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Western Animation / Galtar and the Golden Lance

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Galtar and the Golden Lance (1985) was one of the first three series in The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera. After his village is ravaged by Tormack's hordes, Galtar sets out after the evil warlord for revenge. In his quest, he discovers a kingdom conquered by Tormack, and there meets Princess Goleeta, whose magical Golden Shield was amid the loot Tormack took for himself after slaying her parents and claiming the kingdom. The two join forces and claim the Golden Lance, a powerful enchanted weapon, from amidst Skull Forest. Goleeta's younger brother, Zorn, soon joins the quest to defeat Tormack and recover her shield.

Galtar and the Golden Tropes:

  • '80s Hair: Marin's huge fluff of platinum hair is barely kept together by her metal headband.
  • Action Series: Of the Sword and Sorcery genre, albeit nowhere near Conan-levels due to being made for a kids' programming block...
  • Ambiguously Brown: Redheaded Goleeta and her younger brother Zorn both have darker skin tone than the obviously Caucasian Galtar. Same goes with Rava, who has green eyes to complement her raven hair and tan complexion.
  • Arranged Marriage: Rava is betrothed to the Slug King in one episode. His death calls off the engagement.
  • Bag of Kidnapping: In the third episode, Mursa the witch, who had taken the form of Goleeta, was nabbed this way by Rak and Tuk, having mistaken her for the real Goleeta.
  • Barbarian Hero: Galtar is a fairly typical furry-underwear protagonist in the mold of Conan the Barbarian, or rather The Theme Park Version of the latter.
  • Betty and Veronica: Once Rava is introduced, the usual dynamics begin to play as this raven-haired Femme Fatale not-so subtly expresses her interest in Galtar, making the more mundane Goleeta uncomfortable with jealousy (despite her denials).
  • Bifurcated Weapon: Galtar's Golden Lance can turn from a double-bladed sword into a pair of blades or a single combined sword; Zorn's Skyscreamer splits into three smaller boomerangs upon being thrown, then back again.
  • Butt-Monkey: If there's a character in the show bound for some humiliation, expect Rak and Tuk to be the ones suffering it most — either through Laser-Guided Karma or sheer comedic value. Nothing ever goes well for these two. Nothing. Rava later on suffers her own taste of karmic misfortunes, including one episode that ends with her chained & locked in the same cell as the aforementioned dwarves.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: A trait shared between Rava and the father-son duo of Rak and Tuk. It's amazing how these people somehow always manage to slink their way back into Galtar and co.'s good (but weary) graces after all the stunts they pull regularly. The latter two are at least honest about their duplicitous, gold-hungry ways and, given enough compensation, can actually be counted on to stay loyal for the duration of that deal. The former? Not so much.
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: Almost 15 years after the show was canceled, a single Galtar story was published in Cartoon Network Presents as part of a Toonami themed issue, alongside a Dynomutt, Dog Wonder story (which was also the only time it was featured in the anthology). There was no hint of any sort of follow-up, as the anthology soon rebranded to Cartoon Network Starring and no longer had Toonami-themed issues.
  • Co-Dragons: Two Thormak's most loyal minions are Krimm his personal sorcerer, and Otar who is a Mook Lieutenant to the Gurzas.
  • Cute Monster Girl: A borderline case with Falca the harpy. She's got dark-green skin, fiendish red eyes, and a shrill voice to go with the whole Obviously Evil look... yet still has an attractive-enough feminine figure.
  • Daddy's Little Villain: Rava fits the trope, though she has no loyalty to Tormack whatsoever; Rava is out for Rava.
  • Distress Ball: While still susceptible to Damsel in Distress moments (at times), Goleeta can more than hold her own in a fight, and even keep up with Galtar in terms of athleticism and Combat Parkour.
  • Dragon Rider: Aside from his trusty horse Thork, Galtar has befriended a powerful red dragon called Ravensclaw who sometimes comes to his aid and lends him a ride. Where and how these two met is never elaborated on, but it's clear that they've already been familiar with each other since before the first episode. Goleeta later discovers that the black stone in Rava's armlet can be used to summon Ravensclaw at will (though this is hardly ever utilized).
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: For such a tyrannical world conqueror, Tormack at least seems to genuinely care for his niece, Rava. She has backstabbed him time and time again, yet he remains surprisingly lenient when it's time to punish her for her transgressions. How does he respond when she tried to usurp his throne? Put her in jail alongside Rak and Tuk for about maybe a few weeks. The worst he's done to her is attempting to marry her off to a hideous slug creature... which, then again, might've actually been his way of subjecting Fate Worse than Death upon the poor girl.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Rava may be an ambitious, selfish little minx, but even she's not so ruthless as to just sit back and let her uncle Tormack commit murder... at least when it concerns Galtar... and only Galtar.
