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An Empty Throne is the fifth episode of The Dragon Prince and fifth chapter of the first book, "Moon".

Callum struggles to control his magic, General Amaya clashes with Lord Viren, and a trip down the river takes a hair-raising turn.

Plot

In a dark room, Viren activates a bookshelf that hides colorful butterflies called Sunray Monarchs. Using dark magic, he selects a single Sunray Monarch and emerges from the room relieved, while the butterfly he used lies lifeless.

Callum experiments with the cube, where each symbol glows depending on what Primal Source the creature is associated with, but Rayla is unconvinced of it being useful. Rayla wanders the woods to look for some food, but secretly attempts to remove the white ribbon, which is still bound to her, with her blade. However, the ribbon remains undamaged. Callum suddenly shouts for help, prompting Rayla to hurriedly return. She finds that Callum is testing Claudia's lightning spell on his own but does not remember the last Ancient Draconic word to finish the spell, so a burst of lightning remains stuck to his hand. With Rayla unable to recall the words either, Callum instead tosses the Primal Stone to her and fortunately, the spell dissipates, but the lightning temporarily causes all of Rayla's hair to stand on end. Afterward, Rayla resumes the journey to Xadia on foot, but Callum insists taking the boat will be much faster. Rayla reluctantly agrees, just to disprove to the princes that she hates water.

Viren enters the throne room where he is approached by General Amaya and Gren. Amaya calls him out for failing to protect King Harrow, of which he deflects blame on Harrow's stubborn nature preventing Viren from saving his life. Amaya accuses Viren of plotting to usurp the throne after Harrow's death, which Viren strongly denies. She asks that Viren honor the late king by helping the search for the missing princes. Viren believes it would be a waste of time since the princes may eventually be killed and he is only committed to helping Katolis and the other Human Kingdoms in the war against Xadia. Amaya remains unconvinced, so Viren lends his full support for Amaya to act as Queen regent of Katolis and even the offer to gather the support of the High Council and the rulers of the Pentarchy. Amaya refuses to take the throne and firmly makes it clear to Viren that Katolis remains leaderless until the princes are found, prompting the dark mage to storm out of the throne room in frustration.

Meanwhile, Rayla becomes seasick as they calmly travel downstream. To make Rayla feel better, Callum asks her five questions. Callum's first questions are for Rayla to describe what is it like to live in Xadia and surrounded by magic, which Rayla is slightly happy in answering. But when Callum asks Rayla about her parents, she answers coldly that they are deceased. Their discussion abruptly ends when they realize that their boat is about to fall down a waterfall and enter fast rapids, which causes Rayla to finally confess her fear of water and begs to pull the boat over to the shore. But Callum sees that it is too late and asks Rayla to hold tight as the boat begins its plunge.

Amaya pays a visit to her late sister, Harrow's wife Sarai, at her burial site. Gren remains at a distance as Amaya delivers her message to her dead sister. Shortly after, Viren joins Amaya in peaceful grieving for Sarai as well. Afterward, Amaya and Viren both reminisce their days with Sarai. Viren then apologizes for his behavior in the throne room and believes Amaya made him realize that the top priority is to find the princes. Amaya still has doubts but is glad Viren finally understands. Amaya prepares to leave to gather a search party, but Viren interjects that Amaya's prolonged absence from command of the Breach (the fortified human border at Xadia) will eventually lead their enemies surging to the five Human Kingdoms, so Viren suggests that Amaya returns while Viren himself assembles the search party for the princes and to ward off any doubts, Viren intends to have Soren and Claudia join the task force. Amaya still doubts Viren's intentions but accepts returning to the Breach on the condition that it will not be his children leading the search party, but Amaya's translator and trusted lieutenant, Gren, to be the commander.

Callum, Ezran, and Rayla finally make it to a calm area of the river after enduring the rapids. They momentarily left Bait in the water, but he manages to quickly swim for the boat before being eaten. After retrieving Bait, the Ocean rune of the cube begins to glow strangely. They realize too late that the cube was detecting a large river monster that tosses all of them off their boat. The princes and Bait remain in the river while Rayla is thrown to the shore. Rayla notices that Bait is targeted for food while Callum and Ezran remain unaware. She reluctantly decides to go back to the river and save Bait from the monster. During the encounter, the monster pushes Ezran and Callum back to land while Rayla and Bait struggle to escape the river monster's attacks. Callum plans to use the lightning spell again and shouts to Rayla to jump. Callum then presses his palm carrying the lightning at the river where it electrocutes the monster, saving Rayla and Bait but also killing some fish in the process.

Amaya briefs her soldiers that she had sent word to Corvus, her elite tracker, of Harrow's passing, and that Viren was not to know that he is tracking the princes. She asks her soldiers to not trust Viren and remain vigilant as Amaya believes he will betray them. Before parting, Amaya entrusts Gren command over the search and safety of the princes. Amaya reminds Viren that she be fully notified of events about the search for the princes. The moment Amaya and her forces leave the castle, Viren and Soren inform Gren that he has been relieved of command and that Soren will take charge. Gren recalls Amaya's orders, so Viren asks Gren to meet up with him later for a "private" meeting to discuss further concerns.

Callum and Ezran express their gratitude to Rayla in her bravery for rescuing Bait despite her fear of water. They ask Rayla why she did not open up her fear of water. Rayla reveals that it is a tradition for Moonshadow Elves to not show any kind of fear whatsoever, leading her to admit that her parents are still alive but that she wishes they were dead. Rayla's parents were among the eight chosen elves chosen to be the guardians of the egg of the Dragon Prince known as the Dragonguard. But during the humans' attack against the King of the Dragons, Rayla reveals her parents committed cowardice by running away. Ashamed for what they did, Rayla vowed to redeem her family by returning the egg to Xadia. Callum and Ezran express their support for her quest for redemption. Meanwhile, they notice that their rowboat is still intact but Callum kicks it away, for which Rayla is thankful. Callum then asks about the purpose of Rayla's wrist ribbon, to which she casually puts it off as just decor, as she feels the ribbon growing tighter. The group continues the journey to Xadia on foot.

Though five minutes late, Viren finally meets with Gren, who is then imprisoned in the dungeon. Claudia then raises concerns about their other prisoner to Viren. The two inspect the cell to find a chained Runaan still refusing to eat, so Viren tells Claudia to let him starve if he wishes. Claudia shuts the elf's cell door, as Runaan's left arm is showing signs of being squeezed by the continued tightening of his white ribbon.

Cast

Trivia

  • Ezran telling Bait to froggy paddle is a reference to the simple swimming style of the doggy paddle.
  • When Amaya was arguing with Viren about him letting King Harrow's demise happen, she was partially right. If the death of the Dragon King and Viren stealing the egg of the Dragon Prince had not happened, then there would have been a chance that King Harrow would still be alive, as it started with him pushing Harrow to seek revenge.[1]
  • According to Rayla, since Storm Dragons lay an egg once every 1000 years, they are an even rarer subspecies of the already rare dragons.
  • The Valley of Graves was inspired by the Valley of Kings in Egypt, with memorials carved from the stone the canyon itself.[2]

Credits

  • Rayla can be seen as a child, afraid to swim inside a bathtub, which is a reference to her incapability to swim in the current day.
  • Sarai's statue is shown covered in snow, which suggests it was pictured soon after Avizandum's death, as he was killed to avenge her death on "the eve of last winter's turn".

ASL Translation

References

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