DOTA: Dragon’s Blood episode 1 (part 3) (spoilers)
Coming down the home stretch here. Last section.
No reason or comment for this screen shot. I just thought it was a nice place to start us off.
Okay, maybe I’d mentioned they’re making his dragonfang necklace prominent so we’d understand its importance, and that it had been with him under his armour the whole time. Also you go girl with your red nail polish in medieval fantasy world.
Gonna take a minute to reiterate how much I am invested in this nameless character and want the best for her because she’s a story even if its one the show doesn’t follow.
First off - nice to see scars on a character.
And second - this moment. They didn’t have to include it. But there’s something so lonely and vulnerable about this blink and you’ll miss it moment from Davion. He’s not scrambling to get out of the room, he’s not getting out of bed and heading on his way now that the night’s over. For, just a second, he almost reaches out for her.
And then he stops himself, pulls away, starts to get ready to leave. And,for just a second, before Bram busts in with the action that’s going to distract us, you wonder what his life has been like up to now. Not the dragon slaying part - but the always on the road, always having to keep moving because the dragons keep moving, always saying goodbye just after he’s said hello. Always knowing he’s probably got a very limited lifespan to offer considering his line of work and nowhere stable to offer as a home. He’s a hero - but heroes never stay. They can’t. What they do is always - always - just over the next mountain range.
(cut for length and spoilers)
Even when she asks him if he wants another go - that’s not what he was reaching for her for. And it tells you so much about inside his heart - and never says a word about it at all.
“No. Not really. It’s - fine. I’m fine.”
Because why shouldn’t our hero break our heart a little for him too.
Also we should make it a drinking game to take a shot every time something conveniently blocks our view of Davion’s junk. I suspect its A LOT.
Okay and here - right here, is where I think I suddenly got interested in this woman. Because Davion doesn’t remember her name - and she picks up right away that he doesn’t remember her name - and, instead of the comedy or drama of us watching her chase him out of her room with shoes flying at his head for it - she’s totally chill with it. And not in a ‘no one remembers my name’ kind of way. Just in a ‘it’s all right. Because I know yours’ and it makes me wonder what sleeping with him meant to her (story, I tell you, there’s a story there).
Anyway, this also bring up another point - this series, at least so far is surprisingly NOT slut shamey. Now its weird that this stands out to me so strongly because I can usually take or leave sex scenes and implied sex in my stories. Sometimes it adds to the character interaction but most of the time its just there to prove how ‘adult’ the story is and frankly - I don’t care. And yet - Davion obviously sleeps around - and it is not once presented as a bad thing (or a masculine thing). He doesn’t remember names which shows just how casual and passing this is - and again, there’s not a single character that turns up their nose at him for it. Mirana asks with some snark about one girl but its implied its not the lack of him remembering the name that irks her so much as the friendliness of the other woman toward him. And the women Davion sleeps with aren’t treated as sluts either. There are no side comments, Davion never implies they’re lower or worth less for doing it. Its all very….
Consensual. Everyone’s pretty okay with casually sleeping with someone just for fun. It’s not meant to be an emotionally binding thing and it seems to be pretty accepted. And its weird that I notice, much less find this so ‘breath of fresh air’ since I’m usually only interested in sex when its furthering a relationship in a story but - I do. I noticed. And I really liked it. And I have no idea why. Later on the elves have their own thing going and that’s taken as perfectly normal too. Even when Fymryn and Davion are discussing the differences in the way things are down with pods vs. Couples its not in a ‘ewww, you guys are gross for doing it Wrong’ kind of way. Its presented as an open, genuinely curious discussion without judgement and even when Mirana shuts Davion down during it, its because that was a technical question about positions and she’s not down for hearing the details. Not because its a ‘bad’ subject overall. Now granted - its not all clear sunshine. Mirana gets called Selemene’s whore (I’m assuming that the ‘ursurper’ anyway) in a way that’s meant to hurt or insult her, even if she never seems to really register that as the verbal cut that bothers her and the ‘pleasure den’ is obviously not a consensual thing given its a threat. So the world isn’t entirely sex safe and whatever Selemene has going on is - definitely not healthy. But - its just a weirdly okay with sex without shaming world for the most part and for some reason I can’t explain, I really like that aspect.
I swear he almost went for round two when she let him slide on not knowing her name.
So cute. Also his interruption for ‘good morning, ma’am’ and her casual little wave - delight me.
Also comfortable nudity. Another thing I didn’t realize I appreciated. Its it - I think its the lack of shame. I am really enjoying the lack of shame and shaming going on. Maybe that’s why I’m so tickled by all of this.
And we’re back to business because Davion is a SUPER fast dresser.
