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What if Netflix's holiday rom-com princesses went to war?
Prepare for an unfortunate round of Mortal Rom-Kombat. (Sorry not sorry).
“I do not know how the war began. I only know how it ended.” - Amber Eve Charlton
When the holidays come around, lonely people have a chance to fall in love with a prince and instantly become a princess. If you want proof of this, there are many romantic holiday comedies that follow that premise. It's a premise as well as a promise.
The epic trilogy of A Christmas Prince (Netflix) stars Rose McIver as Amber, a hotshot reporter who doesn’t just become a princess, by trilogy's end she's queen of a place called Aldovia. The Princess Switch trilogy (also Netflix) features Vanessa Hudgens in three roles; humble baker Stacy marries Prince Edward of Belgravia (Sam Palladio), and her look-alike Princess Margaret becomes Queen of Montenaro in the sequel. The second and third movie bring in the deceitful Fiona Pembroke, who, that’s right, also looks exactly like Vanessa Hudgens.
Hudgens also stars in A Knight Before Christmas (Netflix again) where she falls for the medieval knight Sir Cole (Josh Whitehouse) who has become displaced in time. A Princess for Christmas (Hallmark) features Jules Daly (Katie McGrath) falling for Prince Ashton (Sam Heughan) and she becomes Princess of Castlebury, Crown for Christmas (Hallmark) tells the tale of Allie Evans (Danica McKellar) who gets close to the royals of Winshire, and the recent A Castle for Christmas (Netflix) has author Sophie Brown (Brooke Shields) buying the Scottish castle Dun Dunbar and falling for the grumpy Duke Myles (Cary Elwes).
Happily ever afters all around, right? Everything works out for everyone in these movies, and love always reigns supreme. That’s because the cameras stop rolling. The difference between a comedy and a tragedy is where you choose to end the story… and these stories aren’t necessarily over. What would happen if they were all connected, which some of them actually are? What would happen if all of these fictional countries/realms had to go to war with each other?
There’s nothing in any of the movies that remotely tells us what these fictional countries have under the hood when it comes to soldiers, armies, etc. We imagine that they don’t have much in the way of military (or financial infrastructure, etc) because they are all preoccupied with love. The war would come down to the princesses themselves, in a catastrophic meta-verse event that would make Crisis on Infinite Earths look tame.
We don’t want to spoil your holiday, but if your heart can handle the drama, join us in asking the question… what if?
Roots of Destruction
The seeds of tragedy were planted in The Princess Switch trilogy. In the first one, Stacy boots up Netflix and puts on A Christmas Prince. The problem is that the leads from that movie, Amber and Prince Richard, appear at Margaret’s coronation in Montenaro at the end of The Princess Switch 2: Switched Again. Count Simon (Theo Devaney) appears in The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star. Being watched in a Netflix movie and then appearing (in character) in a sequel to that same Netflix movie is at the very heart of the war that erupted, and a multiverse tragedy emanated.
Count Simon was the one who makes the discovery. He was a dirty dealer in A Christmas Prince, but he tried to make nice in both sequels. Despite that, he was blamed for every nefarious plot that went down. In A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby, he helped stop a war between Aldovia and Penglia, and, by the end, proposed to Amber’s friend, Melissa. What nobody in Aldovia realized is that this was all an act.
If he was going to be blamed for everything that went wrong for the rest of his days, then why should he bother to be a nice guy at all? He went to a convention of scoundrels, which we saw in The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star. He winked at Fiona Pembroke, but something about the way she looked gave him pause. He decided to throw on Netflix, and lo! He saw A Christmas Prince right there as Stacy once did. Not only that, every Princess Switch movie was on there, too. There was a veritable swarm of Vanessas Hudgens. Was he himself even real, or was he just a character? He snapped, and the multiverse began to snap with him.
Melissa greeted him when he returned to Aldovia. He broke her neck that night. Her death is the first of many in this sad tale. He framed the people of Penglia for the murder, and a vengeful Queen Amber, in grief over her friend (and worried about her newborn, Elleri) rescinded the new treaty between the countries. King Richard Bevan Charlton, King of Aldovia (Ben Lamb) marched on Penglia. The Aldovian army was small, but it was enough to lay waste to Penglia because that country only featured in one of the three Christmas Prince movies.
