The Top 8 Possible Story Arcs for Adventure Time, Season 7

The conclusion to Adventure Time’s sixth season was perfect enough to have effectively ended the series, so what more is there to explore in Ooo in the coming season? Fortunately, plenty!

Following a series you love sometimes feels like backseat driving: you find yourself mentally shouting at the writers to make this turn or that, avoid this dead-end, take the next exit off of this story-arc that’s mired in narrative traffic. After the climax of the Finnale, part of me sincerely wanted the show to just stop, for fear that future episodes would only dilute the dense streak of quality established in these first six seasons.

But that’s quitter talk, of course. As much as I’d like the series to just take the million in the briefcase and walk away, there are still plot-lines rife with possibility in the world of Ooo, some trivial, others profound, but regardless, here are the eight story arcs I’m most excited to see in Season 7 (keeping in mind it’s a completely personal list):

1. Finn’s Past

finn
Where we left off:

Even though we’ve spent an entire season with Martin running around, we’ve learned almost nothing about Finn’s human origins, aside from the fractured explanation he gave when cornered back in “The Visitor”: on a ship in a stormy sea somewhere, he defended Finn from all sorts of monsters, but eventually they came to an important crossroads, and chose a path where Finn couldn’t follow. The details are vague, and the imagery of the flashback depicts some monstrously large vessel or being in the sea with glowing eyes, bearing down on their ship.

Why it’s a big deal:

Finn is the archetypal child of the series; the events that befall him and his reactions play out the drama of every boy and girl, whether it’s getting over crushes, coming to grips with tragedy, or learning to live without having all the answers. Consequently, whatever the writers conceive as Finn’s origins will likely tie deeply into their philosophy of what it means to be a child, a theme that they’ve developed pretty thoughtfully in the past. Also, as the last human boy, Finn’s human origins will also likely involve the fate of the human race in the aftermath of the Mushroom War, thus contributing to the greater Ooo-verse in that way also. And of course, we know nothing about Finn’s mother, aside from her Farmworld version.

2. Betty Grof and the Ice King

magicbetty
Where we left off:

In a past episode, the influence of the Ice Crown was temporarily lifted, and for a brief span of time Ice King assumed his identity as Simon Petrikov once again. He used that window of opportunity to open a portal into the past to apologize to the fiancée he’d left behind, Betty Grof, but instead of simply saying goodbye, Betty leapt through the portal and into Ooo’s present. During the Finnale, it was revealed that since then, she’d been researching wizards in order to find a cure for Simon, but when she was interrupted while performing a ritual with Magic Man, MM’s madness was transferred over to her, and she consequently fled the scene, laughing and screeching under the mental strain.

Why it’s a big deal:

Ice King was the first archvillain of the series, and his tragic backstory as a sane human professor, turned into a princess-napping parody of a villainous wizard, is integral to Adventure Time’s explorations of social dysfunction and traditional character tropes. If his madness were to ever end, it would be a drastic turning point in the series’ continuity, and Betty Grof will likely be involved in that particular arc. Also, since Betty became intimately familiar with the psychology of Ooo’s wizards, whose power comes from the three primary ingredients of sadness, madness, and magic, her return to sanity might involve some grand realization or method of transcending the profound psychoses that plague them all.

3. The Lich / Sweet P

sweetP
Where we left off:

Adventure Time’s first serious archvillain, aside from the more meddlesome Ice King, was the Lich, the anti-life machine that is older than the ordered universe and has no desire but destruction. While the Lich had been defeated on occasion before, the start of Season Six signaled a radical shift in his arc: dipped into the life-giving blood of the Citadel Guardians, the Lich was reborn as a massive baby, and was adopted by Tree Trunks and Mr. Pig, and renamed Sweet P.

Why it’s a big deal:

The series’ Big Baddie is trapped, body and soul, inside of a completely innocent child, of course it’s a big deal! Treatments of Sweet P involve questions of innocence, necessary measures, and inherent versus inherited evil. Can they really let such a latent monstrosity roam free? Does the happiness of one child outweigh the safety of Ooo? The plot dynamic is that if Sweet P were ever threatened or thought dark thoughts, the Lich would awaken, which raises the idea that if Ooo is a world that could mistreat such a spotless little boy, maybe it deserves to be destroyed by the consequences? (I just noticed this, but you can also spot Orgalorg in the bottom-rightish corner of the screenshot above)

4. Princess Bubblegum’s Past

pb
Where we left off:

We know that PB is centuries old, judging from flashbacks of the distant past, as in “The Vault” in which Finn’s past self, Shoko, befriended a young PB just laying the foundations of the Candy Kingdom. A huge reveal was dropped when, during young Marceline and Simon Petrikov’s travels, they were aided by a pink, amorphous, bubblegum-like being that was almost certainly PB, in a very recently post-apocalyptic landscape. The most recent hint came during “The Comet,” when she retreated to her childhood home, a shack on the plains where her uncle Gumball once lived.

