Characters / The Black Cauldron

Featured in 1985's The Black Cauldron
    open/close all folders 

Main Characters

    Taran of Caer Dallben 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/taranclipart.png
"Look at me, Hen! I can do it!"
Voiced by: Grant Bardsley, Hidehiro Kikuchi (Japanese)

The main protagonist.
  • Almighty Janitor: Played with. He holds the rank of an Assistant Pig-Keeper, but he's hardly almighty. In fact, he has more losses than wins.
  • Character Development: Obviously, nowhere near as well-designed or thorough as the books, but it's pretty evident here. Taran goes from an impulsive kid fantasizing that one day he will be a hero, to a more mature, compromising young man who realizes he is unfit to be what he considers a hero.
  • Failure Knight: Taran so wants to be a Knight In Shining Armour, but at almost no point in the film does he successfully do anything useful with his own skills: He loses Hen Wen almost immediately after being entrusted with her; when held captive by the Horned King he only escapes with the help of Eilonwy and the magic sword; and he unwittingly brings the Black Cauldron into the Horned King's hands by getting it from the witches with whom it probably would've been completely secure (as well as giving away the potentially story-breaking magic sword in the process). At the end of the film, Taran actually acknowledges that he's a failure as a warrior and forfeits his chance to become one in order to resurrect Gurgi.
  • Farm Boy: An Assistant Pig-Keeper no less.
  • Final Speech: When the three witches offer Taran his magic sword back. It's short but very, very sweet.
    Taran: I'm not a warrior... I'm a pig-boy. What can I do with a sword?
  • Free-Range Children: Dallben concludes that the Horned King is after Hen Wen, so he decides to send Taran, his thirteen-year-old ward, off into the forest with the pig so they'll be safe.
  • Happily Adopted: Taran was a foundling discovered by Dallben, the enchanter and farmer.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: He harbors an intense desire to prove his worth and heroism through noble acts.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Though occasionally foolhardy, slightly arrogant and one time saying a sexist remark sentence to Eilonwy, Taran proves to be a brave, heroic, and kind-hearted young man. Thanks to Character Development he matures into a Nice Guy.
  • Kid Hero: Only about 14 or 15 and is The Hero.
  • Nice Guy: Near the end, after he matures, acknowledges his failure as a warrior and being selfless as he chooses to attempts to jump into the Black Cauldron.
  • Official Couple: With Eilonwy.
  • Put on a Bus: Due to The Black Cauldron not being a financial success, Taran, like his female counterpart Eilonwy, is rarely featured in official Disney merchandise.
  • Redhead In Green: A redhead who wears a green vest and pants.
  • Robbing the Dead: Taran takes the magic sword from the tomb of the king who built the Horned King's castle. Eilonwy is appalled by this, though Taran reasons that they're in need of a weapon more than the deceased king.
  • Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: He has red hair, green eyes, and is the hero of the story.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Becomes mature, selfless, and calm at the end.
  • Who Will Bell the Cat?: When the Horned King's undead army begins spreading out to destroy Prydain, Taran steps up to perform the necessary Heroic Sacrifice. Gurgi pre-empts him.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Implied. He pointed his sword threateningly at the Witches when they mess around with Fflewddur.

    Gurgi 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/char_22436.jpg
"Munchings and crunchings in here somewhere."
Voiced by: John Byner, Tadashi Yamazaki and Hideyuki Umedzu (Japanese)

