"Thunder, thunder, ThunderCats Ho!" It's the battle cry of Lion-O, the first thing we see in the opening of the ThunderCats show, and an iconic line from the TV series. The line had a purpose, giving Lion-O the power to fire up his legendary Sword of Omens, the weapon used to support and defend his people. If you've seen even a passing glimpse of the show, you would recognize the sword with its cat's eye gem in the hilt, and the way it goes from a short dagger to a full-length sword within seconds. The battle cry also causes the Eye of Thundera to change to the ThunderCats logo and fire a beam into the sky. The sword's power has made it the target of evildoers, especially Mumm-Ra, the ancient sorcerer who wants the Sword's power to help him rule Third Earth. The ThunderCats wouldn't be the same without it.
That's why CBR decided it was time to focus on this iconic weapon. Not only is the Sword of Omens a powerful blade, but it has magical powers and abilities that make it indispensable in fighting evil. It also has some secrets behind the scenes and in other media you might not have known, even if you watched every episode. There are also a few things to talk about with the Claw Shield that goes with it. With the new series ThunderCats Roar set to bring the feline heroes back to TV, here's a refresher course on the Sword of Omens.
20 THE SWORD NEVER CUT ANYONE
The Sword of Omens is, first and foremost, a sword, and there's one thing swords were made for: cutting people. That's why it might surprise you that (in the original series) Lion-O never used the Sword of Omens to cut anyone.
If you watched the show carefully, you'll see that Lion-O has used the sword to fire lightning bolts, and hack apart metal and rock, but never just straight up cut off Mumm-Ra's head. That's because the rules on children's television in the 1980s were really strict, and the producers weren't allowed to show swords or guns being used against human beings. That's why the ThunderCats had to come up with more inventive ways to use the sword.
19 THE SWORD CAN BE BROKEN
The Sword of Omens is strong enough to cut through steel and solid rock, but it's not indestructible. The blade and the jeweled Eye of Thundera have been broken on many occasions. When Mumm-Ra got his own sword, the Sword of Plun-Darr, it cracked the Eye of Thundera. Fortunately, Jaga was able to repair it.
In the first episode of the miniseries "Mumm-Ra Lives," Tug Mug (the super-strong member of the evil Lunataks) was able to snap the Sword of Omens' blade in half with his bare hands. Once again, the blade was repaired, this time by the new ThunderCat blacksmith Bengali.
18 THE SWORD FIXED A PLANET
The Sword of Omens is one of the most powerful objects in the entire universe, and Mumm-Ra was willing to do anything to get it. Lion-O never used the Sword to its full potential, and we got a taste of its incredible power in the fifth part of "Return to Thundera."
In the miniseries, Thundera was recreated as New Thundera but Mumm-Ra destroyed the Gyroscope, a machine holding the planet together. Without it, the entire world started to break apart, but the Sword came to the rescue. Lion-O threw the sword into space, where the Gyroscope had stood, and it held together the powerful energy in the planet's core, keeping New Thundera alive.
17 SNARF USED THE SWORD
Normally on ThunderCats, Lion-O is the only one who uses the sword, but it's been carried and used by others over the years including Snarf. In the 40th episode of the original series, "Tight Squeeze," Vultureman disabled all the mutant army's weapons and vehicles. That gave Mumm-Ra the idea to do the same to the ThunderCats with an energy being that locked the Cats' sword chamber.
To get the Sword of Omens, Snarf was sent through the ventilation shafts. Snarf came out with the Sword, and it obeyed him, firing lightning bolts at the retreating mutants. It's probably the most heroic thing he ever did.
16 IT CUTS ALMOST ANYTHING
The Sword of Omens is a sword, so you would expect Lion-O and others who wield it to use it to cut things open like evil mummies and humanoid animal creatures. Unfortunately, standards of children's television at the time of the original series said that the show couldn't use the sword to cut people, but it was open season on cutting anything else.
Fortunately, the Sword of Omens has a mystical blade that's more than just metal, giving it an edge that allows it to cut through almost anything. The sword has been used to cut through solid rock and metal as easily as cutting through butter.
15 THE SWORD IS CURSED
The Sword of Omens was created for and used to defend the ThunderCats, which means it's not supposed to be used against them. Just to make sure, the Sword of Omens has a curse against it to protect the ThunderCats. Lion-O and the other ThunderCats found out about the Curse of Balthaz in season one's episode "All That Glitters."
