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Villain Overview
Fall! You are alone, child. There is only darkness for you, and only death for your people. These Ancients are just the beginning. I will command a great and terrible army. We will sail to a billion worlds. We will sail until every light has been extinguished. You are strong, child, but I am beyond strength. I am the End. And I have come for you, Finn.
~ The Lich
While a mortal world doubts and questions, I know exactly what I am. I am the Ceaseless Wheel, the Last Scholar of GOLB... I am your doom.
~ The Lich

The Lich, also known as the Lich King, is the main antagonist of the cartoon series Adventure Time. He is an ancient undead entity who attempts to bring extinction to all life in the multiverse, as well as the arch-nemesis of Finn the Human.

He was voiced by Ron Perlman, who also played Slade in Teen Titans, Xibalba in The Book of Life, the High Mage in the 2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon series, Warhok in Kim Possible, Stabbington Brothers in Tangled, Dieter Reinhardt in Blade II, and Drekk in Men In Black: The Series.

Personality

Lich nature

The Lich's true description.

THE LICH KING IS NOT FUNNY.

The Lich King embodies absolute evil. He doesn't give long monologues about how he's going to rule the world, or waste time by sending out evil henchmen. When he wants something destroyed, he just raises a legion of undead knights, marches in, and obliterates everything in his path. Dealing with the Lich King is serious and dangerous business. It requires exceptional strength and strategy, and knowing Finn and Jake, they'll probably just run up to him screaming battle cries.

Luckily, the Lich King was magically sealed away in his castle long ago. Still though, he's a powerful and dangerous force that's waiting patiently for someone curious enough to enter his domain and accidentally unlock his magical chains.
~ A description of the Lich's terrifying nature.

The Lich is a raw and primal physical manifestation of extinction and genocide, and when Finn referred to him as being so evil he's basic, he simply took it as a compliment.

Unlike most antagonists, the Lich is completely uninterested in fame, power, wealth, or dominion over others, just completely and utterly dedicated to eliminating all life in existence and causing destruction. He is beyond a simple sociopath and is utterly detached from concepts of good and evil. Unlike organic beings, he is more a force of cosmic destruction than a living thing with it's own motivations and emotional desires.

He is a very analytical and statistic entity, who can quickly realize the cause of his past failures and carefully assess those who where a thorn in his side and manipulate a situation to come out in his favor when the odds are seemingly stacked against him. He is very resourceful and adaptable, and incredibly patient and thick-skinned, allowing others to ridicule and humiliate him while trapped in Prismo's time room for months until an opportunity at omnicide presented itself. The Lich also never makes the same mistake twice.

However, he is not completely emotionless. He found Finn's attempt at killing him amusing, giving a hearty laugh while being attacked, and in the farmworld timeline he was visibly startled when his spirit was purged from Farmworld Jake's body.

Powers and Abilities

Apart from his immortality, the Lich has a mix of unholy powers, including flames. In his debut episode "Mortal Folly," it was revealed that the Lich has the power to control the minds of people (mind control), either through telepathy or by the mention of their evil spells. Later in the episode when he went to his den, he destroyed everything he touched. Additionally, he is able to breathe a dark fog with his mouth which can kill whatever breathes it.

On the other hand, he has the ability to possess bodies, even if these are alive or dead, as seen in "Mortal Recoil" when he survived thanks to the possession of Princess Bubblegum. Also, he has the ability to fly and can kill or destroy almost everything that comes in contact with him. When The Lich crossed the Iceberg Lake, he killed all the fish in the Lake without realizing it, and when he fought with Finn, he destroyed the gauntlet of Billy turning it into powder. He is also able to practice necromancy, as seen when Finn and Jake came into his lair. While The Lich possessed Princess Bubblegum, he revealed to possess powers of pyrokinesis (ability to create or control the fire with the mind).

Adventure Time Games

Lich Battle Party

The Lich gameplay.

The Lich serves as a playable character in the online game, Adventure Time Battle Party. The Lich has many abilities in the game such as:

  • Summoning undead Skully servants to help him for 20 seconds. Any enemies Skully defeats permanently increase Lich's Power Damage by 1.
  • Leave a unholy trail to hurt his enemies. Like the undead servants, once the enemies are defeated by the trail, it will permanently increase Lich's Power Damage by 1.
  • Mind control, which consists in a ball of dark magic that causes great damage to the more close enemy, with the addition of charm the enemy.
  • Conjures which consists in The Lich creating a Well of Power that extremely damages the enemy.

It should also be noted that The Lich counts with a single strategy of battle so, you need to choice between power damage or attack damage. Attack Damage is very recommendable because it's more effective and makes The Lich strong, with the only difference that you will have high base power damage with minor scaling from your Skully/Q. The Lich is also considered the best dueler in the game due to his various abilities, however, burst is his only weakness, but there is a way to prevent it.

Quotes

Sssshhhh...
~ The Lich to Finn and Jake.
Aren't you cold, Finn?
~ The Lich to Finn.
Walk into the well, Finn...
~ The Lich manipulating Finn.
You are a joke to me!
~ The Lich in Mortal Folly.
The ice wizard is a weak fool.
~ The Lich in Princess Bubblegum's body.
The book, Finn. Give me The book. Quickly, child. We are running out of time.
~ The Lich to Finn.
Thanks, Finn. I couldn't have done it without you.
~ The Lich thanking Finn for helping him in his evil plan.
I wish for the extinction of all li- for Finn and Jake to go back home to Ooo. Huh? No! Wait! That's not what I wished for!
~ The Lich after realizing that his wish was changed.
You are strong child, but I am beyond strength.
~ The Lich in Escape from the citadel.
Stop. I have learned much from you. Thank you, my teachers. And now, for your education. Before there was time, before there was anything, there was nothing. And before there was nothing, there were monsters. Here's your gold star!
~ The Lich as Sweet P.
Here's your Gold Star!
~ The Lich as Sweet P.
Yes... While a mortal world doubts and questions, I know exactly what I am. I am the ceaseless wheel. The last Scholar of GOLB. I am your doom.
~ The Lich to Finn, explaining that he is possibly a follower to a malevolent deity named GOLB.
Child, you have failed! The vessel has turned! We reign now as twin kings of ruin!
~ The Lich proclaiming victory in turning Sweet P to evil.

Trivia

  • The Lich is still referred to by his old name, The 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.
  • His original name, the Lich King, was only changed because this name already belonged to a World Of Warcraft character, and Frederator Studios was afraid that they would be sued.
  • 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 was redesigned at least once, as the creators felt that his original design wasn't scary enough.
    • 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 CartoonNetwork.com, you can set your profile picture as the original Lich.
  • In France/Belgium, there was a translation problem with the Lich King's name. During his appearance in "His Hero," he is called " Le Roi sangsue," which translates to "Leech King."
  • In the original storyboard of the Lich episode, Billy/the Lich explains he would push the Lich into the Crystal Citadel, a prison that no one can escape from, one of the prisoners being Finn's father.
  • When the Lich tells Finn about his real dad, Finn does not know he was adopted, even though he has the memory of Joshua and Margaret taking him from the woods.
  • The Lich was originally supposed to convince Finn to give him the Enchiridon by bringing back his parents.
  • In "Come Along With Me", it is hinted that the Lich was created by GOLB's breath.

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