- NOTE: This article is about the incarnation of Ocean Master from the DC Extended Universe film series. The mainstream version can be found here: Ocean Master.
|“||You are the reason our mother was executed and I have hated you for it ever since, but I do not want to kill you, Arthur. I am going to give you one chance. Go home. Do not ever come back to Atlantis. You are not going to win this. A war is coming to the surface whether you like it or not, and I am bringing the wrath of the Seven Seas with me.||„|
|~ Ocean Master to Aquaman.|
|“||Today we unite our kingdoms. Tomorrow we scorch the surface! RISE, ATLANTIS!||„|
|~ Ocean Master before leading his armies into battle against the Brine.|
Orm Marius, also known as the Ocean Master, is the main antagonist of the 2018 superhero film Aquaman, the sixth installment of the DC Extended Universe. He will return in some capacity in the upcoming 2022 sequel Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.
He is Aquaman's younger Atlantean half-brother and former arch-nemesis, he is the son of King Orvax Marius and Queen Atlanna and the former ruler of Atlantis, who seeks to unite the Kingdoms of Atlantis in order to declare war on the surface world, out of the belief that humanity has polluted the seas.
Orm Marius was born in the kingdom of Atlantis at least a few years after his older half-brother Arthur Curry, also known as Aquaman, to King Orvax Marius and Queen Atlanna. Guided by Nuidis Vulko to be a magnificent warrior, Orm has never known defeat when he grew up but became known more and more to the surface world and the human race as well as the great damages they cause to the Seven Seas and Atlantis by polluting the water, the air and the land with factories and trash. At some point during Orm's childhood, Orvax learned that Atlanna bore a half-human son sometime before having Orm and sacrificed her to the Trench.
Rise to Power
It is unknown if Orm became King after the death of his mother or father since the latter seems to have been a consort rather than a regnant. Sometime after becoming King, Orm plotted to wage a war against the surface dwellers, causing him to become a powerful tyrant as well as to devise a wide master plan to destroy the surface and the humanity as one by uniting all of the seven kingdoms in the Seven Seas into a grand war.
War for Atlantis
In order to carry out his plan and become "Ocean Master", first he must obtain the support of at least four kingdoms. He also employed David Kane, Jesse Kane, and a group of high-sea hijackers to steal a Russian Nuclear Submarine which David Kane used as a seemingly unprovoked attack by surface dwellers, while Orm was meeting with Nereus, the mighty king of Xebel, and his men. Nereus begins to show support toward Orm, after some of his men had died, and is ready to join forces with him despite the anger of his daughter, Mera, who has been betrothed to Orm, refuses to aide them and journeys to the surface to ask Arthur for help, earning his trust by saving his father Thomas from a tidal wave sent by Orm as a warning.
Orm then sends commando guards to David Kane with a holographic message from Orm himself, paying David for his services. Orm would later send Murk and his Men-of-War soldiers to capture and bring Aquaman to him. Orm would arrive to visit Aquaman who was chained up and announces that Atlanna was executed for the crime of having a half-breed son, blaming Arthur and the surface for her death. He offers him an opportunity to leave forever but instead challenges him to a duel in a ring of underwater lava for the throne of Atlantis. In the Duel, Orm gains the upper hand when he breaks his trident and nearly kills Arthur before Mera rescues him. He then attempts to chase them down, but they get away thinking that they drowned in lava.
Using a tracker Orm put on Mera, Murk is able to track them down and Orm sends out a search for her and Aquaman, while Nereus threatens to end their alliance if Mera is killed instead of captured, which Orm gives his word. Meanwhile, Orm provides David with Atlantean armor, weaponry, and Men-of-War commandos in order to kill them, giving David the name "Black Manta."
During meeting with King Ricou, Queen Rina, and Princess Scales of the Kingdom of the Fisherman, Orm tries to convince them to join their alliance in uniting the Kingdoms and declaring war on the surface world. Ricou, however, rebukes his proposal for an alliance by stating when they finally make contact with the surface, they should educate them, not destroy them. This goes poorly with Orm who provokes him into attacking and kills him, threatening his heir, Scales, into cooperating. Orm also imprisons Vulko upon learning of his betrayal.