A small, gopher-like creature that accompanies Taran.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: From a hideous gorilla-like monster in the original books to a Ridiculously Cute Critter in this movie.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Kind of. In the books he starts out as a lot more self-serving and even displays a slight vicious streak (if he's certain he's on the winning side), before he Takes A Level In Kindness due to his developing friendship with Taran. In the movie, while still not overly reliable at first, he's a lot more friendly from the get-go.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Not to a huge degree, and his overall personality is actually very close to how it was in the books, but the Gurgi of the books would occasionally try to fight and could even make a pretty big nuisance of himself when he wanted to.
  • Adaptation Species Change: In the books he's a shaggy, grimy, long-limbed man-beast; here he's a small, gopher-like creature.
  • Big Eater: He is always looking for "munchings and crunchings". When he first appears, he steals an apple from Taran and refuses to give it back.
  • Character Development: His adventures with his new friends transform Gurgi from a Dirty Coward to a Cowardly Lion.
  • Cowardly Lion: When he sacrifices himself to stop the Cauldron.
  • Dirty Coward: Runs away from battle whenever possible. Subverted at the end.
  • Disney Death: Heroic Sacrifice necessary? No worries.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Jumps into the Cauldron to stop its power. He's brought back soon after.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's introduced as an annoying Dirty Coward and a thief but ultimately proves to be loyal when he sacrifices himself to destroy the Cauldron's power and save his friends.
  • Kid-Appeal Character: Annoying sidekick? Check. Comic relief? Check. Ridiculously Cute Critter? Check.
  • The Lancer: To Taran.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: He is kind of a fuzzy version of Gollum.
  • Shipper on Deck: He's strongly in favor of Taran and Eilonwy becoming a couple.
  • Small, Annoying Creature: Although the character was also in the books, and his portrayal here is actually pretty faithful in personality, if not in appearance.
  • Spanner in the Works: The Horned King succeeds in using the Black Cauldron to create the Cauldron-Born and send them to conquer the world, with Taran, Eilonwy and Fflewddur all securely tied up. Had Gurgi not sneaked inside the castle to free the heroes (Taran hadn't expected him to show up), the Horned King would have won. Taran intended to sacrifice himself to stop the army as soon as he was freed, but Gurgi beat him to the punch.
  • Third-Person Person: Gurgi always refers to himself in the third person.
  • Took a Level in Badass: His first scene shows him being a shameful coward when Taran asked for his help in getting into the Horned King's castle. Fast-forward to the climax, Gurgi calmly and willingly sacrifices himself to spare Taran's life.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: He has a huge fondness for apples.
  • Undying Loyalty: Slowly develops one for Taran.

    Eilonwy 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tumblr_static_eilonwy2.jpg
"Girl? GIRL?! If it weren't for this girl, you would still be in the Horned King's dungeon!"
Voiced by: Susan Sheridan, Miina Tominaga (Japanese)

A princess who was kidnapped by the Horned King; she's the deuteragonist of the movie.

    Fflewddur Fflam 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/blackcauldron704.jpg
"Great Belin!"
Voiced by: Nigel Hawthorne, Sanji Hase (Japanese)

A self-styled bard and the tritagonist.
  • Adaptational Ugliness: In the original The Chronicles of Prydain novels, Fflewddur Fflam the bard is a 30-year-old man who is remarked as handsome, if unkempt. In this movie, Fflam is in his 50s with a potbelly.
  • Adaptational Wimp: In the book series: while he was hardly the badass he boasted of, he actually did defeat impressive odds two or three times. The Disney Fflewddur generally shies away from combat.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: A good deal meeker and more awkward than his book counterpart.
  • Adorkable: He has shades of this, especially when he's reduced to nervous sputtering.
  • Age Lift: In the first book, he was thirty, but he's at least a couple of decades older here.
  • All There in the Manual: The book explains why Fflewddur's harp keeps breaking and how he got it, and includes the detail that he's not really a bard at all, but a king who left his kingdom to become a bard, and failed the academy.
  • Alliterative Name: Fflewddur Fflam
  • Batman Gambit: Fflewddur completely ruins the Witches' Batman Gambit, reminding them that if they want to repossess the Cauldron, they must make an exchange of equal value back to the heroes.
  • Bewitched Amphibians: He's turned into a frog by Orgoch who then tries to eat him. Orwen rescues him and turns him back, only for Orgoch to turn him back again almost immediately. He then struggles to get out of Orwen's cleavage before she notices him and turns him back to human. He immediately afterwards catches a fly with his tongue, much to the witches' amusement.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Luckily for Fflewdur, mocking the witches for being powerless resulted in a living Gurgi, not a return to toad status.
  • Butt-Monkey: In the course of the movie, he's captured, has his pants torn by dogs, falls into a pit, is turned into a frog, and so forth.
  • Catch-Phrase: "Great Belin!"
  • Cloudcuckoolander: At first, he appears to be so. Visit an ominous, gloomy castle that looks so obviously suspicious nobody goes there? Hey, you're a bard, why not? He later proves to be much smarter than most would give him credit for.
  • Companion Cube: Downplayed - Fflewdur speaks to his harp as if it's alive.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Fflewddur calls the three witches powerless, prompting them to resurrect Gurgi in exchange for the Cauldron.
  • Foil: To Taran. Whereas Taran is more hotheaded, ambitious, and headstrong, Fflewddur is more of a Shrinking Violet, cautious and dithering. In the book, Taran and Fflewddur were much more alike.
  • Foreshadowing: The witches proclaim that "What we do is bargain, trade!" Fflewddur later throws these words right back at their faces.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Phlegmatic.
  • The Heart: At least he tries to be whenever Taran and Eilonwy have a spat.
  • Lie Detector: Fflewddur's harpstrings snap whenever he tells a lie.
  • Living Lie Detector: Again, his harp!
  • The Load: Poor Fflewddur was much more useful in the book. But alas, he only proves useful twice - weakly trying to convince the feuding Taran and Eilonwy that they have to work together, and taunting the three witches into trading the restoration of Gurgi's life for the return of the Cauldron.
  • Mood Whiplash: In a very dimly lit scene, the Horned King orders for his pet dragon-lizard-things called Gwythaints to hunt down the heroes who have escaped from his gloomy castle. Directly following that is Fflewddur singing a silly song.
  • Nice Hat: A brown hat with a red feather.
  • Odd Couple: With Gurgi.
  • Older Sidekick: Much older than Kid Hero Taran and the other main characters.
  • Only Sane Man: Among the protagonists, Fflewddur is probably the only one who keeps things balanced - kind of.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue to everybody.
  • Took a Level in Badass: At the end, when he uses the witches' creed against them.
  • Verbal Tic: "Great Belin!"
  • Wandering Minstrel: He blunders into the story when he wanders to the wrong castle.

