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Ahhh, how long I have waited to hear the sound of another's voice.
~ Aaravos speaking to Lord Viren.
Your arrogance is so predictable. You allowed my vessel to walk right into your court, and then you brought him directly... to the source of all your power? [Laughs] Oh, the irony is wonderful!
~ Aaravos to the Sunfire Queen Khessa.

Aaravos is the overarching antagonist of the 2018 Netflix fantasy animated series The Dragon Prince.  

He is an ancient and powerful Startouch Elf who wished to give magic to humans in an attempt to have them be on par with, if not surpass the elves in terms of mystic power. Initially, he served as a mentor of sorts to Lord Viren, but events are shaping him into a much greater threat.

He is voiced by Erik Todd Dellums who has also voiced Koh in Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Biography

Pre-Story

Very little is known about Aaravos' personal past. He is roughly 5,000 years ago, having lived during the age of the First Elves. At some point in his life, he was able to obtain mastery over the six Primal Sources of Magic, thus becoming an "Archmage". He also came to possess a cube with symbols of the Primal Sources on each side said to be the key to unlocking great power in Xadia which would one day be called the Key of Aaravos. Not long after, he would soon become a master (if not the original discoverer) of the life-draining Dark Magic, a taboo power he would share with humanity, resulting in humanity's banishment, and possibly his imprisonment and erasure from all historical texts. 

Book 2: Sky

Three centuries later, Aaravos would play a major role in Viren's warmongering against Xadia. After summoning a caterpillar-like familiar into the physical world, he would use it to guide Viren into swaying the other human kingdoms to his side.

Book 3: Sun

After Viren rallies his forces to march onto Xadia, Aaravos continues to aid and guide him down his path of conquest, leading them to the Sunfire Elf city. It is there that Aaravos kills their queen and takes their greatest power, the Sunfire Forge, for themselves.

After Viren's brush with death and failed attempt to harvest the Dragon Prince's essence at Storm Spire Mountain, Aaravos's caterpillar spins a cocoon and metamorphoses into something else.

Physical Appearance

Aaravos is a tall, slender male Startouch Elf who has pure white flowing hair, deep purple horns, yellow eyes with black sclera, and skin ranging from purple to dark blue to black with white stars dotted all over. He wears robes of similar coloration to his skin, with a splash of blue-green thrown in. When introduced, he wore a dark magenta hood that obscured the upper half of his face.

Powers and Abilities

Aravaros is arguably the most powerful being in the series canon, having mastered the six Primal Magics, seven if one were to count Dark Magic.

Aaravos is an exceptionally skilled manipulator and strategist, as he is able to earn the trust and loyalty of Lord Viren (an extremely sharp-minded individual himself), helps the latter orchestrate a war with Xadia, and pulls a sly and carefully planned trick on the Sunfire Elf Queen, anticipating her every decision with complete accuracy.

Like other Startouch elves, he is extremely long lived, as he is roughly 5,000 years old at the time he is introduced.

Personality and traits

Aaravos is mysterious and secretive, but also charming and charismatic. He is usually rather casual in his body language and mannerisms, and hardly ever loses his temper or raises his voice. He remains completely calm even when Viren threatened to smash his mirror and when he disintegrates the Sunfire Elf queen. He is also somewhat smug, as he speaks to Viren as if he were a child.

Aaravos is an exceptionally intelligent, cunning, and manipulative individual. Prime examples of this, are him earning the trust and loyalty of Lord Viren (who is an extremely intelligent and cunning individual in his own right), and his trick on the Sunfire Elves, anticipating their every decision with complete accuracy. He also knows when to back down from a fight that cannot be won, shown when he stopped Viren from trying to fight a group of archers which surrounded him. However, Aaravos is not incapable of making mistakes, as he failed to anticipate that Rayla would be brave enough to sacrifice herself to save the Dragon Prince by throwing herself and Viren off the Storm Spire.

According to auxiliary material, Aaravos may have held a soft spot for humanity, as it is implied he taught them the ways of Dark Magic so they could hold their own against, if not exceed the elves. Whether he still does or not remains to be seen.

So far it is not made clear what Aaravos's true personal goals are, or whether or not he is truly or completely evil. The series' creators have stated he is a complex character, and that he was erased from history because he was disliked, not necessarily because he was evil. However, he has shown signs of arrogance, sadism and ruthlessness. For example, he states that individuals who cannot be reasoned are simple animals who deserve to be motivated by fear, and encourages Viren to use such to against those who reject him. He also encourages Viren to drain the essence of an innocent dragonling, and whispered to Khessa about how her grandmother Aditi died before killing her too. Aaravos is also capable of holding a grudge, as shown by his hatred of Avizandum for imprisoning him, a hatred that remains even after almost 300 years.

Trivia

  • Aaravos may have been responsible for Aditi's death. However, this hasn't been confirmed or disproven.
  • Aaravos is believed by many fans to be the mysterious "great one" who personally handed Ziard his staff (which would later be passed on to Viren), though this is unconfirmed.
  • According to the Art of the Dragon Prince, Aaravos is a "fallen" Startouch Elf and because of this, can only access a fraction of his former power. It also stated that he is the only member of his race that has ever been encountered by humans, and that he has many names, among which were "the last of the great ones" and "the bearer of gifts", further strengthening the fan theory of him being the one who gave Ziard his staff.
  • There is a popular fan theory that Aaravos is Callum's biological father. However, this has yet to be confirmed.
  • Aaravos is the narrator of the first episode's opening sequence, where he incorrectly said that the Egg of the Dragon Prince was destroyed by humans as it revealed to still be alive in episode 2 of Book One. He is also the narrator of episode one of Book three's opening for a brief amount of time and the narrator of the first novel's prologue as it was signed by him. However, he also incorrectly claimed that humans hunted unicorns to extinction as Viren said that Claudia captured a unicorn in episode six of Book Three and unicorns are almost impossible to hunt and are too powerful and cunning to be hunted, according to a tome page from the Art of the Dragon Prince.
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