By Loryn Stone
Destined Couples: the flavors of them in stories are endless. They can come in the form of loves that span the course of multiple lifetimes, like Princess Serenity and Price Endymion. Couples that keep coming back to each other despite the odds and messiness, like Ross and Rachel. Couples where love blossoms over the course of friendship and peaks after a tumultuous battle, like Aang and Katara. You know what I’m getting at- couples that are intertwined in that “why can’t I quit you?” kind of way.
So, after watching infinity-thousand hours of Disney Jr.’s Sofia the First with my kids, I began to notice certain themes entwined around the narrative that caused me to raise a figurative eyebrow. What seems like a simple story at first is really sort of convoluted and complicated. Ultimately, it’s a story of an eight-year-old girl who lived in the village with her mom. Mom wins at life, marries the king, and moves Sofia into the castle. She now lives with her mother, her stepfather (the king), and stepsiblings James and Amber (a set of twins a year older than Sofia). To welcome his new daughter into the castle, King-Daddy presents Sofia with a purple gem called The Amulet of Avalor that has a princess trapped inside of it, thus giving the necklace magic powers. Although, by the end of the third season the necklace princess is set free, and yet the amulet still has magic powers…but we’ll get to that later.
In a world straight up called Enchancia where children go to wizarding school, horses fly, and fairies and other unworldly creatures exist, Sofia chooses not to tell anyone that this necklace (which “chose her”, as King-Daddy declares) has magic powers. The amulet allows her to talk to animals, grow and shrink as needed, and summon Disney princess when she needs a little morality boost. The only person privy to the amulet’s powers is the Royal Sorcerer, a tower-dwelling cranky dude named Cedric. Part loose antagonist, part antihero, and part Sofia’s mentor, he has a blind desire to take Sofia’s amulet for himself. He’s convinced that he’ll be able to use its power to take control of the crown and rule Enchancia for himself, with no prior leadership training. In fact early episodes have Cedric obsessed with stealing the amulet from Sofia, but quite possibly, animated shot of him staring at an eight-year-old’s chest stopped working out for a lot of people.
Which segues into my third point, and the main motivation for this Fan Theory. With Sofia being chosen by an amulet, having just about full control of its allusive power, an affinity for magic (with her abilities greater than some of the witches and sorcerers around her), plus her special bonds with Aunt Tilly (the last bearer of the amulet) and Cedric, it’s clear to me that Sofia the First is a witch. Being a witch makes perfect sense when applied to Sofia- she has no ties to the royal bloodline, yet controls an heirloom that’s been in the family for nearly 50 years? And even after the princess trapped inside bounces, and the amulet changes color from purple to pink, Sofia is still in control of the amulet and discovers a new host of powers inside of it.
Keeping in mind that Sofia is a witch with a natural affinity for magic, it’s only natural that she seeks out lessons from Cedric, the Royal Sorcerer. But after watching a few episodes, I was dumbstruck by the chemistry between this precocious little girl and curmudgeon cranky-pants wizard. It lead me to question their relationship. But nowhere did I see any disgusting signs of a creepy, leering man.
But a mutual love, respect, and pull toward each other blossoming through the show’s tangle mass of nonsense. This destined couple blooming from the thorns is actually one of the only things that makes sense to me, even if a love story between a grown man and an eight-year-old doesn’t exactly make for a popular Disney love story. But I’m not the only one- ask the internet. Cedfia is real, and I’m going to point out my favorite moments that wink toward a future love between the two.
Within the first few episodes of the series (episode titled Cedric’s Apprentice), Cedric’s mother declares Sofia Cedric’s “first and only friend”. Over the course of the series, Sofia’s love and devotion for Cedric causes him to question his blind desire, or rather, obsessive infatuation, for stealing the amulet and attempting to usurp the throne. In the “Cedric’s Apprentice” episode, Cedric agrees to teach Sofia enough magic to pass a wizard school class. Over the course of the episode, their bond strengthens (they even touch wands), she makes him a heart from the rubies he taught her to create, and she gives him a gold star, an act that makes his grinchy heart melt.
There’s an obligatory “Christmas” episode (change the holiday’s name to Wassalia) in the series that still manages to revolve around Sofia’s obvious obsession with the sorcerer. She makes him a “wand holder” for the holidays, then gets insecure that it’s not a special enough gift for him. In the end of the episode, she ends up giving it to him anyway, and he says it’s the nicest gift he’s ever been given. He then presents her with an indoor snowfall, his hand resting gently on her back.
There’s a two-part Season 2 episode called “The Floating Palace” where Sofia befriends a young mermaid princess with a magical hair combs. With the use of her amulet, Sofia transforms into a mermaid, and is accused of being a witch by the mermaid queen’s advisor. Likewise, this is the first episode where Cedric truly does play the villain’s role by transforming himself into a sea creature and kidnapping the mermaid princess. When the battle plays out, Sofia was none the wiser that the sea monster was her beloved sorcerer, and Cedric no longer plays the part of the bad guy. Yet their destinies still lead them to a similar objective in this episode, which is heading under the sea for a secret face-off.
