|This is a /co/ related article, which we allow because we find it interesting or we can't be bothered to delete it.|
Adventure Time is an Awesome show about Finn Mertens and his friend Jake as they adventure in the post-apocalyptic world of Ooo which was devastated by thermonuclear war. The planet is missing a large chunk, Finn is the last human, and Jake is a magical shapeshifting dog.
The setting & lore
Adventure Time was one of the first cartoons of the new 10s to move away from "adventure of the week" format to also include an overarching storyline and build up it's lore to an unusual amount for a "kids" cartoon, not rivalling 40k or LOTR mind you but having a history that spans millions of years and having a ton of interconnected characters that each get some development and spotlight. Seriously, the show has a metric fuckton of characters, who’ll disappear for seasons at a time, ostensibly to work on their plans off-camera, only to appear in the show later on as a BIG BAD to cause chaos and enact revenge while the Main Characters struggle to even remember who the fuck they are.
The show is notable for integrating some pretty heavy themes for a kid’s show, such as the cyclical nature of time (the rise and fall of Kingdoms, including Human civilization), reincarnation, love and loss, “hard” magic systems that tie magical power with insanity, and more. All the while contrasting these heavy themes with the noblebright simplicity of it’s main characters, Finn Mertens, the only Human left in Ooo and all-around good guy, and his big bro/pet/mentor Jake the (shapeshifter) Dog.
If you’re wondering what the fuck any of this has to do with /tg/, the show takes heavy inspiration from Dungeons and Dragons: most of the writers love the game and the show’s creator, Pendleton Ward, is pretty much a normie neckbeard. The Land of Ooo itself is a generic kid’s fantasy setting, complete with rival kingdoms, cursed dungeons, an evil Lich, and dumb NPCs that need saving all the time because they’re too incompetent to know any better, but like any good tabletop session, the setting matures and gets more intricate over time.
The sections ahead will naturally contain a fuckton of spoilers so be mindful of that.
The seminal moment that would lay the groundwork for virtually all subsequent events in the AT universe occurs in the frigging Cretaceous Era of Earth when a Catalyst Comet is detected heading towards the planet. The comets always bring forth some (agent of) change which the current inhabitants usually don't want or fear so an artifact - the Ice Crown is created in order to stop the impact. It fails and the planet goes through a transition. Fast forward to the 21st century and humanity nukes itself for unspecified reasons with one bomb falling onto the original comet that bore a being of pure evil - The Lich. This war either wipes out all life or mutates it into precursors of later beings that inhabit Ooo, helped along with the return of magic. About 1000 years later the series proper starts and takes place mostly over a period covering 5ish years. After that the future is not so thoroughly explored (though a spin-off, epilogue of sorts is there too) a further 1000 years into the future (about ~4000 AD/CE) we glimpse the land of Ooo develop into an even more advanced state than the 21st century humanity was with implications that it will fall just as the prior did (though again not without leaving it's own offspring).
The show has a metric butt ton of characters (literally hundreds), nearly all of which appear multiple times over many episodes. For obvious reasons, it would be too long to list them all here, so let's focus on the main cast in no particular order.
- Finn Mertens the Human - Despite the show's thoughts, Finn is not the last human. Counting half humans, cyborgs, Simon the Ice King and mutant zombies there may be a few hundred left. For all intents and purposes however, there are only about four beings that can be called "human", and Finn is one of them. A real bad ass boy adventurer and champion of the Candy Kingdom, Finn is a teenage boy that ages as the show progresses, being sixteen during season six, and twelve during season one. Finn has horrible luck with the ladies, and basically acts like a complete retard around them. Finn has some major issues from abandonment in the forest and is very afraid of the Ocean.
- In the same vein as Carrot Ironfoundersson from Discworld, Finn is the epitome of Lawful Good and Noblebright without being Lawful Stupid, and can be counted on making the right decision and making it work. Most of the questionable things he’s done in the series, such as manipulating his ex, Fire Princess, can be tacked down to his own immaturity rather than outright malice, and he always makes up for it in the end.
- One of the running gags in the show is that he goes through a wide number of swords, and just to show how double-edged (heh) magic is in the setting, most of the cool ones are cursed. His mundane swords have never really bit him in the ass, but his Demon Blood Sword (Daemons tend to want it back), Cursed Grass Sword (it’s in the name), and even the Finn-Sword created by temporal paradox (it’s literally the version of him that was destroyed in a time paradox) have all caused him problems. The very last sword he gets in the series was created by Bubblegum’s Occultist Butler, and blessed by Adventure Time Satan, so is definitely cursed.
