You are alone, child. There is only darkness for you, and only death for your people. These ancients are just the beginning. I will command a great and terrible army, we will sail to a billion worlds. We will sail until every light has been extinguished. You are strong child, but I am beyond strength. I am the end. And I have come for you, Finn.
~ The Lich
The Lich, also known as the Lich King, is the overall main antagonist of Adventure Time. He is an entity of pure evil who escaped from his imprisonment and tried to bring extinction to all life during his first appearance. He serves as the main antagonist of the Season 2 finale “Mortal Folly/Mortal Recoil”, a minor antagonist/Bigger Bad in Season 3, the main antagonist of Season 4 and the Season 5 premiere “Finn the Human/Jake the Dog” and a major antagonist in seasons 6-8.
Early on, the Lich (or Lich King) had a plan to suck all life from the Land of Ooo. Using the stolen power, he planed to destroy all life, but he was attacked by the hero Billy. He was trapped in a prison of amber in the heart of the Candy Kingdom after Billy personally pounded him into it.
The Lich is depicted as a dark, nihilistic and malevolent lord. The Lich doesn't have another main objective than giving extinction to all life and all beings. Unlike other villains who are always centered in their different plans, The Lich only has the plan of total annihilation, and he will kill anyone who he considers an obstacle on his way, no matter the price.
His words have much seriousness, as well as being an expert in the use of reverse psychology, which is shown when he could mislead Finn. Despite his difficulty to show emotions, he is visibly shocked when Finn survives his fire attack, and laughs too when Finn attacks him with his sweater, showing his emotion to find a worthy opponent who can cope while getting mocked for being much more powerful than Finn and being about to escape.
When The Lich possessed Princess Bubblegum he was very unreasonable, he didn't speak coherently and just thought in destroying everything in his path. However, all The Lich said clearly when he was on her body is that he wanted to destroy all existing life. When he took over Billy's body he began to have more dialogues in the series. The Lich is shown to be very intelligent and manipulative to fool everyone and shows his annoyance when someone stands among his objectives as well as also laughs in a crazy way to advance a step more in his goal.
Powers and Abilities
Apart from his immortality, the Lich has a mix of unholy powers, including flames. At the beginning, it was revealed that the Lich has the power to control the minds of people (mind control), either through telepathy or by the mention of their evil spells. Later in the episode when he went to his den, he destroyed everything he touched.
On the other hand, he has the ability to possess bodies, even if these are alive or dead, as seen in "Mortal Recoil" when he survived thanks to the possession of Princess Bubblegum. Also he has the ability to fly and can kill or destroy almost everything that comes in contact with him. When The Lich crossed the Iceberg Lake, he killed all the fish in the Lake without realizing it, and when he fought with Finn, he destroyed the gauntlet of Billy turning it into powder. He is also able to practice necromancy, as seen when Finn and Jake came into his lair. While The Lich possessed Princess Bubblegum, he revealed to possess powers of pyrokinesis ability to create or control the fire with the mind.
Adventure Time Comics
The Lich returns again as the main villain in the first 3 issues. In the first issue, it escapes the Waving Snail by journeying into The Bag of Holding , an ancient artifact capable of sucking up the entire world. The Waving Snail returns to its original form and the Lich to its skeletal form seen in "Mortal Folly." The Lich seeks revenge on Finn and Jake and the Land of Ooo by sucking people in the magical Bag of Holding, which contains mostly sand and Desert Princess, a sand-controlling fusion of various Candy People sucked into the bag on a previous occasion. The Lich's goal was to suck all of Ooo into the bag and throw it into the sun, but Finn and Jake, with the help of Desert Princess, Princess Bubblegum, Marceline , Lumpy Space Princess and an army of Finn and Jake clones made from ice and desert sand, tear a hole in the bag and assault the Lich with physical blows and "battle burn" insults until the bag is destroyed and the Lich is hurled into the sun. The sand from the bag is later used by Desert Princess to fill in the hole in the planet made from the Mushroom War.
As stated above, this story is likely not canon to the TV series' continuity.
Adventure Time Games
The Lich serves as a playable character in the online game, Adventure Time Battle Party. The Lich has many abiliies in the game such as:
Summoning undead skully servants to help him for 20 seconds. Any enemies Skully defeats permanently increase Lich's Power Damage by 1.
Leave a unholy trail to hurt his enemies. Like the undead servants, once the enemies are defeated by the trail, it will permanently increase Lich's Power Damage by 1.
Mind control, which consists in a ball of dark magic that causes great damage to the more close enemy, with the addition of charm the enemy.
Conjures which consists in The Lich creating a Well of Power that extremely damages the enemy.
It should also be noted that The Lich counts with a single strategy of battle so, you need to choice between power damage or attack damage. Attack Damage is very recommendable because it's more effective and makes The Lich strong, with the only difference that you will have high base power damage with minor scaling from your Skully/Q. The Lich is also considered the best dueler in the game due to his various abilities, however, burst is his only weakness, but there is a way to prevent it.
The book, Finn. Give me The book. Quickly, child. We are running out of time.
~ The Lich to Finn
Thanks, Finn. I couldn't have done it without you.
~ The Lich thanking Finn for helping him in his evil plan
I wish for the extinction of all li- for Finn and Jake to go back home to Ooo. Huh? No! Wait! That's not what I wished for!
~ The Lich after realizing that his wish was changed
You are strong child, but I am beyond strength.
~ The Lich in Escape from the citadel
Before there was time, before there was anything, there was nothing. And before there was nothing, there were monsters.
~ The Lich as Sweet P.
Here's your Gold Star!
~ The Lich as Sweet P.
Yes... While a mortal world doubts and questions, I know exactly what I am. I am the ceaseless wheel. The last Scholar of GOLB. I am your doom.
~ The Lich to Finn, explaining that he is possibly a follower to a malevolent deity named GOLB.
The Lich is still referred to by his old name, Lich King, in various official episode summaries and clip descriptions on Cartoon Network's site, indicating that the name change may have been done very late in production.
The original name, Lich King, was only changed because this name already belonged to a World Of Warcraft character, and Frederator Studios was afraid that they would be sued.
In fantasy fiction, a lich is a powerful magician who has transformed himself into an undead creature to achieve immortality.
The Lich is the first character Finn and Jake have faced that has endangered the fate of the world.
The Lich was redesigned at least once, as the creators felt that his original design wasn't scary enough.
The Lich's final design is similar to that of The Horned King from the Disney film The Black Cauldron, which is an adaptation of the novel The Book of Three.
On CartoonNetwork.com, you can set your profile picture as the original Lich.
In France/Belgium, there was a translation problem with Lich King's name. During his appearance in "His Hero," he is called " Le Roi sangsue," which translates to "Leech King."
In the original storyboard of the Lich episode, Billy/the Lich explains he would push the Lich into the Crystal Citadel, a prison that no one can escape from, one of the prisoners being Finn's father.
When the Lich tells Finn about his real dad, Finn does not know he was adopted, even though he has the memory of Joshua and Margaret taking him from the woods.
The Lich was originally supposed to convince Finn to give him the Enchiridon by bringing back his parents.