Back in my review of The Dragon Prince season 1 I said the series had a lot of potential. “A rich world, captivating characters, a beautiful score, and a central conflict that can drive seasons worth of stories.” Now, having finished the third season of the series, I can confidently state that no other show has lived up to the promise inherent in its first few episodes more.
The Dragon Prince season 3 is firing on all cylinders. Every single element of the series has clicked into place perfectly. Every line, every shot, every background, every music cue, everything just works. It’s a joy to watch. All the build up over the past two seasons is paid off in ways you won’t expect but will delight all the same. Plotlines other series would keep as slow burns, The Dragon Prince unleashes with a full fiery passion. This show deploys every weapon in its narrative arsenal for maximum impact. It should all feel overstuffed and rushed but it’s anything but. The pacing is perfect and even with world shattering events going on; the characters arcs are still front and center.
It’s so hard to talk about this season without discussing what happens because so much of the joy is just seeing it all play out. It’s never been harder NOT to talk to fellow fans of the show because I just want to scream, “CAN YOU BELIEVE THEY DID THAT?” That exclamation applies to both the series’ biggest battle scenes and its smallest character interactions.
To borrow some Twitter vernacular, these characters are all SO. GOOD. Seeing how they grow and change over this season brings a warm smile to my face just thinking about it. It feels effortlessly natural, as if the writers were somehow contacted from another world by an oddly hot elf spirit and told to write it all down. I don’t want to downplay their work though; the writers behind this series are at the top of their game.
I’m incredibly impressed at how well the series interweaves comedy into even its bleakest moments. The Dragon Prince has never shied away from darkness but it’s much appreciated that a character like Bait can come in and just make you bust up laughing no matter the situation.
One of show’s biggest strengths, its art, has only gotten better. The backgrounds especially are beyond description and that art book for the series can’t come fast enough. I found myself just staring at the backgrounds during quiet dialogue scenes, comparing them in my mind to some of the best vistas from Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings.
That comparison also came to mind because Season 3 felt like the true television inheritor to the LOTR legacy, just with more jokes. The scale, the depth, the emotions, the music, everything takes on a life that feels bigger than just one marathon viewing session can process. After season 3, The Dragon Prince is a series I can’t wait to watch over and over again. I want to drink in this world. I want to find all the little details I missed. I want to get a copy of every tie-in book.
I liked The Dragon Prince before season three but after? I’m in love with it. I need more. More of the characters. More of the world. More elements to explore. I’d read an entire RPG source book telling me about the history of certain kinds of trees in this world, that’s how much I love it!
If you’ve somehow been waiting to watch The Dragon Prince, do it now. Watch it all. Binge it if that’s your thing, although I think the show would benefit from a slower watch to drink in the details. I know that’s what I’ll be doing soon.
The Dragon Prince no longer has “potential” to be great. It is great and now I’m a devout fan.
Shamus Kelley is a pop culture/television writer and official Power Rangers expert. Follow him on Twitter! He also co-hosts a Robotech podcast, which covers the original series and the new comics. Give it a listen! Read more articles by him here!