'The Dragon Prince' Co-creators Talk Season 2, Animation, and Character-led Storytelling

The second season of the animated hit The Dragon Prince is set to debut tomorrow, February 15th, and the first season left Callum, Ezran, and Rayla on a cliffhanger of sorts after the sudden birth of the eponymous “dragon prince,” Zym.

Fans were left at that, however. A recently released trailer for the second season offered some answers, but many more remain. Like, for example, where does the second season pick up exactly? Is the animation actually any better? And what about that mysterious video game that’s in development?

To answer these questions and more, ComicBook.com spoke with The Dragon Prince co-creators Aaron Ehasz and Justin Richmond ahead of the second season’s release.

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(Photo: Netflix)

ComicBook.com: The Dragon Prince Season One leaves off on a pretty serious cliffhanger of sorts. You know, we just get the dragon prince himself. Where does this new season find the cast?

Justin Richmond: Very shortly after Season Pne, I mean it's almost contiguous, right? They're very, very close together.

Aaron Ehasz: For one thing, sometimes we used to joke about similarities to Lord of the Rings. We would joke that the show was Dragon Prince: Fellowship of the Egg. So, obviously, at the beginning of Season Two, it's become The Dragon Prince: Fellowship of the Baby Dragon now. So, that's a big change.

They've got -- instead of this egg that is so symbolic of change, that egg is now horrible, hyper, incredibly powerful, little [dragon]. So, that's generally speaking. And then in terms of kind of integral characters, we have Callum, who has lost his identity, found kind of a path forward for himself dependent on this very powerful artifact, which he has smashed and sacrificed. So, Callum is kind of left not sure where his identity is and how to react. So, I think he's susceptible to temptations, he's gonna be really struggling with things.

Ezran has been away from home for the first time. Obviously, neither of the princes know what transpired at home. So, the question of what will happen when they, or if, they find out. Rayla also has secrets so, she's kind of come to care about these princes and form this unlikely friendship with humans, but she's carrying a secret that could devastate that. There's a lot to unfold in the new season.

Y'all have talked about how expansive the world of The Dragon Prince is previously, and how much you've thought about its history. How much of that is set in stone as you work on a new season like this, and how much changes as you figure out where things are going?

Richmond: I think we have an idea, we're always thinking about stuff way, way in advance. We know exactly where we're going. But, there's definitely room for pitches and stuff that the right [inaudible] along the way. So, we're kind of open to ideas and different cuts and stuff that people are bringing in. You know it totally depends. I think we had ideas that ended up not making it into what we have in there, there's stuff that we reshape, while other stuff stays fairly consistent.

Ehasz: With that said, we are character led, meaning we figure out the story and when we get to that moment in the story, with the characters, and the character said, "You know what? I'm going to do this." We go, "Oh no, is that what they would do, now what's gonna happen?" We follow that. There’s a great example at the end of season two where that happened, one of the characters told us, "No, I'm going somewhere different," and we let them go there, because we just let them lead us.

So, I do have to ask, one pain point in Season One for some folks was the animation, has anything changed for this season, and if so, what?

Richmond: Sure so, there's some multiple percent of people that were bothered by sort of the "poppiness," I would say--

Ehasz: A small, but significant group of people.

Richmond: Yeah, so we took that to heart, and said, "Well, what can we do that will improve that experience for people, and so, we kept the stylistic [basics] of what we're shooting for -- it still is a look that we're going for, but, we think [it’s better now] so we worked with Bardel [Entertainment], and they did an amazing job of identifying places where we could fix that problem, and so I think in Season Two it's a noticeable difference in terms of how smooth some of it is. And I think overall, just in general, the whole production, because we knew how to make the show, that leveled up, also. It's not just animation, but like everything is cooler and better looking and all that stuff.

Can you tell us anything about the mysterious The Dragon Prince video game?

Richmond: I mean it's still very early days, we are building it in shop, we have an amazing team of developers; it’s cross platform. It's gonna be a deeper dive into the world of Xadia. It's gonna be its own thing. It's not just like a copy of the show or anything like that. We're going to introduce characters and areas of the world and place that may be exclusive to the game. Right? It will be a place where you’ll be able to play as people that you love from the show, and meet all those characters again.

Also there’s going to be all kinds of new stuff that's only gonna be available on the game, so it's gonna be a real way for people to interact in sort of multiple fashions, places we can only touch on in the show, but it will be a much deeper dive in the game. We're just not really talking about exactly game type or anything like that yet. But in general, this is a way to find out more about heroes and characters and stuff like that.

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The Dragon Prince Season Two is scheduled to release on Netflix on February 15th. The synopsis for the second season is as follows:

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“The nine-episode second season follows Rayla, Callum and Ezran as they continue their adventure to Xadia. But the journey won’t be easy: every step of the way, they’ll be challenged by new foes and old friends alike. They’ll struggle with trust and betrayal, face down vicious dragons, and be tempted by the lure of dark magic, all while protecting the newly-hatched Dragon Prince, Zym.”

This interview was edited for length and clarity.