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Old January 24 2009, 05:38 PM   #1
FalTorPan
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Mythology of... Filmation's He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

Fairly recently I purchased the DVD box sets of a childhood favorite animated series: Filmation's He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. Many of the stories and characters are forgettable, but as I rewatched various episodes, I was surprised to discover that I was becoming curious about the mythology that evolved seemingly ad hoc over the course of the series -- likely a byproduct of new second-season writers such as J. Michael Straczynski.

The series provided a few nuggests of information about the history of Eternia, but it also left many questions unanswered:

* What circumstances led to Adam being presented with the Power Sword? At what age did he receive the sword?

* Teela Na, the eventual Sorceress, was aware that she had to protect Castle Grayskull and the swords which would eventually find their way into the hands of Adam and Adora. This suggested that Adam and Adora fulfilled some sort of prophecy. What made them special, aside from their half-human lineage?

* What is the origin of Castle Grayskull, the pit over which Grayskull resided, and of the swords?

* Duncan (Man-at-Arms) discovered Teela as an infant... lying in a nest tended by the Sorceress in the form of Zoar. Did Teela hatch from an egg? Was Teela Na pregnant with Teela when she became the Sorceress? Who was the biological father? Is Teela part-falcon? Is she destined to become the next Sorceress, does her destiny lie elsewhere, or is she free to determine her own fate?

* Aside from Etheria being the eventual province of the Horde and residence of Adora, are there other ties between Eternia and Etheria?

* Since Marlena, Adam and Adora's mother, is from Earth, and Adam and Adora were seemingly prophesied to claim the swords, is there a tie between Earth and Eternia and/or Etheria?

Yeah, I'm overthinking a silly show, but I got a kick out of rewatching it.
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Old January 24 2009, 05:47 PM   #2
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Re: Mythology of... Filmation's He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

From what I've heard, the newer He-Man show from (I think) 2001 actually managed to answer a lot of these questions, but I've only seen part of the first season.

I actually did buy the first box set of the 1980s He-Man you're discussing here, but that's as far as I got. I really want to pick up the rest at some point.
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Old January 24 2009, 06:39 PM   #3
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Re: Mythology of... Filmation's He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

I want to Netflix these sometime. Back when the shows were originally on, I had a therapy appointment every Tuesday after school, so I missed most or all of every Tuesday episode of He-Man and probably She-Ra as well. And they always reran the episodes straight through and the two seasons were 65 episodes each, so the same episodes always ran on the same days of the week. So there are maybe 26 episodes, including the key Teela/Sorceress backstory episode(s), that I've never caught more than the last few minutes of.
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Old January 24 2009, 10:08 PM   #4
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Re: Mythology of... Filmation's He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

I couldn't bring myself to buy She-Ra on DVD, not so much because it was a "girls' show," but because I couldn't stand the theme music.
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Old January 24 2009, 10:23 PM   #5
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Re: Mythology of... Filmation's He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

It's definitely not as good as the He-Man song.
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Old January 24 2009, 10:51 PM   #6
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Re: Mythology of... Filmation's He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

I pretty much liked She-Ra, because it did a good job of portraying the female protagonist as every bit the equal of He-Man -- which could not be said of the toys, which made all the male villains part of the He-Man toy line so the menfolk could fight them while the female She-Ra characters spent all their time changing clothes, brushing their hair, riding horses, and brushing their horses' manes. Honestly, there is no place in modern society where blatant sexism is more firmly ensconced than in children's toys.

However, I must admit, it wasn't as good a show as He-Man, and was too much an attempt to copy the same formula with less success. Particularly, where was the sense in She-Ra having the secret identity of Adora when they both had the same role in the show, essentially? Why would anyone accept Adora as the leader of the rebellion when she always disappeared every time there was a fight?
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Old January 25 2009, 12:08 AM   #7
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Re: Mythology of... Filmation's He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

Most of the questions that are asked in the first post were not touched on during the series run. In the 2002 series Adam became He-Man around 16 or 17 years old, while in the original series it seems to be implied that he's been He-Man for several years already. Also in the 2002 series we learn that Castle Greyskull was actually built by King Greyskull and that his lineage continues through Randor and Adam. It isn't established in the original series how Greyskull was built or how the Sorceress knew that the swords were destinied for Adam and Adora.
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Old January 25 2009, 03:26 AM   #8
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Re: Mythology of... Filmation's He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

Great post

Nothing wrong with analyzing He-Man & TMOTU.

