「民なき国の王女」 (Min Naki Kuni no Oujo)
“The Princess Without Subjects”

Episode Impressions

When there was a pre-amble about a princess and her lover, we all knew it was an ominous setup. I guessed wrong – thinking Mirarose was the illicit love child of a Queen and a commoner, whose biological parents were executed by the King once he found out. But the truth turned out to be a lot darker than that. At first, I was worried for Mirarose, thinking she would be no match for the dragon. However, my concerns were quickly dispelled when she proved herself to be more than capable of handling it – demonstrating incredible magic that exceeded what we’ve seen from Elaina, and perhaps from Fran too. This was when I began suspecting there was way more to Mirarose than met the eye.

Then we were hit by the truth bomb. That dragon? He was the former king. And his daughter was a powerful witch who instigated the entire situation to exact her vengeance. Mirarose was the one who fell in love with a commoner, the royal kitchen baker and became pregnant with his child. Unfortunately, the king would have none of it. He had the baker burnt to death and murdered Mirarose’s child the moment it came out of her womb. Was the king a piece of shit? Undoubtedly. What he did was absolutely unforgivable. I feel nothing but sympathy for Mirarose losing her lover and child.

But that doesn’t mean her reaction was justified in any way. Her decision to sacrifice every innocent life in the city was too much – and irrevocably evil. Sure, she wanted the King to comprehend how much pain he put her through. But the way she did it was wicked and beyond twisted. What did the innocent people in the kingdom do, to deserve having a murderous dragon set upon them? How many innocent children, women and men died just so she could satisfy her revenge? They did nothing wrong. And the ending scene was poetry in motion. Mirarose embracing insanity – pretending that her lover is still alive, as she presides over a Kingdom she turned into ashes.

Concluding Thoughts

This episode also continued establishing the precedent that Elaina’s not really one to intervene. To her credit, she almost stepped in when it looked like Mirarose was going to get cooked alive by the dragon. But her pragmatism and caution is understandable. And I can respect how she never pretends otherwise. While I recognise she deserves criticism for leaving people out to dry when she had the potential to change out comes, it’s much more human and realistic for any character to look out for their own interests first and foremost – before proceeding to help out others. I know this kind of character will rub many people the wrong way. I also feel aggrieved by her attitude at times. But it definitely makes for an extremely fascinating viewing experience, because there isn’t this safety net or illusion that she will always save the day using powerful magic, which would cheapen the emotional stakes.

Anyway, that’s about everything I wanted to discuss. As always, thanks for reading this post – and see you all next week to see where else Elaina will travel to next.


  1. Did anyone else get GoT Daenerys vibes in this episode? I’m still not clear on Elaina’s morals and motivations other than her self-preservation. I was bothered by “What do I have to gain from it?” line which betrays selfish interests. It would be interesting to see if she gains compassion as she travels especially as a magic-wielding witch. In this episode however, she was saved from her instincts after not knowing the whole story and in the end, she wasn’t culpable of contributing to the destruction. It’s noteworthy that she is very different from Kino both in terms of her origin story and her reason for travel. For Kino, it was to settle and explore some very basic and profound existential questions where as for Elaina, that doesn’t necessarily seem to be the case.

  2. Elaina’s refusal to get involved is a bit disturbing, but on the other hand, I guess it can make sense in that travelling in a foreign country she wouldn’t want to meddle with something that would get her in over her head. She did help that one time, in the episode with the witch-in training at the inn, when Elaina used magic to clean up the roof tiles the other witch knocked off and provided some magic lessons.

    Princess Usagi
    1. Stuff like cleaning up things is pretty minimal, as far as involvement goes. She’s not putting herself in harm’s way or throwing herself into tricky situations that cannot just be fully resolved by brandishing her wand and casting spells.

      I wonder if we’ll see her develop as a person through the series, or whether it’ll be much the same in terms of remaining uninvolved.

  3. Early on, I kinda figured that the dragon was her father — it seemed too cliché.
    I figured that because the lover was killed by him, so it wasn’t much of a stretch to
    see him punished in that way — either commissioned by or directly by his daugther.

    I also think Elaina behaved quite normally in this episode. If I were in that same
    situation, I would watch from a safe distance too, especially not knowing
    any of the players. I’d probably help with the preparations.

    I think with Kino, I always had a clear vision of her personality, IoWs, it was settled.
    With Elaina, I get the feeling that her personality is still in flux and developing.

    With that, still an interesting and entertaining series and I really want to see what
    things come her way and how she handles them in the future.

  4. What we learnt from this episode about magic is that powerful magic has consequences. Mirarose turned her father into a dragon which consumes the people, she herself loses something in return, which in this case was her memories. While she got her memories back, there was certainly no guarantee she would, and in the end it drove her crazy.

    What i am enjoying the most about the series so far is that, apart from episode 1, all the stories could of and would have still taken place without Elaina.

  5. “But that doesn’t mean her reaction was justified in any way. Her decision to sacrifice every innocent life in the city was too much – and irrevocably evil. ”

    She saw her lover executed after getting tortured and her on baby was killed in who knows what gruesome ways, and it clearly drove her to the point of madness, as seen by that last scene of her. It was blind justifiable rage that drove her, not a choice to do evil.

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