Helia’s one of my favorite guys in the Boys Club. Unlike Sky or even Brandon, he’s not just nice — he’s gentle. Fighting isn’t really in his nature (even though he’s good at it). He originally dropped out of Red Fountain, but he re-enrolls after he meets Flora. I guess he just wanted to be around her more. 😛
In my opinion, Helia’s the most attractive guy in the group, even with the “spider ‘do” he got in season four. 😛 I’ve always wondered if he represents the Japanese character type “The Bishounen” (bishōnen) or bishie for short. In case you don’t know Japanese or don’t watch Japanese anime, here’s a definition (via TV Tropes):
…the Bishōnen, or “beautiful boy”, is a male character that possesses androgynous or ‘feminine’ physical traits. He is usually tall, slender with almost no fat and little to no muscle, and no body or facial hair….It is not uncommon for those at the more feminine end to be mistaken for women by other characters…
Technically, since Helia’s in his twenties now, he’d be a biseinen (“beautiful man”). But when he was introduced in season two, he fit the definition pretty well. Bishounen also tend to be intelligent, more sensitive, and adored by the women around them — and sometimes the men as well.
It might sound like I’m just gushing over him since I like him so much. But we know Winx Club was inspired by mahou shoujo (magical girl) anime like Sailor Moon. Bishounen frequently appear in shoujo (girls’) and mahou shoujo series, so it’s not hard to believe Rainbow would create a character of that type.
On Helia’s Winx Wiki page, it says he may have been meant to be a girl, but was changed to a boy so Flora could have a boyfriend. I doubt that. I think Rainbow wanted to create a guy who contrasts with the more masculine types like Brandon and Riven. Plus, Flora wouldn’t be interested in a muscular “tough guy” anyway. (Some fans like to ship her with Riven, since they talked alone a lot before he started dating Musa. Boy, am I glad that’s not canon! 😛 )
As a character, Helia’s a bit of a puzzle to me. Sometimes it’s like there are two versions of him, and you never know which one’s gonna show up each season — or even each episode. When the Winx meet him in “Party Crasher” (ep. 2X09), he comes off as quiet and solitary, and the Specialists think he’s weak.
Then when the Blackthroat attacks, he does this to it:
Where’d all that strength come from? He’s a twig compared to Brandon, but I don’t think even he could pull this off! And as if that wasn’t impressive enough, later in the season, he singlehandedly pulls Sky’s ship into the Owl’s docking station! With only one rope! Good grief!
His strong side isn’t another version of him, though. He’s always been strong; he just initially chose not to use that strength for combat. The “other” Helia is more confident (almost vain sometimes), more aggressive, and a bit of a showoff.
Everyone feels more confident when they’re doing something they’re good at. It’s just strange for Helia when it’s related to fighting, since he was so against it before. His werewolf smackdown in “The Curse of Fearwood” is a good example. Even his friends don’t know what’s gotten into him! And in that same episode, he almost starts a fight with Riven!
Is he really a pacifist? Maybe he just holds himself back. But when he gets mad, watch out! (Interestingly enough, that’s exactly like Flora.)
Normally, though, he’s afraid to even confront an old friend about his relationship with another girl. Yep, I’m talking about the Flora-Helia-Krystal love triangle in season five. He does not handle it well. The problems start as soon as he introduces Flora as his “friend,” rather than his girlfriend. Bad move. Then he lets Krystal stick around without setting boundaries.
He may not have wanted to stir up conflict, but he did so by staying silent. Ultimately, it’s Krystal who tells Flora she’s not in love with him. Helia and Flora should have settled that at the beginning.
Speaking of Princess Krystal, how and when did she and Helia become friends? And does that mean he’s from Lynphea, too?
That’s something that’s weird to me about all the guys. With the possible exceptions of Nabu and Roy, you can’t look at any of them and say, “He must be from that world.” Plus, their “civilian” clothes look like Earth outfits. I laughed a little in season four when Timmy buys Earth clothes for them so they can “blend in.” Nabu’s the only one who looks different, since he always wore his wizard robe.
Helia’s perceived race adds some confusion, too. He’s supposed to look Asian — you can really tell when he’s in profile — and Flora and Krystal look Hispanic. Yet, they may all be from Lynphea.
That proves my point in the “Afrogate” post about the realms being “mixed race.” Nabu, Roy, and Aisha have darker skin and are all from Andros, but there are many light-skinned people there, too. Musa and Princess Galatea are both from Melody, a heavily Asian-inspired world, but Musa looks Asian while Galatea doesn’t (but her father does).
Even Helia and Musa are different. Both of them look Asian, have blue/anime black hair, and are interested in things from Asian culture. Helia loves origami, while Musa loves to wear Asian-inspired clothing and hairdos. Yet, they’re from completely different realms and don’t interact much.
Final thoughts: I love Helia. He’s always been one of my favorite guys in the show, and he adds peacefulness and sensitivity to the Boys Club — most of the time. 😛 He and Timmy would probably be the two I’d spend the most time with. (I love nerds.)
It also goes without saying that he and Flora, my favorite Winx, are perfect for each other. If they broke up, I’d cry. (I’m not even kidding.)
From one of my favorite guys to my least favorite: Riven. Ugh. Let’s get this over with.