubeia not opening Rex Igneous’s doors, a subplot that gone on for too long, and the heroes not achieving anything aside from getting the coins holding the family of elves.
In general, I thought season 4 would’ve had a small time-skip that saw Ezran deal with the consequences of fighting his own soldiers as well as the ones from Evenerre, Del-Bar and Neolandia, Kasef’s death, Soren being more of a broken hearted guy who thinks Claudia is gone, Callum training under Ibis and Rayla being a Dragonguard while trying to get back to the Silvergrove, him and her under scrutiny from both elves and humans for being in a relationship. Following a book to help with the plot was a bad choice. And it looks like things are not gonna get any better for the show.
What’s Happening With Season 5?
Season 5 is being worked on, and the writers have said they’re gonna try and improve it given what they heard from fans f season 4. That is fine….until you then look and find what they said. They are gonna cut down the humour, which is fine, but then saying they’re gonna keep Soren being funny doesn’t sound all well as he was cringey in season 4 and him being the funny one could ruin some moments in season 5 that deserve to be handled carefully. Them saying they’ll cut down the humour makes you think as well they’ve only looked at those complaints but not the others, like we don’t want any drama between Callum and Rayla, we want Ezran to go home, we want to focus more on the main characters instead of Janai and Amaya, but it would seem they’re sticking to it as they’ve said Rayla will be torn between Callum and her family, Ezran is still gonna be there, Janai and Amaya are gonna appear more, and the talk between Soren and Viren that should’ve happened in season 4 finally happens. And the season will end on a cliff-hanger that is gonna be hard for us. We have a character that was going to die only to be spared, it lowers the intensity the heroes are in.
This sounds like a mess. Now, for all we know, season 5 could be good and has us forget season 4, but looking at how bad season 4 was and the writers being very iffy and cryptic on what could be better, then there’s that deleted season 4 scene in which Callum jealous of Rayla and Soren and season 5 will have more scenes with those two, I’m worried we’re going back to dumb teen drama. Going over plot elements that should’ve happened in season 4 like Viren and Soren talking or Rayla revealing what she’s been doing, you kinda can tell they didn’t think things over with season 4.
If Season 5 is bad and is received way more harshly than season 4, Aaron Ehasz might have to be forced to have the series go on a break. You might think I’m being silly but it could be possible. Look at what happened to Justice League, the movie was under production while Batman v Superman was released in theatres and that had to be rewritten into the Snyder Cut we ended up getting, yet that wasn’t enough and the movie was reshot by Joss Whedon.
Or The Owl House, which should’ve gotten a full Season 3, but Disney cut it down, Season 2 had to cut things that it wanted to do and we got a shortened Season 3, yet it’s still doing good. Yet the show is almost over. Terrace has left.
Dana Terrace on The Dragon Prince
If The Dragon Prince has an even worse Season 5, and Aaron Ehasz were to call a break for it, he would be thinking what to do to improve it, which could mean calling in others for help. If Dana were to catch his eyes, it’s because she’s left Disney, she made a good show, and she’s friends with the wife of the She-Ra showrunner, Noelle Stevenson, who Ehasz and the writing group of Dragon Prince are friends with. Aaron could call Noell and her wife, Molly Ostertag, and ask of he can talk to Dana. If Dana accepts, I can see her bringing Luz Batista, Molly, and other writers from Owl House to help.
Dana and her writers did a wonderful job in going deeper into characters as Eda, Amity, Willow, Luz and explored the emotional and psychological effects their trauma and their adventures have had on them, Eda softening up, Amity accepting to be a better girl, Willow getting stronger and Luz becoming more mature. The topic of family is important in the Owl House too, Eda being a secondary mother to Luz, the theme of fathers in the show is a deep one like Eda and Dell reconnecting, Alador becoming a better dad, Luz’s sadness at the loss of her father, and how Hunter rose up against his father figure. They also did a good job in having Emperor Belos be a complex villain who has a interesting story, has a intense reflection of Luz in how both they are.
How could Dana and her team improve the show?
I am a shipper for the human Mage and the elf heroine, I’m happy to admit that. And I love the development between them in the first three seasons, even hoping the writers recognise the praise they were getting for the couple, and keep them together. Through the Moon and season 4 then came along. But Luz and Amity are similar to them. You have the kind hearted human who hopes to learn magic, has a bit of a tough side to them, likes drawing, falls in love with the harder but good hearted magical girl who has a green and purple theme to her, and both got together during the middle of the series. Difference was Luz and Amity are still together.
If Season 5 does more damage to the couple of Rayla and Callum, Aaron Ehasz likely would try to save the couple thanks to him being a big pusher for them to be canon. Dana can help him by having Rayla acknowledge her flaws, because the show and the writers so far are more sympathetic to her and don’t think he’s being there for her. The fans were annoyed because Rayla was the one in the wrong, not Callum, she was the one who ran off for two years, didn’t keep in touch, lied to him, didn’t say sorry to him and was a insensitive idiot to him about his trauma.
Dana did something similar with Luz and Amity. Luz was trying to hide her agony at the anniversary of her dad’s death, trying to keep it hidden from everyone and wanted to keep Amity happy, but Luz lying to her about the Abomination that gone to follow her and Amity upset Luz was not telling her of her misery had them go into a bump in their relationship. So what did Luz do? She explained and apologised, even admitting a bit of her was jealous of her girlfriend and her dad. Amity understood and helped Luz plant a flower for her father, and while Luz still kept secrets from her, by this Amity understood why Luz kept secrets out of fear she’d be hated and it was her fault, and didn’t want to upset anyone. Amity forgave her.
