Rating: 5 (of 5)
This season of Bookworm was only scheduled to be 10 episodes, as that much brings the overall story to its most obvious transition point. Hence it’s quite satisfying that the last episode is also the best and most emotional for part 3 of the series.
It also loads up with bombshell revelations which finally fully explain the relative status of numerous key characters. As I postulated last episode, Sylvester is, indeed, Aub Ehrenfest, aka the lord of Ehrenfest. What I did not expect is that Ferdinand is Sylvester’s younger half-brother and the High Priest is Sylvester’s (and thus also technically Ferdinand’s) uncle. From that, we can postulate that the High Priest is the younger brother of the former lord, who was shunted to the Cathedral for being an “extra;” this also explains why he has the highest status in the church. This also explains why Ferdinand had the highest status among the knights; even if he was illegitimate, he’s still the brother of the lord, and he clearly has magic on par with his rank. I have heard mention that he’s in the church more for political reasons than because he’s in the same situation as the High Priest, so there may still be something there to be revealed. It’s also interesting that Gunther recognizes Sylvester as the lord, so apparently he has met him at some point. (Presumably when Sylvester traveled through the city gate?) Benno also clearly knew who Sylvester was and what the blood seal on the black pendant meant, so either he knew Sylvester was the lord at the time of their meeting back in episode 31 or Sylvester told him when he made whatever offer he did to Benno, and that’s part of why Benno was so flummoxed.
Much of the rest of this plays out about as expected. Main is getting formally adopted, which means both that her name will change (to Rozemyne) and that any connection she has to her previous family is severed. She’ll be regarded as having died, and they will have to both spread that story and treat her as both a stranger and noble on any future meeting. The connections will still remain, but just won’t be overt anymore. Yes, this is harsh, but as Sylvester points out, it’s still a compromise to him having them eliminated, and they will still be able to connect through devices like Tuuli being Rozzmyne’s official clothier when she becomes a professional. (Also keep in mind season 1 references to a purge a few years back, and that means Sylvester would have been the one to carry it out, so despite his behavior in episodes 30-31, he is that ruthless.) Jenni’s fate looks grim for being an accomplice to the High Priest, but Delia – who really didn’t know what was going on – gets a mercy worthy of Main: she’s permanently consigned to the orphanage as its caretaker. This is a clever move on Main’s part, as it absolutely looks like a punishment from the outside, and once was what Delia most dreaded. Now, however, she is suited to this role, and it will allow her to stay with Dirk. Delia also seems to understand and appreciate all of that.
That leaves the last part of the episode for the formal good-byes between Main and her family, and that is a beautifully-executed, highly-emotional scene. The blessing and healing Main releases is one of the series’ most special scenes, and nowhere in the series are the musical selections more fitting than here. The only minor quibble I have is that it sure looked like Main’s mother was signing and sealing Tuuli’s name.
The story isn’t over, of course. There are still several more novels which could be animated, and the “to be continued. . .” before the end card suggests that more animation could come eventually. Sylvester apparently recognized, as Ferdinand did, that Main’s printing and paper industry would be invaluable to Ehrenfest, so her long-term task as Rozemyne will be to develop and promote those industries. This opens up a whole new stage to the story and I am curious to see where it goes next. Any continuation will be warmly welcomed!
Thoughts on Other Series I’m Following:
Since I was away for much of last week for a convention, I’m behind on several titles at the moment. Look for an update on this later this week or with next week’s Spy x Family review.