Winx Club Forever
The Knights of the Star is the forty-eighth issue of the Winx Club Comic Series.
Flora receives a letter from an old friend who is having some issues in her kingdom. Worried, Flora requests Faragonda's permission to see her friend. A great timing indeed as it is time for a real life problem solving assignment, a group of witches, fairies, and Specialists are to team up. Unluckily for the Winx and Specialists, they end up with the Trix. Now, the Winx and Specialists must be cautious of the Trix stirring up trouble while addressing the kingdom's issues.
One morning at Alfea, Bloom notices Flora reading something on her bed with a somewhat worried expression. She asks Flora what the bad news could be and Flora tells Bloom that the letter is from an old friend of hers named Lorelle. She reveals to Bloom that Lorelle is worried about the situation in her kingdom, as it had been stricken with great amounts of violence and poverty recently. Flora tells Bloom that she would really like to visit Lorelle again and maybe even help her. Bloom asks why she cannot and Flora realizes that she could ask Headmistress Faragonda for permission since she has finished all of her homework.
Faragonda gives Flora permission to visit her friend and even claims that her timing is perfect. She claims that, at this point in the school year, the students have to pass various training sessions in order to learn how to react in different environments. She opens a book near her desk and claims that Queen Electra's kingdom would make the perfect place for the Winx to practice magic, due to it still being a feudal kingdom. She tells Flora that they can all go as a group to Electra's kingdom and Flora realizes that the boys will also be coming. Faragonda confirms this, stating that all of the students from each of Magix's three schools will be participating in these training sessions, including the witches of Cloud Tower. She then dismisses Bloom and Flora from her office, promising to call up Griffin in order to prepare a proper study group. Faragonda keeps up her promise by calling Griffin and asks how she is doing. Griffin claims that they have to form study groups and is interrupted by Counselor Givelian of the Fortress of Light Council.
Griffin tells Faragonda that Givelia is at Cloud Tower to inspect it and Givelian claims that he will not hesitate to report anything that he sees as wrong. Faragonda tells Griffin that all she needs are the names of the witches suitable enough to cooperate with the Winx and the Specialists. Griffin tries to think of suitable candidates only to be interrupted by Givelian, who suggests that the Trix accompany the Winx. Griffin refuses as the Trix will just cause trouble but Givelian makes his suggestion into an order. Griffin reluctantly tells Faragonda of the decision to add the Trix into the Winx's study group, claiming that she has no choice due to Givelian's authority over her. Faragonda reveals to Griffin that the choice will be permanent and that they will not be able to separate the Trix and the Winx in further study groups, but Givelian cuts in, claiming that a little "friendly competition" would never hurt anyone. Griffin agrees to Givelian's demands, albeit reluctantly, and tells Faragonda to talk with Saladin over which group of Specialists will be joining the Winx and Trix's group.
Soon enough, the Winx catch wind of the Trix joining their group and Stella is not happy about the decision one bit. Flora reveals to Stella that Griffin and Faragonda did not make that decision willingly, but Counselor Givelian insisted that the Trix be put into their group. Stella remembers that Givelian plans to take over all of Magix's major magical schools and he would do anything to make the headmasters look bad. Having the Trix be put into their group will make them look bad which would, in turn, make both Faragonda and Griffin look like incompetent teachers. Just then, Aisha runs into the Winx's dorm with news. Faragonda has assigned Sky, Helia and the boys to their group in order to make up for the disadvantages that the Trix could possibly pose for them. With the girls' spirits lifted, Bloom assures them that they can make it through their study trip even with the Trix stirring up trouble. She asks Aisha when they will be leaving and Aisha affirms that they will be leaving first thing in the morning tomorrow. The Trix and Specialists are supposed to arrive at 10AM, so the girls will have all evening to pack everything they will need.
The next morning, as the Specialists are landing their shuttle, Faragonda tries to apologize for the choice in groups but Bloom claims that everything will be okay. As they board the shuttle, Faragonda advises them to take notes on their trip as they will have to prepare a written report on what happened.