Antagonists

    The Horned King 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/phpCCdXNKPM-hornedking_9874.jpg
"Now I call on my army of the dead — the Cauldron Born!"
Voiced by: John Hurt, Shozo Iizuka (Japanese)

The main antagonist, the skull-faced Horned King is a centuries-old Sorcerous Overlord with A God Am I delusions, who seeks out the titular Black Cauldron, which he plans to use to turn all life into undead minions, so he can rule over them as a Physical God.
  • Ambiguously Human: It's never clarified if the Horned King is a demon, a horribly deformed man or a lich. His self-association with his skeletal warriors suggests the third option.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Completely averted, unusually for Disney villains. He seems to be physically frail, never moves faster than at a shambling pace, only once demonstrates any magical powers independent of the Cauldron, and is easily overpowered by Taran in the climax. His terrifying visage is enough to cow his minions into servitude, and he exerts his authority over his minions to accomplish his goals.
  • Ax-Crazy: He's usually calm and collected. This is until he finally vents his hidden emotions. When he does it, you can read pure madness in his face.
  • Bad Boss: His default reaction to anything bad is to choke Creeper. Also, his reward to his human minions for their service is to turn them into mindless undead warriors.
  • Big Bad: Of the film.
  • Big "NO!": He shouts this as he dies.
  • Berserk Button: The Horned King is quite calm and cold-blooded, but if you spoil his plans he immediately gets enraged and tries to choke you to death.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: He has these by default unless he's very angry. Then it's Red Eyes, Take Warning.
  • Breakout Villain: Easily the most memorable character of the film, plus the only one that had appearances beyond the film. He even gets a cameo in the House of Mouse series, becomes the Final Boss of the Tokyo Disneyland Castle Tour and a constant throw in for a possible Kingdom Hearts role for what it's worth.
  • The Chessmaster: Following the heroes' escape, the Horned King allows them to do for him the dirty work of finding the Black Cauldron, unaware that they're being followed.
  • Composite Character: The book's Arawn and the Horned King are combined into one in the movie.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Just in one scene where he taunts Taran, Eilonwy and Fflewddur Fflam as his prisoners. This is one of the few — if not the only one — scenes where he shows a bit of sarcasm.
    The Horned King: My, such a brave and handsome crew. A pig-boy, a scullery maid, and a broken-down minstrel. Perhaps it may interest you to see what fate has in store for you.
    • Also when Taran is forced to make Hen Wen show the Cauldron's locations:
    The Horned King: That's better.
  • Defiant to the End: He struggles to the end as the Cauldron is sucking him in, even when he has just his bones left.
  • Dem Bones: Has a skeletal appearance is reduced to one during his death.
  • The Dreaded: All of his minions are terrified of the imposing, ruthless, and hideous Horned King. Everyone, including Taran, that sees the Horned King up close is almost paralyzed with fear. Considering he is essentially walking talking nightmare fuel, it is not hard to see why.
  • Dystopia Justifies the Means: Plans to have his Army of the Dead kill off all opposition and then have whatever remains to revere him as a deity.
  • Evil Brit: Courtesy of John Hurt.
  • Evil Counterpart: In his first scene, the Horned King is immersing himself in his vision of creating the Cauldron-Born and being worshiped as a god, while Taran daydreams several times about becoming a knight and a hero. They're both shown to be fairly unremarkable in spite of these aspirations and the amazing feats they do perform only happened because they were wielding powerful artifacts (artifacts that are themselves counterparts to each other). They also have cowardly and toady little sidekicks whom they don't respect (though Taran gets better about this); and in the end, they both fail to accomplish their goals (though Taran acknowledges that he's a failure while the Horned King never does).
  • Evil Overlord: Of an abandoned castle.
  • Evil Sorcerer: He's implied to be this, though it's not shown much.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Courtesy of John Hurt.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Probably the most brutal in the entire Disney canon.
  • Famous Last Words: Said before he's sucked in by the Cauldron and lets out his Big "NO!".
    "No! You'll not have me! My power cannot die! Curse you!"
  • A God Am I: His Evil Plan involving the Army of the Dead is to devastate Prydain and force the survivors to worship him as a demigod.
  • The Grim Reaper: The Horned King looks like the Reaper's brown-robed twin but with horns.
  • Guttural Growler: Courtesy of John Hurt.
  • Horned Humanoid: Well he is the Horned King (technically they're antlers) and not even remotely human-looking.
  • I Control My Minions Through...: Fear. When one looks like an undead sorcerer with horns, and is completely ruthless, one can be rather effective in terrifying everyone into submission. Even with informed abilities of magical prowess or fighting ability that he hasn't displayed, the Horned King still holds command over his battle-hardened minions. They do not question his orders because he is that horrifying in close proximity, and the Horned King is noted to be genuine nightmare fuel towards the audience. This enables him to delegate ruthless tasks, working through his minions, which makes him a major threat in Prydain, and allowed him to obtain the Black Cauldron.
  • Informed Ability: Zigzagged. Everyone is deathly afraid of him, which would imply he has some sort of magical powers — and he does at least invoke some rather impressive Villain Teleportation during one scene, not to mention his preexisting knowledge on how to wield the Cauldron — but he doesn't do much of anything in the movie other than give orders, shuffle around a bit, and growl.
