Death was such a RANDOM villain to me. Like what. This is part of the thing that makes me suspect they wrapped up early after the Warren Ellis shitstorm, especially the bit where Alucard has to go “hey so explain the magic knife” afterwards, lol. And like what did it mean for Trevor to win against him? What would’ve happened if he lost - it was made clear Death was an “elemental spirit” without the ability to kill directly, that’s why Death needed Dracula to begin with!
Plus Death’s so freighted, like for DEATH to be the villain… you have to do something with that thematically, right? And there’s stuff that could’ve been done - so much of this season was about people trying to survive and rebuild after their world implodes (the townspeople and villagers, Hector and Isaac, Alucard), the idea that no one is immortal and yet apocalypse can be survived. I was kind of expecting a line from Trevor about how yes, everybody dies, but fighting for survival is still worth it etc etc. It’s trite but it’d hit harder from a show that’s so cynical and shows so much death. But nah.
Though I don’t think Castlevania’s really interested in themes. Like, I don’t think there’s much in the way of overarching themes for the whole series? Like season 3 does plots with power and betrayal, but none of that’s really there in season 2 or really carried forward into season 4 - I know there’s Lenore and Hector’s conversation about power but we don’t see it discussed anywhere else or really brought out as a thread, even when it definitely could be (e.g. Saint-Germain’s betrayal, which goes unremarked-on.)
I did wonder if they were going to do something with Saint-Germain thematically - like Dracula, he’s an example of how “doing anything for love” isn’t necessarily a virtue - and maybe draw that out with Sypha, after Trevor’s much-foreshadowed death, having to decide not to use magic to bring him back, being the heroic counterexample of choosing morals over love. But nah.
And that lack of interest in wider themes isn’t necessarily a flaw, of course. It does feel weird to me, because when you have such a big cast and so many almost totally separate stories, thematic cohesion can help draw things together. Alucard and Hector both finally opening themselves to intimacy and being betrayed is a really obvious example of where that DOES happen, but I feel like the thinking overall’s still very plot/character-y rather than theme-y.
I guess the conversation in the last episode between Lenore and Hector was meant to be doing something with strength vs power, but I’d say for something to be an overarching theme it needs to appear in various different plotlines. The sisters & Hector, and Isaac arguably, have that as a thing, but Alucard and Greta, and Sypha and Trevor? This was originally posted at https://lokifan.dreamwidth.org/384818.html. Comment wherever you like :)