This recap of Netflix’s Bastard!! Heavy Metal, Dark Fantasy season 1, episode 13 — the ending explained — contains spoilers. You can check out our spoiler-free season review by clicking these words.
In episode thirteen, “Wavering”, Dark Schneider continues his battle with Empress Arshes Nei. It’s a complex and passionate fight, with the finale exploring their chequered past in more detail via flashbacks. Having survived imminent death, Dark Schneider rises from the dead and the two sorcerers engage in a monumental showdown.
Bastard!! -Heavy Metal, Dark Fantasy- season 1, episode 13 recap – the ending explained
Arshes summons the thunder spirits and in turn, Dark Schneider summons the fire spirits, symbolized as salamanders. She talks of yearning to create a utopia, whilst Dark Schneider just wants destruction. Arshes wishes for a future where magic rules, there are no wars, and no more poverty. Dark Schneider thinks she’s living in a fantasy world and sees humanity for what it truly is.
A flashback reveals Arshes upbringing. She was bullied as a child for being a half-elf. Then war came and she sided with the Dark elves, although they eventually abandoned her as well. Left all alone, Dark Schneider took her in and raised her as his own. He saved her and they lived happily for a hundred years. They do add that she was his daughter and lover, which is highly problematic. The writers don’t really address this messed-up plot point, but it does have an obvious detrimental effect on Arshes.
She clearly still has feelings for Dark Schneider and doesn’t want to kill him. The audience are then reminded that she is under a spell, cast by the dark Priest Abigail. This accursed spell means that she must kill Dark Schneider or be turned into a toad. The only way to kill him is to remove the beating heart from his chest. Arshes is fighting Dark Schneider, but also herself internally. She’s torn between killing her lover and destroying her own image.
They both cast the Ultimate Spell of Destruction at the very same time. The two sorcerers are locked in battle and appear evenly matched. Arshes starts to waver slightly and Dark Schneider has the upper hand. He begins to overpower her and she starts to cry. Arshes doesn’t want to die, but the spell cannot be reversed; it’s a hopeless situation.
Dark Schneider hears a voice from within and Lucien speaks to him. The boy warns the wizard that Arshes is suffering and that she loves him. Dark Schneider sees that the accused spell is upon Arshes. Lucien explains that she doesn’t want to die by the curse, she wants to die by his hand instead. The wizard curses Abigail and blasts a ray of energy skywards. As the spell begins to fade, Dark Schneider walks over to Arshes. He rips out his own heart for her in the final moments of season one.
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