    • During his final battle with Taran, he tries to physically off him, completely forgetting his magical abilities. Though this could be explained by his Villainous Breakdown.
  • Killed Off for Real: In an extremely graphic way by the Disney canon standards. He's skeletonized, and then his bones burst into flame and are finally disintegrated. His soul is presumably trapped in the Cauldron, which was specifically designed by the freakin[=]' Gods to hold evil souls, suggesting he's probably not getting out any time soon, either.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The film gets much darker when he's involved. He is hateful, cruel, cold-blooded, brooding, and shockingly violent, so it's not difficult to see why. Also a very meta example, as Disney Villains had slowly become more and more ineffectual as time went on, villains in following films, regardless of tone, became much more threatening after his appearance. Coincidence?
  • Load-Bearing Boss: His castle crumples down in a terrifying explosion just after his aforementioned gruesome death. Justified, the Black Cauldron acting as a suction, absorbs the surrounding area into its being once he dies
  • MacGuffin Delivery Service: Following Taran's escape, the Horned King correctly predicts that the pig keeper would find Hen Wen and has the gwythaints trailing the heroes and leading the soldiers to them after they've found the Black Cauldron itself.
  • Meaningful Name: The antlers are obvious enough. But he notably does not display any significant combative ability; he delegates tasks like a real-life ruler, who happens to look like a skull-faced demon with horns and magical powers. He's called the Horned King after all.
  • The Mirror Shows Your True Self: The best ending in the Sierra game has Taran show him his reflection in a Magic Mirror which causes the Horned King to jump into the cauldron, killing himself in the process.
  • Monstrous Humanoid: The Horned King has horns and a skull face, with no explanation for why he has this way; his display of certain powers imply that he's much more monstrous than he lets on.
  • Necromancer: Trope Codifier for animated films. The Cauldron Born is an undead army, and he reanimates them to serve him. For bonus points, he's undead himself;
    "Now I call on my Army of the Dead; the Cauldron-Born! Arise, my messengers of death! Our time has arrived!"
    Horned King
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Just look at him...
  • Non-Action Big Bad: He spends most of the movie giving orders, delegating tasks, and terrifying everyone around him by mere presence alone. He doesn't really get very involved in any of the action, physically or magically, and has his minions do all of the dirty work. When he does tangle with Taran in the movie's climax, he loses almost immediately.
  • No Sense of Humor: What makes him so menacing.
  • Not So Different: Despite their outwardly different personalities and motives, he and Taran have many things in common (see Evil Counterpart).
  • Obviously Evil: You think?
  • Orcus on His Throne: Not in the movie proper, but clearly stated as his backstory: he has been sitting around in his big fancy Castle of Doom for decades, if not centuries, when Hen Wen finally makes the prophecy that kicks off the movie about how to find the Black Cauldron.
  • Our Liches Are Different: It's not clarified if he is some kind of monster or a hideously deformed man, but it's clear from his powers and aura that he's not entirely human to say the least, and he is pretty clearly undead.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: The Horned King wears a wine-colored robe and a very dark fur stole. He also has pitch-black eyes that turn red from darker emotions.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: In accordance with his delusions of godhood, he tries to act all calm and collected most of the time. However, whenever he is angry or excited, his violent emotions cause his pupils to flash red. At the end, when the Cauldron's power is destroyed, he completely snaps, trying to physically kill Taran by pushing him into the Cauldron, and his entire eyes are now flaring red.
  • Skull for a Head: The Horned King is a horned variation. While he's an undead evil sorcerer, the rest of his body looks quite normal (if we ignore the greenish rotting skin) compared to his positively skull-like head.
  • Sorcerous Overlord: The Horned King, although his magical powers are fairly limited and require complex rituals to realize. This tyrant is a horned, robed member of the undead, probably a lich. He plots to take over the world from his fortress by acquiring an army of skeletal warriors known as the Cauldron Born.
  • The Sociopath: He's an Omnicidal Maniac who plans to exterminate any living beings and oppressing anyone who'll survive.
  • Take Over the World: His goal, using a resurrected army to kill off every last man in Prydain, in order to be worship as a demigod.
  • Taking You with Me: As the Cauldron tries to suck him in, he throws Taran over to it, ensuring his life is claimed first. However, the Cauldron seems to be more interested in him...
  • Villainous Breakdown: When his carefully planned plan which he has been working on for literally hundreds of years go wrong, and his undead minions lose their life force and die, he completely loses it.
    The Horned King: Get up… COME ALIVE!… GET UP YOU FOOLS! KILLLLL!!!
  • Villain Teleportation: Uses arguably the most overblown example of all time at one point.
  • Would Hurt a Child: At two points in the movie to Taran, when he decides to kill Taran once he's revealed the location of the Cauldron and when he tries to choke him for ruining his plan... which backfires on him.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness:
    • Attempted this to Taran when he located the Cauldron and then his Mooks by offering them for his army to slaughter.
    • Early in the film, when Taran refuses to instruct Hen Wen to disclose the location of Black Cauldron, the Horned King claims that he has no use for Hen Wen in that case and orders his mooks to behead her (though this was mostly blackmail rather than a straight portrayal of this trope).

