Musings & Rants
65

Call this a follow-up to Will’s first “Life of Aishapost, though I’ve had this idea in my head for a while. Now seems like a good time to share it. Will said Aisha’s love interests represent her “reaction to change in her life.” I think there’s more to it, and it includes her first friend Anne as well.

The name Aisha means “life” or “alive” in Arabic. I think her relationships with Anne, Nabu, Roy, and Nex represent four condensed stages of life: childhood, adolescence, young adulthood (the college years), and adulthood. How she acted around each person — and what was happening in her life then — paralleled her growth throughout the series.

I. Anne: Childhood (S2)

Aisha had two big fears in season two: the dark and being alone. Those are fears kids often have. We don’t know why she was scared of the dark, but we know why she couldn’t stand being alone. It started when her first friend Anne moved away.

Anne was a commoner from a nearby village. She taught Aisha how to dance freely, and since then, dancing has been her passion. It’s her favorite way to express herself. (And since Anne was her first friend, she taught her about friendship, too.)

How It Ended And Why

When Aisha met the Winx, she still wasn’t over Anne leaving. She was afraid they would leave her, too, so she acted clingy and dependent on them. If she felt left out (ahem, Stella), she ran off crying. When she was alone, she panicked, cried, and called out to them. This child-like behavior lasted for most of the season.

Finally in episode 22, “Danger in the Wildland,” Aisha herself had had enough. She knew she had to let go of her “stupid fear” to become a helpful friend and teammate. That’s how she earned her Charmix and broke out of her childhood phase.

II. Nabu: Adolescence (S3-4)

Teens are known for being rebels. They crave independence and start to define their own identities. Aisha was a rebel already when we met her. But when her parents announced they’d picked a guy for her to marry, she got angry and pushed back harder.

Coincidentally, Nabu was a rebel, too. His favorite song (and hers) contained the lyrics, “No one makes decisions for me but me.” And later, he admitted he ran away from home to avoid having to marry her — before he met her, anyway.

Nabu’s similarities (and her falling in love with him) helped her see herself from the outside in. For the first time, she understood that her controlling parents meant well. She decided she was wrong to rebel in this case and agreed to the arranged marriage.

Thus, Aisha hit another teenage milestone: first love. You remember how smitten she was. Her voice became cuter, and her language became more flowery. She started wearing more feminine clothes. When Nabu did almost anything, like turning a car into a truck, she gushed over how amazing he was. Then — despite her father’s advice to wait and enjoy their youth first — Nabu proposed to her, sending her straight to cloud nine.

How It Ended And Why

Another Winx blogger summed up Aisha’s time with Nabu this way: he “had a great influence on her. The rough-and-tumble girl softened up considerably and became more feminine.”

Wait a minute. Why did she need to be “softened up?” I see this idea a lot in the fandom, and I don’t understand it. Didn’t she say she had femininity shoved down her throat from the moment she was born?

Aisha’s a princess. Even before she met Nabu, she knew how to be feminine and proper when she needed to be (watch eps. 2X13, 3X07, and 3X08 for examples). But she was tired to being forced to be that way. Maybe her parents wanted someone to tame her “rough-and-tumble” side — could be why they chose him — but that’s not what she wanted.

Nabu helped her reconcile with her parents and gave her the experience of first love, but she almost lost what made her a unique princess. Also, if she was gonna marry a guy from Andros, chosen by her parents, with the same sheltered life she had, doesn’t that defeat the point of…everything? She could have stayed in her palace then! The outcome would have been the same!

Aisha was shuffling back into her comfort zone. Nabu’s death forced her out of this stage and taught her one more lesson: fate doesn’t care about your wedding plans.

(Side note: An arranged marriage? Teens in love? A tragic ending? Why does this sound familiar? I’ll save that for another post.)

III. Roy: Young Adulthood/The College Years (S5-6)

When you graduate from high school or become a legal adult, you’re shoved into the world and expected to build your new life in the next few years. Where will you live? What college will you go to? Who will you date? What career path will you follow?

Choices, choices, choices. That’s what the young adult years are all about.

