KARL R. DE MESA shares his theories on what may happen in the show’s new season before its launch this March.
S poiler alert: Dracula is “dead.” Possible spoiler: he might not stay “dead” for long.
In the second season of Netflix’s animated series, “Castlevania,” the vampire lord (voiced by Graham McTavish) appears to have been vanquished through the combined efforts of the show’s monster-slaying protagonists. It happened in “For Love,” the season’s penultimate episode. Dracula’s half-human, half-vampire son, Alucard (James Callis,) the vampire hunter Trevor Belmont (Richard Amritage), and the speaker Sypha Belnades (Alejandra Reynoso,) staked him, beheaded him and burned his remains respectively. As a result, the show’s antagonist disintegrated into an ominous, face-riddled cloud that seemed to declare his demise in grand fashion.
But, if you’re a longtime fan of the franchise, you know not to trust the finality of Dracula’s “death.”
Ever since the first Castlevania game came out in 1986, Dracula has been coming back from the dead to antagonize the human race. Ergo, it’s not unlikely for his current predicament in the animated series to be temporary. But even if he remains out of the picture, it appears that there’s more than enough to keep the series’ protagonists busy—especially when one considers what Netflix recently unleashed.
Last February 15, the company unveiled the official trailer for the show’s 10-episode third season and it suggests that all hell is about to break loose—again. For starters, the clip features Isaac (Adetokumboh M’Cormack,) Dracula’s most loyal henchman; saved from the final battle of season 2 by the vampire himself, the human-hating, self-mutilating forge master appears to be building an army to finish his master’s intended decimation of the human race. And then there’s Carmilla, the ambitious vampire mistress who tried to usurp the series’ dark lord. After capturing and enslaving Dracula’s other forge master, Hector (Theo James,) she is now hatching a scheme to control the humans and treat them like livestock. And finally, there are the night creatures; unleashed by Dracula in season one, a number of them remain in the mortal realm to terrorize the living.
Dracula may dead, so Alucard stated in the nearly two-minute video, but much of the chaos he’s been linked to in the earlier seasons didn’t die with him. In other words, the third season has a lot of ground to cover. And, as longtime followers of the videogame franchise, we’ve made a list of things we hope and expect to see once it airs on March 5, 2020:
THE AFTERMATH OF DRACULA’S DEFEAT
In the aftermath of Dracula’s “death,” the trio of Alucard, Trevor and Sypha was left with plenty of choices as a power vacuum left by the undead king gave the country an initial peace.
Alucard has since taken up residence in Dracula’s castle, brooding on the kinslaying blood on his hands. The castle itself is now above Belmont Hold since Sypha abjured its teleportation magic. Trevor and Syph then agreed to give Alucard access to the Belmont family’s archives so that they could all share in the knowledge of how to defeat the monsters that might try any praxis seizure now that Dracula is out of the picture. After that, the two went off to continue their adventures together into parts unknown.
Will the trio reunite this season? Will someone try to seize control of the Belmont loot just under Dracula’s home turf? Will anyone try to claim Dracula’s castle? Who was Alucard fighting in the trailer?
We hope this gets answered in season three along with another burning question…
THE RESSURECTION OF DRACULA
Is Dracula really dead?
In game canon, we must remember that generations after the first game, Trevor’s kin are still waging war with the undead lord. In “Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest,” the titular character—Trevor’s great-grandson—battled him after collecting his rib, heart, eye, tooth, and nail in mansions and castles scattered across Transylvania. In “Castlevania: Rondo of Blood,” meanwhile, Simon’s 19-year-old descendant, Richter, ventured into Dracula’s castle to rescue his lover and defeat the vampire himself.
While Carmilla might be reluctant to give up her hold on power, it’s a good bet that the necromancer Isaac or even a rebellious Hector might certainly try to bring back the monstrous Tepes to unseat her.
SHAFT AND DEATH
The limits of Isaac and Hector’s necromantic powers remain a mystery as far as the animated series is concerned but if neither of them can bring Dracula back, the show might soon introduce two of his longtime allies to do the job.
The first one is Death; known as the secondary antagonist in various Castlevania games, the grim reaper has been a recurring associate of the vampire who ironically refuses to stay dead. The second one is Shaft. A loyalist of Dracula, the odious priest was once instrumental to the dark lord’s revival in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (arguably one of the franchise’s best games.) Should the show bring him into the fold, he might play that role again. Who knows? He may even be the one goading Isaac to “kill them all” in the season 3 trailer.
If Dracula is indeed dead, then there is a chance that he’s in the netherworld. And if that is the case, at least one recurring character in Castlevania lore could end up making an appearance soon.
We’re talking about Galamoth, the powerful being that wants to govern the place.