    Creeper 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/black_cauldron_disneyscreencapscom_2706.jpg
"Look! Look, sire! It's working!"
Voiced by: Phil Fondacaro, Chikao Ohtsuka (Japanese)

Creeper is The Horned King's sidekick and the secondary antagonist.
  • Butt-Monkey: Is always blamed when something goes wrong, even if it wasn't his fault. He's also made fun of by the soldiers at the mess hall.
  • Canon Foreigner: The only character in the film that wasn't in the books.
  • Character Tics: Creeper often keeps his right eye closed for some reason.
  • Deadpan Snarker: When he mocks the imprisoned heroes.
    "I'm sorry. I've ignored you. You did come for the Black Cauldron, didn't you? Good. Then climb in! Ha-ha! It will only cost you your life." [laughs mockingly]
  • The Dragon: Created to be a very ineffectual chief subordinate for the Horned King. Though he's made fun of by the other henchmen, they do obey his orders.
  • Evil Counterpart: To Gurgi. They're both small and cowardly sidekicks for the Horned King and Taran, respectively. They both do much to try and please their masters without much success: the Horned King loathes Creeper during the entire movie, and Taran isn't fond of Gurgi until after a while. While Gurgi sacrifices himself to destroy the Black Cauldron's power so that Taran wouldn't have to, Creeper watches as his master is killed by the Cauldron and decides he's glad.
  • Evil Sounds Raspy: Creeper's voice is hoarse. Given how often he's seen getting strangled by the Horned King, that's likely to be expected.
  • Karma Houdini: He's last seen flying away with the surviving gwythaint. But then, he might be able to live a better life now that his abusive master is dead.
  • Mad Eye: Creeper's right eye is smaller than his left eye.
  • Maniac Tongue: Creeper is a malicious creature of his own right, and the tongue he often sticks out showcases it.
  • Neck Lift: On the receiving end whenever the Horned King gets upset. His majesty gets upset quite a lot...
  • Non-Human Sidekick: A small goblin-like creature who is this to the Horned King.
  • Spell My Name with a "The": Often called "The Creeper" as if it is his title.
  • Sycophantic Servant: He always tries to please the Horned King. For what good it does him.
  • Uplifted Animal: He could be this, going by the French dub where everyone calls him a toad. Though it could just be insults.
  • Vile Villain, Laughable Lackey: Creeper was comically drawn (by comparison) and cowardly, but he routinely suffered the abuse of his terrifying Boss.

