About a week ago, an Aisha/Roy fan left a long comment on Power of Charmix‘s Roy video. I didn’t wanna write an even longer response on YouTube, so I turned my thoughts into a new series. The first two posts will focus on Roy, and the other two will focus on Nex (and Riven, since the fan compared the two).
Roy definitely had potential, enough to [be] Aisha’s love interest, but the creators only used him to make a love triangle between Aisha and Nex.
This line unintentionally hints at why Roy had no potential. He had “enough to [be] Aisha’s love interest”, but he didn’t have enough to be a character in his own right.
A love interest, like any other character, shouldn’t exist just to benefit another character. If they do, they’re shallow. What separates a shallow love interest from a well-written one? As the writing advice site Springhole.net put it:
Mainly, avoiding a shallow love interest…is about making sure that not all of your character’s defining traits and actions end up relating to or primarily benefiting [the person they love] in some way.
Let’s face it: most of the guys in Winx Club, including Nex, are shallow love interests. Sky and Riven may be the only two who aren’t (because they’re the only two Rainbow cares about). But Roy seemed the most shallow. Everything from his job to his hobbies to his abilities revolved around Aisha and her world.
I think that’s one reason he didn’t seem to have a personality. (I’ll talk more about that later.) If the only thing that mattered to his character was being her love interest, his personality didn’t matter, either. He could just be a “nice guy” — pleasant, but lacking any depth.
He also didn’t bond with the other Specialists because his only relevant relationships were with Aisha, the object of his desire, and Nex, his rival for her love. So when Roy joined the squad in Winx season six, it was only to put him closer to her. Never mind that it clashed with his job. If he worked for her father, when would he have had time to train at Redfountain and go on missions?
Why Love Interests Need Flaws
Even though most of the Winx’s love interests are shallow, the well-written ones have flaws that give them room for personal growth. For example:
Timmy is self-conscious and also cowardly. One of the worst consequences was in Winx season two, when Tecna lost respect for him and almost broke up with him.
Brandon is a vain ladies’ man. In the early seasons, he flirted with other girls while dating Stella. Sometimes she didn’t care. Sometimes she did. A lot.
Nex, of course, is arrogant. He shows off and likes to believe he’s the best at everything. Aisha, his physical and mental equal, knows how to knock him off his pedestal.
In most of these cases, the guy’s relationship with his girlfriend offers him a chance to overcome his flaws.
Though Tecna had one misstep, she typically sings Timmy’s praises and supports his ideas (which only she understands most of the time). This has boosted his self-esteem over the years.
Since falling in love with Stella, Brandon has settled down. She demands exclusivity from him, and he doesn’t want to hurt her.
Aisha, being a strong, no-nonsense girl, isn’t afraid to confront Nex about his behavior. Also, as a fellow athlete, he acknowledges her skills even when she beats him.
If a man has no room to grow when he meets the heroine, are they really meant to be together….? I want to see how the characters complement each other — how they inspire each other to become their best selves.
Note the phrase “each other”. Timmy, Brandon, and Nex also offer something to their girlfriends. For example, Tecna and Timmy understand each other’s minds better than anyone else; Brandon calls Stella out on her immaturity; and Nex, who’s more social than Aisha, helps her learn to appreciate her support system. So these relationships are mutually beneficial. The partners give to and gain from each other.
That’s what the author of the article meant by the partners inspiring each other to become their best selves. When you have two characters who maximize each other’s growth, it’s easy to see why they belong together. Their positive influence on each other helps them both become better people.
So what were Roy’s flaws? How would Aisha have brought out the best in him? Well, from the way the Winx fandom talks about him, it sounds like they think he was already his best self! If he got there without her, what would she have added to his life other than a girlfriend? That’s what any girl would be, so why Aisha?
Roy’s Flaw, According to His Character Descriptions
Maybe I missed something. Let’s check his character descriptions. I’ve only seen two: the one published in a 2012 article from MovieTele.it and the one from the 2019 book Winx Club: Guida al Mondo Magico (Guide to the Magical World).
