Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders (known as Starla & the Jewel Riders in the export English version), is a 1995-1996 fantasy 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 (named Starla in the Starla version) 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 bring the now exiled Merlin back home. Only he can truly defeat the powers of evil and return order and goodness to the land.
- Main article: List of characters
The show's recurring characters include the eponymous Jewel Riders: 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, Thunder, 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 over Avalon forever. And to make things in the kingdom even 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 adventurous girls and their friends, together riding the wild magic via the Travel Trees portals, have to combat destructive outbreaks of the wild magic and find the hidden magic jewels. The teens need to rise to the occasion so they can be able to battle and eventually defeat the evil princess Kale and later also an even greater menace of the legendary witch queen Morgana, free Merlin, and restore peace in the kingdom and balance in the magic.
Throughout the series, the questing 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, Kale's magic begins to spread chaos in the realm as she plans to twist it into her own dark domain.
But Merlin can still save their kingdom from evil and get the wild magic under control. As he vanished, Merlin put all his trust in his three inexperienced students, known as the Jewel Riders: the only way these young champions overcome Kale's dark magic and save their mentor is to find all seven Crown Jewels, now hidden through the seven lands. 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 get rid the world of her dark magic and let the exiled Merlin return to Avalon.
Season 2 storyline Edit
Merlin and the Jewel Riders seemed to have prevailed, but still Merlin has remained trapped inside the Wild Magic. What is more, they soon find out that not only Kale is back but now she has a very dangerous new ally—a newly revived evil queen Morgana, once the leader of ancient wizards, who is even worse and more powerful than her. The two hatch a plan to gain control of legendary Wizard Jewels to at last destroy Merlin and rule Avalon and all the wild magic. Meanwhile, Merlin's Jewel Riders champions discover that having the Crown Jewels tuned to their own Enchanted Jewels have given them greater powers, too. Tamara also soon gets paired with her new special friend and own steed, Shadowsong.
Thus begins the quest for the the magic jewels that can return either Morgana or Merlin to Avalon, and destroy the other. 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 time has come for them and their friends, old and new, including Gwen's new love interest Ian, to become the true heroes. Can they free Avalon of dark magic once and for all?
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.
Further reading Edit
- Credits and cast
- List of vehicles
- King Arthur and the Knights of Justice
- The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers
- Miss and Mister Avalon
- English: Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders
- Catalan: Starla i les amazones de les joies
- 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