The card for this episode is the Emperor. This is a card of order, of authority, of regulation, of the stern but loving father.
There is a strong overtone here of duty fulfilled, and in many ways Van and the other major characters are but witnesses to the central purpose of this episode.
So, naturally, there's a whole bunch of action to distract you from that.
When The Secret Door ended Zaibach were about to attack. When Red Destiny begins they are already on the grounds of the castle, casualties everywhere, and advancing towards the keep. What just happened? Did I miss something?
Dilandau is looking for the dragon but is concerned by the lack of resistance and orders the Dragonslayers to stay out of the castle.
Some distance away in a floating fortress, Folken concurs. He knows that stealing the secret treasure of Freid, held for generations cannot be this easy.
After the card is revealed other Zaibach troops enter the keep and Voris sacrifices himself setting off a trap destroying the castle. As the castle crumbles the forces of Freid flee to the west.
Dilandau is amused.
As they fly away Chid grieves for the lost and Van enters a flashback. didn't miss anything, the writers are just messing with me. :)
Just as Van was setting off to guard the gates he is asked by Voris to fall back with Duke Freid, Allen, and the others.
Chid is again admonished by his father who exhorts him to accept the fate of those born in Freid, the duty of a prince, the duty of his son. At this Chid straightens and clearly accepts his role.
Dornkirk is concerned about the disruptions to his visions of the future, and Folken deduces that the forces of Freid are heading to Fortona, the oldest temple in Freid.
Which, incidentally, looks like it's built into the caldera of an extinct volcano.
Freid holds court in the temple and the treasure sword is returned to him Once again Freid's determination to see Chid as is son is reinforced as he shows Chid the duty of the house of Freid.
In a hidden room it turns out that the treasure sword has a pommel stone much like Hitomi's pendant. The sword displays Atlantian writing on the wall as Freid tells of the rise and fall of Atlantis. Hitomi experiences this history as a vision and collapses.
It turns out that the sword is the seal to the Atlantean power and is the duty of Freid to defend it.
Chid accepts this duty as a prince of Freid.
This moment, like the earlier one in the airship, is a more than a little sad as you see Chid's childhood wither and die in the face of duty.
A little while later Hitomi discovers Van attempting to use the dowsing techniques to completely synchronise himself with Escaflowne. Apparently the blood pact wasn't enough, he wants to operate Escaflowne with his thoughts alone. He does apologise for asking Hitomi to do more readings for him.
Van goes off to see Allen. The energist glows and Hitomi is drawn into another vision, this time of bloody rain and the death of Duke Freid.
Outside the ordinary rain stops, Allen and Chid meet in a corridor, Allen bows to a Prince, and they pass without words.
The battle begins as Merle prays for Van's safety.
Dilandau basically dismantles Freid's golden guymelef but Allen prevents him from killing the Duke.
At this point the Duke has an epiphany and realises that what is coming cannot be stopped, and that perhaps Gaea will survive where Atlantis fell.
I really should be objecting to this scene as completely illogical but somehow it works. The idea that Freid should suddenly accept the need for a new way whilst paying for the old with his life seems to fit the character perfectly.
Van steps in to rescue Allen from Dilandau and the dragonslayers. Van is doing a fair amount of damage but Escaflowne takes blows, wounds open up on Van.
Freid stands to challenge Zaibach alone. A flight of arrows strikes him down and he dies remembering his wife Marlene.
As he falls, Freid surrenders.
Chid respects his father's wishes and vows to rebuild Freid, and he will not cry.
The formal surrender occurs as the Crusade flies away.
For some reason Van hasn't left Escaflowne and there is blood dripping from the cockpit.
In the larger scheme of things Van and the others are essentially observers of the royal house of Freid. This episode is primarily about the relationship between Freid and Chid, and about the duty of Kings.
This is the reason for the Atlantis infodump, and Van's developing link to Escaflowne is essentially the B plot in this episode.
After seeing this episode I am somewhat revising my opinion of Hitomi's characterisation in the previous episode. I don't entirely agree with seawasp, but the reading was necessary for Chid's character development in this episode. I still think it jars somewhat though.
This is a strong episode with a real "uh oh" ending that leads into an entirely new arc of the story.
Also worth noting that in many 26 episode series, episode 13 or 14 will be a recap episode. This wasn't, and there isn't one in Escaflowne.
Day 1 - Fateful Confession / The Tower
Day 2 - The Girl From the Mystic Moon / Ace of Serpents
Day 3 - The Gallant Swordsman / Death
Day 4 - The Diabolical Adonis / The Hanged Man
Day 5 - The Seal of the Brothers / Judgement
Day 6 - Capitol of Intrigue / Justice
Day 7 - Unexpected Partings / The Chariot
Day 8 - Sub vs Dub
Day 9 - The Day the Angel Flew / Temperance
Day 10 - Memories of a Feather / Ace of Birds
Day 11 - The Blue-Eyed Prince / Knight of Beasts
Day 12 - Prophecy of Death / The Devil
Day 13 - The Secret Door / High Priestess
Day 14 - Red Destiny / The Emperor
Day 15 - ???
Day 16 - Dangerous Wounds
Day 17 - Lost Paradise
Day 18 - The Guided Ones
Day 19 - The Edge of the World
Day 20 - The Gravity of Destiny
Day 21 - Operation Golden Rule of Love
Day 22 - False Vows
Day 23 - Reaction of Fortune
Day 24 - ???
Day 25 - The Black Winged Angel
Day 26 - Storm Premonition
Day 27 - Fateful Decision
Day 28 - Zone of Absolute Fortune
Day 29 - Eternal Love
Day 30 - Looking Back at The Vision of Escaflowne