Inspired by He-Man.org’s Roast Gooble Dinner podcast, welcome to PGPoA’s latest MOTUC Bio Discussion!
Real Name: Sharella
After the death of King Grayskullâ„¢, the Power of the Universe was transferred from the Sword of He to the Council of Elders, who hid it deep within his castle. Knowing the full sword was the key to channeling the power again, they split it in two to prevent it from falling into the hands of evil. For five centuries, they waited for a worthy heir to be born. During this time their spirit guide, the creature known as The Goddess of EterniaÂ®, trained secret heroic guardians to keep the two halves of the sword separated. Many of these brave warriors took the name “He-ManÂ®” in honor of the sword they protected giving birth to many different legends of the protector of EterniaÂ®.
Portrait Art Source: “He-Man and the Power Sword” minicomic
In all the MOTUC bios so far, you can tell the BW (Bio Writers) are trying to put together at least a somewhat cohesive narrative. Sometimes they seem to slightly retcon what’s gone previously (despite any protests to the contrary), but they always try to have it hang together as much as possible. In general, they also tend to really elucidate the histories of the more mysterious MOTU characters.
Not so with the Goddess, however. Perhaps befitting her status as a repaint inspired by some early confusion during MOTU’s initial development, her MOTUC bio doesn’t really explain who or what she is at all. She’s referred to as the Council of Elders’ “Spirit Guide,” but your guess is as good as mine as to what that means. Her job, apparently, is to train the various heroes referred to as “He-Man” over the centuries (thus Wun-Dar, Oo-Larr and Vikor).
So this bio introduces the idea of the “He-Man through time” concept– a long line of heroes who, evidently, take the name He-Man without being “the” He-Man. This raises more than a few questions, most important being: where did the name “He-Man” come from in the first place? I don’t think it was really necessary to introduce this “multiple He-Man” concept, and I can’t say I like it much. I know it was probably intended to allow them to make a “barbarian He-Man” figure based on the same minicomic as this figure. So this was the beginning of Mattel choosing to bend over backwards to fit “concept” or alternate versions of characters into the MOTUC canon rather than just calling it a concept figure and giving it the same bio as usual. (In this particular case, the figure and character are different enough that it makes sense–you really can’t call this figure “Concept Teela,” although you might get away with “Concept Sorceress.”)
We do get one potential clue to the Goddess’s identity–her real name. It’s taken from the licensing guide for the Powers of Grayskull/Preternia toy line, where she’s referred to as a “tribal chieftess” who helped raise He-Ro alongside Eldor. Unfortunately, that’s all we get, but it’s possible that if we ever get an Eldor figure, his bio might reveal more about Sharella.
I believe this is the first reference we get to the sword having been split in half. There’s a big question here, though–where are the halves kept? It seems a safe bet that one is held at Grayskull, but where’s the other one? Does “the He-Man” know where both halves are? It seems to me it’d be safer if he didn’t know, so he couldn’t be coerced into telling someone.
You may not have noticed, but this bio also tells us exactly how much time passed between King Grayskull and Prince Adam–five centuries. I prefer the “thousands of years” idea of the original Preternia concept; this narrowing of the interval between the time of Grayskull (and He-Ro) and our He-Man seems to diminish some of the grandeur of the original idea behind Preternia. However, I suppose it makes more sense from a continuity standpoint–otherwise Hordak is in exile for thousands of years, and Castle Grayskull apparently hangs around intact for the same period.