|This article is about the character. You may be looking for the episode.|
|Introduced in||"His Hero"|
|Latest appearance||"In Your Footsteps" (possessing the Snail)|
|Voiced by||Ron Perlman|
The Lich (formerly known as The Lich King) is a necrotic villain in Adventure Time. His first appearance is in "His Hero" during a flashback about the adventures of the great hero Billy. He plays the main villain in "Mortal Folly" and "Mortal Recoil" where he nearly kills Princess Bubblegum. The episode "His Hero" showed that Billy cast him down, and "Mortal Folly" shows that he was ultimately imprisoned in a large glob of amber in the ancient tree that serves as the castle of the Candy Kingdom. After being defeated again in "Mortal Recoil," the Lich apparently continued to inhabit the body of the waving Snail, which appears in almost every episode.
His first design had a more flattened, simplified look with larger eyes, downward-pointing horns and a different crown and robe. The design used in the series has a helm with curled horns, one of which has broken off, horrific green lights as pupils peering out of his empty eye sockets, and pale undead skin pulled tight against his noseless skull. His skin is frayed away from his lips revealing a wicked and perpetual grin. His arms are bare bones with various decayed tissues, and his skeletal hands burn with an eldritch fire when he casts fire spells. The Lich is also remarkably large. In the flashback in "His Hero," the Lich was shown to be almost as large as Billy. Before the Lich was struck down by Billy, both of his horns are intact, so it is possible that it got broken off sometime during or after the fight. He also has intact horns in Princess Bubblegum's vision.
Aside from his immortality the Lich has a medley of unholy powers, most prominently the flames he generates around his hands that he fires at his opponents. Early on in "Mortal Folly," it was revealed that the Lich has the power to control people's minds, either through telepathy or spoken commands. Moreover, he has the ability to possess other people, as seen in "Mortal Recoil" when he survived by possessing Princess Bubblegum. He also has the ability to fly, and can kill or destroy virtually anything he comes into contact with. When he tried to cross Iceberg Lake, he inadvertently killed all the fish in the lake, and when he fought Finn, he caught Billy's gauntlet bare handed and turned it to dust. He is also able to implement necromancy, as seen when Finn and Jake entered his lair. While the Lich was possessing Princess Bubblegum, he shows powers of pyrokinesis, when he sets PB's room on fire with his mind.
The Lich sustains his massive strength by drinking from his Well of Power, a noxious, magic pool of glowing green liquid (which after possessing Princess Bubblegum, was substituted with a mixture of toxic chemicals such as gasoline, lighter fluid, bleach, and plutonium). 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 Billy, a magical weapon that fires intense energy blasts. This weakness is now moot, as the Lich destroyed Billy's gauntlet with ease when Finn used it as stated above. 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," 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 and reduce his body to dust. The Lich is also unable to control a person's mind if they are 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 rather taciturn and speaks only in brief statements. Because he seldom speaks, his words carry great gravity. In spite of his intractability, he is visibly shocked when Finn survives his fire attack, and he laughs heartily when Finn attacks him with his sweater. He has only raised his voice once, when Finn asked the possessed Princess Bubblegum if everything was all right. He also has an apparent disdain for all living things, as Princess Bubblegum said that his only desire was to destroy life.
Possessed Princess Bubblegum
When The Lich possesses Princess Bubblegum, she has pale blue/gray skin, dirty bubblegum pink hair, black eyes with green pupils and a frail voice. In "Mortal Recoil" she ask Finn to bring toxic chemicals to her (he didn't know what their purpose was), which she uses to turn into a giant monster. Finn manages to destroy the monster with the Ice King's help, and the Candy Kingdoms doctors manage to save the uncorrupted parts of PB, transforming her into her younger form.
Possessed Waving Snail
- Main article: Snail
The Snail is used by the Lich in "Mortal Folly" to free the Lich from his amber prison. The Lich does so by taking control of Snail's mind and making him/her break open the prison. After the events of "Mortal Recoil" the Lich returns to the Snail's body. As of season 3, the Snail has continued to appear in every episode, now in possessed form. In "In Your Footsteps," the bear gives the possessed snail the Enchiridion. This means that it will play an important role in the season 4 finale.
Original pitch document
He was first alluded to in the early series pitch, and was the only other character described in those documents in addition to the main six (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 doesn't go straight into battle like the Ice King, but instead uses a legion of undead skeletal knights to fight his battles.
- As revealed by Adam Muto, The Lich is not powerful enough to control Death, but he can personally cheat Death. This "cheat" can be a reference for his immortality, and ability to avoid death possessing other bodies.
- 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. This may be due to the fact that Blizzard Entertainment created a character of the same name before the show was created.
- 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 character Finn and Jake have faced that has endangered the fate of the world.
- The Lich's final design is similar to that of the Horned King from the Disney film "The Black Cauldron," which is an adaptation of the novel "The Book of Three."
- On Cartoon Network.com you can set your profile picture as the original Lich.
- Pendleton Ward originally wanted to cast Tom Waits as the Lich. 
- The Lich was redesigned at least once; the creators felt that his original design wasn't scary enough.
- His Hero
- Mortal Folly
- Mortal Recoil
- In Your Footsteps (Appearing as the possessed Snail at the end of the episode.)
- The Lich (episode)
Note that the Lich technically appears as the possessed Snail in every episode from the third season onwards, although it would be pointless to list them all here. See the Snail article for details.