Nex is not “the new Riven.” Got it? Good. 😛
Why did I write that post before this one? I mentioned why at the beginning of it. Whenever Nex says or does anything, the first thing people say, “He’s ‘the new Riven'” or, “He replaced Riven” or, “He’s just Riven except —,” or something like that. The fanbase keeps trying to force Nex into a role he wasn’t created for.
We’ll never understand his character until we stop comparing him to Riven. The truth is we still don’t know him well. He’s only been around for two seasons.
Here’s what I’ve been hinting at since the ep. 7X04 review. In season six, Rainbow began his love story with Aisha. This season, they focused on his relationships with the Specialists. In most of the episodes he was in, he interacted with one or two of them at a time:
- “First Color of the Universe” (7X04) — Brandon, brief moment with Helia
- “Back in the Middle Ages” (7X08) — Helia
- “Winx Trapped!” (7X10) — Timmy
- “Mission in the Jungle” (7X11) — Sky
- “Back to Paradise Bay” (7X16) — Sky, brief moment with Brandon
- “Lost in a Droplet” (7X17) — Timmy
- “Baby Winx” (7X20) — Helia
- “New Magic Harmony” (7X25) — Helia, Sky
- “The Power of the Fairy Animals” (7X26) — Timmy, brief moment with Helia
The types of interactions varied. Sometimes he talked to them, sometimes he raced them, and sometimes he just exchanged glances with them. You could always tell who the chosen guy was for each episode. He and Nex would be isolated from the others, or Nex would be beside him in almost every scene. For example, in “Baby Winx” (7X20), he was almost always next to Helia:
This is nothing new for TV. For example, when Zuko joined the Gaang in Avatar: The Last Airbender, Aang, Katara, and Sokka each got an episode (or two) alone with him. When it was Toph’s turn, she lampshaded what the writers were up to: “Everyone else went on a life-changing field trip with Zuko.” (It didn’t work out for her, though. 😛 )
The guys’ moments with Nex didn’t change their lives, but they did reveal his real role in the Boys Club. (Hint: it has nothing to do with Riven.)
NEX AND BRANDON
Remember when Nex teased Brandon about Stella being late in “The First Color of the Universe” (7X04)? Boy, some fans threw a fit! You’d think he called her the “B” word, instead of making a harmless joke that just pointed out the obvious. She was late, wasn’t she? 😕
And as always, they compared him to Riven. Riven teased people all the time! See? Nex is just a copycat! 🙄
I think they missed a key detail. He was only bugging one person: Brandon. That scene, plus others in the episode, gave us a sense of their relationship. Nex acts like an annoying younger brother who likes getting on his nerves. (They’re probably the same age, but Brandon’s more mature.)
I thought these two would be close friends because they have a few things in common. They’re both flirty and outgoing, they like to crack jokes (at least Brandon used to), and they keep themselves in shape (we used to see Brandon lift weights). Rainbow may have used parallels to highlight how alike they are. Remember when the guys got hyped when Bloom told them about their mission? Nex and Brandon struck the same pose, mirrored:
Also, when the tortoise attacked, they were the first to spring into action. Both of their weapons can generate wind gusts. I think Rainbow did that on purpose, too.
These boys got along better as the season went on. But don’t be surprised if they fight in the future. I just hope it doesn’t become a once-a-season gag like it is with Aisha and Stella. 😕
NEX AND SKY
Since season one, the guys have held the same roles in the Boys Club as their girlfriends in the Winx Club. Bloom and Sky are the leaders. Stella and Brandon are Bloom and Sky’s best friends, practically like a sister and brother to them. Flora and Helia are the sensitive souls who don’t like violence (but are tough when angry). Tecna and Timmy are the nerds, the inventors, and — more so in the past — the strategists.
(Musa and Riven might be the exceptions. I’m not sure how to classify them. Tell me what you think in the comments. 🙂 )
Aisha’s the co-leader of the Winx. Her friends are as willing to follow her as they are to follow Bloom, and she often steps up when Bloom’s gone. Has Nex taken on that role in the Boys Club? I think so.
We’ve heard him bark orders a couple times in both seasons six and seven. The first time was during the Lynphea College mission in “Bloomix Power” (6X04). During a lull in the battle, he ran out and yelled, “Hurry! The other Lynphea fairies still need our help!” Everyone followed him. Also in “Back to Paradise Bay” (7X16), Nex practically started the mission when he said, “Let’s go!” and the guys obeyed.
But what convinced me he’s the co-leader is when the gang split up in “Mission in the Jungle” (7X11). Brandon, Helia, and Timmy stayed behind. The others formed two teams, each made up of a couple and two Winx. Team A was Bloom, Sky, Flora, and Musa. Team B was Aisha, Nex, Stella, and Tecna.
