The first season of The Legend of Vox Machina introduced the ragtag group of mercenaries known as Vox Machina on their journey to become heroes. Vox Machina faces off against dragons, vampires, and zombies in the first season fighting these evils to protect the realm. They gain Tal’Dorei’s favor after killing a dragon that infiltrated the city’s leadership. Vox Machina then defeats the Briarwoods, the couple who killed Percy’s family, and retake the city of Whitestone. However, an even greater threat is on the horizon as four dragons descend upon Tal’Dorei.
The Legend of Vox Machina began as a Kickstarter started by Critical Role to fund an animated special, but after overwhelming fan support raised over $11 million, the special became an animated series and was picked up by Prime Video. At New York Comic Con, it was announced that The Legend of Vox Machina had been renewed for a third season ahead of season two’s premiere. The first season adapted the first major arc of Critical Role’s first campaign, and the second and third seasons will tackle the second arc, the Chroma Conclave.
Screen Rant spoke with creators and stars Travis Willingham, Ashley Johnson, Taliesin Jaffe, and Matt Mercer about the new season of The Legend of Vox Machina. Willingham broke down Grog’s journey this season and how working with a writers’ room elevates the original story. Johnson explained how The Legend of Vox Machina is an opportunity to rewrite history with Critical Role’s first campaign by fully bringing Pike into the Vox Machina story. Jaffe teased Percy’s change after the defeat of the Briarwoods and what he strives to prove to his friends.
Travis Willingham, Ashley Johnson, Taliesin Jaffe & Matt Mercer On The Legend Of Vox Machina Season 2
Screen Rant: I love Grog, but he’s so often the comic relief and the tank. In this season, he really gets taken through this more emotional storyline by touching on grief and guilt and darkness from his past. What was it like to explore that as both an actor and a writer?
Travis Willingham: It was wonderful. It’s rewarding; it’s fulfilling; it’s so interesting to go back and tackle all those things. And I’ve said this before, but having a room of writers with us as well that are coming from an outside perspective just helps flush out a more interesting story dynamic than I think we probably would have been able to do on our own.
I love Grog so much. He’s such a dummy, but there’s such a heart of gold that it makes those moments [of] the most relatable emotions hit home. Usually, you’re laughing along with Grog because you can feel the childlike interpretation or instincts that he has. That’s why I feel like he’s so enjoyable not only to play but to watch.
But in those moments where he hurts, those are things that people feel. Guilt sticks with all of us, and if you’re the tallest, biggest, strongest person in the room, the expectation for you to be able to handle anything is sometimes too much to handle. It just shows that even he needs to go back and look at his very best buddies, who is only yay high. That’s where his real strength comes from; that’s where his heart is. And those sorts of stories just make me incredibly happy. Those are the little moments of heroism that exist in Grog, and really in all the characters, but they all have different shapes and forms. That was wonderful to play.
I’m always drawn to those characters that just react on the first thought that pops into their head.
Travis Willingham: No Filter. Brain, mouth.
Ashley, I love Grog and Pike. It’s absolutely one of my favorite relationships in this. And I love Pike’s arc last season where she had this crisis of faith. You were gone for a lot of the first campaign because you weren’t able to be there in person. What was it like to really explore Pike’s growth with Vox Machina the entire time? Were you surprised by any of the ways she was incorporated into the story?
Ashley Johnson: Yeah, leaving and having to go to work in New York and then having to come back and sort of trying to have that make sense in the story, which gave Matt so much he had to do [to explain] the reasons why Pike had to go in and out.
Matt Mercer: Made it work.
Ashley Johnson: You made it work. For the series, we didn’t want to have that. It was our chance to sort of rewrite history in a way but not change the story of Vox Machina, but more change our personal story and letting me have a chance to actually be there and experience some of the parts that I didn’t get to. So for me, it’s really special and very cool that I finally get to be there in some parts that I wasn’t.
And, I think, Pike’s crisis of faith in the last season that’s even tested more in the second season. And, we met them in the first season and this season, we’re sort of getting into the nitty gritty and to the personal intimate stories, and I’m just glad now I get to be here for it.
Taliesin, Percy kind of went through the wringer last year and brought his friends with him, fighting zombies and vampires and demons. How did that experience change Percy and his perception of the rest of Vox Machina?
Taliesin Jaffe: On the good side, I think he finally at least realized that he has a family, that he wasn’t alone, it finally got through his skull. And I think he understands that now because now he feels very guilty and ashamed for being such a burden to his family, and that he’s been screwing everything up. And he’s going to spend the next few episodes trying to make up for that very badly.
From a place of deep shame and guilt, which is the greatest place to try and be helpful and remind everybody that you’re more than a demon that tried to murder them. It’ll go great. It goes great. Really helpful. He’s going to be super helpful. Nothing bad is gonna happen.
Nothing ever bad happens with Percy.
Taliesin Jaffe: Nothing bad happens when you ignore your damage.
About The Legend Of Vox Machina Season 2
Vox Machina has defeated the Briarwoods saving Whitestone and bringing peace back to the realm. But the trouble has only begun when an even greater threat descends, a terrifyingly powerful group of dragons known as the Chroma Conclave. Now, Vox Machina must once again step up as protectors of the realm to fight the dragons before their sinister plans bring about the end of their world.
Check out our other interview with Marisha Ray, Liam O’Brien, and Sam Riegel.
The Legend of Vox Machina season 2 premieres on Prime Video on January 20.