In which He-Man doesn’t go the right way about solving a problem.
Adam, Cringer and Teela are paying a friendly visit to the Sorceress, when suddenly a creepy child’s voice calls out, “Sorceress, help us.” Cringer goes into a full-scale panic attack, but the Sorceress explains that it’s only the salami. I swear to God that’s what she says. Anyway, sounding more sickly sweet than usual, the Sorceress goes on to explain that the salami are the Fairy Folk, who live in the Whispering Valley. I prefer to think of them as the Sausage Folk, who live in the Fridge.
The salami tell our heroes that Baron Grod has entered the Valley, with intent to hunt down the last unicorn on Eternia. Teela is all gung-ho and ready to go and stop Grod’s hunt, but Adam points out that Eternia doesn’t have any laws against hunting, and that Baron Grod is a loyal nobleman. Despite his surprising lack of enthusiasm, Adam agrees to come to Grod’s home and try to talk him out of the unicorn hunt.
Adam and Teela find Grod out at his clay pigeon shooting range, where he invites them into his castle. His throne room is full of beasts which Grod has caught and placed in a state of paralysis to be his trophies. Unsurprisingly, Grod refuses to call off his hunt, so Teela gets angry. Adam tells Teela to calm down, then turns back to Grod and shouts at him.
Adam and Teela leave in order to return to the Royal Palace, intending to get King Randor to sign a law against hunting. However, Grod contacts Gamrak, the chieftain of the ogres of the Mystic Mountains, and offers him shedloads of cash to detain Adam and Teela until Grod’s hunt can go ahead. Gamrak manages to capture our heroes, but it’s only a very short space of time before Adam manages to find the opportunity for a sneaky He-Man transformation.
With the ogres attended to, He-Man picks up Teela, and they head off to stop Grod’s hunt by means of violence, evidently having forgotten their earlier intention of actually getting a law passed against it. They arrive in time to meet up with the salami, but too late to prevent Grod from capturing the unicorn and taking it back to his castle.
He-Man bursts into Grod’s castle and demands he give up the unicorn, but Grod refuses – failing entirely to point out that he hasn’t done anything illegal, whereas He-Man’s little act of breaking and entering falls squarely in the realms of the criminal. As I’m sure you all predicted earlier when we were introduced to Grod’s collection of paralysed animals, his trophies now emerge from stasis and corner him.
After He-Man and Teela save Grod’s life, they pointedly comment, “Not much fun being chased, is it?” This is enough to make Grod change his ways and free his trophies. Then, and only then, do Adam and Teela return to the Palace and get Randor to enact a law against hunting for sport.
In today’s adventure…
Funnily enough, today’s adventure didn’t teach us about the pointlessness and cruelty of hunting animals for sport – at least, not according to Teela, who thinks that the key lesson learned today was that you shouldn’t lose your temper. I honestly don’t understand the reasoning behind these morals sometimes.
Lots of newbies this week: we get Prince Adam, Cringer, He-Man, Battle-Cat, Teela, the Sorceress, the salami kids, King Randor, Queen Marlena, Grod and Gamrak, as well as a bunch of Grod’s servants and random ogres.
Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance
“There’s no time to talk now. Adam’s all right,” says He-Man. He subsequently nearly gives the game away by revealing he knows all about Baron Grod and his hunt, to which Teela responds, “You know about that?” He-Man only just recovers himself with, “Oh, um, yes, he’s the reason I’m here,” rather than the more plausible, “Adam told me about it.” This little exchange is noteworthy as I think it’s the first time that He-Man actually stumbles a bit with the concealment of his identity. Still, he’s on safe ground, since it’s the ever-oblivious Teela he’s talking to.
Teela has a couple of unkind descriptions of Grod, namely “monster” and “villain”. Elsewhere, Grod calls Gamrak a “stupid ogre”, which is reasonable in my book.
Does it have the Power?
It’s certainly a subject which I think is worth tackling, as if children can be shown how stupid hunting is, they hopefully won’t want to do it. I liked the early ambiguity of it as well: the act of hunting is not actually illegal on Eternia, so was Grod actually doing anything wrong? Morally yes, but legally no. It’s a shame this theme wasn’t given greater prominence, as it really could have got children to think about questions of morality. Instead, the writers took an easier way out by having Grod be a villain, putting him in league with the ogres, and resolving the problem at the end by having He-Man breaking into Grod’s castle. At least Grod did realise the error of his ways, albeit very very quickly.
And really – was there a need for the salami? No, there was not.