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The Dragon's Gift is the 34th episode of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, written by Larry DiTillio and directed by Lou Zukor.

Synopsis

Skeletor, posing as Ambassador Therin from the Kingdom of Eastfen, visits the Royal Palace with a jade bust for King Randor. Man-At-Arms recognizes Skeletor's sword and grabs the bust before the king can touch it. It crumbles in his hands, and the Weird of Crystal turns him into a crystal statue. Teela fights Skeletor, who flees when He-Man and Battle Cat arrive, then goes with He-Man to ask the Sorceress of Castle Grayskull how to undo the spell. The Sorceress says that the Weird of Crystal is more ancient than Castle Grayskull itself and beyond her power to reverse, but tells He-Man and Teela that Granamyr, the most powerful of all dragons, might know the answer. Due to a pact she once made with the Dragons of Darksmoke, she cannot tell them where to find him, but she sends them to the royal library to take advantage of "human knowledge." Here, He-Man reads that Ice Trolls and dragons are friends and deduces that Darksmoke is located in the Ice Mountains.

He-Man, Battle Cat, and Teela use the Wind Raider to fly north across the Mystic Mountains, but a protective field causes them to crash before they reach Darksmoke. They finish their journey on foot, evading an avalanche and defeating Ice Hackers and a pair of Ice Trolls that attack them along the way. When they encounter Granamyr, he is unimpressed by the legends he has heard of He-Man and annoyed by Teela's lack of respect, and threatens to banish her to the Realm of Demons. He-Man says they are willing to fight him to make him listen, but Granamyr binds them with his magic. He-Man impresses him by trying to break his bonds, and Granamyr agrees to listen to what they say. When he hears about the Weird of Crystal, he says that he knows how to reverse it, but he is tired of dealing with humans who beg for his help and offer nothing in return. When they ask him what gift he wants in return for his favor, he tells them to bring him Skytree, the oldest tree and living thing on Eternia, so that he can watch it burn in his fire pit. He says he will send them to the Forgotten Forest to chop the tree down, but warns them that he will send them to the Realm of Demons forever if they return empty-handed.

In the Forgotten Forest, He-Man and Teela meet Tullamore, a Treeprechaun who protects the forest. When he learns what they plan to do to Skytree, he sics a pack of wolf-like creatures on them and tries to get the trees to crush them in their branches. Skytree, however, wants to know why He-Man and Teela intend to do it harm, so they tell it about Man-At-Arms' transformation by the Weird of Crystal and the bargain they made with Granamyr. Skytree recalls that an old Man-At-Arms saved the Forgotten Forest from the Witches of Fire, for which the ancient tree is still in his debt. It says that it has stood for ages, but it will continue to exist as long as a tree grows anywhere in Eternia, and agrees to sacrifice itself to save Man-At-Arms. Tullamore protests, and cries when Skytree stands by its decision. He-Man and Teela decide not to chop the tree down, saying that Man-At-Arms would have done the same thing, then call out Granamyr's name to return to him as Tullamore jumps for joy.

Upon returning to Darksmoke, He-Man and Teela tell Granamyr that they do not have his gift. He-Man says that a tree has as much of a right to live as a human or a dragon does, so they will not take a life to save a life. He offers to bring Granamyr another gift or be sent to the Realm of Demons in keeping with their bargain. Granamyr, thoroughly impressed by the wisdom, compassion, and honor that He-Man and Teela have demonstrated, accepts his renewed faith in humankind as a gift and gives them a book that contains the knowledge needed to reverse the Weird of Crystal. Teela tearfully thanks him, but Granamyr says that they can best thank him by letting him sleep, and never bothering him again.

Back at the Royal Palace, Man-At-Arms has been restored to normal and listened to Teela tell him about the encounter with Granamyr. Man-At-Arms says it sounds like He-Man made the right choice, and Prince Adam asks Cringer if he's interested in meeting Granamyr. When he says he isn't, Teela says it sounds like Cringer's made a good choice, too.

Moral

Teela: "Today He-Man had to decide whether or not to chop down a tree. Now, the trees around you probably don't speak the way Skytree did. Or if they do, we haven't learned to hear them... yet. But trees are living things. And when you respect a tree, you show that you care about all life. Life is a wonderful, precious gift. Learn to enjoy and respect it and you'll be a happier, better person for it. Bye for now."

