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Mor'du

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Bear dead eye
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Appeared in: Brave
The Legend of Mor'du
Mor'du is the main antagonist of Brave.

Brave

A legendary monster, Mor'du is a 12 feet tall bear with huge claws, a misaligned jaw, and long, sharp teeth, his body covered in scars and broken weapon hilts and arrows.

Mordu prince
Mor'du as a human prince before he became a bear
Gray CatbirdAdded by Gray Catbird

However, Mor'du was not always a bear; he was originally a human prince, who wanted to rule the kingdom he shared with his three brothers alone, and went to a witch to gain "the strength of ten men" in order to take over the land, paying with the ring of his house, bearing the crest of his family, two crossed axes. The spell he received eventually transformed him into a bear, and he murdered his family, causing the fall of the kingdom. Mor'du lived on for centuries, and the bear side of him overtook his humanity, making him a beast.

Mor'du first appears in the film's prologue, when Merida, daughter of King Fergus and Queen Elinor, fires an arrow off into the woods and goes to get it back. Many will-o'-the-wisps appear and try to lead her with them. From the undergrowth, its suggested that Mor'du is watching her. After she returns to her parents, Mor'du attacks and Fergus with his household guard rushes to defend his wife and child. Though they give the princess and the queen time to escape on horseback, Mor'du shows no fear nor vulnerability to them. Later, it is revealed that Fergus had his leg eaten, thus beginning his fierce rivalry with the demon bear.

When Merida runs away from home after a fight with her mother, and follows the wisps to the witch's hut, the Witch takes the medallion of clan Dunbroch as payment for a spell to "change her mother." The Witch says that a Prince once came to her and demanded the strength of ten men. When Merida asks if got what he wanted, the witch confirms it, showing Merida his clans ring with the crossed axes.

Later, Merida and her mother (now turned into a bear) follow a trail of wisps to a foggy ruin, bearing the crossed axes of Mor'du's family. Merida explores, falling after walking on an unsteady piece of rubble. Inside, she finds a throne room very similar to her own family's and a shattered stone carving of four brother, one of the brothers broken from the others. She slowly realizes that the Prince who asked for the strength of ten men indeed had his fate changed, and that man became Mor'du. Mor'du appears, stalking Merida from the shadows and he charges. Merida fires an arrow straight at his head, but the arrow does no damage whatsoever. Merida hurriedly tries to crawl up through the ruins and reach her mother's paw, with the gigantic bear trying to devour her. At the last second, she leaps and just manages to grab her mother's paw in time as Mor'du snarls and snaps after her. Merida and her mother run as fast as they can away, running to the great standing stones and bashing into them a bit harder, making a hairline crack along one of the great menhirs.

Merida realizes she must mend the bond torn by pride (as the Witch said,) fixing a tapestry her mother had made of Merida and the family, thereby breaking the spell. However, her mother is attacked by King Fergus and chased to the ring of stones. As Merida rushes to save her mother and change her back, Mor'du stands from the shadows, following her. Mor'du attacks and her father and the lords fight against the bear, but fail. When Merida herself becomes endangered by Mor'du, Elinor attacks, using her claws and teeth to defend her daughter, but Mor'du, proving much older and more dangerous, beats her down with his vast strength. Elinor, seeing the stone they damaged earlier, smashes Mor'du against the stone and damages it more, but is struck down. As Mor'du stalks towards Merida and her injured mother, the stone falls, crushing him.

The bears claws protrude from under the stone, but his death frees the Prince's spirit, who nods thankfully to Merida before he takes the form of a wisp and disappears.

One of the Production Designers of the film, Steve Pilcher, calls Mor'du a "Demon bear" and "Moby Dick on land".[1]

Trivia

  • Mor'du's name may come from "mor" and "dubh", the respective Gaelic words for "giant" and "black", which appropriately describes his physical appearance and fur color. It may also come from "mortus", the Latin word for "death." "Mordu" is also French for "bitten," which is somewhat also suitable to Mor'du's character, for biting is the method in which he had removed King Fergus' leg.
  • Curiously enough, this is actually reversed for the word "bear", which actually originates from the Old English word for "brown", which appropriately describes the animal's appearance.
  • Mor'du is the fourth Pixar villain to actually die at the end of his film, after Hopper from A Bug's Life, Buddy Pine from The Incredibles, and Charles F. Muntz from Up.
  • Strangely enough, Mor'du bears some resemblance to the bear that attacked Amos Slade and Copper at the end of The Fox and the Hound.
  • Mor'du is the first Pixar villain to never speak. His wish for the strength of ten men is the only known dialogue from him, but it is not heard from him directly.
  • Mor'du was said to have bought a mahogany cheeseboard from the witch, along with his spell.
  • After being Mor'du for so long, a real bear, the prince seemed to have lost his anger upon his release upon his death, evidenced by his thankful nod to Merida and Elinor for releasing him from his monstrous fate.
  • In one point of view, the will o' the wisps lead Merida to her mother to change her fate, but they can also be seen as leading Mor'du to his own fate, his own desired death (given his thankfulness to Merida upon his death).
  • Mor'du is the tenth Pixar villain to be physically fought.
  • Mor'du has no friends or allies, Just enemies.

Gallery

Trailers

References

  1. D23 2011: The Art of Brave Panel

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