Also I love this the way the VA says ‘They need to send everyone’ about going to tell DragonHold what’s up. Davion is expecting a slaughter - and he’s expecting to be one of the first victims of it.
Does anyone else find it cute that Bram just - sets up shop inside this stranger lady’s room? And neither of them seem to think that’s weird. Like ‘hey kid that just saw me naked after banging his teacher, why don’t you make yourself comfortable in my room and do heavy magic while I get ready for my day?’ I’m down with it though. Totally in support.
Also this was a previous discussion but there do seem to be different types of magic in this world. The people that serve the goddess, Selemene and Mene, seem to have certain magic powers that are imbued in their physical bodies for Fymryn or perhaps either in their bodies or their weapons for Mirana and Luna (I have no idea what’s going on with Marci’s super strength). And then the Dragon Knights seem to have a different kind of magic that’s imbued in artifacts, whether Bram’s blood activated scroll or Kaden’s dragon soul powered armor. Then there’s also the Invoker and whatever he has going on as well as Terrorblade and Selemene who all seem to be able to access their power without tools of any kind. So I’m curious to see how that all plays out in later seasons (please Netflix, we NEED more seasons). Its fun to speculate the world building.
And there goes the kind in a hail of light and sparkles and she’s a little surprised but that’s a pretty chill reaction all things considered. I really like her.
Okay, moving on.
Just want to take a minute and appreciate a really great shot.
Also this is the second time Davion’s been down this hole and I can’t help but feel just how hard that must be. I mean its his job and he’s going to do it - but he knows what’s down there this time. Maybe its just me but the animation seems much darker and more claustrophobic this second time around.
I want to point out how much I LOVE the different dragon designs in this series. Also that I did not realize they’re all CGI til waaaay far into the series.
Also I find it very interesting that a demon tells Davion that ‘we do the gods work here’. I’m sure there are all kinds of angles I could analyze that from.
Also NEVER comfortable when it says ‘we should be friends’.
The voice acting is prime here with Davion’s VA.
I want to point out how much I love Davion in this moment. Here the demon is, offering him what I can only assume is his driving purpose in life. It’s going the full used car salesman speal - and Davion is having way too many heebie jeebies going on with him to even consider the offer. I appreciate that he’s not ‘turning it down for noble reasons’ or ‘because he feels that is a goal he has to accomplish for himself’ or even ‘you’re a demon so I’m going to go with trick question and say no’. Nope. Our man is going ‘my gut says yuck and Imma stick with that feeling’. Because so often in life its not ‘ah, an obvious trap but I shall be Noble!’. So often its ‘my gut just doesn’t feel right about this’. Terrorblade you’re just trying to sell something he can’t even really hear about because you’re making his skin crawl too bad to really listen. I really like that little note in this story.
Also we get some flashback that tells us all about Davion’s dragon hunting we need to know and, again, super organic way to do it. This story is really good with that kind of non-info dump writing. Mostly. The Invoker’s story is a little ‘and here’s the exposition’ but I get why they did it and it works for its point in the story.
I also appreciate how Davion leads with ‘I was just a child’. This is a guilt he’s already dealt with. Something he already knows the answer for. Whether he fully believes it or not, we don’t find out, though the way he treats the kid earlier tells me he probably has for the most part. Terrorblade doesn’t seem to think so, thinks its a chink in the armor - but I’m not so sure about that, Mr. Used Car Salesman.
‘evaporated with your father’s flesh’ Daaaaamn. Graphic, man. Graphic. I approve of the wording choice.
Also GREAT voice acting on that ‘let. Me. In’ because I got the shivers. Still don’t think Davion was nearly as tempted in that moment as Terrorblade thought he was.
And the music here, as Slyrak arrives - oh gosh, have I mentioned how perfect the music is?
Did anyone else find out that Slyrak’s VA is also Candyman from the movie? Anyway, I love this dragon and I love this VA.
“Father of Fire. The Thunder speaks and chooses to you to give it voice.”
Awesome way to deliver ALL kinds of information that’s going to come up and unspool in front of us later on
Okay, take a pause with me here. “The madness was upon him.” This - is not the first time that kind of thing has been brought up and it gets brought up later. And, it seems to me and I could be wrong - that going mad is the ultimate end for each of the Elder Dragons. Like, that’s just how it goes down. You live your life, you go crazy and you die. And that is - terrifying as a concept. I mean, I understand they get reborn - but, pure elemental power - going mad - every hundred? Thousand? Years? Eight of them doing that? Constantly? That’s a terrifying concept and I totally get why it shakes Davion to his core later on in the series.
Also ‘not so disadvantaged’. Crap, I love the way the dragon’s phrase things. Gonna make that a new catch phrase for myself.