    • A straighter example would be Rak and Tuk. Sneaky, opportunistic little bastards these two may be, but they take no real pleasure in the event that someone gets killed for any of their actions. When Rava hires them to cut Goleeta's rope so that she'd fall to her death, Rak makes it perfectly clear that the only reason he's willing to go through with it (besides the money, of course) is because he knows that Galtar would be there to save her. And he does.
  • Evil Overlord: Tormack himself. Unusually, he was implied to have originally been a Mongol-esque roving barbarian raider before conquering Goleeta's kingdom and claiming the throne for himself.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Tormack is a mighty barbarian Evil Overlord with a very deep voice, courtesy of the late great Brock Peters.
  • Eye Scream: It's mentioned in the first episode that Tormack's distinct solid-yellow eye was actually burnt into blindness when he attempted to claim the Golden Lance for himself.
  • Faceless Goons: Tormack's minions, the Gurzas who's faces are completely covered in red clothe.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: The slug king was hung out to dry by Rava.
  • Femme Fatale: Rava fits all the corners. Physically attractive? Check. Has a blatant romantic interest in the hero? Check. Exploits and manipulates others to suit her own ends? Check.
  • Form-Fitting Wardrobe: Both Goleeta's armor and Rava's dress are very formfitting... and show quite a fair amount of skin.
  • Goldfish Poop Gang: Rak and Tuk, whenever they're working for Tormack (or some other villain), are just as comically inept as they do when on Galtar's side.
  • Heroic Fantasy: A Conan/John Carter-inspired 1980s action cartoon with a Barbarian Hero.
  • Horse of a Different Color: Pretty much all the horses in the setting are alien. Galtar's steed, Thork, has cloven hooves and two unicorn-like horns on either side of his mohawk-like mane. The steeds ridden by the Gurzas look like a cross between a horse and a bear, with a rhino-like horn on their heads. Zorn rides what is best described as a red ostrich-type creature with gold reptilian eyes.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Justified with Zorn's Skyscreamer; it's mentally controlled by Zorn, so splitting into three bits and cutting three ropes in one shot is par for the course.
  • I Will Find You: At the conclusion of Episode 14, Zorn and his new friend Marin end up being separated when a sudden earthquake destroys the bridge they were crossing. Marin barely has enough time to see Zorn safely reach the other side (where Galtar and Goleeta are waiting) before she and her lion-wolf mount are forced to drop down below. What happened to her afterwards isn't known, but Zorn feels that she made it out okay and promises to one day find her again. Sadly, as with the main story itself, this subplot never sees its resolution...
  • Lantern Jaw of Justice: Galtar, of course, has a prominent cleft chin.
  • Laser Blade: The Golden Lance is made of solid metal, but it can shoot magical lasers as a ranged attack, not to mention "coat" itself with a laser aura during power-up mode.
  • Left Hanging: Like its fellow Hanna-Barbera quest series, the quest never got finished. Goleeta never got her shield and kingdom back by the time it ended.
  • Loincloth: Galtar wears one, probably to make up for the weight of his armor (assuming it's made of gold).
  • Lovable Traitor: Rak and Tuk, for all their shameless greed, are so fumblingly incompetent and pitiable that it's almost impossible to hate them. Galtar doesn't even seem to mind their double-crossing ways all that much, so long as they bring good results when he pays for their services... which they do (sometimes).
  • Love Potion: Used on Rava by Tormack's wizard to get her to marry a slug king infatuated with her. Did not work out, to say the least.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: An explicit power of the Golden Shield is the ability to negate any and all attacks dealt against the bearer, even repulsing the destructive power of the Golden Lance.
  • Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter: Rava looks like it in Episode 6, but is later revealed to still be evil.
  • Magical Accessory: Rava's initial weapon is an armlet encrusted with three gems: ruby, diamond, and black stone. The first two allows the user to cast fire and crystallizing beams, respectively, while the third contains Black Magic that's only meant to be used as a last resort. She later hands the armlet over to Goleeta as a gesture of goodwill... but of course, Rava being Rava, that's not saying much.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Rava in a nutshell. She'll sweet talk anyone into cooperating with her using false promises of loyalty, only to turn her back once a "better alternative" presents itself. Every. Time.
