Ax bass-wielding rock star with an affinity for pranks, Marceline the Vampire Queen has long been one of “Adventure Time’s” most intriguing characters. Tonight, the beloved animated series will introduce a four-part special series centered on the complicated and mysterious past of the little vampire. But for those who can’t automatically recite all the lyrics to Marceline’s “Fry Song,” we’ve compiled the ultimate history to Marceline, and an exclusive video look (above) at what’s to come from the premiere.
Part of “Adventure Time’s” appeal is that it reveals bits and pieces of larger storylines throughout various standalone episodes. The history behind the Land of Ooo and character back stories are sprinkled throughout the seasons, leaving fans to connect dots for a deeper understanding of the show.
The upcoming miniseries “Stakes” will delve further into Marceline’s past as she turns to her old pal Bubblegum for a cure to her vampirism and introduce a few new ancient foes. But before the eight-episode series kicks off, it’s time to brush up on everything we already know about Marceline the Vampire Queen.
Marceline, the beginning
Initially introduced as a sort of bully and antagonist to Finn and Jake who kicks them out of their tree house, Marceline quickly evolved into one of the main duo’s close friends. Of course, being a 1,000-year-old half-demon, half-vampire, Marceline has plenty of history predating this friendship.
Since her introduction, various episodes have shown Marceline to have a strained relationship with her father, a heartbreaking past with Simon Petrikov/Ice King and a complicated history with Bonnibel Bubblegum.
In addition to being a vampire queen, Marceline is the daughter of Hunson Abadeer, the immortal ruler of the Nightosphere, a demon dimension. While their relationship was initially pretty shaky due to a misunderstanding involving Hunson eating Marceline’s fries, they eventually patch things up when her father overhears a song Marceline recorded detailing the fry betrayal. Hunson apologizes and reassures his daughter that he loves her.
Hunson is eager for Marceline to take over as ruler of the Nightosphere, but his attempt to trick her into the position doesn’t quite work out in his favor. Now that he understands Marceline has no interest in ruling the Nightosphere, the father-daughter pair have a pleasant if long-distance relationship.
Besides her demon attributes and abilities, Marceline also inherited her signature ax bass from her father. The family heirloom was originally a battle ax that Marceline converted into a bass guitar.
Simon Petrikov (a.k.a. the Ice King)
Another father-like figure to Marceline is Simon Petrikov, the human who eventually turned into “Adventure Time’s” main villain, the Ice King, through overuse of a cursed, magic crown.
Simon and Marceline met in the aftermath of the apocalyptic Great Mushroom War, which took place nearly 1,000 years before the first episode of “Adventure Time.” Potentially the only two survivors left in the wreckage, Simon takes the 7-year-old Marcy (who was somehow separated from her family) into his care.
During their time together Simon cheers up Marcy by giving her a teddy bear (Hambo, more on him below), protects her from various mutant creatures that arose from the devastation of the Mushroom War, and tends to her when she’s sick.
In order to save Marcy, Simon would have to rely on magic from the crown. Magic that kept them alive, but slowly stripped Simon of his sanity and memories until all that remained was Ice King. In the end all that remains of the Simon is a sad song Marceline helped write about their time together, “Remember You,” based on the scribbles Simon wrote on an old image of Marceline while slowing slipping into the hysteria of his new identity, the Ice King.
The heartbreak is intensified when you add the fact that Ice King keeps tracking down Marceline through the years to hang around her no matter how many times she moves so she is perpetually reminded of Simon’s fate.
With Simon existing only in her memories, it’s understandable that Marceline became incredibly attached to her teddy bear, Hambo. Unfortunately Hambo was missing for most of the series because Marceline’s selfish ex-boyfriend Ash sold it to Maja the Skywitch for a magic wand (events that were the immediate catalyst for their breakup). It turns out Hambo’s sentimental value made it valuable for making potions.
When Marceline finally tracked down Maja, she turned to the pink-haired Bubblegum for help to steal back Hambo.
Although Marceline is reunited with Hambo thanks to Bubblegum’s help, she eventually gives him up to help Simon (to whom Ice King temporarily reverted) create a portal to the past.
“Adventure Time” has never clearly defined the nature of the relationship between Marceline and Bubblegum, but it has been implied that the two were close and that although something happened to cause a rift in their relationship they still care for (and trust) one another.
As mentioned, Bubblegum is the one who gets Hambo back from Maja by trading her T-shirt for the bear. A T-shirt that Maja finds more valuable than Hambo because of the sentimental feelings it is steeped in. A T-shirt that just happens to be an old gift from Marceline that Bubblegum uses as a pajama shirt.
Pair that with the fact that Bubblegum has a photo of her and Marceline posted inside her closet along with a mention of Bubblegum’s past shenanigans with Marceline and it’s easy to see that there’s definitely a friendship there. However, the series has yet to reveal what drove them apart.
Yes, Marceline has a host of super powers. She can turn invisible. She can also fly, shapeshift, raise the dead and has exhibited some pyrokinetic powers (to be fair, some of these powers could be attributed to her demon half).
Of course, as a vampire she has weaknesses including being sensitive to sunlight. And while she is a vampire, her appetite is not necessarily for blood but for things that are red.
While it seems like a lot has already been revealed about Marceline, there is still a lot of mystery behind her. There is, of course, the question of how she became the Vampire Queen (or even just how and when she became a vampire), how and when she was eventually separated from Simon, the rift between her and Bubblegum, and if she has family other than her father (she’s mentioned her mother before).
Hopefully, some of these questions will be answered in the miniseries that premieres the first two episodes of the Marceline story tonight. Until then, make sure to check out the exclusive clip from the first episode at the top.
“Stakes” premieres tonight at 8 p.m. on Cartoon Network and will continue every day through Thursday.