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Characters / Primal (2019)

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Main Characters

    Spear 
Voiced by: Aaron LaPlante
  • Action Dad: He was this before his children died. A flashback shows how he taught his son how to hunt.
  • All Cavemen Were Neanderthals: Spear, the show's protagonist looks like a stereotypical neanderthal-like caveman with a bulky physique, hunched posture, thick arms and enormous fists, as well as thick brows and a flat forehead. He also seems to have Super Strength, considering he fights animals far larger than him with his bare hands. His characterisation, however, is decidedly unstereotypical, being a rare example of a neanderthal-like character who is treated by the story as a connectable person with feelings rather than as a simple brute or the butt of a joke.
  • Anti-Hero: The main hero, Spear, brutally kills his opponents, but considering that this is a dog-eat-dog world where our moral standards don't exist yet, it's justified for his situation. Spear is even shown preparing to attack Fang and her family before being interrupted by the horned tyrannosaurs. He does have an altruistic side however, as he returns the old mammoth's tusk to it's herd and he saves one of the cave-dwellers and the food he was bringing despite it putting him at risk.
  • Blade on a Stick: His weapon of choice, which he is named for.
  • Brains and Brawn: Played with. Neither of the main characters are either particularly dumb or weak but while Spear is strong he relies on his weaponry and innovation in combat more than brute strength.
    • In many cases, his brute strength allows him to exercise even more of his brainpower, like ripping the tooth out of a tyrannosaur's head to stab it, or pulling the horn off of a dead triceratops' skull to stab a giant spider in the neck. A lot of his strategies simply wouldn't work if he weren't insanely strong to begin with.
  • Barbarian Longhair: Spear sports shoulder-long black hair, and he's a powerful, savage hunter struggling to survive in a primordial world.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Spear demonstrates almost superhuman-level feats of strength at times. Probably the most prominent example in the very first episode is when he throws his spear straight through a fully-grown T. Rex like a bullet. Though he was in a full Unstoppable Rage at the time.
  • Combat Pragmatist: If his trademark spear isn't available to him, he'll use rocks or whatever else nearby he can get his hands on.
  • Despair Event Horizon: After losing his wife and kids to a pack of horned T. rex, Spear climbs a tall cliff and ponders whether or not he should just step off of it. He ultimately doesn't go through, but he did spend many hours at the edge of the cliff thinking about if he should.
  • Fantastic Racism: In the first episode, he decides to try and kill Fang not because she's a threat but because she's a dinosaur similar to the dinosaurs that killed and ate his family. He does change his mind about her when he sees that she has a family of her own and helps her fight off the dinosaurs that killed both their families.
  • Genius Bruiser: He has the intelligence that comes with being a human, but he's also strong enough to kill a T. rex using only his spear and a large stone.
  • Good Parents: He was a loving father to his children, which made their deaths devastating for him.
  • Hidden Depths: Spear is a powerful warrior with a tenacious will to survive. In quiet moments, he tends to enjoy cave painting and shadow puppetry.
  • Hulking Out: In the fifth episode he drinks all of the ape-men's potion, turning him into a rampaging monster looking like a prehistoric version of The Incredible Hulk.
  • Interspecies Friendship: With Fang, a tyrannosaur.
  • Javelin Thrower: Naturally. He is very skilled in spear fighting up close, but he is very accurate when it comes to throwing his spear.
  • Nice Guy: It doesn't get shown too often, what with everything trying to kill him and having to hunt, but Spear has shown to be an affable man outside of that. He was a loving father to his children, allowed Fang to follow him in mutual grief for their lost families, showed remorse in killing an elderly mammoth for food and clothing, returned its tusk to its herd, and saved a cave dweller despite having no reason to.
  • Screaming Warrior: He charges into fights with a roar. Sometimes does this even outside of fights as a sign of frustration.
  • Vengeance Feels Empty: He avenged his family by killing the tyrannosaurs responsible. But if his sloping to the ground immediately afterwards is any indication, he felt no joy in it.
  • Weak, but Skilled: He is by no means weak, but as a human faced with the larger prehistoric monsters of his time he's forced to rely on attacking their blind spots, using nearby objects as weapons, or teaming up with Fang to win against them.
    • Special mention should also be given to his skillfulness with his spear. Whether it be accuracy and power in his throws that let him take down tyrannosaurs or his abilities in close combat, being able to dodge, thrust, and cut to kill many different types of monster, Spear's namesake weapon and skill with it is a strong showcase for the human ability to overcome the primal wilderness.
  • When He Smiles: Spear is usual grim faced and frowning but when he smiles its a beautiful thing.
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    Fang 
  • All Animals Are Dogs: Zig-Zagged, while Fang does do some dog-like things (putting her face in Spear's to sniff his food and laying down like one), the show never makes one forget that Fang is very intelligent and a large carnivorous dinosaur that is Spear's equal rather than pet.
  • Brains and Brawn: Played with. Fang displays human level intelligence but she is far more simple in her approach to situations than Spear. She makes up for this by being the notably more powerful of the pair.
  • Cowardly Lion: She's a fierce tyrannosaur and is normally anything but cowardly, but her near-death experience when fighting a giant snake gave her a phobia of anything snake-like so much that she runs in fear from a harmless earthworm.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: She's on the receiving end of this from Krog the ape champion, only getting in a bite or two before being thrown around like a ragdoll. What doesn't help is that Krog had consumed a bit of a Super Serum that sends him into unstoppable bloodlust.
  • Dumb Dinos: Inverted; Fang is very intelligent.
  • Good Parents: She was shown to be a caring mother for her hatchlings. Just like with Spear, she was greatly saddened by their deaths.
  • Interspecies Friendship: With Spear, a caveman.
  • It Can Think: It's made clear early on that Fang is very intelligent. She's emotive, stubborn, occasionally selfish and capable of abstract thinking/planning.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Fang can be notably more selfish and willful than Spear, stealing his kills and leaving him to drag a large pile of meat that logically she would have a much easier time with. That being said, she doesn't hesitate to risk her life to protect Spear and volunteered as a heat source to protect him from a freezing blizzard.
  • Mama Bear: Fang puts up a hard fight to protect her kids. She still fails.
  • Meaningful Name: She's named after the large snaggletooth in her lower jaw.
  • Monster Is a Mommy: Well, she was.
  • Playing Possum: She does this to trick the giant bats into bringing her to their lair, where she knows Spear is.
  • Tyrannosaurus rex: A tyrannosaur with an enlarged fang, although she's smaller than a fully grown T. rex (closer in size to an Albertosaurus or a Gorgosaurus).
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Due to experiencing the river of snakes, Fang comes to fear snakes. So much so that she even gets scared of an earthworm (another legless creature) because it reminds her of a snake. Spear trys to show her there's nothing to fear, to no avail. He then proceeds to eat it.

