Nabu’s a difficult character to talk about, since he’s hands down the fan favorite in the Boys Club. He stood out because of his skin tone, because he wasn’t a Specialist, and because he was able to use magic like the Winx. Also, like his eventual fiancée Aisha, he showed some leadership ability. The Specialists took orders from him at times instead of Sky.
He also had the closest and most meaningful relationships. Obviously, he and Aisha were deeply in love, which made some of their friends jealous. Riven, during his drama with Musa in season four, often went to him for advice or just an ear to listen. The two of them became best friends, to the point where Riven cried after his death.
The funny thing about his relationship with Aisha is most fans just remember them as the happiest couple in season four. But when Nabu (a.k.a. “Ophir”) was first introduced in season three, Aisha hated him. She’d sworn off guys at that point in her life, and having one stalking her annoyed her to no end. Let’s look back at their love story.
Did I just call Nabu a stalker? Yes, I did. 😛 It doesn’t matter how nice he was. If you’re watching someone through a telescope while hiding in the bushes, following them wherever they go, then lying about it when you get caught, you’re a stalker. Plain and simple.
When Aisha meets him in “Valtor’s Box” (ep. 3X18), she scolds him for “slinking around” and eavesdropping, then races off in a huff. Later in “The Red Tower” (ep. 3X21), when she discovers he snuck onto the Owl before their mission to the Golden Kingdom, she tackles him and tries to put him in a headlock. (He was invisible, so she ends up grabbing his feet instead.) He introduces himself as “Ophir” and tries to be friendly with her, but she doesn’t trust him.
The others agree he can’t be trusted. After all, thanks to him, Valtor was able to steal the Agador Box in ep. 3X18. Aisha and Tecna think he’s Valtor’s spy, so Musa puts magic-sealing handcuffs on him and Aisha decides to lock him up in the brig of the ship. Unfortunately, thanks to some bad timing by Timmy, they get locked up together. 😛
This is when they finally get a chance to talk, and Aisha finds out they have things in common: they like the same music and have a similar rebellious attitude (revealed by Nabu’s favorite line in their favorite song: “No one makes decisions for me but me”). Later, he shows off some surfing skills he learned “from a wave wizard on Andros.” Aisha’s very impressed.
In “The Wizard’s Challenge” (ep. 3X23), he finally tells her his real name and why he’d been stalking her: he wanted to know more about her, since his parents had picked her to marry him. He also reveals, to Aisha’s surprise, that he rebelled against their decision and ran away from home. But in the end, he fell in love with her on his own.
What I like about their romance is everything worked out for them and their parents. In most stories where a kid rebels against their parents, the kid ends up being right for “following their heart,” and the parents look like fools who didn’t understand their child’s needs. But Nabu and Aisha fell in love anyway, which proved their parents had picked the right partners for them. It was a good twist.
In season four, Rainbow tricked into thinking they were about to settle down into a happy life together. He proposes to her in “Winx Club Forever” (ep. 4X11), and they start talking about where they want to live (Earth was a possibility). It was all to lull us into a false sense of hope.
Then two episodes before the end of the season, Nabu gives his life to save Roxy’s people. Just like that, he’s gone forever. It was a bold move for a show aimed at girls as young as four years old.
That boldness is one reason why I don’t want Rainbow to bring Nabu back. I used to — just like practically the entire fanbase does — but I think it’d cheapen not only his sacrifice, but also the concept of death in this show. If death isn’t permanent, where’s the danger? The Winx are risking their lives every season for the people they care about. But if any character can be revived whenever the fans wish for it, death will eventually become a joke.
Also, unlike many fans, I don’t think Nabu was the only guy for Aisha. He was a great guy for her — better, in some ways, than the two courting her now — but that doesn’t mean she can’t be just as happy with someone else. This is true for all the Winx. The guys they’re with now are wonderful for them (except Riven), but they could be happy with others as well.
For example, even though Bloom and Sky are happy together, Sky was not Bloom’s first love. She dated Andy before she moved to Alfea. We don’t know how long they were together, but they must have broken up on good terms because they still had some chemistry. In fact, Andy might have still been in love with her.
The remaining couples are still together not just because they’re compatible, but because they’re loyal to each other. But now that Nabu’s dead, Aisha doesn’t have to be loyal to him anymore. Their engagement’s off. She’s single. There’s nothing wrong with her falling in love with another guy.
I know what some of you are thinking. I’ve been using the words “dies” and “death” the whole time, but the popular theory is he’s just in a coma. Some fans are still waiting for him to wake up and take Aisha back. Why? Because of a dialogue between Morgana and Aisha right after the tragic event:
Aisha: Will you take care of him?
Morgana: Until he wakes up again, you have my word.
The fans interpreted that as “until he comes out of the coma.” But everything we saw at the end of season four and in the last couple seasons strongly suggests he’s dead.
For one thing, right after this dialogue, Aisha covers Nabu in flowers. The flowers then seem to merge with his body, then Morgana scatters them into the fields of Tir Na N’Og. This looked like some sort of burial ritual. If he were just in a coma, they probably would have moved his body to a safe place so they could monitor him. Now, he doesn’t even have a body anymore.
