Where and When Does Damsel Take Place?

Image Credit: John Wilson/Netflix

Netflix’s fantasy drama film, ‘Damsel’ takes the audience to the time when kingdoms would live under the fear of fire-breathing dragons. It is a time of magic and mayhem, and in all of this chaos, a young girl named Elodie is wedded to a prince. But her expectations of turning over a new leaf with the prince turn sour when she discovers the whole point of the wedding was to give her up as a sacrifice to the dragon.

While the story has enough thrill to keep the plot going, its setting also plays an important part in the way things turn out. There are some critical factors about the location of the kingdoms that, in hindsight, appear to be key details that Elodie and her family should have looked out for before falling for the grandeur of the royal family’s invitation. SPOILERS AHEAD

Damsel Takes Place in a Fictional Kingdom

Image Credit: John Wilson/Netflix

‘Damsel’ begins with Elodie and her sister in their hometown, where people are suffering due to harsh winters and the lack of resources. While they are not very rich or of royal blood, Elodie’s parents are Lord and Lady Bayford. While the name of their region is not mentioned in the film, it is called Inophe in the book, which serves as the companion piece for the film.

Nothing much is known about Inophe except that it lies in the northernmost region of the country. Due to it being so far away from the capital, Inophe, and its people are lost in the fringes and are not paid much attention to by the rulers of its kingdom. Lord and Lady Bayford and their daughters try to do the best they can for their people, but there is only so much they can do when they themselves don’t have much.

As compared to Inophe, the capital city of the kingdom, Aurea, is much more prosperous. It does not suffer from the harshness of cold and is bountiful in its natural resources. Aurea is also quite wealthier than Inophe and its lord and ladies. The royal family resides here, and at a distance from the city stand the mountains, which serve as the lair of the dragon that terrorizes the place. The medieval setting of the story also lends more weight and believability to what happens to Elodie and why her father agrees to have her wedded to the prince, even though he knows what it will mean for his daughter.

The stark difference between the locations of Inophe and Aurea, as well as their financial and social situations, makes one wonder why the royal family would go to someplace like Inophe to find a bride for the prince. Even Elodie wonders why someone would come “this far north,” especially because she hasn’t seen any help from the South before. This is enough to make one wonder about the royal family’s intentions.

The obscurity of Inophe, especially the fact that it is not as well-connected with the rest of the kingdom, makes it a great place to find a bride that is dispensable and will not be talked about. Aurea could afford to sacrifice the daughter of a lord who didn’t have enough power to stand against the royal family. Even if they felt like avenging their daughter, they’d have no means to do so, as they could never stand against Aurea. Moreover, their being on the periphery of the kingdom also keeps them from talking about Elodie’s betrothal to the prince. In the meantime, the three weddings will happen, sacrifices will be offered, and no one will be wiser about what happened in Aurea.

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