Villains Wikia

The Horned King

36,326pages on
this wiki
Add New Page
Add New Page Talk5
Yes, yes my soldiers. Soon the Black Cauldron will be mine. Its evil power will course through my veins...and I shall make you... Cauldron-born. Yes, oh yes. Then, you will worship me! Me... oh, my soldiers, how long I have thirsted to be a god among mortal men.
~ The Horned King explaining his goal to a bunch of skeletons which would later become his Cauldron Born army.
My, such a brave and handsome crew; a pig boy, a scullery maid, and a broken down minstrel. Perhaps it may interest you to see what's in store for you. Now, I call on my army of the dead; the cauldron born. Arise, my messengers of death! Our time has arrived!
~ The Horned King unleashing the cauldron's power. Also his famous quote.

The Horned King is the main antagonist of The Book of Three, the first book of the fantasy series, The Chronicles of Prydain, and Disney's 25th full-length animated feature film, The Black Cauldron.

He was voiced by John Hurt who also played General Woundwort in the TV series and Cotys.

The Chronicles of Prydain

Horned King

The Horned King as described in The Chronicles of Prydain book series.

In The Chronicles of Prydain series, he appears only in the first book, "The Book of Three". He is Arawn's champion and the War Leader of Annuvin. The Horned King is described as a huge man wearing armor (except for his arms, which are naked and stained crimson), a red cape and an antlered skull mask. The antlers are presumably where he gets his name.

Arawn sends the Horned King to capture the oracular pig Hen Wen from Caer Dallben. He follows Taran across Prydain in search of the pig Hen Wen, but cannot find her. In the end, he marches his army to Caer Dathyl and attacks Taran when he and Eilonwy try to warn the Sons of Don of the impending attack. Taran tries to fight him with the sword Dyrnwyn, but is nearly slain by the sword's fire in his attempt to draw it. Gwydion is able to defeat the Horned King by speaking and uttering his true name (Cornelius presumably), and upon the utterance of his name, the Horned King is struck by a flash of lightning and destroyed by flames.

The Black Cauldron

The Horned King on his Throne

The Horned King sits upon his somewhat ancient-looking throne in Disney's The Black Cauldron.

The Horned King serves as the main antagonist in The Black Cauldron and was voiced by John Hurt. The main antagonist was originally to be Arawn, however, the animators felt people would prefer him better since he had horns (such as Maleficent and Chernabog). But in The Black Cauldron, the Horned King is depicted as an elderly and sinister emperor with gnarled antler horns and a crimson-red robe covering undead, green, rotting skin of his body which indicates his appearance to be ghoulish.
The Horned King's Castle

The Horned King's Castle

His main plan in the movie was to find the Black Cauldron and use its power to unleash an army of undead Cauldron Born. He tries by many means to find the cauldron, such as Princess Eilonwy's magic bauble and Taran's oracular pig, Hen Wen. After the Horned King unleashes his army of Cauldron Born at his Castle using the power of the Black Cauldron, Gurgi flings himself into the cauldron to stop the army. After facing off against Taran, he is sucked into the cauldron and presumably perishes. The Horned King has a vast army of servants at his disposal including the troll-like Creeper, the Huntsmen of Annuvin, the dragon-like Gwythaints, and of course, his Cauldron Born.

The Black Cauldron has never widely resounded with audiences. In theaters, the film's PG-rated intensity frightened children and upset parents expecting wholesome entertainment from the "Disney" name. But those who have never avoided it often sing the film's praises, rather than singling it out as one of the weakest animated features in the studio's canon. The Horned King's increased role in the film renders him an affecting and scary villain. His efforts to gain possession of the magical titular cauldron are drastic, as he calls forth an army of dead soldiers to find this key to ruling the world. Later, the Horned King while trying to pull himself away from the Black Cauldron before reviving his undead army again, was ultimately destroyed by the power of the very artifact he now possessed, with him, his plans to dominate all life.


The Horned King is in great contrast with his predecessors and successors. While he exhibits the same outwardly arrogant and narcissistic qualities, desiring to become "a god among mortal men", he is cold and very composed, showing no outward anger until his plan fails at which point he lunges at Taran, believing it to be his doing (on Creeper's suggestion). He is quite mysterious, and it is implied that not even his minions appear to know what he is, and is one of the less active villains, his only motion in the movie (that is not carried out by his lackeys) is his role in the birth of the Cauldron Born.

