What If Wednesday
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Sorry for skipping “What If Wednesday” last week. I bit off more than I could chew by trying to finish the “Yin and Yang” post, chapter two of my fanfic, and this post around the same time. Hopefully, I can get back on track now.

Today’s “What If” question: “What if Specialists and Paladins could have advanced forms like fairies do?”

What do I mean by “advanced forms?” I don’t mean transformations, per se, but that depends on the class. Specialists and Paladins are different from each other — at least they’re supposed to be. Rainbow hasn’t clearly shown the difference between them, so their development could be a way to distinguish them from each other.

Specialists

Almost eight years ago (yes, it’s been that long), I wrote a post asking what in Magix Specialists are. Griffin calls them “wizards” in “A Friendship Sundered” (1X08), and the season two website called Codatorta a “magician.” Those terms don’t make sense because Specialists don’t have magic powers. (Helia does, but they probably run in the family.)

Specialists just seem to be all-purpose heroes. They fight monsters, save princesses, carry out secret missions, etc. We can guess Redfountain isn’t the only place that trains them, since in season five, Roy wore a different uniform designed for underwater missions.

Is that all there is to them? Maybe not. The word specialist means “a person highly skilled in a specific and restricted field.” In some Winx dubs, the Specialists are called Experts. Same idea.

The first time I remember hearing “Specialist” in this sense is in season six. In “A Monster Crush” (6X21), Tecna’s mother Magnethia asks Timmy what field he specializes in. Aisha says he’s “a pro at mechanic design, navigation, and all-around problem solving.” I’d add strategy to that list, too. He’s used all of those skills in missions over the years.

What about the other Specialists? Do they have specific skills other than fighting? I can’t think of any. Riven was good at picking locks, but he probably learned that growing up. (The season two website said he was “skilled as a thief.”) Maybe Timmy’s the special one. 😛

Thirteen years and seven seasons later, it’s still not clear what Specialists are. That doesn’t mean they’re worthless, though. The Magic Universe needs non-magic beings, too. Magic fails sometimes and isn’t appropriate for every situation. Plus, the Specialists have always known more about magic creatures and how to handle them.

What would an advanced Specialist form look like? Maybe we’ve seen it already. Since Sky’s squad got new outfits and weapons in season six, maybe they graduated. If so, what will their futures be like? How will they use what they’ve learned?

Paladins

Nex and Thoren may be new to the Boys Club, but Paladins aren’t new to the series. Rainbow first used the term “Paladin” in the original Winx season two. In “The Mysterious Stone” (2X07), when Avalon takes off his hood and reveals himself, Bloom, Stella, and Aisha yell, “It’s the Paladin who rescued us from the Trix!”

When they met Avalon in “Magic Bonding” (2X05), he was wearing armor and a pair of angel wings. Some fans think that Avalon was the impostor sent by Darkar. Here’s a question, though: how did those three know he was a Paladin? He didn’t tell them. They said it like it was common knowledge — or it was the first term that popped into their heads.

4Kids tried to expand on the concept of Paladins. In “Professor Avalon’s Secret” (2X09) — a.k.a. “The Angel of Doom” — Avalon says, “There are 10,000 Paladins with the same wings I have.” Yes, I know the 4Kids dub doesn’t count, but why couldn’t Rainbow keep this idea?

The word paladin means a “knightly or heroic champion.” That sounds like the Specialists, but here’s an interesting detail: it has a religious background. Medieval legends talk about an order of Paladins called The Twelve Peers who served Charlemagne, a devout Christian emperor of Rome. (I’m not condoning his actions; I’m just stating historical facts.)

Fantasy games like Dungeons & Dragons and World of Warcraft have adapted this by making Paladins “holy warriors.” They embody chivalry, purity, and light, and they have magic abilities like healing. That sounds like Avalon, doesn’t it? His wings radiated a powerful light, and he was able to restore the Winx’s energy.

No one would describe Nex and Thoren as “chivalrous” and “pure,” though. (Maybe Thoren, but not Nex.) That’s fine, though, because it means they have room for character development. I’d love to see them become holy warriors.

Rainbow could easily make Avalon’s winged form an advanced Paladin form. How would they earn it? A year at Light Rock Monastery? A character arc where they have to confront their inner darkness? Imagine the possibilities!

That’s it for today’s “What If Wednesday.” I’m not sure what I’ll talk about next time, but I have a list of topics already. Stay tuned.

Episode Reviews
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Finally! The last episode of season six — which, by the way, premieres Sunday, Nov. 22 at 10 a.m. EST on Nick Jr., followed by the premiere of season seven at 10:30 a.m. EST. We’ve waited a long time for this, haven’t we?

And you’ve waited a long time for this review. Sorry, guys. 😳 I’ve had a hard time adjusting to my school schedule. (So glad this semester’s almost over.)

Let’s wrap this season up, shall we?

Episode Highlights

1. The Winx (minus Bloom) are still fighting the Great Lizard Spirit. Selina wants to help, but thanks to Acheron’s spell, she’s powerless. Suddenly, a surge of energy bursts out of the Legendarium, restoring her magic. This means Bloom defeated Acheron!