Why it’s a big deal:

Princess Bubblegum is one of the most fascinating character arcs in the series: she’s gone from damsel in distress to a terrifyingly pragmatic ruler, whose regime, though sound and based on love for her people, involves transgressions on the rights of others for the sake of her kingdom. She’s undoubtedly kind, enormously powerful given her scientific knowledge and utilitarian philosophy, but as Flame Princess once stated, there is also something “cold” about her. Hence, the origin behind her complex character is a hot topic within the fandom, and whether it might shed light on her true motivations, and settle disputes of whether she really is selfless and well-meaning, or simply manipulative and frighteningly ambitious, as the human race once was.

5. The Fate of the Candy Kingdom

candykingdomWhere we left off:

Princess Bubblegum’s rule, though pristine on the surface, hides a great many details she’d rather not come to light. In order to keep her Kingdom safe, she’s had to resort to a few unsavory activites: creating the Rattleball robot soldier army, only to melt them down when they became too unruly; sacrificing the life of James to save herself, Finn, and Jake, on the grounds that Candy People can be remade; or the invasive spy system she set in place to monitor her sheepish and simple people. Unrest is finally growing, in the form of Starchy the janitor, who runs conspiracy theory radio stations and secret meetings dedicated to exposing what he believes to be PB’s darker aspects, and in the recent “Graybles 1000+,” it’s revealed that Starchy will eventually escape the Kingdom by dislodging his tracking device. In the finale episode “The Comet,” the Candy people even voted King of Ooo into power, which left PB deeply wounded that her own children could so easily forget her sacrifices.

Why it’s a big deal:

The Candy Kingdom, for the first few seasons at least, was basically an idyllic Candyland, ruled over by their matronly and capable leader Princess Bubblegum. But the price of absolute protection and perfection became increasingly ominous and questionable, and the whole situation became a detailed discussion of ruler and ruled, ends and means. At the close of Season Six, we saw a tired and betrayed Princess Bubblegum, and wondered if that candy paradise were truly broken, if relations between her and the Candy People could continue the way they have been in the past. My own personal theory is that Princess Bubblegum is cognizant of the Mushroom War, and envisioned the Candy Kingdom to be an ideal society that would steer clear of humanity’s fate, but now it seems as though no civilization could be truly perfect, no matter what lessons can be read from the past.

6. The Fate of the Fire Kingdom

The Cooler

Where we left off:

In “The Cooler,” Princess Bubblegum infiltrated the Fire Kingdom in order to assess its threat level to the Candy Kingdom. She discovers firstly, that Flame Princess’ fledgling regime is still on shaky ground; her elder brother Flint is the typical extremist warhawk, bent on destroying the Candy Kingdom for idiotically vague and nonsensical reasons. In the previous season, Flame Princess was even deposed for a period, by her father, the Flame Lord, and Don John, the fire controller, on the basis that she’s too gentle and weakened to rule over such a ruthless race. Secondly, Princess Bubblegum discovers the Flame Kingdom’s Sleeping Fire Giants, massive machines constructed with ancient technology, with the power both to destroy nations and establish new Fire Kingdoms, if need be. After a battle between her and Flame Princess, PB leaves a single Fire Giant as a token of uneasy trust between them.

Why it’s a big deal:

We want the Fire Kingdom to succeed because it’s a tiny model of a nation caught between a history of aggression and draconian rule, and Flame Princess’ new regime of gentleness and honesty. Which is to say, it tells the hopes and dreams that every peaceable society has for its own nation. The tension between the Fire and Candy Kingdoms expresses the Machiavellian policies which foster mistrust and jingoism, and inquires towards the roots and nature of human conflict on an international scale, and whether it really is inevitable. Hence, I’m very interested in what the Adventure Time writers have to say on that particular topic, especially because it’s intertwined with PB’s own humanity, in conflict with her pragmatism.

