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.)
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.
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!
Bottom 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:
- Sky, The Leader
- Brandon, The Casanova
- Helia, The Ex-Pacifist
- Riven, The Rebel
- Timmy, The Nerd
- Nabu, The Fallen Hero
- Roy, The Nice Guy
- Nex, The Jokester
I’ll write a wrap-up post and put it up sometime this weekend. Thanks for reading! 😀