Then in the last episode, Morgana says Nabu “sacrificed his life so that we [The Earth Fairies] may live.” Again, that sounds like he’s dead instead of in a comatose state.
Season five’s even more explicit. In “The Shimmering Shells” (ep. 5X07), an illusion of Nabu asks Aisha, “Why’d you let me die?” It repeats the word “die” two more times: “You let me die, Aisha! You could have saved me, but you let me die!”
You could argue this doesn’t count since it wasn’t the real Nabu, but this illusion came from Aisha’s mind. It was a personification of her insecurities. That means not only does she think (or know) Nabu’s dead, but she also thinks it’s her fault somehow. When she regains her confidence, she just says the real Nabu wouldn’t blame her, not that Nabu’s not really dead.
So what did Morgana mean by “until he wakes up again?”
It might have been poetic, not literal. An Una di Noi Winx reader suggested it may have been a metaphor for the Rapture, meaning his soul would awaken again one day. Religion isn’t brought up in Winx Club, but that fan also said the Golden Kingdom might represent Heaven. It’s a place outside time and space, and only those with no darkness in their hearts may enter. Musa also encounters her mother there, who died when Musa was a child.
Also, sleep’s often used as a metaphor for death. For example, when an animal’s “put to sleep,” that really means they’re euthanized. Death’s also figuratively referred to as “eternal sleep” or “the big sleep.”
So why did Aisha ask Morgana to take care of Nabu?
Remember the flowers? Nabu’s final resting place is Tir Na N’Og, which means Morgana — or maybe Nebula now — is responsible for taking care of his remains. Aisha took his symbolic body — the flower Ogron wasted the Spell of Life on — to Andros, probably as a memento for Nabu’s parents.
Since Aisha’s interested in other guys already, that could also be a sign Nabu’s dead. If she and Morgana knew he’d wake up one day, why wouldn’t she wait for him? They were engaged! Would you start looking around again if your fiancé could come back any minute? Yes, she may have moved on too soon, but that’s just more proof he’s gone.
Though I’d like to see her date one of her new love interests, Roy and Nex, I understand why many fans think Nabu was a better guy for her. For one thing, these two have shown they can get jealous. You could argue since they’re competing for her, jealousy’s part of the “game” (so to speak). If they weren’t a little jealous, you’d think they didn’t really care about winning her heart.
But Nabu was able to curb his jealousy even when he was engaged to her. While they were on Earth, Aisha had a non-romantic interest in Mark, one of Andy’s bandmates. Nabu could have gone Riven mode and treated this like a love triangle — after all, they were pretty friendly with each other — but he trusted Aisha and stayed calm.
Also, Roy and Nex haven’t proven how much they love her yet — or if they really do at all. Nabu was willing to give up his life to save her, the Specialists, and the Earth Fairies. Do these two have that same strength of character? We don’t know. Whoever she picks, I wanna see him risk his life for her — but not die. If Rainbow puts Aisha through that again, I’ll start to think they have something against her.
I think she deserves a happy, lasting romance after what she’s been through. I don’t wanna see her constantly cycling through guys — she’s already had the most love interests — or, worse, ending up alone at the end of the series. I’ve seen a Tumblr confession that said, “If Nabu doesn’t come back, I want Aisha to stay single….I think [she] should stay independent.” This sounds empowering and right for her character, but there are a couple problems with it.
First, since the writer mentioned Nabu coming back, they probably feel he was a good guy for her. But for her to “stay independent” (the way the writer means it), she can’t be with him, either. It sounds more like they just don’t want her with any guy but Nabu. (Though since they also said some fans “might not think you can be happy without a boyfriend,” they may not have wanted Aisha to date Nabu, either. I doubt that, though.)
Second, Aisha ending up alone would negate her character development. Her independent spirit comes from growing up alone in the palace of Andros. She had no siblings and only one friend, Anne, who moved away. When she meets the Winx in season two, she’s tired of being alone — and is even afraid of it. Coping with her fear that her new friends will leave her is how she earns her Charmix.
The truth, though, is the Winx will leave her one day. They’ll start their own lives in their own realms. If Aisha doesn’t find a romantic partner, she’ll be back to square one: living a lonely life. Only this time, she won’t even have her parents around.
Being with someone won’t take away her independence, though. Aisha’s not looking for a guy to protect her or take care of her. She wants a companion — someone to share her life and interests with, but who will let her do as she pleases and give her space when she needs it.
That’s one reason Nabu was good for her. He liked spending time with her, but he also let her be herself and go off on her own. For example, in “The White Circle” (ep. 4X08), Mark invites Aisha to come and dance, saying he’ll provide the music for her. She expects Nabu to go with her, but instead he tells her to go and enjoy herself. (But she yanks him out of his seat and makes him dance with her. 😛 )
Final thoughts: Nabu was a wonderful character and a great guy for Aisha. I’m glad she’s dealt with her loss and moved on, but I still wish Rainbow had never killed him off. Yet, I appreciate it because it added an element of danger and seriousness — something that’s been missing from the recent seasons.
Why’d it have to be him, though? *Sigh* Rest in peace, sweet hero. 🙁
Well, that was a long post! 😛 Time to talk about the first of Aisha’s new love interests, the one who looks a lot like our fallen wizard: Roy. Stay tuned!