Episode 34 – Troll’s Dream

In which She-Ra teams up with some trolls. Actual trolls, not online trolls.

As the episode opens, a troll comes to visit the rebel camp in search of Adora. Naturally, Bow, Kowl and Sprag the Twigget think he’s evil, so they waste precious minutes fighting him, before Adora finally appears and reminds the others that trolls aren’t actually baddies, as we learned in The Crystal Castle some time ago. This particular troll, Grox, has brought a message from King Argo, who would like to see She-Ra as soon as possible.

Troll 1
Adora: “Don’t worry about Bow. He’s useless. He can’t hurt you.”

Adora takes the time to tell all her friends off for attacking Grox, before turning into She-Ra and travelling to Spykont to meet Argo. She takes Bow, Kowl and Sprag with her, in an effort to force them to abandon their anti-troll prejudice. Once there, Argo explains to She-Ra that he has recently had a dream in which he saw Horde machinery uncovering an ancient door bearing the symbol of the Spider of Crystal. She-Ra doesn’t know why this is a particularly bad thing, so Argo elaborates that the Spider was a terrible monster from another world, imprisoned long ago in the mound that the Horde are now breaking into.

She-Ra knows what’s coming next, and sure enough, Argo explains that his dream was prophetic and that he would like She-Ra to go and stop the Horde. He sends Grox along with them, and so the rebels and the troll spend their journey trying to learn how to get along with each other. This is made easier by their need to work together to defeat the evil spells of a wizard called Dreer, who has no apparent motivation for getting involved.

Troll 2
Dreer: “Dreer’s the name, dreary’s the game.”

Once Grox is captured by Dreer, the rebels divide their forces. One contingent, consisting of She-Ra and Swift Wind, heads off to the mound to stop the Horde from awakening the Spider, while the other contingent, formed of Bow, Kowl and Sprag, break into Dreer’s castle to rescue Grox. You might expect that with this division of labour, Grox would remain in prison for ever, but in fairness Bow and co. achieve their objective with remarkably little difficulty.

She-Ra, on the other hand, is too late to prevent Shadow Weaver and Scorpia from reviving the Spider, and the Spider therefore begins a tour of havoc and destruction across Etheria. Perhaps not unexpectedly, the rebels and trolls are required to pool their resources in order to defeat it, which is nice, since everyone learns something about cooperation and not being prejudiced. As the episode ends, the Rebellion and the trolls celebrate their joint victory with a few half-hearted cheers and some platitudes about the end of hatred.

Troll 3
Bow: “Can you explain it again, She-Ra? I’m not sure how this hokey-cokey thing works.”

 

In today’s adventure…

It’s back to the bad old days of ridiculous Loo-Kee hiding places today. He’s in a tree, of course, but the tree is the exact same colour as him, and he’s got his back to the camera, which means you’d have to have a Sherlock Holmes degree of observation to be in with a chance. He doesn’t trot out the same old tired story about accepting people for what they do rather than what they look like, which is what I rather expected from this story. Instead, he opts for the very odd suggestion that we should always go to bed when we’re told to. In case you’re looking for the relevance here, it’s tenuously linked into the episode with the fact that Argo had a dream.

 

Character checklist

Today, we have the pleasure of the company of Adora, She-Ra, Swift Wind, Bow, Kowl, Sprag, another Twigget, Loo-Kee, Argo, Grox, Shadow Weaver, Scorpia, Greer, and a bunch of villagers. I hope your lives are suitably enriched by this information.

Troll 4
Scorpia: “They really do sell some tat in Claire’s Accessories these days.”

 

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

Adora doesn’t even make her transformation on screen this week, and certainly doesn’t see fit to wheel out any implausible excuses.

 

Insults

Sprag calls Grox a “big creep” and a “coward”, and Bow gets in on the act by calling him a “sneaky troll”. Grox retaliates with the uncomfortably true “troll-haters” directed at Bow, Kowl and Sprag. These three are also subject to the mildest possible insult from Greer, who calls them “twits”.