Also, he has no reservations about his intentions, as he is very open on his dream of becoming "a god among mortal men" and then wiping out all living things with an undead army. He is notable for seldom exhibiting a sense of humor or giving evil laughs. On the one occasion he demonstrates a sense of humor, it is notably snide and sarcastic. Also, he is driven by personal desire, unlike a lot of Disney villains who are instead driven by revenge.

Powers and Abilities

Although it is implied the Horned King is a sorcerer of some sorts, he actually performs very little magic, only displaying his powers to teleport into his castle's main hall and calling upon the spirit of the Black Cauldron. How he got into the position of King is but unknown. Perhaps he was a great warrior or soldier, but then again he is never seen wielding a sword unlike in the book series where he was a warlord wielding a sword. He did have great physical strength, however, as he used that to assault Taran in the climax.

Appearances in other media

TV appearance

The Horned King makes appearances in several episodes of House of Mouse. He is also notable to be one of the only characters from The Black Cauldron to appear in the series along with the Cauldron Born.

In "Gone Goofy", he enters the club and shakes hands with Donald.
In "Goofy for a Day", while Goofy sings a song that is a spoof of "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!", he is seen at a table where a penguin waiter serves him his dinner.
In "Max's Embarrassing Date", he sits at a table and laughs with other characters after seeing Goofy fall into a gopher hole dug by Gopher.

Video game appearance

Horned King & Creeper

The Horned King and Creeper as seen in the 1986 videogame The Black Cauldron.

The Horned King appears as both main antagonist and final boss of the 1986 video game adaptation of Disney's The Black Cauldron.
Mickey Mouse vs. The Horned King

Mickey Mouse vs. The Horned King (as "The Phantom") in Land of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse.

The Horned King appears as the final boss of the 1992 videogame Land of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse under the name "The Phantom", having stolen a magical gem from a village and taken away the valley's good magic that protects its once happy inhabitants. He is clad in dark blue and plum robes instead of his red and brown robes. The Horned King's Castle becomes a floating medieval palace in the sky under the name "Cloud Castle", serving as the game's final stage.

Wicked Horned King

The Horned King as seen in the 1989 videogame Mickey Mouse.

The wicked Horned King is the final boss in the 1989 action/puzzle videogame Mickey Mouse in which he is greatly larger than the titular Mickey. In the beginning of the game, he had kidnapped Minnie Mouse, a similar trait shared by a wicked queen named Mizrabel from who have crossed paths with Minnie and Mickey Mouse.

Disney Parks

The Horned King appeared along with the Cauldron Born and the Black Cauldron in the Tokyo Disneyland attraction Cinderella Castle Mystery Tour. In this tour styled walk through attraction, the Horned King is the final Disney villain the guests confront. The tour guide will tell a guest the magic words to defeat the Horned King and his Cauldron Born army. At the end of the tour, the guest was awarded a medal for defeating him. The attraction served as inspiration for the final level of a Tokyo Disneyland-based game on the Super Famicom where Pete played the part of the Horned King.



Horned King Death (HD)02:27

Horned King Death (HD)


  • Even with Disney villains' standards, The Horned King is one of the darkest Disney animated film villains ever alongside Judge Claude Frollo, Hopper, Shan Yu, Syndrome, Judge Doom, Lots-O' Huggin' Bear, Bill Sykes, The Coachman, Percival C. McLeach, Commander Lyle Tiberius Rourke, and Scar.
  • Arguably, the Horned King is somewhat similar to Dr. Facilier in the way that both are motivated solely by personal desire and have a hatred for those they are trying to defeat. Also, both end up absorbed and killed by the source of their powers; the Horned King by the Cauldron and Facilier by his masters.
  • The Horned King is definitely one of the most serious and evil Disney villains, as he rarely makes jokes and he always maintains his frightening and villainous image no matter what the situation.
  • He is the first Disney villain to be a king (while John became the king of England, he was chronologically a prince and his subjects only saw him as a phony).
  • The Horned King is one of the few villains without a song. He shares this trait with the likes of Maleficent, Queen Grimhilde, and Shan-Yu.
  • The Horned King's physical appearance is similar to that of Skeletor from the popular 1980s TV series He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.
  • In the Italian version of The Black Cauldron, Horned King was called Re Cornelius (King Cornelius) because the Italian word for horned (cornuto) means also "a person that has been betrayed by the proper partner".
  • The Horned King's design later became an inspiration to many numerous villains. One of the best known examples would be the Lich from Adventure Time and Lord Hater from Wander Over Yonder.
  • Despite the film's unpopularity, the Horned King became one of the most memorable villains ever. It is even notable that he is one of the few Disney villains who are added in the Kingdom Hearts video game series. It is even rumored that many of the Horned King's fans wrote to Square Enix that they should add him in the upcoming Kingdom Hearts game. In fact, the film's popularity may have been boosted by the Horned King.
  • His voice sounds like Sinistar from the 1982 arcade game of the same name and the equally dark Tirek from G1 of My Little Pony.
  • The Horned King has one of the most brutal and graphic deaths in an animated Disney film, as his flesh is peeled and sucked off his bones onscreen.

