WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Castlevania Season 4, now streaming on Netflix.
It's safe to say one of the most controversial moves in pop culture was how HBO's Game of Thrones ended Daenerys Targaryen's story. In the eighth and final season, the series rushed her transition from liberator and "breaker of chains," transforming her into the Mad Queen in what is widely viewed as a massive mistake. It's not that fans couldn't see it coming -- they just felt it needed more time.
Netflix's Castlevania arguably adopts a similar approach, albeit in reverse fashion, with its deadliest overlord. No, not Dracula, but the Forgemaster known as Isaac who's quickly turned from a tyrant to a hero in Season 4.
Castlevania's last season caught fans off guard with this creative decision because Isaac had been set up to be the next Dracula, using the Night Creatures as part of a genocidal tour. Vlad Tepes saved and groomed him as a successor, making it clear that if he died, Isaac would be the one to carry on his mantle. They were both vilified by humanity, which many believed would lead to Isaac coming for revenge against Hector for betraying Dracula's vision.
Yet while Isaac takes out Carmilla and lays waste to her vampire coven, he doesn't do the same to Hector. He simply offers an olive branch, even keeping Lenore alive as Hector loves her. Furthermore, he tells Hector that rather than destroy the world or work to bring Vlad back, they should rebuild Europe together. His vision of order, peace and harmony are cool and all, but viewers didn't see anything to really trigger this. Had some humans or vampires helped him on his roving bloodshed, it would have been understandable.
But Isaac makes his change from a more mobile and terrifying master off-screen, in-between seasons. Such a shift in philosophy needs time to simmer, yet it's like Dany's change in Game of Thrones -- all done in the blink of an eye. If there was a build-up, it would resonate more. Dany moving from "Mother of Dragons" to evil empress and Isaac going from destroyer to a man of hope both feel out of character because they're rushed.
This undercuts all of Isaac's prior development and jumps to a destination without giving viewers the proper journey. Simply put, there wasn't ample reason to forgive Hector and relinquish Dracula's malicious ways.
Maybe an extra Castlevania season -- where Isaac met Dracula, remembered more from his freedom conversation with the old boat captain, or truly grew damaged from the PTSD of killing so many people -- could have made this more believable. The fact we don't get to see much of Isaac healing the world for all species thereafter further reaffirms that this was a wasted decision with no real context or payoff. Fans invested a lot of time into him and, like Dany who's quickly killed by Jon Snow, Isaac becomes an afterthought instead of a main player in the new world.