- Jake the Dog - Finn’s adopted brother, and a dog thought to be magical, but we now know to be something completely different even if his parents never told him. His abilities become more pronounced and potent as the series goes on, starting from only being able to change his size and shape, to being able to create complicated objects and even shift himself into a fucking car. A horribly immature father of five, Jake still has it going good as a former career criminal and partner to Finn, even being a multi millionaire at one point. Jake is currently dating Lady Rainicorn the Rainicorn, although that is not focused on as much these days.
- As a Dog, he ages a lot faster than Finn even though Finn was found/adopted soon after Germaine and him were born. With expected downsides.
- Jake and Rainicorn’s descendants make up the “Puppy Kingdom” in the far-future.
- Jake and his daughter, Charlie, are both hardcore players of the game Magic The--Card Wars. Jake is implied to not only be a Power Gamer, but also That Guy, throwing a bitchfit when Finn kicks his ass soundly on his first try.
Marceline is, as the name suggests, a vampire and half Demon about one thousand years old, and is old enough to have lived through the Mushroom War. She is a highly talented bass player who plays amazing songs that are also pretty fucking deep, and are nearly always about her shit childhood in the nuclear wastes, her daddy issues, or her woes at being immortal and outliving almost everyone she knows. Is a very sexy lady who has lost track of her moral code after hundreds of years. She also has a soft spot for a certain Pink Princess.
- She was a hero, just like Finn was, in the years just after the Great Mushroom War. Her mother is a human, and how she came to have Satan’s child isn’t explained, except that Marceline and her Mother are both connected to a super-secret lab…somehow. She inherited her dad’s powers of sucking souls, but is otherwise mortal, only gaining her vampiric immortality after being bit by the previous Vampire King.
- Princess Bonnibelle Bubblegum - A Gum Golem, newly revealed embodiment of the Candy Elemental, and ruler of the Candy Kingdom, Princess Bubblegum (or PB to her friends), is an
amoral sociopathA JUST RULER WHO ONLY DOES WHAT IS BEST FOR HER PEOPLE. To this end, she protects her Candy People with a single-minded determination, fully able and willing to use evil methods to do so, although she will avoid it if possible because she actually has some standards.
- PB is the ruler of a Police State, with full video and audio surveillance and micro chipping of all her subjects at all times (which isn't as hard as it sounds considering the average candy citizen is dumber than a bag of pop rocks). Just like some other ruler of his people, she does this because she doesn’t trust her creations to not repeat the same mistakes of the past. Unfortunately, time is cyclical, and she’s only setting up the seeds for her own downfall.
- Despite this, PB sets out to be the best ruler she can possibly be, resulting in a happy, healthy, and wealthy kingdom even at her own expense. She is voiced by Hynden Walch, the same VA for Starfire.
- Flame Princess - A Princess literally made of fire with extreme control over her flames and the ability to hurl around fire. Flame Princess became a love interest and girlfriend for Finn, before his stupidity in the face of girls and his coming to terms with his sexuality caused him to fuck up in spectacular fashion and ruin the relationship. Originally so powerful that she might've burned the world to ashes, the Flame King abandoned her in the forest. When the resulting inferno brought the attention of Princess Bubblegum, she gave two choices to Flame King. Either seal away Flame Princess, or Bubblegum would. Suffice to say, when Flame Princess found out, she was especially pissed. Flame Princess eventually usurped her evil father, and took the throne for herself, where she has proven to be a capable ruler, if a bit naive and irritable.
- Simon Petrikov, The Ice King - Simon was originally an archeologist before the Mushroom War, and was engaged to his fiancee Betty, but all of this changed when he discovered a Crown. When he put it on for a joke, he was overcome with visions of madness, and trying to defend himself from them with the ice magic that the crown brought, he frightened the ever loving crap out of Betty. Originally a bad guy, he has developed from an evil lecherous man into a sad, largely harmless sick old man kept alive by his magic crown at the cost of his sanity. After the war Simon raised and protected Marcelline, and acted as a father figure to her in the nuclear wastes, resulting in a strong relationship that he cannot remember.
- Eventually, fearing his loss to the crown and its madness, Simon left Marcelline, having provided for her as best he can. In his current state, the Ice King is a rather minor threat who works best with constant supervision; he is a sort of frenemy to Finn and some other wizards, and is easily defeated if he actually starts anything, and is more likely to unearth and be used by even greater evils than do any harm himself.
- Betty - Simon's fiancee. From the past, came to the future because shenanigans. Simon's love for her and ensuing guilt is one of the main reasons why he's so obsessed with abducting princesses. She takes it upon herself to cure him, but since Magic corrupts everything in this universe, things do not go as planned.
