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Lord Viren (also simply known as Viren) is one of the main antagonists of the hit Netflix series The Dragon Prince. He is the High Mage of Katolis, an adviser of King Harrow, and is an expert of dark magic. Knowing that any problem is solvable, he saved kingdoms from threats multiple times, and has a good vision for the future of humanity, something he goes out of his way to get.
He is voiced by Jason Simpson.
Not much is known about his personal past, but somewhere along the line, he obtained Ziard's staff, another Dark Mage who was killed before the events of The Dragon Prince. Some time before the events of the story, the Kingdom of Duren was threatened with a famine that would wipe out countless lives across the land in the coming winter, prompting Queen Annika and Queen Neha to seek the aid of its neighbor and Viren's homeland, Katolis. Out of duty and nobility, King Harrow offered to share Katolis' food supply at the expense that half of Duren's people and half of Katolis' people would starve. It was then that Viren offered an alternative: using a dark magic spell that would allow both kingdoms to be warm and fertile enough for the crops to flourish. Harrow declined, however, knowing that dark magic always has a price to pay and that they would pay it eventually. But in time, Harrow and his wife Sarai accepted his offer. Thus, with the queens aiding them, they sought the missing ingredient to Viren's spell: the heart of a Magma Titan.
The search for the titan lead the team into Xadia, the only place where it can be found. The battle against the creature was hard fought, but in the end, they procurred the heart. However, they also drew the attention of a far greater threat than the titan. Far into the horizon flew the Dragon King Avizandium, dubbed Thunder by the humans. Because humans were banished from Xadia for use of dark magic along with the Magama Titan's death, Thunder sought to eliminate the party on the spot. The hunting party escaped with the heart, but at the cost of the lives of Sarai, Annika, and Neha.
Fueled by a desire for revenge, Viren and Harrow sought to strike Thunder down ten years later. Equipped with a spear infused with dark magic, Harrow and Viren returned to where they last saw Thunder, only to find he wasn't there. Viren then reasoned that it was because there was something far more precious to him and that the only other place he could be was at his nest atop Storm Spire Mountain. Upon arrival, Thunder approached them once again, this time offering to let Harrow and Viren leave with their lives, for that day was "a day of life." But the pair was too consumed by revenge to accept and charged at Thunder with the spear in hand. It was a one-sided battle, but with help from Viren, Harrow was able to strike Thunder's heart and turn him to stone. Thunder spent his last moments desperately trying to go back to his nest. That is when Viren realized why Thunder did not approach them where they first encountered him. Thunder was trying to protect his egg. Viren wanted to go up the mountain to destroy the egg, but Harrow refused. Eventually, though, Viren went up the mountain to destroy the egg anyway. However, due to the quick thinking of Rayla's parents, he opted to steal the egg instead, along with a mirror connected to Aaravos.
Book 1: Moon
With half-true news about the deaths of Dragon King Avizandium and his unborn heir already spread throughout Xadia, the Moonshadow Elves take it upon themselves to assassinate King Harrow and his heir Ezran in retaliation. To save him, Viren opts to use dark magic once again to have Harrow swap souls with one of his guards so that the Moonshadow Elves will only think they've assassinated Harrow. Once again, Harrow refuses using the reasoning that dark magic always has a price to pay and that they will pay eventually once again, deciding that his life is the payment in question and accepts his fate without a second regard.
After the attack, Viren then learns that the Dragon Prince's egg, which he kept in his lair, was stolen. Having already planned to appoint himself king, he tasks his children, Soren and Claudia, to retrieve the egg and kill the princes Callum and Ezran to guarantee his ascent to the throne. Meanwhile, he interrogates Runaan, one of the attacking Moonshadow Elves, into revealing the secrets of Aaravos' mirror. Runaan refuses, declaring that he's "already dead" and that he would rather take the secrets of the mirror to the grave. Viren never gives him that opportunity, as he instead turns Runaan into a gold coin, still very much alive.
Book 2: Sky
With Runaan imprisoned, Viren refocuses his efforts into learning the secrets of the mirror himself. After a failed attempt at a secret-unveiling potion, he loses his patience and throws a tantrum, accidentally starting a fire in the process. After using magic to put it out, the mirror unveils to him Aaravos' prison within the mirror. A hooded Aaravos then non-verbally instructs Viren to ready a ritual of sorts, refusing to reveal his identity and testing Viren's patience even further. Before Viren could complete the ritual, however, he is summoned to a political summit he arranged beforehand. During this summit, he manages to sway three of the four leaders present into backing his campaign of war. Unfortunately for him, the current queen of Duren and daughter to the late queens before her, Queen Aanya, sees through his honeyed words and remains unwilling to repay the debt of saving hundreds of thousands of lives by sending millions to die where her mothers died. Not long after, the other leaders reconsider their desicions as well, leading to a unanimous refusal of Viren's declaration of war. Not long after, Viren is exposed as a treasonist and is stripped of his title and power as king regent.
