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Media Essays: Why I Love Callum

The title card for the essay

Written by The Wandering Fox

It’s me again, the Wandering Fox. In my contributions to the Media Man blog, I’ve been critical of The Dragon Prince. But I actually love the series, I didn’t like how Through the Moon and Season 4 ended up being. Though I have been brutal with the series latest season, I thought I’d give you guys a more upbeat Dragon Prince post. I thought I’d go and say what it is I like about my favourite character of the series. Callum.

A poster of Callum

I thought I’d talk about him as I feel a lot of connection to the guy and I wish I was as strong as he was. He’s the kind of guy I wish I could be. But what is it about him I connect with so much? Then I suggest you guys read a recap of the character.

Callum’s Story

Callum was born to Sarai and an unknown man, the latter of whom died before the series began. Callum’s mother married King Harrow, becoming a Prince of Katolis, as well as becoming the older brother to Ezran. Callum’s mother was killed by Avizandium while trying to save Katolis and Duren from a famine, thus Callum grew up somewhat alone with only Ezran as his closest friend, and friends with Claudia and Soren. Callum would grow up to find out Moonshadow elves were coming to murder King Harrow, and later learnt Ezran was also going to be killed. Though she tried killing him at first, Rayla befriended Callum and Ezran after finding the Dragon Prince’s egg was intact, the three, or four if you include Bait, leave to return the egg to it’s mother, but they overcome boundaries and trust difficulties along the way, with Callum showing his protectiveness of Ezran and becoming closer to Rayla. Callum sacrifices the primal stone to save Zym, after a reunion with Claudia and Soren resulting in him learning of his dad’s death and betrayed by them, Callum continued his journey, almost dying twice before he got magic again, then ventured into Xadia with Rayla, the two becoming a couple during the journey and stopping Viren from killing Zym and, in one of the most beautiful moments of love, Callum grew his wings and saved Rayla. Obviously we then had Through the Moon and Season 4, but I won’t go into those because if you’ve read my previous posts, you know how I felt, but to keep it short, he was the one character in Season 4 who had been written quite decently compared to the others.

But with you guys now having been caught up on his character, what is it I like about him?

Breaking the Tropes

Interestingly about Callum, he’s not exactly a prince, he’s the step-prince, adopted into royalty. Though he’s older than Ezran, he has no right to the throne. Alright, he does if Ezran were to be murdered, hence Viren wanted him to be killed. But back to the point, in some medias, you have the adopted kid be a jerk towards their family, wishing their mum or dad stayed single and think the new man or woman is taking them from them, and bullies the younger kid. But here, Callum doesn’t do any of it. Yeah, Ezran can be a bit of a troublemaker for him and Callum gets frustrated at him, but Callum doesn’t hate him, he loves Ezran so much and what’s the first thing he did in episode one once Ezran was scared by lightning? He comforted him, telling him to go back to sleep in a ever so caring way. He even becomes an older figure of wisdom for Ezran on the journey with him telling him how Amaya will not understand why Rayla is helping them because all she’ll think of is a monster if she meets her, and tells him about how in life you have to understand there are things you are not ready for and you must grow up. He does give Ezran a telling off if he thinks he’s being a bit ignorant but he grows to understand Ezran’s own connection to magic and is more kinder with him on how he talks to animals.

A pic of Callum and baby Ezran

From my own copy of The Art of The Dragon Prince.

Then there’s how his relationship with King Harrow, though a little awkward, was obvious to us he wanted to call him dad, but obviously by royal standards and those around them, both Callum and Harrow couldn’t refer to each other as son and father, and I think the guilt of Sarai’s death made Harrow feel as if he took her away from him, and hence kept his distance but realised way too late what Callum wanted and could only hug him. Soren belittling Callum about being the step-prince, and admitting he was jealous of him and Harrow, made him feel as if he must not call him dad. And you know, Callum could’ve blamed Harrow, he could’ve blamed him for Sarai’s death, telling him she shouldn’t have married him, but he didn’t. Callum didn’t. He stayed and helped raise Ezran, and he wanted to have a actual father and son relationship with him.

Callum hugging King Harrow

I connect with Callum a lot on this because like him, I have a family which isn’t exactly what you’d think. If you are reading what I wrote above, you can figure out what it is. I have a loving relationship with my mum, dad, and my sibs, two each of them having a different dad and mum. So I like Callum in that regard because he clearly loves his family despite how different things are for him, he had a step father who loved him and he loved, and he loves his younger bro.

Overcoming Your Boundaries

Callum’s story in The Dragon Prince is making his own destiny. You look at what he was going to do. Dance, ride horses, sword fighting. He admits he was never good at those things. In fact, the only thing he was any good at was artwork, and he’s good at it. Yet then his interest in magic, and his memory for his art led to him casting magic, and once he was called a mage, he “felt right”. We all have those moments where we think we’re not good at anything, then we find we are good at it, and once others tell us, we’re left in awe and decide to keep going for it. Callum continued to do magic and it came in handy in Season 1, wether it’s saving Rayla from a giant river monster, trying to hold back a avalanche, or stopping a monster in the Cursed Caldera, you can get why Callum felt so helpless in Season 2 after he sacrificed the Primal Stone to save Zym, he felt he could do more than stand around being a mere simple guy, he could save both Ezran and Rayla, he could defeat monsters, then it’s all down to Rayla again to do the hard work, leaving him guilty and helpless.

