I agree with Roy. It was very rushed. Heck, it wasn’t even 10 episodes since Nabu died.
Is that true? Did Roy really debut less than 10 episodes after Nabu’s death? Yes, and it’s one reason the Winx fandom didn’t support Aisha/Roy in season five. She didn’t need another love interest so soon, especially while she was still mourning.
But some Winx fans level the “too soon” argument against Nex, too. How long after Nabu’s death did he debut? Let’s calculate the number of episodes for both Roy and Nex. We’ll start from Nabu’s last episode, “The Day of Justice” (Winx season 4, episode 24), two episodes before the season finale. (As you know, each season has 26 episodes.)
Rainbow plopped Roy into Aisha’s life near the end of “The Power of Harmonix” (Winx season 5, episode 6). So it’s kindergarten math: two, the number of episodes left in season four; plus six, since he debuted in episode six of the next season. 2 + 6 = 8.
That means Roy debuted just eight episodes after Nabu’s death.
Are you surprised? Maybe the real-life gap between seasons four and five (about three years) made the episode gap feel longer. So let’s put it in a different perspective.
Imagine Nabu died in the first episode of season four. He sacrificed himself to protect Alfea during the Wizards of the Black Circle’s first attack. If Roy had still debuted eight episodes later, Aisha would have met him in “Nebula”, the ninth episode of season four. That’s not even halfway into the season!
Time out. The number of episodes doesn’t equal time in-universe. In some stories, eight episodes could be an entire year! So how much physical time passed between Nabu’s death and Roy’s debut?
I don’t know. Time is vague in Winx Club. But we have at least one clue: most seasons open with a new school year at Alfea. Season four started this way, and the next school year began in “Return to Alfea” (Winx season 5, episode 3 — or episode 4, depending on your country). So we know that 4X01 to 5X03 (or 5X04) was about a year in-universe.
Let’s assume the events of season four stretched over the full year. The first third of the season was the beginning of the year, the second third was the middle, and final third was the end.
That seems right, based on what happened early in season five. In “The Spill” (Winx season 5, episode 1 or 2), Roxy revealed she was accepted to Alfea. She probably wouldn’t have found that out until after the last school year ended. We also saw Aisha cry over Nabu again, which suggested his death was still fresh. Episode five (or four), “The Sirenix Book”, opened the day after classes began. Then came Roy’s debut in episode six.
Based on all this information, my best guess is Aisha met Roy about three months after Nabu’s death. And that’s being generous. I think it was closer to one month, maybe less.
That’s one reason Roy seemed like a rebound. Aisha’s heart hadn’t healed yet, so every time the Specialists showed up, she felt lonely and missed Nabu even more. No wonder she threw herself at the first guy who gave her attention, even though he wasn’t right for her. (Why did Roy like her in the first place? Even his biggest fan doesn’t know.)
Moving on to Nex. He first appeared in “The Flying School” (Winx season 6, episode 3). So this time, our math problem is two episodes left in season four, plus a full season (26 episodes), plus three episodes into season six. 2 + 26 + 3 = 31.
So Nex debuted 31 episodes after Nabu’s death. That’s nearly four times as many episodes as Roy.
Plus, in our “Nabu died in episode one” retcon, Nex still would have debuted in the next season, not in season four. Coincidentally, his first episode would have been “The Power of Harmonix” like Roy, but with a full season more distance from Aisha’s tragedy.
What about in-universe time? Like seasons four and five, season six opened (after “Inspiration of Sirenix”) with a new school year at Alfea. We saw old students returning from break and new students ready to learn. This means about a year passed during season five, so Aisha met Nex at least a year after Nabu’s death.
I’m sure to some Winx fans, 31 episodes (or about a year in-universe) is still too soon. Some of them still haven’t gotten over Nabu’s death after 106 episodes, four years in-universe, and almost 11 years in real life. Maybe no amount of time will ever be enough for them to let Aisha (and the fandom) move on.
But not everyone who thinks Nex appeared too soon is fixated on Nabu. In their case, I think they’re angry at Roy, but they’re taking it out on Nex. After all, Roy disappeared after Winx season six. Nex is still here and he’s Aisha’s boyfriend now, so he’s an easy scapegoat.
Does he deserve that treatment? No. If the fandom wants to blame someone for screwing up their grieving process, it shouldn’t be Nex or Roy. It’s Rainbow’s fault for trying to distract us from Nabu’s death by dropping a bootleg version of him into the show.
Worse, Roy rarely showed up in season five, and Aisha didn’t end up dating him, anyway. So why did you bother creating him, Rainbow? Winx Club and the Winx fandom would have been better off without him, especially when they needed to heal.