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The Horned King is a male undead Blue Orc.
Assumed to have once been a mortal sorcerer, the Horned King is an immensely powerful creature of dark magic, whose appearance resembles the cross of a corpse and a demon. Having kept himself alive for hundreds of years, the Horned King came to threaten the land of Prydain, planning to use an ancient cursed artifact known as the Black Cauldron to create an army of skeletons; his ultimate goal was to replace all the people on Earth with his own creatures and rule the world as a living god. However, the selflessness of a band of amateur heroes cancelled the Cauldron's powers at the last moment, the backfire of dark magic destroying the Horned King's ragged and monstrous body together with his castle.
Surviving as a mere phantom, the Horned King rebuilt a body for himself (one, unfortunately, that was weak to sunlight) and took over another castle, which could be accessed through an underground path from an island in the Marshes of Morva. Vengeful, the King once again captured Princess Eilonwy to lure Taran and his friends to him and then kill them all. Fortunately, this scheme failed again and the King's new body was destroye.
Again reduced to spirit form, the King eventually managed to escape into the Land of Illusion, where he stole the Magic Crystal and absorbed it, creating himself a new (albeit weaker) body. In this restored form that the inhabitants of the Land of Illusion only knew as the Phantom, the King used illusion magic to bring misery upon the lands, watching from above in a castle in the clouds that he had apparently constructed. However, Mickey Mouse found his way to the Land of Illusion in 1993 and gathered magical artifacts that, together with his quick wits and experience, allowed him to defeat the King and take back the jewel.
By 1999, the Horned King had finally managed to regain a body for the second time, and, in attempted revenge against Mickey Mouse, kidnapped Minnie Mouse, and recruited Peg-Leg Pete, the Big Bad Wolf, the White Rabbit, and the Vulture. He was again defeated by Mickey Mouse. He then participated in an attempted takeover of Princess Cinderella's castle, along with the Magic Mirror, the Evil Queen, Maleficent, Chernabog, Stromboli, and Lady Tremaine. Apparently the most powerful of the group, he led the final stand against a band of heroes who had entered the castle, but was destroyed again by the Sword of Light. He regained his body once again, but his continued defeat at the hands of an unexpected hero seemed to have tarnished his ambitions and lust for power, as the sorcerous overlord ended up a mere guest at the House of Mouse that year. He did not even take part in the hostile takeover of the House orchestrated by fellow sorcerer Jafar a year or so later.
Behind the scenesEdit
The Horned King, based on the characters of Arawn and the Horned King in Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain book series, was created as the main antagonist of the 1985 animated feature The Black Cauldron. He would go on to appear in the video games Land of Illusion and Mickey Mouse (video game), the theme park attraction Cinderella Castle Mystery, and the animated series House of Mouse.
How the King came to possess his trademark horns and what species he was, exactly, before decaying into his undead form, is left unsaid in the film. Concept art shows him to have been a Blue Orc before his demise, however.