We Finally Understand The Ending Of 1985's ThunderCats

While "ThunderCats" was just one of several popular adventure cartoons from the 1980s, one aspect that sets it apart from the rest is the epic scale of the struggle between the heroes of the saga and their primary villain, Mumm-Ra. Over the span of four seasons and 130 episodes, the fierce battle between good and evil spreads into the galaxy from the planet of Third Earth to New Thundera and all the vast space in between.

Once the show reached its dramatic conclusion, there were many far-reaching implications for the future—not just with Lion-O, his band of followers, and the dreadful Mumm-Ra, but also for a great number of other people featured in the long series. The Thunderian civilization of old may have been tragically destroyed in the beginning, yet it is clear by the end that the new worlds being created have the potential to become far greater than what existed in the past. The last episode was a solid conclusion to a detailed story. All these years later, we think it's finally time to explore what that means for the ThunderCats, their allies, and even their enemies. 

The ThunderCats have secured their home planet

In the first episode of the series, "Exodus," the ThunderCats witness the horrific destruction of their home world, Thundera, as it is literally blown apart. For years, the refugees do not lose hope, but are forced to rebuild on the alien planet, Third Earth, and are very successful in the endeavor.

The shared dream of Lion-O and his crew finally comes to fruition once they are able to return home to the reformed planet New Thundera. Using an extremely powerful technology called the Gyroscope to hold the shattered remnants together, the ThunderCats are able to gradually reestablish the Thunderian civilization where it belongs. Yet, the near-constant threat from Mumm-Ra and numerous other formidable enemies causes them to struggle significantly and take quite some time to complete the mission.

With one last massive victory over the evil of Mumm-Ra in the climactic finale, Lion-O and the ThunderCats make New Thundera a safer place for the Thunderians than it has been for a long time. The stability this brings allows for a complete restoration of their ancient society, hopefully bringing on a new age of prosperity for the resilient population.

The Thunderians are now a multi-planetary civilization

By the fourth season, the ThunderCats have shifted their focus toward the reconstruction of New Thundera, but they certainly do not abandon Third Earth. While Pumyra is absent from the final showdown with Mumm-Ra and the near-annihilation of their reformed home world, she remains in the vital position of defending both the Cat's Lair and the Tower of Omens on Third Earth.

Pumyra and Tygra do not rule the entire planet by any means; they just represent the Thunderians as one party in a multiracial coalition to govern and protect the shared world. The great alliance, or League of Third Earth, consists of the space police officer Mandora, Snowman, Snowmeow, the Amazon warriors, and Willa and Nayda, along with Ro-Bear Bill and Ro-Bear Belle of the Berbil tribe. With both New Thundera and Third Earth in the most peaceful states they have been in for years, Thunderians now have at least two planets to call home, plus any others that may have been created by refugees in the galaxy after the tragic exodus from their original world.

Refugees no longer need to roam outer space

Throughout the fourth season, the ThunderCats welcome a stream of Thunderian refugees to New Thundera, including Torr, Baron Tass, and Mr. Grubber, among many others. The characters featured in the series likely represent a tiny fraction of the survivors who managed to escape the destruction of the planet, so there might be a number of Thunderians who still wish to come back home.

If the wandering masses were waiting for the ideal moment to repopulate New Thundera, that time arrives at the conclusion of the last episode, "The Book of Omens." This is not only because Mumm-Ra's evil faces defeat, but also because the ancient artifacts successfully transform much of the land into a peaceful paradise for the settlers to return to and rebuild their lives. Just as Baron Tass was able to locate his ancestral estate, many of the refugees might find it easy to recreate the communities they once loved in their youth.

Claudus can guide Lion-O from the Spirit Realm

In the fourth season episode, "Shadowmaster," there is an incredibly significant revelation that Lion-O's father, Claudus, did not perish during the destruction of Thundera, and instead has been trapped all that time in the desolate Shadow Realm. After the hero manages to rescue Claudus, the elder ThunderCat then peacefully passes on to the Spirit Realm after one final goodbye to his son.

The moment Lion-O loses his dad once again is certainly sad, but it also means that Claudus has come to inhabit the same plane of existence as the mentor Jaga. Throughout the entire series, Jaga has been able to advise the young Thunderian leader when he finds himself in dire need of assistance. With that in mind, the new situation makes it possible for Claudus to also view his son from afar, and, if necessary, guide him as he rules his people in a golden age free of Mumm-Ra's evil.