    The Cauldron Born 
The unstoppable army of the undead which the Horned King creates by using the Black Cauldron to animate the skeletons of dead warriors stored in his castle.
  • Animate Dead: They're for most of the movie just skeletons of long-dead warriors, but the Cauldron's power resurrects them as mindless minions.
  • The Dead Have Eyes: The Cauldron Born are for the most part drawn with empty eye sockets, but the first one emerging from the mist has tiny spots in the blackness of the sockets. Also, the three skeletons attacking a couple of guards in a diving motion have black pupils with greenish scleras. Also, a scene used only in a teaser portrays one Cauldron Born actually having in a black socket an iris as well as a pupil.
  • Deadly Lunge: The three Cauldron Born first emerging from the mist jump in a diving motion onto some of the living guards closest to them, killing them off-screen.
  • Dem Bones: They are all just walking skeletons of dead soldiers.
  • Elite Mooks: They're powerful enough to be used in conquering the world, which is why the Horned King wants to replace his living warriors with the Cauldron Born.
  • Keystone Army: As soon as the Cauldron's power is destroyed, the entire skeleton army crumbles.
  • Implacable Man: They are treated as unstoppable fighters, and the only known way to stop them is to destroy the Cauldron's power through self-sacrifice.
  • Night of the Living Mooks: They're mindless and unstoppable skeletal warriors that exist only to do the bidding of their summoner, who wants to conquer the world.
  • Sickly Green Glow: They're brought to life by a glowing green mist pouring from the Cauldron, and they're enveloped by it until the Cauldron's power is undone.
  • Zombie Gait: They advance from the Horned King's castle by walking slowly and with a hunch.

    The Witches of Morva 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/blackcauldron428.jpg
"We have made a bargain!"
Voiced by: Eda Reiss Merin (Orddu), Adele Malis-Morey (Orwen), Billie Hayes (Orgoch)
Voiced by (Japanese): Kazuko Makino (Orddu), Yoshiko Ohta (Orwen), Reiko Senoh (Orgoch)