On the shuttle, the girls quickly notice the Trix as Icy sarcastically hopes that the flight does not give any of them a stomachache. Stella claims that she only gets one around certain people and Stormy sarcastically apologizes. Flora proposes that they just form a truce for the duration of their study trip but Icy refuses, claiming that she does not care in the slightest if they drop the Winx's grades or not. Since the Winx have foiled their plans time and time again, Icy claims that all they care about is paying the Winx back. The pilot then notifies the girls that they will be heading for the Kingdom of Thordal soon, so they may want to hang onto something. The shuttle flies through a portal and arrives above the Kingdom of Thordal within seconds.
Bloom is mesmerized by how big the castle is at the center while Tecna worries about how dull it must be without technology or spaceships. As the shuttle lands, the pilot tells the group that they will have to interfere with the kingdom's lifestyle as little as possible. He then wishes them luck as he reminds them that he will come pick them up by the end of their study trip.
As the Winx, Trix and Specialists wander around, Sky asks them what they should be starting with. Flora reveals that she has a letter of introduction that she got from Faragonda addressed to Lady Lorelle and her mistress, Queen Electra. The group heads for the castle and, when they get close to the entrance, they notice two guards stopping a man from entering with his wagon full of hay. One of the guards stabs at the pile of hay with his spear to make sure that the poor man is not hiding contraband inside. Bloom and Stella realize that the kingdom is more miserable than they had initially thought and Flora hands one of the guards the letter of introduction so they do not seem too suspicious. The guard agrees to let Flora and her friends inside but only if one of his men will be taking them to the castle.
And so, the Winx, Specialists and the Trix are led to the castle, where Lorelle comes running once she sees Flora. Flora introduces the group as her friends and Lorelle tells them that, while Faragonda told her and the queen that they would be coming, she did not expected them to come so quickly. She leads them inside the castle as she tells them that their rooms will be prepared post-haste. Icy crudely tells Lorelle that the rooms better be clean and that she and her sisters demand a room to themselves. Lorelle nervously agrees to their demands and tells the group that she will take them to see Queen Electra later. Since the king is currently away, it is up to Electra to hold any courts until he returns.
Later, just as Lorelle promised, the group meets with Queen Electra, who is elated to see them all. With the three major schools of Magix being home to many great thinkers and teachers, Electra hopes that Flora and her friends will be able to solve her realm's various problems. Stella asks if the problems are serious and Electra confirms this, telling the group there has been a rise of poverty, violence, and more and more of the barons have been abusing their power with no respect for the established law. What is worse is that her husband, King Thorgal, cannot afford to impose order as the amount of soldiers needed to do so will be too great and this would cause many more taxes to be imposed onto the already poverty-stricken subjects. Flora assures Electra that they understand the situation but she is interrupted by Stella, who is confident that they will be able to solve the kingdom's problems once they think about it overnight. Electra thanks the group and offers to have Lorelle show them around the palace. Stella thanks Electra for the offer as the rest of the Winx seem unhappy with Stella's sudden decision.
As the group heads for their quarters, the Winx scold Stella for promising the queen that they would solve the kingdom's problems. Bloom insists that the problems are too big to be dealt with for their short trip, but Stella has full confidence that they can do it since they are fairies. She insists that solving big problems will end up being their profession once they graduate from Alfea so they should be getting started as early as possible. She then insists that they should be able to handle the problems with ease as Thordal is still a primitive kingdom, while their various kingdoms are all up-to-date. Icy interjects, claiming that the Winx will just embarrass themselves, which would give her and her sisters a good laugh. Flora asks the Trix if they would be willing to help the kingdom as their expertise in wickedness could help them combat evil. Icy claims that they would if they were good witches and Stormy adds that they only use their wickedness when it suits them. Flora starts to get frustrated over the Trix's reluctance to help and Stella tries to calm her down. Stella then turns to Icy, proclaiming that they will save the kingdom from its problems and take all the credit for doing so. Icy simply laughs in her face.
