- This article is about the current guardian of Castle Grayskull. For her predecessors, see Queen Veena (1st) and Kuduk Ungol (2nd).
- For the sorceress/goddess figure in the early minicomics, see Goddess.
The Sorceress of Castle Grayskull is a very beautiful woman charged with residing in Castle Grayskull, to guard over the secrets and wisdom contained there. Teela Na, the mother of Teela, is the current Sorceress, having succeeded Kuduk Ungol long ago. Imbued with magical abilities by the Pool of Power, the Sorceress is an exceptionally powerful force, but she may only use her gifts within the confines of the castle she keeps. Outside Grayskull's walls, her only magical ability is to become Zoar, a falcon, and to communicate telepathically with several of her most trusted confidants.
The Sorceress provided Prince Adam with the Sword of Power to become He-Man, and similarly bestowed the Sword of Protection to Princess Adora so she could be She-Ra. She remains a trusted advisor and mentor to both heroes, particularly He-Man.
The character of the Sorceress is based upon an earlier figure who served the same role in the first Masters of the Universe stories. To avoid confusion, this other woman, who is always depicted wearing a cobra headdress, is generally referred to as the Goddess.
Queen Veena and the Cult of Eternia's Goddess
During the reign of King Grayskull as head of the legitimate, planetary government of Eternia, his wife Queen Veena, a supposed priestess and worshipper of the Goddess, became the first Sorceress of Grayskull, and Eternian religion evolved to the point that worshipers of the Goddess presumed the current Sorceress of Castle Grayskull was an incarnation or an avatar of their deity.
Filmation seriesIn the Filmation series, the Sorceress is the mistress and guardian of the Secrets of Castle Grayskull, the source of He-Man's great power. She demonstrates several saintly qualities: inspiring other characters, most notably Princess Adora AKA She-Ra, to take action against evil. Although she is considered one of the most powerful beings on Eternia, she exemplifies humility and a truly selfless nature, never seeking credit for her efforts or aid. She dwells alone within Castle Grayskull, keeping watch over Eternia and practising magic.
The Sorceress is also the biological mother of Teela, childhood friend of Prince Adam and Captain of the Royal Guard, whose aggressive temperament is a far cry from that of her soft-spoken mother. When Teela was an infant, the Sorceress gave her to Duncan, to raise as his own, because the Sorceress felt that Castle Grayskull was too dangerous a place for her daughter to be raised. In the episode "Teela's Quest", Teela sets out to discover the truth of her mother from The Oracle of the Crystal Sea. She succeeds, but the Sorceress erases the revelation from Teela's memory for her own good, even though she desperately wishes she could tell her the truth. Other than Man-At-Arms, the only others who share the secret are He-Man, Battle Cat, and the Oracle of the Crystal Sea. It is also established in this episode that the Sorceress' daughter is destined to someday take her place as the magical guardian of Castle Grayskull.
The real name of the current Sorceress is Teela Na. Her history is revealed in the episode "Origin of the Sorceress", in which Morgoth, an old nemesis of the Sorceress returns and attacks Eternia. While waiting for Morgoth to reappear, the Sorceress explains to He-Man how she became the guardian of Castle Grayskull. Her home, the village of Nowella, was attacked, and subsequently conquered, by Morgoth and his allies Ferros, Repta, and Rachney, servants of the Evil Horde. With the aid of an old storyteller's rhyme: In barren places find ye hope/And where no water springs, no plant grows, no wind blows/Find all you need...), Teela Na sought out Castle Grayskull, which she hoped would help her find a way to defeat her captors. Just as she was about to succumb to the Eternian wastelands, the mystical fortress appeared before Teela Na's eyes, and she was invited inside by a mysterious voice. Once inside she came across an old woman, her predecessor as the Sorceress. Her predecessor invited her to take up the mantle of Castle Grayskull's protector, and explained her duties as such: Teela Na accepted the offer and immersed herself in the Pool of Power, which inundated her with the powers of Castle Grayskull. Once she had taken her place as the guardian of Castle Grayskull, the Sorceress returned to Nowella and overthrew the invaders before returning to her new home inside Castle Grayskull.
