Before I jump into talking about the very first season of The Kingdom, I want to take a moment to say that this post is meant for those who have finished reading The Kingdom in full. There will be plenty of spoilers here. So, if you haven’t read that last chapter OR any of it for that matter, check it out here where you will find all 20 chapters!
Still here or just coming back? Great let’s get into it.
I still remember the night that I came up with the idea to do The Kingdom. We had been watching Game of Thrones and I had been playing Disney Magic Kingdoms every waking moment as a new update was on the horizon. I went to bed with all of this in my mind and had a dream that involved a dark fantasy land where these characters who loved to sing and dance were in constant mortal danger. There was a political intrigue to it as well and an overwhelming idea that everyone had a secret. Many writers talk about waking up from a dream and having to write it down immediately. This was that experience for me.
I knew that I wanted to tell a story through a select group of character’s eyes, much like Game of Thrones does in its novel form. This meant choosing the perfect characters. Mowgli was the first to come to mind as I loved that he had this ‘super’ power of talking to animals and it allowed me to delve into the animal kingdom a bit. Merlin came next. But the other three were trickier. I knew that I didn’t want super mainstream characters, but they also had to be characters that people would respond to. I didn’t want Elsa, at least not yet. I wanted characters that were flawed and had room to grow. Minnie and Ariel became obvious choices for one simple reason. They were some of my least favorite characters in all of Disney. It’s no secret that I dislike Ariel and Minnie seemed so one dimensional. It was because of this that I saw this great opportunity to play around with them. I wanted to break them down and then build them up as something new. Jiminy, well, he seemed like a great candidate to be a character who had fallen from grace but wanted to be noble once more.
My original ideas for the story were all those which were found in the last five chapters. So the challenge became getting the characters to that point. How do I get Mowgli and Elliot to meet. What causes Ariel to fall from a tower and transform? How does the city fall? These became the questions I sought to answer.
In writing this story I gave myself two rules, that I never give myself when writing a full length novel.
- Chapters must be the length of, and only take as much time to write as, a normal blog post.
- No outlining. Let the story lead you.
If this was going to work, I couldn’t get hung up on it. I just had to have fun. And so that’s what I did. Every week, I put out two chapters, meaning I didn’t have time to second guess myself or not write it. I was on a tight schedule and often times found myself finishing a chapter on the train home from work just in time to post it when I arrived. It was a crazy challenge but I loved every minute of it.
I knew very early on that Marvel and, eventually, Star Wars would join the mix, but I wanted it to be subtle. Often times I would write a chapter and get to the end and think, you know what, this could use a little more juice, and I’d throw in Thor’s hammer. I knew that the last scene would be Mickey with the lightsaber and I wanted so badly to get to that point, because the introduction of that one element changes everything for season two. The hardest part, really, was not introducing Star Wars earlier. In fact, Pete was originally going to fight the Shadow, Minnie, with a lightsaber, but I realized that would be jumping the gun and would kill the surprise.
I want to thank all of you for being so awesome during this process. Unlike many projects on this blog, I didn’t preface it or introduce it, I just said, “Hey, let’s see what happens,” and started writing. Yet all of you who have read The Kingdom have been so wonderfully supportive and have kept me going. So thank you for that!
I’ve talked with some folks in comments and on Facebook about the fact that I view this series like a TV show, with seasons to divide out the major story arcs. This also gives me a chance to step back and really look at where I want to go next with the story. So, since you’ve come this far, I wouldn’t dare leave you without a little teaser.
Starting this Fall, The Kingdom will return with new characters and old. Friendships will be forged. Alliances will be tested and one mouse will travel to infinity and beyond to get home before it’s too late. I am so happy to announce the second season of The Kingdom.
Thank you again for your love and support. See you soon!