The first one is no help. Not only does it not mention Roy’s flaws, but it doesn’t mention his personality, either! All it says is (translated by DeepL Translator):
A new Specialist who lives on Andros, a boy who’s passionate about diving who Aisha will become fond of.
“Who Aisha will become fond of” is actually my translation. DeepL translated that part as “meet Aisha’s sympathies” (incontrerà le simpatie di Aisha), which makes little sense in English. The word “simpatie” is the plural form of “simpatia”, which means “liking” or “fondness”. It’s not the same as love; in fact, WordReference.com’s example sentence specifically distinguishes it from love:
ITALIAN: “Luca si è dichiarato ma io per lui provo solo simpatia e non amore.” ENGLISH: “Luca told me he is in love with me, but I only feel fondness for him.”
MovieTele.it’s article came out about a week before season five premiered in Italy. So long before they introduced Nex, Rainbow clarified that whatever Aisha felt for Roy wasn’t love — just “fondness”.
Let’s look at his other character description. This one mentions a flaw, but it’s questionable. Under “Punto Debole” (weakness/flaw), it says:
Wait…what? Competitiveness was supposed to be his flaw? When did we ever see that from him — except in the love triangle? Competing with someone for another person’s affection isn’t the same as being competitive.
The only other time we saw a competitive side to him was when he challenged Aisha to a swimming race in “The Gem of Empathy” (Winx season 5, episode 9). But there was nothing excessive about his behavior, and they didn’t even end up racing, so we didn’t see how he would act in a low-stakes contest. The rest of his competitive moments were with Nex in the love triangle.
Also, is this really a flaw? The guide doesn’t even say Roy is too competitive (troppo competitivo); it just says he’s very competitive. But there’s nothing wrong with being competitive unless the person goes too far, or they’re competitive in inappropriate situations. Again, we never saw that from him except in the love triangle.
This is something I noticed not only about Roy, but also Nabu in the Winx Guide. Both of their flaws are plot-based rather than personality-based. What is Nabu’s? He “overestimates his power” (sopravvaluta il suo potere). That’s obviously a reference to how he died. When he was alive, he mostly underestimated his power.
It’s as if Rainbow realized they forgot to give these guys flaws, but they had to put something in the book.
Roy’s Potential Flaw: Lack of Self-Esteem?
Since Roy’s character descriptions were busts, let’s try another approach. I can only think of one flaw he might have had: he occasionally seemed to lack confidence in himself, like Timmy does.
Why did I say “occasionally”? This is where my complaint that his personality was inconsistent comes from. The Aisha/Roy fan disagreed, saying that the Winx fandom only believes this because “Roy does not fit into a stereotype”. But that’s not my issue with him (although there’s another layer to it I’ll talk about later). The reason his personality was inconsistent is that his actions and dialogue often contradicted it — not naturally to suggest complexity, but in a confusing way.
When the Winx met him in “The Power of Harmonix”, he seemed to have a calm, knight-like personality.
“Well, Aisha is his princess, so he had to be polite,” you say.
Then why did he drop the politeness so fast? In the next episode, “The Shimmering Shells” (Winx season 5, episode 7), his second appearance in the show, he yelled, “Lookin’ good, Winx! Yeah!” at them, including Aisha. Not a big deal, but it didn’t feel like something the Roy from the previous episode would say.
In the next episode, “The Secret of the Ruby Reef” (Winx season 5, episode 8), he couldn’t get up the courage to talk to her. Yes, part of the problem was Stella’s stupid matchmaking scheme, but even when Aisha passed in front of him, and he could have cheered her up, he failed.
Before you say, “He was nervous around her because he liked her” or something like that, consider what happened in the next episode: “The Gem of Empathy”. When the Winx asked if he was diving with them to Data Bridge Castle, he replied, “That’s right! It’s your lucky day!”
