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The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

The student news site of Edwardsville High School

Tiger Times

‘Young Royals’ Finalizes Story with Mature, Moving New Season

Klara G/Netflix
Photo courtesy of the “Los Angeles Times”

The Netflix original series “Young Royals” came to an end on March 18 with the release of an emotional third season.

The show follows Willhelm, the youngest son of the Swedish royal family, and his experiences at Hillerska, a prestigious boarding school. When a video of him with a boy named Simon is leaked, the royal court gets involved, and the boys are forced to hide their feelings for each other. This leaked video leads to the fall of friendships and the start of romantic relationships.

Season one ended on a daunting note and set the stakes high for season two, so it couldn’t help but be a masterpiece.

The second season, when it premiered in November 2022, brought a plethora of emotions to the screen with a powerful storyline, a complex web of character arcs and another cliffhanger ending. It went above and beyond, and while season one was great, it was shameful compared to what came next.

Season three started off slow but gradually rose in intensity. Though it wasn’t as exciting as the second season, the plot was reasonable, realistic and made sense within the existing story.

In this season, Wille and Simon struggle to keep their relationship together as it’s tested by their peers, the royal family and their socioeconomic differences. They soon find out that being in a relationship takes more than mere infatuation.

This season feels more mature, diving deeper into homophobia, classism, racism, sexism and the psychological effects oppression of any kind can have on people, especially adolescents.

What makes the show incredible is how raw and real it feels. This can be seen in the cinematography, with the show’s signature extended close-up shots that make the viewer feel included and immersed in the story, and in the acting.

The undeniable chemistry between Wille and Simon and the natural delivery of their lines shows that each actor has a profound understanding of their character, further contributing to the show’s authenticity.

Even though “Young Royals” is his first and only acting job, Omar Rudberg has always been the perfect Simon. However, his performance this season outshines his past work.

While the story is mostly centered around Wille and told from his perspective, this season felt like it was centered around Simon as well, and this wouldn’t have happened without Rudberg.

Growing up in the lower end of the working class and being an openly gay Latino teen, Simon has always struggled to fit in. Being with the prince, Simon takes greater notice of the privilege that surrounds his boarding-school peers, and as much as he wants to fight against that privilege, he is constantly being patrolled by the royal family. This new environment causes him to become depressed.

The way Rudberg’s tired eyes stray and never stay focused on the subject makes the viewer understand how out of touch Simon is with the present and how impactful the media harassment he faces this season has been.

Edvin Ryding manages to one up himself yet again playing the role of Wille. This season, he unlocks a new side of his character that requires him to become more controlling and demanding when Wille subconsciously starts conforming to the ideals of the royal family.

He continues to battle his relationship with his role in the royal court, and his nervous ticks and mannerisms are still one of the best depictions of anxiety that I’ve seen in media. The viewer can feel his stress seeping through the screen as he attempts to endure the pressures that come with being “the crown prince.”

Greater emphasis was placed on characters like August and Felice, and though they have always been leading figures in the series, this season brought greater characterization to them.

August is consumed by the goal of redeeming himself from his past actions, and Felice experiences one of the worst types of heartbreak: that of friendship. Each story and perspective, including those of background characters, blends to contribute to the general storyline and this season’s ending.

While some shows start to fall flat the longer they go on, this one continues its steady increase in conflict because the characters are constantly developing. Many shows turn messy when multiple character storylines are created, but this show becomes even more engaging.

While it’s sad to see this exceptional story go, season three leaves the viewer feeling contempt and curious. It’s clear through the acting, cinematography and storyline that everyone working on this show poured all of their energy into it, making it one of the best TV shows on Netflix today.

About the Contributor
Pera Onal
Pera Onal, Editor-in-Chief
Pera is a senior and third-year journalism student. In addition to being the editor-in-chief of Tiger Times Online and The Claw, she’s part of the EHS swim and dive team and the local club team, Metro East Titans. She is also a member of National English Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society. Outside of school, she lifeguards and gives swimming lessons at the YMCA. When she has free time, Pera likes to read, journal, and go to the movies with her friends.