Okay, Rayla and Callum had something similar regarding the death of Harrow, but given we’re here now and what Rayla did here was far more bad than her lying to him about Harrow, this has to be handled carefully by Dana. I think Dana could suggest that Rayla acknowledges the pain she’s made him go through from lying to him, to being inconsiderate of his fears, and Runaan’s return including her family, and finally apologises to him. She even offers Callum a chance for them to never see each other again, to which Callum tells her he’s missed her so much and wants to start again, and Rayla is grateful he’s giving her another chance. From there, the couple are fine.
Actually Kill A Key Character
They did reveal they were going to kill off a character in season 5 but spared them. It was a fan favourite. I’m thinking it’s either Soren or Runaan that was gonna die. I think Runaan dying would cause too much drama between both Callum and Rayla and killing off another LGBT character is gonna anger a lot of fans. I think it’s Soren who’s been spared though because the writers have had way too much fun in having him acting like a idiot.
Dana did kill off Flapjack, and it was a gutting moment for Flapjack was Hunter’s first friend and began helping him, including it being revealed Evelyn was his creator and was given to Caleb. Hunter being brainwashed into hurting him and the grief he felt at losing his Palisman sacrificing himself to save him. Dana could suggest they kill off a character we’ve grown to love. I know it won’t be Corvus because he won’t offer much, it’d be like killing Ibis again. They won’t do it with Janai, she’s another LGBT character, they’ve already killed the Queens of Duren, you don’t want to kill off another LGBT character. Ezran….I doubt they’ll kill him. I think if it’s a character that is gonna have the most impact on the characters, it’s gonna be Soren.
The funny character being killed off is a idea that really drives it home the series is getting dark. Flapjack wasn’t a funny character but he was a knot that brought Hunter to Gus, Willow, and the others and escaped Belos a bit to keep comforting Hunter. Killing off Soren could do that. You could say he’s had enough death indicators from him almost dying as a child, his neck getting broken, everyone worried he was dead after Rayla left him to fight some elves, a reunion between him and Viren ending in him telling Viren he’s not his father, and being a crown guard until the end. He’s developed a caring relationship towards Ezran, he’s concerned about Callum, him getting killed would leave a gutting impact on them and Viren.
Dana might not have him die, maybe another character who is very important, one who the heroes loved and miss a lot.
Developing The Hero
Luz was given a lot of growth, from a happy, geeky girl to a more tired, sad character who almost quit, this came about with her adventures in fighting Belos, watching the agony her friends and family gone through. Dana could do it with Callum to different levels, wether it’s him ever more fearful of Aaravos taking control of him again, having nightmares of killing those he loves, or he’s not talking to anyone, is obsessing over what to do, he gets more reckless that he is willing to throw his life away if it means stopping Aaravos. The characters best observe him and realise they’ve not done their best with him, fearing for what he’s doing, have Ezran realise just how bad things are getting for him. Have a quiet moment between him and Soren, the latter of whom encourages Callum to not give up.
The trauma done for Callum has not been well handled. Not only is the comfort for him interrupted by Soren, but Ezran doesn’t seem too bothered and Rayla says “He can’t make you do anything” yet she saw him brainwash him! If Dana were to give Callum growth like she gave Luz, it will make him a stronger hero to root for and taking on Aaravos with his trauma behind him after recovering would make for a story I can tell Dana would do well. That and she’d make him do cool stuff because unlike Luz, Callum didn’t do much with his magic in season 4, heck, the elves and dragons aren’t really thoughtful of him doing magic.
Creatures of Magic
Dana and her team did a cool job in creating interesting creatures for The Owl House, both creepy and cute, from the likes of Braxus, the moon headed girl, all over at the hand dragon, the owl beast, you look at the creatures she and her friends did in that show and think of how it can be applied to The Dragon Prince. If there’s something I can agree with other critics it’s how Xadia looks empty in seasons 3 and 4, the Uncharted Forest was a generic forest, and looks too much like the human side of the land, save for the Midnight Desert and the living plants in the forest. If Dana had it, she’d add as many creatures as she could into the show, the creepy ones done in the art of the series would give everyone nightmares.
Make Everyone Count
If there’s something Dana can do it’s make us care a lot more about characters even if they have a short screen time. Obviously if they had to cut things down but keep things important, I think Dana can help with that, she managed to keep Luz, Hunter, Camilla and Willow important even after season 3 was cut down. Janai and Amaya could work if hey don’t keep boring us with their story.
In terms of everyone, Dana could give much to Runaan in him having to begin facing that he did bad things and he was too harsh on Rayla, and have him face the fact that really he only continued the cycle, he still is even if he’s saved, he could be bigoted towards Ezran and Callum, but once it’s laid down in front of him the breakdown he’d have would be something Dana could easily do, make us at least connect with him.
Ezran could be faced with the harsh truth he abandoned his kingdom to go on a journey that would kill him and he has to go home and face the responsibilities of a king. Taking him away from Callum and giving him more to do as king could make up for the utter waste in 3 and 4.
Dana could even have the elves and dragons be having to admit they did things they aren’t happy with, have Zubeia apologise in having Harrow killed. It did well with Amity and Alador turning over a new leaf.
Okay, those are what I think, but could Dana do it? I don’t know. It’s a thought, her coming in and helping, though I think she won’t because she doesn’t want to overshadow Aaron, and Dana might want a break from writing given she’s only finished her show.
Yet thanks again for the help, Media Man.
Media Man: Welcome again buddy. Thanks for your contribution to the blog and for another interesting post. ^^
Join me again later this week for a review on SHAZAM! Fury of the Gods. See you then everyone!