- The Lich - The Lich is not funny. The Lich exists to destroy all life in the universe, and has managed to do so once in the series. A cunning, clever threat, the Lich in every fight immediately focuses on the biggest threat to him and destroys it, and has never been defeated the same way twice. The Lich is extremely manipulative, able to trick Finn and Jake more than once, and is capable of stupidly powerful magic that can corrupt, posses, and control those around him. Whenever the Lich makes an appearance, someone has either died, or come very close to it, and for that is considered a very scary legitimate threat by everyone. After the battle in the Cosmic Citadel, a super max prison designed for the worst of the worst of the galaxy (which the Lich destroyed outright in minutes), he was transformed into a twelve-foot tall toddler. But despite the innocence of the newly-christened Sweet Pea, the Lich is inside, patient, and waiting to get out and wipe out all life. Is also voiced by Ron MOTHERFUCKING Perlman of all people.
- King of Ooo - Despite what this sack of crap would tell you, he is NOT the rightful king of the world, and is a conman, fraud, and all-around horrible person. In his first appearance King seemed to be a bit of a nutjob, claiming that everything belonged to him by right (including the sun) but never actually pushing his claims or demanding authority beyond the right to marry people, which was actually legit as he had the proper authority granted through the appropriate paperwork. His second appearance quickly disabused the notion that he was a harmless idiot when he tricked Sweet Pea into being accessory to theft by lying about being a kindergarten teacher, and then tried to "take care of him" when Sweet Pea started to tell his parents about his days at "school". The King is on this list solely because he, in addition to being a huge dick,
iswas Princess(!) of the Candy Kingdom! He achieved this by taking advantage of a few loopholes and pushing the law to breaking point to become a democratically elected leader, much to Princess Bubblegum's anger, rage, and disbelief. She later dethroned him. He is also made of earwax.
- BMO/BeMOre - A robot who also doubles as a gaming console and was originally made as a companion for a little boy that never happened due to his creator, another human and Adventure Time's Steve Jobs (if Jobs ever actually invented anything he sold, and also made nuclear weapons), never ended up dating. The little bugger sometimes accompanies Finn and Jake though he spends more time at the Treehouse. When alone he is prone of doing ¨weird junk¨ like talking to his mirror self or delving into an elaborate fantasy world created by his own overactive imagination (or is it?).
- Surprisingly enough, although he is already about 1000 years old when the series starts (the spin-off epilogue, Distant Lands, actually shows what he was up to ‘’before’’ the series starts) he outlives both of his pals along with many other characters and lives to become a kind of wacky storyteller some further 1000 years into the future, making him one of the oldest beings in the show by then, pretty rad for a goofy robot game console.
Deities & Cosmic Entities
The world of Adventure Time is home to several powerful entities that could be considered at least gods with lower case g, either personifying natural forces, or being placed in charge of maintaining reality. Still, in spite of their god status, most of them treat their cosmic roles like how we humans treat our 9-to-5 jobs: most of them are bored of their responsibilities and like using mortals for entertainment/friendship, and if they fuck up, they know they can be replaced at any time by their “boss”. These are:
- Cosmic Owl - A being that enters people’s dreams giving them premonitions or a vision of their death; his very presence in a dream means it will come true, which has disastrous consequences when he stumbles upon a dream ‘’he isn’t meant to be in’’. Spends most of his time playing board games. His best friend is Prismo
- Prismo - A projection of a sleeping man capable of granting virtually any wish and thus one of the most powerful beings in-universe (literally and metaphorically). He is a cosmic-level entity, but that’s just his job, you know? His real passions are making artisanal pickles, hanging with his bros, and
probably smoking a shit ton of weed and watching adventure time
- The Elements - The four basic elements of Ooo: Fire, Ice, Candy, and Slime. These entities have always been present on Ooo, reincarnating through the ages in different forms. In the “present,” three of the elements are reincarnated into their respective princesses (Fire Princess, Princess Bubblegum, and Slime Princess).
- The Ice Elemental isn’t the Ice King, but a lady from “our era,” who didn’t want to die in the Great Mushroom War so she encased herself in Ice. The Ice King’s crown is a relic from the first Ice Elemental from the Time of Dinosaurs, who wanted to use it to avert the apocalypse of his era, but failed at the last minute. His “apprentice”, Gunter, was left to use the crown, which was programmed to grant the deepest wish of its first bearer. Gunter, who was a half-baked experiment in giving dinosaurs sentience, only wanted to become an Ice Wizard like his Master, turning him into a twisted parody of how he saw his master, and cursing everyone else who would wear the crown since.