Although the old Sorceress stated that Teela Na would become immortal, that seems unlikely as the previous Sorceress had grown fairly old, suggesting that she and the other Sorceresses do age.
Duncan mentions Teela's father in passing in "Teela's Quest", saying only that he was a great soldier. This implies the Sorceress' husband died in battle, and that Man-At-Arms may have known or served alongside him. This would also suggest Teela Na married after receiving her abilities.
With a vast knowledge of magic and history, she is among the wisest beings on Eternia. He-Man often seeks her counsel, especially when situations are at their worst. The Sorceress sometimes appears to other characters who are in need of guidance.
She is generally considered to be one of the most powerful practitioners of magic on Eternia. However, since her powers are tied to Castle Grayskull, they weaken when she leaves its walls. When she does need to travel, though, she generally assumes the form of a falcon known as Zoar.
The New Adventures of He-ManIn "The New Adventure", the first minicomic for the new series, the Sorceress, appears in her classic falcon form, and warns Prince Adam that the Galactic Guardians, tricked by Skeletor, are siphoning the Power of Grayskull. She later appears with a totally different chrome armor, evoking the futuristic feeling of the new series, saying that He-Man will not become Prince Adam again, and that He-Man now had to say the name of the Starship Eternia in order to transform. In the New Adventures animated series, the Sorceress wears an amalgamation of her classic falcon suit and chrome armor. She often appears in He-Man's mind, giving him advice. She can also reach out into the future with her powers to assist He-Man and his allies, and has been shown to talk to Master Sebrian telepathically. In one episode, she even sends Teela into the future to offer the homesick prince of Eternia comfort.
In the 2002 series, the attire of the Sorceress was redesigned to evoke the feeling of an Egyptian Goddess rather than a mere falcon. She is still Teela's mother, and that fact is still kept secret. The episode "Out of the Past" briefly reveals part of the Sorceress' history, and how Teela was conceived after the Sorceress married an unnamed soldier, who supposedly died in battle. Her husband is seen in heavy bandaging throughout his appearance, and his identity remains unconfirmed throughout the series. The episode description in 2nd-season DVD follows the episode's hint that Man-at-Arms may indeed be Teela's biological father as well as her adoptive one; yet other unconfirmed sources suggest that the writers intended the unidentified soldier to be Fisto, Man-At-Arms' brother. When not in formal attire, the Sorceress looks strikingly like Teela, only taller. If the series had continued, it was intended in the third season, that Teela would discover that the Sorceress is her mother, but would not have lost the memory as she does in the original series.
The Sorceress is also shown as a capable fighter on two occasions: In the episode Out of the Past, she saves a village from a band of marauders led by Prahvus, while in another, Rise of the Snakemen Part II, she fights against King Hiss by unleashing an atomic-like blast against the evil Snake Men's leader before attacking him with her staff; unfortunately, the Sorceress is defeated by the ancient villain, and the scars she receives remain with her throughout the remainder of the series.
The comic book produced by MVC, which follows the 2002 canon, also depicted the Sorceress' fighting prowess when she defeats Evil-Lyn in direct conflict during a storyline that saw the first appearance of Hordak.
Just as there were previous Sorceresses in the 1980s Masters of the Universe series, the current Sorceress is not the first. The wife of King Grayskull, known as Veena, was seemingly the original Sorceress of Castle Grayskull. She bears a similar appearance, and it was she who was first entrusted with the Sword of Power's protection following the death of King Grayskull.In "Out of the Past", she is seen similar to the statue, with and exposed midriff, and similar to her present day clothing, this may be why the locals misunderstood Teela as her mother.