Final Battle and Defeat
Orm and his allies then begin to lead an army against the crustacean forces of the Kingdom of the Brine with the intent of completing Orm's surface battle preparations by coercing the remaining four kingdoms of Atlantis to pledge allegiance to him and his campaign against the surface, titling himself as "Ocean Master". Just as he is about to kill the Brine King for resisting, Aquaman, Mera, and Atlanna, with the assistance of Karathen, intervene and lead an army of marine creatures, including the Trench, in the battle against Ocean Master and his allies, who renounce their obedience to Ocean Master and embrace Aquaman as the true king upon learning he wields the trident. Aquaman then fights against Ocean Master and defeats him, destroying his trident. Ocean Master then orders Aquaman to kill him as mercy is not part of Atlantean philosophy. However, Aquaman tells Ocean Master that he is not full-blooded Atlantean and chooses to spare his life. Ocean Master then discovers Aquaman has found and rescued their mother. After Atlanna tells Ocean Master that she loves them both equally as her sons, Orm accepts his fate, renounces his title, and is taken prisoner by Atlantean guards. Aquaman then tells him whenever he is ready, they can have a talk. Orm gives a last glance at his brother before returning to the ocean. It is unknown what will happen to him later on.
Since his birth, Orm Marius has been raised to the values of being a great king and has been guided by Vulko to become a magnificent warrior, allowing him to develop great war skills. As Orm ascended to the surface world to learn more, he became aware about the massive damage that the human race and the surface caused to the Seven Seas with pollution, factories and waste, pushing him to develop a psychotic obsession with destroying them all, including the surface world, in order to save Atlantis from extinction. Ruthless, manipulative, daring and above all powerful, arrogant and murderous, Orm made several steps such as hiring the services of the human mercenary David Kane to kill his brother and manipulating King Nereus and others to help him in his war, to become the "Ocean Master".
Nereus, of course, supported him, but Mera never wanted Orm to be king, knowing full well that his fantasy of power would ruin everything he encountered, causing Orm a great hatred for her, enough to send a personal detail to help Black Manta to assassinate her and Arthur behind Nereus' back; after the fact that his partner in the crime demanded that Orm bring his daughter back to him unharmed. To this end, his rule can be described as tyrannical, with a touch of hypocrisy to match because he shows no qualms about putting in place those who did not agree with his plans and even kills the Fisherman King simply because he wouldn't help his genocidal war plans. All of this was for the ultimate purpose of destroying the surface world by unleashing the wrath of the Seven Seas. Other contradictory evidence of his devious ways comes from his need for a human; a race of beings that he and his people hate with poisonous passion. Doing for him what he cannot do for himself, as was evident when Black Manta was asked to help spark his conflict or resolve things behind the backs of his people and / or of her confidants. More so, Orm is ready to go around those he would call a partner to achieve his own goals, despite his preaching about how he does what he does for all mariners while gladly turning his spear on anyone who wouldn't dare follow through with his expensive and genocidal plans.
In addition, he blames the half-brother he never really knew for the death of their common mother. Despite this, his hateful and mean father and his equally sectarian subjects banished her to the Trench in the first place and it was not because of Arthur that they lost their beloved parent. Orm's ideal for global conflict also shows an extreme lack of hindsight or foresight on his part, as it never occurred to him that the people on the surface had their own silent guards fighting on their behalf ; few among them were more than powerful enough to dismantle him and his war-mongering fleet by their solitude. Thus indicating Orm was supremely ignorant of their presence on Earth or selfish to the point of suicidal idiocy; his mistaken sense of superiority making him believe that Atlantis and its armies could do better with what are essentially Demi-Gods as easily as any surface-based military power. A testament to his phenomenal sense of narcissism and self-righteousness is reflected in the way he relegates himself as well as his rage right against the surface as the Karathen, a legendary beast that protected the oceans at one point in the past of Atlantis.