Aisha wouldn’t have made many choices for herself growing up, since she’s a princess. I bet she didn’t even get to choose what she ate! But she told her mother in season three, “When the right time comes, I’ll choose my guy.” (Nabu only half counted. They wouldn’t have met if not for the arranged marriage, and all they had to was agree to their parents’ decision.)

Roy seemed like a good choice at first. Aisha might have been attracted to him because he felt familiar. He was like Nabu, he also came from Andros, and he worked for her father.

How It Ended And Why

Didn’t she wanna break free from her sheltered life? Roy was still too safe. I see him as an extension of her father, especially since he was so protective of her. Aisha spend her whole childhood being shielded from the dangerous outside world, and now she’s getting to discover and face it. She doesn’t want (or need) a guy who acts like a bodyguard. (Even she said that in the comics.)

Along came Option 2: Nex, a type of guy she wasn’t used to from her life on Andros. The love triangle wasn’t just a clash between two suitors. It was her comfort zone vs. the unknown — something familiar vs. something different. Just like in real life, the choice that seems riskier is often more rewarding (and not as risky as it looked).

Roy indirectly helped her get over Nabu’s death, but he wasn’t the type of guy she needs long term. Aisha’s “college years” ended when she chose Nex.

IV. Nex: Adulthood (S7-Present)

We’re back to the present. Aisha has grown into a confident, resilient, serious woman — and that’s why Nex fell in love with her. It was a surprise relationship, but it was inevitable. After all, there’s no life without death.

The word nex means “death” in Latin. Life fell in love with Death? That sounds creepy, but it’s not supposed to be. While some cultures see life and death as enemies, others see death as a part of life. To quote the Daoist philosopher Lao Tzu: “Life and death are one thread, the same line viewed from different sides.”

Death is a constant reality when we reach adulthood. The older we get, the closer it gets. Eventually, we learn to accept it and make peace with it. When we’re not afraid of death anymore, we can live our lives to the fullest.

Why She Ended Up With Him

Aisha and Nex’s relationship isn’t just symbolic. She’s been searching for something that was missing from her life (and herself). Because she’s a bold, sassy, energetic girl, many fans think she needs mildness, tact, and calmness. Thus, her ideal boyfriend should have those traits.

But like I’ve said a few times in this post, Aisha’s a princess. She grew up around calm, tactful, mild-mannered people and was trained to be one from the moment she was born. Her boldness, sassiness, and energy are reflections of the inner self she had to suppress when she was little.

Aisha was hardly allowed to speak back then, and she spent most of her time learning how to be a proper princess. When Anne taught her how to dance, she also taught her how to express herself. But she said that after Anne left, she had no one to dance with anymore.

Dance is a metaphor for what was missing from her life: fun, wildness, and freedom. Nex is a fun, wild guy who probably wasn’t weighed down by social expectations like she was. He keeps her out of her comfort zone and brings out more of her wild and free side. But as the saying goes, “Wherever you go, there you are.” Her princess training kicks in when he gets reckless, and she scolds him for it.

Did you notice something? They were attracted to traits in each other that they want or need to cultivate in themselves. Nex needs restraint and tact, which Aisha learned from growing up as a princess and is happy to enforce on him. Aisha craves fun and wildness, which Nex adds more of to her life.

But Nex isn’t just her playmate. He’s her partner — someone similar enough to relate to her, but different enough that they can learn from each other. They match each other’s strength and energy, and because of that, they work well as a team and can challenge each other to help each other grow. Aisha doesn’t swoon over him (because they’re equals), and she hasn’t lost herself with him. In fact, she’s found more of herself.

What About The Winx?

Without a little stability, life would be chaos. The Winx have been one of the few constants in Aisha’s life. They’ve been with her through most of these changes, and they’ve always supported her and helped her recover.

Unfortunately, they won’t always be with her physically. Like Anne, they’ll have to move away and live their own lives. But we can hope they’ll stay in touch with her while they’re raising families and ruling kingdoms.

Final Thoughts

Is all of this canon? I don’t know. Some of it I’m confident about, but I don’t work for Rainbow. But this organizes Aisha’s story nicely and puts the focus back on her, instead of on the people she’s met. After all, it’s all about her. To paraphrase her character song, she’s just living her life.

