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.

When the Treants attack, Thoren insists he and his fellow Paladin, Nex, strike first. Then, when Sky tries to order him to retreat from Lynphea College, he balks about it. He’s not ready to quit. Aisha and Tecna manage to convince him, but he still gives them attitude: “Errrr! Whatever!” There’s that grumpy side. 😛

Thoren going with them was probably an excuse for him to see Daphne. In the next episode, “Bloomix Power” (ep. 6X04), he helps her with her research in the library instead of training in Aisha’s gym. They already seem interested in each other.

Sky’s not too happy about that. In “Vortex of Flames” (ep. 6X06), he reveals he has a childhood grudge against Thoren. When they were kids, they were ambushed in the forest by ninjas. Thoren ditched him in the middle of the fight, leaving him to fend for himself. He barely survived without him. Thus began their rivalry.

Sigh 🙄 Like I said in Sky’s post, this back story was silly. They were just kids! I know Sky must have been traumatized by this event, but to think Thoren’s a bad person because his flight response kicked in — and Sky’s didn’t — is a bit immature. And it shouldn’t have started a rivalry like this.

At least this lead to some character development for Thoren, which is more than we can say for some of the guys. Diaspro takes advantage of his past and convinces him to “help” Sky by throwing Bloom in the Vortex of Flames, claiming it’ll restore her magic. Thankfully, Sky and Daphne stop him. After almost failing his cousin again, he musters the courage to save Sky after he dives into the pit to catch Bloom, then he promises not to run away from the fight against the Fire Eaters.

This rivalry could have been much more interesting. According to his character description — from the same spoiler article Nex’s description comes from — Thoren “doesn’t talk much, but when he does, he shows he’s a charismatic leader” (my translation). So, he has proven leadership skills, his rival’s the leader of the Specialists, and he’s older than said rival. He’s also physically stronger. In “The Magic Totem” (ep. 6X18), he wins a tug of war against Brandon, Roy, Timmy, and Nex combined.

Nickbow could have done so much with this! What if their rivalry had turned into a fight for control of the Boys Club? What if it’d been a literal fight? What if Sky’s friends had felt torn about who’s the better leader? What if Sky had lost his confidence in his leadership skills? Riven could have even sided with Thoren. After all, he’s never liked doing things Sky’s way, so it’d be the ultimate “take that.”

But none of that happens. Instead, Thoren and Sky call a truce, then Thoren devolves into his “second-in-command.” He leads the charge every now and then, but Sky’s still the top dog and Thoren sometimes acts as his enforcer. For example, in “The Curse of Fearwood” (ep. 6X17), Sky stops Helia and Riven from getting into a fight. When Riven then tries to start something with Sky, Thoren steps in and gets everyone back on track. (Yes, in the linked picture, Thoren’s chest gem is the wrong color. The animators made that mistake a lot this season.)

So much for that side plot. Let’s talk about Thoren’s other relationships now.

Supposedly, he and Nex are friends. They’re both Paladins, they debut in the same episode, and they’re often seen together. (They even appear together in the theme song. I’m not sure why Nex would wanna shove Sky, but maybe Thoren told him to.) Yet they don’t seem very close to me. I can’t think of many (if any) scenes that made me think they’re best friends. Besides, since Nex is courting Aisha, he seems to be spending more time with the Specialists.

The only thing I remember is from “Mystery of Calavera” (ep. 6X15). When the gang’s in Bajo Mundo Cave, Nex suggests the Fantasy Emerald could be under one of the boulders. Obviously, he can’t pick one up himself, so he calls Thoren over to help him. (FAIL, guys. 😛 ) Thoren’s very strong, so that could be why he asked him — but then again, Brandon’s strong, too. Maybe Nex still felt closest to Thoren, so he asked his buddy for help. I’m just speculating.

We know Thoren has a deeper relationship with Daphne. After their interaction in “Bloomix Power” and their romantic balcony scene in “Vortex of Flames,” they’re now an obvious couple. And their love story just keeps blossoming from there.

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I wanna like these two. I really do. After all, Daphne’s one of my favorite Winx Club characters. Well, she was till Nickbow retconned her heroic sacrifice; made her a “disembodied spirit” instead of dead like she’s been for four seasons and two movies; and traded her gorgeous, golden gown for gaudy Sirenix wings. (You see why I don’t want them to bring back Nabu? It’d be absurd at this point, since he’s been dead for two seasons, and we can’t trust them to do it well, anyway!)

