Nevar is the eponymous primary antagonist in the BBC game show Raven. Debuting in season 2, he primarily serves as the evil figure standing over the magical portal in a challenge called "The Last Stand", which replaced "Dark Pools" as deciding who would progress to the next round of the tournament and who would win the tournament altogether. Filler would later establish him as Raven's arch nemesis and the leader of the demons that impede the warriors progress
Essentially a creature of evil, Nevar is always dressed in a black hooded robe and a metal face mask, obscuring his face apart from his red/yellow eyes and burnt skin surrounding them. He never speaks, only communicating in deep growls and gutteral laughter.
His primary actor is unknown, although in Raven: The Secret Temple spinff, he was portrayed by Nageswara Rao.
Seasons 2 and 3
In seasons 2 and 3, Nevar appears in "The Last Stand", standing guard over the magical portal. He had managed to seal the portal, which could only be opened by one of two keys, each broken into four pieces and scattered on different paths for each warrior taking part in this challenge. The warriors had to run their respective paths, collecting the pieces of the key as they ran, before putting the pieces together, putting the key into the lock and turning it around. The portal would then open, but briefly, so the warrior could run through it. There were normally two rounds to this challenge; the first round was where those in first and second place out of the three remaining warriors would race against each other; then, the warrior who was either zapped out of lives, or didn't get to the lock first, would race against the warrior in third place, and then the one who lost here was eliminated.
Nevar's role here was to zap the warriors, in order to prevent them reaching the portal. How many times a warrior could be zapped was determined by how many lives they had left (say, if a warrior had 3 lives left, they couldn't be zapped 3 times by Nevar's lightning, or they'd be eliminated), and each zap took one of their remaining lives.
Seasons 4 through 10
In season 4, Nevar received his own Staff of Power that was adorned with a skull, no longer shooting lightning from his hand. His mask was also redesigned, making it a single piece of iron rather than the shattered mirror effect from the previous two seasons. He was also given the ability to summon Demons directly to him.
Nevar was also given a filler appearance, where he appears in a room in his castle, where he uses a stone pedestal filled with water to spy on Raven and his warriors as they progress to their next challenge (if it was "The Last Stand", Nevar would realize where they were heading and quickly move to his post over the portal).
"The Last Stand" was turned into an obstacle course for the warriors to navigate. Their lives and rings would give them a time advantage over their fellows. Nevar would summon three Demons to appear at the first obstacle's end after the first warrior had left their cage, and would conjour three more at the end of the second obstacle.
When the warrior left their cage, they'd retrieve a cricket bat-shaped lever, which they'd use to knock down the columns, before inserting it into a jack and pushing all the way forward, to slay the Demon, who'd leave a gold disc behind on their podium. The warrior then had to pick up the disc, scale a low wooden fence, crawl under a cargo net and then scale another low wooden fence. Nevar would conjour three more Demons at this point. After crossing the fence, the warrior would then have to correctly align the part-symbols on the disc with the part-symbols on the podium for the disc, so it looked like all six warrior symbols used in the show (Sun, Tree, Mountain, Wave, Cloud and Moon). The Demon would then be slain, leaving a gold cylinder on their podium. The warrior then had to pick up the cylinder, wade through the waterfall pool, attach the cylinder to a rope, climb up the waterfall, hoist up the cylinder then send it down the other side of the waterfall, and then slide down the other side. Collecting the cylinder and releasing it from its rope, they had to align the cylinder in its hole in the warrior's triangular prism-shaped column in front of the portal so the part-symbols (again, those of the warriors) matched those on the column, before they could access the portal and progress to the next round or to the winners' realm.
If this wasn't hard enough, once one warrior has slain both their Demons, Nevar will start blasting them with his Staff of Power once they come in range (from the top of the waterfall onwards). Once one warrior has passed through the portal, Nevar's shooting will become more rapid; once two warriors had gone through, Nevar will instantly kill the warrior left behind.
In the case of the champions week, after Linma had gotten to the portal, Nevar shot both Dejan and Kinsa. This rule of eliminating the last two warriors left on the field in champions week would carry on to season 6.
The course of "The Last Stand" for seasons 5, 6 and 7 would be significantly changed, both in challenges and special effects to make the Demons appear and disappear, though the actual skeleton of "The Last Stand" would remain the same.