He later tried to goad Aisha into a swimming race. “C’mon, Aisha! Just try and keep up!”
Last episode, he could barely look at her, and now he was taunting her? And this guy was supposedly shy?
If Rainbow had spread these moments throughout season five with better transitions between them, I wouldn’t have had a problem with them. But they all happened in his first four episodes — his first four appearances, in fact — which is why his personality seemed inconsistent and vague. It’s also why his relationship with Aisha felt rushed. After four episodes together in a row, they didn’t interact with each other until 15 episodes later, and they suddenly seemed in love. Um…did we miss something?
Without even a hint to Roy’s personality, we can’t definitively say he lacked self-esteem — at least so much that we can call it a flaw. And with no obvious flaws or problems in his life — he worked for a king, for crying out loud — he had no room for growth, which meant Rainbow couldn’t develop him as a person. So his character peaked in Winx season five.
I’ve had a hard time identifying what felt off about Roy, but I think I’ve figured it out. The plot controlled his actions — i.e., his “love” story with Aisha in season five and the love triangle in season six. We couldn’t tell if his traits were part of his personality or a part of the setup for a plot point. It didn’t help that he had no meaningful interactions with any characters besides Aisha or Nex.
I’ll explain myself better in a separate post.
What The Winx Fandom Thought of Roy
Even though the creators only gave Roy a couple appearances, the fans really liked him. And that’s because he was the first person Aisha really connected with after Nabu’s death.
That’s not what I remember. Many Winx fans I encountered either hated Roy or were just lukewarm about him for that very reason: he came after Nabu. It’s not that they never wanted Aisha to have another love interest…okay, that is why for a lot of them. Some fans still reject Roy and Nex because of Nabu.
But for other fans, the major problem was Rainbow introduced Roy too soon after Nabu. The fans felt Aisha didn’t get enough time to grieve him, so it felt like a slap in the face. How soon after Nabu’s death did Roy debut? I did the math after I read this comment on an Instagram post:
I agree [about] Roy. It was very rushed. Heck, it wasn’t even 10 episodes since Nabu died.
Less than 10 episodes? Surely, Rainbow waited longer than that, didn’t they?
Nope. Nabu died in “The Day of Justice” (Winx season 4, episode 24). Roy first appeared in “The Power of Harmonix” (Winx season 5, episode 6). Since there are 26 episodes per season, that’s two episodes left in season four, plus six episodes into season five. 2 + 6 = 8.
So Rainbow gave Aisha a new love interest eight episodes after they killed off the first one. To this day — as recently as about a month ago on this very blog — I still hear fans say she moved on too fast, which is why they don’t like Roy or Nex (even though he debuted much later).
As for Roy’s popularity, it seems to be limited to the love triangle. Yes, the fandom likes him more than Nex, but he’s not a fan favorite. Far from it.
In 2015, on my old blog, I did a “Favorite Guy in Winx Club” poll. I got over 2,000 responses, although looking at the IP data, it was more like 1,700. Some people voted more than once.
Here were the results:
As you can see, Roy came in eighth place, just above Thoren. And surprise! Despite how much the Winx fandom hates him, Nex wasn’t in last place. Also, this was after the love triangle, so even that didn’t boost Roy’s overall popularity much.
Finally, why does it matter that Aisha met him first? That has nothing to do with whether he was right for her. Besides, we know she was lonely and still missed Nabu. Is it any surprise she fell in “like” with a loosely similar guy she knew for less than a month, and no one is sure why other than “he was nice”? That’s the essence of a rebound relationship.
No matter how love-sick a woman is, she shouldn’t take the first pill that comes along.
Since this comes up again later, I’ll talk more about it then.
Illusions of Love
You could tell [Aisha] was still hung up on [Nabu], and never really moved on. She met Roy before having that whole hallucination thing about Nabu, and it was her thinking of him that helped her beat the illusion.
Actually, that’s not what happened.