Something Big

7. Maja the Sky Witch and Psychic Tandem War Elephant

Where we left off:

After the Lich had effectively been put out of commission following the Farmworld crisis, it looked for a while like Maja the Sky Witch might be the next big baddie. Previously, she’d been revealed as the owner of Marceline’s childhood doll, Hambo, and had been feeding from its nostalgic energies. After PB traded it in exchange for her pajama shirt (given to her by Marceline and also suffused with emotional mojo), Maja led an assault on the Candy Kingdom with the help of Darren, the Ancient Sleeper, and in the ensuing battle, Maja was defeated and put into a comatose state. She was then revived by Psychic Tandem War Elephant, who had set out on a soul-searching journey after being freed from Finn’s service.

Why it’s a big deal:

This particular arc might not be big on anyone else’s list, but it’s definitely on mine: I sincerely enjoyed Maja’s whole character and style (who can forget her man/crow/rabbit familiar?), and am intrigued by the fact that she can tap into powers older than Ooo or even the Mushroom War, powers like Darren and Psychic Tandem War Elephant, who hint at unexplored plotlines in the series’ universe.  But even more so, I loved Ellie’s journey of meaning; after Finn released him from bondage, the telekinetic, elephantine war machine set out to search for his own purpose, with a still-comatose Maja in his care. Aww.

8. Jake’s Origins

jake

Where we left off:

In the only episode we have that focuses on Joshua and Margaret, the dog couple who adopted Finn, the shocking circumstances of Jake’s birth were finally revealed. While investigating a mystery (as professional crimefighters) Joshua and Margaret ran afoul of an interdimensional, shapeshifting being, who impregnated Joshua’s head with its offspring, which, of course, was Jake.

Why it’s a big deal:

This arc might seem bizarrely low on my list of exciting arcs, but that’s because there isn’t nearly as much thematic tie-in between Jake’s origin and the rest of the series. Regardless, Jake’s transdimensional past opens up new vistas for the series, which could really take all sorts of forms: new threats, new allies, but most excitingly, insights into Jake’s stretching abilities and how it relates to his alien physiology. There were designs on the interdimensional creature’s body that were suggestive of the shape of the womb, implying that it’s a race whose primary purpose is to bond and procreate with other lifeforms, which opens up a whole other can of worms–have they done this before, and created other lifeforms on Ooo? What other dimensions and travelers lurk out there?

I’m sure I left one or two story arcs (and I’m sure there’s one or two on here that you don’t care a bunk about), so feel free to sound off in the comments and tell me what I missed. Here’s looking forward to Season 7 in the Fall!

12 Comments

  1. Excellent list, Mr. Tran. A few that I would add:
    1. Marceline’s past. This is one we know they’re going to tackle in a big way: CN announced a miniseries a few months back which will heavily focus on Marceline’s backstory. Huge excitement there.
    2. Finn’s arm. Back in “Is That You?”, Finn woke up clutching his right arm, which called attention to the thorn that had been in it since “Breezy”. He said that he had a crazy dream, and that Prismo was definitely in it. Then, in “The Mountain”, when Finn was reduced to his pure essence after going through one of Matthew’s mirrors, the right arm of his spirit-form stopped at the elbow. Those, coupled with all the alternate versions of Finn who had a robotic arm shown throughout season five, seem to suggest that Finn is simply destined not to keep his right arm. The grass sword grew back in “The Comet”, but we don’t know how much of his arm it left.
    3. The cosmic beings. The show has been giving more and more screentime to the higher entities who “rule” the universe of the show, even going to great lengths to humanize them in episodes like “Hoots”. When Orgalorg asked Finn where Glod-Gob-Grod-Grob was, he didn’t definitively say “He’s dead”, he just said “I don’t know”, suggesting that the four-headed prince of Mars might still exist somewhere in the multi-verse. In “…Floaties”, we learned of the threat of Golb, apparently some kind of harbringer of the void. Between those, Prismo, the Cosmic Owl, Death, the renewed focus on the King of Mars in “Orgalorg”, and the introduction of the recurring catalyst comet, more drama surrounding these major (and minor) deities would be fascinating.
    4. Peppermint Butler. We’ve seen the lengths Pep-But is willing to go to in “Nemesis”, and we’ve seen his dark dealings in episodes like “Death in Bloom” and “The Suitor”. But the most recent development in this shadowy character is one many seem to be overlooking: he stayed by PB’s side even when she is exiled. The dichotomy of this character just got a whole lot more interesting: I had always wondered why this dark magician seemed to never have any kind of agenda against PB, and this seems to suggest that there may be an interesting reason for that. Peppermint Butler owes some deeper allegiance to PB, it would be nice to see that history explored.
    5. Susan Strong. In “Dark Purple”, the enigmatic Susan Strong quite suddenly was revitalized as an important part of the show, having not been present since season three. And we finally got some hints about her species: no gills, but some kind of circuitry in her head. So many questions surround this character; diving into her past will necessarily shed more light on the past of Ooo in general.