However, three days later. the girls and guys seem to be making no progress and Stella cannot take it anymore. She and Musa cannot believe that they could not come up with one solution in three days but Tecna insists that they have come up with plenty of ideas, it is just that none of them would work in a kingdom as "backwards" as the Kingdom of Thordal. She claims that the guards could have anklets place on criminals to monitor their movements, but electricity still has not been discovered in the kingdom. Musa also explains that they could use cellphones to contact the authorities faster but the kingdom's citizens still use carrier pigeons to communicate. Timmy asks why the girls cannot use their magic to make all the criminals into good people and Flora explains that the spell would be temporary, insisting that a civilization cannot truly be changed for the better with magic. Flora further explains that change cannot come from outside of the kingdom as the kingdom's people need to find something to fight for; something that can be considered more valuable than gold and being wealthy. Flora sits down on her bed as she tries to think of a solution until Bloom suddenly comes up with one herself. She remembers that civilizations on Earth used this same idea to keep criminals in check and tells the group that she read it in a history book one time. She huddles the girls together as she explains what her idea is.
The next day, Lorelle leads the Winx and Specialists to the throne room for their audience with King Thorgal. Electra assures the group that Thorgal is very interested in their proposal and Thorgal realizes that they will be the ones helping him resolve all of the recent problems. A thin old man whispers in Thorgal's ear, asking him about why he has stooped so low as to get advice from a mere girl. Thorgal claims that young people are often able to see things at different perspectives that older people usually cannot see and he advises that the man known as Count Sargon have a little faith in Lorelle's friends. Thorgal tells the group that, despite having many personal advisors, none of their plans have worked to solve the kingdom's rising problems. Bloom hands Thorgal a rolled up sheet of paper with their proposal on it as she claims that other kingdoms have used the idea were met with great success. Thorgal skims through the sheet and quickly becomes impressed with the group's proposal. He insists that they put the proposal into action at once and calls for the royal herald.
In the following days, the royal herald goes around the kingdom, announcing to all within earshot that King Thorgal is preparing to create a brotherhood of warriors that will be made up of the bravest men in the realm. The brotherhood will be called the "Knights of the Star" and these warriors will patrol the kingdom to keep the peace, upholding justice. The only reward for being a Knight of the Star will be recognition from the people of the kingdom from their various acts of fame and their honor.
At the castle, the Winx are helping Thorgal prepare the brotherhood's meeting room. Thorgal is excited to assemble the brotherhood as they will all be comrades in adventure. He tells the girls that they will be starting off with only ten knights but he is confident that there will be many more men that will join the brotherhood later on.
Meanwhile, the Trix are at a tavern, talking about the Knights of the Star. Stormy admits that it is a good idea and tells her sisters that she read somewhere about a similar idea working very well on Earth. Darcy agrees and goes on about how vowing to be a knight means you vow to protect the weak among other things. Stormy goes on about a thing called "courtly love" and seems disgusted by it. Darcy remembers that there were various poems written about knighthood and Stormy confirms this, telling her sisters that being knighted in present day still holds great significance. Darcy insists that they cannot let the Winx win and tells Icy that they need to do something to stop this. Darcy also tells Icy that she still does not understand why they are hanging out in a tavern but Icy shushes her, warning her not to draw attention. She explains that she is trying to figure out what others think about this new brotherhood and is particularly interested in three men at the opposite and of the tavern who could be considered as candidates for the Knights of the Star. It turns out that one of the three men, a brown haired man with a goatee, is Arel Gruwald, who is the son of a powerful baron in the kingdom who is also an enemy of the king's.
Arel insists to the two other men that he has what it takes to become a knight as he possesses sword skills. However, the two men think otherwise, as Arel would have to change his terrible personality in order to fit, since he is known for paying his peasants poorly, still has debts to pay off and chases after women who are already married; Arel admitting to the last point. He then claims that it might not be all that great to become a knight and tells the two men that they should quit while they are ahead since they have the same tastes as he does. As the three men joke around, Arel sees Count Sargon stomping past the tavern. Arel rushes outside to invite Sargon inside, offering to buy him a drink in order to find out with the king's true wishes are. Sargon, however, is annoyed with how Thorgal seems to be more interested in taking advice from a mere girl over him. Arel tells Sargon that he thought the Knights of the Star idea was his but Sargon insists that it was nothing of the sort.