Troll 5
Greer: “I believe that’s what they call a sick burn.”

 

Does it have the Power?

I’m beginning to feel like I need a break from reviewing this cartoon, and in fairness, no one’s forcing me to do it, so I could. The problem is that pretty much every single She-Ra episode feels very competent and reasonable, but very few of them manage to ever rise above that level into outstanding, and equally very few are downright appalling. It makes it very dull for me week after week watching episodes that are neither shining gems or total train wrecks. This episode is yet another example of fine but not amazing fare, which can be best summed up as a pleasant diversion but nothing more. Sorry I don’t have anything more interesting to say, but there we are.

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6 thoughts on “Episode 34 – Troll’s Dream

  1. Hi Owen, you sound like you almost need cheering up a bit with these reviews but the load I’ve got at the mo I know exactly how you feel! Anyway I do have time to drop in as you said when I can an thanks but I wanted to write today after reading your review cos I just wanted to say again I and I’m sure majority of fans appreciate you reviewing and also reliving these he man and she ra episodes Owen, 2 words it’s great!! Anyway while as you say you don’t have to honour the rest of these episodes I personally think it would be a shame if you didn’t see these reviews and this series through! I hope you appreciate the words Owen and I just would like to add that I do sympathise with what your saying in this review cos I totally agree with you too I also feel there’s a lot of these middle of the road average episodes as you correctly put neither a complete train wreck nor outstanding and in my opinion I feel the same way with this she ra series (definetly not he man tho) and too many average episodes can make it difficult so I’m just letting you know I understand and too support what you say! The last episode a talent for trouble imo is a great episode so is not the case A definite above average episode cos like the region of ice orkos character is utilised perfectly thanks to Larry di tillio s excellent work it was a much more likeable orko and the mind sweeping scene for me was one of the funniest and best scenes of the series, but this episode trolls dream falls back into that average category again so I can understand you frustration a bit, anyway once again an I’m sure I’m speaking for most really enjoying your reviews I still read them all when get time and while I agree these a lot more of these types of episodes compared to he man that had many many classics (and a few stinkers too!) I really hope you carry on with this she ra series and see them through! Agreed with a lot of dilandu thoughts too on a talent for trouble a very entertaining episode sadly in my opinion this one – just average agreed Owen!! Keep up your good work we all appreciate it..

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    1. Thanks for the concern and kind words, John! This run of She-Ra episodes was generally a bit of a slog, but it did pick up a bit, not long afterward. This one was for me the most wilfully average episode I’d ever seen really. But don’t worry, I won’t actually stop the reviews!!

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      1. Probably not this year. I can’t face it. 🙂

        No, seriously – at current rate of posting, my reviews of She-Ra should finish in December 2019, which means that it’ll be a perfect way to round off the Filmation era.

        Plus I’ve got to have something in reserve to keep my readers coming back!! 🙂

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  2. Lol. Your welcome! Interesting comparison got me thinking these last 2 episodes cos there both written by Larry di tillio, so it just goes to show even the best writers don’t always get all there episodes right! I probably rate trolls dream slightly higher than yourself but it doesn’t get away from the fact you stated it’s nowhere near a classic but not a terrible one either! I’m probably at an average to quite good with this one but not great, out if ten for my personal rating I’d probably score trolls dream a 6.5 out of 10 and a talent for trouble an 8/10 at lowest!! Looking at dilandu chart (which is always interesting to observe) it seems Madame razz is running away with it at the mo regards to her flawless spells!! Probably should be writing this is a talent for trouble comment but to add in that hilarious mind sweeping machine scene with orko there was some fantastic animation on hordak and funny dialogue when the mind sweeper fails to figure out who orko is hordak bemusedly is shouting “no no this can’t be” lol super stuff! On trolls dream finally yes it feels to me a bit like the writers were like well we introduced these trolls in the crystal castle I guess we better do an episode an bring them back! Sprag the twiget although imo believable was very annoying in this episode for me the so called wanting peace great rebellions horrible treatment at the start towards that troll the rebels imo were no different to how the horde behave just a thought..takecare

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