The Foundling

Season 3, Chapter 20, The Foundling

What a great chapter. Training, Adventure and Solidarity. Trust is building within this Mandalorian Covert. Here are my observations.

1. Training. We are treated to all the various ways the Mandalorians train as a group. Foundlings and Apprentices are pitted against each other using training weapons to determine their capabilities and what they have learned. They are “Judged” in accordance with their merits.

2. Grogu in Training. Djarin knows it’s important for Grogu to grow and learn the Mandalorian Way. It seems part of the Way of Mandalore is to be throw yourself into the fire and see what happens. That is exactly what Djarin did. Both the Judge and the Challenged scoffed at the idea, citing Grogu’s size. Echoes of Yoda were in my mind at that moment, “Judge me by my size, do you?” Grogu seemed somewhat hesitant to engage. Din Djarin gave him some encouragement and Grogu’s innate force abilities took over.

3. One Does Not Speak Unless One Knows. Paz Vizla’s son learned a valuable lesson about a potential challenger’s capabilities. He assumed Grogu was incapable of fighting due to his size and lack of a helmet. Grogu humbled him in one move. Paz reminded his son of his mistake by repeating this crucial tenant.

4. The Raptor. Apparently this avian has harassed the Covert before. As Ragnar went off to contemplate his defeat, he was snatched by the flying Raptor, and Djarin and Vizla jetted after it. Running out of fuel they had to stop. However, Bo-Katan followed it in her Korm’rk Fighter. She tracked the beast to its lair and reported her findings.

5. The Hunt. Bo-Katan is the defacto leader of the War Party. The four members of the Shriek-hawk Training team joined Djarin, Vizla and Bo-Katan to save the child. Notably, Deathwatch adopted the image of a shriek-hawk as their emblem. We learn that Mandalorians eat in solitude, so as to not show their face. The leader of the war party is allowed the benefit of eating by the fire.

6. Grogu and the Armorer. The Armorer spends time teaching some of the basic tenants of the Mandalorian Way as she forges a piece of armor. “Just as we shape the Mandalorian steel, we shape ourselves. We all begin as raw ore. We refine ourselves thru trials, and adversity.” This is a very symbolic statement as we consider where Grogu is at in his training and his life story.

7. Flashback. As Grogu watches the forge stamp the beskar, he flashes back to Order 66. We learn how Grogu was able to escape the Jedi temple. Jedi Master Kelleran Beq is responsible for rescuing Grogu off world. Several Jedi and Naboo guards sacrificed themselves to save Grogu. I wonder how Grogu’s journey continued after his escape. Remember there are about 25 years that are not accounted for as of yet.

8. A New Piece of Armor. Grogu receives his next piece of armor, a rondel. It is forged as she teaches Grogu some of the Mandalorian’s basic tenants. For now, the rondel will serve as a breast plate over his beskar chain mail.

9. Rescue. The war party scales a sheer cliff face, towards the raptors massive nest. It is interesting to study the armor, jet packs and equipment as they work their way up the cliff. It looks like one of the jet packs is still painted the colors of Maul. We witness the bravery of the Mandalorians as they work together as a team to save Ragnar. Though Mandalorian, Paz Vizla is an emotional individual. He acted rashly without complete information simply because his son was in danger. He has consistently been critical of Din Djarin throughout the story. Yet, Djarin earned Paz Vizla’s gratitude when Djarin saved Ragnar as he was falling to certain death. I wonder of Ragnar and Grogu become friends.

10. Highest Honor. Apparently, the highest honor of the Mandalorian Creed is to save a foundling. Bo-Katan’s involvement as leader of the war party earned the Armorer’s respect. Bo-Katan lost a pauldron, so the Armorer made her a new one with the mythosaur emblem. Solidarity and family are extremely important to Mandalorian culture. I was amused at the idea that the hatchling raptors could be considered foundlings. I wonder if the Mandalorians will train them to be ridden.

11. Revelations. Bo-Katan shares with the Armorer that she saw a Mythosaur. At first, the Armorer thought it was a dream. When Bo-Katan insisted what she saw beneath the living waters was a real Mythosaur, the Armorer acknowledged by simply stating, “This is the Way.” I take this to mean that she believes Bo-Katan. She has no reason not to. The question becomes, what will they do with this information. Bo-Katan is clearly wrestling with the notion. She is realizing that what she thought was fantasy and fairy tales are indeed fact. I still think she is skeptical of all of the tenants of the Children of the Watch, but she is willing to help her people in a time of need despite her skepticism. She wants a unified people.

12. Final Observations. As we watch Chapter 20, we are constantly reminded how dangerous the galaxy really is. The Mandalorians live a stark and spartan existence in seemingly the harshest of conditions. Their consistent closeness with danger acts as a sharpening stone, as they consistently hone and finally tune their skills. It is easy to see why the Creed is so appealing to some. Many people need and want structure, family and acceptance. The Mandalorians offer this thru trial and training. Lastly, my thoughts are drawn back to the armor. Remember, the color of the armor signifies what house the Mandalorian belongs to. This begs to question, what house adopted Dinn Djarin? Was he part of a house at all? Did his house die out, hence the silver armor? Lastly, though not canon, it is important to remember that Mandalore’s armor in Knights of the Old Republic was plain and silver. Is there a correlation to be made?

Leave a comment