The same rules of time advantages based on remaining rings and lives remained, along with Nevar summoning Demons once the first warrior had left their cage, and again when one warrior was climbing over the second fence at the net, and Nevar killing the warrior(s) left behind.
When the warrior left their cage, they'd drag a key on the end of a chain to the far end of a maze of poles, in order for them to unlock a cage containing a 5-piece gold-coloured jigsaw with the warrior symbols on the top and bottom edges of the jigsaw in black, with their own symbol in the middle in red. The jigsaw, when completed correctly, would slay the Demon, leaving the cricket-bat shaped lever used in season 4 at the back of their podium. The warrior then had to pick it up, throw it over the fence, climb over, and take it with them through under the cargo net and over the second fence. Then they had to insert the lever into the jack and push it all the way forward to slay the Demon, leaving the gold cylinder behind. The challenge of climbing up the waterfall with the cylinder and putting in the triangular prism-shaped column remained intact.
In seasons 5 and 6, Nevar was given a second challenge appearance in a challenge called "Nevar's Eye". Following a brief filler interaction between him and Raven, the challenge would be explained: the warriors (in pairs) had to race against each other to get the gold at the far end of the ground where the challenge was played. Simple enough, except the stone bowl Nevar watches his enemy through is connected to a massive eye-shaped wooden board with a blazing eye on it. If a warrior looked directly into this eye, they'd be killed, so Raven would have to blindfold them and give them a stick to traverse their way across the golden pathway to the gold (which was under the boards). If they stepped off their path, the eye would blast them into oblivion. If they came into contact with either of the two shackled Demons under Nevar's spell to patrol the ground at the corners in the path, that warrior would be removed from the game. If they came second in this fiendishly difficult blindfold game, they'd lose a life, as they'd do if they touched a Demon or came off the path.
This challenge has been remembered by Raven fans for being notoriously difficult and having a high fail rate.
In season 7, a new variant of the Last Stand was introduced for the final week, of having the last two contestants (in this case, Versad (who won) and Hanso) play against each other. This theme would carry on in seasons 8, 9 and 10, as opposed to seasons 4, 5 and 6 where the last three warriors would play against each other, as it was for the other weeks as well.
In season 8, the show had to move from being filmed at Castle Toward to being filmed at Aviemore. This led to "The Last Stand" being renamed simply "Last Stand", being drastically changed and a new image on the map. Nevar was also given the ability to appear from nowhere, as demonstrated before each edition of the game. However, the rules of time advantages, times to summon Demons and elimination of he who was last on the field were kept. However, the time to summon the second Demons was changed to immediately after the first warrior slew their first.
In season 8, Raven would release the warriors from their cages, as opposed to Nevar blasting the first one and then the others opening by themselves. When released from the cage, the warrior would have to complete the word bank by putting the correct letters onto the floor (after carrying the letters over walls), so they could get their shield and first two warrior symbols to snap into it. Nevar would blast the shield, slaying the first Demon. The warrior would then have to crawl through the rope tunnel and collect the next two symbols to slay the next Demon. After this, the warrior then had to use the handheld battering ram to smash the two concrete walls in their path, collect the last two symbols, use the ram on chains to smash open the gates in front of them, before avoiding being blasted by Nevar to run into the portal.
Once one warrior had run through the portal, Nevar would shoot the remaining warriors more frequently; once two had gone through, the last warrior's shield would disappear, giving Nevar a clear shot to destroy them.
Seasons 9 and 10
In the last two seasons of the cult BBC show, Last Stand's first challenge was redesigned slightly, as the word bank was replaced with a puzzle to construct a ramp leading to a podium to their shield; fundamentally, the rest of the challenge didn't change much, and neither did Nevar's role. In these last two series, Nevar was shown to magically teleport to his post over the portal, and would disappear after he destroyed the losing warriors.
Nevar returns once again as the main antagonist in the revived series of Raven. He has also been given a complete redesign; his mask now appears much more demonic looking and obscures his entire face, while his cloak now posesses red outlines. His staff of power now cosmetically appears similar to that of Raven's, but with a more skeletal design.