In the episode “Gone with the Wand”, Sofia wins a prize at school- a visit to Merlin the Wizard’s castle. She’s able to bring two guests, and who else would she bring but her destined love, Cedric? His niece Calista interrupts the lovers’ trip out, but Sofia is happy to bring the little girl along. (What, like it’s good practice for when they’re married or something?) What’s interesting about this episode is during their visit to Merlin, (of Sword in the Stone fame), Merlin discusses his long-time feud with a sorceress named Morgana. Cedric busts out a scroll with a painting of Merlin and his former apprentice. It screams lovers’ quarrel, and I can’t help but see the mirroring of Merlin and Morgana’s relationship within Cedric and Sofia’s relationship (right down to the alliteration and the young girl/older dude pairing that media is so in love with). This episode also features a scene where Cedric lets himself get trapped by a stone centaur come to life so Sofia can escape.
There’s an episode called “Cedric Be Good” where the sorcerer actually manages to steal the amulet from Sofia, who figures out there’s something wrong when she’s no longer able to talk to her animal friends. From the first episode of the series, Cedric tells Sofia (from his magic book) that the way the amulet works is based off your behavior. So, if your intentions with it are bad, it curses you. If you’re good, it lets you do nice things. Somehow, Cedric forgets this, and tries to take over the crown again. But the amulet works on a credit system. Thus, you do a good deed, and it lets you grant a wish. The long and short, Cedric takes the opportunity to work alongside Sofia and do a bunch of good deeds with her, the entire episode long. The two of them together are like a philanthropist couple. They even sing a duet called “A Better Me”, a song all about Sofia making Cedric into a better person. However, there’s one example here that pushes the Sofia the Witch angle, and that is in the fact that Cedric cannot talk to animals while wearing the amulet like Sofia. In fact, when his pet raven, Wormwood flies off to tell Cedric that Sofia’s figured out that something is wrong with her amulet (because she doesn’t understand her animal friends) Cedric yells back at his bird that he doesn’t understand a word he’s squawking. By the end, Cedric has cursed himself with a set of literal iron fists, but when his heart warms enough to give Sofia back amulet, his hands go back to normal. A blessing for his good deed, and he states that giving Sofia back her amulet is the best deed that anyone could have done, in spite his mother’s initial disapproval of his actions. And that simple act too of Cedric always doing the right thing in regard to Sofia, or his affections for her, even if it goes against his crazy mother’s orders (at least initially) is another point. It’s just another example of their destinies entwining and their unbridled love setting Cedric back on the path he’s supposed to be on, and away from the blind obsessive kingdom stealing goal.
In a season 3 episode “Hexley Hall”, Sofia tells Cedric that her amulet is acting different since Elena left it. (Couples and their secrets, tsk tsk). She then accompanies Cedric to Hexley Hall, the school he attended as a youth while learning his sorcerer craft to find out more about the amulet. (Under the guise that Cedric will in fact learn the amulet’s secrets and take it for himself at last). The episode introduces a sorcerer named Grimtrix, yet another man with a blind obsession with taking over a kingdom. To me, this is further evidence that Cedric’s infatuation with ruling Enchancia was just confusion over his destined soul-mate tie with Sofia. This episode also marks Cedric finally understanding his pet Raven, just as Sofia is able to understand animals talking throughout the series. Other examples of Cedric and Sofia’s blind bond is in the episode “The Curse of Princess Ivy” where Cedric allows Sofia to drive a flying coach through the sky, blindly trusting her without question, to keep him alive. Plus it’s starting to become clearer that Cedric and Sofia will take any opportunity to be alone together.
And the proof de resistance – The season 4 premiere (titled Day of the Sorcerers, aired 4/24/17). If this episode isn’t so abundantly clearly about Sofia and Cedric breaking up, then I know nothing about love and all that trash. And note how in the majority of these screen shots, Cedric just looks so damn SAD around Sofia? That’s the demise of a shattered man tied to a destined love. You can see the whole song “My Evil Dreams” on YouTube, where voice actor Jess Harnell belts out this monster ballad like a fucking boss.
So Sofia goes to back to Hexley Hall with Cedric and his raven Wormwood for the Conjurer’s Conference. During the meeting, that same dude Grimtrix snags Cedric into a meeting with a bunch of other sorcerer jerks that wants to take over their respective kingdoms. After hearing their plan to freeze the kings and queens of their kingdoms with a green orb called the Medusa Stone (which conveniently snaps upon their magic wands), Cedric busts into a power ballad of ultimate confusion with images of Sofia floating in front of him, basically stating that everything he’s ever wanted is about to happen…but he’s had a change of heart and isn’t sure if any of this is what he wants anymore. He ends up going through with the plan, and he and Sofia essentially have a breakup. While Cedric attacks the kingdom, freezing everyone in the castle, Sofia flies up to him on a broom (remember, that witch angle is real) and looks him in the eye. He’s terrified, and he knows he’s unable to hurt his Destined (whether or not he’s aware of their tie). He surrenders to Sofia, and willingly hands her his wand. The royal family unfreezes, and Daddy promptly sends Sofia’s trouble making boyfriend to jail.
But even this act causes her heartache, and it’s clear that Sofia doesn’t want to exist apart from Cedric. The episode ends with Cedric’s remorse and lament from betraying his beloved, and he protects her and earns back trust of the king and queen.
Long live Cedfia! Isn’t true love and destiny just the funniest thing? Comment below with your favorite destined couple!
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