Guest Posts
65

Only one Winx left in the “Life of” series: Aisha! (Don’t worry. Will is planning to talk about the girls who might as well be Winx, too. 😉) As with Musa, since there’s so much to talk about, he’s splitting it into a series of posts. The first post is about Aisha’s love life.


“Winx Girls: Life Of Aisha, Pt. I: Love Interests”

~ By Will N. ~

Now it’s time for my favorite fairy. The tormented co-leader of the Winx, Aisha, who is better known as Layla. As with Musa, we’re getting the love life out of the way first.

Nabu

When we first met Aisha, she was single because of trust issues due to a troubled past of a highly-traditional kingdom attempting to make her a perfect pretty pink princess protector. As we know, Aisha really doesn’t care that much for royal traditions, especially those concerning betrothal. She rejected the guy before even getting to know him and vice versa.

To make matters worse, however, Nabu was a stalker — yes, I said that out loud — for most of season three, from the time of the Faragonda Tree until the museum field trip when Stella outed him. He would have been ignored if he didn’t catch Aisha’s fancy. Nabu basically only caught her eye because he was similar to her, but in a way he was different. Although he pulled a Sky trick as “Ophir,” he was able to get Aisha to start trusting people more by not making a move without her approval.

It didn’t last too long after he revealed himself and helped Aisha realize sometimes arranged marriages can be happy, though Aisha would rather (and eventually did) choose for herself on that. This didn’t last despite the temporary engagement/free will dating  because he died saving Earth’s fairies. There was a wasted attempt at reviving him, but it would be against the laws of magic to revive the dead.

Roy

The guy who appeared to be “Nabu 2.0” but was really “Riven 2.0.” Intended to cheer her up as a friend, it backfired on both because instead of being a supportive help, he became a possessive monster, appearing to give Aisha a taste of her own medicine (definitely not cool!). The only thing he had in common with Nabu is that he was an Androsian with a dark complexion. He was also a Specialist from King Teredor’s royal guard, who knew some magic but somehow he vanished without a trace.

Nex

If Roy is Nabu’s opposite and Nabu is Aisha’s double, then Nex has to be Aisha’s opposite, but he is also similar as well. Aisha and Nex is another way to say “Life and Death,” but the difference is in how they look at those times. He is carefree about death, but is similar in that he is athletic to the point he can make Icy feel how cold she is by hurling her dagger back at her.

That means now Aisha can actually have someone to give her a challenge whenever the Winx, Specialists, and her former roommate and laughter fairy Francis don’t feel like getting sweaty. Another similarity is that if Sky’s not around, he’s in charge of the boys just like his equal with the Winx.

These three men represent Aisha’s reaction to change in her life. Nabu was a guardian who gave her a version of a love life, but ultimately he wasn’t meant to be, although trusting people was made a little easier. Roy tried to be friends as a bridge for moving on from mourning, but it was strained. Nex shows that death is part of life, and Aisha dating him shows that she is alright with death as the change agent, which is what let her move forward. Time for us to do the same.

Guest Posts
5

Time for the second “Life of Musa” post! The first post was about her relationship with Riven and why it failed. Today’s post is about other guys Musa has met that might be (or might have been) better for her.


“Winx Girls: Life Of Musa, Pt. II: Potentially Healthy Relationships

~ By Will N. ~

Muri fans, if you can’t handle a different option, stop here. If not, consider yourselves warned.

In the last chapter, we talked about how Muri was simply doomed before it started because neither partner gave the other what they needed. They just argued about who had control of whom. Way too toxic for anybody. That’s not a healthy relationship.

When it comes to a healthy relationship, Musa needs somebody who treats her like a person and not a toy, as well as somebody who doesn’t have her personality. In this show, the underlying theme is how opposites can attract and coexist peacefully. The same also applies to any kind of relationship, be it friends or romance. For example, Aisha and Nex, being an allegory for life and death, is a way to show how somebody can be similar in some ways but opposite in another (i.e., Nex can lighten Aisha’s depressive mood, and Aisha can curb Nex’s near-Stella levels of hyper-cheeriness).

What kind of guy does Musa need then? If Musa is sound, she needs a silent, but not abrasive guy.