    1. Edited! Ya’ll caught me–I only have eight fingers, so I’ve had trouble counting things since childhood. I’m kidding of course, I just dumbed out.

  2. One of them needs to be that even though she doesn’t love him anymore, Flame Princess needs to go talk to Finn, or vice versa. I feel like he’s gone through a hell of a lot and she hasn’t seen any of that because she may still see him as that clingy kid she used to date and truly love until he hurt her in the most out of character way. Finn has matured and she needs to see that and if she doesn’t accept him back, then that’s fine, I’ll accept that. I just want a bit of closure with the two of them.

    1. +1
      I hoped since they brock up that something like this is going to happen. I would like them see to get together (I was unresonable upset after the episode), but they should atleast give them one episodes to discuss there problems. And they should be more together as friends if the other things do not happen. Currently, FP seems to see Finn more as a simple tool.

  3. I would like to see more of future Ooo. The protagonist of this kind of episode should be just a witness, not a main protagonist, (like in Thank You) so no big events from the future are spoiled, just teased. You only get to see the future from a non direct perspective.

    I agree with the idea that the show should have a final season at some point, and the beauty of the Future Ooo episodes is that we are kinda looking into a point beyond that. Because i don’t think that by the final season we will get so far into the future, so the events of this distant future are, maybe, way after the show has reach it’s end.
    Like watching ruins,or the leftovers of a party.
    Telling the same story from differents time-perspectives is something that i found very attractive.

  4. Maja/APTWE is my favorite subplot in the series. “I must decide in this moment what is best”

  5. Lemonhope pt. 2 was on CN as I was reading all of these and I noticed when he returned to the deserted lemon kingdom he passes a futuristic candy Kingdom and even Finn and Jakes treehouse but the tree house is abandoned and reaches the clouds and that kinda put a sick feeling in my stomach, I know there has to be and end but I wish there wasn’t haha

  6. Jake’s death. It’s hinted at from multiple angles:
    – His croak dream of dying in space with Banana Man is not yet fulfilled (though it nearly has been twice). The exact nature of how “accurate” the Cosmic Owl’s prophetic dreams are is yet to be fully realized, too.
    – Jake’s religious views and philosophies are mostly about death
    – Jake has temporarily died or visited dead worlds multiple times already in the show – first in Sons of Mars (when the king of mars kills him) and then in Death in Bloom (when Finn and Jake go to visit death) and then in Jake The Dog where Farmworld Jake is killed and turns into a lich and then again in Ghost Fly (when BMO stops Jake’s heart with a karate chop)
    – In Graybles 1000+, after a flashback featuring Jake, Cuber jokes, “Tut tut, as the dead would say” to reflect that Jake was in fact dead
    – In both of the revealed futures (from Lemonhope and Graybles 1000+) Finn and Jake’s tree is still standing, but the house part of the treehouse is nowhere to be seen. Maybe they didn’t live long enough to maintain their house for a thousand years like Marceline seems to have, but I would’ve at least expected ruins or something like the ruins of the abandoned future Candy Kingdom.
    – In His Hero you see the skeletal remains of Billy’s dog companion. If Finn lived to be as old as Billy, then would Jake be dead too?
    – As a dog, I’d sort of expect Finn to naturally outlive Jake
    – The loss of Finn’s right arm is a metaphor for Jake’s death

  7. I would like to know more about Jake’s past. i have noticed all the references to Jake’s death, but his past hasnt been mentioned. We have seen Jake and Finn as babies together, but we also know Jake has had a past of being a thief, and has known Pb and marceline longer than Finn has. But where was Finn when Jake was a thief? Did he grew up quicker and then slowed down?

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