But I digress. Where was I?

The reason I don’t like Daphne and Thoren as a couple is it feels too random and sudden. Daphne just got her physical body back. This girl couldn’t even walk at the beginning of the season! Now she’s a teacher at Alfea (which makes no sense), The Crown Princess of Domino (which does make sense but felt a bit rushed), and an unofficial mentor to the Winx.

And you wanna add “girlfriend” to that list? (Or…well, never mind.)

Thoren’s turned out to be a nice guy. I understand why he fell in love with Daphne — though it seems more about her beauty than anything — but I don’t get excited about them. I want them to be happy, of course, but they’re moving too fast. Maybe if they’d started dating in season seven, I’d accept them. She needs to get used to being alive again first!

capture_016_31122013_182230_677Bottom line: Thoren had a lot of potential as a character, but Nickbow wasted it. Now he’s just the second banana to Sky and a convenient love interest for Daphne. Since the Boys Club already has a leader, he doesn’t add much to the group either. He doesn’t even need to be here.

Also, a minor nitpick: I hate how unoriginal his name is. Nickbow named the guy with the giant hammer Thoren? Did they pick his weapon before his name, or his name before his weapon? 😕 Either way, couldn’t they have come up with something a bit more clever? Sigh

Well, that’s it for “The Boys of Winx Club” series! In case you missed a post, here are the rest of them:

  1. Sky, The Leader
  2. Brandon, The Casanova
  3. Helia, The Ex-Pacifist
  4. Riven, The Rebel
  5. Timmy, The Nerd
  6. Nabu, The Fallen Hero
  7. Roy, The Nice Guy
  8. Nex, The Jokester

I’ll write a wrap-up post and put it up sometime this weekend. Thanks for reading! 😀

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35 Responses to “The Boys of Winx Club: Thoren, The Second-in-Command

  1. Thoren is the guy i just find off putting. He had the potential to be a thorn in Sky’s side (pun intended) but Sky’s supposed to be perfect (worse than his lady i might add, even Bloom’s not that bad, she does admit to her stupidity unlike Sky) so he can’t do much aside from stealing Brandon’s job. I could understand if Nex did that since Aisha is the second for the girls and it’d make sense but Daphne’s guy? No. Why does Daphne even need a guy? Let her live first this isn’t a traditional fairytale where beauty is the only thing that matters.

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  2. Adding to that Thoren is bland and his only purpose is Daphne’s dude. He doesn’t belong.

    • Yeah. Thoren could have been more interesting, especially with the back story and personality they gave him, but they just didn’t pull it off. Honestly, the only reason I remember he’s there is because he’s a Paladin, so that makes him stand out. If he’d been a Specialist, he would have been completely invisible.

      • Invisible might have been better for him, he adds nothing. Also those watching s7 early finally know what Squonk is. It looks like a mini – Bumble but the resident animal expert told us what it really is.

  3. it’s starting to feel like everyone else are background characters there to put the spotlight on bloom and sky

        • Not as bad, no. I mean, we didn’t have a freaking transformation named after her until now! (I will never get over that. 😕 ) But since the original plot line was about Bloom finding out she’s a fairy and learning more about her magic, they obviously focused a lot more on her story than anyone else’s. There’s even a rumor the working title of the show was Magical Bloom.

          • But Bloomix as a name also fits Flora because Flowers Bloom and it’s kinda like a stealth double pun when you consider that Bloom and Flora have been roomates forever and were the only ones to not earn bloomix with their roommates (as of s4 Stella and Aisha appear to be roommates or each have one room). i wonder if that was intentional despite Bloom having some actual fire power. Still an annoyance of a name but more child friendly than “Flamix” which would have been a better name or even “Dracix” after dragon/ Draconia since Dragon flame. They do generally focus on Bloom or Aisha (whenever there’s a Let’s take a break from Bloom need) more than they should that some fans (self included) even jokingly call it the Bloom & Aisha show, I’m fine with the Aisha half since Aisha’s my favorite but i do see where fans can get bored of the leading ladies inless sporty or cleverness respectively is their forte.

          • Focusing on Aisha is a recent thing. She used to be ignored almost as much as Musa and Tecna. I think that’s one good thing that came out of the Nickbow seasons, except that it now firmly puts Musa and Tecna at the bottom.

          • Didn’t s2 and 3 also have large on Aisha? S2 is her intro and Andros was the primary planet Valtor used as his lair and trickery.