We have seen a potential healthy relationship for Musa before in both the comics and the show. In the comics, she meets a wealthy musician named Lukas who has his own band that she briefly sings with, and Lukas appears to treat her like a person. It just doesn’t last because of an attack on Musa to get to Lukas and use him as bait for his family. Lukas calls it off, not because he nor Musa can handle themselves, but because he doesn’t want his status to endanger her. This is shortly after season four when Musa calls it off with Riven the first time.

In season two, however, we saw a better representation of a healthy relationship. Jared, a Redfountain Specialist reporter, was set up with Musa on a blind date by Stella to try to help out, possibly knowing that things with Riven wouldn’t work out. Jared decided to say never mind about dating and apologized to Musa for not even knowing that she didn’t want somebody then. After that, he let her be his exclusive interview on Alfea’s operations, writing down everything she said. He actually thought it was interesting, which shocked her because much like her roommate, nobody ever listened to her.

Once it was over, there was a quick bike ride and Musa got her favorite flowers (lilies) from him, to which she blushed. Too bad he had to suffer being a Darcy target before getting sent to the background with a minor fairy named Alice, which might have just been a “for the dance” special since their cameos in season five didn’t show them together.

They certainly were not the only options, though. Andy, Marc, and Rio have also been potential sweethearts for Musa, too, but…well, we can’t really say. It’s Musa’s choice who she dates or if she ever dates again, but it probably won’t be Riven.

Next time: Friendships.

Question: Do you think Musa should date again or stay single?

Fanfiction
40

I really wanted to finish that “Yin and Yang” post, so that’s what I focused on last weekend. That’s why this is so late. “What If Wednesday” will resume next week. Like I said in last week’s post, I’ll talk about the Specialists and Paladins.

Today, here’s chapter 2 of my fanfic “The Storm.” (Click here if you haven’t read the first chapter.) I hope you like it!


“The Storm”

By: The Oblivious Prattler

CHAPTER II

Oya, the recurring storm. How could anyone from Andros forget it?

Aisha remembered the times she snuck out of the palace to visit the farmers. They talked about Oya all the time. Every year, it provided them with enough rain to water their crops all summer. But it also flooded fields, toppled trees, and tore apart buildings.

The storm was a blessing and a curse, but Andros wouldn’t be paradise without it.

While the sun was still shining, Aisha had plenty of time to share this paradise with Nex. Besides, she hadn’t won the bet yet.

She led him along a bay just outside the palace walls. Her parents, Queen Niobe and King Teredor, had brought her here when she was young to meet her underseas family: the mermaids. Nex had never seen one before. If this didn’t make him smile, nothing would.

Near a boulder in the water, a long, lavender fin poked through the surface. Nex jolted.

“Wait, is that a — ?”

“Uh-huh,” Aisha said, grinning. The frown on his face stayed put, but his shaky hand gave away his excitement. Why hadn’t she tried this sooner?

She knew who the mermaid was right away: her cousin Tressa. This time of day, she’d be patrolling the ocean for pirates, but maybe she could spare a few minutes.

“Tressa!”

No response. Tressa’s fin flicked up and down a couple times, then sank back beneath the waves.

Just as Aisha was about to call her name again, the red-haired mermaid burst through the surface, waving her hand wildly. “Cousin Aisha!”

The fairy beamed. “Hey, Tressa! I’ve got someone I want you to meet!”

Three more mermaids popped up next to Tressa. Perfect timing.

“Tala! Nesia! Kalia!” said Aisha. “Hey!”

As the mermaids waved back, an idea flashed into the fairy’s mind. “Stay there! We’ll come to you! Up for a little swim, Nex?”

“Why not?” he said, keeping his expression still.

Aisha stripped down to her swimsuit and charged into the water. It was lukewarm, the perfect temperature. A smile broke across her face as she took in her surroundings: the sand, the breeze, the seashells prodding her heels, the rhythm of the waves. The ocean was her home. It moved her, energized her.

“Race ya!” she said as she dove in. Her arms spun like turbine blades, digging a path through the water. She rolled with the waves, letting them lift her and propel her towards her goal.

Nex’s voice grew louder, closer. She could see the tips of his hair, the spray from his swim strokes. He laughed between breaths. A taunting laugh.

