Question about Ariel's feelings for Thundarr

Discussion in 'Saturday Morning Forever!' started by Lorendiac, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. Lorendiac

    Lorendiac Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2004
    Messages:
    1,098
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    Recently I had the chance to watch some old "Thundarr the Barbarian" episodes. Took me back to when I was a kid in the 1980s and watching the Saturday morning cartoons was a highlight of my week.

    When I checked Thundarr's entry on Wikipedia, and in a couple of other online resources, I found claims that Ariel the sorceress was evidently in love with Thundarr all along, but that he seemed oblivious. I don't remember noticing any clear evidence that Ariel was madly in love with the guy, as opposed to just having a sort of sisterly affection for him as they rode around having dangerous adventures. (Obviously they had to trust each other, or they wouldn't have lasted ten minutes in their line of work. But the same can be said for lots of fictional heroes who aren't romantically involved with each other.)

    Just now, I spent a little time searching the web for any commentary on exactly why we are supposed to believe Ariel was in love with Thundarr (as opposed to our just seeing it as a "possibility"). I came up empty! I thought I'd ask for help on here.

    Does anyone remember specific lines of dialogue, in a certain episode, that strongly suggested Ariel's feelings for Thundarr were more than we'd expect in a platonic friendship? Something I can track down and confirm so this question will stop nagging at me?

    [P.S. When I came back just now to see if I had any replies, I suddenly realized I'd left out the L in "feelings" in the thread title when I first posted this. I can't believe did that! I tried to correct that with an Edit, but it doesn't seem to be sticking yet.]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2012
  2. magicdog

    magicdog New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Messages:
    1,068
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    I used to watch the show back in the day and aside from Ariel wanting Thundarr to be a bit less rough in his interactions with others, I cannot recall any romantic overtures between them. The viewer could imagine things but I never got the feeling they were lovers.

    Of course they were careful about dealing with such things back then.
     
  3. Lorendiac

    Lorendiac Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2004
    Messages:
    1,098
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    Well, as I said above, what's asserted on Wikipedia (and also on TV Tropes, and I think on at least one other website) is the idea that Ariel showed some signs of wanting to be Thundarr's lover (or lawfully wedded wife, or whatever) -- but he didn't even notice!

    That's not the same thing as showing them kissing all the time, and then snuggling up in the same bedroll every night . . . (which, as you suggest, sure wasn't going to happen in a kids-oriented Saturday morning cartoon in the 1980s -- nor should it have!)

    But I could imagine, for the sake of argument, Ariel occasionally saying something humorously flirtatious -- and Thundarr completely missing the point, thanks to his simple, unsophisticated way of looking at things. Perhaps he is tone-deaf to subtle irony and takes anything Ariel says completely at face value, not looking any deeper than the most obvious and literal meaning of her choice of words? (Yes, I'm just speculating!)

    Like you, I sure don't remember picking up on anything like that back in the 80s, and I didn't notice any hints of it when I watched a handful of Thundarr episodes all over again, fairly recently. If such hints were there, you'd think that in 30 years or so I might have become a bit more alert to such things!

    But there could be just one or two such hints, lurking somewhere in the middle of one little episode which I haven't seen since I was very young! So I'm waiting to see if someone can dredge up, say, one or two carefully crafted line of ambiguous dialoge lines from such an episode, and if they and can show us how those lines could carry "double meanings" or whatever. Nothing salacious; just mildly flirtatious or something . . . with Thundarr not noticing because subtle hints just whiz right past him without slowing down? :)

    P.S. Great -- now I'm getting some vague ideas for what might happen if, after years on the road together, Ariel finally tries to spell it out for him. I suppose I could write it up as a fanfic, but who would read it? Most of the people who read my other fanfics probably weren't even born until long after Thundarr's heyday on network television!
     
  4. hobbyfan

    hobbyfan Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2002
    Messages:
    12,373
    Location:
    Troy NY
    I can't say for sure, but I do know that whenever Ariel was captured, Thundarr would, like any other hero, do everything possible to save her. Then again, in the context of the series, she was treated as an equal partner with Ookla & Thundarr. She has, though, complained about Thundarr carrying her over his shoulder "like a gunny sack" at least one time.......
     
  5. #1_Thundarr_Fan

    #1_Thundarr_Fan New Member

    Joined:
    Tuesday
    Messages:
    5
    There are a few episodes which hint at Ariel having a romantic attraction to Thundarr. The hints are fairly subtle, and I suppose open to interpretation, but they're there.

    In Treasure Of The Moks, when Thundarr comments that "Captain Korden is as evil as she is beautiful" Ariel replies "Unlike me. I'm just beautiful. Right Thundarr?" Which Thundarr responds to by riding off and saying nothing.

    In Wizard Wars, Thundarr, Ariel, and Ookla fall over the railing of Skullus The Wizard's war machine and Ariel uses her magic to save them. As they float safely to the ground in a magic bubble, Ariel says "It's a good thing I have magic as well as beauty, eh Thundarr?" Again, Thundarr just ignores her.

    In the episode Attack Of The Amazon Women, when Thundarr and Ookla return to the amazon rebels' hidden base after escaping from the stronghold of the wizardess Striya, Ariel runs up to Thundarr and wraps her arms around him in a big hug.

    In the episode Valley Of The Man Apes, at the very end after Ookla accidentally knocks Ariel down with a playful elbow to the ribs, Thundarr helps her up and they walk off hand in hand.

    Now none of these things explicitly states that Ariel is in love with Thundarr. It's all in how one interprets those scenes. One could assume that Ariel is very vain and needs constant affirmation that she is indeed beautiful. The hug and holding hands could be interpreted as little more than brotherly/sisterly affection. However, most people interpret them as indications that Ariel has a romantic attraction to Thundarr.

    You also have to keep in mind that Thundarr ran from 1980 to 1982, with reruns playing throughout 1983. In those days showing characters having romantic interests, especially in a show aimed mostly towards prepubecent boys, just wasn't done. In Spiderman & His Amazing Friends, we never got to see Peter, Bobby, or Angelica out on a date. We never saw the private lives of Batman or Superman on Superfriends, they were their superhero personas 24/7 on that show. It wasn't until the 1990's with Batman: TAS, X-Men: TAS, and Spiderman: TAS that cartoon producers began to change this trend with action cartoon series. So in the early 1980's, little hints here and there was the best the writers could do to convay Ariel's romantic feelings towards Thundarr.
     

Share This Page

Timing:
0.3242 seconds
Memory:
12.169 MB
DB Queries:
23