The Idhun Chronicles: Shail’s Tragic Story Deserved a Better End in the Netflix Show

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Season 1 of The Idhun Chronicles, available on Netflix.

Netflix's The Idhun Chronicles is a Spanish anime based on Laura Gallego's The Idhún's Memories, with Season 1 focusing on young Jack being trained in a mystical realm known as Limbhad. His parents were killed by agents of Ashran, a dark sorcerer who took over the magical land of Idhun and wants to wipe out refugees who fled to realms like Earth. Jack's parents fell on this hit-list, but Shail, a powerful mage, rescued him.

Taking on an Obi-Wan Kenobi-like role, Shail begins to mentor Jack, who's basically the franchise's Luke Skywalker, and seemingly part of the prophecy of freedom. Unfortunately, as much as Shail seems like a badass who'll have a massive role to play, the series botches his tragic finale after five episodes, which honestly deserved a way better ending.

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When Shail's right-hand man, Alsan, is kidnapped by Kirtash, the young sorcerer working for Ashran, the heroes decide to rescue their colleague from a German castle. Kirtash has fortified it, though, with snake-soldiers and a powerful mage named Elrion. The plan is to lure Jack, Shail and the other warrior in the prophecy, Victoria, so Kirtash can capture her and the staff of Ayshel she wields. It's all so he can locate the magical unicorn, Lunnaris, and the dragon, Yandrak -- the last of their kind and the key to eliminating Idhun's magic forever.

Things fall apart, however, when Jack sneaks in, disguised as a soldier to rescue Alsan, leaving Shail to fight off a snake mage. The fight leaves Shail knocked out with Victoria harnessing her staff's powers to finish things off. But this allows Kirtash to find and try to lure Vic to the dark side, only for Elrion -- who's tired of being berated by Kirtash -- to spot the meeting. And in a fit of rage, he fires a blast towards Vic. He senses Kirtash likes her, so it's a win-win as he'll get to kill her for Ashran and hurt Kirtash as well. But by this time, Shail's come to and jumps in front to block Elrion's magic. Sadly, Kirtash has fired at the same time and both energy blasts hit Shail, killing him.

Now, Victoria does end up escaping back to Limbhad with Jack and Alsan, but the team's fractured. Shail's their true north and he shouldn't have died this early, disintegrating the way he did. It just feels cheap. We didn't get much backstory into his mage days in Idhun, nor did we really see him using his full arsenal, apart from magic shields or energy blasts in the present day. The show touts him as a legend, yet Jack and Vic show more power and skill than he did.

Had he battled Kirtash and Elrion, pushing them to the limit before succumbing to a double-team, Shail's death would've made more sense. But this death, aside from being corny, makes him look weak. It's a laughable, undercooked moment and what especially sucks is. not only was he leader of the Resistance, he only just got into the swing of training the teens. To make it worse, he sacrificed himself for Vic, who was actually entertaining Kirtash's flirting, which devalues everything Shail taught her and the other rebels.

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