(I originally wrote this on the Winx Club Amino. This is an edited version.)
What do I think Nex’s role is, besides Aisha’s boyfriend? He’s her “foil.”
A “foil” is a character with opposite traits of another character, typically the main character. The purpose of a foil is to highlight the main character’s traits.
Here’s a Winx scene to help explain it. In “Up to Their Old Trix” (Winx season 2, episode 2), Wizgiz scooped up some light into a ball and showed it to his students. But they couldn’t see it until he turned off the lights in the room. That’s because light “only shows its power in the darkness, its polar opposite”.
The darkness in the room made the ball of light shine brighter. Likewise, a foil’s traits help the main character’s traits stand out more.
Wizgiz’s lesson was about yin and yang, opposites that go together — day and night, hot and cold, up and down, etc. Foils are like yin and yang. The main character is one half, and their foil is the other.
Aisha’s more aware of people’s feelings. That’s why other Winx like Musa and Flora feel like they can talk to her about anything. When she calls Nex out for being insensitive, we’re meant to see that she’s considerate.
Rudeness is one of the reasons most fans don’t like Nex. But even a character’s flaws serve a purpose in a story. The more flawed he is, the better Aisha looks compared to him. That’s his job: to be the darkness that helps her shine brighter.
But Aisha and Nex still love each other. They may not be an intensely romantic couple, but why do they have to be? Should all love look the same?