LOOK! Look how tiny Davion is!
So I’m going to guess that’s fire dragon armor he’s wearing there. Nice affinity tie in.
Now - later on in the season we’ll see Kaden make an assumption about Davion. And its a solid assumption to make. He doesn’t belittle him for what he thinks happened and he assures Davion there’s nothing to be ashamed of in doing it. Its a good ‘leaderly’ kind of thing to do.
He is also ass backward wrong.
Because we all know it. There’s nothing Davion can do against this kind of thing. He’s said it multiple times and we’re seeing it live now. He is SO far out of his pay grade right now that there’s not even a ticker that can keep track of the difference. He knows it. We know it. Even the colorist knows it because these are some of the most drab colors emphasizing that fact we’ve run into so far. Davion should run.
And he never once does. Even though you can see him right here caught in that moment of having to make that decision.
For a second I thought it was going to get him and I actually made a very desperate negative sound. Good job, Mir. You freaked me out with your circling animation.
What’s he going to do? Probably even he doesn’t know. But be damned if he isn’t going to do it.
There are so many times he almost get stepped on. A mouse in the middle of a titan fight.
But a mouse that isn’t going to run away or even sit on the sidelines all the same.
Again, he is SO SMALL! You see him? He’s in that back right upper corner, if you squint. This sequence is really diving it home how small he is and I love that. He is SO far outside of the realm of possibility right now - and he’s going to stick around to do something anyway. This - is my kind of hero.
I love the way he uses ‘fuck’. It’s usually in a ‘I’m going to have to do something stupid’ kind of way and I appreciate that.
Aaaaand here we go.
I swear one of these days I’m going to make a post about the difference in the way Studio Mir animates Davion’s fights as opposed to VLD Shiro’s. But the way his body moves, the arms cycling here - this is attention to detail because I could never confuse the one for the other. There is so much WEIGHT to Davion’s movements that Shiro the astronaut lacks, and its suitable for both of them.
Also - music.
Thank you for giving me an intelligent hero.
And if I am looking for story telling perfection - its right here. The shot. The music. The ‘brave little mouse’. I fell in love at exactly this point.
And then they just compounded it by having Slyrak catch Davion. Because that is a looong way for a little human to fall and you see it on Davion’s face as he does - and, dying, Slyrak still remembers humans are squishy and saves him - with his own wing no less.
Also I love - THIS is where it starts to sink in for Davion. He made a choice, put his life on the line, did the thing - and only NOW is it occurring to him who, and what, he sided with. Because he KNEW what the right thing to do was and he did it - and only now is it occurring to him to question that.
And this - this whole bit. “You honor me.” “As you honor me.” And the music is playing sad and noble in the background. The animation is soul on point.
You just know what’s coming and you’re ready for the emotional impact.
And then THIS!!!!!
WHAT THE HELL???!!!!
My mind was NOT ready - and it was GLORIOUS!! I had no prepped mental barriers in place, nothing my mind was distracted by, I was ready to deal with a sad death and suddenly -
Yeah it was a HOLY SHIT moment for me for sure. Still is in some ways because the emotional impact of watching it doesn’t seem to lessen even when I know its coming the first impression was so strong.
Also - this should not be as pretty as it is - but dang is it pretty.
Plus the swelling glorious music?
This moment right here had me commit 110% to this series. VLD taught me to be wary and hold back but nope - I threw it all away in this exact moment of the story.
I can only imagine Davion’s sheer horror right here. Animation and gurgling VA not pulling any punches.
He’s so PRETTY when he’s dying! Why is he so pretty when he’s dying?
Also I would marry that dragon for the way his voice sounds when he says ‘forgive me little mouse for all the suffering you will now endure.” Which is to say, Imma gonna give Slyrak a LOT of forgiveness and leeway in this season and upcoming ones for just about anything he does all because of this moment of awareness.
And the blur and then fade out at the end as if we’re seeing this through Davion’s dying eyes?
Ugh, right in the chest
And honestly they could have ended that episode right there. Thank God its a binge watch series because I couldn’t have taken having to wait a week or more to see what happens next but - they could have. But they chose not to and I’m pretty onboard with them NOT leaving the first episode on that note. Because I think including Mirana and Marci finding him ties them back into the story at the beginning of the story instead of leaving it until next episode and I think it also assures us that no, the series did NOT just kill off one of its main characters. Which - before Voltron I would have scoffed and gone ‘of course not’ but - these are post-VLD times and I just don’t trust the way I used to. So I needed this at least and I’m glad they included it at the end. Leave us out in the sunshine. With living voices. And Davion alive.
(take a shot)
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