One major factor that made Netflix’s Castlevania animated series click among audiences was the detailed world-building centered on gothic trappings that replicated the original game series’ scope and settings perfectly. Through four seasons, viewers got to familiarize themselves with the expansive world, explore a number of character arcs, and indulge in speculation, as the series opened such a vista of phantasmagoria that even after ending, it left numerous possible waypoints for further exploration.
The follow-up series titled Castlevania: Nocturne, which is streaming on Netflix, takes the lore into the late eighteenth century, during the late phases of the Age of Enlightenment. An era marked by extreme antithetical aspects as, on the one hand, reason and revolution prevailed over the western world, but at the same time, the horrors of colonization were getting into full swing as well. Centered in such a tumultuous period, Castlevania: Nocturne introduces viewers to the socio-political intricacies marked by vampires meddling in the drudgeries of humans in order to gain absolute control, and this opens the multitude of possibilities to build upon in subsequent seasons. After the eventful finale of the first season, the series will also go back to Wallachian roots, once again hinting at bigger things to come in upcoming installments. We would like to briefly discuss the possibilities that the series is likely to explore in the future.
Bethory’s Reign Of Terror
Castlevania: Nocturne established the evil incarnate, countess Erzsebet Bethory, as the big bad of the series, taking inspiration from her real-world counterpart, the alleged serial killer, Elizabeth Bathory. The series puts a supernatural spin on the character, making her the Egyptian goddess of war, Sekhmet, having not only the usual nosferatu-related powers but also high levels of reality manipulation abilities. In the season finale, Erzsebet uses her reality-warping powers to hide the sun, creating eternal darkness that will inevitably turn Earth into the playground of the undead in the future.
It has also been revealed that her grand plan is to put the vampires in a central position of power and bring in the old world model of monarchy, slavery, and deplorable social hierarchy to forever suppress humans as her subjects. The scale of her plan is global, as after taking control of Russia, she has aimed to dominate France and the rest of Europe and has already set her sights on seizing control of the newly independent USA. To manifest her evil schemes, she has the transformation machine at her disposal as well, which turns human corpses into the Night creatures, hordes of which will raze the earth on her command. It will be intriguing to see her plan unfold in the following seasons, which hopefully will bring in more world mythological elements into the narrative at the same time.
Alucard And His Role In The Series
One of the major highlights of the season finale of Castlevania: Nocturne was the arrival of the most iconic character of the franchise, Alucard, the son of Dracula Vlad Tepes. In the original Castlevania series, viewers learned about the origin of the character as the son of master vampire Dracula and human Dr. Lisa, and Alucard eventually stood up against the tyranny of his father by joining ranks with his friends Trevor Belmont and Sypha. At the end, Dracula accepted death at the hands of his son and was reunited with his beloved wife in hell. Subsequently, Alucard fell into a depressed state, and after the departure of his friends, he gradually meandered into further isolation. Eventually, Alucard found company in the human community he decided to protect, and centuries passed since the events of Castlevania, and his inclusion in the ranks of the vampire hunters will be a major game changer. With Bethory’s world dominance plan already in effect, the hunters will need as much help as they can get, and the assistance of the son of Dracula is going to be pivotal in that regard.
Fate Of Tera and Role Of the Church
In a diabolical yet befitting twist in the series lore, the church is presented as the abode of unholy forces. As abbot of Machecoul, Father Emmanuel decides to assist the cause of Bethory by becoming a forgemaster himself and presenting her as the saint of a new age. As for his reasoning, he justifies all the heinous acts he partakes in for Bethory as an act to uphold God’s faith. With the advent of scientific and technological advancement, the late 18th century saw humanity go through a loss of faith, and the spirit of revolution decreased the importance of the church manifold. Therefore, pathetic, desperate, deplorable men like Emmanuel tried to hold on to the last vestiges of the waning faith by adopting unthinkable measures—even if that meant bedding with the devil. It is actually in conjunction with how churches operated throughout, from barbaric practices in the Middle Ages to marginalizing colonized native peoples and abusing power by preying on the weak and vulnerable—the institution was already becoming the devil’s workshop; Nocturne only introduced it in a literal manner.
How far Emmanuel was driven in his misguided pursuit of protecting his faith is shown when he even agreed to sacrifice his daughter, Maria, to Bethory to pledge his allegiance to her—a crooked retelling of Abraham’s sacrifice of his son Isaac to God. Bethory revealed her plan to turn Maria into a vampire, which prompted Tera to sacrifice herself in exchange for her daughter’s life. Tera knows the extent of Bethory’s brutality, as her sister, whom she had to kill herself at the end, was turned into a bloodsucking monster by her, and she doesn’t want the same fate to befall her daughter as well. By surrendering herself to Bethory, Tera turns into a vampire, and this will definitely create troublesome emotional conflict for Richter, Maria, and Annette when they face her in the future. From this point onwards, the church’s role in the narrative will be even more significant, as it remains to be seen whether Emmanuel will plunge further into darkness, allow Bethory to turn the religious order into occult governance, or finally take up a stand against her.
Aside from the aforementioned central plotline possibilities, the future of Annette and Edouard, their political condition, and Olrox’s background as an Aztec vampire are some of the additional narrative threads that will surely be explored in the next season. Along with the established Castlevania game series lore, there is a vast area to move towards from this point, and hopefully makers will utilize the full potential of the source to do so.