by James Eatock
Just whose side were they supposed to be on; Skeletor's or Hordak's?
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe started off with a simple toy line; Heroic Warriors versus the Evil Warriors. A few years later Mattel decided to add a new group of villains, thus The Evil Horde were born. Originally planned for the He-Man cartoon, the Horde were used as the villains in the newest Mattel cartoon, She-Ra. Around about the same time as the debut of She-Ra, He-Man had a new group of toys show up called The Snake Men. Led by King Hiss, the group had a thin allegiance with Skeletor's Evil Warriors, and absolutely no connection with The Evil Horde. That was until the cartoon writers were forced to use The Snake Men!
MU79 - "Disappearing Dragons"
Kobra Khan was originally part of Skeletor's group of villains. He debuted in He-Man's season two alongside Webstor and Whiplash. Thus when The Snake Men concept was introduced into the toy line he had already established himself as one of Skeletor's group, and been given sufficient airtime. In the toy line the basic story was that Kobra Khan would be part of the Snake Men, but secretly act as a spy for Skeletor. The first problem was that the cartoon could not make this transition unless they introduced King Hiss and The Snake Men concept. The second and biggest problem was that the idea was way too late; the He-Man cartoon was 130 episodes old, and now the She-Ra show was The Snake Men's only chance.
Filmation and Mattel had no way of introducing King Hiss and The Snake Men to the very new She-Ra series. Therefore they had to push the group without the concept. Tricky? Indeed. Therefore in the She-Ra Princess of Power series bible, Rattlor and Tung Lashor were introduced to the writers. The defining difference from the toys? They were now members of The Evil Horde. A very big change!
PP10 - "The Prisoners of Beast Island"
The first of the two remaining Snake Men was Rattlor. He was not given a fanfare introduction; he just appeared alongside Catra and Leech in "The Prisoners of Beast Island." Vaguely resembling the Masters of the Universe action figure Rattlor just acted as another one of Catra's henchmen in this episode, alongside Leech and Grizzlor.
Tung Lashor aka Tung Lash aka Tung
PP19 - "Enchanted Castle"
Then Mattel's dream finally came true, sort of. In the episode "Enchanted Castle" we are given a scene of pure filler-material, but it serves to advertise two Snake Men on the screen at the same time! Whilst Bow entertains some villagers, Rattlor and the first appearance of the third and final Snake Man Tung Lashor, hatch a plan to ruin the villagers' day. What should be noted is that Tung Lashor barely resembles his action figure. The only similarity the two actually have is the fact they their tongues extend! Soon enough She-Ra has defeated both of the two Snake Men. But they are entertaining in a very amusing scene, which shows them on a ledge, miles above ground.
PP26 - "Book Burning"
Rattlor and Tung Lashor then went on to make another side-by-side appearance in the classic She-Ra episode "Book Burning." Unfortunately, Tung Lashor (who had not been named in his first appearance) was referred to as simply Tung.
PP35 - "Gateway to Trouble"
So the two of them had been established as members of the Horde, correct? Wrong. For some unknown reason, in-between Tung Lashor's second appearance and his fourth appearance, his third appearance in "Gateway to Trouble" sees him working for Skeletor! Whilst this episode brilliantly focuses on Modulok's defection to the Horde, Tung Lashor, known as Tung Lash in this episode, does his best to get into Skeletor's good books. It all looks very strange as we see the character with a huge Horde symbol on his chest, standing next to Skeletor, who is threatening the Horde in general. Tung Lashor was suddenly working for the Horde again in his subsequent appearances in "Welcome Back, Kowl," "Micah of Bright Moon" and "Birds of a Feather." Tung Lashor's career ended as She-Ra's season one came to a close.
PP57 - "Jungle Fever"
After Tung Lashor had vanished into the place that writer's forgot, Rattlor went on to become the sole-surviving member of Etheria's two Snake Men. Rattlor made his final appearance of She-Ra's season one alongside Grizzlor and Catra in "Jungle Fever." He managed to get sufficient screen time and displayed how useful his powers can be.
26085 - "A Christmas Special"
Just when we thought we had everything figured out, along came "A Christmas Special." The forty-minute special was made at the very end of She-Ra's season one and crossed over both worlds of He-Man and She-Ra. Continuity errors were present in this special, one of them being Rattlor working for Skeletor! Again, like Tung Lashor's earlier crossover into Skeletor's group, no mention of this is made. We are to just accept that the guy sitting in-between longtime Skeletor warriors Webstor, Spikor and Two Bad, has always been one of them!
PP90 - "Shades Of Orko"
It was very apparent that Tung Lashor had now completely been forgotten about, but She-Ra's season two had two more appearances for Rattlor. He appeared in "The Locket," and once more in the He-Man crossover "Shades of Orko." Do not fear, even though it was a He-Man crossover he was actually still working for the Horde! But then, originally, that's not what the toy line set out to do was it? He was supposed to be one of The Snake Men!