From their table, Icy tries to quiet Darcy and Stormy down as things have just gotten interesting. Darcy wonders what could be so special about an old man like Sargon and Icy reveals that Sargon is the king's advisor. Or rather, he was the king's advisor before they arrived with the Winx. Icy brings out a sheet of paper and tells Darcy that she took some notes while they were in the castle. Apparently, Sargon brags about being a wizard and Icy thinks that he would be the perfect person to have work for them. Darcy demands that Icy explain what she has planned and Icy does so, telling her that they will not be able to win against the Winx and the king by themselves. She then has her sisters leave with her so that she can explain her plan to them. Sargon heads out of the tavern as well, bitterly thanking Arel and his friends for the cider.
As Sargon walks through the kingdom's streets, something calls out to him from behind. When he turns around, he comes face to face with a cloudy mass of dark magic that claims that it chose Sargon due to his hateful heart. Sargon is horrified by the mass of black magic, which tells him that it is the evil that Sargon cultivates with his own dark magic. Sargon tries to deny this but the black mass claims that it knows he practices black magic, even if it is against the law. It tells Sargon that he can trust it as it may be able to help him gain the favor of King Thorgal once again. Sargon still does not understand, to which the black mass explains that he should unite the kingdom's nobles against the Knights of the Star. That way no one would have any initiative in joining the knighthood which would cause the king to be alone in this decision. This would cause Thorgal to feel as if the Winx tricked him and he would kick them out of his kingdom; possibly making Sargon even more powerful as his advisor. Sargon claims that many of the warriors will remain loyal to the king but the black mass urges Sargon to use his black magic to make them change their minds. It promises to help make Sargon's magic even more lethal and rushes him off into the night to get prepared. As Sargon runs away, the dark mass deforms and reveals itself to be the Trix. Now that they have a pawn of their own, their plans can now unfold.
In the following days, Sargon visits Baron Gruwald's castle, where the baron tells him that he was just discussing the matter of the new knighthood with his neighbors. Because of this, Baron Gruwald is stuck having to supervise his peasants as they bring in the harvest. The baron quickly notices that one of his peasants has not matched the 30 bucket tax and the peasant claims that he cannot fully pay the taxes otherwise he will have no more turnips to feed his family. Gruwald kicks the man, telling him that his family can eat grass for all he cares because the tax must be paid in full. He then scoffs at the Knights of the Star idea and Sargon agrees, claiming that having warriors of justice around would just complicate everything. Gruwald does not believe that peace and justice can even be achieved in the world until he is interrupted by a man with long blonde hair who still agrees with King Thorgal. He explains that in addition to paying high taxes, the people still have to deal with famine, thieves and feudal wars all on their own but, with the Knights of the Star around, they could bring order to the lawlessness of the kingdom. Baron Gruwald is enraged and believes that the blonde man would only wants the Knights of the Star around in order to intervene against him specifically. The blonde man agrees, telling Gruwald that he is through with him abusing his power all of the time, as Gruwald always has his men take the blonde man's water for his own cattle. Gruwald orders his men to kick the blonde man out and the blonde man is ready to brandish his weapon in response. However, he is blasted back against the wall by a blast of magic coming from Sargon. Even Sargon himself is surprised by how powerful the blast was! Gruwald praises him on his skills and Sargon insists that he had to do so to put a stop to the man's insolence. He then glares at another man, suspecting that he is also in favor of the king, but the man insists that he is on their side, afraid of Sargon's magic. Gruwald urges the man to spread the word as he boasts about how no one will dare cross them thanks to Sargon's magic. Unbeknownst to them, the Trix are watching them from the roof of one of the castle walls.
It turns out that Stormy was using her magic in order to make Sargon look powerful. Darcy is exhausted due to the tele-transportation spell she had to use in order to follow Sargon but Icy claims that it was all worth it since the Knights of the Star will never be able to take off.
