Musings & Rants

Another Nex post? Yes. I said I’d talk about the boys’ love languages next (since I just talked about the Winx’s), but this has been bothering me and wanted to address it now.

I’m just gonna say it: Nex is the most misinterpreted character in Winx Club. Period. Most of the popular opinions don’t line up with Rainbow’s intentions. Some of them aren’t even canon.

I keep saying the fandom ignores Nex’s positive traits — and his purpose — and focuses on his flaws, exaggerates them, and even makes some up for him. The last misconception on this list is proof it’s gotten out of hand. Love him or hate him, I think you’ll be surprised.

I can’t cover all the misconceptions about him in one post. For now, I’ll talk about three of them.

1. He loves Aisha for her looks, because he wants to be better than her, for no reason, etc.

This one means Nex is shallow and has no real interest in Aisha. He pursued her for selfish reasons. One blogger said Nex just wanted to “prove he is the ultimate player,” but he fell in love with her along the way. (Since when is Nex a player? What has he done to earn that label? 😑)

The true reason he’s in love with her is right there in the show and supported by supplementary info. Remember that season six article with his character description in it? One of the lines said, “Nex rimarrà molto colpito dall’atteggiamento forte di Aisha e gradualmente s’innamorerà di lei…” Translation: “Nex will be very impressed by Aisha’s strong attitude and gradually fall in love with her…”

There you go. It wasn’t her beauty or for bragging rights. He fell in love with her personality.

Not enough proof? I point you to the first thing he said about her, “Wow! She’s no joke!” Or in the Italian version, “Wow! That girl means business!” He was impressed by how strong and no-nonsense she is.

Aisha’s season seven character book, released in Russia a year or so ago, also supports this. On one page, she says (my translation), “Self-confident and determined Nex appreciates my strong personality.”

TL:DR; According to Rainbow, Nex fell in love with Aisha’s strong personality, not her looks or athleticism.

2. He’s sexist/misogynist.

According to Tumblr, Nex has “a penchant for misogynist language.” The word penchant means “a liking for or a habit of doing something, esp. something that other people might not like.” He must have said a lot of misogynist things to earn that accusation, right?

Wrong.

I know where this is coming from, but it’s been taken out of context. In “Back in the Middle Ages” (S7, EP8), Nex said, “Just like a girl, insist things go their way, whether it makes sense or not.” No, I’m not gonna defend the line. I didn’t like it, either.

But the reason I say it’s out of context is because of something Stella said in the other Middle Ages episode, “The Fairy Cat” (S7, EP9): “Aren’t men in these times supposed to be knights in shining armor?” Then a few seconds later: “Centuries pass, but boys are always the same.”

Was Rainbow trying to show us that Nex and Stella are sexist? Of course not. I think the writers were doing another “men are from Mars, women are from Venus” parallel. Another recent one was Tecna and Timmy’s date prep in “A Perfect Date” (S5, EP21).

But Rainbow keeps forgetting that Nex is new. Stella can mostly get away with lines like that because we know her well. But when he says it, the fandom doesn’t think, “Huh? That was out of character.” Why? Because they don’t know what’s in character for him yet! So, they interpret it as a newly-discovered character trait — i.e., “This guy is sexist!”

But I think Nex’s line was out of character. Aisha loves to prove she’s just as good as him (or better), and he loves that about her! He responds by challenging her (which he knows she likes), teaming up with her because he’s confident in her, and encouraging her like any other ally.

If Rainbow wanted us to think he’s sexist/misogynist, then that behavior wouldn’t make sense for him. Why doesn’t the fandom consider the writers’ intentions when it comes to Nex? Why doesn’t anyone ask, “Is this really what Rainbow wants me to think about him?”

When Rainbow wants us to know a character is sexist/misogynist, they make it obvious. It’s practically the character’s whole identity. Case in point: Rainbow already got their “Aisha dates a misogynist” plot out of their system in comic #71, “Aisha’s Courage.” Her boyfriend, Silvan, treats her like garbage. He calls her “child,” gets jealous of her success, takes credit for her smart thinking, and suggests she couldn’t understand important matters because she’s a woman. Aisha breaks up with him at the end.

That’s Rainbow’s version of a sexist/misogynist guy. Nex is nothing like that. And before anyone says, “Neither was Riven, but he was misogynist” (you were thinking it, weren’t you?), Rainbow made it obvious in his case, too. In his season two profile, he flat out said, “I don’t trust girls.” His behavior and dialogue in the show reflected that.

TL:DR; No, Nex doesn’t have “a penchant for misogynist language.” (That was the only time he’s said something like that. Since when is one time a “penchant?”) Given what we know about him, we can assume that sexism/misogyny isn’t supposed to be part of his character.

