|This article is about the character. You may be looking for the episode.|
|Aliases||The Lich King|
Gunter (by Ice Finn)
|Species||Cosmic Entity (before time)|
Last scholar of GOLB
|Relatives||Catalyst Comet (past incarnation)|
Sweet P ("rebooted" form)
|Introduced in||"His Hero"|
|Lastest appearance||"Come Along With Me"|
|Voiced by||Ron Perlman|
Ethan Maher (in "rebooted" form)
|2021 Who Would Win Tournament Nomination|
|This article was nominated in the 2021 Who Would Win Tournament.This character only made it to the second round, and the tournament is currently in round 3.|
The Lich is the main antagonist of the 2010 Cartoon Network animated TV series Adventure Time.
He is an ancient cosmic being who is the manifestation of the inevitable death of all things. His essence was deposited on Earth millions of years before the start of the show via a catalyst comet, but came into physical being near the end of the Mushroom War via a "mutagenic bomb" after he possessed a person who had been submerged in mutagenic waste. His first appearance is in "His Hero" where the hero Billy casts him down. He was imprisoned in the ancient tree in the Candy Kingdom, but escapes and plays a significant role in "Mortal Folly," "Mortal Recoil," "Finn the Human," and "Jake the Dog." The Lich goes on to kill Prismo and releases the criminals in the Crystal Citadel in "Wake Up" and "Escape from the Citadel." However, by the end of the later episode, the Lich is turned into a harmless baby by the Citadel Guardian's healing blood and is adopted by Tree Trunks and Mr. Pig, renamed "Sweet Pig-Trunks," or "Sweet P" for short.
In "The Comet," it is revealed by the Purple Comet that the Lich, like Finn, started out as an incarnation of the Catalyst Comets. The Purple Comet explains that it has embodied both all that is good, which includes the comet incarnation of Finn, and all that is evil, which includes the comet incarnation of the Lich, in their respective time periods. In "Gold Stars," it is revealed that the Lich's power and evil is still contained within Sweet P, and can take over when Sweet P is threatened and emotionally charged. Sweet P does not realize the evil lurking inside him, attributing his blackouts and dreams of being the Lich to being 'just a dream.' Through the actions of Finn and Jake in Farmworld, in the present time, The Lich exists in every dimension due the fact that his hand has fallen to the portal to all universes.
After the final episode, the spirit of the Lich is still dormant in Sweet P.
- 1 Background
- 2 Throughout the Series
- 3 Appearance
- 4 Abilities
- 5 Personality
- 6 The Lich's forms and possessions
- 7 Original pitch
- 8 Episode appearances
- 9 Comics
- 10 Quotes
- 11 Trivia
- 12 Gallery
- 13 References
- 14 See also
In the episode "Gold Stars," the Lich implies he is older than existence itself, a survivor of a time "before there was nothing." After that, in some way, his essence was transferred to a catalyst comet, whose task was to kill all living beings on Earth. The comet seen in "Evergreen" is likely the Lich, as evidenced by its green coloration and horn-like flames, and was implied to have caused the K–T extinction event that killed the dinosaurs. The Lich's mutagenic substance was later used in the Mushroom Bomb, unleashing his physical form onto humanity during the Great Mushroom War.
Throughout the Series
In "Mortal Folly," after being freed from his prison by using a demonic incantation to take control of a snail, the Lich sets out to regain his power and destroy Ooo, but his body is destroyed by Finn, who uses the sweater Princess Bubblegum gave him to rip off the top of his skull—collapsing his entire body.
It is then revealed in "Mortal Recoil," however, that the Lich's disembodied spirit survived and took possession of Princess Bubblegum's body. The Lich was inevitably defeated by an unnatural team-up of Finn and the Ice King, causing him to end up possessing the snail that initially released him from the amber.
In "In Your Footsteps," after going into hiding in his snail vessel, the Lich arranged for a bear to trick Finn into giving him the Enchiridion for his master plan: to attach the jewels from the various crowns of power, most of which are worn by the princesses, to the book's cover and create a portal to the Multiverse, and ultimately the Time Room, the domain of the omnipotent and wish-giving entity Prismo.