Days later, no one has stepped forward to join the Knights of the Star. Thorgal is growing impatient as he starts to believe that not even one knight is worthy enough but Bloom urges him to stay patient. She thinks that everyone may not have caught wind of the knighthood but Stella cuts in, claiming that everyone heard of it just fine and that she believes something else may be going on. Bloom asks what she means by this and Stella explains that being honest and brave requires effort, claiming that there is a big difference between talking about how brave one is and actually being brave. She then suspects that the Trix may be behind all of this since it has been a long while since they have had to deal with them. Bloom realizes this too, since none of the Trix were in their room today. Nevertheless, Thorgal believes that if no one steps forward then it would show that the kingdom will never be able to rid itself of injustice and even claims that he will not be able to trust anyone either. It is then that someone from behind the king claims that he can still be trusted as he would serve Thorgal with honor and courage if he were knighted. Bloom then realizes the flaw in their plan: nobles should not be the only ones who can become knights. The rest of the Winx agree as Bloom insists that there may be other men like Helfred who are not nobles but wish to join the knighthood. Helfred agrees as he claims that many of the poorer people love their kingdom and are ready to fight for it. Thorgal is hesitant, believing that some of the knights may be against it, but Bloom claims that the poorer men have already stepped forward. Thorgal then claims that these men have no battle experience or training and Sky steps up, volunteering to train them. Stella tells Thorgal that the boys are Specialists in all types of combat and Thorgal ultimately agrees to let men without noble status join the knighthood. He then urges Helfred to round up his friends so that when they all pass the test, then they will become the first Knights of the Star.
Later that day, the Specialists begin training Helfred and his friends. Sky explains to the men that they will be training them on how to strengthen their bodies and learn various fighting techniques. Afterwards, they will work on actual duels. The Winx are watching from the sidelines, impressed by how many men came to become knights. Aisha claims that it will take them all a while to become real knights and Tecna agrees, worried about how long it will take since the Specialists will not be with them for their study trip for too long. Many of the kingdom's people come to watch the men train, with some of them gaining a newfound sense of pride as their sons tryout. However, the road towards becoming a knight is paved with exhaustion. Sky has the men do many push-ups in order to strengthen their arms so that they can hold swords properly, Riven has them to weightlifting so they will have no trouble holding up large shields and Helia has them meditate as he believes concentration to be everything in combat. After all of that, the men practice how to duel and fight while mounted on horses.
Soon enough, Thorgal comes to check on their training. Sky claims that they are making progress and is impressed by how well they are doing. With the people watching them, they will be confident that the knights will be able to protect them. Thorgal is glad that they are doing well as he may need them sooner than he had anticipated.
In fact, at Baron Gruwald's castle, the baron is throwing a fit, enraged with how the king is letting simple peasants and shepherds become knights. He believes that Thorgal is trying to dishonor them and Arel claims that he has an idea that will show everyone in the kingdom how good those louts really are. He will challenge Thordal's best knight, beat him in a duel, and show everyone just how useless the Knights of the Star really are.
Back at the king's castle, Helfred has been recognized as the best out of all of his friends. Sky, Bloom and Stella compliment him on how great he looks in knightly armor and Stella claims that every knight should have a lady, possibly hinting that she should be his lady. Brandon jokingly asks if he needs to kill Helfred before completing the course but Helfred assures Brandon that his heart belongs to another, even if she is out of his league. As he says this, he looks on at a nearby balcony where Queen Electra and Lady Lorelle are watching. Suddenly, Stella notices someone coming towards them on horseback and it turns out the be the herald of Baron Gruwald bringing a challenge. He declares that Sir Arel Gruwald challenges the best of the Knights of the Star so that he may grind him to dust. Helfred orders the herald to tell Gruwald that he will accept Arel's challenge and fight him in the name of King Thorgal. Brandon tries to get Helfred to back down because the Gruwalds are just trying to provoke them and that he may not be ready, but Helfred insists that he is indeed ready. He is excited that this will be his first battle fighting in honor and justice.
