Dragon’s Dogma Wastes Its Most Powerful Hero

WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Dragon's Dogma, available now on Netflix.

Dragon's Dogma is mostly about Ethan's journey as the Arisen, someone whose heart was ripped out by a dragon and whose family was incinerated, leading to a tale of vengeance. In the first season, Ethan struggles as he begins to experience his own berserker mode, killing many monsters as he cuts a bloody path to the dragon.

However, he's not the show's most powerful hero. That title actually belongs to the mage known as Hannah. Sadly, the Pawn's totally wasted in the anime; treated as a mere prop despite the potential being there to give her a more nuanced role in Ethan's life.

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Hannah is the one who finds Ethan without a heart and brings him back to be the Arisen, a warrior meant to kill the dragon. However, she's ironically pretty robotic herself as she doesn't have any humanity within. Despite this, she's adamant about being his guardian angel, watching over and protecting Ethan in battle. But rather than give us insight into her past, she's kept in her bodyguard's role throughout.

It's disappointing given the amount of interest she takes in Ethan -- wanting to help him avenge his family and ending up as his moral compass. When she sacrifices herself against the Hydra and then resurrects, it feels like she'll be explored more. But it never happens. Later, she gets worried seeing him kill a Succubus that pretended to be his wife, and once more, we're teased that there's a lot more bubbling under the surface, yet the show refuses to scratch this itch. It would have informed why she went from a woman of duty to someone who cares deeply about Ethan, but all we're left with is a sharp and rushed jump, made even sadder by Ethan not showing interest in her past.

It would have been great to see how she was conditioned by her Order and sent into the world without emotion. Things such as her training would have informed Hannah's journey and made it not just about Ethan. Bonding like this would also make him giving her a name so rewarding. But, as it is, it feels flippant and totally out of the blue that he names a mage he doesn't really know. In other words, we get dimensions to both characters using this approach.

If they got to know each other better on a deeper, intimate level, their relationship would have been much more personal. Instead, it's all style and no substance, as opposed to how Castlevania made Sypha stand out with Trevor Belmont and Alucard. She was fleshed out and treated like a true character, not just a supporting crutch to bail the men out in their time of need. To make it worse, Hannah keeps dropping hints the Pawns aren't what she thought they were, especially when we discover the Arisen is meant to become the new dragon, so her backstory would have mattered a lot.

She needed a dedicated episode or, at least, some flashbacks. Seeing as the show veers away from the game's lore, the canvas is there to subvert. Instead, it feels like she's tacked on, reiterated by how poorly her powers are handled. She teleports into Cassardis to find Ethan in the premiere, yet against so many monsters, all she uses are flaming arrows. But against the dragon, she has ice-generating abilities and shadow telekinesis, so we're left wondering where all this was against the Cyclops, the skeleton army of the Lich, and so on.

Simply put, it's too inconsistent, and with Ethan not knowing much about the mystical world he's in, Hannah should have been the supernatural soldier taking the lead and mentoring him to be the ultimate dragon slayer.

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