In "The Lich (episode)," having taken Billy's body as his own, the Lich attempted to achieve his plan of wishing that all life was eliminated. The Lich's scheme ultimately failed, however, when Jake used his own wish to alter the Lich's original request; Jake wished for the Lich's original wish to be retroactively changed so that Finn and Jake would return home safely. Originally, Finn had wished that the Lich had never existed, creating the Farmworld timeline, a timeline where the Mushroom Bomb during the Mushroom War was never set off, thus the Lich never came to be. However, Farmworld Finn wore the Ice King's crown and crushed the bomb that released the spirit of the Lich which went on to possess the body of Farmworld Jake.
Before the events of "Wake Up" and "Escape from the Citadel," his purpose null and void, the Lich remained trapped in a comatose state within Prismo's chamber. But when Finn and Jake attempted to commit a cosmic crime in order to gain access to a multiverse prison called the Citadel, the Lich kills Prismo's physical body to reach the structure with the intent to corrupt it and its prisoners. However, having completely rotted Billy's remains off, the Lich is subjected to the regenerative properties of the Citadel's Guardian and is turned into a harmless giant baby. The giant baby is then entrusted to Tree Trunks and Mr. Pig who named him Sweet Pig-Trunks, or Sweet P for short.
In "Gold Stars," though haunted by fleeting recollections of being the Lich, Sweet P has no memory of his former identity. However, it seems that the Lich can briefly reemerge whenever the child is threatened and under severe emotional stress, as shown when Sweet P is threatened and mocked by the King of Ooo and Toronto, during which the Lich implies he is older than existence itself, a survivor of a time "before there was nothing."
In "Crossover" Farmworld Finn (under the influence of the Ice Crown) and the Lich-possessed Farmworld Jake were using their world's Enchiridion to create a portal to the Multiverse. Prismo, concerned on the matter sent Finn and Jake to the Farmworld to stop/cure them. Farmworld Finn and the Jake-Lich went on to successfully open the portal. Finn's grass arm then attacked the Lich and chopped off his hand. Jake pushed the hand right next to the portal, where it duplicated and disappeared into every dimension, including the timeline of Finn and Jake.
In "Whispers" Sweet P ran away from home because of his nightmares and found Finn and Fern. The group could not leave the area that night and slept there. Finn woke up only to the Lich-possessed hand of Farmworld Jake. It is revealed the Lich of the Farmworld timeline has the same consciousness of the Lich of the standard timeline, having memories of the times he faced Finn and being aware of Sweet P's origins. The Lich hand referred to Sweet P as his son then left to go to his well of power. At the same time Sweet P said the same words. Finn followed the Lich to the well, only to fall into the pit hanging by one hand. The Lich then said that Sweet P is part of him and will eventually be swayed to come to his side. Sweet P then arrived, excited by the Lich, declaring them "twin kings of ruin." Sweet P, however, declared he is no king of ruin and slayed the Lich hand with a sword.
As the Lich
Before his change, the Lich wore a crown. Another feature of his is his horns, one of which has broken off. However, before being struck down by Billy, both of his horns were intact, so it is possible that it got broken off as a result of that encounter. The Lich also dresses in a large, loose robe with multiple layers and a large cape that is severely torn at its end.
Physically, the Lich is also remarkably large. In the flashback in "His Hero," the Lich is shown to rival Billy in size. The arms of the Lich are bare-bones with little to no tissue left, and his skeletal hands burn with an eerie fire when casting spells. His face is defined by horrific green lights as pupils peering out of his empty eye sockets, and pale undead skin is pulled tight against his nose-less skull. His skin is frayed away from his lips revealing a wicked and perpetual grin.
In "Escape from the Citadel," the Lich breaks out of the crystal in an explosion, revealing a completely skeletal form, with a spiked vertebral column and shoulders, several bone fractures, and a small metal plate attached to its ribcage.
As Sweet P
After being splashed with the Citadel Guardian's healing blood, the Lich grew fresh organs and skin, causing him to take the form of a giant baby with almost no recollection of his previous form. As Sweet P, he is still very large, towering over most other characters. While he still has his horns, they're covered with his new skin. As shown during his transformation from his Lich form, Sweet P has green eyes.
