Netflix’s Fate: The Winx Saga series premiere, “To the Waters and the Wild,” churns out a lot of plot. There are the Burned Ones, the terrifying creatures living in the forest of Winx’s principle dimension, Otherworld. There is the magical boarding school Alfea, which seems to be tied to a forgotten history of violent horrors. Since this is a Netflix teen show created by ex-Vampire Diaries writer Brian Young, there are also the friendships and crushes of Winx’s core cast brewing on the horizon.
But, at the center of all these flights of fancy is the mysterious origin of Winx heroine Bloom (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’s Abigail Cowen), a teen girl who believed she was a normal human up until three weeks prior to the events of the show. Bloom isn’t a regular girl — she’s an excessively powerful fairy and a changeling, as roommate Aisha (Precious Mustapha) informs her in “Waters and the Wind.” A changeling, as Aisha says, is a fairy baby that is taken to the human realm and swapped with a human baby.
From the moment Aisha tells Bloom the reality of her situation, fans likely believe they’re in for a season of reveals about Bloom’s true lineage and the identity of her parents. This is not what happens. Instead, we watch Bloom grow into the kind of fairy who can wield ancient magic by sprouting actual fairy wings and killing Burned Ones through the sheer power of her fire... without any serious explanation. For a moment, it seems possible Bloom is a descendant of the Aster Dell village, which was destroyed years earlier in the war against the Burned Ones. But the residents of Aster Dell were humans who practiced blood magic; Bloom is fairy through and through. As Winx villain Rosalind (Lesley Sharp) explains to Bloom, this means she was stolen as a baby by the “blood witches.” Bloom’s parentage remains wholly unexplored.
This final, thudding twist creates a host of Winx questions that the series purposefully ignores in the final minutes of season finale “A Fanatic Heart.” Why did the Aster Dell witches steal Bloom in the first place? Is there any way to figure out Bloom’s ancestry now that she is an orphan? If Bloom’s parents are as powerful as has been suggested, shouldn’t they have been able to find her in the human realm? What created Bloom’s connection to the Burned Ones in the first place? Throughout Winx season 1, I suspected we would learn Bloom’s pregnant mother was infected by a Burned One before giving birth (thereby passing some Burned One magic onto her child), but no such reveal ever came.
When you zoom out on Winx season 1 — which has a short six-episode season, in comparison to the usual eight to twelve episode order for most Netflix series — you realize the fantasy adventure has many similarly unanswered questions. These are the ones keeping me up at night.
What in the (Other)world is a specialist?
Alfea is home to fairies and the very ripped warriors who help them in battle. Those warriors, like romantic lead Sky (Danny Griffin), are specialists. We are told specialists are not fairies. But Winx never explains what category specialists actually fall into in that case. Are they humans? Are specialists their own species? Are they half-fairy, half-human hybrids with a knack for big swords? We’ll never know.
What are the Burned Ones?
When Winx begins, viewers are told that the Burned Ones are the most dangerous threat in Otherworld. Unlike Game of Thrones, which extravagantly expounds on the mythology of White Walkers, Winx refuses to explain Burned Ones lore beyond mention of their "cinder" core or why the battle against them ramped up so intensely 16 years earlier. It’s also unclear why Alphea, seemingly the premier fairy school in Otherworld, is smack in the middle of the Burned Ones' hunting ground, barrier or no barrier.
To make matters worse, Winx completely avoids considering the finale reveal that Burned Ones revert to human form once they are vanquished by Bloom. That means all the Burned Ones are normal people who have transformed into the creatures (likely against their will).
Does Alfea only have three teachers?
Alfea is posed as a leading supernatural educational facility, akin to Harry Potter's Hogwarts. Yet — even in times of crisis — we only see three adults in the school: headmistress Farah Dowling (Eve Best), plant-based teacher/gardener Professor Harvey (Alex Macqueen), and specialist commander Saul Silva (Robert James-Collier). Is this trio teaching the hundreds of students at Alfea solo? If so, no wonder the school is falling apart.
Does Alfea have a single rule on the books?
Throughout Winx season 1, Terra (Eliot Salt) repeatedly uses her earth fairy powers against her most irritating classmates. Are there no Alfea regulations that prohibit weaponizing one's abilities to harm fellow students? Also, Bloom is allowed to tell her parents about her fairy powers and bring her friends to the truth-telling First World party. Does Otherworld really not have any laws about revealing its existence to pesky humans?
On a related note: Are Bloom’s parents legitimately not upset to learn their daughter accidentally caused a near-fatal house fire with her surprise powers? Bloom’s mother (Eva Birthistle) is still covered in burns in the finale.
What about Ricki!
When we first meet Stella (Hannah van der Westhuysen), Bloom's roommate/romantic rival and a literal princess, we’re led to believe she blinded her best friend Ricki for flirting with Sky. It is eventually revealed that Stella never intended to hurt Ricki — the incident occured due to Stella’s unstable magic. It was an accident. Stella’s mother, the queen (Kate Fleetwood), created the blinding story as a show of force to cover up Stella’s so-called magical “weakness.”
We never see Ricki or find out how she is doing. Justice for Ricki!
What does Aisha do all day when she’s not trying to save Bloom?
Because Winx season 1 really doesn’t want to tell us.