Post by Arkhon Arkhozh on Jan 14, 2006 17:35:27 GMT -5
I was just thinking. What exactly is Skeletor? Both in the old and the new continuity we know he was once a man, and underwent some sort of transformation. Now Skeletor has no living biological tissue on his head. Its just a skull. It doesn't even seem to be attached to the body by the spine. Could be the neck is a closed stump and the skull floats on top of his body. Obviously Skeletor is still alive by magical means. He has a skull for a face, retains all his memories when he was alive/normal and is an extensive wizard gifted in various forms of black magic. He would seem to be best classified as a lich based on the fantasty/D&D version of the meaning of the word. The only problem with this is Skeletor seems a little too buff to be a Lich. Though his skin is blue and unnatural looking and he has black nails on his hands, can a Lich be in that good of physical shape as Skeletor? It makes me think he might be something else but at the moment I think fantasy lich is the best definition.
Post by Arkhon Arkhozh on Jan 15, 2006 22:25:26 GMT -5
It turns out Skeletor was based on the fantasy lich, infact based on one of the first fantasy liches ever. The word Lich originally just meant copse in German and Old English. Then the author Clark Ashton Smith used a Lich more like how we think of one in his story "Empire of the Necromancers" and around the same time the author Robert E. Howard who made the Conan series created Thulsa Doom back in the early 30s. It should be interesting to note that Ashton Smith and Robert E. Howard were all friends with H.P.LoveCraft.
Thulsa Doom is possibly a twenty five thousand to one hundred thousand year old Lich and an extremely powerful sorcerer. Who may of existed even before Atlanis did. Likely the first fantasy Lich by how the definition is understood today. He fought against King Kull in Atlantis who was Conan's ancestor and 8000 years after Atlantis was lost was defeated by Conan. Though is still alive but lost his body and just has his skull now but still retains his magic. (Which means the talking skull in the Conan tv show was probably Thulsa Doom.
Here are two links with some good information on Thulsa.
Post by Arkhon Arkhozh on Jan 15, 2006 22:25:50 GMT -5
I copied and pasted this paragraph from wikipedia that says that Skeletor was inspired from Thulsa Doom the first fantasy Lich.
Skeletor and indeed, the whole Masters of the Universe franchise, owe their existence to author Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian stories. In the early 1980s Mattel had planned to release a line of toys based on the then upcoming movie, Conan the Barbarian. However, after they discovered that the film was filled with adult content, they decided that a Conan toyline might not be the most lucrative product for the children's market. After some retooling, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe were born. Conan became He-Man and the evil sorcerer Thulsa Doom became Skeletor. Although the Thulsa Doom of the Conan movie is human-looking (played by James Earl Jones), the Thulsa Doom of Howard's Kull series looks very much like Skeletor. He is generally depicted as having a skull face and wearing a hood. The fact that Thulsa Doom fought with Thoth-Amon for control over the serpent men is also similar to events in the 2002 He-Man series, where Skeletor fought with King Hiss, leader of the Snake Men. Also what's interesting to see is that Thulsa Doom is one of Conan the barbarian's greatest enemies aside from Thoth-Amon and that both villains control some snakemen, reside in a Snake Fortress and that Thulsa Doom is referred in the Conan the Barbarian movie (which resembles Thoth-Amon) as "the master of the serpent's mountain" just as Skeletor resides in Snake Mountain.
Post by Arkhon Arkhozh on Jan 16, 2006 2:14:07 GMT -5
You know I was thinking about it. I was trying to think of any other Liches that have been on tv in the form of cartoons,tv shows or movies. But Unless you count the talking skull from the Conan live series , Skeletor stands out as the only lich out there with a voice and personality. Sadly liches just don't seem to be as popular as vampires which is a shame. Though not nearly as somber or as hateful as one would imagine a Lich to be , he still falls in line of the lich with an evil character that desires conquest, But Skeletor still seems very human in personality. Infact he retains an odd sense of humor and an amusing way of talking. Skeletor sort of serves as the prototype for all Liches. Which it could be funnily assumed that beings like Azalin sound and act like Skeletor.
I could swear I replied to this, but it's not here so maybe I never actually hit the button.
Lich definitely seems to be a good description of Skeletor. However, to answer your question in the original post, no, a lich cannot be in good physical shape. Their entire body decays at the same rate as the skull. I assume that Skeletor was given that buff body either so he would be less scary to children, or maybe so he wouldn't look like Mumm-ra in Thundercats, or maybe just so it'd be easier to make the toy. I dunno.
Another possibility (though extremely unlikely) is that Skeletor is a Demilich. A Demilich is a higher form of lich that is just a skull, not an entire dead body. Skeletor could have had an artificial body that was magically animated like a golem, and just put his demilich head on top of it. I don't think that's the case, though, because demiliches are pretty much the creation of Dungeons & Dragons, plus I see no reason why he'd want an artificial body instead of being a flying skull.