Coming off a strong second season, the Netflix animated series The Dragon Prince is already looking to the future. While the young prince Ezran heads back to the capital (alongside Bait and Corvus) to assume the throne, Callum and Rayla are committed to continuing towards Xadia with the titular Dragon Prince, Zym. But the future looks treacherous for our heroes, with
Series creators Aaron Ehasz and Justin Richmond, along with cast-members Jason Simpson (Lord Viren), Racquel Belmonte (Claudia), and Jesse Inocalla (Soren) were at WonderCon in Anaheim to discuss the recently released season while also teasing the future of the show.
When asked what it was like to first audition for the series, Belmonte said "It was an MP3 audition, from what I recall. And I had an ex-boyfriend record me, and my reference was Phoebe from Friends. And my agent was asking about my comedy experience, and I brought up all my sketch comedy experience. I got a call back, met everyone and it was so cool." Inocalla and Belmonte had worked previously together in other projects. Belmonte explained that "I got [to the first table read] before Racquel and was trying to get comfortable, and when she got there we freaked out... it was great, because we were working together again."
Simpson revealed that he also auditioned for "Runaan, and because I'm a selfish actor, I really wanted the action guy... and I did the audition in an accent." "It was much creepier," Ehasz pointed out. Simpson continued on, "And my agent called and said 'You've booked Viren', and I was glad to just be cast. But I couldn't have asked for a better character to play. As an actor, Viren is a once in a lifetime character to play. He's got so many layers."
When asked about what it was like to have the Dragon Prince fanbase opening up to her online, Belmonte said "it's been chaos in the best way. I love attention, but at first it was really overwhelming... I'm really happy I've opened up my Instagram to the public, so fans can get to know me too. It's so cool, because I'll see people dressing as me, as the character I play. It's very heartwarming to see people care so much about what you do."
The cast records together usually, although Ehasz revealed that "we're usually able to record the main cast in Vancouver, and then we usually pick up Eric Dellums later... Eric also plays Koh the Face-Stealer in Avatar: The Last Airbender. He's tough to get around the country, though. I saw him play Luther Mahoney [on Homicide: Life on the Streets] and he was intimidating and scary, and when we got these intimidating characters, we knew we had to have him." "He was so cool," Simpson added. "It was so exciting to see him cast. To see him and Viren together was almost magical."
When asked about how the show explores different family relationships, Ehasz revealed that "the relationship between Runaan and Callum, I based around the loving but slow relationship I had with my own step-father. There are a lot of family issues that get used commonly, so we wanted to create something that felt different and reflected different situations."
When asked what their favorite parts of the characters they play are, Belmonte said "there's a lot of me in Soren. I like to say Soren is like me, if I was really dumb and really earnest about everything. I love how determined and ambitious he is." Inocalla said "What I love about Claudia is how tied to her family she is. How these two people are so important to her, and how she'll do anything for them. I'm close with my family, so I connect with her on that." Simpson explained "Viren at the beginning of season one is doing all this for his family and his kingdom. Everything I do, I do for my family. And I see that in Viren. Some of that goes astray in season 2... I love his drive. I admire that about the character. I have trouble making decisions, so I really appreciate that."
When asked if there would be any more LGBQT representation in the show, Ehasz said, "I mean, yeah. We don't want to have spoilers or over promise, but we've always said this is a representative world. We've always wanted to explore families with different orientations and relationships."
When asked what inspired Amaya being deaf, Richmond explained that "once we decided Amaya was deaf, we had to do it right. We didn't want to half it. We hired people to make sure it was correct. In animation, you'll trim shots but we had to be careful with her. We wanted a character that was a warrior and really strong, confident, but had something different about her. So making her deaf makes her focus on the battle field and stand out." "We've gotten feedback," Ehasz added, "to make her more authentic. We've heard people using sign language will use lighter gloves to make things clearer. That's something we'll address in season 3. We love this character, and we think this trait compliments her character."
The panel also confirmed that Dragon Prince will in fact be returning for a third season, although they didn't reveal many more details about the upcoming season beyond it being "huge. It's going to be break you in good and bad ways." Although he was coy about it, Ehasz also hinted that Callum will receive an elf disguise in season 3.
Inocalla, Belmonte and Simpson also acted a number of small sketches during the panel, in character and hinting at the awkward touches of the villainous family. In one, Viren tried to give his children the "dark magic" talk, about the birds and the bees and how to kill them to absorb their essence to fuel spells. "We took Dark Magic Ed in school," Claudia tried to explain, but Viren carried on about how they can practice dark magic with themselves. In another sketch, Viren interrupts a vlog hosted by Claudia and Soren and keeps dropping old internet memes, even "Ren-Rolling" them. A final sketch featured Viren being forced to attend a teacher/parent meeting after Soren and Claudia get in trouble at school, and how it takes an announcement for season 3 to get them out of trouble.
Season 2 of The Dragon Prince is now available to stream on Netflix.