With the conclusion of Manta’s Under the Oak Tree season 2 finale, there’s a lot to talk about — particularly with the cliffhanger with the introduction of Princess Agnes Drachina Reuben, a woman who has been talked about these past two seasons but never shown.
Under the Oak Tree is a romance fantasy series that follows the story of Maximilian “Maxi” Croyso, the daughter of an abusive duke who marries his daughter off to the commander of the Rendragon Knights, Riftan Calypse. After years of abuse and trauma, Maxi deals with a lack of self-worth and struggles with a speech impediment. After spending one night together, Riftan leaves for three years to war, leaving Maxi to question her marriage and her own value. But, Riftan returns ready to give his all into the marriage between the two — whisking her away from her father to Riftan’s manor. Over time, they fall in love and Maxi begins to love herself.
Yet, all that is about to change as the one insecurity that had been looming over Maxi is the princess, who spent three years with Riftan in battle. Maxi stops his magic studies to focus on the princess’ arrival and meets a climactic ending with Princess Agnes coming into the castle. Maxi looks stunning with her red curls and colorful dress, while Agnes comes in make-up-free and wearing pants. (Please, let her be gay! Listen, give the LGBTQ+ community something next season.) The way the artist drew Agnes with a light shining behind her really reflected the way Maxi saw the princess — everything she isn’t.
The artwork is beautiful with close attention to detail — including the jewelry, the background, the outfit details on Maxi and Riftan, and even a bird cage. The tension between Riftan and Maxi as he tells her that Agnes is coming is apparent with each still. Though the pacing is a bit slow during these moments, it is so detailed in Maxi’s feeling of uncomfort — you begin to empathize with her emotions. Enough so, when she yells at the servants to prepare the castle for the princess’ arrival, you can’t help but understand why she’s like that.
Overall, the finale sets the tone for a deeper dive into Riftan and Maxi’s relationship with the arrival of Agnes. Will this cause Maxi to fall back into her insecure ways? Or maybe this could be a potential friendship (or ship) between the two? Riftan better step up and ensure his wife that nothing is going on. Under the Oak Tree Season 2 finale leaves so many doors open. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.