Lord Cob (simply known as Cob) is the main antagonist from the 2006 anime film Tales From Earthsea.
He was portrayed by Willem Dafoe.
Lord Cob was once a skilled but Dark wizard banished to the Dry Lands by Sparrowhawk for controlling the dead so he could become the Archmage himself. In order to survive, Cob built a fortress entirely made out of dragon bones. After spending many years of studying black magic, he planned on opening the door between life and death to gain eternal life by upsetting the world's balance.
Cob was once the ruler of Hort Town, a town filled with slave traders and merchants who scam people.
He was first seen after his second in command Hare reported to him about the freed slaves. Dissatisfied, Cob nearly killed Hare until he revealed to him that it was a man with a scar on his face who freed the slaves. Cob knew the man as Sparrowhawk, accompanied by Prince Arren of Enlad who ran away for killing his father, the king. Ever since then, he watched Arren to learn about him.
Later on, Cob ordered his men to kidnap Sparrowhawk's friend Tenar as bait. They then tied up Therru to make her tell Sparrowhawk about this. Cob soon discovered that Arren was being followed by a copy of him. Areen passed out in a marsh pit where Cob appeared to take him to his castle before he threatened his dopple to leave.
As Arren woke up, Cob appeared beside him who offered him a potion to drink from that put him under his control. Cob told Arren that Sparrowhawk is using him to help find the secret of eternal life. This made Arren reveal his true name to him, Lebannen.
Sparrowhawk, who received word from Therru, made his way to Cob's castle where the two wizards encountered each other. As they faced, Sparrowhawk discovered Cob's plan to upset the balance in order to open the door between life and death. Sparrowhawk warned Cob that opening the door is forbidden, but Cob told him that he is beyond nature. He then revealed Arren to Sparrowhawk who attacked him. Arren tried to kill Sparrowhawk under Cob's control, but Sparrowhawk freed him of it. He then comforted Arren by telling him that death is a precious gift, as it was revealed that he was afraid of dying. However, Sparrowhawk then became weak for being at Cob's castle, allowing Hare to capture him and throw him in the same dungeon that Tenar was in.Therru, now freed, ran into Arren's copy, believing it was him. He led to her Cob's castle and stopped there as he could not go further. He revealed to Therru that he is actually the light within Arren looking for its owner, due to the world's imbalance. He, however, promised to accompany her by revealing his true name to her before disappearing. After that, Therru sneaked inside the castle where she overheard Hare's discussion about Tenar and Sparrowhawk's execution. She later found Arren who was ashamed about what he has done. She bestowed his sword to him, but he could not take it as he claimed that he is not worthy of it. After being denied, Therru revealed to Arren that he is afraid of life, not death, as she revealed his true name to him. Curious about hearing his true name, Arren asked Therru how she knows of it. Therru replied that he told it to her, which she then revealed her true name Tehanu to him, giving him hope. As they ran outside, Cob was seen on top of a tower before sunrise where he and his men were about to push Sparrowhawk and Tenar to their deaths until Arren arrived with Therru and scared away Hare and the slavers after he easily defeated them with his sword. As Arren confronted Cob, Cob used one of his spells to kill him, but Arren was able to stop him by unleashing his sword to slice off his hand. This action deprived Cob off his magic, making him age to an old man. Cob reattached his hand and then grabbed Therru, making Arren follow him. As Cob was seen walking a long flight of stairs, he ordered the stones below him to forbid, thus slowing down Arren for his escape. Arren reconciled with Cob and Therru on top of the highest tower where Cob held Therru in a choking grip as he revealed to Arren that death is terrifying, admitting his fear to it. Arren tried to reason with Cob by telling him what he has learned about death, but Cob refused to believe in him and instead expanded his arm, which seemingly killed Therru. Cob then walked away as the sun was rising, but Therru stopped him as she was revealed to be alive. As Therru stood alive, she said, "Shadow return to darkness," before turning into a dragon that started to inhale fire, causing Cob to burn and fall to his death.
Cob has purple straight long hair as well as violet eyes with small patterns underneath both of them (like tears or small thin triangles). His skin color is very pale, almost white, and he wears a long purple tunic throughout most of the film. However, when the battle commenced, Arren cut his hand off with his father's sword. Because of this, his true appearance was revealed: he had been old all along but disguised by magic. After a while, his eyes turned black as he attempts to kill Therru.
Cob is a very undemonstrative, unmerciful, and cruel individual, involved in the slave trade. He can be described as unfeeling and even malicious. He desires to be Archmage, and is nearly as powerful as Sparrowhawk but is obsessed with finding how to live forever. He has a hold over Arren (Lebannen) to keep him under control because he believes that he has a clue to living forever.
Powers and Abilities
Lord Cob has the ability to turn his body into a black liquid state. Cob also has the power to infiltrate people's dream. Whenever his limb is cut off, Cob could easily reattach it to himself.
- Lord Cob has the appearance of a woman, making him look androgynous.
- Along with Colonel Muska, he is one of the most evil villains from Studio Ghibli.