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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 in Escape from the Citadel - his most famous quote.
The Lich: You've bested me in many worlds, child, but I always return.
Finn: You're so evil, it's boring. You're basic, man.
The Lich: 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 in Whispers.

The Lich, also known as the Lich King, is the main antagonist of the Cartoon Network series Adventure Time, serving as the main antagonist of Seasons 2, 4, and 6, the premiere arc of Season 5, and the overarching antagonist of every other season and its HBO Max spin-off series Adventure Time: Distant Lands.

He is an ancient, undead sorcerer bent on eradicating all life in the multiverse until nothing but himself remains. He is also the archenemy of Finn the Human and Jake the Dog.

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


Plotting Multiversal Destruction

According to the Lich himself, he was one of the monsters created before time existed, which means that he is older than existence itself. He has some sort of connection to GOLB, by calling himself "the last scholar of GOLB". Early on, the Lich (or Lich King) had a plan to suck all life from the Land of Ooo. Using the stolen power, he planed to destroy the multiverse, but he was attacked by the hero Billy. He was trapped in a prison of amber in the heart of the Candy Kingdom after Billy personally pounded him into it.

One day, in the Candy Kingdom, Princess Bubblegum, the ruler of the Candy Kingdom, Finn the Human Boy, and Jake the Dog were thinking hard. While Finn and Jake were dreaming about regular day dreams, Princess Bubblegum saw a hellish scene where a threatening black shadow stands in front of a backdrop of flames. Fearing that the amber prison was weakening, she takes Finn and Jake with herself to the prison. They wear protective gems first so they do not fall prey to the Lich's mind-controlling voice, which was still a problem even though the Lich himself wasn't.

The Lich after escaping from the Amber Prison.

While they were up there, the Waving Snail (an Easter Egg which appears in every episode) comes out of Finn's backpack. Since the Snail was not wearing a gem, its eyes go big, hollow, and black with a strange glow coming from them. Slowly, Waving Snail moved to the sphere of amber. The Snail breaks the prison and an oily liquid comes out and forms the Lich, which turns into a black vapor and runs away, leaving behind a black trail of death.

Princess Bubblegum gives Finn the Gauntlet of Billy, which defeated the Lich the first time, and they start to chase the Lich. But Ice King comes in and pesters Finn and Jake for permission to marry Princess Bubblegum. Finn and Jake shut him out and run along where they come close to hit the Lich with a power beam from the Gauntlet several times but Ice King gets in the way.

Annoyed, Ice King decides to kidnap Princess Bubblegum instead. Just as the Lich is about to be blasted, Ice King comes in with the captive princess. This allows the Lich to escape to his Lair to regain his power via the Well of Power.

Following the Lich into the Lair, Finn and Jake are met by dead human skeletons which attack them, but are destroyed by the Gauntlet. Going down even farther, they look through a collapsed ceiling the Lich standing over the Well of Power (a radioactive pit of broiling green liquid). The Lich thrusts his hands into the Well and soaks up the power making pale green smoke come from the Lich's eye sockets.

Finn then fires a beam down at the Lich and Jake uses his stretching powers to make wings that glide Finn towards him. Before Finn could deliver another blast, the Lich grabs Finn by the Gauntlet and brings him up to his huge skull face. The Lich brings up a finger to its mouth and says shhhhh. The Gauntlet then explodes in thousand of pieces leaving Finn`s hand singed and then the Lich throws Finn to the other side of the room.

Ice King and Princess Bubblegum come in, see the Lich and freak out. Jake then goes up to the Lich carrying Finn on his back and barks at him. The Lich then simply creates a ball of burning green fire that hits Jake in the face, sending him teetering backwards. Finn hits the floor and shatters his protective gem and his world goes dark. The Lich tries to make Finn walk into the Well of Power, but Finn fights the heavy voice of the Lich King. He goes back into his world and Finn brings out the sweater that Princess Bubblegum had made him and uses that as his weapon.

Finn pulls the sweater in one eye socket and then out the other and starts to pull. Surprised, he staggers but then regains balance and laughs at Finn. The hero breaks the Lich's skull and he turns to dust, sending him to the floor.

Jake then helps Finn up and the Ice King frees Princess Bubblegum. With that the ice wizard drops Princess Bubblegum into the broiling Well of Power.

Possessing His Victims

The Lich possessing PB.

Later what remains of Princess Bubblegum is brought to a hospital where she is revived. But she seems strange. In her room she tells Finn to bring her some things. At that moment Jake comes in with Peppermint Butler but when Peppermint Butler sees Bubblegum talking to Finn, he goes on four legs and hisses at the Princess and scampers off.

