Castlevania: [SPOILER] Didn’t Deserve a Happy Ending

WARNING: The following contains heavy spoilers for Castlevania Season 4, now streaming on Netflix.

After a fast-paced, action-packed final season, Castlevania fans were left with a dizzying conclusion filled with unforeseen deaths and survivals. While some happy endings were uplifting -- such as Alucard starting a new town and Sypha being pregnant with Trevor’s child -- one event doesn't sit quite right.

The perplexing revival of Vlad Dracula and Lisa Tepes truly ruffled some feathers, and for good reason – Dracula was a murderous villain who never had (or wanted) an opportunity to redeem himself. Seeing Saint Germain’s spell successfully create a Rebus with both Dracula and Lisa inside was a horrifying sight – especially for Alucard. Dracula was given a second chance with this new life, but how could he be worthy of it after his attempt to annihilate humanity?

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Dracula's Insanity And Grief Aren’t Excuses For Genocide

As Dracula and Lisa discussed their rebirth in the Season 4 finale, he admitted to her, “the second after I died might have been the first sane moment I had since you died.” Unable to cope with the brutal murder of his wife, Dracula was driven into a deep insanity rooted in mourning.

When the abominably corrupted church burned his wife at the stake, Dracula's anger seemed relatively valid. Even the jaded Trevor Belmont had a pessimistic view of humanity after they mistakenly took an innocent life and enraged Dracula in the beginning. There’s ample evidence of atrocious beings throughout the church, ungrateful people who exterminated those trying to save them (the Belmonts), and other scummy individuals portrayed throughout Castlevania. By these examples, some wonder if humans are really worth saving at all -- and whether Dracula might actually have a point.

However, such reasoning is short-sighted and delusional when applied to an entire race. Can that scathing scope account for all of humanity? Beyond the heroic protagonists Trevor and Sypha, there are the generous humans Isaac meets like the Captain and the Merchant, and the entire village of innocent humans led by Greta, Alucard’s love interest. The forgemaster generals Hector and Isaac had only ever known human cruelty, making it easy to turn their backs on their own race.

Dracula, on the other hand, had his whole perspective changed when he fell in love with Lisa. Shouldn’t he have known the merits of humanity after falling in love with a human? There’s really no justification for genocide when there’s still good left in the world. Insanity can explain unacceptable behavior, but can it really excuse it – especially on such a grand scale?

Lisa Shouldn’t Have Forgiven Dracula For Abandoning Her Beliefs

In the final Castlevania scene between Lisa and Dracula, he notes that she seems angry about something, at which point many believed she might give him an earful. Yet Lisa simply expressed her anger about not knowing how they wound up alive, rather than how Dracula decimated so many human villages with armies he recruited.

Lisa’s dying wish was for Dracula to spare the ignorant people who caused her death, yet he lashed out in such a dangerous extremity. Moreover, her passion for life – which made Dracula fall in love with her – was based on her belief that peasants wouldn’t live short, scared lives once they’re given medicine and education. From the very first episode of Caslevania, she urged Dracula to use his knowledge to help people, enlighten them instead of leaving them in ignorance resulting in toxic bigotry.

Dracula’s hatred of humanity stems from grief and vengeance for their cruelty against his wife, but you’d think he would carry on Lisa’s edicts about education instead of succumbing to blind rage. Instead, the vampire lord descended into madness and villainy, yet ultimately received a happy ending with the wife he betrayed on such a large scale. How could he be so easily forgiven?

Reunited with Lisa in the Castlevania finale, Dracula appears to be on a peaceful path of traveling like they had talked about in the series premiere, but he never discusses any plans to atone for the damage he did to humanity.

Dracula Turned Away From His Grieving Son Alucard

Alucard staking Dracula with a piece of wood from his bed.

Another reason Dracula isn’t worthy of his happy end is how he treated his son Alucard after Lisa’s death. Dracula isn’t the only one who loved his wife – Alucard was also grieving his mother’s passing, and Dracula’s grief being more vehement and uncontrollable was incredibly selfish of him. Why couldn’t he have reached out to Alucard in compassion so they could grieve together? Perhaps then his rage could’ve been quelled instead of encouraged by isolation.

Dracula not only turned away from Alucard in a time of mutual sorrow but nearly beat his son to death as they battled. During their fight, Dracula did take a moment to realize he was killing his son, but it hadn’t occurred to him before that point. If Dracula cared about Alucard at all, he’d remember the young man half-human. Why didn’t Dracula love his son enough to value humanity in the slightest?

Dracula’s Reincarnation Is A Gimmick From The Castlevania Games

The Dracula depicted throughout the Castlevania video games and animated series has powers beyond that of an average vampire, and his dark kingly status seems to always be incarnate on Earth. In the games, Dracula is usually brought back to Earth by loyal servants -- as demonstrated in Season 4 -- with the spirit Death always helping out. The reincarnation of the love story that spurred the series does make the anime come full circle.

However, Castlevania the animated series has already defined itself as different and unique from the video games, so why should it fall into the same recycled tropes? Simply depicting the efforts of loyal Dracula worshippers trying to resurrect him could’ve served the purpose of alluding to the games. Letting Dracula go on to live happily with his wife seems over the top and a bit redundant for such an original anime.

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