Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End has perfectly combined Japanese fiction’s artistry with Western fiction’s tropes to create a wonderful fantasy work that is extremely popular worldwide, and for a good reason. While the protagonists are the story’s focus, in this article, we will be discussing a very interesting character who is not a protagonist but is undeniably important. The character in question is Denken, one of the examinees during the First-Class Mage Exam, and a very underhanded character. This article will explain who Denken is and why he is so important for the story, as well as whether he can be considered a villain in the series.
Denken is a powerful mage and a shady character
Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End has, indeed, introduced us to a series of intriguing and great characters, and the old mage Denken is definitely among them. This shady character was first introduced during the First-Class Mage Exam, where we found out about him and his role in the story, in this section – we are going to tell you what you need to know about him.
Denken is an old human mage who is also an Imperial Mage, which means that he has a lot of ties to the politics of his home country. He is also well-known around the world and is famous for being a cunning and shady character, but is also respected for his amazing skills and his strength. He is also one of the most knowledgeable mages in the whole series, without a doubt.
He is also incredibly powerful, as we have implied and indicated, being one of the strongest mages in the world of Frieren. His trademark spell is called Mystil’zla, and it allows him to deflect anything he senses to be a curse back at the caster, making Denken extremely powerful; the main issue is that it eats up huge amounts of mana, which is why he cannot always rely on it in battle, but rather as a trump card.
He is pragmatic and looks out for himself, but he is not a villain
As far as his role in the story is concerned, he is definitely a shady character. Being an Imperial Mage, he is well-known around the world, and, as Genau said, he was certain to pass the first part of the exam. He definitely comes off as a bit odd, and his views on the world are quite… pragmatic, so to speak. He is exceptionally intelligent, but also cunning, and he will use these skills for his own benefit regardless of the others.
This is why he immediately decided to steal the Stille from Frieren’s group and why he did not react to the bodies killed by the Geisel; he knew that the Geisel had set traps for them and simply ignored the dead mages, which might come as cruel and heartless, but it was a smart thing to do.
Denken always had his own agenda in the forefront; he did not need the title of a First-Class Mage, but he still entered the exam because he would benefit from it. And while he was ready to be underhanded in order to achieve his goals, he also showed compassion and cared for others. When Richter wanted to kill Lawine and Kanne, Denken immediately told him to give up on the plan, even threatening to incapacitate him, despite Richter being a member of his own group. He did not want unnecessary slaughter – they came for the Stille, and that was all he wanted to have.
All of this shows that Denken is definitely not a villain in the series. He is not a protagonist, far from it, but he cannot be described as a villain either. Whether he is evil is a completely different question and based on what we’ve said here and what his story is in the manga, we will let you judge that for yourselves.
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