He-Man was a great cartoon, like sister show She-Ra, & Transformers, GI JOE & Thundercats.

Being Prince Adam/He-Man's (& Princess Adora/She-Ra's) mother is human & from Earth, I wonder when in the future she's supposed to be from?

I wonder if any plans were had for He-Man, Skeletor et al to visit EARTH?

Or was the “idea” or “plan” to simply leave Earth out of the show altogether/forever?

Aren't Eternia & Etheria in the same solar system?

If so, very interesting, 2 Class-M planets in 1 solar system
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Old January 25 2009, 03:37 AM   #9
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Re: Mythology of... Filmation's He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

Aquehonga wrote: View Post
I wonder if any plans were had for He-Man, Skeletor et al to visit EARTH?
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Old January 25 2009, 03:44 AM   #10
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Re: Mythology of... Filmation's He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

Aquehonga wrote: View Post
Being Prince Adam/He-Man's (& Princess Adora/She-Ra's) mother is human & from Earth, I wonder when in the future she's supposed to be from?
Actually there were a couple of episodes establishing that the series took place roughly in the present -- or maybe the near future, since of course Marlena would've had to arrive on Eternia a couple of decades before the series proper.

I wonder if any plans were had for He-Man, Skeletor et al to visit EARTH?
They did.


Aren't Eternia & Etheria in the same solar system?
They're in different dimensions. Travel between them is by interdimensional portal. I think that Eternia is also in a different dimension from Earth, which is why magic works there.


Ooh, look what I found: the He-Man series bible.
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Old January 25 2009, 03:52 AM   #11
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Re: Mythology of... Filmation's He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

Aragorn wrote: View Post
Aquehonga wrote: View Post
I wonder if any plans were had for He-Man, Skeletor et al to visit EARTH?
Hey, it's Tom Paris and Monica from Friends!
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Old January 25 2009, 04:11 AM   #12
Aquehonga
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Re: Mythology of... Filmation's He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

Christopher wrote: View Post
Aquehonga wrote: View Post
Being Prince Adam/He-Man's (& Princess Adora/She-Ra's) mother is human & from Earth, I wonder when in the future she's supposed to be from?
Actually there were a couple of episodes establishing that the series took place roughly in the present -- or maybe the near future, since of course Marlena would've had to arrive on Eternia a couple of decades before the series proper.

I wonder if any plans were had for He-Man, Skeletor et al to visit EARTH?
They did.


Aren't Eternia & Etheria in the same solar system?
They're in different dimensions. Travel between them is by interdimensional portal. I think that Eternia is also in a different dimension from Earth, which is why magic works there.


Ooh, look what I found: the He-Man series bible.
Christopher!

And thanks for the links about the X-Mas Special & the He-Man Series Bible

I don't how I missed the MOTU X-Mas Special back then

I've never seen it

Probably because, by X-Mas 1985, I was more into TFs, Thundercats & the now-forgotten JAYCE & The WHEELED WARRIORS.

I still watched He-Man every day then, but those other cartoons, & their toys, marginalized my attention(s) to He-Man/MOTU.

Thanks again Christopher
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Old January 25 2009, 05:18 AM   #13
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Re: Mythology of... Filmation's He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

Once again, I feel obligated to post this, the most heterosexual Halloween costume I have ever had:

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Old January 25 2009, 05:34 AM   #14
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Re: Mythology of... Filmation's He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

RoJoHen wrote: View Post
Once again, I feel obligated to post this, the most heterosexual Halloween costume I have ever had:



I've not laughed that hard in weeks.

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Old January 25 2009, 05:36 AM   #15
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Re: Mythology of... Filmation's He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

That was about 4 years ago. It took a lot of drunk to get us to actually put our costumes on.
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