I have a theory about the storyline behind Disney Lorcana, and I’m pretty sure it’s right. I came up with it when the trading card game was first announced ahead of last year’s D23 Expo, and at the time, we didn’t have much information to go on, so I wisely kept it to myself (and a few hundred people in the Disney Lorcana HQ Discord server). Details are just starting to trickle in, but with every new reveal, my little lore theory gets stronger.
I figure now is the best time to reveal it, before Lorcana’s creators at Ravensburger can beat me to the punch. If it turns out I’m right, feel free DM on Twitter or write me a letter to tell me how cool and smart and handsome I am. If I’m wrong, it was just a joke, and I think you should stop taking everything so seriously.
There’s a lot we don’t know about Lorcana yet. The initial reveal last year included just seven cards and a blurb describing it as an “immersive trading card game” where players would wield magical inks – and that’s about it. Months later, we’ve seen 11 more cards and received a few details, including the names of the color system called Inks, but we still don’t know how the game is actually played or what it’s about. If you’re anything like me, the world of Lorcana is just as important as the game itself.
Fans have had plenty of time to analyze the first batch of cards and come up with some theories about the game’s mechanics. Things like mana systems, turn order, win conditions, and victory points are all up for debate, and each new card sheds a little more light on how the game will work. Meanwhile, I’ve been over here in my little story corner, trying to figure out why the Disney heroes are battling each other in the first place – and why some look so different from the characters we know and love.
Each character card – which we now know are called Glimmers – has a series of typings that denote what kind of card they are. Mickey Mouse is a Hero, Elsa is a Queen, Maleficent is a Dragon, and Captain Hook is a Pirate. Those are pretty self-explanatory labels that are specific to each character, but there’s another set of types that all of them share, which seems to organize Glimmers into distinct groups. So far, every character we’ve seen is either Storyborn, Dreamborn, or Floodborn, and it isn’t clear what those labels mean. Some thought they were related to the inks, but Maleficent and Cruella De Vil are both Storyborn, and their inks are Ruby and Emerald respectively, so it can’t be that.
I believe Storyborn, Dreamborn, and Floodborn point to the lore of Lorcana, and the artwork of each card reveals their meaning. Here’s the theory: Storyborn characters are the actual characters from the Disney movies, exactly as you remember them. When we look at the Storyborn cards in the D23 Expo set – Robin Hood, Maleficent, and Cruella – we can see that they’re film-accurate representations of those characters. These are classics, born from the stories we already know.
Dreamborn characters are different. They’re still the same character, but they’ve been updated in some small way to differentiate them from the original. Captain Hook is still a villainous pirate captain, but instead of having a rusty hook for a hand, he has a long, curved sword. Elsa is still the ice-wielding Queen of Arendelle, but now she’s a trained sorceress who reads from magical tomes. These are familiar characters that have been altered by a touch of imagination, so Dreamborn feels like an appropriate label.
Finally, Floodborn are totally reimagined characters plucked from the multiverse. They have a completely different look and history from the classic characters, and though they’re still identifiable as the heroes and villains they’re based on, they wouldn’t necessarily fit in the stories they came from anymore. The Floodborn version of Stitch is a rock star with a blonde mohawk singing and playing guitar on stage at a beachside concert. This is my favorite part of the theory: the Floodborn were created when the magical ink was spilled on the drawing board; they’re literally born from a flood of ink.
It was a fine guess at the lore when there were only seven cards to examine, but each new reveal has only strengthened my theory. We’ve since been shown two more Floodborne, Hades and Aurora. Floodborn Hades is no longer the mischievous lord of the underworld, but instead the King of Olympus with silky blonde hair (perhaps a theme is emerging). Floodborn Aurora is called the Dreaming Guardian, and is said to have powers of protection magic that emerged while she was slumbering. Though it hasn’t been labeled yet, I suspect the purple-cloaked Sorcerer Mickey will also be Floodborn. The rest of the newly-revealed Glimmers are Storyborn, and as expected, their images match the original versions from the films.
Floodborn creates so many cool opportunities for Lorcana. Not only does it open the door for multiple interpretations of each character (and indeed, every Floodborn Glimmer so far has the ability Shift, which references multiple versions of the same character), but it also creates the opportunity for expansions with cohesive themes. An entire set could be filled with Floodborn based on a single theme, like steampunk, superheroes, or zombie apocalypse, and storylines could emerge from the different kinds of conflicts those Glimmers create.
People like to speculate about how wide Lorcana can go and if it will include Marvel, Star Wars, and live action characters, but using the Dreamborn and Floodborn to retheme familiar characters gives Ravensbuger infinite opportunities to keep Lorcana fresh without having to include a bunch of niche characters from random Disney Channel shows. Jar Jar Binks and Beans from Even Stevens would be funny, but the longer Lorcana can stick with Disney animated classics, the better.
Everything we’ve seen so far fits my theory, so I hope I’m right. Imagining what kind of Floodborn characters we might eventually see is making me even more excited for the upcoming card reveals. If I’m wrong, at least I’ll have the pleasure of knowing it was a pretty good idea, which is almost as good as being right.
Next: That Settles It: Disney Lorcana Will Be My First Card Game