You won’t beat me! She kicked harder and faster. Her lungs sputtered. No stopping. No looking back.

She sighted the boulder. Just three feet away. Two feet. One.

Her palm collided with the cold stone, and she leaned against it as Tressa and her friends applauded. Nex came in seconds after. For a few moments, they floated there and caught their breaths, with the ocean’s roar and their heartbeats as their soundtrack.

It was Aisha who broke the silence between them.

“Is that all you got, sweetie?”

“You had a head start!” Nex snatched her up into his arms and planted a wet, salty kiss near her lips. The fairy dissolved into giggles.

The mermaids crowded around the couple like paparazzi.

“Who is he, Princess?”

“Is he a Specialist?”

“How long have you been dating?”

Typical mermaids. They loved gossip.

As Nex stared at them with a whale-like grin, Aisha giggled again. Had she looked that bug-eyed and full of wonder when she met the mermaids when she was little? Maybe her parents would remember.

Then it hit her. She leaned right up to Nex’s ear. “I win the bet.”

It took a few seconds for him to realize what she meant. As soon as he did, he buried his head in his hands and let out a frustrated sigh mixed with laughter. Aisha threw her arms around his neck and chuckled.

Who cared about a bet? This was all she wanted, the only thing that really mattered. A day alone with her sweetheart.

* * *

When she and Nex returned to the shore, she snapped her fingers. Two beach towels appeared in a flash of glittering light. After wrapping herself up in one, she picked up her pants and fished her cellphone out of her pocket.

A missed call? From Mom?

She couldn’t ignore it. Her mom only called when she had something important to tell her. Aisha mashed the call button, and a hologram of the queen, Niobe, jutted out of the screen.

“Aisha, darling!”

Her breathless voice made Aisha shudder. “Mom? What’s wrong?”

“I’m sorry to interrupt, my dear, but your father and I would like to speak with you.”

Now? Great. This would set the tour back a few hours — maybe the rest of the day. But family came first. Besides, her mom looked worried.

“Okay, Mom. We’ll be back soon.” Aisha looked up at her boyfriend as she slipped the phone back into her pocket. “Nex, I’m sorry, but I — ”

Before she could finish, he grabbed the tips of her towel and scooped her into his arms.

“I know,” he said, laying a kiss on her forehead. “Don’t worry. I just hope it’s nothing serious.”

TO BE CONTINUED

Musings & Rants
54

If you’ve been waiting for more chapters of my fanfic, don’t worry. I haven’t forgotten about it. The next chapter will be up before World of Winx season two premieres.

I never thought I’d end up writing Winx fanfiction — especially about Aisha and Nex. I didn’t always like this couple. Like a lot of fans, I hated Nex when he was introduced, and I couldn’t imagine her dating him.

After all, I still wanted Nabu to come back. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you may remember some of my comments during season five. For example, when Aisha snapped at Roy in “The Power of Harmonix” (5X06), I said she needed Nabu because without him, she’d gone back to hating boys.

Seeing her with another guy felt weird. It still does sometimes. She and Nabu seemed like a sure thing — if for no other reason than we didn’t think Rainbow would break any of the initial couples up. I even said that in a post during season four: “Would Rainbow actually split our sweet couples up? All we can do is keep watching to find out!” Little did I know.

Story-wise, Aisha and Nex don’t feel as stable. Nex is no charming prince. He’s rude and arrogant sometimes, and we’ve seen him and Aisha argue. Plus, it’s not an arranged marriage, so the relationship doesn’t have a goal yet. Who knows they’ll even end up getting married?

This couple’s unfamiliar and unpredictable, offering no promises and guarantees.

Nabu’s death and the season six love triangle add to that feeling. Now you can’t help but feel like Aisha’s love life is always up in the air. She’s been with a different guy every season or two. Why let ourselves get attached to Nex, especially since he seems to be the least likable?

Plus, this relationship’s moving slowly. Aisha’s relationship with Nabu seemed fully developed after less than a season! If he came back, we wouldn’t have to wait for a happy ending. Why should we gamble on Nex and risk getting our hearts broken — again?

If Aisha and Nex have the most strikes against them, why do I love them? Read the rest of this post