Malcar the Alchemist may become a vital Thunderian

After the major ramifications of the events in "The Book of Omens," and continued population growth on New Thundera in the foreseeable future, many Thunderians are likely to play a role in shaping the new society that they all will live in. One particular individual has the potential to make more of an impact than most. 

In the fourth season episode "Malcar," the diabolical alchemist poses a significant threat to the ThunderCats after he is resurrected from his crypt in Tomb Town by Mumm-Ra. Malcar then nearly defeats Lion-O once he transforms the highly valuable Thundrillium into the poisonous Thundrainium and uses it against the hero. With the help of their astral guardian Jaga, the ThunderCats manage to defeat the extremely skilled sorcerer by trapping him in the Canyons of Youth until his body reverts to that of an infant.

With all the refugees returning home, one couple takes the baby Malcar in to raise as their own. Although Lion-O makes the joke that his new parents should not make the mistake of introducing the child to magic, Malcar still has the incredible intellect of the greatest alchemist of all time and the extraordinary potential that comes with it. Under the guidance of loving Thunderians, Malcar may make himself one of the most important future citizens by using his talents for the benefit of the community.

Lion-O will reshape Thunderian society

Throughout the entire ThunderCats series, Lion-O always stood for truth and justice in the epic struggle with evil. As the leader of a small band of warriors with like minds on Third Earth, his efforts to stick to those ideals were relatively simple. His rule will inevitably become much more complex among the growing populace of New Thundera.

The penultimate episode "Well of Doubt" provides a brief glimpse of the kind of intricate problems the new head of state will have to overcome upon the arrival of a member from the old aristocracy, Baron Tass. The noble's interaction with the latest addition to the ThunderCats, Torr, clearly confirms that the Thunderians of old were plagued with major societal issues like the unjust domination of an upper social class, and, worse, the barbaric practices of indentured servitude and slavery that they carried out to control the lower classes.

Lion-O vows that the new world order he will create on their reformed planet will do away with such systems of oppression, but that may be a huge undertaking depending on how many refugees cannot let go of the past. Time and again, the ThunderCat leader has proven he won't back down when facing great adversity, so that will likely continue for the rest of his reign as he solves the significant issues.

Mumm-Ra has given up on the Mutants

In "The Circus Train," near the end of the third season, the ThunderCats experience major relief when the bounty hunter Captain Bragg locks up the Mutants and drags them off to the prison of Way Outback on his spacefaring locomotive. The villains had been Mumm-Ra's most frequent allies, so their forced departure from the planet was certainly a blessing to all the people of the League of Third Earth. 

The break from the vile creatures' presence did not last long for the ThunderCats, however, as the Mutants are freed from their bondage soon after by Mumm-Ra. In "Return to Thundera, Part 4," the mummified nemesis seeks their aid one final time in order to assault the feline heroes on two fronts: Third Earth and New Thundera. As expected, the plan ends in failure, for the Mutants prove again to be no match to the ThunderCats and before long they find themselves back in the cells of the bounty hunter.

Before the end of the series, the Circus Train not only makes it back to Third Earth, but also no longer holds the Lunataks since they are set loose by the maniacal pirate captain in the episode "Cracker's Revenge." So, even with ample opportunity to save them, both the Lunataks and Mumm-Ra decide to let the Mutants stay locked up on the traveling prison, which shows that the mummified dark lord has finally given up on them because of their ceaseless incompetence.

Ma-Mutt might be convinced to abandon Mumm-Ra

Throughout Mumm-Ra's epic struggle with the ThunderCats, the representative of the Ancient Spirits of Evil has only one underling he can always count on for unwavering loyalty. The hound of the mummy master, Ma-Mutt, remains at his side regardless of the situation and often does his bidding without complaint. Yet, before the conclusion of the series, cracks in their relationship begin to show, hinting that if Mumm-Ra is not careful, he could potentially lose the single companion he can count on.

In the episode "Ma-Mutt's Confusion," Mumm-Ra makes the terrible mistake of cruelly punishing his pet with banishment just for playing around and behaving like the dog he is. Wandering Third Earth, Ma-Mutt soon encounters the ThunderCats at the right moment because he has become ensnared by a trap. The heroes' morality leads them to take the high road; they free their enemy and even provide the beast with shelter at Cat's Lair. Their kindness contrasts strongly with the way his master treated him.  