The only thing I liked was when Selina got her power back. The visuals were pretty cool. (Confession: I like the new animation.) I’ll gripe about the rest of this scene later.

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2. Bloom’s fighting the Trix in the Legendarium World. After a few minutes, Icy freezes her Mythix wand and knocks it — and her — to the ground. Since they’re stuck forever, they plan to have fun torturing Bloom for the rest of their lives. They trap her in The Cage of Sorrow, a magic sphere that slowly saps her energy.

Wow! This was a decent fight scene — definitely the best that’s taken place in the Legendarium World. The pace was faster, and Bloom didn’t let herself get hit like she did when she fought Acheron. (Seriously, she could have dodged those fireballs.) She even taunted Stormy and Darcy when she hit them!

Is this “safe” to air on Nick Jr.? 😕 I can see the tweets already:

  • “Bloom’s a bad role model for little girls!”
  • “This show’s too violent! My four-year-old doesn’t need to see this!”

Sigh. 🙄

IMG_37583. Selina figures out the Lizard Spirit’s secret: it’s fueled by the magic the Trix stole from the schools. She goes in Cloud Tower and releases the magic from the dragon skeleton. The schools get their energy back, and the Lizard Spirit dissolves.

I’ll talk about Selina later, but here’s something that bothered me about this scene: the Lizard Spirit got beaten by an instakill gimmick. Most of the monsters in this season did. Are the Winx not allowed to attack till the monster’s dead anymore? 😕

4. Drawing on the power of love and friendship, Bloom gives herself an energy boost. She breaks out of the Trix’s cage, traps them in bubbles, then teleports out of the Legendarium World.
Winx Club went Sailor Moon on us! 😛 This isn’t the first time a Winx has used emotion to boost her power, but I’m sure it’s never happened like this before! I couldn’t take it seriously! Is it just me, or are we starting to see more anime influence in this show?

5. After Bloom and Selina make up, Bloom tries to lock the Legendarium. The Key won’t turn! Turns out not just anyone can use it. It has to be Selina. Now that she’s helped them win, the Winx trust her with the Key. Acheron and the Trix are trapped in the book forever.
I liked this twist. Selina got to clean up the mess she made herself. Plus, hearing the Trix begging her to let them out was pretty funny. 😛 (Are they really trapped forever? Maybe, maybe not. You know how tenacious they are.)

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6. Life goes back to normal. Selina returns the Legendarium to Eldora and asks to be her student again so she can become a better fairy (yes, fairy). Griffin goes back to being headmistress of Cloud Tower. The Winx and the guys attend Daphne and Thoren’s wedding, where the happy couple finally gets hitched without a hitch. 
So obligatory party at Alfea. Except this time, it’s a wedding at Domino Palace. Congratulations to the future king and queen of Domino.

Really, Nickbow? You had Kiko catch the bouquet? 😛 I guess the Winx aren’t marrying their boyfriends any time soon.

My prediction: wait till the final season. The couples will say “I do” at Alfea, and Rainbow will try one more time to make us think Bloom and Sky aren’t meant to be. He’ll go missing, Diaspro will try to steal him (for the millionth time), Erakylon will be attacked, etc. (Note: I’m making this up! We’ll see if I’m right.) Read the rest of this post

Episode Reviews
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“Avatar State! Yip yip!”

I tried something new last time: adding more screenshots to help guide the post along. No one said it blew up their browser, so I guess it’s okay. 😛 Here’s another change: from now on, I’m gonna highlight the main moments in the episode instead of recapping the whole thing. You watched it, too. You don’t need a detailed breakdown. 🙂

Episode Highlights

IMG_33861. Daphne and the Winx are still looking for something to trade Rumpelstiltskin for the Legendarium Key. Out of nowhere (which is her M.O.), Eldora appears and gives them the Infinity Box, which can store anything, even magic power. I know the Legendarium Key’s important, but I wish this sideplot with Rumpel hadn’t lasted so long. It doesn’t even make sense. Alfea’s loaded with magic goods: rare books, artifacts only the teachers know about, and even a piece of the Codex! Yes, some things are too valuable to give away, but you’re telling me they couldn’t find anything?

How about the Sirenix Boxes? The Winx don’t need them anymore. Granted, they’re valuable, too, but all Rumpel would do is sit them somewhere to collect dust. Bloom’s leaving hers on her desk. What’s the difference?

2. The Winx go to Domino for Daphne and Thoren‘s wedding. I’ll talk about these two later, but I wanna gripe about a few other things first. One, is Stella the only Winx with fashion sense now? Morphix ribbons, Aisha? Who’d wanna wear pink glue all over her body on her wedding day? Lady Gaga? 😕

Two, was there a time skip between the first scene and the wedding? Bloom’s line made it sound like there was, but the scene with Selina and the Trix picked up from the end of the last episode. If there wasn’t, that means Thoren proposed about a day or two ago! Talk about a short engagement!