Family members

    Spear's Family 
  • Death of a Child: Both of Spear's children are eaten by the horned tyrannosaurs.
  • Not Enough to Bury: They are devoured whole by tyrannosaurs, leaving nothing left but blood stains on the grass.
  • Nubile Savage: Spear's wife looks a lot more like a modern human compared to her Neanderthal-like husband, with an appearance very close to modern beauty standards.
  • Stuffed in the Fridge: They are killed early in the first episode, and their death is what sets Spear on his journey.

     Fang's Babies 
  • Death of a Child: The two of them are eaten by the alpha tyrannosaur.
  • Stuffed in the Fridge: They are killed in the first episode. Fang's struggle (and ultimate failure) to protect them from the predators is what makes Spear see the two of them are Not So Different.

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Other Creatures

    Deinosuchus 

    Pterosaur 
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: It has the long neck and body proportions of Quetzalcoatlus, a bony crest on the back of its head similar to Pteranodon, and a toothed bill and fleshy crest like Pterodactylus.
  • One-Shot Character: It lands, smells Spear's fish, roars at something, and then leaves.
  • Ptero Soarer: It appears to be hairless, has five fingers on its wings (four claws plus the long membrane-holding finger), and is a mix-match of different pterodactyloids. At least it walks (mostly) on four limbs and does not grasp anything with its feet.
  • Shown Their Work: For all its inaccuracies, at least it is quadrupedal, has non-columnar forelimbs, and hunts terrestrially like a large azhdarchid. It is also one of the few pterosaurs in fiction to be depicted with a fleshy crest, which some might have possessed in real life.

