Erza and Wendy learn the truth behind the Dragon King Festival, and the origins of the Queen of the Dragons, Irene Belserion. Remember, if you like this article and 5 Point Discussions, please share it on Facebook or Twitter! It really helps. And if you’ve got any comments or questions, please hit me up @SageShinigami.
1. A few weeks ago I complained about how Irene was just needlessly OP, what with her being able to use absurdly powerful spells with no limitation. But with this reveal, I’m actually beginning to question if she’s strong enough. As with everyone else, Irene’s history starts 400 years ago. She lived as queen of the dragons, a ceremonial title to honor the pact between humans and dragons after a human once saved the life of a dragon in Dragnof, the country Irene was from.
Things were going well, except in a neighboring Western nation, where the relationship between humans and dragons extended only as far as humans being food for dragons. Which…in itself raises questions. Dragons are freaking huge; how would they even get sustenance from creatures as small as humans are?
In any case, the King of the Dragons, Belserion, predicts they will eventually go to war with the dragons in the west. Outnumbered and betrayed by dragons who also want to snack on delicious, delicious people, the war goes poorly for them quickly. That’s when Irene invents a magic which imbues humans with the powers and attributes of dragons. She becomes the first Dragon Slayer, though obviously far from the last.
2. This episode finally explains Acnologia’s goal. The war becomes known as the “Dragon King Festival”, and both the West and Eastern dragons wind up losing in the end, leaving only the humans remaining thanks to a single being. Given that we know Acnologia was a human who slayed so many dragons he eventually became one (after bathing in the blood of a thousand slain dragons), it’s a safe bet that Acnologia is in fact a Dragon Slayer himself. Despite trying to push things towards harmony, eventually Belserion fell in the war…but it was all rendered moot after Acnologia won.
Whatever his story is, it seems he vowed to become the one and only dragon remaining, which caused him to slay literally every other dragon…including the slayers themselves. Turns out, the Dragon Slayer magic has a harsh side effect. It implants a “Dragon Seed” within humans, causing them to eventually become dragons themselves. This is also why Dragon Slayers can’t travel by vehicle: mixing human senses with dragon causes intense vertigo. In any case, Acnologia killed God Serena and called him a dragon because to him, the slayers are dragons, because they’ll eventually become dragons. Who knows what his goal is once he wins the Dragon King Festival, but we’re now sure of both his goal and the reasoning behind it.
3. This episode fixes another of my problems with the Alvarez arc so far: it cranks the seriousness way up and skips much of the comedy. During the war, Irene wound up marrying a general of a neighboring country to Dragnof as a way of uniting the nations. Things went well until the Dragon Seed sprouting within her began transforming her. The general immediately turned on her and had her tossed into prison. She remained in jail for three years, enduring beatings from the guards until she was scheduled to be executed. Revealing she’d placed a spell sealing away the child within her all this time, the general refused to believe her and tried to cut open her belly to prove it.
Snapping, Irene finally gave in to the transformation and turned completely into a dragon, slaying the general and the army attempting to protect him before flying away. In fairness, this transforms her into a far more tragic figure than I ever could have imagined. It’s impossible not to feel for her as she gradually loses everything she has before nearly being killed by a man who had once claimed to care about her. Her initial transformation feels less horrible and more like justice, as she can finally escape and be left alone. Of course, there’s one problem…
4. Irene spends the next four hundred years traveling alone, attempting to cure herself. This is when she finally runs into Zeref, who with a wave of his hand allows Irene to resemble a human again. But it’s only a resemblance–she loses her ability to sleep or eat, and appears to be in constant pain. After enduring all of this for so long, out of a desire to restore her original self, she realizes there’s a human child still within her–Erza–and attempts to enchant her personality and mind onto the child, taking it’s body for her own.
This is a failed experiment…so we’re told, but man Erza looks a lot like Irene. In any case, once this last gambit fails Irene finally snaps, and decides to have the child and be rid of her humanity once and for all. She births Erza in a small town before moving on, rejoining Zeref…for some reason or another. He botched giving her a human form back, so why help him?
Her final moments with Erza are frustrating for a character who displays so much heart and suffers so much, but if 400 years of suffering isn’t enough to break a person…
5. Still, Erza is a woman of purpose, and even upon hearing how her mother nearly took her life to have her own, she still seems utterly unfazed. She seemed more shook watching Natsu and Gray come to blows than listening to her origin story. Guess we shouldn’t expect her to take it easy on her dear old mom next episode.
Fairy Tail is available for streaming on Funimation and Crunchyroll.