After being adopted by Tree Trunks and Mr. Pig, he had received multiple new outfits of clothing. In "Jake the Brick," he wears one pieced footed blue pajamas with red polka dots. In "Gold Stars," he has an apple-green shirt with a red apple on the front, with matching shoes, shorts, and a matching hat, all knitted by Tree Trunks, although the shirt seemed to be too small as it exposed his stomach. In "Be Sweet" Sweet P wears different pajamas, this one being two-piece, and light blue and striped.
In "Come Along With Me," Sweet P protects his parents during the final battle and is later shown graduating from school. In the future version of Ooo, a massive figure resembling Sweet P carrying a large version of the Night Sword is seen wandering the land, implying he has survived, grown even larger, and continues to act as a hero in this world.
Aside from his immortality, the Lich has a medley of unholy powers. The most commonly used is his ability to summon green flame-like energy around his hands and fire it at his opponents. Also, while possessing Princess Bubblegum, he demonstrates pyrokinesis when he sets her room on fire with his mind.
The Lich also seems to exude an aura of death and rot around him. Whether this is done consciously is unknown, but living creatures and objects have been seen to rot and die as they come in contact with him or his general presence. This is shown when trees died as the Lich passed through a forest, and when he crossed Iceberg Lake, fish died in his path. In addition, the Lich can breathe a black, life-sucking gas, which he used to kill Prismo.
In addition to his deadly magic, it was revealed that the Lich has the power to control people's minds, either through telepathy or spoken commands. His most notable spoken ability is to say the word "stop," where he takes his victims to another, a night-like plane in which he has full control over everything. The Lich's influence was so great that he posed a threat to anyone nearby, even while he was still trapped in the Candy Castle. Moreover, he has the ability to possess other people, as seen when he possessed Princess Bubblegum. It is apparent that the Lich's consciousness is able to reach across multiple dimensions, based on his Farmworld self having knowledge of events involving the Lich of the standard timeline. The Lich is also able to utilize necromancy, as seen when he controls the corpses in his lair to attack Finn and Jake. In an Adventure Time comic, the Lich creates his own world and makes Finn, Jake, and Ice King believe that they are getting rid of him, but he is actually just playing another mind game. Alternatively, in "Escape from the Citadel," the Lich can set the Citadel on black fire and cause a plague between beings, which he possesses to destroy the Citadel and its guardians.
The Lich also possesses great physical abilities as he was able to quickly dodge Finn's energy attack with Billy's gauntlet. Later, he easily caught Finn's punch barehanded and shattered the gauntlet into pieces. In addition, the Lich is also very mobile as he possesses the ability to fly.
The Lich sustains his massive strength by drinking from his Well of Power, a noxious, magic pool of glowing green liquid located in the depths of his lair. After he had possessed Princess Bubblegum, he substituted the contents of his original well with a mixture of toxic chemicals such as gasoline, lighter fluid, bleach, and plutonium that he (appearing as the Princess) ordered Finn to retrieve.
While his power is truly a force to be reckoned with, the Lich has a few known vulnerabilities. His main weakness is the Gauntlet of the Hero, a magical weapon previously owned by Billy that fires intense energy blasts. This weakness is now moot as the Lich destroyed the gauntlet with ease when he grabbed Finn's arm and caused the gauntlet to disintegrate. Another item able to work against the Lich is the sweater Princess Bubblegum gave to Finn. Imbued with the power of "liking someone a lot," a.k.a love, the sweater protected Finn from the Lich's flames and was later used as a weapon. With it, Finn was able to attack the Lich by assaulting his head and eye sockets with the sweater, causing his body to collapse into dust and force his essence to have to find a new host. However, the sweater does not seem to affect the Lich when he is possessing Princess Bubblegum. The Lich is also unable to control a person's mind if he/she is wearing a certain type of magical jewelry. While generally impervious to physical attack, traditional methods may have some limited effect on the Lich, as seen in the flashback where Billy cast him down with a kick to the face.
The Lich is driven by a rather single-minded goal: to destroy all life. He appears to show little interest in anything that does not further his ambitions towards this dark end. He also has an apparent hatred for all living things, as Princess Bubblegum said that his only desire was to destroy life, and his wish to Prismo was "for the extinction of all life." It has been said that he brings sadness everywhere he goes. In the episode "Wake Up", Prismo implies that the Lich's desire to eliminate all life is so strong that he literally disregards anything else. When the Lich was trapped in the time room, he was motionless and did absolutely nothing until there was a way for him to be free showing that the Lich literally has no other focus than to cause mass-death and when he cannot do that, he chooses to do nothing at all.