When Finn leaves to get the 'things' for the Princess Jake tries to sing her a song but she is angered by this and twitches followed by yelling at Jake in an angry babble. Jake again tries to play a song and she put her hand into the large amount of picked flowers brought to her by Finn and Jake and they all wilt and die. Again Jake tries to sing and Bubblegum and her bed fly into the air and all of flowers are consumed by a fire that has the faces of a thousand of tortured spirits.

Jake runs out and tries to warn Finn that something is wrong and tries to prevent him from giving Bubblegum the 'things' she wanted. These things where bleach, gasoline, etc. but before Jake could finish Bubblegum takes all of the things from Finn. They enter her room and find Princess drinking the mixture of the toxic things that Finn had gotten.

Mutated Princess Bubblegum grown into a huge black demon which punches Finn and Jake through a wall and hurtle them beside the Ice King who was listening through the wall with a cup. The Princess grows even bigger until she break through the ceiling sending out chunks that almost kill several candy citizens.

While in the mutated demon body, the Lich runs to the gates of the Candy Kingdom and is fought by a giant Gumball Guardian who is easily smashed to bits. Finn and Jake go out to fight her but Finn is punched taking out some of his teeth he is sent back to the tower where he came from; Jake is then caught by the Lich and is strangled.

Finn and Ice King work together and Finn stalls the demon while Ice King freezes it and the plan works. But then Bubblegum's foot was frozen at a wrong angle and the ice covered Princess fell over and broke into shards.

A close up shot at the end of "Mortal Recoil" shows Waving Snail on a window ledge waving forcibly. Its eyes were sunken and dark and filled with a green deadlight which showed that it was a host body for the Lich King who was angry and looking for revenge on Finn. It is likely that since he is a lich, he would have a Phylactery, which would house his soul.

"Yes! One step closer!"-Snail possessed by The Lich.

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/it 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 "Following In Your Footsteps" the bear gives the possessed snail the hero's Enchiridon. In "The Lich," the Lich ends up changing bodies moving to that of the deceased Billy. After this, the snail no longer shows any further sign of possession as revealed in "Up a Tree."

Time Room Incident

The Lich in Billy's dead body.

The Lich possesses Billy in most of the episode "The Lich," and tricks Finn and jake into gathering the gems of power needed to activate the Enciridion. The events surrounding how the Lich assumed Billy's identity remained ambiguous until the Season 5 season premiere where it was shockingly revealed by Prismo that the Lich was in fact wearing Billy's dead body as a macabre disguise the entire time when he refers to the Lich as, "a ghost wearing a dead guy".

Finn used his wish to wish that the Lich never existed. This however triggered a series of events that ended with Farmworld Jake coming in contact with the pool of green goo created by the Mushroom Bomb, mutating into a Lich/Dog hybrid and attacking Finn.

After seeing how horrible life was with the Lich never existing, Jake tries to save the day with his wish. Prismo tries to help him with the perfect wish and Jake ends up wishing to change the Lich's wish to sending him and Finn home. Jake and Finn go back in time and sees the Lich get ready to wish for the end of all life on Ooo. However, thanks to Jake's wish, the Lich ends up wishing for Finn and Jake to go home safely. Realizing what he said, a now surprised Lich tries to change his wish but it was too late and Finn and Jake go back to Ooo, with the Lich now stuck in the Time Room, his wish wasted. Finn is concerned with the Lich's wish but Jake assures him that everything is now fine.

At the Citadel

Some time after the events of Billy and the Time Room, Finn learns of a place called The Citadel, where his father has been imprisoned. The Lich is currently in a standstill, with no one to kill and lying lifeless in the Time Room. Finn tries to get the the Citadel by taking Prismo's human body, in which killing him will commit a cosmic crime and take Finn and Jake to the Citadel. However, with a new presence in the room, the Lich springs to life and knocks Finn and Jake aside, killing Prismo and destroying his human body. A portal opens and the Lich laughs, before being crystallized and drawn into the portal.

The Lich as a skeleton.

Finn and Jake grab on to the Lich's crystallized form, and it is drawn to a sphere in the middle of the Citadel alongside countless other villainous creatures. As Finn and Jake search for Finn's dad, the Lich's breath corrupts the crystal and releases a noxious gas throughout the citadel, lighting a black fire and melting the crystals imprisoning the creatures within. After Finn and Jake reunite with his father (who does not recognize Finn) the Lich appears in the water and the crystal containing him explodes, reducing him to a skeleton.

The Lich, as a skeleton, knocks out Jake and Finn, and slowly walks towards them. He proclaims that he will use the Citadel's denizens as an army and extinguish all light and life. He reaches out his hand to Finn to kill him, but Finn sprays the Lich's hand with a Guardian's blood, causing flesh to grow on the Lich. In pain, the Lich starts uttering nonsense, and Finn, realizing this weakness, sprays Lich with the blood, causing him to grotesquely mutate and collapse. When Finn returns to Jake after failing to reach his father, Jake reveals the Lich reborn as a human child, and it is though that his mind is rebooted. At the end of the episode, "Baby Lich" says a proud "Hello!"

