Original Airdate: February 7, 2011
Written & Storyboarded by: Cole Sanchez & Jesse Moynihan
The Silent King starts off by bringing the audience directly into the action without establishing characters or plot. In any other show I’d probably call it out for its lack of context, but it’s one of the many charms of Adventure Time: it can start and end on any given confusing absurdity and still feel fitting with the world and the characters in it.
And there’s no better villain to showcase this quick introduction than Xergiok, the goblin king. Right off the bat, the episode does a great job by showcasing his ludicrousy in both his actions and rapidly changing design. Seriously, Adventure Time is, for the most part, on-model in terms of character design, but Xergiok’s appearance shifts are straight out of Ren & Stimpy!
At the center of this episode, however, is the characterization of Finn’s role as a hero. As shown through the treatment of the goblin people, Finn is certainly not a utopian ruler that allows all of his loyal subjects to wait on him. Rather, Finn just likes kicking evil’s ass and doing what he believes is morally right inside. In any other show, Finn most likely would’ve gotten power hungry and would transform into a dictator that is no better than Xergiok by the end of it, but AT has a great deal of consistency with how its characters are portrayed and what seems most in character for them. Finn’s actions just seem to come so naturally, and it’s entertaining to see him getting legitimately frustrated over Gummy trying to help him, yet only being a giant annoyance.
The full upscale battle between Finn and Jake ala Jakesuit (its very first appearance!) vs. Xergiok and the Earclops is the type of battle we haven’t quite seen from the show until this point, and it’s extremely rewarding. It’s a fast-paced, jumpy experience with some terrifically creative means of defeating the Earclops, which are also hilariously designed, by the way. I really wish that we could get more Jakesuit battles throughout the series, because if this episode proved anything, it’s worthy of many more exciting battles.
I previously mentioned in my review of Crystals Have Power that Jesse Moynihan’s drawings looked a bit messy and flat, but the floppiness of his drawings is definitely toned down significantly in this episode and are much more similar to those you’d see in a typical episode of AT. It definitely took Moynihan some time to get into the groove of drawing the characters, but his work and learning definitely shows in this episode.
It’s also appropriate that Finn doesn’t try to aim toward changing the perspective of the goblin people in order to fit his vision, as he’s fully willing to accept his role as a helpless king. The fact that the goblin people don’t change by the end of the episode but are still able to live in a happy environment with a non abusive ruler was very endearing and happy. Finn chooses a decision that benefits everyone involved, including himself, and is able to go on living his life as a hero: what he was truly meant to be.
I wonder what Whisper Dan is up to these days. I feel as though him and Box Prince would get along just swimmingly.