Years before the revived series, Raven and his warriors fought Nevar and his demons in the final battle, banishing him to a desolate realm. However, unbeknownst to them, Nevar had forged his own magic symbols to counter Raven's magic, resulting in Raven being banished alongside his nemesis. Only one of Raven's warriors feared Nevar's possible return, so she recovered the original magic symbols lost in the battle, which summoned Raven's staff of power, making her the new Raven.
With the staff, Raven assumes Raven of Old's place in guiding warriors through the tournaments. She is able to temporarily summon Raven of Old back into her plane of existence whenever she is in need of guidance, or in need of information of Nevar's plans. Nevar once again sends his demons to impede the warriors progress, and is also able to temporarily return from the desolate realm he was imprisoned in, either to impede the warrior's progress himself with his magic, or to assume his traditional post at The Last Stand. Raven of Old warns Raven that she cannot break the spell that imprisons him in Nevar's realm; the spell bounds him and Nevar together, and freeing the former will allow the latter to return and claim the land for himself once more.
In the new series format, The Last Stand is played on the third day of each group of warrior's quests. The warrior groups (the Bears, the Wolves, the Wild Cats and the Stags) consist of four warriors, and the warrior with the least amount of Gold Rings in automatically eliminated on the second day, leaving the remaining three to face Nevar in The Last Stand. The Last Stand is cosmetically different from the previous variations, being set in an open field. The warrior with the most Gold Rings is given a head start over the other two, followed by the warrior in second place and third place.
On the final day of the Grand Tournament, the warriors face off in a different version of The Last Stand, an obstacle course built over a lake. Nevar and his demons observe the warriors from a distance.
Raven: The Island
In the first spin-off of the main Raven show, entitled Raven: The Island, it is revealed that Nevar rules over the island of Alaunus (Raven's childhood home); moreover, he is constantly trying to hunt down Raven's childhood friend, Princess Erina, who evades him within the island's forests. He has also taken the Enchanted Oak (the magical tree from which his, Raven and Erina's Staffs of Power were crafted) and used it to craft Staffs of Power for his Elite Demons who primarily guard Alaunus Castle (previously the home of Erina's father, now in exile). However, Raven and the ancient astronomer Cyrus plan to send 12 warriors to invade Alaunus, storm the castle and retrieve an acorn from the now dying Enchanted Oak, in order to cultivate a new one on the mainland.
This also revealed a lot of Nevar's backstory, in the discussions between Raven and Cyrus and fourth-wall filler from Erina. Four years prior to the events of R:TI, Nevar was simply a simple human baron, leader of a local trouble-seeking brigade on Alaunus, and thought of a nuisance. This changed when he crafted his distinctive skull-headed Staff of Power from the Enchanted Oak, which led to his corruption and his transformation into his current form. He soon rallied an army of Demons and took over Alaunus, banishing Erina's parents, the King and Queen of Alaunus, and all their staff to flee to the mainland.
The Staff proved to be a mighty weapon, granting Nevar and his Demons victory in the three great battles against the Alaunus loyalists. However, when Nevar crafted it, the weapon cursed him; every time he uses his Staff for his evil purposes, Nevar loses half of his own life force, further mutating him in the space of four years.
Nevar is well aware of the rebellion efforts by the 12 warriors, who seek bronze orbs known as Time Pieces to power Cyrus' totality clock to prolong an eclipse, under which they'll storm Alaunus Castle and retrieve an acorn from the Great Oak. Before the show started, Nevar, unable to destroy the orbs, had hid them all around Alaunus, hoping that the warriors wouldn't find them. He often appears in filler, such as giving the new Staffs of Power to the Demons, and sending them out after the warriors fell a magical crystal he uses to observe everything which happens outside his castle walls. He does appear in the final day, attempting to blast the warriors from their path to the Enchanted Oak's chamber, but appears incapable of blasting the three winners (Tanel (leader of the Eagles), Corso (acting leader of the Wolves) and Delra (leader of the Lions)) when they collect the right acorn from the Oak and escape with it.
Raven: The Secret Temple
Nevar reappears in the second spin-off, entitled Raven: The Secret Temple. Raven first mentions him in the pre-title sequence at the start of every episode, saying Nevar has used an evil spell to place his homeland in his frozen grip, so he has brought 16 warriors to an Eastern land, where they must enter the fabled, eponymous Secret Temple, in order to collect a magical draught to break the spell. However, Nevar has followed Raven and his warriors with his Demon army, in order to prevent them from suceeding in their quest by any means necessary.
