Aisha/Nabu, Pt. 3: How Nabu Undermined Her Story

I’ve talked about how Aisha doesn’t have a character goal. We thought she did, but she accomplished it before she even met the Winx. Still, Rainbow could have built something on that foundation…until they realized Winx Club was coming to a possible end, and she didn’t have a love interest yet.

In Winx season three, they prioritized a quick, convenient romance over her character growth and desires. The damage became permanent when they killed off Nabu in season four. After that happened, Aisha took a back seat to him in the Winx fandom’s hearts.

But even before he died, he had already messed up her story.

The Downsides of Being a Princess

The original theme of Aisha’s story was freedom. Her parents controlled her life and behavior all throughout childhood, so she wanted to escape so she could express herself. The lyrics to her character song, “Live My Life”, explain her feelings:

I heard you say that I’m a rebel
That I don’t follow any rule
And you know it won’t get better
‘Cause I won’t change my attitude
For no one

Daddy, please don’t be upset
Remember when you were my age
You were so restless, we’re the same
So won’t you set me free…

You taught me all I know, that’s why
I will always be your girl
I wanna be out there in the world
I don’t wanna be in chains
No more

Sadly, some of Aisha’s “chains” come with being a princess.

I think you’ll agree the three biggest choices in a person’s life are:

  • Where to live
  • What career to pursue
  • Who to marry

These choices shape our lives more than any other, so much that as we grow up, we prepare for them (especially career).

They’re also interconnected. Where you live might limit your job options and your dating pool. Who you marry might influence where you live and work. And your career might dictate where you live and affect what you look for in a partner.

But Aisha is a princess. Where she’ll live (Andros) and what career she’ll have (queen of Andros) were decided for her when she was born. That only leaves one major life choice she gets to make for herself: who to marry.

“I’ll Choose My Guy?”

Winx season 3: Aisha tells her mother Niobe she doesn't wanna marry Nabu

Aisha’s parents tried to steal that choice from her by forcing her into an arranged marriage, as is tradition. At first, she did what you’d expect her to do: stand up for her convictions.

I don’t care about tradition. Anyway, I’m too young to think about marriage, and when the right time comes, I’ll choose my guy.

“The Red Tower” (Winx season 3, episode 21)

Let’s break this down:

  • “I don’t care about tradition.”
  • “I’m too young to think about marriage…”
  • “I’ll choose my guy.”


  • She didn’t wanna adhere to a tradition that took away her freedom.
  • She wasn’t ready for marriage yet (she was still a teenager, after all).
  • She wanted to pick her husband herself.

Doesn’t all that sound reasonable? It fit her “rebellious princess” character, too.

But screw that! She needed a boyfriend ASAP!

Winx season 3: Aisha apologizes to her parents

Per the rules of the “Perfectly Arranged Marriage” trope, Aisha met her fiancé Nabu, fell in love, and agreed to marry him. She also apologized to her parents for rejecting him. Thus, she let them make all three of her major life choices. They controlled her childhood, and now they’d decided her adulthood before she even became an adult.

But she chose Nabu herself, right? She fell in love before she knew who he was, and their parents let them take their time.

Those are called loopholes. They’re exactly how the trope tricks you. To quote TV Tropes: “It’s not a violation of free will if both [partners] want to get married, after all.” Except Aisha and Nabu may never have met if not for the arranged marriage. (Maybe he wouldn’t have died, either.)

It’s like when a magician says, “Pick a card!” You think your choice matters, but they actually lead you to the card they want you to pick.

Final Thoughts

Aisha is supposed to be a rebel. But she doesn’t have a character goal, and when her parents infringed on the last of her freedom, she caved. What is the point of her story? What does she want in life?

Nabu was a diversion. Will she ever get back on her original path? There’s a chance she finally has, but is it too late to repair her story?

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November 13, 2019 12:11 pm

As an aside, I remember that back in the day, quite a few fans liked Layla because of her independent spirit, and one particular scene in the 4K dub probably stood out at the time: the part in 2×06 where the girls are walking down a cave passageway discussing marriage, and Layla declares “I don’t see why people need marriage. I’m not getting married.” I also found a contemporary review of 3×09, when the Nabu issue was mentioned for the first time, in which the reviewer hoped that her relationship with him would be slow and difficult. So yeah, there was a time when viewers would likely have been okay with Layla remaining solo 🙂

December 3, 2019 11:59 am

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