  4. i know this will sound rude to you but i don’t mean to be but aisha is the token black girl for the show the same way tanaree (i think that’s her name) is for WITCH it’s to sell merchandise but if you’ve seen the new couture clothes line it’s back to being bloom, flora and stella

    • That doesn’t sound rude. It’s true, unfortunately. Rainbow’s always focused mainly on Bloom, Stlla, and Flora in the merchandise, but lately (especially in the doll lines) Aisha’s been sneaking in there. You could say Flora’s the token Hispanic girl, too, but she’s always been a fan favorite.

    • Taranee is the name but no Aisha’s not the token black,nor is Musa the token Asian,there’s no such thing as insert race/ethnicity here in the magic universe they are referred to by their planet when considered for an ethnic/race because technicolor people do exist in the magic universe (some are probably even having to protect themselves from purple people eaters). Also the marketing department regardless of style has always been Bloom Stella and Flora with Musa and Aisha alternating the character 4 spot. Poor Tecna and Roxy are restricted to full seven shots or solos, Daphne doesn’t fare much better when they decide eights 🙁 These three desperately need more merch. Pink hair must not be as popular as blonde (stella & daphne whenever daphne gets a doll release) brunette (flora & musa because blue is anime black) redhead (bloom & Aisha). Or more precisely the ones that wear pink somewhere on their outfit and do not use it sparingly. Always main character (bloom), the best friend (stella), a leader (Aisha) the one in pink/red (Flora & Musa) and spares (Daphne Roxy Tecna) in girls marketing.

      • In a marketing sense, the girls are their perceived races. Aisha looks black, therefore she’ll be treated as black by non-fans. But in universe, yes, Aisha isn’t black, Musa’s not Asian, etc.

        • I forgot about that whole in universe vs market thing. That really causes confusion with Roxy’s merch though they say she’s one level in marketing but another in universe. Bloom’s line in 4×19 about that apparently didn’t help anyone be any less confused. The merch level should match the show when it comes to that and just be explained “I’m a Winx but i’m new to being a fairy so i made my outfit look similar to others to blend in with Gardenia’s fairy ideas. Don’t believe me? ask Stella, she’s the one who told me fairies can look however they want regardless of level.” as far as doll/action figures/poster bios go. It would have avoided confusion in the first place and told non fans that any level look is custom made by the fairy themselves to give them a closer look at the magic world.

  5. yet one more thing why pair them give anyone still notice that daphne way “older” than thoren.

    besides sure look like in winx age range in appearance but really have captain america’s age effect (in her mid 30s to 40s i think?)

    yea nick writing sorta wait til follow-up on s7 or beyond it?

    • The show treats her like she’s only a few years older. In fact, Thoren’s description says he and Daphne are the same age. They could be going by her biological age when she “died,” not by how long she was a spirit.

  6. Before I comment on the blandless character of Thoren, I have a question. In season 2, Professor Avalon is a Paladin and has magical powers and wings, so how come Nex and Thoren havnt showed any magical abilities.

    Anyway, I couldn’t be more bored with Thoren. So many things to do with him and they wasted that opportunity. Seriously, the only reason he was introduced was to be with Daphne and as a partner for Nex who becomes part of the Boys Club. The whole relationship is so rushed and falling in love after one date *rolls eyes*. Maybe there’ll be more of him in the next season but I doubt it. He’s just not that special as a character.

    • Their magic powers could come later, though I doubt it. Or it could be that Avalon himself is unique, and those abilities belonged to him, not to Paladins in general. I’m not sure. I think they’ve forgotten about Avalon.

    • Re: Avalon, who knows, the guy hasn’t had a line since season 3. Which is kind of a shame, at least for those of us who have seen Zoratrix’s fanart of him and want to see more of that guy. *_* I sort of figured paladins get more abilities as they do more heroic deeds and Avalon earned his wings over years of heroism but Nex and Thoren are just starting out on the path of the paladin so they don’t have many cool abilities yet.

      I also wish Daphne’s return from the dead had been done better. I can spin it in my mind– bookish princess dies heroically, returns to life, discovers the knowledge she gained from reading stories on the sly in her childhood is now just the info they need to save the world, gets her confidence back, meets her destined boyfriend who she’d never have met if she hadn’t lost 20 years or so being dead, goes on to have awesome life. That’s a good story. I like that story. But the original story, princess dies heroically and becomes a beautiful guardian spirit, that was also a good story.