    Horned Tyrannosaurus 
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The alpha is gigantic, at the size of a sauropod. It's understandable if you mistake its normal-sized pack members as its children.
  • Evil Is Bigger: They are slightly bigger than Fang, the sympathetic Tyrannosaurus, and their leader is humongous, with a body length between 20 and 30 meters.
  • Horns of Villainy: All of them have horns (two of them having a Ceratosaurus-like horn, another a horn arrangement like an African rhinoceros, and the last one small hornlets on the snout similar to Alioramus), which the more sympathetic Tyrannosaurus Fang lacks.
  • Informed Species: Downplayed in that, despite their horns, they all possess the general body size, proportions, and two-fingered hands of Tyrannosaurus. Although the one with the most (and smallest) horns is the closest looking to a real Tyrannosaurus.
  • Made of Plasticine: As typical for a gory series. Spear can kill one of them by throwing a spear through its torso like a bullet.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: They are the correct size and shape for a T. rex, but they have horns like rhinos, Ceratosaurus, or Alioramus.
  • Monstrous Cannibalism: The horned Tyrannosaurus are either the same species as Fang, or at least a closely related species. This does not stop them from seeing Fang's offspring as prey. Truth in Television in that their species really were cannibalistic.
  • Non-Malicious Monster: They're just predators targeting what they think are prey.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Spear bashes one of the horned tyrannosaurs' legs in with a rock, resulting in a compound fracture, but after a few seconds of screaming it just snaps the leg back into place and keeps attacking like nothing happened, though it does seem to have a limp for the short period it survives after fixing its leg.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: They a dark shade of red with prominent black stripes.
  • Starter Villain: The first foes that Spear and Fang fight together.
  • Tyrannosaurus rex: Despite their horns, all of them are identified in the animatic as T. rex.
  • Your Size May Vary: The alpha is enormous, but how big it is varies from scene to scene. In its first appearance it seems gigantic, with the other tyrannosaurs looking like infants next to it; in the scene where it attacks Fang's babies it only seems slightly larger than its other pack-members.

    Horned Deer (Syndyoceras
  • Animals Not to Scale: The Syndyoceras in the flashback scene of "A Cold Death" is around the size of a large moose. In real life it was as big as a medium-sized deer or antelope, weighing about 60 kg.
  • Gentle Giant: It's an enormous herbivore that shows no sign of aggression, instead fleeing for its life as Spear and his son try to kill it.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: One of first times a protoceratid is represented in a cartoon.
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    Giant Snakes 
  • Animals Not to Scale: While the largest one is about the right length for a Titanoboa, it's also much thicker than that species was.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: The largest one is about the right size for Titanoboa, a giant constrictor snake from the Eocene.
  • Snakes Are Sinister: They are gigantic snakes and hostile predators.
  • Somewhere, a Herpetologist Is Crying: They resemble pythons or boas, but have fangs like venomous snakes (a common error in constrictor snakes in cartoons). And yet, they seem to be non-venomous just like pythons and boas.

    Mammoths 
  • Animals Not to Scale: Real-life woolly mammoths were slightly smaller than African elephants. These beasts, especially their matriarch, are at least twice as big, towering over Fang, a Tyrannosaurus.
  • Anti-Villain: The mammoths attack Spear and Fang remorselessly, but its only because they ate one of their own and took away its tusk. Once they're given it, they retreat to ceremonial grounds.
  • Cruel Elephant: Subverted. They're aggressive and try to kill Spear and Fang, but only because they took the tusk of the elderly mammoth with them. Once Spear gives them the tusk, they stop attacking.
  • Due to the Dead: They hold a funeral ceremony for the elderly mammoth, swinging side to side while humming and touching his tusk with their trunks.
  • Elephant Graveyard: They take the tusk of their fallen herd-mate to one of these, holding some kind of funeral ceremony to him.
  • Eye Scream: Subverted. Spear uses a rock to seemingly smash the eye of the elderly mammoth into a bloody pulp, but the eye itself remains intact.
  • Honorable Elephant: The mammoths are presented as particularly intelligent prehistoric beasts who mourn for their dead.
  • It Can Think: The fact that they can comprehend vengeance and giving Due to the Dead shows that they are not by any means stupid.
  • Mammoths Mean Ice Age: Not exactly Ice Age, but they are shown living in a snowy environment.
  • Shown Their Work: Elephants will hold funeral ceremonies to a deceased member of the herd. There's no doubt that mammoths did the same since they are true elephants.

    Saber-toothed Wolves 
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: They look like wolves with Smilodon-like teeth.
  • One-Shot Character: They scavenge on the corpse of the mammoth, then retreat when the other mammoths return.
  • Savage Wolves: Averted. Their role is scavenging the body of the elderly mammoth. When the other mammoths come back, they run away.

    Raptors 
  • Book-Ends: They are seen in the beginning chasing down Fang and Spear. They appear in the end when Spear decides to lure the giant bats into the tall grass where the raptors live so they can deal with each other.
  • Homefield Advantage: They refuse to pursue Spear and Fang into the territory of the giant bats after sundown and return to the field of tall grass but when the bats are lured into the same field at sunrise, they have no qualms about attacking them and seem to have the advantage.
  • One-Hit Point Wonder: One strike from Spear's weapon or one bite from Fang is usually enough to kill them.
  • Raptor Attack: Large, featherless, lizardlike, and pack-oriented; checks all the boxes.
  • Zerg Rush: Their attack strategy is based only on numbers.