Defeated, humiliated, and dungeon-bound, Viren ultimately decides to complete Aaravos' ritual. Upon completion, Aaravos summons a caterpillar-like creature to the physical world, through which he communicates to Viren. Aaravos finally shares his name with Viren as well as his identity as a Startouch Elf. Afterwards, Viren searches for any and all information regarding Aaravos, only to find that anything regarding the elf is effectively sealed from existence. Viren asks why he should trust Aaravos then, to which he responds that he shouldn't (at the moment). He is, however, willing to offer his services. Such services include teaching Viren how to resurrect the Moonshadow Elves that were slain during the assassination, thus guaranteeing the other nations backing up Viren's war campaign. However, not long after, Viren is spotted by castle guards and is forced to engage them. But with Aaravos' magical aid, they prove helpless against him until the guards outnumber and surround him, ultimately leading to his arrest.
Book 3: Sun
Having ultimately given up, Aaravos reassures Viren that he only needs to be patient and that things will go his way eventually. Not long after, under Ezran's rule as king, the resurrected Moonshadow Elves manage to either slay or grievously wound the leaders of the other nations, instigating their desire for war with Xadia. His children, who were also dungeon-bound but were released and allowed to visit him, soon inquire about their missions. It is here that he learns of the egg's hatching, reveals his true colors, and chooses to have Ezran reinstate his position with the caveat that the child king be the one in the dungeon instead.
Not long after, Ezran steps down as king and follows through with his deal, thus reinvigorating Viren once again. Upon announcing his march on Xadia, he ousts all the soldiers who do not wish to fight as "weak links" and sets forth to the Sunfire Elf city to claim their power for his own. With the help of Aaravos, he gains what he needs to turn his army into Sun Magic-powered monsters.
At Storm Spire Mountain, where Team Zym, the remaining Sunfire Elves, and Dragon Prince Zym lie, he makes his stand and prepares to claim the Dragon Prince's power for his own. Both sides fight hard, the tides of war ebbing and flowing in both directions, coming to a head with Viren and Aaravos draining Zym of his vitality. Rayla sacrifices herself and tackles him off the mountain summit, where he falls to his death. However, Claudia manages to revive him using Dark Magic, where he sees Aaravos' caterpillar inside a cocoon, metamorphosing into something else.
A tall, slender, middle-aged man, Viren has pale skin, grey eyes and brown hair with a greying goatee. He normally wears a grey and black robe with a white staff that has a purple gem on the top.
When the man was consumed by dark magic, his skin becomes greyish in color, and his eyes become fully black with markings surrounding them.
One of his eyes also becomes grey with Aaravos' caterpillar's silk and also dons the crown of Katolis. He also gains white robes and a golden staff with an orb of light at the top from the Sunfire Elf city during his time in Xadia.
Viren is highly skilled in the art of Dark Magic, performing spells as briefly stealing the voice of Prince Callum and extinguishing fire. The staff he carries also enhances his magical abilities, making his spells more powerful. He is also a capable close-range fighter, as he was able to temporaily hold his own against Rayla's parents. Althougth he was ultimately outmatched and forced to use magic to defeat them, the fact that he was able to hold his ground against them, however briefly, is quite impressive considering the fact that he was not only facing two opponants at once, but a pair of elite elven warriors.
In addition to his magical and physical ailities, Viren is highly intelligent, and skilled at manipulation and persausion, as he convinced the citizens of Katolis that elves in Xadia were their foes, and later dropping a small hint to Soren and Claudia about one of his does: getting back the Dragon Prince's egg at all costs. He is a good storyteller and often uses flattery as a means of accomplishing his ends. Viren is also highly perceptive, as he was able to deduce the reason why Thunder wasn't at the Xadian border, and anticipated what would happen in the Final Battle. Despite this, Viren's abilities at manipulation prove inadequate in convincing the Pentarchy, mainly young Queen Aanya, into uniting against Xadia, leaving him fuming with rage. Those wise to him are very capable of seeing through his manipulations as well, such as General Amaya.
Viren considers himself a pragmatist and believes any problem has a "creative solution" - in this case, using Dark Magic. However, his insistence on using Dark Magic puts him at odds with King Harrow and leads to a rift between them. Though Viren tries to fix this, a misunderstanding leaves the two on bad terms before Harrow's death. However, Viren is still implied to care for his friend, despite trying to have his 2 sons killed. In the past, when trying to save thousands of lives from famine, Viren tried to save the queens of Duren from Thunder the Dragon King at great risk to himself.
Viren is utterly dogmatic in his protection of humanity, to the extent of wishing to see all Xadia destroyed once and for all, even committing treason. However, despite these good intentions, Viren also craves power and has his eyes on the throne of Katolis. It is also implied he harbors insecurities about his abilities and seems himself as useless. He also hated Avizandum for Sarai's along with the Queens of Duren to a lesser extant death, ignoring the fact that the Archdragon was only doing his job as King as shown when Viren labled Avizandum as a "Monster" when explaining the story of Avizandum's death to Aaravos. Unlike Harrow, Viren was also shown to take sadisitic pleasure in seeing Avizandum turn to stone.