Critical Role: The show that started all
"The Legend of Vox Machina" is an animated series for adults based on the popular web series, "Critical Role". As fans of Critical Role know, the show follows a group of nerdy-ass voice actors who play Dungeons and Dragons while telling engaging stories on videos. Due to their immense success online, Critical Role has grown into its own multimedia company, which produces original shows and more. At first, the creators were simply looking to make a 22-minute animated episode about one of their D&D adventures. However, they soon discovered that they needed funding in order to turn their vision into a reality. To finance the project, they turned to Kickstarter, and much to their surprise, their campaign quickly went viral, raising over $10 million from donors around the world. That caught the attention of Amazon, which decided to order a full season of the show.
The Legend of Vox Machina
"The Legend of Vox Machina" follows a group of unlikely heroes who find themselves on a quest to save the kingdom of Exandria from dark magical forces. The group is a diverse bunch, and each member brings their own unique skills and personality to the table.
The main characters
- Grog Strongjaw is the perfect example of a barbarian and a goliath. He's large and muscular, with a tendancy for violence. This comes from his background with the Herd of Storms, where he learned to fight and kill. However, Grog doesn't kill for fun. He only fights those who are strong enough to pose a challenge. This is what makes him a great warrior. He's always looking for a difficult opponent to test his skills against. When he finally defeats someone, it's a very satisfying feeling for him. Grog loves nothing more than a good fight. It's in his blood.
- Pike Trickfoot is a cleric gone who used to belong to a family of thieves. However, his great grandfather decided to pursue another path in life, which led the family to worship the goddess Everlight instead. As a result, Pike grew up in a religious household and became friends with Grog when the goliath saved her from an attack. In turn, Pike sought out Grog to heal his wounds, and the two became best friends and drinking buddies. Together, they formed the foundations of Vox Machina and went on many adventures together.
- When it comes to the Scanlan Shorthalt, he is definitely one of a kind. Not only is he the team's second gone, but he is also incredibly talkative and always seems to be in a good mood. With an infectious laugh and fast wit, Scanlan doubles as the team's resident clown while managing to stay focused on their mission. In addition, Scanlan is also their resident playboy - there's rarely a night where he doesn't end up having sex with someone. Scanlan Shorthalt was born into a poor family, and his mother was the only one supporting him. When Scanlan's mom was killed by goblins, he was devastated. He didn't know what to do or where to go. That's when he met Grog. Grog was a member of a mercenary group that laid the foundations for Vox Machina. Scanlan has been confirmed to be "partially heterosexual". It seems that he's pansexual.
- Vax'ildan, or Vax for short, is one of the twin members of the group. He's bisexual and love to spend time with people of the same gender when not with Keyleth. Despite his seemingly perfect appearance, Vax is actually quite complex underneath all that perfection. Growing up, Vax had always felt like an outcast. His mother was a human, while his father was an elf – a combination that wasn't exactly common in the elven capital where he lived. But no matter how hard they tried, he and his sister never quite seemed like true members of the elven society. As such, they went back home only to find out that their mother had been killed by a dragon. Not willing to go back to elven society, Vax decided to become a mercenary instead. Quick and stealthy, Vax is often the party's go-to guy for opening locked doors or spying on people.
- Vex'ahlia, or Vex for short, is one of the leading members and a highly skilled ranger. As the twin sister of Vax and bisexual half-elf, she shares a close bond with her brother and has been by his side through thick and thin. Motivated by her mom's death, Vex dedicated herself to mastering the art of dragon lore, eventually taking up arms against the very creature that ended her mother's life.
- Keyleth is also a half-elf. She was born and raised in the Ashari tribe, a community known for its guardianship of the elemental plane. Her father was the headmaster of the Air Ashari, and he chose Keyleth to be his successor, making her an integral part of her village's continued survival. Determined to prove herself worthy of this calling, Keyleth embarks on a quest. Along the way, she meets Vax and Vex, who join her on her journey. Though they start off as strangers, Keyleth finds herself growing closer to one of the twins over time. This creates some tension between them as Vex vehemently opposes any romantic relationship between her brother and Keyleth.
- Percival De Rolo, or simply Percy, is a proud and noble warrior who hails from the once-great family that ruled the mystical land of Whitestone. This powerful dynasty welcomed the Briarwoods as guests in their kingdom, but they were cruelly betrayed by these evil usurpers through their own deceptive schemes. All of the members of the De Rolo family, except for Percy and his sister, were killed during this treacherous takeover. The two siblings were both imprisoned and brutally tortured for years. But eventually, through sheer determination and strength of will, Percy managed to escape his captors and join up with the rest of the group.
Together, this unlikely band of heroes sets out to vanquish evil from the kingdom of Exandria once and for all!
The main cast
The cast members includes some well-known actors, including Marisha Ray as Keyleth, Sam Riegel as Scanlan, Liam O’Brien as Vax’ildan, Laura Bailey as Vex’ahlia, Ashley Johnson as Pike, Taliesin Jaffe as Percival, and Matthew Mercer as Sylas.
The first season of the show will feature a number of guest stars, including openly bisexual actress Stephanie Beatriz (pictured above). Beatriz, who is best known for her role in "In The Heights", will be playing the role of Lady Kima of Vord, who is described as a lesbian halfling paladin considered one of the more powerful forces of divine good. She is married to Allura Vysoren, a bisexual woman who also appears in the show and who is portrayed by Indira Varma (Game of Thrones).
In the video, Stephanie Beatriz and the rest of the team tell us more about what makes Kima such a compelling character. (It starts at 8’17.")
Finally, Gilmore is a gay man who has only shown attraction to men in the campaign. He was involved in a flirtatious relationship with Vax'ildan. Gilmore will appear in three episodes of the first season and is portrayed by Sunil Malhotra.
“The Legend of Vox Machina” is accessible to all
While “The Legend of Vox Machina” is based on the "Dungeons & Dragons" role-playing game, it is designed to be accessible to viewers who are not familiar with the game. The first two episodes tell a stand-alone story that serves to introduce the characters and the world of Exandria. Even if you're not familiar with Critical Role or D&D, you'll be able to follow along and enjoy the adventure.
Can’t wait for season 1? Watch the trailer now!
Here's hoping that season 1 is as great as it looks!
Where and when to watch the series?
This Friday, January 28th, 2022, the highly-anticipated first season of Critical Role's new animated series "The Legend of Vox Machina" will be released on Amazon Prime Video. Over the course of twelve episodes, viewers will get a chance to follow our intrepid heroes as they embark on a series of incredible adventures. So mark your calendars and tune in on January 28th to catch the first three episodes of the series. And be sure to check back every week for more action-packed adventures from your favorite adventurer party! Here's the link: primevideo.com/detail/The-Legend-of-Vox-Machina
Season 2 is already planned
"The Legend of Vox Machina" season 2 is already in the works! Amazon has ordered 24 episodes for the show, and season 1 consisted of 12 episodes so the cast and crew will be back to continue the story of this group of unlikely heroes.