Heroic Warriors

Allies

Evil Warriors

Cast

  • John Erwin as He-Man/Prince Adam, Granamyr and Tullamore
  • Alan Oppenheimer as Skeletor/"Ambassador Therin", Man-At-Arms and Battle Cat/Cringer
  • Linda Gary as Teela, the Sorceress and Queen Marlena
  • Lou Scheimer (credited as Erik Gunden) as King Randor, Skytree and unnamed Ice Trolls

Trivia

  • Elements from this story were adapted into a mini-comic titled Dragon's Gift, written by Michael Halperin and illustrated by Alfredo Alcala, that came with several Masters of the Universe action figures. In the comic version, Granamyr was colored green instead of the red version seen in the Filmation cartoon. When Mattycollector announced a toy version in 2012, fans were able to vote which color the dragon would be released in. The red version was chosen, but a green version was also eventually released as a 2016 Power-Con exclusive figure.
  • Writer Larry DiTillio originally created Granamyr and the Ice Trolls for a 'Tunnels & Trolls' role playing game for Flying Buffalo Inc. called 'The Isle of Darksmoke'.
  • Script was approved on March 22, 1983 and final script revision was finished on July 13, 1983.
  • "The Dragon's Gift" was the first script Lawrence G. DiTillio sold to Filmation, which led to him being appointed staff writer on He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.
  • Skeletor is disguised as Ambassador Therin from Eastfen. The kingdom of Eastfen will be mentioned again by Man-At-Arms in Bargain with Evil.
  • When Man-At-Arms discovers Ambassador Therin's true identity, the shot of the King and Queen's thrones is flipped, making each appear to sit at the opposite side to where they are normally seated.
  • During the sword fight between Skeletor and Teela, the cross-boned hilt on Skeletor's sword disappears between the wide-shot and the two-shot.
  • Elements from the Rotoscoped sword fight were used again for a sparring session between Prince Adam and Man-At-Arms in The Return of Granamyr, a fight between Teela and a Space Pirate in One for All, a sparring session between Teela and Man-At-Arms in Teela's Triumph and a sparring session between Teela and Adam in The Games.
  • The animation of Skeletor falling down was used again in Return of Evil.
  • The comical sequence in which Cringer tries to hide around a corner during the transformation sequence was reused by writer Larry DiTillio in The Huntsman.
  • Several people enter the throne room through the same entrance. When Battle Cat jumps in carrying He-Man on his back, they are smaller in size compared with the others that came in earlier.
  • At Castle Grayskull, when The Sorceress says "Teela, I will guard your father", it switches from a wide shot of The Sorceress and the crystal Man-At-Arms in the background to a close-up of Man-At-Arms. However, the stalagmite in the background remains the same size (the same background is used in both shots).
  • The Eternian Library used here by Teela and He-Man was again seen in House of Shokoti Part 1.
  • In the Royal library, He-Man reaches for a book with a green cover, but pulls down a red covered one.
  • The character model for the Ice Hacker was reused as the giant Snow Beast in He-Man and She-Ra: A Christmas Special.
  • When He-Man is fighting the Ice Hacker, his sword is missing from his scabbard. This is because the animation was duplicated from a fight between He-Man and a giant version of Skeletor from The Dragon Invasion, in which He-Man had lost his sword.
  • When Granamyr first appears, he was scripted to say 'Who dares call my name'. Although the line was deleted, the great dragon can still be seen mouthing the words.
  • As Granamyr bends down to face He-Man and Teela, his jaw disappears into the pit he's sitting on for a moment, then pops back in front of the pit.
  • Tullamore the Treeprechaun is named after Tullamore Dew, an Irish whiskey.
  • Tullamore's character model was reused as the Elf Lord in Fisto's Forest.
  • A background plate featuring Skytree and his surrounding forest is briefly visible in The Games.
  • Near the end, Teela is sitting on a table in the gardens of Eternos with Adam on a bench beside her. When the angle changes, Adam is sitting on the ground and Teela appears to be towering over him. Then it returns to the first set-up again.
  • The character model of the Ice Hacker can be seen as part of the Keeper's menagerie in The Heart of a Giant.

External links

The He-Man and She-Ra Blog

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