Castlevania is one of the finest adaptations of a video game franchise ever, which is all the more impressive when it’s had several acclaimed seasons under its belt. It’s certainly kept in line with the Gothic horror trappings of the post-Rondo of Blood era and beyond and is genuinely one of the best-looking animated shows Netflix has to offer. But with several seasons already out and a new series having just dropped, curious prospective viewers have one question on their minds. Do you need to watch Castlevania Seasons 1-4 before Castlevania: Nocturne?
Do You Need to Watch Castlevania Seasons 1-4 to Understand Castlevania: Nocturne?
You officially don’t need to watch the first 4 seasons of the Castlevania series before watching Nocturne, but unofficially, you should at least consider it. It’s pretty spectacular, and by the end, you’ll be especially invested in these characters and the future they promise for the series.
The lore-building going on in Nocturne establishes connections to other members of the Belmont family including Iain Glen, as in Ser Jorah, portraying Juste Belmont, which suggests you should pay attention to when future installments are released.
The return of James Callis’ Alucard portrayal also makes for a fun connection returning fans can enjoy, but it’s quite clear that this is still a sequel series, albeit a standalone story. This is no more evident than in the focus on a non-Dracula antagonist, the vampire queen Erzsebet Báthory.
Does Castlevania: Nocturne Take Place Before or After Seasons 1-4?
Castlevania: Nocturne takes place in 1792, while the first Castlevania on Netflix took place in 1476, over 300 years prior. With Juste being established as Richter’s grandfather in this timeline, this makes Nocturne’s young vampire-slaying Richter a distant grandson. At least 5 hyphenated ‘greats’, it goes really far back as the Belmont clan is a persistent, prolific family.
While Nocturne’s predecessor took place in Wallachia, this new series takes place in France. Tying in the literary image of the decadent vampire with an oppressive bourgeoisie is brilliant, and shifts the series’ commentary from solely religion into the realm of politics. But if you’re not there for the alt-history lessons, then you should definitely stay for the epic vampire slaying, as it’s even more badass and gory than the last entry.
- This article was updated on October 2nd, 2023