Disney Villains

Shorts and Comics
Pete | The Mad Doctor | Big Bad Wolf | Mortimer Mouse | The Phantom Blot | Beagle Boys | Flintheart Glomgold | Magica De Spell

Animated Features
Queen Grimhilde | Magic Mirror | Honest John Worthington Foulfellow and Gideon | Stromboli | The Coachman | The Coachman's Minions | Monstro | Tyrannosaurus Rex | Chernabog | The Ringmaster | Man | Ronno | Tetti-Tatti | Lumpjaw | Willie the Giant | Mr. Winkie | Brom Bones | Headless Horseman | Lady Tremaine | Lucifer | Ugly Stepsisters | Queen of Hearts | Card Soldiers | The Walrus | Captain James Hook | Mr. Smee | Neverland Pirates | Maleficent | Diablo the Raven | Maleficent's Goons | Cruella De Vil | Jasper and Horace | Madam Mim | Shere Khan | Kaa | Edgar Balthazar | Prince John | Sheriff of Nottingham | Sir Hiss | Trigger & Nutsy | Captain Crocodile | Rhino Guards | Wolf Arrowmen | Heffalumps and Woozles | Madame Medusa | Mr. Snoops | Brutus & Nero | Amos Slade | Chief | The Horned King | Creeper | Cauldron Born | Gwythaints | Professor Ratigan | Fidget | Felicia the Cat | Thugs | Bartholomew | Bill Sykes | Roscoe & DeSoto | Ursula | Flotsam & Jetsam | Glut | Percival C. McLeach | Joanna the Goanna | Gaston Legume | LeFou | Monsieur D'Arque | Gaston's Buddies | Jafar | Iago | Razoul | Gazeem | Prince Achmed | Oogie Boogie | Lock, Shock, and Barrel | Scar | Shenzi, Banzai & Ed | Hyena Clan | Governor John Ratcliffe | Judge Claude Frollo | Brutish & Oafish Guards | Hades | Pain & Panic | Cerberus | Hydra | Titans | Cyclops | Shan Yu | Hayabusa the Falcon | Elite Huns | Cecil Clayton | Sabor | Clayton's Pirates | Jack-in-the-Box | Snooty Flamingos | Firebird | Kron | Bruton | Yzma | Kronk | Lyle Tiberius Rourke | Helga Katrina Sinclair | Rourke's Soldiers | Gantu | John Silver | Scroop | Onus | Hands | Turnbuckle | Longbourne | Fayvoon | Grewnge | Blinko | Krailoni | Hedley | Torrance | Mertock | Crex | Verne | Captain Flint | Flint's Pirates | Denahi | Alameda Slim | Rico | The Willies | Mr. Wesley | Dor-15 | Bowler Hat Guy | Dr. Calico | Dr. Facilier | Lawrence | Facilier's Shadow | Friends on the Other Side | Mother Gothel | Stabbington Brothers | King Candy | Cy-Bugs | Sour Bill | Wynnchel & Duncan | Prince Hans | Duke of Weselton | Duke of Weselton's Bodyguards | Marshmallow | Yokai | Mr. Yama | Dawn Bellwether | Doug Ramses | Duke Weaselton | Mr. Big | Woolter | Jesse | Ram Thug

Sequel Villains
Abis Mal | Sa'Luk | Forty Thieves | Maestro Forte | Jesters | Zira | Nuka | Vitani | Outsiders | Bradley Uppercrust III | Morgana | Undertow | Cloak & Dagger | Buster | Reggie | Pom-Pom | Sarousch | Lil' Lightning | Erik Hellstrom | Jacques von Hämsterviel | Reuben | Leroy | Mama Gunda | Uto & Kago | Atka | Dixie | Marina Del Rey