The Nabu illusion took place near the beginning of “The Shimmering Shells”. Roy debuted at the end of the previous episode, and “The Shimmering Shells” picked up where the ending scene left off. So Aisha had just met him — as in, maybe an hour ago. Why would her feelings, which never even turned into love, be strong enough to break through an illusion of her late fiancé?
Here’s what really happened. Fake Nabu started blaming Aisha for his death. “Why did you let me die? You let me die, Aisha! You could have saved me, but you let me die!”
At first, she succumbed to her guilt, but then she realized the real Nabu wouldn’t say that to her.
“You’re not Nabu! This is an illusion!”
With that, he vanished. That was it — no Roy or anyone else involved. See for yourself.
I wonder why I keep encountering false memories of Aisha and Roy. A fan I talked to on Instagram several years ago — I think I still had the old blog — thought the pair kissed in Winx season five. They didn’t. If you’ve seen a screenshot floating around the Internet, it’s actually an edit by the Winx fan MirandaAndros. (She likes Aisha/Roy and Aisha/Nex.)
Another fan on Tumblr thought Aisha used her Sirenix wish to save Roy, proving her love for him. But she actually used her wish to save her cousin Nereus in “Battle for the Infinite Ocean” (Winx season 5, episode 25). The fan may have confused this scene for her and Roy’s out-of-nowhere couple-confirmation fake-out in the previous episode that had a similar setup.
I guess since the pair’s “love” story was so thin on content, the Winx fandom has mentally added scenes to justify their relationship. (More on that in the second post.)
Roy’s Defining Traits?
Contrary to what [Power of Charmix] said, Roy does have a consistent personality. The problem is that everyone is trying to stereotype him like how Sky is the classic dream prince, Riven is the bad boy and Timmy is the adorkable one (yes, that’s a word). Roy does not fit into a stereotype…
The problem with Roy’s personality doesn’t have to do with stereotypes. It’s fine that he didn’t fit a mold (except “love interest”), but he still needed a personality trait or two that distinguished him from the other Specialists — something about which we could say, “That’s what he brought to the group.”
He had nothing.
Disagree? Let me ask you a question. When he joined the Specialists in Winx season six, how did he change their group dynamic?
He didn’t. It stayed the same as it was before they met him. If he had a consistent personality — or any personality at all — wouldn’t he have had at least some impact on the other characters?
Compare him to the girl he wanted to date. When Aisha joined the Winx in season two, her energy, fearlessness, and sensitivity shook the team up. They had some fights and misunderstandings as they got to know her better, but once everything settled down, she became an essential member of the group, applying her unique perspective to their missions.
The Winx Club wouldn’t be the same without Aisha. But Roy’s absence from the Specialists changed nothing because his presence added nothing.
Roy’s First Trait: Patience?
His most notable quality is patience. Roy is very patient, seeing how when he first met Aisha, he didn’t snap back at her. And even when it [is] clear that they like each other, Roy never pushes her because he knows she still needs time to come to terms with Nabu’s death.
The first scene isn’t an example of patience. Patience has to do with endurance. But he’d just met her. There was no pattern of behavior to endure yet.
I’d call it “self-control” instead, but it wasn’t an extraordinary moment. You could use the same argument for Nex. When Aisha scolded him in “The Flying School” (Winx season 6, episode 3), he didn’t snap back at her, either. Neither did Nabu when she yelled at him in “Valtor’s Box” (Winx season 3, episode 18).
So that seemed to be a standard thing for her love interests, at least when she met them. You could almost call it a running gag.
As for the second example, saying Roy gave her time to come to terms with Nabu’s death implies he knew about it. But Rainbow never suggested he knew about Nabu or why Aisha was upset. Even if Roy knew, he didn’t give her that much time, since their entire courtship took place in less than a month, and she was still grieving the entire time.
Roy’s Second Trait: Goodness?
