The Horned King is the main antagonist in The Black Cauldron and was voiced by the late John Hurt. The main antagonist was originally to be Arawn. However, the animators felt people would like him better since he had horns (such as Maleficent and Chernabog).
The Black Cauldron
His main plan in the movie was to find the Black Cauldron and use its power to unleash an army of the deathless Cauldron Born, dead warriors brought back to life by the cauldron controlled by the Horned King . He tries many ways to find the cauldron such as Eilonwy's magical floating bauble and Taran's oracular pig, Hen Wen. He later sends his Gwythaints to follow Taran and his friends, who are seeking first Hen Wen, then the Black Cauldron. Eventually, the evil lich and his henchmen find and capture the heroes and the Black Cauldron with them. After the Horned King unleashes his army of Cauldron Born, Gurgi flings himself into the cauldron to stop the army. After facing off against Taran, the Horned King is sucked into the cauldron and perishes. The Horned King has a vast army at his disposal including the troll-like Creeper, the Huntsmen of Annuvin, and the dragon-like Gwythaints.
The Black Cauldron has never been widely resounded with audiences. In theaters, its PG-rated intensity frightened children and upset parents expecting wholesome entertainment from the "Disney" name. But those who have not 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 spooky 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. He ranked #21 in the top 30 Disney villains (One better than Stromboli but one under Prince John.)
He was the first Disney villain to die in the film since Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty.
Book and Adaption
in the book of three, the horned king is a war champion and sent to find the oracular pig but when said his name, he dies. in the film however, he is spared till the last movie and gets stabbed and beheaded by dallben. he was a huge man wearing robes, armor, and has a skull like mask and antlers on top to were he gets his name. he also rides a horse, and wields a sword.
The Brothers of Prydain
in this series, the horned king has a much bigger role than last time in fact, most say even though he is the villain, he is actually the main character! during his youth, he was a young demon worshiping trig on but his power drove him mad so he left the group and started using his powers for evil. he invaded azriath making raven despise him, and he took over earth and even though James tried to free them to safety, they were caught and made slaves. He had all the company he wanted including his loyal creeper, and Dragon like gwythaints pets but he heard legends of the black cauldron knowing he could unleash and control men of the dead. Because he was old and weak, he sent slaves to do this task but only James, his friend, and his sons remained but he still made them do labor and was a mean dictator. Even though the black cauldron will make him be at full strength, the horned king was still a lich and could preform nasty spells of darkness in his chambers. like before, he looks like a fleshed up skeleton that has horns and robes and has more powers this time including producing fire from his eyes and palms, flying, mind controlling, and simply using a powerful sword. in the story, he conquers prydain and makes James and his friend once more go out for the cauldron but Patrick sees him talking to his soon to come alive skeletons saying "the slaves will be killed like all the others." but before he could tell anyone, the horned king almost finds him in the chambers but fails at it because he is heard from creeper that the cauldron was found so he leaves. the horned king is also seen earlier trapping the young James several years earlier. the horned king sat on his chair strangling creeper because he lied and as before, he calmed down and swore the children would die if the cauldron is not found. Tired of this, James tried to attack but got stabbed by the king,s sword and Billy got his head off trying to kick and stab the evil lich in the stomach and just to be mean, he also kills the friend. he told the brothers, he could revive the lost ones only if they find the cauldron so they go out and do it while he lazily watches up on his castle throne.the Horned King also shares many similarties with Carface from All Dogs go to Heaven both are the films main antagonist and both desire to get what they want the Horned King plots to get his hands on the Black Cauldron and use its powers to conquire the world Carface plots to kill his business partner Charlie and run the casino himself and use Anne Maries abilities to communicate with animals to make a fortune and both often abuse their minons when their plans fail the Horned King Creeper and Carface Killer and both of their lairs collasp after their demises the Horned Kings castle self destructs after the Horned King is destroyed by the Black Cauldron and Carfaces Casino sinks to the bottom of the river after Carface is eaten offscreen by King Gator and both their minons are seen after their bosses death Creeper is seen flying away on a gwypthiant mocking the fall of his former master and Killer is seen pushing Anne Marie safely to shore from the burning ship.
- His late voice actor, John Hurt, sounds like Tirek, an equally dark evil villain from G1 My Little Pony.