A/N1: Heads up, this is super long, so if you want to skip my rambling reasoning behind this fake fic summary and go straight to the brainstorming part, just ignore the parts that aren’t bolded.
Predecessors (The Prequel)
Cruella, Grimhilde, Jafar, and Maleficent were not the only villains banished to the Isle. Carlos, Evie, Jay, and Mal are not the only kids.
Oh no… what have I done to myself.
So let me explain: My subconscious bugged me for a while after I sort of fancast Kristen Stewart as Jemma Hook. And I thought it would be settled when I found and appointed Alfie Enoch as Uri. But then I found Gina Rodriguez’s photoshoot and immediately thought Princess of Hearts.
So then I had three villain kids, who are all older than the Lost kids of Descendants, and my subconscious prodded at my conscious to make the set complete.
And I know Anthony Tremaine is the only named (and only male?) grandchild of Lady Tremaine who, like Cruella, was extremely frightening without having any magic whatsoever. I’m also pretty sure Anthony is older than Carlos, at least, and possibly the other three (since I’m also also pretty sure that the other three are older than Carlos).
Obviously he had to be my fourth.
So it was haunting me–find Anthony Tremaine, find Anthony Tremaine–and at first I considered Dylan O’brien because he’s got that cute upturned nose and also he’s so pretty. But most of his photoshoots don’t really jive with the Isle of the Lost feel. then I remembered that if Anthony is Anastasia’s son, he could be a red head.
Hence, Gustav Morstad as Anthony Tremaine (and, again, just imagine his clothes as a very dark purple, like aubergine, instead of black).
And, foolishly, I thought that would be it.
Except then my subconscious was like… you have to name them. Having been defeated by my subconscious already, I gave in. I named the four of them Predecessors–since they are all meant to be older than the four Lost kids in the movie. And, even more foolishly, I added The Prequel in parentheses because I’m a sucker both for alliteration and parenthetical titles.
The Prequel to what? I asked my subconscious, horrified and resigned.
The Prequel to Descendants, it responded.
… aaaand that leads us to here. Me trying to dispose of this pesky plot bunny via fake fic summaries before it completely takes over my life.
So here’s the actual fic brainstorming:
Descendants makes it very clear that evil is not a nature thing, but a matter of nurture. The Lost kids are good once they’re removed from the toxic environment of the Isle. But I wonder what it would have been like, had some of the villains kids been good in spite of their environment. And I’m not talking extreme charity work and kindness, but a sharp pragmatic kind of goodness. In A Tale of Two Kingdoms, I’ve touched upon the idea that in a new world order even villains will cooperate for survival.
Well, what if they don’t need giant monsters to be pushed that far. Already there exist “gangs,” it makes sense to be protective and generous and vulnerable and kind within your own gang. But what if the oldest of the next generation gangs took it upon themselves to help out the younger gangs? If Jemma, Uri, Cora/Querida, and Anthony are the first children born on the Isle, they would be the first to grow in this environment. They would be paving the way for future children, and I’d like to think that maybe they would want to give them the best possible chance.
But, of course, each of them have their own particular favorite. And I want the match ups to be not what you would necessarily expect.
Like–instead of the pirate girl mentoring the boy thief, Jemma has a fondness for Carlos. And, well, it explains why his symbol are crossbones–I practically wrote an entire story about this.
And since Mal’s symbol is two dragons forming a heart, couldn’t that be a nod towards the Princess of Hearts’ dual-colored heart symbol? Which makes her comment in the movie, about not wanting to go to a school full of “prissy pink princesses” interesting. She doesn’t have a problem with princesses–even in canon, because Evie is a princess and everyone on the Isle acknowledges her as such. But if you put it in the context of Mal having been mentored by the Princess of Hearts, her disdain for the Auradon princesses are because they fall short of what she knows.
Anyway, that leaves the two boys, Uri and Anthony, for Evie and Jay. Symbols-wise, it’s a lot more of a stretch. Evie’s is a crown (with a crack in it?) and Jay’s is a cobra. In contrast, Uri as the son of Ursula either has octopus, eels, or a spiral shell. Whereas Anthony, as the eldest Tremaine, has… what are Lady Tremaine’s symbols even? She has emerald broach+ring, a cane, an evil fluffy cat… not particularly inspiring, this.
On the one hand, Jay’s book canon has him being the owner of the eels Lagan and Derelict–who are obviously a reference to Ursula’s Flotsam and Jetsam–and so an Uri – Jay mentorship would make sense. But I don’t really know how to proceed with that? And, also, that would mean Evie gets paired up with Anthony which… I don’t want. At all.
Because, after Princess of Hearts, you’d think Evie would be mentored by the Heir of the Noble House of Tremaine. And you’d think, if she were to have been taken under Anthony Tremaine’s wing, she would have some kind of defense against goddamned Chad Charming.
And, in a way, I like the idea of Anthony teaching Jay how to be beguiling (flirting with Audrey and Lonnie, anyone?) instead of just using physical means. And with Uri, well, I like the idea of he and Evie bonding over not being what they should have been born into? Like… he should have been a sea wizard, and she should have been a princess. And, also, potions bonding.
But the symbols then don’t really make sense, but then again, those aren’t a be all end all thing with me. It might just be that Carlos and Mal bonded more with their respective mentors. I dunno.
Aaanyway… as for actual plot… The Predecessors teach the Descendants some stuff, maybe plant the seeds of goodness in them. And you know what, maybe the Predecessors are training the Descendants to actually be their successors. Or to expand the gang. Because maybe they want to lead a revolution against the parents AND against Auradon, because they know that they shouldn’t be punished for their parents’ mistakes.
Probably they die. Some of them, at least. Or maybe they escape… I mean, one of them is a Hook from Neverland and the other is a princess from Wonderland. If anyone is going to figure out how to go to a different world it would be them. (Oh! What if, a little selfishly, the Predecessors were hanging out with the Descendants because they needed to learn some things about the other villains so they could escape. Like, using them for knowledge, but they were honestly planning on taking the younger gang with them…)
And then the Descendants movie happens. Maybe as canon, maybe a little tweaked. But… meh. That’s all I’ve got.
A/N2: Anyway. It’s ambiguous. And honestly? Not all that appealing to me. Hopefully it’s completely out of my system now.
If the Predecessors did actually escape the Isle by going to either Neverland/Wonderland then, theoretically, the Descendants movie can still happen as in canon.
Then, when they come back to overthrow Auradon (to free the other children on the Isle) they find that their successors are in Auradon and friends with the king of Auradon.
And so, there could be a Successors (The Sequel) in which the two gangs essentially duke it out over the fate of Auradon and the Isle.
The people of Auradon are more going to side against the Predecessors, but that means they have to put their trust in the Descendants four.
Likewise, the people of the Isle of the Lost are more likely to side with the Predecessors, only because living on the Isle of the Lost sucks and it’s not fair that the Descendants four who got a miraculous chance to leave are fighting to maintain the status quo.
I dunno… some politics and this conflict between what the public good is and four kids having to fight against the first people in their lives to show them any kindness.
Ugh, damn it, I love alliteration and parenthetical titles too much.