'The Protector' Season 3: Why Zeynep is the real hero of Netflix's first Turkish original series
Contains spoilers for Season 3 of 'The Protector' on Netflix!
This week, the third season of Netflix's 'The Protector' released on the streaming service. Consisting of seven episodes, the third season follows the titular Protector's journey as he tries to defeat the Immortals and keep Istanbul safe. The role of the Protector is always taken by the male descendent of Hakan's ancestors' line. When we first met Hakan in Season 1, he had no idea about his lineage and it took the Loyal Ones to train Hakan in the ways of the Protector.
One of those Loyal Ones was Zeynep. Though Zeynep was skeptical about Hakan's ability to take the role of the Protector seriously, she soon begins to trust him and even shortly begins to fall for him. And yes, Hakan is able to take over the role but more often than not, we have seen Hakan ruled by his emotions. We saw it when he used the Immortals blood to bring back Leyla from the dead -- this leads to Leyla being under the control of the Immortals. We also see it in the current season when he is overcome with jealousy.
Zeynep is not only a badass and a great fighter, but she is also brilliantly resourceful -- so much so that Hakan would not be the Protector that he is without her. If the role of the Protector was not limited by one's lineage in fact, it's more than obvious that Zeynep would have been much better wearing the magic shirt and wielding the magic dagger.
She is also always in control of her actions and in Season 3, even when she lets her emotions take the wheel sometimes, it's clear that Zeynep's instincts are more trustworthy than Hakan's. When Zeynep learns that her relationship with Hakan could put Istanbul in jeopardy, she chooses to end it without explanation, rather than putting the burden to choose on Hakan -- taking the blame when Hakan thinks she broke it off because she wanted to be "promiscuous."
Zeynep is certainly an unsung hero of 'The Protector' and Turkish actress Hazar Ergüçlü plays her with the oomph that the character needs. We only hope Hakan sees and appreciates Zeynep just as we do.
All episodes of Season 3 of 'The Protector' are now streaming on Netflix.