The Italian fantasy series is based upon the premise of cruel witch hunts that took place 400 years from now in Northern Europe and America.
Needless to say, Netflix has no scarcity of riveting shows rooted in historical drama and fantasy. Shows like ‘The Witcher’ and ‘The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ have been able to carve a niche for themselves by offering fresh perspectives on witchcraft and mysticism. Given how grand the fanbase of Netflix’s historical drama is, the streaming giant served its devoted audience with ‘Luna Nera’, a six episodes Italian series about witchcraft, love, and powerful destiny.
- Is ‘Luna Nera’ based on a true story?
- Who are the main characters of Netflix’s ‘Luna Nera’?
- What happens to Ade in the season finale?
Plot of the Italian historical fantasy – ‘Luna Nera’
The fictional story is inspired by Italian folklore and the history of witch-hunting which takes us back to 17th century Italy where the locals of Serra, a small town in Northern Italy, believe that the town is infested with the presence of witches. A witch-hunting clan called Benandanti believe that the purpose of their life is to fight and kill witches in order to save the villagers, their croplands, and maintain the sanctity of the church.
Promising special effects, great costumes, and a plot inspired by witch-hunting in 17th century Europe, ‘Luna Nera’s’ trailer gives us all the ingredients which make up a good historical drama.
The synopsis of ‘Luna Nera’ trailer on Netflix reads:
“In 17th-century Italy, women did not have a simple life, especially if they were accused of witchcraft. This fate fell to Ade (Antonia Fotaras) who is forced to leave the city where she lives, to avoid burning alive in the flames. Ade thus finds herself living in the woods with a coven of women, also accused of witchcraft, and having to make a choice: leave her love Pietro, son of the leader of the witch hunters, or fulfil her destiny.”
Who are the main characters?
The show created by an all-female trio of directors – Francesca Manieri, Laura Paolucci, and Tiziana Triana showcases several powerful female characters and compelling subplots, leaving viewers on a nail-biting cliffhanger in the final episode.
Ade (Antonia Fotaras), a 16-years-old midwife, is the protagonist of the story who finds herself encircled by suspicions of being a witch when she helps an upper-class mother deliver a stillborn child. Her grandmother warns her about the ongoing witch hunts and the very fact that these self-proclaimed guardians (Benandanti) shall hold them responsible for the death of the infant.
After the death of her grandmother, Ade runs deep into the woods with her younger brother Valente, to escape Benandanti and seek shelter at a place where ancient witches reside (as per her grandmother).
Pietro (Giorgio Belli) plays Ade’s love interest, who is called home by his father Sante from a secret school where he studies medicine, to see his sick mother. Sante happens to be the leader of the witch hunters clan in the town and is certain that the same witches who killed the infant, are responsible for the deteriorating health of his wife.
Pietro believes in science and tries to make villagers realise that there is always a perfect scientific explanation for every superstition. Talking to his father about the innocent women who have lost their lives to baseless accusations and rumours of practising witchcraft, Pietro is the only person who is convinced that these ongoing executions of women are utterly vengeful.
The show screams women empowerment as is reflected by the powerful female cast comprising of strong witches like Persepolis, Leptis, Janara, and Tebe of the Lost city who help Ade harness her true powers.
‘Luna Nera’ – The Book
Translated to Black Moon in English, ‘Luna Nera’ is an adaptation of Tiziana Triana’s novel entitled “Le città perdute. Luna Nera” (The Lost Cities. Black Moon) which is the first volume in the trilogy.
The production of the series wrapped up in July 2019 whereas the books reportedly hit the stands months after the shooting began. Since “The Lost Cities” is supposed to be a trilogy, ‘Luna Nera’ book fans can expect subsequent sequels of the web series as well.
‘Luna Nera’s’ British English dubbed version fits seamlessly and is as good as the original.
Ending explained: How did season 1 of ‘Luna Nera’ end?
The season finale reveals a lot more than what fans might have anticipated from the first season. Episode six opens with Valente and Leptis held captive in the prison under Marzio Oreggi’s watch, who casts a spell to block witches’ powers. Persepolis reaches the town and gathers the news about their execution. She notices Pietro asking for help from Spirto to free Valente from the prison, who has concocted a plan to retrieve their cell’s key.
Meanwhile, the witches prepare for the candle festival along with the plan for freeing Valente and Leptis. The witches reach the town with their faces covered by masks and start executing their plan when they are held captive by the Benandanti.
Pietro comes to know about their arrest and pleads his younger sister Cesaria to take him to Ade. The town prepares for the mass execution of the witches while Sante and Marzio accuse them of wreaking havoc on the town. Just when he is about to set fire to the stakes to which the witches are tied, the sky turns dark as the villagers notice a strange sun-eclipse overshadowing them.
In no time, the witches get teleported and form a circle with Valente in the centre, whose eyes are emitting a greenish blush. It appears like Valente is controlling his fellow allies whose eyes are whited out. While the villagers lie unconscious on the floor, Valente levitates in the air and reaches for Sante.
Sante tries to get hold of Valente but finds Ade in his way who stabs him in the heart in order to save her brother. Pietro sees Ade kill his father as she retreats back with fellow witches and her brother.
Infuriated by his father’s death, Pietro pledges allegiance to Benandanti and appoints Spirto as his subordinate which comes as a shock to Cesaria.
After the witches baptise Valente, viewers find Antalia recalling her past when Valente was born. It is then revealed to the fans that she had given up her youth to protect her child Valente by casting a very powerful spell that converted her into a boy. But the spell shall be broken on the first Black moon (Luna Nera), that’s when Valente is revealed as a girl and the chosen one as per the prophecy.
Ade is broken, shocked, and enraged after the revelation and secret that was kept from her. She feels betrayed upon realising that Antalia was her mother who was pretending to be her grandmother all these years. Angered by the lying and deceiving, Ade banishes away into the snow. In the last scene, she casts a spell and her eyes turn pitch black- opaque as if she had sided with darkness.
Pietro joins the witch hunters, Valente turns out to be a girl, and Ade is not the chosen one after all the hype. Too much happening in the finale, all at once, which leaves viewers asking if Pietro will avenge his father’s death, what happens to Ade and Cesaria – both of whom have been deceived in different ways. With so many questions left unanswered, fans will be awaiting the renewal of ‘Luna Nera’.