Soon enough, the duel between Helfred and Arel is about to begin. Brandon is surprised by the turnout as practically everyone in the kingdom has come to see the duel. Bloom claims that it is because the duel is of great importance and if Helfred were to lose then all of their work would be in vain. Stella suggests that they help Helfred with their magic but Bloom finds that idea to be disrespectful. Stella agrees to stay out of it but advises the girls that they keep an eye out for the Trix, believing that they are planning something especially sinister for the duel.
From behind the stands, the Trix watch as Arel makes his way into the arena. Stormy asks when they will be able to intervene since they cannot let the king's champion win at any cost. Darcy assures her that they will not have to do anything because Sargon will be doing the work for them. Just then, the duel begins. As Helfred and Arel charge at each other, the Trix use their black mass disguise to tell Sargon to use his magic. He casts a spell on Helfred's helmet that causes him to hallucinate, making him see different copies of Arel in all directions. Not knowing which one is the real Arel, Helfred gets knocked back by his attack. The Winx notice this and run to check up on Helfred, fearing that he may have been seriously injured.
When they meet up with him, Bloom asks him if he is alright and Helfred claims that he just cannot understand it all. He explains that he saw many people charging at him and he could not figure out which one was the one he should have attacked. Stella realizes that she has heard of a spell with such an effect and Bloom asks her if it could have been the work of the Trix. Stella is still unsure and asks for Helfred to hand her his helmet so that she may inspect it. They have to hurry though, as the two men have to get ready for the next encounter.
Stella gets her hands on Helfred's helmet and can sense that something is wrong with it. She asks if Bloom can feel it as well and Bloom confirms that she can as the feeling is making her nauseous. Aisha and the others runs up to Stella, wanting to know what's wrong, and Stella tells them that she will need all of their help to cast a counterspell on the helmet. The Winx combine their magical energies and dispel the darkness that was inside the helmet. Afterwards, Stella gives it back to Helfred, telling him that it may not give him any unfair advantages but it will help him see clearly again.
The second round begins and the two men charge at each other once again. Sargon tries to use the same spell a second time but it backfires on him. Now that Helfred can see clearly, he is able to knock Arel off of his horse. He approaches Arel and points a sword at his neck, causing Arel to surrender.
The Trix are displeased with how the Winx came out victorious again as everyone else cheers. Brandon, Bloom and Stella congratulate Helfred on his victory and Thorgal, Electra and Lorelle arrive. Thorgal takes his sword out and knights Helfred, officially making him a Knight of the Star.
Many men from the stands start to see that their king was right about knights and many of them go off to become knights themselves, even with the baron's obvious disapproval. The baron demands that he and his son leave the kingdom as he will sort him out later and the Trix still do not like this turn of events. However, Icy believes that the Winx have not completely won yet as this was only the first round.
- "Wipe away misfortune and eliminate all fears. Make the one who wears this helmet able to do battle through the years!" - Used by the Winx to counteract the spell that the Trix put on Helfred's helmet.
- "May evil come to my aid!..." - Used unsuccessfully by Sargon to try and sabotage Helfred during the duel.
- On page 17, as the Winx help Thorgal prepare to assemble the Knights of the Star, the pink part of the low half of Flora's dress is a darker shade of green instead.
- In some instances the Knights of the Star are referred to as either the "Star Company" or the "Company of the Star."
- Queen Electra
- King Thorgal
- Count Sargon
- The Royal Herald
- Arel Gruwald
- Baron Gruwald
- The Herald of Gruwald
- The Kingdom of Thordal
- The Winx Club
- Alfea Staff
- Cloud Tower Staff
- The Specialists
- Royal Servants
- Lady Lorelle
- The Royal Herald
- The Herald of Gruwald
- The issue is similar to Issue 34: A Story of Knights and Ladies.
- This issue could take place before the events of The Secret of the Lost Kingdom as Stella claims that they will be fighting evil and combating problems once they graduate and the Winx still have their Enchantix powers, as shown in the next issue, which is a direct continuation of this one.