Nevar primarily appears in filler inbetween the challenges, where he can observe the warriors through an enchanted water bowl carried by one of his Demons; the bowl is destroyed by Raven in one episode. Nevar also appears in person at the end of one of the teams' games; his Demons fill in for him at the end of a game for each of the other three teams. He also appears halfway through the elimination game "The Gulley" on Day 16, where he kills Aksu (acting leader of the Panthers) as soon as he appears; he later kills Yonra (of the Panthers) and Desot (leader of the Wolves) after Sonro, Sohar and Marca have completed "The Gulley" and joined Karja, Taylan and Yeada. He also appears with a second magical observation bowl the next day, and laughs after the warriors are trapped in the enclosure in "No Way Out".
Despite Princess Satyarani's claims the Demons can't pass through the citadel walls (where the final week, after "The Gulley", is set), Raven becomes increasingly worried for his warriors when he keeps seeing Demons walking through the walls. Nevar is then brought by Satyarani into the Secret Temple, following Raven and his four remaining warriors (Karja, Marca, Sohar and Sonro (Yaeda had come last in "Snakes and Ladders", and she was subsequently killed by the Snake Demon; Taylan picked the basket with the snake in it in "Snake Charmer", and the snake killed him)) into the Temple and into the underworld. Furthermore, his shadow can be seen at the closing scene of Episode 19, after Raven leads Marca, Sohar and Sonro (Karja fell into the pit at "The Way of the Dead", and was removed from existence) to the sanctum of the Temple.
On Day 20 (the final episode), Nevar plays a very crucial role. In the sanctum (known as the "Chamber of the Three Headed Serpent"), Marca and Sohar have been removed from existence after falling from the balance beam in the chamber, so Raven has only one hope to restore his homeland in Sonro. As Sonro ventures to the "Well of the Three Headed Serpent" to collect the magical draught, Nevar sneaks into the Chamber and hides, planning to kill Sonro when he escapes. This stacks the cards heavily in Nevar's favour; since Raven is immortal, he is forbidden from entering the sanctum, or the Three Headed Serpent will cause the Temple to collapse, and Sonro is unarmed.
After Sonro completes "Escape from the Underworld" (retracing his steps across the balance beam, avoiding the giant swinging maces, over the word path, spelling out the word "serpent" in reverse), he believes he is safe, but Nevar comes out from his hiding place and prepares to kill Sonro with his Staff of Power. Thankfully, Sonro is saved by Raven's timely intervention, holding Nevar back long enough so Sonro can escape to the "Time of Reckoning", solve the numerical riddle there and escape through the correct portal. Raven gains the upper hand against Nevar, and manages to destroy his nemesis' Staff of Power. He offers Nevar a chance to redeem himself with the magical draught, which can restore him back into his original human form, but Nevar attempts to wrestle Raven's Staff from his hands. As the two struggle, they stumble into the sanctum, with Raven managing to take back his staff and throwing nevar to the ground; true to Satyarani's warning, the Temple begins to collapse.
Outside, Satyarani tells Sonro that Raven and Nevar's lives have both been claimed by the Three Headed Serpent, but Raven appears, having assumed his eponymous raven form and flown faster than a man can run, leaving Nevar to his death. Sonro gives Raven the magical draught, and in return, is given a golden staff, and is to be known as "Sonro, Protector of the Golden Staff, Hero of the Eastern Land, Conqueror of the Secret Temple". He and Raven begin their long journey home, ending a successful quest.
However, after the end credits have run, the final scene of the show reveals that Nevar has survived, removing the rubble covering him and opening his eyes.
Raven: The Dragon's Eye
Nevar reappears in the third and final spin-off, entitled Raven: The Dragon's Eye. Nevar, having survived the collapse of the Secret Temple, has learned of a fabled magical relic. The relic, an evil stone called The Dragon's Eye, will grant the user unlimited power. Learning of his enemy's plans, Raven has summoned 16 new warriors to find the Eye before Nevar and destroy it, before the magical barrier created by the Lord of the Forest Spirits to seal away the Eye and protect the world from it's evil collapses.
