As the opening credits roll by, I fantasize about “The Dragon’s Gift” being about the powers one would get after consuming a raw dragon heart freshly cut from the slain foe, as some cultures believe would happen after such an act. Because these infernal credits are so long, I even get to see, in my mind’s eye, the dragon heart blood running down He-Man’s square jaw with a fire igniting behind his eyes. Then, as the episode’s title card fades out signifying the end of the credits, I am returned to the sad reality that nothing so awesome will happen, even if He-Man has killed before. In the palace throne room, King Randor is all pissed because Prince Adam is late, as usual. Man-At-Arms actually tries to cover for him, saying that he’s dealing with “government problems”. Teela blows Prince Adam’s cover, revealing that he’s tied up with some hussy called “Lady Amanda”. Whaaaa? No, it can’t be. He must be doing her hair or something.
I don’t know what either of them are talking about really, because when we find Prince Adam, he is trying to coax Cringer awake, telling him they will be late. Cringer would prefer to nap until Prince Adam lies that it’s a royal fish fry they will be late for. There is most certainly no government business going on, and clearly no “Lady Amanda” anywhere in sight. Maybe “Lady Amanda” is Prince Adam’s right hand. In the throne room, King Randor is just about to blow his lid when Prince Adam and Cringer come crashing into the room. Prince Adam narrowly escapes a tongue lashing from his father, and only because the ambassador they’ve been waiting on arrives. He looks like a cross between Green Arrow (the comic book version), The Phantom (the comic book character Billy Zane had the misfortune of playing in 1996), and Yosemite Sam.
He’s here to present King Randor with a jade bust of none other than King Randor himself. King Randor immediately falls in love with it, of course, but as he reaches out to stroke it, Man-At-Arms notices the sword at the hip of the ambassador bears the mark of Skeletor. Before King Randor can get his grubby paws on his bust, Man-At-Arms rushes forth, grabs hold of it and is instantly teleported turned to ice or crystal or something. The “ambassador” flings his overcoat off, revealing himself to be Skeletor in disguise! I have to say, after being so scarce the last several episodes, he sure did make a grand return! It feels good to get a little delight from this episode, and I’m only 3 ½ minutes in! Maybe this won’t be so bad after all.
Skeletor admits that the deception was meant for King Randor, which seems pretty obvious. Though I don’t think that Man-At-Arms minded putting his hands on King Randor’s bust very much. Prince Adam slinks off to go “find someplace quiet” with Cringer so they can recycle some animation together and come out on the other end as He-Man and Battle Cat. Cringer literally tries to run away from Prince Adam, sprinting down the hall in terror at the thought of being forced to turn into Battle Cat. Cringer makes it around the corner and prays that the power sword can’t zap him from there, but wouldn’t you know it? The energy bolt that turns him into Battle Cat CAN go around corners, and indeed, Cringer is transformed, nay raped, into Battle Cat once again. Wow! I really don’t know what to say. I feel a little sickened, truly. Please, please somebody call PETA.
Since Prince Adam is still busy perpetrating animal cruelty, Teela gets into a sword fight with Skeletor. Skeletor quickly bests her and pushes her down to the ground. She looks up at him awkwardly from between her legs, wondering what comes next, probably hoping it’s sexual in nature, when He-Man bursts into the room. Teela manages to trip Skeletor, trying to hurry up and get him on top of her (boy is she desperate), but before she can take it any further, Skeletor disappears. With Skeletor gone, they decide to take Man-At-Arms back to Castle Grayskull to see if the Sorceress can help.
At Castle Grayskull, with the crystallized Man-At-Arms placed next to it, the Sorceress prays to her heathen magic mirror hoping some how to use her magic to revive him. You know, maybe I was just too young to remember it, but where were all the conservative Christian family interest groups complaining about all the magic in this show? They sure did make a big stink over Harry Potter. How come one of the most popular and iconic children’s shows missed their attention, what with all the idolatry and satanic magic worship going on all the time?
Solemnly, the Sorceress admits that, without the power of Christ on their side, they’re fucked. Their one hope, aside from all of them converting to Catholicism and enlisting the Pope to use his Christian magic, is to get Granamyr, the oldest and wisest of the dragons, to help them. Except she has sworn an ancient heathen pact that will not allow her to reveal his location. Teela mouths off to the Sorceress, but she keeps her cool and promises to guard Man-At-Arms while He-Man and Teela try to find this Granamyr chap without any additional help from the Sorceress, the smug bitch.
