After Maleficent saves his life from a farmer, Diaval begrudgingly swears his life to the evil fairy and acts as her servant. As they endeavor to raise Aurora from afar, Diaval befriends the girl, and agrees to fight a fight that was never his own.
Classification :: Θ2457@
Role :: Henchman (Maleficent’s servant)
Motivation :: idealism (work-related items, dogs), insubordination (life debt), lifestyle (raven), personal/material gain (Aurora’s welfare)
Bonus :: Name (Diaval)
forced—Maleficent saves Diaval’s life because she can use him; rather than die at her hands, Diaval resentfully accepts life as her servant, “volunteering” to help her in her dark quest
wings—having been separated from her own, Maleficent comes to rely on him as her wings, eyes, ears, and confidant
tool—she also shapeshifts him according to the needs of the moment; his most common alternate form is that of a man, but he’s also been a wolf, horse, and dragon
obedient—despite a mild dislike for his job, Diaval never strays from Maleficent’s instructions; he is her greatest ally and most trustworthy helper
independent—though he never wavers from her instructions, Diaval also has a mind of his own; he refuses to be turned into a dog again and he lets Maleficent know if he disapproves, even if he doesn’t necessarily voice his opinion aloud
watchful—he keeps his eyes open for Maleficent, Aurora, danger, the kingdoms; even though he’s just a raven, he’s a protector in his own right
gentle—the fairies Aurora is entrusted to are so incompetent that Diaval and Maleficent are forced to raise their nemesis themselves; Diaval is a key instrument in nurturing the baby
charming—and then he goes and kisses Aurora’s hands when they’re formally introduced for the first time <3
birdbrain—do not be fooled: even though he’s a charming man, he is still a bird on the inside; he is not stupid, but he feels about things very much the way birds do
devoted—he would have died for Maleficent, even after her crazy, cruel rampage; yet, just like everyone else, at the end he forgives her, and they become guardians together
form vs. self—Maleficent turns Diaval into whatever she needs according to the situation; this does not change the fact that Diaval is still a bird. He still hates being a dog, because he’s a bird. Shapeshifting is always a cool concept, but we tend to give our characters human characteristics because we know what it is to be human. I enjoyed seeing the bird in Diaval.
twisted tales—in the original Sleeping Beauty, Diaval’s name was Diablo. For my friends who speak Spanish, we know that means “devil.” Diaval is closer to the English word. Diaval turns into Maleficent’s dragon, and once again, he is the only competent member of her staff. There are nods to the original movie in Diaval’s role, but allowing him to turn into a human and giving him a greater focus in Maleficent helped give him a more important role in the story.
slave to sidekick—in the end, Maleficent gives Diaval the chance to leave: it’s not his fight. He’s sarcastic and annoyed, but he follows her anyway, even when they are threatened with death. The fight was hard, he saw her murder others, take over the innocence of the Moors, and worse. And yet, in the end, when she steps down and resumes her role as a protector, he stays with her. Somewhere along the way, he paid his debt, and he decided that he was willing to stay with her still. Because that’s what friends do.
Best of all, he says the best line in the movie.