He is viciously cunning and quick to learn from his mistakes. He methodically targets people and things that have proven a problem for him in the past by either destroying them outright such as in the case of the Gauntlet of the Hero, or using them as pawns to further his own agenda in the case of Billy to manipulate Finn. As shown in "The Lich," he is highly skilled at deception, as he was able to fool Finn and Jake into helping him while disguised as Billy. At the end of the episode, he tauntingly thanks Finn for opening the portal for him. He is a quick thinker, pretending to be horrified when Finn tried to smash the Enchiridion, even though that would cause the portal to open.
The Lich is rather taciturn and speaks only in brief statements. Because he seldom speaks, his words carry great gravity. An example would be when the Lich calls Ice King "a weak fool." This could be because nearly anyone that came near him wore a protective gem in "Mortal Folly" and was weakened in "Mortal Recoil." In the episode "The Lich," he was able to talk freely with Finn and Jake. In spite of his intractability, he is visibly shocked when Finn survives his fire attack, and he laughs heartily when Finn attacks him with the sweater provided by Princess Bubblegum. He was also visibly confused when Jake altered his wish. He has only raised his voice once: When Finn asked the possessed Princess Bubblegum if everything was all right.
The Lich's most notable flaw is his arrogance and his single-minded nature. In each case, his defeat has been at the hands of opponents towards whom he was derisively dismissive. He laughed at Finn's attempts to stop him and shrugged off the Ice King as a fool yet it was through the combined efforts of these two individuals that he was dealt a crushing defeat and forced to possess the body of a lowly snail to escape at the end of "Mortal Recoil." After regaining his strength, the Lich manipulates Finn into opening a portal into the heart of the multiverse. Once again he falls prey to his arrogant and single-minded nature when he ignores Jake grabbing onto him with a dismissive grunt and continues onward towards his final goal rather than dealing with the two stowaway heroes he is dragging into the portal with him. This oversight later proves to be the undoing of his masterful plan, leaving him stranded in Prismo's time room with his one wish already spent thanks to the two meddling heroes and some friendly help from Prismo.
After turning into a humanoid in "Escape From the Citadel," he loses his old personality and gains a new, infantile one. He seems harmless and does what most infants do, such as playing with toys. In addition, he is kinder and tries to be more considerate of others. As of "Gold Stars," the Lich is still revealed to be trapped inside of Sweet P while Sweet P is almost his own person now.
The Lich's forms and possessions
When the Lich possesses Princess Bubblegum, she has pale blue/gray skin, dirty bubblegum pink hair, black eyes with green pupils and speaks with a frail voice. In "Mortal Recoil" she asks Finn to bring toxic chemicals to her, which she consumes to turn into a giant monster. Finn manages to destroy the monster with the Ice King's help, and the Candy Kingdom's doctors manage to save the uncorrupted parts of Princess Bubblegum, transforming her into her younger form.
- One could note that the form Princess Bubblegum takes while possessed looks strikingly similar to the evil Lub Glubs of the Beautopia episode.
- Main article: Snail
The Snail is used by the Lich in "Mortal Folly" to free himself from his amber prison. The Lich does so by taking control of the Snail's mind and making him break open the prison. After his defeat at the end of "Mortal Recoil," the Lich returns to the Snail's body. During Seasons 3 and 4, the Snail continues to appear in every episode in possessed form. In "In Your Footsteps," the Bear gives the possessed Snail the Enchiridion.
After freeing himself from the snail, the Lich appears to Finn while disguised as Billy. Using his appearance as Finn's hero, the Lich manipulates Finn and Jake into gathering the gems of power needed to activate the Enchiridion. It is also mentioned by Prismo that the Lich was, in fact, wearing Billy's dead body as a macabre disguise. Upon meeting Finn and Jake, Prismo offhandedly refers to the Lich as "a ghost wearing a dead guy" not realizing the dead guy in question was a former friend of theirs. After being blasted by a Citadel Guardian in "Escape from the Citadel," Billy's body was completely destroyed.