3. He’s secretly a villain.

This is what I was talking about in the intro. Years of overloading the negative side of the opinion scale have led to this. Now Nex isn’t a hero anymore. He’s a villain in disguise. Some fans even compare him to real villains like Valtor and Darkar.

Let’s dissect this, shall we?

First of all, what is Nex’s motive? If he’s secretly a villain, he must have a reason he infiltrated the group. Don’t you think after two seasons, we’d have at least a hint what his evil plot is or who he’s working for?

Selina being a “secret” villain

Second, villains in Winx Club are pretty obvious, even when they’re incognito. Rainbow shows us scenes of the villain grinning at the screen behind the heroes’ backs, cursing flowers while the heroes aren’t looking, mixing homesickness potions in the middle of the night, etc. But Rainbow hasn’t done anything like that with Nex. In fact, when he has done something unpleasant, he’s done it in front of the heroes!

Wouldn’t he wanna be on his best behavior, so they wouldn’t be suspicious of him? If he is a villain, someone needs to remind him what “secret” means. He’ll sabotage his plan at this rate!

Finally, Nex has had some moments that might show a secret side of him, but they’re the opposite of what the fandom thinks. For example, remember the scene in “Winx Trapped!” (S7, EP11) where Squonk kissed him? Instead of getting mad (like you might expect a heartless villain to do), he melted.

Even Timmy was surprised. When Nex saw him staring at him, he made a muscle to try and play cool. Timmy didn’t seem to buy it, though.

Their reactions tell us a couple things. First, Timmy already thought of Nex as a guy who isn’t moved by mushy stuff. If Nex is secretly a villain, wouldn’t he want people to think he’s sensitive, since that’s a typical hero trait? But if Timmy didn’t think Nex was that sensitive, that means Nex hasn’t bothered trying to maintain a squeaky-clean image like a secret villain would.

Second, Nex wasn’t comfortable with Timmy seeing him act like that. Why? What if his tough guy side is just an act, and he really is more sensitive than he lets on? If so, why does he hide that side of himself? Is he just trying to be cool, or is there a deeper reason?

TL;DR: Rainbow hasn’t given us any reason to believe Nex is a villain, secretly or otherwise.

Final Thoughts

Something else the fandom says is Aisha would never date a “macho” guy (as they call Nex). First of all, why are they praising the idea that she should be judgmental and never see the good in a guy? (Or is just because they don’t see the good in him?) Second, a tough girl like her may be exactly what he needs. There’s a reason he’s attracted to her strong personality. Could it be because he knows he needs to be humbled?

I got a real-life example of this recently. My aunt and uncle came to visit a week or two ago. He’s my mom’s brother, and she and my aunt joked that he used to be macho — they actually said “macho,” and it’s partially because he was in the military — but he’s softened up somewhat since marriage. To be fair, I don’t know much about their relationship, but my aunt said she did a good job with him! 😂 (I hope they don’t read this. 😅)

Going back to Winx Club, I think there’s a fundamental problem with the couples. Most of them are made up of a flawed girl and a perfect or barely-flawed guy who acts as her emotional support, but has no room to grow as a person himself. Thus, he doesn’t gain anything from dating her. He’s just her cheerleader.

That’s not true love. It’s bad character writing and bad relationship writing. If one of the partners is shallow, the relationship is shallow. To quote the article “Writing Romance: Why Perfect Men Make Boring Heroes” from StandOutBooks.com, “If he’s already perfect, what’s left for the heroine to bring to his life?” And one more: “If a man has no room to grow when he meets the heroine, are they really meant to be together?”

Springhole.net has another article about shallow love interests (and best friends). It includes a list of common warning signs that a love interest (or best friend) is shallow. Unfortunately, all of the Winx’s boyfriends (including Nex) tick at least some of the boxes, but a few guys tick all of them. (I’d say the only guys who aren’t shallow at all are Sky and Riven. I’ll let you read it yourself.)

I think Nex has the potential to break out of the shallow love interest trap. Until then, the misconceptions will probably continue. My hope is Rainbow will give him a character growth arc and/or backstory in season eight. That might finally shed some light on what Rainbow intended for his character.

Fanfiction

This wasn’t what I planned to post today (I guess I’ll post it tomorrow), but why not? Random fact: Nex is the only one of Aisha’s love interests who’s been to Pixie Village in the show. I’d love to see him interact with the Pixies more, especially Piff. The contrast between this big, bold guy and this tiny baby Pixie could make for some funny and sweet moments.

Here’s a cute story I came up with. It’s only 100 words (I think that’s called a drabble), so it’s a quick read. I’ve got some better stories about Aisha and Nex planned, but for now, enjoy!