- Orgalorg/Gunter - A cosmic entity on the scale of Lovecraft’s Old Ones, Orgalorg is an ancient (pre-Big Bang) tyrant that had enslaved an entire star system on its own, but desiring conquest and more power, it attacked the Catalyst Comet to gain its power but was defeated by Grob Gob Glob Grod. He was struck to earth, where “the gravity of the planet did crush and compress Orgalorg into a more powerless and cuddlesome form" and lost its memories, but not his thirst for power. Somehow ended up at the Ice King's pet, who renamed him gunter though he doesnt know why. So evil that he gives Adventure Time Satan chills.
- In the finale, he picks up the Ice King’s crown, which has been reset to the its primal, wish-granting state. It freaks everyone out because they’re afraid it’ll give him UNLIMITED POWER, but he just uses it to become the Ice Thing, a cuddlier, friendlier version of the Ice King, because that’s how he sees the Ice King/Simon
- Grob Gob Glob Grod - A 4-headed martian deity that protects the solar system from various threats and other powerful beings, he is worshipped in Ooo where Glob replaces the word God. Despite this, he is actually subordinate to an even more powerful being, the King of Mars,
Elon MuskAbraham Lincoln.
- Life and Death: The personification of Life and Death respectively. Life is a snake-lady with two intertwined heads, Death is a horse-skulled death-metal gardener; together they run the wheel of reincarnation, where Death sorts the dead among the dead world-afterlifes, and Life is in charge of sending them back into new lives, isekai style.
- Party God - A giant wolf head that floats around and manifests wherever there are parties.
- GOLB - A god of chaos, mutation and entropy that had attacked Mars before coming to Earth in the series finale. As the cosmic being of pure chaos and entropy, he can “digest” things down to their original forms (which eventually, means, breaking them down to nothing), like reversing the Ice King’s insanity and magic and transforming him back to Simon and nullifying his crown to its original Wish-granting state. He is weak to Music (or rather, its Harmony), though, and just like the rest of the cosmic entities, someone else can assume his role.
Species and Kingdoms
Mutated freaks. Every single one.
Aside from the occasional visitor from other worlds and dimensions, all of the species in Ooo were either mutated by the Bombs dropped in the Great Mushroom War, or by the Magic that returned to the world soon after.
As mentioned way up above, Adventure Time’s time periods are cycles of rebirth-destruction. Just as humans destroyed themselves and the world, it is implied the Candy People did the same in the far off future. Most of the different kingdoms and species that appear in Adventure Time are shown in varying degrees of sophistication and competence, but in general,.
- Humans - Once the only dominant sentient species on Earth. They were pretty bog standard until they (nearly) wiped themselves out in the Mushroom War. After that their civilization suffered a significant decline due to most being either dead or mutated. It is worth noting that several groups (mostly tech-oriented) managed to ride out the apocalypse and establish themselves in secluded parts of the world of, even off-planet entirely. Finn actually originates from the former, being born on an archipelago inhabited by a technologically advanced society of humans that later make contact with Ooo.
- Candy Kingdom - The creations of Bonnibel Bubblegum who is herself a subspecies of a candy person. They inhabit the Candy Kingdom which is one of the most developed polities of Ooo. In the start of the series, the kingdom is portrayed as the stereotypical, children’s fantasy kingdom, complete with naive and childlike inhabitants. However, as the series goes on, the curtains get drawn on how Princess Bubblegum runs her eternal empire (her words): all candy people are candy creations, either made to fill specific purposes (banana guards), to populate her society, or even just for her own entertainment/see what she could do (she has a miniature version of gummy candy people that she messes around with on her down time, in the same way a kid with a magnifying glass messes with ants). Towards the end of the series, most of the candy people start to develop more complex personalities, even displaying their own aspirations and talents. They still all treat Princess Bubblegum as their God-Queen/Mother, though.
- Banana Guards: The Adeptus Custodes, except with the IQ of children. So Ultramarines. They even play tabletop. They’re horribly inept at their jobs, but serve with great obedience to Princess Bubblegum, even if they are pretty bad at fighting. Their inability to fight seems to be by design, however, as Bubblegum’s previous attempts at making soldiers-police, the Rattleball Guardians, were robots who eventually developed a thirst for violence. They’re good enough at policing the other, dumb candy people, and anything that will actually harm the Candy People will be dealt with by the Gumball Guardians. The Gumball Guardians are eventually phased-out for even bigger Prizeball Guardians, which are walking apartments/stasis chambers (PB is obsessed with ensuring her species lives on, to the point of seeding other worlds to do so).
