A central theme of Re:Zero’s story is the rivalry between five fair maidens to the throne of Lugnica. There is no doubt that all the candidates for becoming King are capable. And very likable, come on now, we all want that part of Subaru’s life. They are unique in their own ways, some headfast like Crusch, some blunt like Priscilla, and some learning like Emilia.
What exactly determines their candidacy and the royal selection? One thing we can all name from the top of our heads is the insignia or dragon jewel. In fact, Subaru’s first encounter with Emilia was because of her missing insignia of a royal candidate.
However, with the ton of information or deaths, there is a small detail we might have missed in the story: the Dragon Tablet. The anime showed a sneak peek at this mysterious object near the end of episode 12.
Despite the importance of the tablet for Lugnica and the Royal Selection process, the anime skipped telling us more about it. There is, although too little we know of it from the light novels either. The very same Dragon Tablet is what we are discussing today!
What is the Dragon Tablet?
The Dragon Tablet is a significant cultural symbol for the Kingdom of Lugnica. It is a stone tablet engraved with the fate of the country and was handed down by the Holy Dragon Volcanica to the late royal family. King Falseil Lugnica formed a Covenant with the Holy Dragon Volcanica several centuries ago. This time is also roughly when the history of the Dragon Tablet begins.
The prophecy on the tablet guides the people of Lugnica in times of crisis to help the people minimize the damages from these past events by advance warnings. These warnings include events like the Great Cuedegra Famine, the Nightmare of Blight Dragon Balgren, and most recently, the Black Serpent’s attack.
You might be wondering one thing just like us. How really does the tablet predict such significant incidents? Does it even predict them, or is it the other way round? Take Subaru’s condition, for example. The events of his life undergo loops until he arrives at a specific state or result.
Until now, post-death Satella’s actions have risen flags pointing her as the culprit for Subaru’s loops. Does Lugnica’s past adhering to the Dragon Tablet imply there are loops not just in Subaru’s life but in the whole world? And if yes, what does the person controlling all of it *cough* Satella *cough* wants?
Lugnica has always revered the dragon; that is a fact. This reverence comes from how the dragon has protected the kingdom from war, plague, and famines on numerous occasions. Thus, the sheer weight of the prophecy in the history of the kingdom is crystal clear. And so, people of Lugnica consider the words of the tablet to be providence itself. Even the Knights of Lugnica are bound to their actions per the tablet.
However, there are a few hiccups in the prophecy on the Dragon Tablet, as Anastasia stated. Going back to the past, the failure of the Great Subjugation fourteen years ago and other calamities occurred because Lugnica relied on the tablet. In fact, the thieves were allowed to get into the palace fourteen years ago simply because there was nothing odd in the foretelling.
These “unwritten” events further raise our suspicions. The ones benefitting from the fall of the royal family are plenty, no doubt. The Royal Selection is, quite simply put, a phenomenon. Just think about how much happened and is happening because of it. However, the major stakeholders just might be the royal candidates. EMT = Emilia-tan Majorly Traitor? Who knows!
After the demise of the royal line, the insignia marking the qualified royal candidates and the selection process comes from the Dragon Tablet. Here is what the prophecy on the Dragon Tablet about the royal selection states: ‘Should the Covenant of Lugnica lapse, the nation shall be guided by she who forms a bond with the Dragon anew. There shall be five able to lead a new nation. Of these, one shall be selected as the maiden to form a new Covenant with the Dragon.’
The qualification of royal candidates is solely dependent on the Dragon Tablet; the status of the candidate does not matter. For example, Emilia is eligible despite her Satella-like looks because, according to the Council of Elders. It is because the Council has decided that the Dragon Tablet’s words take precedence over any other thing. Through this prophecy, the dragon will choose not just a person to communicate with but someone carrying the kingdom on their shoulder.
Similarities of the Dragon Tablet with tomes and gospels
If there is one thing that is a bit common in Re:Zero, it is objects that foretell future events. The first time we are introduced to something of this sort is through Petelgeuse. The Archbishop of Sin, whom we hated at first and now feel despair about, swore loyalty by Satella.
Satella’s words and actions were absolute for him, and also the purpose of his existence. These kindred words came to his knowledge through his copy of the Witch Cult’s gospel. He took every measure to make sure he achieved what the gospel told him to. In a way, the gospel dictated his course of action in life.
This feature is oddly similar to that of the Dragon Tablet, which governs an entire kingdom. If the tablet predicts a crisis, every person in Lugnica will act in a certain way. Albeit, as we discussed, it might be the other way round too. However, the gospels aren’t the original version of future-telling books, but counterfeits.
A particular couple of infamous tomes also possessed the same power. The rightful creator of these tomes was Echidna, the Witch of Greed. She based her tomes on another book she had: the Book of Wisdom. Apparently, this old & dusty-sounding book allowed Echidna to know anything from the world’s memory.
Roswaal and Beatrice both cherished these books as the last sign of their beloved Witch of Greed. And damn, the stronghold the tomes had on both of them! Beatrice stayed stuck in the Forbidden Library for 400 years, waiting for The One. Roswaal carried out an extensive cold-blooded (literally) massacre for the sake of Echidna’s tome. That is some attachment to a book.
We can compare the heavy reliance of the kingdom on the tablet and Beatrice’s & Roswaal’s on the tomes. It was damn near-fatal for Subaru to convince Roswaal and Beatrice to act against the tome, even for once. The reverence Lugnica has for Volcanica is the same as the reverence Roswaal and Beatrice have for Echidna.
What is even more peculiar is the fact that Echidna and Volcanica were on good (?) terms. According to Tappei, Echidna had a nake for irking the dragon (that counts as good relationship right?); and coincidentally both had an object guiding their subjects? Sounds pretty fishy, if you ask me. This information makes us wonder if the Dragon Tablet and Echidna’s tomes related in any way.
Will the prophecy play a major role in the future? How much of all of this does Echidna control. Going by how Tappei wanted her to be the final villain, it isn’t wrong to assume that she wields considerable influence over whatever is happening in the world of Re:Zero. What do you think about the similarities between the tablet with gospels and tomes? Let us know in the comments!