Shortly after Farmworld Jake comes in contact with the pool of green goo created by the Mushroom Bomb, he began to mutate into a Lich/Dog hybrid. In this form, the Lich seems to have some degree of shapeshifting powers, as he appears in "Crossover" like a dog, a muscular form, and a six-armed form. He also seems to have regeneration powers, as he quickly grew back a severed right hand that was chopped off and went into the other universes. Physically, the Farmworld Lich differs slightly from the standard Lich, mostly in that it does not have a broken horn. In addition to this, this version of the Lich has jagged canid teeth, whereas the regular Lich has human-looking teeth.
Even after being severed from its body and spread across several dimensions, the Farmworld Lich's hand still contains the Lich's spirit within it, and is able to speak like the Lich. It is also revealed to have memories of the standard timeline's Lich and is aware of Sweet P's origins. It was killed by Sweet P at the end of "Whispers."
- Main article: Sweet P
In "Escape From the Citadel," the Lich is turned into an oversized, humanoid baby after Finn splashes him with the Citadel Guardian's blood. He is left on Tree Trunks and Mr. Pig's doorstep, who choose to adopt him and name him Sweet Pig-Trunks, or Sweet P for short. He seemingly has no memory of previously being the Lich, though frequently has nightmares with visions of his previous form. The Lich is able to temporarily possess Sweet P, which was first utilized to ward off King of Ooo and Toronto in "Gold Stars" and later after he meets Farmworld Lich. However, these instances seem uncommon, and Sweet P quickly goes back to his innocent self in both cases. Sweet P eventually graduates from school in "Come Along With Me" and is seen in the far future wandering Ooo as a mountain-sized giant.
He was first alluded to in the early series pitch as seen in the document and was the only other character described in those documents in addition to the six main characters: Finn, Jake, Princess Bubblegum, Lady Rainicorn, Ice King, and Marceline. The pitch document states in all caps, "THE LICH KING IS NOT FUNNY," and states that the Lich had been imprisoned within his castle (although this was later contradicted and retconned in "Mortal Folly"). According to the pitch document, he uses a legion of undead skeletal knights to aid in his battles. Initially, the Lich was designed to have a more flattened, simplified look with larger eyes, upward-pointing horns and a different crown and robe.
- "Mortal Folly"
- "Mortal Recoil"
- "The Lich"
- "Finn the Human"
- "Jake the Dog"
- "Wake Up"
- "Escape from the Citadel"
- "Gold Stars"
- "Be Sweet" (Sweet P)
- "Crossover" (Farmworld Lich/Jake)
- "Whispers" (both Sweet P and Farmworld Lich)
- "His Hero" (debut, cameo)
- Every episode in seasons 3 and 4 (cameos, as the snail)
- "In Your Footsteps" (possessing the snail)
- "King Worm" (dream)
- "Billy's Bucket List" (in Finn's memory)
- "Is That You?" (flashback from "Wake Up")
- "Jake The Brick" (cameo; Sweet P)
- "The Cooler" (cameo in the monitor; Sweet P)
- "Hoots" (dream; Sweet P)
- "Hot Diggity Doom" (Sweet P)
- "The Comet" (comet projection)
- "Elemental" (pictured, flashback)
- "The Music Hole" (pictured)
- "High Strangeness" (cameo; Sweet P)
- "The Light Cloud" (flashbacks from "Mortal Recoil" and "Escape from the Citadel")
- "Orb" (dream; as a CMO)
- "Skyhooks" (Sweet P)
- "Hero Heart" (in Finn's happy place, possessing Princess Bubblegum)
- "Skyhooks II" (Sweet P)
- "Seventeen" (flashback; Sweet P)
- "Ring of Fire" (Sweet P)
- "Come Along With Me" (both Sweet P and possessing Billy in Finn and Fern's vault)
|The following information is from the Adventure Time comic book series. It may not be part of the same canon or continuity as the animated series.|
The Lich somehow escapes the Snail's body by going into the Bag of Holding. The Lich begins to suck up all of Ooo into the bag with the intention of throwing it into the sun. However, Finn and Jake caused a tear in the bag from the inside and, with help from Desert Princess, Ice King, Princess Bubblegum and Marceline, they were able to rip the bag open and free the planet. The Lich, however, ended up getting pulled towards the sun himself.