“Say My Name”

~ By The Oblivious Prattler ~

“Has Piff ever said your name?” said Nex.

“Nope,” said Aisha. “I’ve tried to teach her, but it’s too long for her.”

“No, it’s not. It’s just five letters.”

“But it’s three syllables, Nex. She can barely do one.”

The baby pixie stared up at them. Slowly, her gaze shifted from the fairy to the Paladin. She opened her mouth.

“Ne… Ne…”

The couple leaned forward, wide-eyed.

“I think she’s trying to say your name!” said Aisha.

“Ne… Ne…”

“C’mon, Piff! You can do it!” said Nex. “Neeexxxx! Neeexxxx!”

Piff shut her eyes and clenched her fists.

“Ne… Ne… NECK!”

Musings & Rants

Happy Siblings Day! I’m glad I didn’t put this up a few days ago like I planned to. Today’s the best day for it!

Let’s play a game. Name a set of sisters in Winx Club. Annnnnd…go!

Bloom and Daphne. Flora and Miele. Mitzi and Macy. The Trix…um, maybe. Easy, right?

Now name a set of brothers. Annnnnd…go!

That’s a lot harder. I bet you thought of Nereus and Tritannus first. While we’re in Andros, here’s another pair: King Neptune and King Teredor. Wait a minute — are they brothers or brothers-in-law? Was Teredor a Triton? Was Queen Niobe a mermaid? Does that mean Aisha’s part mermaid? I’m so confused! 😵

Back to brothers. How about the Crocodile Man and the Alligator Man? They count, but they’re from World of Winx, not the main series.

What about female characters who have brothers? Tressa’s the twin Tritons’ sister. Too bad Tritannus wanted to kill them both. 😕 Kalshara and Brafilius are the only brother-sister duo we’ve ever seen (besides background characters), but she treated him more like a henchman.

What about the main group — the Winx (minus Bloom and Flora) and their boyfriends? Do any of them have brothers? Nope! Stella, Tecna, Musa, and Aisha are only children, and as far as we know, so are all the guys.

I get why the royals wouldn’t have siblings. A king and queen only need one kid to carry on the family bloodline. (Bloom’s the exception, of course, because she always is. 😛) But what about the commoners? What’s stopping their parents from having lots of kids? Alyssa and Rhodos didn’t stop at one!

But the other one was female, too! Why are the siblings always sisters? I know shows with female leads tend to have more female characters than male characters. That’s fine, but couldn’t Rainbow at least mention they have brothers? They don’t have to show up on-screen. For example, 4Kids gave Tecna a little brother in an activity book.

It’s too late for more Winx to have siblings now (unless they were just born). We know them and their families so well, it would seem too random. But since we don’t know the guys that well (except Sky), why not give them siblings?

I’m not saying Rainbow should just pick any of them and give him brothers for no reason. It has to make sense. You can guess the guy wouldn’t be an only child based on his personality or backstory. Here are my thoughts:

  • Sky: Not him.😑 We know about as much about him as we know about the Winx! (Heck, we know more about him than about some of the Winx.) A cousin we haven’t met? Fine, but a brother? It wouldn’t fit his story — unless it was a younger brother, but that would still feel random.
  • Brandon: He seems good at dealing with kids (and Stella’s immature moments), so maybe he’s had to take care of a younger sibling or two. But he’s also vain like Stella (though not as much as her), so maybe he’s a spoiled only child like her who got a lot of praise growing up.
  • Helia: I think he could go either way. Like Brandon, he seems to be good with kids, but he’s also really sensitive. That could just be his personality, or it could come from years of being teased by a brother or sister. Or it could come from pressure from his parents, even if he doesn’t have siblings.
  • Timmy: I feel like he would have a sibling. If he does, I think it’s an older sibling. That could explain his self-consciousness. Maybe they’re a famous scientist or engineer, and he feels like he’s not as good as them.
  • Nex: I can see him having a lot of siblings, which could explain why he shows off. Maybe he’s one of the youngest, and he feels like his parents ignore him. It’s like Timmy’s story, but instead of becoming more reserved, Nex became more outspoken, like he’s shouting to be heard.

Did you see what I did? Giving the guys siblings — even if they aren’t brothers — could help develop their characters. That’s what family members are for. They’re a quick way to make the main characters more relatable and add to their backstories.

Bottom line: I wanna see more of their families. And it’d be nice if Rainbow would add some brothers to the series — brothers who aren’t trying to take over the universe.

Musings & Rants

Wow, I haven’t written a post like this in months. Sorry for abandoning my blog again. 😔 No, I’m not leaving the fandom — at least not yet. If I ever decide to, I’ll announce it here before I go.