    Primitive Men 
  • Androcles' Lion: After Spear saves their wounded member and brings in the food he was carrying, one of them returns his weapon to him.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: They're ugly albino people who live in caverns, but they help Spear by giving him back his spear.
  • Frazetta Man: Subverted. They are definitely more primitive than Spear, essentially looking like hairless apes, but they are also somewhat intelligent, would rather run from a fight (justified given the world they live in), and actually give Spear his spear back after he loses it.
  • Loincloth: Despite their primitive, ape-like appearance, they wear loincloths.
  • Oh, Crap!: When the one carrying the boar breaks his leg, he begins screaming. Then the rest begin screaming. They know what's going to happen next, and who's going to come for the injured one.
  • Primal Chest-Pound: One does this in both the trailer and the episode, as he charges to the rescue of his injured tribe-mate.
  • Primal Stance: They are knuckle-walkers.

    Giant Bats 
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: They have blood-red fur.
  • Bad Moon Rising: They attack during a blood moon.
  • Bat Out of Hell: They are blood-red, gigantic, and incredibly horrifying.
  • Berserk Button: When the giant spider is dead, they lose it and hunt down Fang and Spear.
  • The Dreaded: They are the reason the local primitive humanoids always hide in the dark.
  • Establishing Character Moment: When one of the primitive men breaks his leg, another decided to help him out. He gets swooped up in an instant by the giant bats.
  • Giant Flyer: They can fly and are larger than Fang.
  • Seldom-Seen Species: They do resemble Necromantis, a relatively large sized predatory bat from the Eocene, even having its characteristic strong jaw muscles and short snout. However, they are about as big as the largest pterosaurs.
  • Zerg Rush: Their strategy is in numbers.

    Giant Spider 

    Ape Men 
  • Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: Their warriors wear a bit of jewelry, Krog wears a Triceratops skull as a helmet... and nothing else.
  • All There in the Manual: According to the credits, the name of the giant champion is Krog.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Spear rips off the Ape-Man champion's arms, only to bludgeon the giant gorilla to death with his own severed arms.
  • Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!: After Spear brutally kills their champion, all the smaller apes decide to Zerg Rush Spear. Unfortunately, Spear was at the time juiced up by their Super Serum, and reduced them to Ludicrous Gibs. They decided to do the smart thing and run, but Spear didn't let any of them escape.
  • Cool Helmet: Their champion has one in the form of a Triceratops skull.
  • Elite Mook: The tribe consists of hundreds of small, white apes (somewhat resembling Japanese snow monkeys) and five huge, powerful black-furred gorilla-like warriors.
  • Fangs Are Evil: They have ape-like, pointy canine teeth. After Krog drinks the serum, his teeth grow in length, fitting his bloodthirsty rage.
  • Frazetta Man: Played straight. They look like anthropomorphic apes, have a violent, crude culture, and seem to enjoy hurting others. They kidnap both Fang and Spear for unknown purposes, either as food or entertainment (or both).
  • Fully Dressed Cartoon Animal: The shaman wears a long cloak that covers everything but his (or her) face and arms.
  • Hero Killer: Their champion greatly wounds Fang, seemingly killing her.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The black liquid they used to strengthen their champion was ingested by Spear, strengthening him and starting a killing spree.
  • Horns of Villainy: Krog wears a Triceratops skull as a helmet during his fight against Fang.
  • Killer Gorilla: All of the champion nominees are giant gorilla-men, and kill each other over the title.
  • King Kong Copy: Krog, the ape-man champion turns into one of these after drinking from the black potion.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: A lot of these guys are reverted to this.
  • Maniac Monkeys: Unlike most other monsters the duo meet, these simians are not only intelligent, they also exhibit a culture of violence and cruelty.
  • Mook Horror Show: Their final scene is this, as they run in terror from Spear, who is eviscerating them left and right.
  • One-Winged Angel: The effect of the Super Serum.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: After brutally beating up Fang to the point where it looks like he killed her, the champion kinda deserved what he got.
  • Primal Chest-Pound: The largest gorilla warrior pounds his chest while fighting Krog. Then Krog also does it directly after drinking the Super Serum.
  • Religion of Evil: They hold strange and violent rituals held by a priest.
  • Strong Empire, Shriveled Emperor: They have a violent society where apparently Asskicking Equals Authority - except for their shaman/high priest, who is the skinniest, most frail member of the tribe, but also seems to be the highest authority, refereeing the tournament and controlling the Super Serum.
  • Super Serum: Have one in the form of black goo that increases the size and muscle mass of the individual affected. It also makes them super aggressive, doubling as a Psycho Serum.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The Ape Men being primitive doesn't really defend them from this trope, unlike it would with other creatures, as the Apes were shown to be the smartest and the most advanced creatures in the series so far. But the fact that the Apes only retreated after Spear immediately overwhelmed them and not after he had drank the potion or right after he killed their Champion, qualifies them for being some of the dumbest characters in the series compared to Spear or the Primitive Men.
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