Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders (known as Starla & the Jewel Riders in the export English version), is a 1995-1996 American fantasy children's animated series that is the subject of this Wikia. It also inspired the later Avalon: Web of Magic series of books and and its upcoming animated adaptation.
In the show, the titular young heroines, Princess Gwenevere and her fellow teenage Jewel Riders—Fallon and Tamara—are sent by their wizard mentor Merlin on a great quest to save their enchanted kingdom of Avalon from the threat of the evil sorceress Lady Kale. The three girls share a special bond with their animal friends and each other, which allows them to work together as a team. Aided by the boys of the Pack, they go on their adventures to use their friendship and the magic of Enchanted Jewels in order to stop Kale and bring the now exiled Merlin back home.
- Main article: List of characters
The show's recurring characters include the eponymous Princess Gwenevere/Starla, Fallon, and Tamara, as well as Lady Kale, Merlin, Morgana, Archimedes, Drake and the rest of the Pack, Sunstar, Moondance, Shadowsong, Rufus and Twig, Grimm, Queen Anya, King Jared, the Babies, and Ian, among others.
(The various minor characters appearing only in one or two episodes are covered in the common article about the episodic characters.)
- Main article: List of episodes
There have been two seasons, each with 13 episodes:
- The show's first season (originally aired between September and December 1995) begins with "Jewel Quest, Part I" and ends with "Full Circle".
- The second one (1996) begins with "Morgana" and ends with "The Last Dance" ("The One Jewel").
- Main article: Development
Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders was produced by the New York-based studios New Frontier Entertainment and Enchanted Camelot Productions for Bohbot Productions (later BKN) in 1995, in co-production with toy company Hasbro, originally planned as an adaptation of Dragonriders of Pern. There have been many different changes between the various early concepts and phases and the final animated version, including different titles.
- Main article: Merchandise
Several dolls and various other merchandise items released have been produced for the show. (The book is covered separately.)
The magical kingdom of Avalon has been a place of peace and serenity for many generations, and the realm with all its people and creatures has prospered under the protection of the good wizard Merlin ever since his victory over the ancient wizards 1,000 years ago. But darkness is looming as an evil force emerges—the power-hungry Lady Kale, envious of Merlin and jealous of her good twin sister Queen Anya, plans to take control all the magic of the kingdom so she can overthrow Merlin's order and reign forever. And to make things worse, the dangerous wild magic is now getting out of control.
The only hopes lies with three teen girls: the beautiful Princess Gwenevere (or Gwen, also known as Starla) and her fellow novice Jewel Riders, the tough and agile Fallon and the empathetic and musical Tamara, accompanied by their special friend unicorn mounts and Merlin's owl Archie, who must stand up to the terrible powers of Gwen's wicked aunt. The three young heroines, aided by the wolf-riding young knights of the Pack led by Gwen's suitor Drake, need to learn how to use the good magic of their Enchanted Jewels—Gwenevere's Sun Stone, Fallon's Moon Stone, and Tamara's Heart Stone—so they can deliver Avalon from evil in their great Jewel Quest. The girls and their friends have to combat destructive outbreaks of the wild magic and find the hidden magic jewels so they can defeat Kale and later also Morgana, rescue Merlin, and restore peace and the balance in magic.
Throughout the series, the girls and their animal friends learn lessons, experience romance and ride into courageous adventures as they explore their fantastic world and oppose evil. The importance of friendship is a key theme in all of the stories. Having distinctive Enchanted Jewels visually signifies the friendship bond between a Jewel Rider or the Pack member and his or her animal friend. The meaning and values of friends, destiny, and accepting responsibility are expressed in the Circle of Friendship, a special and revered ceremony commemorating the bonding with an animal friend—this philosophy is the major theme in the series as the Enchanted Jewels encourage teamwork.
Season 1 storyline Edit
- Main article: Jewel Quest
The evil Lady Kale, a former Princess who has been banished from the Crystal Palace by Merlin, obtains the powerful Dark Stone and attempts to gain control of the Crown Jewels—seven mystic stones which bind the magic of the kingdom to good. Kale plans to use the magic of these jewels to turn Avalon into a dark realm and rule it for all of eternity. After Merlin refuses to give her the key to the Jewel Box in which the Crown Jewels are stored and scatters the jewels all across kingdom and beyond, she casts him into the Wild Magic to perish there. With Merlin now gone, the witch's magic spreads chaos in the realm as she plans to twist it into her own dark domain.
The only way Merlin’s three inexperienced students, known as the Jewel Riders, can overcome Kale's dark magic, save their kingdom and rescue their mentor is to find all seven Crown Jewels, now hidden. Gwenevere (paired with with Sunstar), Fallon with (paired with Moondance), and Tamara thus embark on a great quest as they search for these lost stones to get them secured before Kale can steal them away—and, in the end, hopefully rid the world of her and let the exiled Merlin return to Avalon.
Season 2 storyline Edit
Merlin and the Jewel Riders seemed to have won against Lady Kale, but Merlin still remains trapped inside the Wild Magic. What is more, they soon find out that not only Kale is still alive but now she has a very dangerous new ally—a newly revived evil queen Morgana, once the leader of ancient wizards. Together, the two witches hatch a plan to gain control of legendary Wizard Jewels to at last destroy Merlin and rule Avalon and the wild magic. Meanwhile, the Jewel Riders discover that having the Crown Jewels tuned to their own Enchanted Jewels have given them greater powers, too.
Thus begins the quest for the the magic jewels that can return either Morgana or Merlin to Avalon. In a race against the forces of darkness, the Jewel Riders have to master their new magic and get the stones first for the goodness to prevail. The girls and their friends, old and new, must do do their best to defeat their enemies once and for all and finally free Merlin.
Avalon: Web of Magic Edit
- Main article: Avalon: Web of Magic
Avalon: Web of Magic (and its spin-off Avalon: The Warlock Diaries) is a series of young adult novels and comics written by Rachel Robert and inspired by Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders. In comparison to the Jewel Riders, the target audience of which was pre-teen girls, Avalon is aimed at an older (teenage / young adult) audience. An animated series adaptation of Avalon is currently in production for a planned 2018 premiere, also produced by the Jewel Riders creator Robert Mandell.
- Main article: Fandom
Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders fandom has kept a small Internet presence for over two decades, in particular in its native USA and in France (where the show was most successful), and to a significant degree also in Russia.
Further reading Edit
- Credits and cast
- King Arthur and the Knights of Justice
- The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers
- Catalan: Starla i les amazones de les joies
- English: Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders
- French: Princesse Starla et les Joyaux magiques
- German: Starla und die Kristallretter
- Italian: Starla e le sette gemme del mistero
- Polish: Starla i Jeźdźcy
- Portugaese: Starla e as Jóias Encantadas
- Russian: Принцесса Старла и повелители камней
- Serbo-Croat: Starla i jahačice dragulja
- Spanish: La princesa Starla
- Swedish: Starla och juvelriddarna