In that show, Mumm-Ra pretended to be a troll asking for help and managed to trick Lion-O and Tygra into attacking each other. When Lion-O tried to use his sword against Tygra, the blade snapped in half. They had to take the sword to the heart of a volcano to repair it and learned a valuable lesson.
14 THE SWORD IS ALIVE
At the heart of the power of the Sword of Omens is the Eye of Thundera. The Eye of Thundera is a jewel that any fan would recognize by the way it looks like a cat's eye normally but turns into the ThunderCats symbol when the sword is extended. It's embedded in the hilt of the sword, and is the source of its power. It's also alive!
The Eye can tell when someone holding it is good or evil, what power the sword needs to use, and also respond to spoken commands. It will even resist the person holding it if it thinks the bearer isn't worthy. It's more than just a jewel, but a living energy being packed into a tiny space.
13 THE SIGNAL BREAKS THROUGH ANYTHING
If there's a single image that captures all of the ThunderCats, it's the one of Lion-O using the Sword of Omens to project the symbol into the sky. The Eye of Thundera's symbol was a lot like the Bat-Signal, used to summon the other ThunderCats, but way more powerful.
Unlike the Bat-Signal, it didn't need clouds to work. The Eye could project the symbol into clear blue skies and could even smash through walls and ceilings to get to where it could be seen. In some episodes where Lion-O was trapped inside or underground, it even burrowed its way through solid rock to burst out of the ground.
12 THE LORD OF THE THUNDERCATS
Who uses the Sword of Omens? If you've seen the show even once, you probably think you know the answer is Lion-O. In fact, Lion-O is only one of a long line of Thundera's leaders who carried the sword as part of being the responsibilities and privileges of the Lord of the ThunderCats.
The Lords were members of the Royal Family of Thundera, a title passed down from father to son for centuries. Along with the responsibility of leading the ThunderCats, Lords also get the Sword of Omens along with the Eye of Thundera to defend the planet and its people. Before Lion-O, his father Claudus had the sword and used it to help save his race.
11 THE REFLECTION IS A WEAPON
The Sword of Omens is a shiny metal blade that can shoot lightning bolts and change the weather, but its reflective surface could cause the most damage to Mumm-Ra. That's because, at one point, Mumm-Ra couldn't stand to see himself in a mirrored surface.
With the help of the Ancient Spirits of Evil, Mumm-Ra can turn himself into a more powerful form called Mumm-Ra the Ever-Living, but the sight of his own reflection caused him to turn back into a frail mummy. This worked for a good while until the Ancient Spirits of Evil removed his weakness, allowing him to look at the sword without any problems.
10 THE SWORD OF OMENS VS. EXCALIBUR
It turns out there is a weapon more powerful than the Sword of Omens. In the episode, "Excalibur," Mumm-Ra tracked down the same legendary sword used by King Arthur. King Arthur had found the sword Excalibur in a lake, and had it returned to the lake when he died.
By making himself look like King Arthur, Mumm-Ra tricked the Lady of the Lake into giving him the sword, and used it to fight Lion-O. Excalibur not only beat the Sword of Omens, it broke the Eye of Thundera in half. Fortunately, the sword's creator Merlin came back to save the day, and Lion-O learned to appreciate the Sword of Omens.
9 EVIL CAN'T TOUCH THE SWORD
Getting more power is Mumm-Ra's one and only goal in life, and he thinks getting his hands on the Sword of Omens is a good way to do it. He's actually managed to grab it a few times, but his goal isn't really that simple.
That's because the Sword of Omens only allows people with good intentions to use it, which Mumm-Ra definitely doesn't have. Even Lion-O can't use the Sword of Omens for evil. In the 2011 reboot, there was an enchantment that kept anyone evil from even holding it, which left Mumm-Ra and other bad guys even more out of the cold.
8 THE SWORD CAN POWER OTHERS
The Sword of Omens is very powerful in Lion-O's hands, but it can even give power to others if it's needed. When Lion-O sends out the ThunderCats' signal, just looking at the symbol can give his buddies more power. They get faster, stronger, and can even make them smarter to come up with ways to beat their enemies that they couldn't before.