Three, what right did Eldora have to officiate? She’s not a priestess. She’s a retired fairy godmother with too many flowers in her house! Sigh. Maybe it was just for laughs.

IMG_33993. Selina finally frees Acheron. He betrays her, traps the Trix in the Legendarium, and casts a spell called Infinite Chaos that negates all magic but the Dragon Flame. That’s right. Selina got used. If you didn’t see this twist coming, you might not be smarter than a fifth grader. (Apologies to the fifth graders who did see it coming. 😛 )

Doesn’t Acheron’s outfit look like the Paladin uniform? 😛 I confess: I thought Nex and Thoren were gonna be villains when I saw them in the trailer. That uniform just screams “evil” to me. (Great. I just threw a bone to the fans who think Nex is a villain in disguise. 😕 )

4. Selina contacts Bloom through Griffin’s Magic Eye. After Acheron’s spell interrupts the wedding, the Winx head to Magix to beat him. Wait a minute. Don’t you need a spell or an inter-realm ship to get to Magix from Domino? It’s another planet! How could the Winx just fly there?

They did it in “Inspiration of Sirenix” (6X01), too, but I assumed they entered the Infinite Ocean along the way. This time, they didn’t have Sirenix. Did Bloomix give them the power to fly through the space? 😕

5. After the Winx save Selina and stop Cloud Tower from crash landing, Acheron summons a three-headed dragon to destroy them. Bloom comes up with the plan: lead him into the Legendarium World and trap him there for good. I don’t have much to say about this. The scene with the Winx saving Cloud Tower was cool. Why would Acheron have the power to summon a lizard spirit, though? Is it because of the Dragon Flame? (By the way, I know some fans were wondering why he had the Dragon Flame. It’s simple: he had the piece Selina used to free him. No plot holes here.)

IMG_34286. Bloom traps Acheron in the Infinity Box and trades him to Rumpel for the Legendarium Key. But before she can return to the real world, the Trix ambush her. Great. Bloom saves the day again. Hello, seasons three and five. 😕 Sigh. I wish the Winx would fight the “final boss” (or bosses) together, like they used to.
Read the rest of this post

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Once again, thanks for reading these posts. I had fun writing them, and I hope you enjoyed them.

I learned some things as I was writing these. First of all, I like the guys more than I thought I did. They’re not just “purses with legs,” as I’ve always treated them. Some of them are boring as a white wall (I’m looking at you, blue-eyed Goldilocks), but others are pretty cool and I like having them in the show.

Other things I learned:

  • Not everyone likes Timmy, after all. My sister, The Muse, hates him. Passionately. She thinks he’s boring and too stereotypical. Go figure. 😛
  • Sky and Riven are two of my least favorite guys, yet I talked about them a lot in the others’ posts. Either they get way too much attention in this show (Sky sure does), or I subconsciously like them more than I think I do. 😛
  • I’m obsessed with the Log Horizon opening. 😛 I spammed that video a hundred times while I was writing Timmy’s post. 😛
  • I had more to say about Nabu than I thought I would. Hey, he’s worth it. 🙂 And his voice in the season three RAI English dub was hot. Full stop.
  • Whatever that indentation on Nex’s chin is supposed to be — a cleft, I guess — annoys me to no end. But when I was looking for screenshots of Nabu, I noticed he had a cleft in his chin, too! What’s with Aisha’s love interests and distinctive chins? 😛
  • Thoren gives off a big brother vibe to me. If I had an older brother, I wouldn’t mind if he were like him. 🙂

Well, that’s it for this series. Feel free to suggest another theme for me (the Winx, the Pixies, the villains, etc.)!

Just for convenient access, here are all the posts again:

Musings & Rants
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Before you ask, the answer’s no. Beginning with Sky and ending with his cousin Thoren was not on purpose. I wanted to start the series with the guys we’ve known the longest: Sky, Brandon, Helia, Riven, and Timmy. Then I wrote about Aisha’s love interests one after another, starting with Nabu since he came first. Thoren was just the leftover guy.

It makes sense to put him last, anyway. He’s not part of the Boys Club the way the other guys are, since his love interest, Daphne, isn’t one of the Winx. The only reason he’s here is because she’s tagging along with them.

Thoren’s introduced in ep. 6X03, “The Flying School.” He’s immediately established as a rival to Sky by choosing to be his opponent in a training match. Since he calls the blond prince out by name, everyone knows they’ve got some kind of a history. (I still don’t get how Bloom knew Thoren, but Brandon didn’t. Just for laughs, I guess.)

Objection!

The first time I watched this episode, Thoren came off as aggressive and unfriendly, so I called him a “hothead.” (His character description does say he’s “grumpy.”) But during a recent rewatch, I noticed after Sky knocks him over with a sword slash, Thoren — while growling like he’s disappointed — gives him a thumbs-up! Huh? 😕 Talk about mixed messages!

If I’d seen that gesture, I might have known this “rivalry” was gonna go nowhere. But that’s not what the rest of the episode suggested. Read the rest of this post