- Lemon People: A subspecies of Candy People. Originally, there was only one of them, the Earl of Lemongrab, a sour, selfish, narcissistic asshole, and one of PB’s failed experiments. Is cripplingly lonely and self-conscious, on the account of being a sour, selfish asshole, who was exiled by his own mother soon after his creation. Eventually given a twin who is supposed to be just like him (Lemongrab 2), but eventually they get lonely by themselves and so fill their castle with Lemon-based, Junji Ito-level Abominations. The Lemongrabs are a lot closer to PB’s personality than she wants to admit.
- Fire Kingdom: Notable for their Princess, who was Finn’s Ex, but also because they were created by the Sleeping Fire Giants, superweapons developed pre-Great Mushroom War humans (specifically, the same dude who built BMO). Princess Bubblegum fears the Fire Kingdom, both because of its unstable inhabitants, and also because of the literal Ordinatus they keep in their volcanic basements.
Magic in Adventure Time permeates the world and is quite common occurrence as opposed to the distant past. It generally comes in several distinct forms:
- Wizard magic that is performed by said wizards although this kind seems to have some drawbacks as it causes sadness and insanity over time.
- Artifact Magic which stems from powerful items such as the Ice Crown that is capable of granting wishes or the Enchiridion which enables dimensional travel.
- Elemental Magic which originates from one of the elementals (Candy, Slime, Ice, Fire and anti-elemental Lumps). This form of magic can be extremely powerful and subdue large portions of the world under, making large swathes of land covered in ice or converted to saccharine candy landscapes.
- The world of Adventure Time is set in a multiverse with a number of world and dimensions co-existing with our own, such as the Nightosphere, Lumpy Space, Spirit World, Dead worlds and more. These can be accessed by either wormholes or powerful artefacts like the Enchiridion.
- Time travel is possible but usually can only be done via powerful magic. Persons can be brought back from the past or a temporal intervention can be done in order to create a new timeline.
- Magic exists though it can enter into periods of dormancy as was the case around the 21st century. It can take a myriad forms though the most common ones are through magical artifacts and spells.
- The afterlife is a proven fact and consists of 50 worlds with roughly increasing splendor and quality, thus the 1st world is the equivalent of hell while the 50th is essentially
paradiseNirvana.. The world one goes to is determined by one's morality or lack thereof although the 50th world is attained by being free of any desire, including the one to get there. Persons can return to life via a myriad of methods though all being complicated or requiring significant power.
- Undeath is also possible as exemplified by everyone's favourite vampire waifu and other undead such as ghosts and skeletons, and as the Example of the Lich shows it is possible to "regenerate" back into life though possibly at the cost of regressing physically and mentally.
So, why the fuck is this on here?
It is quite obvious that Pendleton Ward, the show's creator, is a big nerd. He clearly took many, many pages from RPGs, specifically D&D. The show is notable for referencing cubes, bear lore, the eight schools of magic, and an endless cavalcade of fucking memes. This is probably why some fa/tg/uy chose to add this page here.
Adventure Time started out as a simple "random is funny" cartoon. Add a grim and dark background to a colorful and funny show and you attract the kiddies and adults alike! The thing most people don't see, though, is that as other shows mimic its formula with mixed success, Adventure Time has actually moved away a little from the pure random, and now big episodes seem to be mostly split into two groups: The artistic (or batshit insane depending on your point of view), and the extremely serious and dark.
For example, after the battle of the Cosmic Citadel, Finn struggles with depression. Yes, the main character of a kids' cartoon has to struggle with depression after losing his girlfriend, having his father abandon him again, and becoming mutilated when he loses his arm. Shockingly enough, they actually do the best job of representing this stuff than any other media or cartoon, not overblowing it to shock or make you have feels, but gets to the core emotion and feelings that others just ignore.
Overall if you like the silly but also awesome you'll like Adventure Time. If you want something new, edgy and takes dark risks, you'll like new Adventure Time.
Plus, the Demon Cat of Approximate Knowledge (that bares resemblance to a Displacer Beast) would be an awesome creature to fight.
To sum up Adventure Time nicely, imagine what would happen if Spongebob Squarepants and Hunter S. Thompson played a game of Dungeon World.
Adventure Time Quest!
The first Adventure Time Quest! is viewable at http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/12612753/
PB has bitches, The Emprah has to pay child support
Adventure time is rife with quotes, sayings and clips that can form-fit any occasion.