He-Man and Teela are transported by the Sorceress, because she is sick of dealing with them, to the royal library so He-Man can pretend to use his brain to solve the problem. And so, they start turning pages until Teela gets bored because she’d rather be reading rape fantasies that pass for romance novels (I’m looking at you 50 Shades of Grey). Conveniently, He-Man comes across a tidbit that says that dragons and ice trolls are friends, so, naturally, Granamyr must be in the Ice Mountains. Teela perks up because the last time she went to one of Eternia’s icy geographies, she got herself stuffed full of shadow beast peen, and she’s clearly jonesing for a stuffing considering she tried to make a pass at Skeletor.
At the Ice Mountains, He-Man nearly kills them all when he crash-lands the wind raider as he attempts to navigate the harsh winds of the mountains. Only a few minutes after they set out on foot, they are nearly crushed by an avalanche. Undeterred, they continue on until Battle Cat smells something funny. It is the heavy musk of the ice hacker, which is like the Eternian version of a yeti. Teela gapes at them, wide eyed hoping she’s about to get that wild ride she’s been wanting so badly. She lays down on the ground and starts rolling around, trying to entice them, but to her misfortune, He-Man and Battle Cat manage to take them out before she can seduce even one of them.
He-Man and Teela finally come upon the ice fortress where they are sure Granamyr must reside when they are confronted by trolls. They have a pointless argument about whether the trolls speak Eternian, which is predicated on the troll’s insistence that troll-speak IS an Eternian language. Yes, the ice troll informs them, they can speak in broken English, if that’s what He-Man meant by “speak Eternian”. Anyway, they get into a fight, and He-Man, Teela, and Battle Cat narrowly escape by causing a small avalanche to temporarily incapacitate the ice trolls.
Outside the palace door, Teela remarks about how warm it is as He-Man uses his big muscly muscles to push the door to Granamyr’s fire pit open. Teela walks unnecessarily slowly into the chamber so she can shake her ass for me. You see, she still has not been “fulfilled”, and the chamber they enter is filled with gold and other treasure, which we recently learned brings sexual excitement to Teela, so she can hardly stop from wetting herself. Seriously though, why the hell did they bother to show her walk, slowly, all the way into the chamber? This show is so weird with its animation choices.
He-Man shouts for Granamyr and he instantly springs up from the steaming pit in the middle of the room. Granamyr is a huge purple dragon that, for some reason, is wearing a helmet. I’m really not sure if his horns are part of his helmet, or attached to him and the helmet just fits around them. Anyway, when he first emerges, there’s all this fire and he roars intimidatingly. Then the screen fades out for the commercial break, and when the show comes back, Granamyr is all polite and speaking in a refined manner with an air of honest respect, even when He-Man has yet to explain who he is or why he’s there. What? Really? This old, wise dragon lives in isolation, the Sorceress is sworn not to reveal where he lives, and some unannounced meathead barges in shouting for Granamyr to show him himself and he’s all polite and cordial about it? He must be British.
Anyway, He-Man tells Granamyr he’s He-Man, and Granamyr nods thoughtfully. It seems that Granamyr has heard the name “whispered on the winds”, but he knows no more of this, “He-Man”. Then, though still cordial, Granamyr begrudges them his assistance. He politely scolds Teela for her outburst of protest by gently threatening to use his magic to banish them to the land of the demons. He-Man drops the formalities and promises to put his power sword up Granamyr’s ass if he doesn’t help them. Granamyr simply conjures some energy bands to bind them. He-Man and Teela struggle ineffectually against their bonds and Granamyr interprets this as courageous and so he decides to hear them out.
He-Man explains that blah, blah, blah, and Man-At-Arms is a crystal now and blah, blah, blah, can he help them? Granamyr compliments himself a bunch, then insults humans in general because they never thank him for his help or give him gifts, and then scoffs that He-Man didn’t bring him a gift either. “Fine”, says He-Man, “what do you want”? Garanmyr wants them to go and find the Skytree, the oldest tree in Eternia, the only thing older than Granamyr, in fact. He wants them to chop it down and bring it to him so he can burn it for fun in his fire pit. He-Man doesn’t even bat an eye and agrees to it with only the promise that, in return, Granamyr will consider helping them. However, if they fail to bring Granamyr the tree he wants, he will banish them to the realm of demons, forever. Not only does Eternia need PETA and Child Protective Services, but they also need an EPA to stop maniacs like He-Man from chopping down the oldest fucking tree on the planet to be used as a dragon’s firewood.
