[Netflix] The Dragon Prince Book 2: Sky (Discussion Thread)

Knaight

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I really like the show overall, it's one of my favorites. That said, there are a few major points where I kind of have to tear into it a bit, given the current discussion on dark magic.

The whole framing of the central conflict has serious issues. The great sin of humans is dark magic, which generally doesn't even look that bad, and has almost all been well below eating meat. There's just nothing there, which is already a bit of a problem. Then it gets treated as equivalent to the great sins of the elves, which is ethnic cleansing. That's just not remotely equivalent, and that sets the tone for so much of what goes on. There's the portrayal of humans starting the conflict with the killing of the storm dragon, but said storm dragon was a leader in the ethnic cleansing campaign - I have a real hard time seeing that much of a problem with the assassination. Then there was the dragon that Soren fought, where the tone of the show blames Soren for the conflict, but that's also pretty specious. The dragon just being there was an act of aggression, much the way that having an attack helicopter hover over a town pointing guns at people is, and the moment it got shot at it preferentially burned down civilian buildings instead of ballistae. Yet saving it was presented as the moral thing to do later, and Soren takes the blame for that conflict. Somehow I can't bring myself to blame the person who tries to shoot down the attack helicopter menacing their town for the attack helicopter then enacting reprisals by shooting at civilian housing while under military fire.

The magma giant was really the one exception here, where a human action was at least comparable to elven/dragon actions, and that was done with way more reason than anything we've seen from the elves. Even there though, we have the elves forcing humans onto marginal land, not helping during a famine caused by being on that marginal land using magic we know they have, and just a whole lot of other malfeasance that gets completely ignored; it's the one case where a parallel is at least sort of valid and it gets presented as just the humans being wrong.

The good parts very much outweigh this for me, but it's still not ideal.
 

Quantum Bob

Fear and Loathing
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Claudia's vegetarian and it's probably a big step from sacrificing the souls of caterpillars to sacrificing a bunny or a baby deer. I think the point is that this was significant to Claudia. It'll be interesting to see where she goes from here.
Agreed. Claudia really, really didn't want to kill that deer. But did so anyways.
 

Rainfall

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The whole framing of the central conflict has serious issues. The great sin of humans is dark magic, which generally doesn't even look that bad, and has almost all been well below eating meat. There's just nothing there, which is already a bit of a problem.
I dunno, I find magical elves and their magical animal friends going rather... ballistic when humans start using magical creatures as fuel to be perfectly understandable. Oh sure most dark magic use is rather benign, but it's not a big step to turn dragon eggs into nukes or kidnap someone's cousin to stop an epidemic.

Of course it was a bit of an overreaction, I'm not saying elves and dragons are being the good guys there...
 

LordofArcana

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Harrow's criticism of dark magic isn't that its evil or corrupting but rather that its created more problems for him every time he uses it. Even for the viper his fundamental criticism isn't "this is immoral" it was "You (Viren) are a arrogant hypocrite".

The elves consider it evil, but well, they have a bunch of different motivations for that, from selfish (how dare those humans think they are our equals?) to self-preservation (I am not a material component!).

I'm not convinced that dark Callum was the dark magic being corrupting. If we do take one of those people to be a manifestation of dark magic, why wouldn't they all be? He's definitely in a dark magic coma the entire time. Yet they are all fundamentally supportive of him and when he rejects one of them or can't understand another, the next person addresses his concerns. He wants to be a mage, "he" suggests using more of dark magic. He says he can't accept that and "Harrow" tells him that he is free to make his own destiny. He chooses to learn the sky arcanum and the "blind captain" tells him it. He can't understand it, so his "mother" supports him and rephrases it more clearly for him.

Dark magic clearly isn't safe (it almost killed him) but it does seem sympathetic to him.
 

shikomekidomi

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Yeah, I have to admit that the "Dark Magic is evil" thing never really landed for me. Don't get me wrong - Killing sapient creatures for power is obviously wrong. But that's the "killing sapient creatures" part. That doesn't really work for me for the non-sapient creatures, or using creatures that died of natural causes (Which was clearly an option in the flashback, where they weren't too bothered to find the giant "dead").
Althought, it's worth pointing out that that giant could have been intelligent and a lot of the magical animals in this setting act suspiciously intelligent, so while I'm not convinced I can see some issues.
 

Chucky

Chupa-thingy
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It seems weird to argue dark magic is benign when one of the three humans we see using it owns a butterfly terrarium so he doesn't wonder around looking like a Sith Lord, his daughter just turned a lock of her hair white using the stuff, and Callum put himself in a comma casting one spell.
 

LordofArcana

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It seems weird to argue dark magic is benign when one of the three humans we see using it owns a butterfly terrarium so he doesn't wonder around looking like a Sith Lord, his daughter just turned a lock of her hair white using the stuff, and Callum put himself in a comma casting one spell.
Its hardly benign, it is clearly extremely dangerous and puts the caster's body under extreme stress that can only somewhat be adjusted to with a lot of practice. It almost killed Callum through respiratory arrest.

But, if we are attributing a will to its appearance in Callum's psychodrama, said will appears to be sympathetic to Callum's desires.
 

Rainfall

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It seems weird to argue dark magic is benign when one of the three humans we see using it owns a butterfly terrarium so he doesn't wonder around looking like a Sith Lord, his daughter just turned a lock of her hair white using the stuff, and Callum put himself in a comma casting one spell.
I think people confuse it for the dark side of the Force, which it clearly isn't. The Dark Side requires you to BE evil to work, you need to be in a very dark place to make it work. You need to want to HURT people to draw from it.

Dark magic isn't that. Claudia can use dark magic all day long without ever being angry or even wanting to hurt things. It's amazingly versatile, doesn't require sources or magical places, and you can learn normal magic just fine along with it... It's not faustian, just dangerous.
 

Dave999

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I think people confuse it for the dark side of the Force, which it clearly isn't. The Dark Side requires you to BE evil to work, you need to be in a very dark place to make it work. You need to want to HURT people to draw from it.

Dark magic isn't that. Claudia can use dark magic all day long without ever being angry or even wanting to hurt things. It's amazingly versatile, doesn't require sources or magical places, and you can learn normal magic just fine along with it... It's not faustian, just dangerous.
My general view is elves are bigots and I'm surprisingly on the "bad guys" side in this.

Mind you, maybe it's the fact Claudia looks like a Teenage Lena Luthor or Asami that's influencing me.
 

Qwa'ha Xahn

High King of the Known Worlds
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I think Claudia's gonna stay good. In fact: wild prediction- we'll build and build to Claudia realizing that, "if a deer could fix her brother, imagine what a person could do?". Then, when it seems like she will, maybe even have to, she'll try to power the spell with her own life.

Whether she survives this or not is beyond by power to predict, but I hope she does. I like her and Callum as a pair.
 
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