|Lion-O's Anointment First Day: Trial of Strength|
|Original Airdate||November 12, 1985|
|Previous Episode||The Evil Harp of Charr-Nin|
|Next Episode||The Demolisher|
|All Episodes||Episode Guide|
|First Day: Trial of Strength|
|Second Day: Trial of Speed|
|Third Day: Trial of Cunning|
|Fourth Day: Trial of Mind Power|
|Final Day:Trial of Evil|
Lion-O awakes on his birthday to learn that he has "come of age" and must undergo the Anointment Trials a ritual every Lord of the ThunderCats has had to survive from the beginning of ThunderCat history. Lion-O proceeds weaponless towards his first trial: Panthro's Trial of Strength. He escapes the Acid Lake, the Great White Void, the Vortex, and the Crabmen. Lion-O encounters Panthro. An earthquake interrupts their wrestling. Lion-O slips into a crevice and Panthro offers help. Lion-O refuses: "The Code mustn't be violated." Panthro attempts to stop a bolder from rolling into the Wollo Village ...Lion-O helps him, throwing the bolder off course, and proving his great strength. He has passed the first trial and moves on to meet Cheetara's test.
Lion-O begins a series of trials as a rite of passage, which, if passed successfully, will sanction him as Lord of the ThunderCats. Since the rite is linked to the Code of Thundera, it is not surprising that even in the midst of the trial he and Panthro, who must play out antagonistic roles, are true to the Code and show concern for one another and the Wollos. Lion-O is gratified by his success as he moves on to the next trial. Snarf, as representative of the ThunderCats' community, joins him in that recognition.
The rituals of our lives, whether secular rites such as school ceremonies or promotions, or religious ceremonies serve many different functions. Sociologically, they serve to bind us together under a common set of customs. Metaphysically, they serve to define reality by a particular meaning-system. And psychologically, they serve to help us define an individual identity and attain individuation within the group. Children must be given tasks appropriate to their age of development, whether cognitive, physical, social, or emotional. In succeeding according to their level of mastery, they achieve a sense of self and identification within their peer group and within society as a whole. It is helpful to portray tests, like Lion-O's trials of strength or the variety of tests and challenges children must pass in their lives, as opportunities for children to achieve and attain a sense of competence. When they succeed in a task, it is also important for them to feel the gratification and their role in the success rather than pass it off as the result of luck or external circumstance.
Lion-O wakes up on his birthday and is surprised to see that none of the other ThunderCats are around. Snarf then informs him that it is a very important day for him as he has take part in the Anointment Trials. In accordance with the Code of Thundera, whenever any Lord of the ThunderCats comes of age, he has to succeed at these trials in order to be deemed truly worthy of leading the ThunderCats. Snarf also goes on to explain that during the course of these trials, apart from having to overcome a number of obstacles without the Sword of Omens or the Claw Shield, Lion-O will also have to face the ThunderCats themselves. Snarf then gives Lion-O a map of the course and bids him farewell.
After crossing a bed of stinging flowers, Lion-O arrives at Acid Lake. He snares one of the giant vulture-like birds and uses it to carry him across the lake, barely avoiding getting his legs singed by the acid in the lake. Lion-O next encounters the Great Void, a a ghost-like phantom who attacks Lion-O but he succeeds in defeating it.
Continuing on his journey, Lion-O reaches the Vortex, a rocky outcrop which sucks everything into its mouth. He barely manages to escape the gales of the Vortex and pushes on along the course set out in the map. After traveling a short distance, Lion-O reaches the beach where he collapses out of sheer exhaustion. Suddenly two Crabmen emerge from the sand and lunge at Lion-O with their huge snapping claws. After a few close calls, Lion-O succeeds in outsmarting the crustacean duo and continues along his allocated route.
As he reaches a mountain near the Wollo Village, Lion-O finally come face to face with Panthro. While initially hesitant to fight his friend, Lion-O eventually has no choice but to engage in combat with Panthro. The two fight for a while when suddenly an earthquake occurs, creating a deep crevice right under Lion-O's feet and he falls into it. As Lion-O is hanging by the edge of the crevice, Panthro decides to help him despite it being against the Code of Thundera to assist Lion-O in any way during the trials. However, Lion-O, not want to break the code, refuses to take his help and manages to get out of the fissure on his own.
At that moment, a giant boulder, loosened by the earthquake, comes rolling down the mountain. Seeing that it is heading straight for the Wollo Village, Panthro stop it with his bare hands, almost getting crushed in the process. A stray rock hits Panthro on the shoulder and he starts slipping but Lion-O intervenes and rolls the boulder away from the Wollo Village. Panthro concedes defeat and gives Lion-O the ThunderCats insignia from his belt as a sign that he has successfully completed the first trial. Lion-O then heads down the mountain and continues his journey into the forest where Cheetara is waiting for him. Inside Cats Lair, the Sword of Omens glows, signifying that Lion-O has passed the first trial.
- Even though all five of the Anointment Trial episodes take place on consecutive days and are supposed to be watched together, they were broadcast spaced apart with other episodes in-between them. However, the episodes were shown back to back when in syndication.
- Of all the five Anointment Trial episodes, this is the only one which does not feature either Mumm-Ra or the Mutants.
- This is the first ThunderCats episode in which Lion-O does not perform his famous "ThunderCats Ho!" chant to summon the others.
- The scenes of Panthro, Tygra and the ThunderKittens which are shown when Lion-O is talking about trying to defeat them in the trials are taken from the famous "Lost Intro" which featured in the movie version of Exodus.
- Lion-O states in this episode that ThunderCats are always up and out of bed at first light.
- This was the only episode of the five Anointment Trial episodes that was released as a VHS.
- Lion-O doesn't know anything about Acid Lake in this episode, yet the ThunderCats had already encountered it in the earlier episode Return of the Driller.
Tygra: Every Lord of the ThunderCats had to survive the trials.
WilyKit: We know, but that was on Thundera.
Tygra: The Code of Thundera: Justice, truth, honor, loyalty is needed here on Third Earth as much as it was on Thundera.
Lion-O: I've been taking my title for granted. And yes, I've been a bit cocky about it at times. But the ancient wisdom of the ThunderCats cannot be denied. It's only right that I prove myself fit to command.
Panthro: You've done it, Lion-O! You're stronger than I am.
Lion-O: I'd hate to put that to the test when you've recovered, Panthro.
Lion-O: Why didn't anyone tell me?
Snarf: Because as Lord of the ThunderCats, you'll be expected to deal with anything you'll ever come up against. Especially the unexpected.
Lion-O: And that means I'll have to be as strong as Panthro... as fast as Cheetara... as cunning as WilyKat and Kit... and have the powerful intelligence of Tygra?
Snarf: It's, uh, not that easy, Lion-O.
Lion-O: Easy? You call that easy?
Snarf: Why am I worried? Wasn't he raised by the mighty Snarf?
This episode was released on the following media:
- Lion-O's Anointment FIrst Day:The Trial of Strength on IMDb
- ThunderCats 1985 cartoon series on Wikipedia
- ThunderCats on ThunderCats.org