Three neutral witches that are infamous for making bargains, they sold the Black Cauldron for Taran's Magic Sword.
  • Abhorrent Admirer: Orwen toward Fflewddur.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In the books, they are implied to be the three Fates (or a Welsh equivalent) and are strictly neutral (though Orddu, at least, seems willing to offer a little advice for free.) Here they are presented as adversaries out to cheat the main characters.
  • All There in the Manual: Orwen goes unnamed until the end credits.
  • Ambiguously Human: Their control over life and death show they are on no same level as mortals or Dallben. They are supposed to be The Fair Folk. In the original stories they represent the version of the Fates from Greek and the Norns from Norse mythology. The three of them make up the mythological archetype of a Triple Goddess.
  • Ass Kicks You: When Orgoch is about to eat the frog Fflewddur, Orwen bumps her aside with her rear.
  • Batman Gambit: Desiring Taran's magic sword as well as wanting to keep the Black Cauldron, Orddu offers the Cauldron in exchange for the sword, counting on the notion that the heroes aren't going to use it, leaving both the Cauldron and the sword for the witches in the end. It almost succeeds, but Fflewddur uses Orddu's logic against them and pressures them to give something in exchange for the Cauldron.
  • Berserk Button: All three of them are undignified by Fflewddur's accusation of them having no real power, prompting them to prove him wrong by resurrecting Gurgi in exchange for the Cauldron.
  • Bewitched Amphibians: They have humans turned into frogs stored in a chest to eat them. After Taran inadvertently releases them, Orddu threatens to turn the heroes into frogs and eat them. Orgoch turns Fflewddur into a frog two times, but Orwen changes him back both times.
  • Big Beautiful Woman: Despite her large figure, Orwen is clearly the most attractive of her sisters. In the books, all three would turn into this by night.
  • Big, Thin, Short Trio: Orwen, Orddu and Orgoch in the respective order.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: All the three witches are barefooted.
  • Evil Redhead: Downplayed. They all have red hair, but they're neutral jerks rather than outright villains. The hair of the least abrasive witch Orwen is a lighter shade of red.
  • Equivalent Exchange: They insist that the Cauldron must be paid for with a magical artifact of equal value. After the villain's defeat, they try to reclaim the Cauldron, only for Fflewddur to insist that they compensate the heroes for it.
  • Gag Boobs: Orwen, which leads to a case of Marshmallow Hell for Fflewddur.
  • Hand Rubbing: Orgoch does this when the witches are about to take back the Black Cauldron.
  • The Hecate Sisters: Orddu is the Mother because she's the leader as well as manipulative; the flirtatious, romantic Orwen who's the least hideous both in appearance and personality is the Maiden; and the nearly manic Orgoch who scowls at Orwen's romanticism is the Crone. Though Orddu and Orwen have opposite physiques to what's usually portrayed with their respective archetypes, all three have voices that suit these roles.
  • Jerkass: They turn humans into frogs to eat them and care more about their own gain than others.
  • Nice Mean And In Between: Orwen is the least abrasive and has a genuinely soft spot for Fflewddur (Nice); Orgoch is quick-tempered and tries to eat Fflewddur almost immediately (Mean); and Orddu is willing to play nice to get her way (In-Between).
  • Really 700 Years Old: Orwen's comment reveals that they've possessed the Black Cauldron for over two millennia.
  • Sinister Schnoz: Both Orddu and Orgoch have a long, pointy nose. Averted with Orwen who's the nicest witch.

    Horned King's soldiers 
Voiced by: Peter Renaday, James Almanzar, Wayne Allwine, Phil Fondacaro, Steve Hale, Phil Nibbelink, Jack Laing

An army of barbaric soldiers who serve the Horned King. They act as minor antagonists during the film.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Their equivalents in the books are the Huntsmen of Annuvin, the main army used by Arawn. If you kill one of them, his strength transfers to the rest, making each one stronger than the last. In the film however, they are just the standard faire D&D style berserker.
  • Aside Glance: When Fflewddur in his first scene tries to appeal to the guard tying him up by calling him "an intelligent sort of chap", the (dumb-looking) guard turns to look at the audience with a confused expression.
  • The Brute: They are barbaric musclemen of the Big Bad until the Cauldron Born come into the picture.
  • Creator Cameo: The red-headed henchman who shakes Creeper for falling in his food is apparently a self-caricature of animator Phil Nibbelink.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Though they fear the Horned King, they have no problems with carrying out his orders... until the Cauldron-Born are created and start killing them off, prompting the soldiers to flee.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Some of them are slaughtered by the Cauldron Born. Those scenes were actually cut to keep them from getting an R rating. In one cutscene, one of the soldiers is gruesomely dissolved by the Cauldron's green mist until there's nothing but bones left.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: The first guard introduced is napping while Taran first sneaks into the castle. An angry guard dog viciously barks at the boy, forcing him against the wall and waking the guard up. The drowsy guard fails to notice Taran, assumes the dog to be barking at nothing and drags it with him for a round.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: They throw axes and spears at Taran and Eilonwy, yet they cannot even cause a scratch on them, even when the two kids are backed against the raised drawbridge.
  • Jerkass: They are vile to the good guys and like to pick on Creeper.
  • Mooks: Strongmen of the Horned King until the Cauldron Born are created.
  • Oh, Crap!: They get a collective one when the Horned King teleports to the throne room. Witnessing the magic sword at play also shocks them. And the Cauldron-Born arising terrifies them.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: When the Cauldron Born are created and start killing the living people off, the soldiers flee for their lives.