Since Winx and World of Winx are between seasons, I think I’ll talk about random things for a while. We know Winx season eight is coming late next year. (You knew that, right? 😉) I’ll focus on season seven again as the premiere date gets closer.

Today, let’s talk about a couple I tend to ignore (because they get enough attention already): Bloom and Sky. When I started drafting this, I didn’t know it was almost the tenth anniversary of Secret of the Lost Kingdom. Perfect timing. This post is about how one detail of Sky’s character — a detail that’s been there since season one — wrecked the movie’s ending.

Quick recap: After saving Domino, Bloom finally reunited with her birth parents Oritel and Marion. We later got a preview of her and Sky’s wedding (whenever that’s gonna happen). That’s the proverbial fly in the ointment: their marriage.

For three seasons, Rainbow implied that Bloom would be the next queen of Domino. Some fans still think so. It makes sense, right? Why else would her being the last princess be important?

But she’ll never be the queen of Domino — and she was never gonna be. That’s because of Sky. Why?

Because he’s the prince of Eraklyon.

When Bloom marries him, she’ll become his Queen Consort. That will leave Domino once again without an heir. Not a happy ending for the once-lost kingdom, after all. 😕

Oh, wait! Daphne’s corporeal again!

If you’ve wondered why Rainbow retconned her death, this could be the answer. It was just so she could rule Domino in Bloom’s place. That explains her coronation in “Vortex of Flames” (6X06) and her marriage to Thoren after dating for barely a year. (Who cares about relationship development? They’re so cute together! 🙄)

Were there better ways to fix the problem? Sure. I brainstormed a few:

  • Oritel and Marion could have had a third kid. (Do magic beings have a childbearing age limit? 😅)
  • Bloom and Sky could have had kids and sent one to rule Domino when he/she got older. It would have taken longer, but it would have worked, right?
  • Sky could have given up the throne of Eraklyon.

I don’t like that last option because Rainbow built up Sky’s attachment to his kingdom as much as Bloom’s attachment to hers. Think of all the times he ditched her because he had royal duties to attend to! In fact, his story has revolved more around being a prince than being Bloom’s boyfriend — which is good because it means he’s not just a love interest. He has his own identity. It wouldn’t have felt right if he had given up what made him unique.

This might sound weird coming from me, but maybe bringing back Daphne was the best option. She’s still doing what she did when she was dead: ensuring a “happily ever after” for Bloom. And we know Domino means as much to her, so it’s still satisfying to see her take the throne.

Here’s the bottom line, though. The heirless Domino plot hole wouldn’t have been there if Rainbow hadn’t made Sky a prince. The most important part of his character broke his girlfriend’s story — and the writers (and the fandom) didn’t even notice! That’s why you can’t take everything in a story at face value. Sometimes when you look below the surface, you start to see the cracks.

By the way…Happy Birthday, Bloom! 😅

I know. Weird timing. It wasn’t intentional.

Musings & Rants

“Are you crazy, OP? I don’t wanna love Nex! I hate him! He’s ________!” Insert your own reasons: “He’s rude! He’s like Riven! He’s boring!” Etc., etc.

Here’s another way to look at it. You do wanna love Nex, but those reasons are the barriers to your love. If they weren’t there, why couldn’t you love him?

This quote explains it well: “Hatred is a disguised form of love. You can only hate someone whom you really wish to love, because if you were totally indifferent to that person, you could not even get up enough energy to hate him.”

Both love and hate are forms of caring about someone — i.e., being invested in them. They both take a lot of time and energy. If you didn’t care about that person, you wouldn’t waste your time on them. You only spend it on people who matter to you in some way.

Why does Nex matter to the fandom? Because he’s dating Aisha. If you love her, you wanna share her happiness. You wanna cheer for her and look forward to her future as much as she does.

It’s hard to do that if you hate the person she might spend her future with. That’s why you wish you could love him. If only he wasn’t…insert that list of reasons again.

If we were talking about a real person, chances are you’d never get your wish. People can change, of course, but you can tell when it’s unlikely they will. But a fictional character can always change. It all depends on how his story unfolds. Those annoying traits that keep you from loving him could be gone by the end of next season.

There’s a lot we don’t know about Nex yet. Where is he from? What’s his family life like? What’s his social status? Why did he become a Paladin instead of a Specialist? Heck, what is a Paladin?

I bet Rainbow won’t answer all of these questions, but even a couple answers could change how we interpret his character. Nex is a work-in-progress. That’s what character development is all about.

With that in mind, let’s look at a few reasons the fandom hates him — and how Rainbow can make those reasons disappear. Read the rest of this post