It resulted in him being slowly consumed by his feeling of inferiority, almost killing himself in trying to get his magic back, then he became so desperate to help Rayla he used Dark Magic, he hated doing it, and then he ended up in a coma, his breathing being cut off, dying, but he then figured it out, and with help from his mum in his mind, he found out the truth of the Sky Arcanum, then right then and there, Callum achieved something he might not have realised: legendary. The first human in centuries according to Ezran to use magic without a primal stone. It’s a positive thing for a character to tell you, of you feel knocked down, try again, and you’ll do wonders if you get there if you overcome your boundary.

It’s also clear Callum had a lot to handle while growing up, as Soren’s bullying and Viren calling him a “mongrel”, indicating many felt he didn’t belong with Harrow and Ezran, yet he bravely stuck with Harrow and Ezran, they were his family, it didn’t matter to him what Viren or others thought of him. No wonder though after losing magic he felt weak, weak in not being there to help Rayla in a battle, hence as we have in season three he’s more than happy with his magic because he can help. He did this by confronting Dark Magic, making his own destiny.

Callum meets his dark self
Callum's nightmare

I wish I was like him, because I have a lot of anxiety and confidence struggles.

His Bravery

The series often has him giving praise to his girlfriend for being brave, and while she did give him a speech similar, I hope the series addresses how actually Callum is brave as well. As while he gives himself grief for not doing sword fighting, Callum is brave in so many other ways. Here’s a list.

Lying to Rayla to take the knife for Ezran.

Standing up to Runaan.

Running away from home.

Learnt to realise Claudia and Soren were lying to him.

Had no idea if Dark Magic would hurt him or not but done so to save Rayla.

Let Ezran go home.

Travelled through Xadia even though dragons and elves would try killing him.

Helped fight off the fire zombies.

Leapt off the spire not knowing if he’d live or die to save his girlfriend.

Callum kissing Rayla

I’d like it if the series goes on and Callum keeps giving himself a dressing down until not just Rayla, but Ezran, Ethari, heck even Runaan, tell Callum he’s one of the most bravest people they’ve ever known. Like say he fends off Claudia and Viren and loads of enemies as they get civilians out, takes hit after hit, but keeps going. Heck, if he defeats Aaravos by himself and barely lives to tell the tale, he’d likely say he didn’t do much, to which Zubeia tells him not to belittle himself, he saved Xadia, then everyone goes to him. Callum could only stand there in awe realising he has earned respect from those around him, yet even then he’d be kind enough to be his usual self. Because that’s what makes him Callum.

Hatred Doesn’t Mean He’s Evil

It’s worth noting with Callum he has his mother’s soul in him alright. Even though he hates Avizandium for killing his mum, he’s still sad he never got to greet his son. I think he’d feel the same way about Runaan if Through the Moon was written a lot better. Runaan murdered Harrow and I think though he hates him, Callum would bring him back because he’s Rayla’s family and he doesn’t want her to be unhappy.

It’s worth adding as well though he calls out others, he’s not doing it out of hate, it’s out of logic or heart. He calls out Rayla for wanting to throw her life away because of something her mum and dad, we soon learn, didn’t do. He calls out Ezran for being silly in the face of assassins coming to kill their dad. He does it out of heart, he doesn’t want to lose his dad, he doesn’t want the girl he loves to throw her life away. He even tells her to shut up for giving herself grief. It tells you while he’s nice, he is willing to give us his brass balls to help others through calling their bull out.

Callum is a example of how though we can feel hurt and grief over what we’ve suffered, we have to still try and be the better guy in all this. I think it’s what makes him so better than Viren and Aaravos, they let their hate get the better of them, whereas Callum, even if he has his moments in anger and grief, he is willing to be the stronger man of them.

The opposite of Viren and Aaravos

It’s interesting in which earlier I called out how Aaravos is kinda nothing compared to Emperor Belos, given his lack of a relationship with Callum, but if there’s something I can give The Dragon Prince it’s how they still show Callum being the opposite of Viren and Aaravos. Both of those guys, who kinda see themselves as the heroes, use their magic to get what they want but at a cost of hurting others or killing others, Aaravos obviously wants the Startouch elves to suffer for being arrogant, but with Viren he did a lot of horrid things in the name of good. Like manipulating Soren into killing both Callum and Ezran, then killing the King and Queen of Del Bar and Evenerre, lying to Prince Kasef, almost turning Soren into a fire zombie and almost killing a baby dragon in the name of good.

Yet look at Callum. He only uses his magic and words to help and comfort those he loves. He doesn’t manipulate, he helps. Whether it’s keeping Zym and Rayla safe in the final fight, sacrificing the primal stone to save Zym. It’s what makes Callum a hero. He’s made very clear as well he will give up his life to save others. For Viren, he almost did it, but after Harrow lost his temper he left him, and he’s more than happy to sacrifice his son for his own means, whereas Callum would stand against an army to stop them from reaching his girlfriend and Zym.

A kind, good hearted, brave, if a little ballsy, hero, he’s my fave of the characters. It’s not only that, he’s a example of how we can do better with ourselves, to keep going for our dreams, to keep being the good guy you are. He’s a guy who loves his family despite how different it is. He’s a guy who started life as a simpleton, then was adopted in royalty, grew up feeling uneasy, then he became a legend, he achieved his dream of gaining magic. If we all go on like my man Callum, we’ll be having our dreams.

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2 comentários

Well, Callum is a character, easy to like for able to do the right thing. But you going in detail and laying it out, and analyzing it, you really said to a tee what Callum as a character is about.


Erin Delgado
Erin Delgado
08 de jun. de 2023

Read the Essay and it is very amazing, I can see why Callum reminds you of yourself, the connection and his great character.

As I say he is everything of what a great main character could be as he has brave moments, beautiful bonds with his loved ones, being a great foil to his villains and other stuff.

Amazing job Reece, I am impressed I read the essay. :)

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