Another consistent trait is his goodness, if you know what I mean. He never hesitates to help anyone in need, and even when it seemed like a losing battle, he still held the lines against Tritannus on Andros. He’s not a rule-breaker and while he likes competition, he never plays dirty, despite someone (cough, cough) playing dirty with him. This is seen at least twice; when Nex blows him away with a gust of wind and when he removes the ring and leaves Roy hanging on the edge of the training platform. Despite Roy getting angry on both these occasions, he does not go after Nex, again demonstrating his patience.
First, Roy went after Nex after the second incident. Sky held him back.
Second, “good” is a vague value judgment. If we’re saying not doing certain “bad” things like the ones mentioned makes someone “good”, then a lot of characters in Winx Club are “bad”.
For example, if Roy is “good” because he doesn’t break rules, that means breaking rules makes someone “bad”. If that’s true, then the Winx are “bad”. They’ve broken a lot of rules at Alfea, including sneaking out of class, staying out past curfew, and entering forbidden rooms. They’ve also lied to cover up their actions, and they’ve been in detention more than once.
Stella even said in Winx season one when Bloom asked to bring her adoptive parents to Alfea, “Well, the rules don’t allow it, but as they say, ‘Rules are made to be broken.’”
So our beloved fairy heroines are rule-breakers. Yet I don’t think anyone in the fandom would call them “bad” people.
On the flip side, if the “good” actions mentioned make someone “good”, all the Winx and the Specialists are “good”. They’ve risked their lives countless times to help people in need and protect those who can’t fight for themselves. Their missions have placed them in many situations where hope seemed lost, but they didn’t give up.
Let me be clear: I’m not dismissing “goodness” as a meaningless trait, but Roy can’t claim it as his trait. It’s a basic expectation for a hero. All the Winx and Specialists are heroes, so they’re all “good”.
Their unique personality traits are what they have besides “goodness”. Some of those are flaws, but that doesn’t mean some heroes are “good” and the others are “bad”. To quote Timmy in “The Crystal Labyrinth” (Winx season 3, episode 22):“Everyone has a dark side to their character.”
This part of the comment sounded more like an argument against Nex’s “goodness”. Winx fans who don’t like him define other characters by their positive traits and overlook their flaws, but they define him by his flaws and overlook his positive traits. So no matter what he does, “good” or “bad” — even if it’s something “bad” that a character they consider “good” has also done — he‘ll always be a “bad” person to them. It’s the horn effect again.
This idea comes up again later, of course, so I’ll address it then.
This has become a tradition with Aisha/Roy posts, so I kept it up. Here’s a more digestible version of this post:
Roy had no potential because he was a shallow love interest. Too much of his character revolved around Aisha. Also, Rainbow didn’t give him any obvious flaws, which means he had no room to grow. So his character peaked in Winx season five.
The Winx fandom obviously likes Roy more than Nex for Aisha, but Roy isn’t a popular character overall. When compared to the other guys in Winx Club, he ranks near the bottom.
Just because Aisha met Roy first doesn’t mean he was the better choice for her. The way their relationship was written suggests he was just a rebound to her.
Aisha didn’t think about Roy to break her illusion of Nabu in “The Shimmering Shells”. Instead, she realized Nabu was fake because he accused her of letting him die, which is something the real Nabu wouldn’t do. This is one of many examples of false memories of Aisha and Roy, as though the Winx fandom mentally filled in the gaps in the pair’s “love” story.
Because of his lack of personality, Roy didn’t change the dynamic of the Specialists. They stayed the same as they were before they met him.
Saying that Roy gave Aisha time to cope with Nabu’s death implied he knew about Nabu. But the show never suggested he did. Also, he didn’t give her much time since their courtship happened within a month, and she was still grieving during that time.
Roy can’t claim “goodness” as his trait because “goodness” is a default hero trait. What matters are the unique traits a hero has besides “goodness”.
That’s it for this post. Next time, I’ll talk more about Aisha and Roy’s “love” story and why it didn’t work.