Live action movie
The live action movie based on the He-Man series showcased Christina Pickles in the role of Sorceress. In the movie the Sorceress has been imprisoned by Skeletor, and her powers are being syphoned into him; the result leaves her aged and dying. Once Skeletor is eventually defeated, her powers and true appearance are seemingly restored. However, her restoration changes her from looking withered and dying to moderately elderly.
The Sorceress is clothed in long white robes, with feather-like strands of white fabric hanging from her arms as an homage to the original design, although they are only visible in the scene where she waves goodbye to the characters of Julie and Kevin. Rather than a bird-like headpiece, crystals are placed throughout the Sorceress' long, silver hair like a crown.
Powers and abilities
The Sorceress possesses a vast array of magical and spellcasting abilities, and is considered the most powerful magic-wielder on modern Eternia. Some spells she performs on a regular basis, including transforming into Zoar.
She is perhaps most noted for projecting her telepathic image to others, especially He-Man. Her telepathy is very powerful, as she can contact He-Man across great distances as well as sense the thoughts, emotions, and motives of others.
According to the episode Teela's Triumph, the Sorceress can look into both the past and the future. She frequently uses a mystic mirror within Castle Grayskull to keep watch over current events on Eternia.
The Sorceress can also teleport herself and others across vast distances, and in the episode The Cosmic Comet, she temporarily grants He-Man the ability to fly.
Other times she exhibits telekinesis, the ability to project images, as well as create fire, and produce magical shields.
In the 2002 series, the powers of the Sorceress are altered slightly. The three principal differences include:
- The power to fly in human form
- The tendency to focus her spells through a mystic staff
- When using magic, her eyes often emit a golden light
In the 1980s series, the Sorceress is voiced by Linda Gary, who also voiced Teela, Evil-Lyn, and Queen Marlena among others. In the 1987 film, she is played by Christina Pickles. She was voiced by Venus Terzo in the New Adventures and by Nicole Oliver in the 2002 series.
- Masks of Power
- The Secret Liquid of Life!
- He-Man and the Insect People
- The Temple of Darkness
- The Obelisk
- The Story of She-Ra
- Skeletor's Dragon
- The Battle of Roboto
- Grizzlor: The Legend Comes Alive!
- The Stench of Evil
- The Treachery of Modulok
- The Flying Fists of Power
- King of the Snake Men
- The Ultimate Battleground!
- The Search for Keldor
- Revenge of the Snake Men!
- Enter: Buzz-saw Hordak!
- The Powers of Grayskull: The Legend Begins!
- The Cosmic Key
- The New Adventure
- Skeletor's Journey
- Battle for the Crystal
- Despite being a recurring character, the Sorceress only presents one moral sequence in the original series, for the episode The Starchild.
- In the original animated series, there are few moments when the Sorceress exists outside of Grayskull in her human form. In the episode Return of Evil, she transforms into a humanoid while in the Tar Swamp, then back to Zoar before returning to Castle Grayskull. Also in Origin of the Sorceress, she uses a magical crystal to maintain her human form and use her magic outside of Grayskull to battle the sorcerer, Morgoth. In the feature film The Secret of the Sword (later edited into the first five She-Ra episodes), the Sorceress is also shown battling Hordak outside Snake Mountain in her human form, alongside Man-At-Arms.
- The episode "The Taking of Grayskull" is the only independent episode to feature the Sorceress running; though she is also depicted doing so in the 2nd recount of her and Man-at-Arm's confrontation with Hordak in the Secret of the Sword compilation.
- The action figure first released by Mattel in 1987 is a very rare and sought after collectors item today. Its rare existence can be attributed to being released very late into the toy series original run.
- In 2012, Mattel released a Masters of the Universe Classics Sorceress action figure which also includes a small figure of Zoar.
- A second Sorceress figure was created as a convention exclusive. "Temple of Darkness" Sorceress is similar to the regular figure, but wears a white outfit with Teela's boots. She includes a unique pedestal for an orb accessory previously sold with King Grayskull.