Tears to Tiara – 15
After experiencing another vision involving the little girl, with this one showing a time when Arawn departed, Riannon finds Arawn outside by himself. He tries to give back the scarf because he can’t promise her anything, but she refuses to take it and asserts that she wants to stay at his side. The next day, the group sets out to attack the Empire’s gathering forces, but they get stuck inside a dark forest, and Rathty and Llyr feel weaker because of what Ogam identifies as the strength sapping magic. When they reach a clearing, their escape route suddenly gets cut off, and a bunch of undead emerge from the swamp. Although there’s some initial hesitation to fight what have turned out to be reanimated corpses of their former friends, Arawn and company have no choice but to do so, however the undead refuse to stay down. Ogam proposes using his magic, but Arawn wants to save it and instead wants to try using a certain magic himself. With the others covering him, he initiates a powerful spell that instantly wipes out all of the undead with a beam of light from the sky.
Since everyone is shocked at what Arawn just did, Ogam explains that it was a holy spell of pure white power. The side-effect of this magic is that it also turns Arawn and his clothes white, and it also triggers a flashback in Arthur of when his father was killed. The person who killed Arthur’s father had claimed to be Arawn and had challenged Arthur to come kill him if he hated him. Driven by this hatred, Arthur now accuses Arawn of killing his father, and he points his sword at Arawn even as Riannon tries to protect him. Not listening to his sister’s pleas, Arthur charges forward, but Arawn gets between him and Riannon and takes the sword in the gut. Regaining his senses only after it’s over, Arthur realizes what he’s done, but it’s too late. Arawn doesn’t blame Arthur though and instead says that he believes in him before he collapses. Sometime later, Gaius hears about what happened, and his spies report that Arthur ran away and that Arawn escaped death but can’t fight, so Gaius gets ready to attack.
So for a few minutes this episode, they really, really surprised me and made me think that they were actually killing off the main character. That’s the kind of gutsy plot twist that I’d love to see a series try, and everything here was setting up perfectly for that scenario. But then, right before the episode ends, we find out that no, Arawn really isn’t dead (Gaius apparently has some amazing spies), so it was all for naught, and I have to admit to being a little disappointed. After all that – which even included a slow motion collapse – the least they could have done was to pretend that he was dead as a cliffhanger and saved the Gaius stuff for next episode – that would have been a much stronger way to end the episode.
Still, this was a major step forward in the plot, and it looks like Arawn really was an angel. However, it doesn’t seem to me like the person who killed Arthur’s father was actually Arawn, despite that person saying so. I could see it all being a plot to frame Arawn by the mysterious guy who keeps being briefly shown. On the other hand, Arawn didn’t deny doing it, and he called his past self an ignorant lamb, so maybe it was him. Regardless, Arthur’s drive to kill him soured me on Arthur again because he’s an idiot (even though I suspect something was influencing his actions). Someone should have just knocked him out when he showed that he was about to do something reckless. In any case, it feels like we’re at the really juicy parts of the story now, so I’m excited to see what happens and if there are any surprises in the battle next episode.