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Pitch Black

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I'd say sweet dreams, but there aren't any left.
~ Pitch, as he watches the Sandman be consumed by nightmares.

Pitch Black is the main antagonist of the 2012 DreamWorks animated film, Rise of the Guardians. He is the evil Nightmare King who plots to make children forget their beloved Guardians and send the world into "eternal darkness", an era where fear is the only thing that can be felt anywhere by anyone.

He is voiced by Jude Law.


Pitch is tall and lithe in appearance. He has pale gray skin, dull golden eyes, and glossy black hair that is styled in spikes that curve towards the back of his head. He wears a black coat that appears to be made of tangible darkness.



Pitch Black was originally a powerful master of terror due to humanity's great fear and terror of the dark in the times before the Guardians. But after the Man in the Moon chose and sent the Guardians to give light and happiness and hope to the children of the world, children lost their misery and fear of the Boogeyman, causing Pitch's power to wane until his existence was so fragile that he could not be seen or heard. This lonely existence, in comparison to the Guardians of Childhood who are loved and believed in all over the world, caused Pitch to harbor a bitter hatred for the Guardians.

Rise of the Guardians

For centuries, Pitch searched for a way to strike against his foes. Eventually, he found a way to transform the Sandman's dreams into nightmares, which are monstrous horses that he controls.

Pitch attacks what gives the Guardians their power: children's belief in them. He kidnaps the Tooth fairy's army of fairies to stop her from collecting teeth, but the other Guardians help her perform her duties. Seeing that more direct action is in order, Pitch battles against the Guardians, and manages to overwhelm the Sandman with black nightmare sand, killing him. Next, he sends nightmares to destroy the Easter Bunny's warren, while he distracts Jack Frost by taunting him with his memories.

When all hope seems lost, Pitch approaches Jack in Antarctica, and offered an alliance due to the fact that they were both outcasts. When Jack refuses, Pitch snaps his magic staff in two and throws him into a crevasse.

Children all around the world ceased to believe in the Guardians, and soon only one boy, Jamie, still held on to the hope that the Guardians exist. With so few children believing in them, the Guardians become weak while Pitch gained incredible strength. As Jamie's hope is too irrepressible, Pitch tries to kill the boy, but the Guardians all try to protect him. With encouragement from Jack and the other Guardians, Jamie gets his friends together and prepares to stand up to Pitch. By not giving in to fear, the children gain the power to turn nightmare sand back into dream sand. 

The Guardians regain their strength and manage to fight off Pitch and the nightmares. Sandman is also revived. Ultimately, the children no long fear Pitch and hence no longer see or hear him. Pitch attempts to run away, but his nightmares, sensing his own fears, attack and drag him down into his lair.  


Pitch was bitter and jealous towards the Guardians as they were believed in and he was merely just written off as a bad dream. Out of all the Guardians, Pitch had the most interaction with Jack Frost as he feels the two have much in common, which they do; however, while Jack is mischievous yet kind-hearted, Pitch is malevolent, sadistic and cruel. He was also seen as being the rival of Sandman as the two are polar opposites in both their abilities and color scheme.  

Pitch is the Boogeyman and described as the King of Darkness. He is a downright sadist, deriving glee from turning children's dreams into nightmares and mocking a dying Sandy. When being confronted by the Guardians at Tooth Palace he was heavily sarcastic and showed his rivals nothing but contempt with insults and threats.

He has shown to be very manipulative, luring Jack Frost away from the rest of the Guardians so his Nightmares could destroy the Easter Eggs and was able to trick an enraged Jack into finding sympathy for him. However, if he couldn't persuade someone, Pitch resorted to blackmail; for example, he threatened to murder Baby Tooth if Frost didn't yield his staff.

When it came to Jack, Pitch took a sinister, twisted and ruthless approach towards him. Initially, Pitch saw him as nothing more than a "neutral party" and ignored him; however, when Jack overpowered the Boogeyman using his ice powers Pitch was impressed and began to relate to him, although it is possible he saw him as nothing more than a personal gain than an actual friend. After Jack refused his partnership, he broke his magical staff and left him for dead.

Pitch played extremely sadistic mind games with Jack Frost throughout the film, when he had lured him to his lair he cruelly taunted him over his forgotten memories and mocked him over the Guardians never accepting him as a member.

He was insulting, as example was when he told the Easter Bunny to suck an egg and threatening to snuff the Tooth Fairy's helpers with a pillow. He was so depraved and evil he was perfectly fine murdering Baby Tooth and Jamie to fulfill his goals.



  • Pitch is also the main villain and final boss in Rise of the Guardians: The Video Game.
  • In the books which the film is based off, Pitch was originally an alien army general named Kozmotis Pitchiner, who was possessed by fear demons. Whether or not this is canon to the film is unknown, but it likely isn't.
  • Black is Pitch's signature color.
  • In the film, Pitch is shown as an evil counterpart of Sandy, the Sandman: While Sandy is bright, short, round and gives happy dreams, Pitch is dark, tall, willowy and gives fear and nightmares.
  • Pitch's underground lair is located down a dark hole under an old and damaged bed; a reference to the fact that Pitch Black is the inspiration for the Boogeyman, which children often fear to be hiding in the darkness under their beds.
  • While some believe Pitch was killed by his nightmares, the fact that the Guardians mention they'll be available to thwart his plans each time he shows up makes clear that he was merely imprisoned deep in his lair and will only be set free once again if he manages to reconquer his own fears.
  • Pitch has similar beliefs like the Sandman from Cartoon Monsoon's Boogies as both want to ruin childhood with nightmares.
  • He look's similar to Epic's Mandrake. Coincidentally, Epic and Rise of the Guardians were both based on the works of William Joyce.
  • His defeat is somewhat similar to Professor Screweyes' defeat, as both are conquered and overpowered by their own fears. The difference is that Pitch was merely sealed in his underground lair again, while Screweyes was destroyed for good.
  • Pitch Black is similar to King Sombra from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, since they both enjoy fear and darkness and they can both turn themselves into shadows.

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