A perfect puzzle of key characters from the franchise forming a cohesive story together
The emotional roller coaster and tear jerking moments
Ron Swanson in a Jaeger fighting a Titan Kaiju!
Not enough Pepperjack
The Eye of Agamotto and its ability to retcon a movie’s ending
Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans picks up one year after the events of Wizards: Tales of Arcadia, where our heroes are banded together for their final fight against the Arcane Order, who are bent on hitting the factory reset button on Earth itself.
The Arcane Order are a trio of primordial demigods in Trollhunters mythos who wish to maintain the balance between the mortal and magic world. Given that humankind has far overreached their place on Earth, arguably consuming more than what is necessary in the pursuit of power and economic greed, I don’t actually blame the bad guys in this scenario.
Our main character, Jim Lake Jr, the Trollhunter, starts the movie without any of his powers because he does not have his magical amulet (which by the way, was built by Merlin). He depends on alien tech to fend for himself because of course he’s made allies and friends from another planet (Akiridion-5). Fighting alongside him is his girlfriend and classmate Claire Nuñez a Sorceress specializing in shadow magic.
Their main goal is to keep a former member of the Arcane Order safe together with their friend and ally, Master Wizard Douxie Casperan. They fail spectacularly, mainly because they were no match for two demigods wielding the power of Fire & Ice, and end up at a local police station for wrecking a train.
We fast forward to Camelot, where Jim’s mother, Barbara tells him that she is now engaged to his former principal, Walter Strickler (who is a Changeling who tried to murder Jim in the first series of the franchise). Some of their Alien allies arrive as reinforcements as the group of Trolls, Humans, Aliens, Wizards and Changelings plot on foiling the plans of the arcane order.
Not long after their discussion, things are set in motion which cannot be undone as the Three Titans are unleashed unto the world to wreck untold chaos and destruction! Our heroes split up to go deal with the threats. This is where the story really picks up in terms of action and emotion.
Without getting in to too much detail, the bulk of how our Guardians of Arcadia overcome the impossible threat they face is very much a story of bravery, heroism, sacrifice and ultimately trusting in each other as friends and allies to overcome the odds to save humanity and the world (again, it’s kind of a recurring theme in the franchise).
Trollhunters fans will definitely experience an immense range of emotions watching how our beloved characters have grown from the start of the series until now, the movie truly captures all of them in their “final forms” and maximum potential.
A couple of highlights worth mentioning from the main story would be how Jim eventually earns back his status and powers as the Trollhunter. Archie reunites with his father Charlemagne to kick ass in a Chinese Trollmarket. Steve Palchuck giving birth to his half human, half alien babies with his fellow Creepslayer, Eli Pepperjack, as the implied midwife in that scene. Vervatos Vex piloting a Gun Robot Megasuit to take down a Titan!
And last but not least, major spoiler/rant alert ahead, turn back now if you still want to watch the first three quarters of the movie and enjoy it…
Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans Spoilers Beyond!
The ultimate sacrifice play Toby Domzalski makes is when he drives the magic dampener to aid Jim in his final battle against Bellroc. As he said so himself, providing moral support is a pretty lame superpower, but brave Toby gave up his life so that his best friend could save the world. They’ve been together since the start of the Trollhunters series, and watching his character grow, mature and showcasing the bravery that he did, was an emotional breaking point in the Rise of the Titans.
What happened next absolutely erases all the character development, story, friendships, romance and lore that has so wonderfully been delivered to us for six seasons and one movie. In a bid to rewrite a timeline where his allies are not lost, Jim uses the Timestone (coincidentally also green and was safeguarded inside a spherical relic) to go back to the first scene of the first episode of the whole series with all his memories intact, just to recreate a different sequence of events.
And just like that, six seasons worth of storytelling, amazing plots, interesting characters and their development, villains and their redemptions were all wiped out. I get it, losing your best friend who has stuck by you and fought alongside you against mythical creatures and otherworldly threats hurts, a lot. But Toby made his choice, he died a hero, possibly one of the greatest of them all in this story and to take that away from us after a magnificent story was absolute robbery.
It feels like the writers were back in primary or secondary school and they ended their composition with the main character waking up and everything that had happened was just a dream. A truly bleak way to end an otherwise amazingly rich franchise.
For those of you who have stayed with me up until this point, please do go and watch the full Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia series and it’s movie which is available on Netflix, because despite the ending, the journey was definitely worth the time.
Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans is up on Netflix now!