Adventure Time aired its four-part series finale on Monday, bringing an end to the long-running Cartoon Network series featuring a human boy, his magic dog, and a post-apocalyptic world known as Ooo. The finale did its best to wrap up some of the shows biggest plotlines while still leaving us with an open-ended conclusion, but it also managed to explain one of the biggest mysteries in Adventure Time history. No, we’re not talking about Princess Bubblegum and Marceline’s kiss. We’re talking about the fate of the Ice King.
Spoilers for the Adventure Time series finale ahead.
Die-hard Adventure Time fans may remember an episode titled “Graybles 1000+,” part of a series of particularly weird anthology episodes featuring a character named Cuber who tells stories about the Adventure Time gang. Usually, the episodes are confined to Cuber’s spaceship, but this one takes place across an (even more) post-apocalyptic version of Ooo.
In one of the episode’s final moments we see a chilling image, which appears to be a future version of the Ice King who’s lost his humanity completely and transformed into a flying white mustache with teeth.
It’s a jarring image, the assumption being that the Ice King’s crown has completely taken over the man who wears it, Simon, turning him into some sort of ice monster. However, as we learned in the Adventure Time series finale, that’s not what actually happened.
Instead, Simon is finally freed from the Ice King in the series finale after being swallowed whole by the evil god GOLB (don’t ask me to explain how that works, I have no idea). He manages to escape from the monster’s belly and the cursed crown follows him out, landing at the feet of Gunter. There’s a moment of panic when the penguin (the Ice King’s sidekick who’s secretly an evil space monster named Orgalorg in disguise) picks up the magical item and uses it to make a wish.
Everyone gasps, worried that Gunter/Orgalorg will use the crown to turn back into a giant monster and destroy them all. Instead, he transforms into a version of the Ice King that looks shockingly familiar to the floating head we saw in “Graybles 1000+.”
It’s a nice little conclusion to Ice King’s saga, one in which Simon can return to life as a normal human while the Ice King also continues to exist. Everyone wins (except GOLB, of course).