Despite his many faults and errors, however, Orm is not completely evil by nature, and his goal is not to seek power for himself by having Atlantis conquer the Earth, but rather to save Atlantis from damage that humans could potentially inflict, in much of the same way that the deceased General Zod had attempted to create a new Krypton on Earth to restore his lost way of life. In addition, he really loved his mother and was devastated by his execution, which made him all the more bitter towards the world of the surface and Arthur for the death of Atlanna since, because he perceived it mainly as his fault. Spending decades blaming him for their mother's death, which, while partially manipulating Arthur into defying Orm, was also done because he genuinely believed that Arthur had caused their mother's death, which was successful to provoke his brother, who angered Orm in a duel, but even then, Arthur could not help but feel sympathy for Orm's pain because of the loss of their mother, which led him to refuse to hit Orm later. Finding out that Atlanna was still alive and that Arthur had saved her was enough for Orm to accept his fate, surrender and be imprisoned for his crimes. Even if he only did it for the greater good of his people and his initial demands of Arthur killing him. Although he despised Arthur for the fact that his birth had caused Atlanna to be condemned to the Trench, Orm seemed to have a level of kinship for him, declaring that he did not want to kill Arthur and giving him several chances to leave for always. He also looked shocked, regretted and even a little distressed when he saw Mera's ship sink in the lava, believing that she and Arthur were dead. Although he does not respond when Arthur suggests that they have a fraternal conversation, he seemed to consider doing so while he was taken away for imprisonment.
His relationship with his father was not well known, but it appeared that Orm highly respected his father's fighting skills, describing Orvax as having not been disputed during his reign and his trident never having suffered defeat and even claiming that Atlanna's trident was flawed, although he still showed some respect for his mother's fighting abilities by declaring that his trident was nevertheless powerful. Orm also seemed to respect his teacher Nuidis Vulko, as he looked betrayed by revealing to Vulko that he was aware of his betrayal and asked his mentor why he seemed to be somewhat jealous of the way Arthur was favored by Vulko and asked him for at least one view in his prison.
|“||Welcome to Atlantis, brother. I can't believe you're finally here. I've heard so many stories about you. All these years, I was ashamed of my mother for defiling herself with a surface dweller. Ashamed of the fact that I have a half-breed brother whose heart I wanted to run my trident through. But now that you're finally here before me, I must admit... I'm conflicted.||„|
|~ Orm meeting Arthur Curry for the first time.|
|“||I see... and how do you plan to stop the atrocities that the surface continues to commit? Because for a century, they have polluted our waters... and poisoned our children... and now their skies burn and our oceans boil. You've come all this way to take sides against your own people?||„|
|~ Orm upon hearing of Arthur's intention to stop his invasion of the surface.|
|“||Down here we have a legend called the Karathen, an ancient sea monster so powerful that even King Atlan himself feared it. So he imprisoned it in the depths of the ocean. And in that abyss the creature bides its time waiting to rise again. Atlantis has been lying in wait, and now the beast has awakened.||„|
|~ Orm's speech to Arthur before their "Ring of Fire" duel.|
|“||People of Atlantis, hear me! My brother has come from the surface to challenge me for the throne. Let us settle his claim in the ancient way... by bloodshed!||„|
|~ Orm's speech in the Ring of Fire.|
|“||You have our mother's trident; powerful... but flawed, like her. I wield my father's... and it has never known defeat!||„|
|~ The Ocean Master to Aquaman before their fight.|
|“||Revenge is something we Atlanteans understand.||„|
|~ Orm to Black Manta while giving him new prototype Atlantean armor.|
- As noted by some, Orm's appearance in the film bears little resemblance to his design in the comics and is actually more reminiscent of the classic version of Aquaman. According to Patrick Wilson, this design choice was intentional.
- Also according to Patrick Wilson, Orm's design overall is meant to serve as a counterpart to Aquaman's, with him remarking: "In all the comics of Orm, he’s the opposite of Aquaman physically. He’s always very brooding and dark, and I thought, when you’ve got Jason Momoa playing Aquaman, we cannot do a typical Orm. He’s got to go the other way."