25 September 2013


On the 5th of September 1983 the animated series He-Man and the Masters of the Universe received its WORLD premiere in the UK! To celebrate 30 YEARS since this historic day I am counting down (on a daily basis) what I believe to be the 30 GREATEST MOMENTS of the Filmation series.

Teela Na becomes the Sorceress of Castle Grayskull.
"Origin of the Sorceress"

As Man-At-Arms presents Stridor, his latest invention, a Wheel of Fire appears in the sky over the Royal Palace. The Sorceress summons He-Man to Castle Grayskull where she explains to him that Morgoth, a wizard banished to a prison zone by the Ancients, is returning. He-Man, the Sorceress, and Stridor journey to Dark Mountain to prepare for the coming of Morgoth. Using the Crystal of Allenar to maintain her form, the Sorceress begins to explain her previous encounter with Morgoth, which began when she was simply Teela Na, a villager from Nowella. Morgoth, with an army of alien invaders, imprisoned all those in her village. A fellow prisoner told Teela Na of the legend of Castle Grayskull. That night Teela Na escaped her captors and searched out the castle. Upon locating the castle a voice beckoned her inside...

Upon entering the castle a hesitant Teela Na is greeted by Kuduk Ungol, the original Sorceress of Castle Grayskull. Kuduk Ungol explains that she is the keeper of the secrets of Castle Grayskull, and that she has been watching the young woman for some time. She questions Teela Na, "Now, what has brought you here at last?" Teela Na explains that her village is under attack by invaders, and that if they are not stopped, all of Eternia may fall to them. Kuduk Ungol rises from her throne and states, "I offer you a bargain. I will give you all the power you need to help yourself, and your people." Without hesitation Teela Na replies, "I accept." Kuduk Ungol retorts, "Wait! No so fast. You have not yet heard the rest of the bargain." Kuduk Ungol approaches Teela Na and explains that she has been the keeper of castle Grayskull for a long time, and that her time is nearly through. She continues to elaborate that she cannot leave without first finding someone to take her place. She pauses momentarily before announcing, "I offer that position...to you." Teela Na listens intently as Kuduk Ungol reveals, "It will not be an easy task, Teela Na. You will fight many battles, see great sadness, and great joy." She continues by detailing the role of the Sorceress, "As Keeper of Castle Grayskull, you must fight a constant war against evil, and comfort those in need. And you will never be mortal again." Kuduk Ungol walks over to two swords proudly displayed on a wall, "Finally, you must preserve and protect the Swords of Power until the day comes when they may be claimed." Kuduk Ungol states that she knows that Teela Na is worthy, but that the decision is hers. Teela Na lowers her head and calmly states, "I accept." Kuduk Ungol raises her arms and declares, "Then, by the power of Grayskull, let it be done!" Kuduk Ungol beckons Teela Na to enter the Pool of Power, stating, "Only the purest, and the gentlest, may have the Power of Castle Grayskull. If the Castle accepts you -- you will emerge changed. Enter!" Teela Na emerges, but in the form of a falcon. Upon transforming back into her human form, Kuduk Ungol tells a wide-eyed Teela Na, "From this day on, you shall ever be...the Sorceress!"

Throughout much of the series very little is known about the Sorceress of Castle Grayskull. Her connection to Teela is revealed early on in the series, but aside from that moment the character simply becomes a point of call for the heroes. Thankfully "Origin of the Sorceress" is an episode laced with a plethora of great moments and dialogue for the Sorceress. The flashback itself is great in that not only do we get to see the original Sorceress of Castle Grayskull, but we also see a fantastic reference to She-Ra, with the Sword of Protection displayed alongside the Sword of Power. With regards to the Sorceress herself, the entire flashback sequence beautifully reminds us that beneath the fancy costume is a citizen of Eternia that sacrificed the life she knew in order to protect her world. This fact is wonderfully accentuated by Kuduk Ungol's dialogue, which reveals everything that lay ahead of the Sorceress; from the life she will lead, to the role she must play. Seeing the life that the Sorceress once had really does help to give the character even greater depth; a depth that we all knew she had.

1 comment:

Kevin Martinell said...

Very true, James ... No episode best explains the characteristics of the Sorceress and her duties like the scene in this episode! One can only imagine what the previous Sorceress had to go through during her time guarding Castle Grayskull, and I have often wondered if she was actually the Mother of the Sorceress and revealed this in a deleted scene or during the scene where the villains took over the village! Once again, the beautiful background music works perfectly alongside the dialog between the two characters in making this a standout scene, plus the image of the two swords made for a standout shot for me ... You have to watch "Secret of the Sword" to know what that moment was all about. :) Excellent scene and thanks for reading and God Bless! ~"KevyGuy" :)

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