      So Thoren has a place in the story as Destined Boyfriend, but there’s not much to him beyond that.

    • I think Avalon’s abilities have nothing to do with being a paladin, he earned them by his own, he is maybe from a different species [an angel, or something]

    • Well…actually there’s no such thing as a cloud spirit. 4Kids made that up. But it’s implied that whatever that creature pretending to be Avalon was, it had copied Avalon’s abilities. So the real Avalon could still have those powers.

  7. I don’t really mind Thoren that much, but it does feel like they’re rushing him and Daphne together too much here. Again, he’s another character with great potential for development, but Nickbow messed it up as much as everything else these past two seasons.

    I prefer Daphne to still be the mysterious dead sister, too, but I understand why she was brought back to life. I mean she was pretty much the only “dead” character who appeared as a spirit. Why not Matlin or Nabu? So yeah, this does make sense for Nickbow to try and clarify that by making Daphne a “disembodied spirit” rather than a real dead one.

    • That’s true. I never really thought about that with Nabu and Matlin, so separating Daphne’s situation from theirs does make sense. I guess that could be even more of a sign Nabu’s dead if they wanted to make that distinction.

  8. I don’t understand why Rainbow has to give every girl a boyfriend, I think Daphne should have stay single, at least for some few seasons, her relationship was way too rushed,

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    By the way, I never saw the relation of Thoren’s name and his weapon, actually I related him more with Thorin Oakenshield, from The Hobbit.

  9. Not to mention, his age makes NO sense. While the whole main cast has reached adulthood, he looks much older/more mature than the other Specialists, and Daphne [biologically/by birth] is at least in her 30s. So if Thoren and Sky are roughly the same age [as the flashback would have us assume] she’d be marrying someone at least a decade younger than her. Which isn’t unusual, but it’s an odd choice for a kids’ show.

    I agree about their relationship, too.

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    I did like the addition of her being officially titled Crown Princess, that made sense with her being Domino’s First Princess, and with her age, it was due. But I feel as though Thoren’s character was too…arbitrary. Like the writers were getting back into the kick of absolutely HAVING to give EVERY main character a love interest, so they created Thoren. He’s an attractive character, and I wanted to like him, but like you, the more I watched, the fewer redeemable qualities I was able to find. We have little to no backstory about him, other than he and Sky’s frankly paper thin ‘rivalry,’ we don’t know any of his opinions, humors, likes, dislikes…really anything that gives him a solid personality and establishes him as a character.

    • I like Thoren himself. I don’t think he’s an unlikable character — there’s just nothing to him. He’s literally just Daphne’s love interest. And any time you connect a character with Sky or Bloom, you run the risk of them being overshadowed. I don’t even like it that Selina and Bloom know each other. It’s not random, per se, but it just makes Bloom even more important and kinda washes Selina out.

      But yeah, anyway, Thoren’s boring. Nickbow had an interesting concept for him, but they didn’t use it well.

      • Yeah, I really didn’t like the Bloom-centricity of S6. I was really excited for it when they introduced the fairy tale element, but ultimately it fell short. –– In regard to Bloom’s connection to Selina and Eldora, this also throws [yet another] wrench into the original storyline. Until Roxy came along, and Bloom’s origins were discovered, she was thought to be the last magical being on Earth. And then we suddenly learn that at the same time she lived on Earth, there was another fairy, a fairy godmother, an enchanted cottage, and a powerful spell book…all coincidentally discovered in Gardenia out of every other location worldwide the writers could have picked.

        Anyways, I digress. Back to Thoren, I liked his aesthetic more than anything. He has a cool design, mature and handsome yet rugged and brawny. But for me his actual character was just too flimsy. As you said, he’s just Daphne’s love interest at this point. I don’t think he’s done anything to make him unlikable thus far, I just think that he wasn’t developed well enough, especially as someone quietly added to part of the main cast. If you look back to S1/S2, the members of the Winx Club were well developed even after just being introduced. We were given a fair amount of background info, personality traits, likes/dislikes, and so on that gave us a sense of what kind of people they were. The writers did none of this with Thoren. All we really know is that: he’s Sky’s cousin, by extension he’s possibly a member of Eraklyion’s royal family, he’s a Paladin, he loves Daphne.

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  10. This is completely and utterly random, but according to Google Translate, Thoren means Thor in Swedish. (But then again, Google isn’t the best translator. I typed it into frengly.com and nothing happened, so it’s probably just Google being weird.)

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