For today’s post, I have decided to take a look at a show that often seems to get a lot of derision online from viewers. Fate: The Winx Saga is a show that I honestly truly enjoy! I feel that a lot of the ire the show received from viewers, over both seasons, could be leftover expectations from those that were fans of the cartoon. I also do realize that many people have issues with the representation of the characters since not everyone cast was of the same race as the cartoon character counterparts, and that is something that could have been done better but it is not a reason to not enjoy the show. I think it would have been ideal to have the characters cast based on race, but it may have simply may have been a case of them not finding actors to fill the roles who matched the original races. I am not trying to forgive Netflix for this, as I think they could have done more in this regard, yet I do think we should not obsess over just this one facet. I hope that these statements could give a little context.
Now, I loved the cartoon when I was in my early teens, so I know it was a super fun to watch. That being said, I actually really enjoyed how the show decided to adapt and more importantly make the show more mature in nature. I do realize that the show was canceled after its second season, which is sad as I feel it could have been great to continue. But the end of the show is poignant and leaves itself open for us to choose our own ending so to speak.
I love that the show chose to focus on a greater overarching fantasy and mystery format, instead of going with a more straightforward narrative. This is something that is a benefit of having the show given a mature rating allows for the series to progress in this mystery unfolding fantasy narrative, which the original Winx Club cartoon did not get as much of a chance to do due to being a cartoon that is aimed towards a much younger audience.
The series makes choices to embrace faery lore, commonly found in Celtic tales when building its own mythology. Referring to Bloom as a Changeling is a prime example of this concept. Changelings were often faeries exchanged into the human world as another human baby was taken away into Faery. Calling the Faeryland that Bloom enters to go to school, the Otherworld is once again a reference to Celtic belief. The Otherworld is the name given to many realms of Faery in Celtic belief and is also the name for the Celtic afterlife. In Celtic lore, there is a unique view of the afterlife, in that the Otherworlds are not just realms of the Dead, but also of the Fae, and it is not uncommon for living people to visit this type of afterlife, which is highly uncommon in other views of the afterlife. This message of the Otherworld is more than one simple thing and in fact, being multiple realms is utilized within the mythos of this series in the way they approach different worlds.
The series is truly set up as a coming-of-age story for Bloom as a character. She is more than she realized when coming into the school. All that she knew at first was that she was a fire faery and able to cause fires accidentally in the human world. As the story progresses, Bloom learns that she was connected to the Blood Witches, by being abducted by them. On a side note, having the Blood Witches being opposed to the Faeries is an interesting fantasy species battle (similar to the often used Vampires versus Werewolves trope), and I actually enjoyed having a show with opposing races that was not yet another vampire and werewolf dynamic. I do know that witches were antagonists in the original cartoon, but I truly loved how they went about adapting and darkening the concept here. Beyond the story of the Blood Witches, Bloom learns that she has a very special type of Faery magic not seen in a thousand years, known as the Dragon Flame. This is what allowed her to finally transform and gain her wings at the end of season one, which as faeries had evolved not to be able to use their wings, made her a truly unique individual! In the second season, Bloom is focused on trying to learn more about and hopefully find her parents. She is truly growing into herself by being more self-aware. Bloom grows into the type of person willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to save her friends, her boyfriend, and the whole Otherworld itself! Even though I am sad that we will not be getting a third season to wrap up the series properly, I am actually happy to have the series end with an open-ended scene of Bloom going to another dimension and walking in to meet her mother. I would love to have seen her getting better control of the Dragon Flame in order to be able to return to her friends and reunite with Sky (as I do like them as a couple), but since we did not get that those of us that enjoyed the show can just write our own personal head cannon of what happened!
I know I have written a lot about Bloom and the world-building, not the other characters. That is because to me this show is Bloom’s story of self-growth, and although I really enjoyed the other characters, it is Bloom that is learning and growing and becoming a woman and a true hero. Maybe that is part of the reason people have an issue with this show, the original Winx Club was more of a team effort of a show. This series is as I stated in the beginning, a true coming-of-age story that I really loved seeing. I also have to state that I know some people complained about Beatrix, as she was a combination of three characters (who were witches from a rival school), but I enjoyed her as an antagonistic force, whom you could still understand the motivations. I also was happy that Beatrix became more of an anti-heroine by the end.
I hope that you have enjoyed reading my thoughts on the short-lived series Fate: The Winx Saga. It is far from a perfect show, but it can be a good watch if you enjoy faery lore with a darker edge (as many early faery lore tales do feature). Maybe at the end of the day, what we need to do is enjoy this show for what it is, and enjoy the original lighter cartoon for what it was in its own right. Did you enjoy this series? Am I the only Faery lover out there that thinks it was a fun watch? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
Note on Image: The image at the top of the screen is one of the promotional images for the series. I found it on https://www.netflix.com/title/80220679.
- Fate: The Winx Saga (2021)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-d2T0zVFK0 (This is a video of a YouTuber analyzing this show, while she has some differing opinions to mine, it does highlight some valid points of how it could have been improved. I thought I would include this for anyone interested in other opinions on this series.)