As one of the hardest bosses in Symphony and as the unseen catalyst and mortal enemy of Dracula in “Castlevania Judgement,” Galamoth has longstanding ties with the vampire lord. Should the series decide to give Dracula more of a one-on-one challenge in the future, it is possible for it to involve this interdimensional monster who has, on several occasions, tried to steal Dracula’s spotlight.
TREVOR AND SYPHA GET HITCHED
Initially, a reluctant team-up that bickered and argued a lot, Sypha and Trevor eventually bonded throughout their adventures. In game lore, they actually get married, birthing the new, magic-using line of Belmont monster hunters.
The show has already mirrored some events in the game. For instance, Sypha’s entrapment. Prior to “Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse,” Sypha was turned into stone by a Cyclops of Dracula. Like he did in the show, Trevor Belmont defeated the Cyclops that guarded her, freeing her from the curse. After marrying Trevor, she would pass on her bloodline’s power to their progeny including Christopher Belmont and, a few generations later, the man we’d like to see on the show…
Arguably the most recognizable member of the Belmont clan (partly due to him having the largest number of game appearances in the Castlevania franchise,) Simon is the great-grandson of Trevor and Sypha in the traditional game timeline. But, in the “Lords of Shadow” reboot, he is the son of Trevor and Sypha.
In the “LoS” chronology, he survived after his family was slaughtered by Dracula’s minions. Eventually, he was adopted by the barbarians in the wilds of Wallachia and was trained by them before he sought to avenge his family while teaming with the half-vampire Alucard. In the original timeline, meanwhile, he was the protagonist of the first two Castlevania games, the feared hunter who whipped his way to Dracula.
In both timelines, however, he is formidable, gifted with the same magic-using abilities as Sypha and its a capacity complemented by his use of Belmont tools like the Combat Cross and the Vampire Killer whip. Ultimately, he was among the most feared monster slayers in the franchise.
Will we see the birth and coming of age of Simon Belmont in the series? The prospect of finally seeing the iconic whip-wielding monster hunter certainly does put a smile on my fanboy face.
ISAAC RAISES AN ARMY
Isaac was Dracula’s most loyal necromancer and servant. Prior to his master’s death, the devil forge master was sent into the desert in the finale despite his protests. In that sandy oblivion, he encountered and murdered some bandit raiders and resurrected their bodies. The start of a new undead army, perhaps?
If Isaac doesn’t set up plans to find a way to revive his undead master, then he’ll likely continue Dracula’s plans to exterminate all of humanity in Season 3. In game canon, Isaac is also the main villain of “Castlevania: Curse of Darkness” and if the show follows this path, it might lead us to this next possibility…
HECTOR THE ANTIHERO
Why not? In “Curse of Darkness,” it was Hector (and not a Belmont or Alucard) who braves Dracula’s castle. According to the game’s lore, Isaac who resides in Dracula’s castle (after one of the dark lord’s many Belmont-related defeats) orchestrated the death of Hector’s fiancé. This then leads to the two forge masters crossing blades (and familiars) multiple times. In a show that explores various kinds of fighting, it would be interesting to see two summoners duking it out. And it is already likely for that to happen.
In the series, there is already a tense relationship between the two. Isaac, after all, is fiercely loyal to Dracula while Hector–in season 2–was openly questioning his lord’s seemingly mindless rampage. He even went so far as to side with Carmilla before the vampiress captured him and beat him to submission. The trailer shows the regretful forge master in a cage but, who knows? Perhaps we might find him outside it this season, ready to take his revenge.
CARMILLA ASCENDS TO POWER
Dracula’s death has inspired his former vampire general into a greater ambition to become the new force in the power vacuum left by the undead king. She’s already enlisted (read: forced) Dracula’s other forge master Hector under her service and the deadly, beautiful barefoot vampire has vowed not to make the same mistakes that her former master did.
THE HUMANITY IN THE MIDST OF THE INHUMAN
One of the meaningful details in Castlevania is how Dracula, in his private chamber, always had his chair turned away from the entrance.
Towards the end, when Alucard turned the chair around and sat facing that same door, he mirrored his father’s action and a vision of his young self with his mother, Lisa, peeking through the door flashed before him. Alucard and his mom were smiling, happy and content in less complex times.
See Dracula, in his years of destruction, always faced his chair away because he too could remember that image, yet he could no longer bear the thought of imagining his family. So, there he was, with a chair facing away from the door, unconcerned of the catastrophes to come.
It is details like this that serve as the lifeblood of the show. In the midst of all the gore, the monster-slaying, the interesting fight choreographies and the clean animation of the inhuman are commentaries on elements that are all too human. And we hope to see more of that this season as it debuts on Netflix come March 5.