Castle Grayskull


Castle Grayskull

Castle Grayskull is a fortress located on the fictional planet Eternia. It forms a central location in the Masters of the Universe comic/animation universe, and also appears in the 1987 live action adaptation.

In the series, it is the target of numerous attacks by Skeletor, Hordak and the Snake Men, all of whom believe that the secrets inside will allow them to conquer Eternia and become the titular masters of the universe.

Filmation series

In the original television series, Castle Grayskull is a legendary/mythical location situated in a barren wilderness. It serves as home to The Sorceress, and a place of refuge for He-Man and all those considered his friends. Its origins are unknown except for the fact that it was constructed to protect an unspecified source of power from those who would misuse it. It is a frequent target for the forces of evil.

Although it is mostly viewed from the outside, there are a few notable internal locations: the Throne Room; the Hall of He-Man; the Travel Corridor Chamber; a laboratory; a room used by the Sorceress for studying and practicing spells; and, the Sorceress' bedroom. In the episode "Double Trouble", an evil doppleganger of He-Man's friend Koldar also comes across the chamber that houses the Secrets of Castle Grayskull. It is a room with two doors, between which sits the Guardian, one of which houses the secrets, the other only destruction.

The castle is surrounded by a bottomless abyss, which doubles as a moat in at least one episode, and a drawbridge is used to come across it. When Prince Adam transforms into He-Man, sparks from his sword drop into the abyss like shooting stars. This phenomeneon is seen in the episode "Into the Abyss", when Teela falls into the abyss and witnesses this spectacle from a unique vantage point. In one episode, He-Man states that the abyss actually leads the entire way to the center of Eternia.

There are a number of magical doors inside the castle, most of them in the Travel Corridor Chamber, that serve as portals to various locations on Eternia, including Snake Mountain, and at least one that leads to Etheria.

2002 series

The castle's purpose and history are significantly expanded upon in the 2002 remake, as are the variety of locations shown in the castle. The most significant of the expansions made is the addition of a large Crystal Chamber, accessible only by a secret "door" in the floor of a secluded chamber. Within this chamber is the Orb of Power, within which lies the combined powers of the Elders. Prior to its bestowal upon Prince Adam, the Sword of Power was also stored in the depths of the Crystal Chamber. Other locations within the castle include the Throne Room; a massive library; a room that houses an enormous, mystical mirror used to view both the past and present; an underground colosseum; a secret chamber devoted to King Grayskull; the area behind the eyesockets of the castle's fascade; and, numerous corridors that are draped in illusions to confound invaders.

Once made of white marble, and at the center of King Grayskull's bustling kingdom, the castle fell into a state of disrepair following a devastating battle with the forces of Hordak. Over countless years, the castle was almost entirely forgotten by the populace. Its true purpose, and the secrets within, are now known to only a very select few. Like the Filmation version, it is surrounded by a seemingly bottomless abyss, and is backed by a sheer cliff.

Live action movie

In the 1987 live action movie, Castle Grayskull is finally captured by Skeletor's forces. The first image we have of its interior is as Skeletor, victorious at last, makes the long march across the castle's Throne Room. Near the throne, he has trapped the Sorceress within an energy field, which, little by little, transfers her power to him. The castle serves as Skeletor's main base of operations throughout the movie. According to the film, it houses a giant circular portal called "the Great Eye of the Galaxy", which only opens when Eternia's moon reaches its zenith, granting whoever stands before it god-like power. It is never explicitly stated, though visuals strongly indicate, that for this to happen the Sword of Grayskull must be inserted into a small column near the portal. The opening narration implies that Castle Grayskull itself is at the center of the universe.

King Grayskull

In the 2002 remake of "He-Man", it is revealed that Castle Grayskull was once home to King Grayskull, an ancestor of Prince Adam, who died defending his kingdom and Eternia as a whole from Hordak.

Upon his death, King Grayskull transferred his power into his sword that now forms the basis of He-Man's power. His wife Veena became the first Sorceress, and his advisers became the Council of Elders. He also had an enormous green lion as a mount, bearing the same armor as Battle Cat, and is presumably where Battle-Cat gains his powers.

Other appearances

*Castle Grayskull appears at the beginning of the transformation sequences of the "He-Man" spin-off series "She-Ra"; near the end The Crystal Castle appears in its place.
*BBC Weather Announcer Kirsty McCabe provoked controversy when referring to Ibrox Stadium as Castle Grayskull. [cite web|url=http://www.sundaymail.co.uk/news/tm_objectid=16612836&method=full&siteid=64736&headline=watch-out-for-sunshine-and-showers-with-a-big-storm-over-ibrox--name_page.html|title=Watch Out For Sunshine And Showers With A Big Storm Over Ibrox|accessdate=2007-02-24|publisher=The Sunday Mail]
*In the film "Hot Fuzz", police officer Danny Butterman (played by Nick Frost) says "By the power of Grayskull!" when shown the stockpile of weapons collected by a local farmer. This line is later repeated by Sgt. Nick Angel, after seeing Danny's collection of action movie DVDs.
*A German epic death metal band, the "Grail Knights", released the album "Return to Castle Grailskull", picturing them on the album cover in front of Castle Grayskull (resembling the sculpt used in the 2002 MOTU toyline). In the first videoclip from that album, "Moonlit Masquerade", they perform on a CGI-generated castle which is a cross between the Castle Grayskull playset and the MOTU 2002's Grayskull. Each band member performs on his own tower in the video. The band's live shows include characters who resemble Skeletor (Lord Skull) and either Beast man or Hordak (Morf the Swarf), who entertain the audience, and "She-Ra"'s horse Swiftwind (Zapf-beauty), which brings beer for the audience.

Toys

Castle Grayskull was made as a playset for both the 1980s and 2002 Masters of the Universe toy lines. The 1980s incarnation was one of the more popular Christmas presents for pre-adolescent boys in the 1980s. The price point was generally within reach of the parents of a child in the target age range for the toy line. The castle was also user-friendly, possessing many settings and functions suitable for the 5" action figures it was built to complement, as well as being small enough to be put away at the end of a play session, unlike some other toys of comparable cachet (such as the 7 1/2 foot long G.I. Joe USS Flagg toy).

References

External links

* [http://www.retrojunk.com/details_articles/75/ 1980 Castle Grayskull Toy] (half way down the page)
* [http://www.millionaireplayboy.com/toys/motucg.php 2002/2003 Castle Grayskull Toy]
* [http://heman.3wpages.com/history/CastleGraySkullToy.html 1980's Castle Grayskull]
* [http://heman.3wpages.com/history/2002CastleGraySkullToy.html 2002 Castle Grayskull]
* [http://www.grailknights.de/ Epic death metal band using Castle Grayskull on one of their album covers]


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