After being teleported to the Forgotten Forest, He-Man, Teela, and Battle Cat immediately run afoul of a mistrustful little blue leprechaun. Er, excuse me, he is a “treeprechaun”. He and his kind are the keepers of the forest. So, naturally, they ask him where they can find Skytree. He shows them, then demands to know what they want with it. He-Man won’t tell him, so he gets even more pissed off and suspicious. Tullamore, the treprechaun, takes off after them on the back of a horned, snarling wolf with two more of them in tow. When He-Man arrives at the base of Skytree, Tullamore is right behind him. He babbles an incantation, which causes the trees to start closing in on He-man. He-Man draws his power sword, ready to cut the whole fucking forest down, when the Skytree reveals itself to be sentient, opens its eyes and commands everything to stop.
Well, it will be interesting to see if the task at hand presents a moral dilemma for He-Man or not. On the one hand, He-Man has murdered creatures and beasts before, so a tree should be no problem. On the other hand, it is sentient and also the oldest living thing on Eternia. Is Man-At-Arms really worth that, He-Man? Personally, I’m just curious to see if the tree has sap or blood. So, Skytree asks what’s going on, and after Tullamore throws him under the bus, He-Man admits he’s there to pull a George Washington on Skytree’s ass. Skytree is genuinely hurt, and asks He-Man why he would do such a fucked up thing. Teela jumps in and explains that it’s either her dad or Skytree, so tough titty, looks like someone is getting chopped the fuck down and incinerated in Granamyr’s hearth.
Skytree smirks a little at the mention of Granamyr and the jealousy he still harbors for Skytree. Then he rambles on about how he has heard of Man-At-Arms. Well, not so much Duncan: Man-At-Arms, but the title. There have been many Man-At-Arms that have protected Eternia over the centuries, and Skytree holds the rank in high esteem. He-Man is all like, “Cool, so, you’ll help us”? Skytree rambles on some more about how long he’s been “standing” in that spot, and claims that his seed has populated all that is green and good, and so he lives on through his seedlings. Then, to my surprise, Skytree agrees to let He-Man cut him down so that Granamyr can burn him like a $5 bundle he got at the gas station.
Tullamore sheds tears as Skytree tells him to deal with it. Suddenly, He-Man has a change of heart and decides that he can’t cut down Skytree. I suspect it is simply because even the power sword is insufficient to cut down a tree that big. As Tullamore shouts for joy, He-Man says Granamyr’s name, causing he and Teela to be transported back to Granamyr’s lair. Back in Granamyr’s chambers, He-Man is all like, “Fuck you, man. I love trees, and I’m not cutting them down for you, or anybody. I could never do that to giant wood”! He-Man tells Granamyr he’s either got to choose another gift, or banish them to the realm of demons. Because he’s all polite, rather than failure, Granamyr interprets this as still honoring their end of the bargain, and so he produces a book that contains the reversal spell they need to save Man-At-Arms. And with that, he tells them never to wake him up again, and drops back into his pit.
We cut back to the palace where Prince Adam, Teela and Cringer sit on a bench as Man-At-Arms finishes reciting to them what they just went through to save him. Wow, that was pretty anticlimactic. We don’t even get to see them revive Man-At-Arms, and then the writers choose to use this stupid exposition method of having a character who didn’t experience something parrot back the story he was just told. A story that we just witnessed, no less. I’ll admit, I had a little fun at first with this episode at first, but then Skeletor disappeared as quickly as he showed up, no dragon was slain, much less had its heart eaten. To top it all off, He-Man even pussed out on killing the sentient tree. I need a valium.
Time for this week’s moral! I think it should be about how any chance you get to eat a fresh, raw dragon heart, or to play Dr. Kevorkian for an ancient, sentient tree, you should not hesitate for a second. Instead Teela comes on to tell us that even though trees can’t actually talk, you should respect them anyway because life is wonderful and precious. So, boycott the use of wood completely and start chaining yourself to trees to prevent them from getting bull-dozed in the name of development.
He-Man murder count: 12 and 1 attempted murder
Episodes missing Skeletor: 6
IMDB Cast List:
John Erwin: He-Man, Prince Adam, Granamyr, Tullamore
Alan Oppenheimer: Skeletor, Man-At-Arms, Cringer, Battle Cat
Linda Gary: Teela, The Sorceress, Queen Marlena
Lou Scheimer: King Randor, Skytree, Troll Sargeant Hogart