Ma-Mutt almost goes so far as to help the ThunderCats when they are assailed by Mumm-Ra's latest horrifying weapon, the Babylonian Barbarian Boiler. However, once the creature is brought back to the evil overlord's side, he faithfully resumes his position. In the end, Ma-Mutt proves he is still loyal, but at the same time, that might not always be the case in the future.

The Book of Omens is immensely powerful

The Sword of Omens wielded by Lion-O is often the focal point of the ThunderCats' power for good reason. The magical weapon not only bestows several extraordinary abilities upon the hero, from the incredible vision of sight beyond sight to sensing nearby danger, but its almost unbreakable blade can slice through pretty much anything as well. Regardless of how special the sword is, the ThunderCats come across an ancient artifact that rivals its power in the third season episode "ThunderCubs, Part 4."

It takes quite some time to decipher the great tome known as the Book of Omens and determine the extent of its capabilities. Lion-O and Snarf even get trapped in the vast dimension located within its pages at one point. Yet the final episode of the series reveals how epically useful that connection to another realm is to the ThunderCats because it is home to the godlike entity known as the Guardian.

With their access to the mighty and omniscient being, the ThunderCats have all the knowledge of Thunderian civilization right at their fingertips. So, while the Sword of Omens remains a critical weapon in their arsenal, the Book is a complete game-changer in terms of how much of a role it could play in helping the ThunderCats restore the former glory of their people.

Mumm-Ra will further prove the immortality of Evil

Mumm-Ra often boasts to the ThunderCats that their efforts to stop him and destroy evil are futile because the malevolent forces that drive him cannot be eradicated. The villain makes this abundantly clear in the early first season episode "Pumm-Ra," when he takes on the form of a ThunderCat to deceive the heroes and move among them undetected. Once he is found out, though, Mumm-Ra reverts to his vile appearance and explains that they are the alien invaders, not him, since he has inhabited Third Earth for 1,000 years. He also asserts that since he has existed for so long, the ThunderCats' chances of destroying him are slim to none.

For the rest of the series, the feline heroes give little sign that Mumm-Ra's words deter them from battling the adversary, but the finale makes it clear that they certainly believe him. In the final moments of the last episode, "The Book of Omens," the ThunderCats acknowledge that even though Mumm-Ra is gone, he is either very likely to return in the future or some other wicked figure will take his place. Though they have come to terms with the immortality of Evil, Lion-O and his friends will always do what they can to stand against it.

The Ancient Spirits of Evil prioritized Mumm-Ra's subservience

Halfway through the final season of the "ThunderCats" series, the episode "The Heritage" provides a fascinating detail about the complicated relationship between Mumm-Ra and his overlords, the Ancient Spirits of Evil. Prior to that point in the show, the actions of the malevolent deities made it seem like their top priority was to destroy Lion-O and his band of heroes. On the other hand, it is clear from their reaction to Mumm-Ra obtaining the Golden Sphere of Seti that it is more important to them to keep their primary servant strictly under their thumb.

The Sphere makes the mummified villain more powerful than ever before—so formidable, in fact, that he has the potential to finally defeat the ThunderCats. Allowing Mumm-Ra to wield such power turns out to be completely unacceptable to the Ancient Spirits of Evil because it frees the undead creature from their control. This proves that forcing Mumm-Ra to remain subservient matters the most to the demonic entities.

The people of Third Earth have nothing to fear from Mumm-Ra

The more successful the ThunderCats became at rebuilding New Thundera, the more Mumm-Ra directed his attention away from Third Earth to focus almost exclusively on the activity on the Thunderian home world. That was before the main villain was crushed by Lion-O in their face-off at the finale of "The Book of Omens."

With the evil of Mumm-Ra finally gone for the foreseeable future, the galaxy is a much safer place, and that could not be truer than for Third Earth. Furthermore, with the entire planet protected by the powerful alliance of the League, all its people are more prepared to deal with the threat of Mumm-Ra than they ever have been before if the undead creature manages to return to life. In that unfortunate scenario, Pumyra, Tygra, and their friends around the globe will be ready to defeat the mummy lord once more.