It is revealed in Issue 18 that when Ice King and Hunson Abadeer were making their dungeon, the Lich showed up and knocked them both out and built his own part of the dungeon called "Lich Land" where he left a part of himself to continue on. It trapped whoever entered in a fantasy while the Echo and its minions escape to destroy the world. When Finn, Jake and Ice King went to Lich Land, the Echo invaded their memories and put them in a fantasy world where it tried too kill them and break their minds and morale, especially Ice King's. However, they were able to defeat the Echo and put an end to the Lich once and for all.
- The Lich is still referred to by his old name, Lich King, in various official episode summaries and clip descriptions on Cartoon Network's site, indicating that the name change may have been done very late in production. He is also referred to as the Lich King in Billy's Song.
- In fantasy fiction, a lich is a powerful magician who has transformed himself into an undead creature to achieve immortality. This likely hints that when he said 'The last scholar of GOLB' He probably wanted Immortality like GOLB so He made himself a lich.
- The Lich is the first world threat that Finn and Jake have dealt with, the second being Flame Princess, the third being Gunter, and the fourth being GOLB.
- The Lich was redesigned at least once; the creators felt that his original design was not scary enough.
- The Lich's final design is similar to that of the Horned King from the 1985 Disney film The Black Cauldron, which is an adaptation of Lloyd Alexander's series of novels The Chronicles of Prydain.
- Pendleton Ward originally wanted to cast Tom Waits as the Lich.
- In France/Belgium, there was a translation problem with Lich King's name. During his appearance in "His Hero," he is called "Le Roi Sangsue," which translates to "Leech King." (In French it should have been Roi-Liche, which is the correct translation.)This also occurred in the Portuguese translation. The Lich's name was translated as "Rei Lagarto," which translates to "King Lizard." Also in the Romanian dub, he was named "Imparatul Hoit," literally meaning "The Corpse Emperor," as well as "The Lich Emperor."
- In "The Lich," when Jake asks the Lich (disguised as Billy) how many gems were left, he told him without speaking. This could be because the Lich could not talk to Jake since he was holding the power gems.
- Despite being undead, he can apparently eat, as seen in "The Lich" when he was disguised as Billy.
- In all of his appearances after "King Worm" (not including the Snail), the Lich's face is noticeably less detailed than it was in "Mortal Folly/Recoil."
- When the Lich originally appeared he had 2 full horns, later one of his horns is broken.
- Peppermint Butler seems to be capable of sensing the Lich's presence.
- The Gumball Guardians appear to be programmed to detect the Lich, as in "The Lich," when Possessed Billy appears, one activates and says "Lich alert! Lich alert!" However, as this doesn't happen in "Mortal Recoil," one can only assume Princess Bubblegum put it in there afterward as a safety precaution.
- The Echo of the Lich is similar in nature to a lich's phylactery in fantasy fiction. The phylactery, like the Echo, is used to store away a part of the Lich to ensure his survival.
- In the official Adventure Time Encyclopaedia, Hunson Abadeer admits the Lich is his only real rival, stating that, while he finds the Lich "pathetic," the fact that the Lich is capable of destroying all of Ooo causes Hunson to take their rivalry seriously and that, had Finn not defeated him, he would have taken matters into his own hands. (Note: This was written before the episode "The Lich" was made.)
- For unknown reasons, in his monologues, the Lich often calls himself a "wheel."
- In "Whispers," the Lich refers to himself as the last scholar of Golb, though the exact meaning behind this, as well as the full nature of his connection to Golb, is unknown.
- In the opening sequence of the series finale "Come Along With Me," Shermy and Beth are shown to be riding the implied head of a now fully mature and gigantic Sweet P.
- It is worth noting that the enemy is not strictly the Lich himself, but characters obsessed with his essence and controlled by his will.
Appearances in other media
- The Lich is a playable character in Adventure Time Battle Party.
- On CartoonNetwork.com, one can set their profile picture as the original Lich.
- The Lich is a villain in the game LEGO Dimensions.
|The full image gallery for The Lich (character) may be viewed at The Lich (character)/Gallery.|
- "Finn the Human (episode)"
- "His Hero
- "Mortal Folly