Netflix Original, The Dragon Prince Season 5 is the latest installment of the animated fantasy series released on Netflix. The show was created by Aaron Ehasz and Justin Richmond and stars voice actors Paula Burrows, Jack De Sena, Sasha Rojen, Racquel Belmonte, Omari Newton, Jason Simpson, and Jesse Inocalla. This season, two different parties are searching for the prison of the extremely dangerous Aaravos, an epic quest on its own. Whilst the band of heroes, including our two human princes, wants him to stay locked up, others plan to set him free.
In the next chapter of a long epic, the season starts very soon after the previous one ends, very much feeling like the next part of something much larger than a seasonal show. It’s a series with space that moves slowly at first. Half the season could be considered as build-up, but that is done so the rest of the series can run and explore. It sets up not just the end goal, the race for Aaravos’ jail, but all of those other storylines within that become the heart of The Dragon Prince Season 5.
Many were started in Season 4, such as the struggles the homeless Sun Elves are facing, but others are born within these nine episodes and concluded by the end. The struggles are expanded upon and intensified. This world can be vast yet easy to navigate. Each series has a quest and a journey, giving it a purpose, but it is merely a guide rope. The rest of the world needs to explore first. This pacing makes it incredibly easy to sit and absorb the show, which has it all. The political intrigue and the seeds of revolution are present at the start, becoming a horror tale, evolving into pirates and seafaring adventures by the end. There are duels, chases, and last stands against seemingly impossible foes. There may be a lot happening, but the structure makes it effortless to follow. Things may get left behind, but they are never forgotten. Remnants from several seasons return, and not just for reference. Everything has a purpose or a place.
The characters are the soul of The Dragon Prince Season 5. The core cast has changed but is still instantly recognizable after the time jump in the previous season. So many of them are showing the potential they demonstrated early in the show’s run, especially the magic users. On one side is Callum (Jack deSena), who has become a powerful, capable mage, still the real protagonist of the show. On the flip side of that is Claudia (Racquel Belmonte). Both are gaining power, but she is getting darker and darker, genuinely frightening in what she attempts.
Her cheerful demeanor and the time we have spent following Claudia make those shifts into pitch-black evil more shocking. The group of good guys is split at the beginning of the season but slowly comes together at the midpoint. Whether they are huge characters or just present for an episode, everyone gets a moment to shine. It is so great that General Amaya and Queen Janai (Rena Anakwe) are given their own arc. It contains profound love but also stories of betrayal and fierce battling.
The dialogue is superb and just as varied as every single aspect of the show. There are some exquisite conversations that are frank and honest about love, loss, and family, as well as high-fantasy concepts. Callum and Rayla (Paula Burrows) are perfect examples of this, able to blend their personal problems with a world-threatening problem that overshadows everything. But the Netflix series is also extremely funny. The comic relief characters in Terry (Benjamin Callins) and Soren (Jesse Inocala) have a wit that never gets irritating. When the show needs to make you laugh, it excels. But when it needs to make you cry.
Amaya, a woman who communicates through sign language, is used terrifically. When there is a need to express herself verbally, there is someone there to translate and vocalize the words. But she can also excellently achieve that silently too. Then there is Aaravos, the title character. He remains this hidden figure for much of the season, but when he is on-screen, you listen. His monologues are beautifully sinister, taunting and toying with his victims. Erik Dellums, the voice actor for Aaravos, speaks with a deep voice that is as smooth as honey, a whisper with power, and makes anything the villain says incredibly menacing.
This show has dragons. Lots of dragons. And they are awesome. The treatment of the creatures by the writers makes them some of the best representations of the mythical creature that I have seen in a long time. The sheer size of them is magnificent. Even if they are kind and benevolent, the way in which any other being shrinks at the mere sight of one. They are huge and gorgeous. Not all speak, but there is not a Dragon in The Dragon Prince that lacks personality.
Zubeia (Nicole Oliver), the Dragon Queen and protector of Ezran (Sasha Rojen) and his cohorts, still makes me gasp every time she is on-screen. One of the dragons that appeared in an early season reappears and the speech it gives is close to Shakespearean, beautifully crafted to be tragic and grotesque whilst denoting the unfathomable age of these iconic creatures. Whenever one is in danger, I felt a gut punch.
One minor gripe is something that began in Season 4 but continues not to be addressed in this chapter either. Since Ezran has become the true kind and is crowned, not much time has been spent exploring his time as the King of Katolis. He says it quite often, and that often garners respect, but his quest to stop Aaravos has become more important than simply looking after his subjects. He is more at home with dragons than he is in his castle, which is very true to the character. But Katolis and its capital has seemed neglected as a whole by its ruler and storytellers alike. It is the starting point of the quest, where the team leaves to go elsewhere. So there isn’t much time allocated to reveal what is going on within what was a foundational location in previous seasons.
The Dragon Prince: Season 5 looks gorgeous. All of the character designs are remarkable. Those we have seen change and evolve over five seasons have adapted with new costumes and looks, and there are more stunning fantasy creations. This world is so unpredictable that the creatures and races that can appear is a complete lucky dip. New races, monsters, and species are introduced that have become instant classics. The locations are stunning too, which gives a magnificent sense of scale. You are always aware that this isn’t just a group of individuals.
This is a world that has been slowly but surely brought to life. The character movements are fluid and authentic, with some unbelievable animation. This is noticeable in the fight scenes, but also just in those quiet periods where the pets are playing with each other or the dragons are flying. Those combat scenes are close to 3D, able to move around characters in all directions as they flip and dance with one another.
The Dragon Prince: Season 5 stays at a spectacular standard. It’s achingly pretty to look at and contains so many layers and aspects to the story and the characters. It is hilarious and heartbreaking, expansive yet intimate. The cast can seem big, but every one of them has been explored to such an extent that it’s impossible not to care about them. They’re evolving but haven’t solidified, with much more room to grow. And the whole time, the show doesn’t seem like a true season. There’s a fantastic final battle and plotlines that wrap up here, but it’s simply chapter five in one of the best fantasy series currently available, whether they be live-action or animated.
The Dragon Prince Season 5 is available now on Netflix.
The Dragon Prince Season 5
The Dragon Prince: Season 5 stays at a spectacular standard. It’s achingly pretty to look at and contains so many layers and aspects to the story and the characters. It is hilarious and heartbreaking, expansive yet intimate.