Sid Phillips | Hopper | Molt | Thumper | Al McWhiggin | Stinky Pete | Emperor Zurg | Zurg Bots | Henry J. Waternoose III | Randall Boggs | Jeff Fungus | Syndrome | Mirage | Omnidroids | Syndrome's Security Guards | Underminer | Chick Hicks | Chef Skinner | AUTO | Charles Muntz | Alpha | Beta & Gamma | Lots-O' Huggin' Bear | Ken | Big Baby | Stretch | Chunk | Sparks | Twitch | Sir Miles Axlerod | Professor Z | Grem | Acer | Mor'du | Johnny Worthington III | Chet Alexander | Javier Rios | Tetrapodophis | Thunderclap | Pterodactyls | Bubbha | Velociraptors

Other Animated Movies
Br'er Fox and Br'er Bear | Elmo St. Peters | Giant Magnet | Merlock | Guy Graham | Warp Darkmatter | Brain Pods | Grubs | Dr. Phillium Benedict | Fenwick | Kojak | Dr. Ivan Krank | Von Talon | Cufflingk & Underlingk | Kazar | The Supervisor | Toshiaki | Mr. Whiskers | Ripslinger | Cad Spinner

Live-Action Movies
Long John Silver | Captain Nemo | Giant Squid (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea) | Pony Sugrue | Prince John (The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men) | Vicky Robinson | Barnaby | Peter Thorndyke | The Bookman | King Leonidas | Colonel Heller | Dr. Terminus | The Gogans | Charles Olympus | Bluto | Ed Dillinger, Sr. | Master Control Program | Sark | Mr. Dark (Something Wicked This Way Comes) | Nome King | Mombi | Judge Doom | Toon Patrol | Neville Sinclair | Lothar | Coach Jack Reilly | Warden Nigel Snyder | Joseph Pulitzer (Newsies) | Delancey Brothers | Dr. Charles Hendrickson | Ebenezer Scrooge (Muppets) | Cardinal Richelieu | Captain Rochefort | Milady de Winter | Winifred Sanderson | Mary Sanderson | Sarah Sanderson | John Ricketts | The King and the Duke | Pap Finn | William Boone | Buldeo | Sergeant Harley | Juice (Blank Check) | Ranch Wilder | Injun Joe | Tony Perkis | Agent Woods | Ashcan & Pete | Rhino (James and the Giant Peach) | Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker | Long John Silver (Muppets) | Cruella De Vil (Live Action) | Mr. Skinner | Jean-Pierre Le Pelt | Norman Snively | Ricky King | Charlotte (Jungle 2 Jungle) | Lyle Van de Groot | Max & Thor | Beatrice Stanhope | Wilson Croft | Luanne LeSeur | Meredith Blake | Eddie Taffet | Andrei Strasser | Miss Hannigan | Dr. Elliot Coleye | Doctor Claw (Inspector Gadget Films) | Lana Thomas | Principal Elliot T. Jindraike | Toy Santa | Hector Barbossa | Warden Walker | Mr. Sir | Charles “Trout” Walker | Kissin' Kate Barlow | Ramsley | Paolo Valisari | Stacey Hinkhouse | Carla Santini | Lord Kelvin | General Fang | Viscount Mabrey | Ian Howe | Captain Bill Fawcett | Royal Pain | Stitches | Jadis the White Witch | Maugrim | Ginarrbrik | Otmin | Dr. Kozak | Davy Jones | Lord Cutler Beckett | Jack Frost (The Santa Clause) | Janice Avery | Gary Fulcher | Queen Narissa | Mitch Wilkinson | Simon Bar Sinister (Underdog Film) | Riff Raff (Underdog) | El Diablo | Kendall Duncan | Sharpay Evans | Tiara Gold | Tess Tyler | Speckles | Miraz | Lucinda | Oswald Granger | The Red Queen | The Knave of Hearts | Hamish Ascot | Jabberwock | Nizam | Morgana le Fay | Maxim Horvath | Ms. Stout | CLU 2 | Rinzler | Blackbeard | Angelica Teach | Tex Richman | Sab Than | Matai Shang | Tal Hajus | Jenny (Beverly Hills Chihuahua) | Latham Cole | Butch Cavendish (2013 film) | Captain Jay Fuller | Evanora | Theodora | King Stefan | King Henry | Constantine | Dominic Badguy | Taylor Dean | The Witch (Into the Woods) | The Giant (Into the Woods) | Lady Tremaine (2015 film) | The Grand Duke (Cinderella 2015 Film) | David Nix | Shere Khan (The Jungle Book 2016) | King Louie (The Jungle Book 2016) | Bandar Log | Kaa (The Jungle Book 2016) | Fleshlumpeater

Also on Fandom

Random Wiki