Auradon, they realize, has fallen - has failed.
Because as much as they know about the hidden blades of politics and capricious whims of the public; as much as they prepare with every scrap of knowledge they can for every meeting, transaction, dinner, conversation, and interaction; as much as they have put down physical swords and javelins for the winding puzzles of words and twisting guidelines of manners; as much as they try, they also know failure.
They know when a business deal has fallen through and losses must be cut, when alliances are broken whether amicably or by coincidences that look too much like malicious design, when excuses are weak and flimsy but used anyways to justify actions, when-
They know failure.
And, regardless of preparation and information, they know that failure is, at times, inevitable.
(They can't always succeed but that doesn't stop them from trying to not fail - from brushing up on old manners that may one day prove useful in impressing someone, for practicing a language over and over until it sounds as smooth as silver and can act as such too, from dancing even with two left feet that are bruised and swollen and ache until the movement is fluid and perfect, from covering heavy bags and dark circles and bruises from too-hard practice with near-empty make-up containers, from desperately checking international relations and the stock market and exchange rates of their country, from losing sleep to research and learn and prepare for the next time so that they don't fail again.)
They know failure, because they are not perfect.
It's something they make their peace with because they must.
But the failures that they prepare for and have experienced - the lessons they have learned - have nothing on the failures that they learn from the fate of - on the lessons taught to - the Children living on the Isle of the Lost.
They have failed, and it's a bitter apple to swallow because they are not perfect but they thought they were, at least, good.
It's hard to claim when the Children on the Isle of the Lost come to live in Auradon.