Nevar's first appearance is towards the end of Episode 1, as he and an army of Demons arrive at the Great Forest, where he meets his soldier Ervan, who has managed to gain Raven's trust. Again, he primarily appears in filler inbetween the challenges, and also makes an appearance in Episode 6 after the Wolves' abysmal attempt to play strength-based challenge "The Chest", but is blasted by Raven before he can shoot the Wolves. Soon after, Ervan procures some magical stones from Raven (Ervan told Raven they were tribute stones to the Spirits of the Great Forest; when one came across such a stone hanging from a tree, one was to take the stone down, and bury it near the oldest tree one could find), and used them to give Nevar a passage into the Forgotten Kingdom, directly into the Castle of Shadows, directly into a room in the Castle's keep, known simply as "The Lair", where the Dragon's Eye is kept. Nevar attempts to take the Eye, but due to his heart not being pure, is blasted out into the Castle's courtyard and cornered by three Demons of the Dragon's Eye.
Nevar reappears in episode 18 once Raven and a rapidly diminishing group of elite warriors from the original 16 have crossed into the Forgotten Kingdom. He first appears helping Ervan with his plan to steal Raven's Staff of Power, and use it and Nevar's Staff of Power to kill Raven and the four warriors who remain (Lemec, Gydan, Hareb and Arkil), before taking the Eye and using it to rule over all of Earth for all eternity.
The following episode sees Raven expose Ervan for being a triple-crosser, by loudly yelling at Nevar that Ervan plans to destroy them both, so he can claim the Dragon's Eye for himself. Nevar reappears later on, after the last challenge of the day ("Blast Path", where the warriors have to use the spears they retrieved that morning to unhook cylinders from the Castle of Shadows' gatehouse ceiling and put them into the ground, in order to choke off a toxic fog emitting from it), confronting Gydan, Hareb and Arkil (Lemec had come last in "Blast Path", and the fog had killed her). Despite Raven's warning not to enter the Castle without him, the final three back into the Castle to avoid being shot, but they are then captured by the Dragon's Eye's Demons and imprisoned in the dungeon. Nevar then locks Raven out of the Castle, and plans to kill the three warriors the next morning.
On day 20, the last episode in the series, the warriors have untied themselves and contocted a magical draught to slay the Demon watching over them. Then, whilst they solve the enchanted "Symbol Path" (where a grid of about 30 or so different shield designs await them, and they have to step on each shield, one at a time; if they step on the wrong shields, they are sent back to the start), Raven finally gets his proper Staff of Power back from Ervan. Towards the end of the show, Arkil gets the Dragon's Eye from "The Lair" and becomes the only warrior to survive (Gydan had been knocked off the balance beam in "Deadly Ground", and Hareb didn't get to the key to the Dragon's Eye's cage; both were removed from existence). But when Raven prepares to destroy the Eye, Ervan attempts to take the Eye for himself, but he is destroyed by Nevar for his deception. Raven then takes the Eye from Arkil and is briefly tempted to take it's power for himself, but quickly regains his senses and destroys the evil stone, with Nevar seemingly caught in the blast.
Raven and Arkil arrive back in the Great Forest, where the Spirit Lord thanks them both for ridding them of the Dragon's Eye and saving the world from it's evil. He then gives Arkil a Golden Staff, and says his people will speak of her as "Arkil, Protector of the Golden Staff, Saviour of the Spirits of the Forest, Hero of the Dragon's Eye". The Spirit Lord returns to the Great Forest, and Raven and Arkil begin their long journey home.
However, after the end credits have rolled, Nevar is shown alive and well, standing on top of the Castle of Shadows, hinting there could be more encounters in the future.
- Nevar is Raven's name spelt backwards.
- Also, Ervan who claimed to once have served Nevar in Raven: The Dragon's Eye, also has his name under a similar anagram.
- Nevar's mask in the first two seasons was designed to look like numerous metal shards 'woven' together, making it look like a shattered mirror.
- The effect of Nevar shooting red lightning from the index finger of his left hand was made through CGI.
- In reality, his right hand operated two paintball guns concealed somewhere in the area where "The Last Stand" was played, which he used to shoot at the warriors.
|BBC Raven Villains|