Allies

    Dallben 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/char_22433.jpg
"Hen Wen, from you, I do beseech...."
Voiced by: Freddie Jones, Kazuo Kumakura (Japanese)

Dallben is the greatest wizard in Prydain, the keeper of the oracular pig Hen Wen, Taran's adoptive father, and one of the main protagonists.
  • Badass Bookworm: The Sierra game adaptation refers to him studying the Book of Three prior to the events of the film.
  • Big Good: Carries this role over from the books.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: He has thick, messy eyebrows.
  • Composite Character: He amalgamates two characters from the books - Dallben (an elderly sorcerer and Big Good) and Coll (the Pig-Keeper who is Taran's teacher).
  • Fingerless Gloves: Wears a grey pair.
  • Informed Ability: He's called the "greatest wizard in Prydain", but his skills were never shown.
  • Lethal Chef: Implied. The gruel he prepares for Hen Wen was so inedible that she and the pet cat refused to eat it.
  • Nice Guy: Dallben is a kind man.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: His last line implies that something Hen Wen showed him led him to send Taran and Hen Wen into harm's way, but it still seems like an odd decision.
  • Parental Substitute: The books make it more clear that Taran was found on Dallben's doorstep as a young child. In the manual for the game, it is stated that he found Taran in a forest near a battlefield, not knowing which of the slaughtered bodies were his parents.
  • So Proud of You: He says this at the ending about Taran's act of opting for Gurgi's resurrection over regaining the magic sword.
    "You did well, my boy."

    Hen Wen 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/oracular_pig.jpg
Voiced by: Frank Welker

Hen Wen is the magical pet pig of Taran and Dallben.
  • Amplified Animal Aptitude: Her superior intelligence may be justified by her oracular nature.
  • Escort Mission: One of your first tasks in the game is to deliver Hen Wen to Gwystyl. There is the chance that she will get kidnapped by the Gwythaints during this task.
  • Living MacGuffin: For the first half of the film. The Horned King wants her because he wishes to control her prophetic abilities. Thankfully, she was able to escape thanks to Taran.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: A little white sow, very timid, picky about her food and fond of Taran.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: She's packed off back to Caer Dallben while the heroes go on to Morva. One of Taran's wiser decisions, as it turned out.
  • Waif Prophet: A non-human version. Hen Wen has the ability to see into the future.

    Eidelleg and the Fair Folk 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/black_cauldron_2.jpg
Voiced by: Arthur Malet (Eidelleg), John Byner (Doli)
Voiced by (Japanese): Ichirō Nagai (Eidelleg), Ryūji Saikachi (Doli)

A group of kindly fairy-like creatures led by King Eidilleg.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: Doli is just as cantankerous, temperamental and rude as his literary counterpart, but where Doli of the books stuck with Taran and crew to the end, this Doli leaves them at their lowest point with a short "The Reason You Suck" Speech, whereupon his role in the movie is essentially over.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: In the books, King Eidilleg is an extreme grouch and a Jerk with a Heart of Gold with a grudge against humans. In the movie, he's a mild-mannered and somewhat ineffective Nice Guy, probably to contrast better with Grumpy Old Man Doli.
  • Adaptation Species Change: True to legend, the Fair Folk in the books were hugely varied and had many different kinds. Doli, in particular, is specifically described as a dwarf. In the movie, they're all tiny winged creatures; (Tinker Bell even makes a brief, blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo among them.)
  • Age Lift: Similar to Fflewddur, Doli looks a lot older here than he's described as in the books.
  • Demoted to Extra: Doli is a major character in the books, even forming an Odd Friendship with Flewddur, but his role in the movie is pretty minor.
    • Gwystyl even moreso: He was the owner of Kaw, a recurring character in the books, and partook in the final battle in the fifth book. In the film he was Adapted Out, but makes a brief appearance in the game if you get Hen Wen to safety.
  • Expy: Doli is the recycled character for Grumpy from Snow White because of their rough and sweet personality.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Doli is an old man and is the most cantankerous of the Fair Folk.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Doli is a rude and cantankerous old man who deep down cares more about people than he's willing to let on.
  • Light Is Good: They emit a glow and are on the side of good.
  • Nice Guy: King Eidilleg in contrast with Doli.
  • Nice Hat: All of them wear some sort of hat.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After the heroes have found the Black Cauldron and discovered they can't do anything with it, Doli loses his temper and leaves. He isn't seen again for the rest of the movie except for a brief appearance in the very last scene, where he's on Dallben's farm with Dallben and Hen Wen.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • They're collectively subject to one in a scene in which Eilonwy shames them into being helpful, which was unfortunately cut for time.
    • Doli delivers a short one to the main characters before he leaves them; "What a bunch of blundering misfits! Things just never work out when you're dealing with people!"
  • Wacky Wayside Tribe: Cave-dwelling fairies who steer the heroes toward the Witches of Morva.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Characters/TheBlackCauldron