Castlevania Season 3 was huge. Not only was it the longest season of the series so far, but it also told four stories at once. It shifted the narrative between a sequestered and depressed Alucard, Isaac on a journey of revenge, Hector being manipulated into a servant of the Court of Styria, and finally, Trevor and Sypha confronting evil priests in a sinister town who were looking to bring Dracula back from the dead.
We saw large battles and some of the most detailed and extensive animation the series has offered yet. We also had character moments driven by intimacy, fear, and love that added depth to Castlevania’s dark fantasy world.
But with all that it did, Castlevania Season 3 was only a stepping stone for the series. While Season 1 built up the confrontation with Dracula, Season 2 rewarded audiences with a battle that led to the deaths of vampire leads and the Count himself. If the build-up and pay-off across seasons hold, then Season 3 was just the start of a story that promises to become even more violent. And it carries the weight of tying up the multitude of storylines that the series has evolved into.
Simply put, Castlevania Season 4 has a lot riding on its shoulders as the “final” season. And if the series’ track record is to be believed, it’s only going to get better. To do so, it’ll have to succeed in a few different ways.
First, we’re going to have to see character relationships set up over the past three seasons come to fruition.
Now, this doesn’t mean happy endings, but it does mean substantial ones, starting with the forgemasters. We’ll have to see Hector adapt to his new life as a forgemaster, beholden to the court of Styria. Completely broken down by Lenore’s plot for his love and obedience, our resident sad boi’s arc can’t only be to blindly bend to the court’s will. But his magical ring may make that difficult. Then, we’ll have to see if Isaac has taken the Captain’s words to heart. Now that he’s shown how capable his army is, the larger question posed by the Season 4 trailer is: what does his conquest look like? And more importantly, where does it fall in line with his revenge?
Second, we have Alucard, our gentle king who was pushed into violence and embraced his father’s tactics at the end of Season 3.
Having seemingly given up on humans and hope, where will his story go? If the trailers are to be believed (We all know they’re tricky things.), he’s finally in his Ayami Kijima armor equipped with a sword and board and ready to fight. This stands to be the most fighting we’ve seen from the fan-favorite in three seasons. And I, for one, am ready for it.
Beyond Alucard’s violence, I’m awaiting what the writers have in store for his reunion with Trevor and Sypha. There is no future in which it doesn’t happen, but all three have changed, not just in power but perspective. With Alucard coming out of his lowest moment, how will he take to his old friends? You know, the ones he’s missed enough to make dolls of them?
To round out the characters, Season 4 is going to have to add more context around Trevor and Sypha.
While we’ve only seen them in one moment of their relationship, what does it look like now? And how does it survive the tests thrown at them? With a somber realization that they’ve been living in Trevor’s story — a euphemism for absolute Hell — is happiness even obtainable? While romance isn’t necessarily what Castlevania fans come to the series for, the showrunners have let the Trevor/Sypha ship sail. To end that story, the writers need to not forget it.
While character arcs were the big focus for Season 3, Castlevania Season 4 is sure to offer more battles than we’ve seen before.
According to this But Why Tho? interview with Sam and Adam Deats, the penultimate episode and finale of Season 3 was nothing compared to what we can expect in terms of action sequences for Season 4. This leaves me excited because there is a group we have yet to see fight — the Vampires of Styria. While we know that Striga is a general, we haven’t seen her outside of her moments of romance with Morana.
Additionally, while Carmilla’s brutality and strength are briefly noted in Season 2, we get little of her in the way of action in Season 3. With war brewing and Hector under their control, we’ll get the chance to see the vampire women of Castlevania let loose in Season 4. Hopefully, they’ll do more than just hold their own.
Having produced nothing but hits, I find it hard to believe that Powerhouse will fumble the bag. But we have to ask, will this season meet expectations? The weight of being a “final” season is heavy, but if we get answers to our character questions and battle-filled payoff for all the setup that happened last season, Castlevania Season 4 is sure to send fans off on a high note. Thankfully, there are only two more sleeps until we get our answer.
Castlevania Season 4 arrives exclusively on Netflix on May 13, 2021.
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