The Ancient Magus’ Bride Episode 10: Mysterious Origins and Lindel’s Master

Quick Summary

In The Ancient Magus’ Bride episode 10, “We live and learn,” Chise Hatori accepts Lindel’s invitation to visit the Land of the Dragons, but with a strange twist — she’s to come alone with Ruth. Why does Lindel want to separate her from Elias Ainsworth? Why did Elias agree to let her go alone? And what’s this about Hatori being Lindel’s granddaughter?

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.

What’s In This Post

Quick Episode Summary
3 Favorite Moments
Thoughts
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3 Favorite Moments

After saying their goodbyes, Hatori paused, clearly hoping for sometime more. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
  1. Hatori’s ready to take off for the Land of Dragons. She has the lunch that Silky prepared for her, and she’s mounted on the dragon with Ruth. Both Silky and Elias are there to see them off. They say their goodbyes, including Elias’ advice that Hatori not freeze, and then they pause (4:31). They’re about to part for one of the first times since they met (well, willingly). Hatori’s obviously expecting something more than a simple “Don’t freeze!” I think Ruth understood, and I’m surprised Silky didn’t elbow Elias in the ribs or something to get him to make some expression of affection. That moment perfectly summed up Hatori and Elias’ relationship. In short, it showed that even now, Elias just doesn’t have any idea how human emotions work! Though later in this episode, we get hints that he’s starting to get an idea.

    Lindel prepares to tell Hatori something of the origins of mages and of Elias. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
  2. This show touches on many ancient ideas, like the existence of fairies and the struggle between mages and sorcerers. It blends these ideas so well with our world that it seems like an completely realistic. That’s why I was so happy to watch the scene where Lindel began to tell Hatori the story of his first meeting with Elias (12:14). Hatori and Ruth and settled down for the night in Lindel’s tipi. There’s a warm fire between them. Outside, it’s dark and cold. That a perfect setting for a story! I think I was excited to hear what Lindel had to say as Hatori was!
  3. Travel-sized Elias is stupidly adorable (18:34). He’s usually this imposing figure who has to look down at everyone, so it made sense when Rahab, Lindel’s master, asked if he could become smaller or more human sized so he could enter her home. And he just did it! He looked and sounded so much like a child that I don’t think Rahab could help herself: she took his little hand and guided him inside. Sure, the cute-ness factor was high, and that alone might have recommended it for one of my favorite moments in this episode. But the fact that Elias, not remembering who or what he was, still had some mage-like powers, was fascinating.

Thoughts

Elias in travel form even had a little voice! But how did he know how to change his stature? Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

The tipi scene really resonated with me. Part of its appeal was that three of them were huddled inside around a fire at night. It was primitive, a scene that the most modern humans or our most distant ancestors might have participated in. But I don’t think the universality alone is what appealed to me.

We can find another part of its appeal in the answer to another question: why doesn’t Elias’ back story feel like exposition? Shouldn’t it just feel like a Lindel’s just telling us what happened — telling instead of showing? Well, no, he’s not “just” telling us. Like the nomads who probably taught him the art, he’s weaving a story for Hatori. She’ll learn something about Elias’ past and about her “grandfather,” too, but that’s not the main point. She’ll be entertained as she learns. Stories are a primal part of what it is to be human (or a fae).

This show blends fantastical elements like the selkie with the mundane so well it’s almost like a documentary. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

There’s one more dimension to it, and it’s something else I’ve come to love about this series. It was lurking outside the tipi at night, almost held at bay by the fire. It’s where Elias’ origins are lost. It surrounds the first administrator of the Land of Dragons. It’s called mystery. Our ancient story-tellers who came up with the ideas of the fairies and mages and magic understood it well. Mystery gives the story depth. Mystery invites us in to search for meaning together. It invites us to search partly in the hopes we’ll solve the mystery and partly for no more than the sake of the communal search. The shared experience is part of the fun!

Which is why I write these reviews!

What were your favorite moments in this episode? Let me know in the comments!

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Post Author: tcrow