Richard returned to Aldovia victorious and full of bloodlust. Count Simon poisoned him during an all-night victory banquet. Simon then declared himself Emperor of both Aldovia and Penglia. Amber had no choice but to send an urgent letter to her friend, Queen Margaret of Montenaro. She went to her coronation after all!
Queen Margaret received the plea for help, but that was not the only message that she received that day. Simon sent an anonymous message first, which read: “Is she real? Are you real? Turn on Netflix. You’ll be chilled.” Margaret was curious so she turned it on, and she saw her “friend” Queen Amber right there on the screen… played by someone named Rose McIver. The urgent message from Amber arrived, but all ended up triggering the meta-verse breakdown entirely. Without meaning to, Margaret shot fire out of her eyes and killed Kevin, her one true love.
Dark Force Rising
Simon was sitting pretty in Aldovia, but he had now toyed with powers that were way beyond his control. The metaverse crisis began to blur the lines between fiction and reality, and between actor and character. Queen Mother Helena Charlton (Alice Krige) started calling herself Alice Krige, before growing mechanical implants out of the back of her head. She only referred to herself as “The Borg Queen” after that, saying that resistance was futile.
Simon had seen Star Trek: First Contact, so he knew that this was bad. With regret in his heart, he was the first to be assimilated. The newly-awakened Borg Queen proceeded to assimilate all of Aldovia and Penglia. Queen Amber, clutching her newborn Elleri, diguised herself as a scullery maid and escaped.
At the same time, a dinner in Castlebury was disrupted. Princess Jules started flipping through different Katie McGrath characters, and was consistently annoyed that McGrath was hardly ever allowed to use her real accent. Prince Ashton donned a Scottish accent out of nowhere and started to obsessively talk about someone named Claire. Jules felt betrayed, and the magic of the accented Morgana (played by McGrath on Merlin) started to flow through her. She threw a lightning bolt at Prince Ashton which killed him instantly, and for good measure she knifed Prince Edward (Roger Moore). The latter had begun to babble about someone named “M,” and Jules was worried that the letter might have stood for Merlin. She conquered all of Castlebury within minutes and spoke with her true accent the entire time.
She then felt a disturbance emanating from Montenaro, so she conjured a force of dark shadow soldiers and marched towards it. The reformed Fiona Pembroke mounted a paltry defense of that kingdom, but Jules was able to turn her back to her evil ways as she stormed the palace. Amber arrived soon after, seeking refuge from the army of Borg that were nipping at her at her heels.
Seeing the devastation, Amber got the still catatonic Margaret into a used Volvo, and she punched it for Belgravia. The Borg Queen tried to assimilate Jules, but the Borg can’t adapt to magic. The collective surrenders, and Jules assimilates them to her army.
Unfortunately, the used Volvo barely made it to Belgravia. With two armies behind her, Amber found out with despair that Jules had sent the bewitched Fiona Pembroke ahead of them. A mysterious masked warrior was laying waste to the land, and it was all on Fiona’s orders. Amber thankfully found Stacy, and they both watched helplessly as the masked warrior beheaded Prince Edward. Stacy screamed… and the masked warrior paused. Fiona Pembroke ordered him back to action.
Amber, Stacy, and Margaret had no choice but to flee once again as the massive forces of Jules descended on the ruins of Belgravia. Stacy suggested that they could be safe at the castle of Dun Dunbar, which featured in a Netflix movie that she recently watched. Was it a real place? They were in the middle of a metaverse crisis, so yes, it was real.
The princesses sped across the land and the masked warrior followed.
Amber and Stacy held up in Dun Dunbar with little Elleri and the still catatonic Margaret. Jules and her soldiers, Fiona and the masked warrior, and the entire Borg Collective eventually laid siege to the castle. The knitting circle of Dun Dunbar proved to be surprisingly deadly with their knitting needles, but the Borg were too powerful for them.
That’s when Allie Evans, as if in answer to an unspoken prayer, burst out of the clouds on the back of a giant flying calculator. Because she’s played by Danica McKellar, she was able to use the power of math to destroy the Borg Collective. Queen Mother Alice Krige shrieked, cried, and asked if they could go sledding one final time. Finally she withered away and left nothing behind.
Jules and Fiona Pembroke did not take this well. Stacy brought Margaret outside to survey their situation just as Fiona ordered the masked warrior to kill Danica McKellar. He did exactly that, but afterwards he saw both Stacy and Margaret standing over Danica McKellar’s lifeless body. He cried, and removed his mask.
