Screenshot of Castlevania
A year and a half later, Netflix's Castlevania is back for a third season. (Image via Google Images)
Screens x
Screenshot of Castlevania

The Netflix dark fantasy anime series finds its factions fracturing under the weight of betrayals.

Castlevania was initially a video game series released back in 1986. Netflix released the television adaptation over 30 years later, in July 2017.

I came across the show in 2018 after it popped up in my suggested tab. It looked interesting and I decided to watch it, only to find massive amounts of bloodshed. I was turned off at first by the amount of gore but continued to watch anyway. By the last episode of Season 1, I had completely engrossed myself in the series, assisted by the intricate way it set up the plot for future seasons.

Getting Into the Plot

Watching Season 1 of the show goes by quickly since there’s only four episodes. They provide background knowledge of the Dracula’s curse and the effects it has on towns and people.

Warning: There are spoilers ahead.

Lisa meets Dracula in 1455 after hunting down his castle and asking to learn the lost knowledge of the past to cure and help others. After some convincing, he agrees. They fall in love and marry. Twenty years later in Wallachia, Lisa is burned at the stake for suspicion of witchcraft. In response, Dracula declares that humanity has one year to make their peace before they all die. After that year is up, Dracula’s monsters plague the capital by murdering the archbishop, burning down the Church and killing any humans that come their way.

As soon as the mass murdering begins, people start to blame families of nobility — especially the Belmonts, a family that specializes in monster hunting. The sole survivor of the family is Trevor Belmont, a nomad alcoholic who doesn’t like to lose any fight.

Throughout the four episodes, the main characters are Trevor and Dracula. Other characters appear, but they are only shown in relation to either of the male leads. It is only on the fourth episode that certain characters become important to the series, like Sypha, Alucard, Isaac and Hector.

Initially, I assumed that Trevor and Dracula were going to have a one-on-one battle against one another; seeing them as the major characters of the series prompts that kind of prediction. However, the fourth episode altered my presumptions after finding out that Alucard is the son of Dracula and Lisa.

Internal and External Conflicts

Having other characters sharing the spotlight with Trevor and Dracula allowed audiences to discern upcoming issues within and outside the castle walls.

“Castlevania” Season 2 leaves off with Trevor forming an alliance with Sypha and Alucard to kill Dracula in order to stop the annihilation of mankind. They search for the Belmont mansion and discover the hidden bunker, full of knowledge about tracking down Dracula’s moving castle.

Within the walls of the castle, however, is where most of conflict arises — including a plot to foment a coup d’état against Dracula.

Second warning: Some more spoilers.

The first episode of the season opens with a flashback of Lisa being arrested at her home. Dracula calls together his war council, stating that Isaac and Hector, humans and forge masters, are leading the battle to exterminate humanity; any orders are to go through them. His decision causes discord amongst the rest of the vampires and has them doubting his ability as a leader.

Carmilla, a vampire of another region, joins the ranks of Dracula’s army. She enters the castle and criticizes the choice of slaughtering all humans over the death of his beloved human wife, or “pet,” as she states in private. Her open criticism furthers the doubts amongst the rest of the council, and plans begin to overthrow Dracula.

Her criticism, however, makes Dracula suspicious. Her ideas will not be taken seriously. Carmilla has no choice but to convince Hector of her opinion on sparing the human population. Hector, who doesn’t like fighting, listens to Carmilla and agrees to make the end happen quicker. His naivety is what causes his downfall.

Isaac isn’t easily swayed by Carmilla. In fact, Dracula confides in him about the uprising against his leadership. Isaac expresses his loyalty to Dracula and his cause, willing to stop anyone from rebelling. He then kills Godbrand, a vampire general, for suggesting that the war needs to continue without Dracula. Isaac’s loyalty is later repaid when Dracula transports him into the desert, away from the oncoming danger.

Instilling multiple conflicts layers the complexity of the series as well as allows the characters to show their personalities and ulterior motives. It gives viewers the ability to connect with them and want to closely follow what comes next.

Season 3: Separate Yet Aligned Conflicts

Most of the characters in this season are on their own journey, dealing with their own conflicts. Sypha and Trevor are on a series of adventures before stopping at Lindenfeld. Alucard isolates himself in his father’s castle until his siblings come to ask for his help. Hector is enslaved to Carmilla. And Isaac works to find his way back and kill Hector, transforming many people into his night creatures along the way.

As each episode progresses, however, each conflict reveals some similarities.

Isaac’s conflict shares themes of inhumane humanity with Sypha and Trevor in Lindenfeld. Hector and Alucard end up trying to trust enemies that, initially, meant to harm them.

Each character has different endings for their individual conflicts. And it’s not all happy.

Predictions for Season 4

Finishing the latest season of “Castlevania,” I realize that there is more to come from the series; these episodes are only scratching the surface of their upcoming dilemmas.

After sealing the portal to Hell at the priory, Judge asks Sypha to burn down his home along with the rest of the town. She and Trevor, before burning it, search his abode to find shoes of children he lured and killed by an apple tree. They leave the town in disgust, venturing onward with the image glued to their minds.

Sumi and Taka seduce Alucard with plans to kill him. But the plan ultimately fails as he kills them with his magical sword. His final scene shows the siblings placed on stakes, similar to something Dracula had done in the past.

Hector is seduced by Lenore and, unexpectedly, becomes enslaved by all the vampire sisters. He screams on the ground, angry that he allowed himself to be tricked once again.

Isaac defeats a powerful magician that enslaves an entire town. His final scene shows him reclining on the steps of a building, admiring the sky.

These endings imply that more is to come. The vampire sisters haven’t taken control of any land yet nor used Hector’s power to help. Alucard is mirroring actions of his father, pushing himself away from humans. Sypha and Trevor are still traveling and unaware of planned attacks on other villages. Isaac still hasn’t met up with Hector to exact his revenge for Dracula.

Nothing is finished yet. Not by a long shot.

Leave a Reply