The sword can also heal people quickly, and break anything that is put up against them. When Mumm-Ra casts a spell on someone or if someone is under mind control, just showing them the Eye of Thundera can break them free. The Sword of Omens is basically a cure for whatever ails you.
7 THE SWORD OF OMENS' ORIGIN
The 2011 reboot provided a new origin for many of the elements of the ThunderCats including Mumm-Ra, and the Sword of Omens. In the new version, the ancient sorcerer Mumm-Ra destroyed an entire star system to create the Sword of Plunn-Darr. Knowing the new sword would give Mumm-Ra too much power, the enslaved ThunderCats used the fragments of the Plun-Darr system to create their own sword.
When Mumm-Ra succeeded in getting a gem called the War Stone that would give him more power, the ThunderCats stole the War Stone and turned it into the Eye of Thundera, merged it with the sword, and created the Sword of Omens.
6 THE EYE HAS PSYCHIC POWERS
Another thing we saw a lot on ThunderCats was Lion-O using the Sword of Omens to give him "sight beyond sight." He would hold the sword up to his eyes, the hilt of the sword would extend and he would be able to see pretty much anything. Did you ever think about the fact that the sword basically gave him psychic powers?
With it, he could see anywhere on the planet, find things that couldn't be seen normally, and even see dangers that weren't anywhere near him. In the realm of the supernatural, that's known as "remote viewing" and it's a shame Lion-O didn't use it all the time to see when Mumm-Ra was planning to attack and stop him beforehand.
5 THE SWORD MAKES FORCE FIELDS
The Sword of Omens protects Lion-O while he's carrying it by force, and his Claw Shield can be used to block incoming fire, but what happens when Lion-O needs to protect other people besides himself? That's when the Sword of Omens can also protect him and others by creating force fields.
Somehow, the Eye of Thundera can create mystical energy barriers that can't be broken by anything. All Lion-O has to do is call up the sword, and laser beams, bullets, and knives just bounce right off before they even get close to him. In one episode "The Slaves of Plunn-Darr," the force field even protected him from a group of Brute-Men and clouds of toxic gas.
4 THE SWORD COULD SHOOT LASERS
When you think of swords, you think of slicing, chopping and hacking, not shooting. The Sword of Omens is a big exception. Because it was a kid's show, Lion-O couldn't go hacking his way through the mutant armies he fought, so the show gave the sword the power to shoot energy.
It could fire lightning bolts, red energy beams, white energy beams, and the occasional beam that changed space and time. The effects of the beams varied from burning, electrocuting, knocking things down or just stunning enemies unconscious. The Sword of Omens is a regular machine gun of magical power.
3 NOT ON THE ARM
Like any good weapon, the Sword of Omens came with its own accessories. There has to come a time when the sword has to be put away, and that's why it came with the Claw Shield. The Claw Shield looked like a furry lion's paw, but could block incoming fire by wearing it on your arm. The sword also fit neatly inside it, but there was a major rule that never got followed.
In the original design, it was explicitly stated that the sword couldn't be worn in the Claw Shield when it was on Lion-O's arm. That went out the window on the actual show where he wore the sword on his arm all the time. No word on why it didn't cut up his forearm.
2 THE SWORD CAN MAKE OBJECTS
The sword has a lot of power, and it can also use that power to make solid objects out of light like the Green Lantern ring. In "Runaways," Mumm-Ra succeeded in getting the Sword of Omens and trapping the ThunderCats in a room full of poison gas.
However, the sword broke free and formed a panther of energy that smashed down the door, freeing the Cats. In "Tower of Traps," the sword formed a pole for Lion-O to vault over a staircase with. In "Doom-Gaze," Lion-O needed to cross a mountain whose path had been broken away. He used the sword to form a bridge made of light.
1 THE SWORD CAN CONTROL WEATHER
One of the Sword of Omens' most underrated powers is the power to control the weather. On several occasions, the sword has changed the weather and natural phenomena on Third Earth.
In "Helpless Laughter," Third Earth suffered from a terrible drought until his mentor Jaga told him the sword could make it rain. With the power of the sword, Lion-O made it rain. In the episode "Well of Doubt," Lion-O was able to use the sword's energy to make a thunderstorm. In "Day of the Eclipse," Lion-O was able to use the sword to send the Eye of Thundera into the sky and block out the sun, causing an eclipse. Considering how powerful that is, it's odd Lion-O didn't change the weather more often.