“You monster! She was a mathematician! She was gifted! How could you do this?” Stacy shrieked to the now unmasked warrior. “Who are you, curses, who in the devil’s name are you?”
“I… I was once called Sir Cole…” the warrior said. None of them knew what that meant, but we do. "How are there three of you? I thought... I thought you were dead!" In his side of the metaverse, Vanessa Hudgens was killed when hordes of fans tried to steal her collection of snazzy sweaters.
Fiona Pembroke continued to bark orders at him, but Stacy only cried over the body of Danica McKellar. Dark Side Sir Cole, in a fit of madness, cut off Fiona Pembroke’s head. He bowed to Stacy and Margaret, remembered the Hudgens that he had lost, and then he slit his own throat. Robbed of her two finest lieutenants, Jules screamed with fury. She took the magic away from her soldiers and they evaporated in the wind. She used what power she had left to lay a curse on Stacy and Margaret: Only one Vanessa Hudgens shall be allowed to exist.
“One Hudgens to rule them all,” Jules laughed, as Margaret finally returned to normal and realized with horror that she now had to fight Stacy to the death. Margaret took up the sword of Sir Cole and Stacy took a hidden abacus from the body of Danica McKellar. They prepared to duel... but Amber stepped between them. Her arms were outstretched. Her soul was pure. Her courage knew no end. No one else would die that day.
The Hope that Kills You
“How can you duel your own lookalike on Christmas?” Amber cried as Jules cackled. The cackle turned into a cry, and then suddenly all of the magic of Morgana burned out of Jules and she changed into a lovely young woman wearing a smart suit.
Speaking in an American accent once more, she made a gesture to the sky. Someone was flying toward them. Was it a bird? Was it a plane? No, it was Melissa Benoist. It was Supergirl.
Jules had turned from Morgana to Lena Luthor, who had been fighting to take control of the Katie McGrath vessel. Once Supergirl landed, Lena wasted no time in kissing her full on the mouth. "Took a metaverse crisis for them to let me do that," she said, as Stacy and Margaret looked at her dumbfounded. Amber asked if there was anything that this new version of Jules (or her flying friend) could do to stop the curse. Could she prevent the Vanessas Hudgens from having to duel?
“The curse is so substantial that it used the very last of her power, that’s how I was able to take over,” Lena/Jules said. “There’s no stopping it, at least not now. If they do not duel, then the multiverse will crack completely. All will be lost."
“So there’s nothing we can do?” Stacy and Margaret asked at the same time.
“There’s something I can do,” Supergirl said, stepping in. “Hi, I’m Kara Danvers, AKA Supergirl, AKA Melissa Benoist, undoubtedly the future star of a holiday rom-com. I’m from a planet called Krypton, and if you come with me to my cousin’s Fortress of Solitude, perhaps we can find a way to both break the curse and save the multiverse.”
“How long will it take?” Amber asked. “As long as it needs to,” Jules/Lena responded. “In the meantime, we will need you and your child to look after things here. Someday we will return. The metaverse will always require multiple Hudgens. If there is any constant in existence, it is that.”
“My child?" Amber stammered. "Elleri? She’s just a baby…”
“Not anymore, mother," said a voice from behind them. Amber turned and saw Elleri, now 11 years old, standing before Dun Dunbar.
“You… you look just like your father,” Amber said through tears.
“I am my father. I am also Danica McKellar. I am Sir Cole. I am all of the fallen. Their spirits live inside me, mother. They always will.”
Weeks later, Sophie and Myles returned to Dun Dunbar. They were very glad that they had decided to take that vacation to Bali when they did. Sophie asked Amber for details, especially about a “Mrs. Donatelli” that supposedly used to live in Belgravia.
She also asked if she could write about all of it. Amber was halfway through an article about the entire ordeal herself, so she had to decline.
“What will you call it? The Christmas Crisis?” Sophie asked.
“It was a crisis, as all wars are,” Amber said, before looking at Elleri. “In the end though, it was also a miracle. A Christmas miracle.”
The article would turn out to be the greatest scoop of Amber Eve Charlton's career.
Happy holidays from all of us here at SYFY WIRE. Vanessa Hudgens will return.
A Christmas Prince, A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding, The Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby, The Princess Switch, The Princess Switch 2: Switched Again, The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star, A Castle for Christmas, The Knight Before Christmas, and A Princess for Christmas are all currently streaming on Netflix.