The leaders in one group, and the co-leader and her boyfriend in the other? That doesn’t feel like a coincidence. Why couldn’t Stella and Brandon have been in Team B instead? Why couldn’t Nex have stayed behind instead of Brandon or Helia? Why couldn’t the Winx have gone alone?
I think Rainbow did this on purpose to show a connection between Bloom and Sky, and Aisha and Nex. They even had Bloom choose the teams. She knows Aisha’s the second-in-command, and I think she and Sky believe Nex is as capable as she is.
Like Aisha, Nex doesn’t seem to want to be the leader. (That’s another way he’s different from Riven.) He doesn’t challenge Sky’s orders, and he hasn’t tried to take control of the Boys Club. But people naturally listen to someone who’s confident and seems to know what they’re doing.
What do he and Sky think of each other? I admit these two haven’t interacted much, but I think their surfing race in “Back to Paradise Bay” (7X16) was meant to show us their relationship. Wait — Nex competing with Sky? Riven was Sky’s rival, so Nex must be his new rival!
Have we forgotten what friendly competition looks like? Believe it or not, two guys can compete against each other without coming away with bad blood between them. Who knew?
This wasn’t a contest between rivals. It was a bonding moment! Watch it again. Did they look angry and determined to show each other up? No. They were just having fun. (A dolphin “won” in the end, so it didn’t even matter.)
I think Nex and Sky are good friends. They’re not best friends, but you can tell they like hanging out together. And maybe this scene was meant to show they’re equals, too.
NEX AND TIMMY
These two are a funny pair. I like to think of them as “The Brain and The Brawn.” (You know which is which. 😛 ) They seem to like putting each other in awkward situations, yet they genuinely like and respect one another.
The first time we saw this “brain and brawn” dynamic was the windsurfing race in “Mystery of Calavera” (6X15). Nex relied on muscle (steering the Morphix board by hand) and possible surfing experience. Timmy tried to use science (calculating the wind speeds) and engineering (the raft he and Tecna built).
Who won? Nex, but only because Timmy’s raft sank. Still, he savored his victory.
I think fate got him back for it in “Back to Paradise Bay” (7X16). After he and Sky wiped out, Timmy and Helia floated in on the same kind of raft. What did Timmy say? “If you’d had my techno-magic boat, you wouldn’t have fallen into the water.”
Now they’re even. 😛
Friendly rivalry aside, Nex seems closer to Timmy than to Sky and Brandon. When they weren’t trying to one-up each other, they were just hanging out and complaining about bratty Fairy Cats. Or dancing. (That was a surprise at the end of the season!)
NEX AND HELIA
I saved Helia for last because Nex seems closest to him. This friendship also started last season, when they had a random “bro moment” in “Acheron” (6X25):
Where did this come from? We hadn’t seen Nex interact with him at all before this, except telling him, “Nicely done, man!” after the werewolf smackdown in “The Curse of Fearwood” (6X17). I guess he was impressed and thought to himself, “I wanna be friends with that guy!”
I think Rainbow’s trying to establish them as best friends. They’re affectionate with each other, like Sky and Brandon are. And did you notice Helia’s name came up the most on the episode list at the beginning? I don’t think that was on accident.
This could turn into an interesting friendship because Nex and Helia are opposites of each other. Nex is bold, outgoing, and outspoken. Helia’s shy, reserved, and soft-spoken. I can see them helping each other grow. Nex can teach him to be braver and more assertive, and Helia can teach him to be calmer and more sensitive.
If you know Aisha well, you may have noticed a parallel between her and Nex. He has the same kind of relationship with each guy that she has with each Winx:
- Aisha and Stella: They fight the most out of all the Winx, but they’re still friends.
- Aisha and Bloom: They’re the co-leaders.
- Aisha and Flora: They’re best friends (according to WinxClub.com).
The exception might be Aisha and Tecna. To be honest, I don’t have a clue what their relationship is. They don’t interact much, and when they do it’s rarely on a one-on-one basis. All I can say is Tecna’s the thinker, and Aisha’s the athlete. It’s still “brain and brawn,” but without the rivalry.
Otherwise, Rainbow didn’t bother to set Nex apart from Aisha. That’s why I keep calling him “the male version” of her. He’s her counterpart in the Boys Club, relationships and all.
One last thing. I think this is why their relationship feels like it’s moving slowly. Rainbow wasn’t focused on them this season. Integrating Nex into the group was more important, so all they did to develop him and Aisha more was send them on a date. Maybe next season (or in World of Winx), the writers will focus on them again.
Okay, I’m done writing posts about Nex for now. He didn’t do much this season, so what else is there to rant about? Unless something big happens — like Netflix releases the trailer for WoW — my next post will be my thoughts on “Adventure on Lynphea” (7X06). Stay tuned!