I guess I shot myself in the foot by calling this “What If Wednesday.” A lot of fans thought I meant, “What if [insert major event] didn’t happen?” or “What if So-and-So had been [insert different role] instead of…?” Nope. That’s not what this is about.
I’m not trying to make fodder for alternate universe fanfics (but you can use it if you want to). What I’m gonna talk about are things that can still logically happen in the show. Remember how I said this will be focused on the future, not the past? The “What if” isn’t, “What if this had happened instead?” It’s, “What if this happens in a future season?”
Just a warning: this will set us up for disappointment. It’s inevitable. The ideas we come up with may never happen; in fact, chances are they won’t.
But do we ever know what was gonna happen in a season? Guessing, theorizing, and wondering are part of the fun of watching a series. Even if the end result is different than we hoped, we don’t have to change things to make something out of it. New possibilities and new angles are still hiding in the story, waiting to be discovered.
Maybe this first post will clear things up. Why am I starting with Helia? I was talking about him with a friend on Instagram recently, and I realized he has a lot of loose ends in his back story. If Rainbow tied these up, he could become a more interesting — and more powerful — character.
What if…Helia followed his dream of becoming an artist?
A lot of fans were happy to see Bloom drawing again in World of Winx, but it’s been a long time since our other artist has picked up a sketchbook. Bet you never realized Bloom and Helia had that in common — or at least, you never thought of it as a shared talent. That’s not the only similarity between them. I get to that later.
In comics #35 and #36, “The Trial” and “New Challenges,” Helia leaves Redfountain — like he almost did in the show — and tries to sell paintings for a living. Of course, it doesn’t work out because the comics always reset everything back to how they are in the show. But it begs the question, “Could he have become a famous artist instead of a Specialist?”
But since season two, we’ve barely seen him draw at all. His only artistic talent seems to be making origami. (That started in season two, too.) Did he give it all up to become a Specialist again? Why did he have to do? He can be a Specialist and an artist, right?
Or can he? Would his love of art conflict with his job? After all, he can’t paint while he’s battling monsters, and Specialists have to be on call at all times. How would he handle it?
I’d love to see this internal conflict in him in a future season. Should he stick with what he’s been training for for years (and keeps him close to his girlfriend), or should he follow his dream? Which one is he better at? How would leaving Redfountain affect his relationship with Flora?
What if…Helia became the next headmaster of Redfountain?
This is also brought up in the comics but not in the show — though the comics don’t expand on it, either. In #21, “The Shaab Stone,” Helia’s put in charge of a mission to stop a businessman named Belizarius from finding the titular stone. Riven thinks Helia was chosen because “he needs the practice if he will one day take over from [Saladin].” Sky disagrees since “principals have always been appointed on their merits and certainly not by family succession.” (Even for a prince, that was a mouthful. :?) But Riven’s not convinced and just drops the topic.
Sky may be right, but wouldn’t it be great to see Helia take Saladin’s place at the end of the series? Until then, feeling like he had to live up to Saladin’s legacy would probably put some pressure on him. I like seeing characters I love under pressure. That might sound cruel, but I wanna see how they’ll react to it, especially if it brings out a side of them we’ve never seen before.
Would Helia crack? Would he run away? Would he assert his right to be himself, not just “Saladin’s nephew” (or grandson — I still don’t know)?
This could also help develop his relationships with the other guys or with Flora. How would they help him get through it? Would he lean on them for support, or would he isolate himself?
What if…Helia became a wizard?
Yep, you get a GIF today. I haven’t done that in years.
Speaking of Saladin’s legacy, he’s famous for something else besides training Specialists. He’s the wizard of the Company of Light who fought against the Three Ancestral Witches. Remember when I said Bloom and Helia have more in common than art talent? This is it. They’re the only members of the main group who have relatives in the Company of Light, with Bloom’s being (of course) her birth parents.
I’m sure some fans have noticed this connection before, but Rainbow has never even mentioned it. Think of the possible implications. For example, did Saladin (or maybe Helia’s parents) ever tell Helia about his adventures? If so, did Helia know about the fall of Domino? How much did he know? Could he even have told Bloom what happened to her parents?
Back on topic. Helia’s magic seems to be growing lately. Those origami swans can’t be flying by themselves, can they? And as the GIF shows, he made one appear in his hand in “Back in the Middle Ages” (7X08).
Could he become a wizard? If so, I’d think being “the nephew/grandson of the great wizard Saladin” would be pretty stressful. Talk about big shoes to fill!
Here’s another question: does Helia even want to be a wizard? He may have magic powers, but that doesn’t mean he has to use them. Is that why he became a Specialist, a job that doesn’t require magic? Is his family okay with this decision, or could they pressure him to follow in Saladin’s footsteps?
I know I asked a lot of questions in this post, but that’s the point. Questions unlock your imagination and help you see new possibilities. Helia’s been in this show for five seasons, but most of these questions have never been addressed.
What if Rainbow finally answered them? We could learn more about his past and see him become more than just Flora’s cute boyfriend. It could also make him more relatable, not just likable (yes, there’s a difference). I think we can all relate to someone struggling to find his place in the world.
That wraps up the debut of “What If Wednesday.” Next time, I’ll talk about how Rainbow could develop the Specialists and Paladins — not the individual characters, but the concepts themselves. Stay tuned!