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The Lich, (formerly named the Lich King in the original pitch and "His Hero" and referred to as Sweet Pig-Trunks in his baby form, or simply just Sweet P), is a powerful undead being and the overall main antagonist in Adventure Time.
In "The Comet," it is revealed by the Purple Comet that the Lich, like Finn, started out as an incarnation of the Catalyst Comet. The Purple Comet explains that it has embodied both the ultimate good by once becoming what would later be Finn, and the ultimate evil by at some point becoming the Lich in their respective time periods.
His first episodic 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," "Jake the Dog," and "Finn the Human." 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 latter 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 and renamed "Sweet Pig-Trunks", or "Sweet P" for short.
In "Gold Stars," it is revealed that the Lich's 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.'
Sweet P also possesses the potential to use the Lich's powers as indicated when he shows his victims another dimension, although it seems to be more limited as the Lich's death breath does not kill its victims as it had done before with Prismo.
As the Lich
Before his change, the Lich wore a helm with curled 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 various decayed tissues, 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 pieced, and light blue and striped.
In "Skyhooks II" he is shown regrowing his broken horn.
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 breath a black, life-sucking gas, which he used to kill Prismo and set the Citadel on dark fire.
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, 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. The Lich is also able to utilize necromancy, as seen when he controls the corpses in his lair to attack Finn and Jake.
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 bare handed and shattered the gauntlet into pieces. In addition, the Lich is also very mobile as he possess 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 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.
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.
BillyAfter 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.
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" as 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.In "Whispers," it is revealed that the Farmworld Jake/Lich's hand still contained the Lich's spirit within it, and it can 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 that episode.
In "Escape From the Citadel," he is turned into an oversized, humanoid baby when Finn splashes him with the Citadel Guardian's blood and is left on Tree Trunks and Mr. Pig's doorstep, who choose to adopt him and name him Sweet P. He seemingly has no memory of previously being the Lich. However, in "Gold Stars," Sweet P dreams about the Lich and temporarily becomes possessed by the Lich himself to ward off King of Ooo and Toronto. However, he quickly goes back to his innocent self.
He was first alluded to in the early series pitch, 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 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.
Although the exact origin of the Lich is ambiguous, his current form seems to be the result of the detonation of the Mushroom Bomb (one of the last weapons dropped during the Mushroom War and the likely cause of the unnatural creatures of Ooo, such as Candy People, Sign Zombies, etc). When Finn wishes that the Lich never existed, he prevents the Mushroom Bomb from ever going off, thus creating the Farmworld alternate dimension, in which Simon Petrikov prevented the Mushroom Bomb from going off and sacrificed himself in the process.
The suggestion that the Lich is more of a mutation rather than a magical being is further supported in "Jake the Dog." When Farmworld Marceline and Farmworld Jake fell into the Lich's well, Marceline became a skeleton and Jake transformed into a version of the Lich itself. So the Lich's body was likely created when someone or something made contact with the Lich's well, but it also means it turns the host's abilities into his own. So this is why Farmworld Jake only attacked Farmworld Finn with its bare hands, not with magic spells or anything else, with the same applying to Billy. It is unknown if the Lich's body seen in "Mortal Folly" was his original body, or one he stole.
However, due to Prismo's statement that Lich-possessed Billy was "a ghost wearing a dead guy," coupled with the fact that Farmworld Jake was transformed into a Lich-like monster when mutated, it is possible that only the Lich's former body was created by the Mushroom War and was possessed by the Lich, who had existed before. This is backed up by the fact that the Lich survived his destruction at the hands of Finn as a ghost (which then possessed Princess Bubblegum, the snail, and eventually Billy). From this, it can be said that his overall powers and abilities may differ based on what he uses as a host, but this remains to be clarified.
The episode "Evergreen" suggests that The Lich originally came from the comet of that time, judging by its greenish glow and "horns," as well as Evergreen's statement of the comet apparently wanting nothing else than to destroy all life on the planet. In "The Comet" it is implied that the Lich was indeed connected to the Catalyst Comet. However, the exact means of how he came from the comet is unknown, although it might have just been a past life of his as it was for Finn.
Based on the episode "Gold Stars," it is also possible that the Lich's origin goes back to when the universe didn't exist yet, being himself one of the primordial monsters he describes in his speech.
- "Mortal Folly"
- "Mortal Recoil"
- "The Lich"
- "Finn the Human"
- "Jake the Dog"
- "Wake Up"
- "Escape from the Citadel"
- "Gold Stars"
- "Be Sweet"
- "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)
- "The Cooler" (cameo, in monitor)
- "Hoots" (dream)
- "Hot Diggity Doom"
- "The Comet" (pictured)
- "Elemental" (pictured, flashback)
- "The Music Hole" (pictured)
- "High Strangeness" (cameo)
- "The Light Cloud" (flashbacks from "Mortal Recoil" and "Escape from the Citadel")
- "Orb" (dream; as a CMO)
- "Hero Heart" (in Finn's happy place, possessing Princess Bubblegum)
- "Skyhooks II"
- "Seventeen" (flashback)
- "Ring of Fire"
|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.|
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 went in there in a fantasy while the Echo and it's 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.
- In fantasy fiction, a lich is a powerful magician who has transformed himself into an undead creature to achieve immortality.
- The Lich is the first world threat that Finn and Jake have dealt with, the second being Flame Princess and the third being Gunter.
- 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." 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 afterwards 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.)
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.|