  • Minidress of Power: Goleeta's blue armor-like dress has a short skirt that never seems to fall out of place no matter what acrobatic move she does.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: As part of Rava's master plan to obtain Goleeta's kingdom and capture Galtar (so she could coerce him into marrying her), she sets up a duel between herself and Goleeta at Nightmare Canyon that would see the two of them try swinging across a collapsed bridge at the same time — where deadly spikes are waiting below. First one to reach the other end wins. Sounds fair enough... except Rava hired Rak and Tuk beforehand to sabotage Goleeta's rope so that it snaps midway, hoping that she'd plummet to her doom. Galtar, thankfully, saves her just in the nick of time.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The "Golden Lance" is actually a double-bladed sword that can split into two swords.
  • Once an Episode: Galtar loses the Golden Lance, allowing the episode's plot to happen without Galtar being able to simply carve through it with a superior weapon.
  • Only the Pure of Heart: The Lance will destroy anyone who does not use it for good, and can only be used by its chosen hero (it was mentioned in an early episode that Zorn couldn't use it). Except that somehow, Rava, of all people, used it in Episode 21. What.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Averted. Dwarves in this realm have tiny horns and claws, and the two we see the most often, Rak and Tuk, are almost goblin-ish sniveling thieves and schemers.
  • Precision-Guided Boomerang: Zorn's Skyscreamer. Justified by Zorn's Mind over Matter ability; he can make it do impossible things and come back.
  • Pretty in Mink: Rava's white fur dress.
  • Puppy Love: Zorn and Marin. The two kids hit it off immediately during the short time they spend together, with Zorn even acting all chivalric in order to impress her. Forced to go their separate ways in the end, the young prince makes a solemn promise to one day find Marin again. And he probably would've, had the show been allowed to reach a proper conclusion...
  • Raised by Wolves: Marin after being lost in the valley was raised by lion-like creatures.
  • Rearing Horse: Thork does an impressive one during the intro. Also seen in a few episodes, such as when Galtar and friends are about to ride off into the sunset.
  • The Rival: Mere minutes after their introduction, Goleeta already senses her dislike towards Rava and wastes no time competing against her on things like athletic prowess. This only gets worse after the latter's treacherous nature comes to light. One memorable episode even has them go so far as to race each other on a brief Death Course for the prize of... well... who gets to keep Galtar (much to the poor guy's exasperation).
  • Season Fluidity: All over the place, middling out as a Half-Arc Season. Some level of Negative Continuity; if Rak and Tuk are transformed into ducks they'll be back to normal next episode, but Status Quo is not God, and if a plot element or character is introduced, they may come back in a later episode. Similarly, Tormack is the enemy in about half the episodes, but he's far from the only problem Galtar has to deal with.
  • Seahorse Steed: These are the mounts used by Argus the merman and his people. He lends one each to Galtar and Goleeta so that they may cross the sea and rescue Zorn from the clutches of Vikor and his raiders.
  • Ship Tease: Not that the show ever manages to explore it beyond that, but hints of Goleeta having secret feelings for Galtar do pop up now and then, especially once Rava enters the picture. It helps that Galtar, while not the flirting type, is most certainly interested himself...
  • Take a Third Option: So how does Rava choose between her desire for Galtar and her ambition to take the throne of Bandisar? Does she cement her Heel–Face Turn in the name of love? Nope. Does she sell Galtar out to Tormack for the reward of being made queen? Not quite. Instead she hatches a plan that involves Playing Both Sides, culminating in her successful coup against Tormack and capturing Galtar to do with as she pleases.
  • Third-Person Person: Rava has a tendency to speak like this, and always with a haughty tone.
  • Villainesses Want Heroes: Rava's main drive is her lust for power, closely followed by her lust for a certain blond barbarian...
  • We Can Rule Together: Falca offers this to Galtar in exchange for the power of the Golden Lance, which he turns down. Rava does the same in a later episode after she (temporarily) manages to overthrow Tormack, only she doesn't even need the lance anymore; she just wants Galtar all to herself. Again, the hero refuses, causing an incensed Rava to ask if it's because of Goleeta. When Galtar doesn't respond, she takes his silence as a "yes", then promptly invokes the If I Can't Have You… clause...
  • Wild Card: Rak and Tuk are loyal to the highest bidder. Rava's a Wild Card for a different reason.
  • Yellow Peril: Tormack and his goons have a very strong Mongolian feel to them, while he and his sorcerer Krimm both sport Fu Manchu–style mustaches.