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Raythor

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Raythor

Raythor is a villain in the animated TV adaptation of W.I.T.C.H. Initially a loyal soldier and commander in the army of Prince Phobos, he starts out as a minor villain in the 1st season. In the 2nd season, he becomes a more recurring villain as the leader of the Knights of Vengeance, but by the end of the series, he has redeemed himself.

History

The Key

Raythor's only appearance during the 1st season is in the third episode, The Key. The shackles that had been used on Caleb — when the rebel leader had been captured in the previous episodes — are found at the bottom of the pit where Caleb had been lowered into. Raythor deduces the most likely explanation to be that the only key to the shackles had been delivered to Caleb. (The double agent Vathek, who acts as a warden, had done that. When Caleb escaped with the Guardians, the key was hidden for Vathek to salvage, but Blunk the Passling had taken it in hopes of selling it.) Raythor is determined to prove Vathek's treason. At the same time, he wishes to be promoted to Vathek's position of captain and taunts him of it. Under the orders of Prince Phobos, the castle is thoroughly examined, but the key is not found.

As Vathek's treason seems evident, Raythor prepares to throw him into the Abyss of Shadows, a dreadful and supposedly bottomless pit where no-one has escaped from. However, the Guardians and Caleb arrive with the key to rescue Vathek and knock out Raythor. To keep Vathek's position as a double agent from being blown up, the Keeper of the Heart, Will, comes up with an idea. The key is placed in Raythor's uniform, leading him to taking the blame for Vathek's actions. Unable to prove his innocence to Lord Cedric, Raythor is taken before Phobos. He is thrown into the Abyss off-screen.

The Knights of Vengeance

By the beginning of the 2nd season's first episode, A is for Anonymous, several months have passed since the events of The Key. Phobos has been overthrown and imprisoned, while his sister Elyon, the rightful heir to the throne of Meridian, has become the Queen. Her brother's remaining minions are either imprisoned or at large. A mysterious old sorceress called Nerissa recruits some of them to form the Knights of Vengeance.

Raythor has spent these months climbing up the side of the Abyss' cave wall in hopes of escaping it. He has lost some of his muscle mass due to scarce nutrition. When he reaches the top, he is greeted by Nerissa and congratulated for his determination. When she asks for his motivation, he merely replies "Vengeance".

After the Knights of Vengeance have been formed, Raythor competes with Frost for the leadership position. The veteran soldier defeats the brute effortlessly and remains as the Knights' leader for the remainder of the season. For half the season, he leads attacks on those who betrayed Prince Phobos (such as Vathek and Tynar), leaders of the former rebellion (like Caleb, Aldarn, Julian and Drake) and the Guardians themselves.

Eventually, in the 10nd episode, J is for Jewel, Raythor makes the decision of freeing Prince Phobos and the army of Lurdens from the Infinite City. The Knights manage to do that, and under their Prince, they attack the Guard and the former rebels. The Guardians arrive to even the odds and finally, Queen Elyon arrives from the meditation chamber and sends Phobos along with all of his minions to the dungeons of the Infinite City.

Reformation

Raythor remains imprisoned in the Infinite City for a time. In the 15nd episode, O is for Obidience, Nerissa comes before the prisoners of the Infinite City, reveals her secret identity as the Mage and gloats about using the Knights of Vengeance for her own schemes all the time. Angered, Raythor considers exposing everything to the Guard, only to learn that they already know everything.

In the 22nd episode, V is for Victory, the Guardians are starting to get desperate to stop Nerissa, who has created the Seal of Nerissa. They approach Phobos with a deal: in exchange for his freedom, he must swear an oath on the power of Kandrakar that once Nerissa has been defeated, he will not use the power of the Seal for himself. While Raythor objects vocally against that, Phobos agrees. At the same time, Raythor is approached by the invisible Hay Lin. The Air Guardian tells the honor-driven soldier that Phobos in not worthy of his loyalty, but Raythor doesn't believe her claims of the Prince's treachery.

Eventually, Phobos steals from Nerissa her Seal and imprisons her inside it. He breaks his oath, claims the seal for himself and releases his minions. Raythor is being approached by Hay Lin again. Having now witnessed his lord's dishonorable nature, the veteran soldier swears to aide the Guardians in taking down Phobos.

"He has no honor. No honor at all. He has forfeited my service. I stand with you Guardian. So swears Raythor."
~ Raythor to Hay Lin
Raythor acts as a double agent for the Guardians — like Vathek did for the rebellion — and convinces two of his fellow Knights of Vengeance, Gargoyle and Sandpit, to also switch sides. In accordance with the Guardians' plan, Raythor would have to trick Phobos to attack Kandrakar, thereby forfeiting all the power the Prince had obtained on the honorless oath to the Guardians.

Raythor manages to do his part and the Guardians' plan is about to succeed. However, before Phobos can enter Kandrakar, Cedric (who has seen through the Guardians' plan all along) swallows him along with the Seal. The snake-man gains all the powers the Seal contains and grows to enormous size. He declares his intention to conquer the universe and demands loyalty from the rest of Phobos' minions. Raythor, Gargoyle and Sandpit are the only ones who don't side with him and make their reformation public knowledge. They heroically participate in the ensuing last fight.

At the end of the series, Raythor has become a captain in Queen Elyon's royal guard, having finally found a monarch worthy of his honor and loyalty.

Personality and Traits

Raythor's most definite traits are honor and loyalty. As a knight whose main purpose for existence are those two traits, he treats words of honor with utmost seriousness. As such, his main motivation is to loyally serve his master. His only condition for servitude is that the actions of his master can be considered honorable and loyal, even if they lean more towards evil than good. As such, if he witnesses his master to be dishonorable and treacherous, he will no longer serve that person. However, he has to witness the treacherous act with his own eyes, not merely hear about it from another person before he can forfeit his oath.

Raythor's honor doesn't necessarily involve the methods, however. He is pragmatic and willing to use any means to aid his master, as shown is his tactics as the leader of the Knights of Vengeance. His tactics involve deception against the super-powered Guardians and the more heavily numbered army compromising of the Guard and the former rebels. He even acts as a double-agent against Phobos after he switches sides.

Raythor also possesses great determination and courage, as shown in his months-lasting ascend from the Abyss of Shadows, where no-one had escaped from before. He also dares to oppose a kingdom and its army with a small band, not to mention the super-powered Guardians. He also doesn't hesitate to oppose Cedric, who has grown to an enormous side from a power-boost, instead of joining him under a threat of death.

Raythor appears to be proud to some degree. In his initial appearance, he's somewhat arrogant and conceited, certain of his promotion to Vathek's position. After his time in the Abyss, he becomes more reserved and purposeful. And while he possesses a gruff exterior, he is not intentionally hostile to anyone who does not warrant his aggression; only to individuals he or his master views as an enemy or threat to their cause.

Abilites

While Raythor doesn't have any magic, he is a veteran soldier with a keen knowledge of the battlefield. He is also skilled enough a swordsman to duel evenly against Caleb. While not as physically strong as the other Knights, his mind and discipline make up for it and allow him to fare against stronger opponents like Frost.

He is also experienced as a leader and a strategist, as shown by him remaining as the leader of the Knights throughout the 2nd season.

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