An Evil Lurking Within

However even turning into a baby wasn't the last we have seen of the Lich In the episode "Gold Stars" his human child form, Sweet Pig-Trunks (Sweet P) has a nightmare about his past life as the Lich as he appeared in "Mortal Folly" laughing and destroying everything. It can be implied that he has frequent nightmares. When the King of Ooo and Toronto threaten to burn down the orchard, the Lich regains control over Sweet P and almost kills them. With this said, it is revealed the Lich is still alive, but just trapped inside Sweet P's subconscious and awakens when he sees fires, or is threatened.

Farmworld Lich and the Lich's Hand

In "Crossover", since the emergence of the Lich possessed Jake in Farmworld, he has been working to open a portal to the multiverse with Farmworld Finn with the ice crown at his side. They use the Enchiridion from Farmworld to collect gems and activate it using Bobby (Farmworld Billy). The real Finn and Jake then arrive to stop him by orders from Prismo.

They fight off the Lich but end up with Finn getting frozen and Jake getting captured. When Farmworld Finn opens the portal he is excited to live everywhere, but is brought down by the Lich when he says that in every dimension Finn and his parents would die. The Lich is about to kill Jake when frozen Finn's grass hand grows out a vine and cuts the Lich's hand off freeing Jake. Jake then tosses the hand into the portal and it arrives in Ooo. The Lich is then destroyed by Finn and Farmworld Finn using the maid. Saving Farmworld and freeing Farmworld Jake from the Lich's control.

In "Whispers", the Lich hand from Farmworld still contains a portion of the Lich's spirit and has been chasing after Sweet P to change him back into another Lich. It is revealed that the Hand contains the same consciousness as the original Lich, and can speak like the Lich. Finn chases the hand to the Lich's pit where it tries to throw Finn into it. Sweet P then arrives to help Finn but then the hand tries to convince Sweet P to join him but Sweet P refuses and kills the hand with Finn's sword.

Status After the Finale

The Lich's Hands are separated in a multiverse.

Although the Lich himself did not appear during GOLB's arrival in the series finale "Come Along With Me", it is certain that his spirit still exists within Sweet P. One thousand years after the events of the show, Sweet P is shown as an adult hero wandering the Land of Ooo, so it can be assumed that the Lich's spirit is still dormant. Nevertheless, as Sweet P is depicted as having become a hero like Finn and Billy, it's highly likely that the Lich's control over him is possibly gone or is at least controlled.

In "Crossover", when the Lich's hand fell into the portal to the Multiverse, it separated into all dimensions as seen by Jake. The Multiverse is an infinite number of dimensions, so the hand itself has become infinite, which means that the Lich, in fact, has reached eternal existence. What may have become of these multiplied hands, however, is up to speculate, and it's unknown whether the Lich can reconstitute from these hands or not. In "Together Again", the Lich hand mentions how Finn has bested him in different worlds, so it can be implied that alternate Finns have disposed of those Lich hands since then. The Lich is last seen being thrown away into the void of the Deadworld by Jake.


The Lich's true description.


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 destruction, 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 everything 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 its 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. There have been times where the Lich shows sadistic amusement or pleasure in the deaths of others, laughing in delight when the portal to the Time Room is opened and when he finally succeeds in eradicating all life with his wish. The farmworld version of the Lich also chuckled with pleasure when the portal to the multiverse was opened. Despite his calm and collected nature, the Lich can still be shocked or taken by surprise, as seen when Jake changed the Lich's wish to return Finn and Jake home and when the Lich was turned into Sweet P. In the farmworld timeline he was visibly startled when his spirit was purged from Farmworld Jake's body and when he was defeated by Sweet P.

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

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.
  • Leaving an 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.


~ 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 thanks 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.
Everywhere you will die. You. Your Family. Everyone will die. Over and over. Mountains of broken bodies beneath the wheel.
~ The Lich to Farmworld Finn.
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.
Beast, obey me! Obey—No!
~ The Lich's last words as he's being attacked by Sweet P.
Strike. Strike now! Strike NOW!
~ The Lich manipulates Death's son to kill his father.
Burn! Heroes of Ooo, it's only a matter of time.
~ The Lich announces his return.
The Lich: The Spawn of Life and Death is a creature without purpose, fit only to be a pawn in my eternal quest to end all life.
Finn: Just let it go, man.
The Lich: With this vessel, my victory is inevitable.
~ The Lich explains his partnership.


  • 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 1985 Disney film The Black Cauldron, which is an adaptation of the novel The Book of Three.
    • On, 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.

External Links


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