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Thread: Is Orko depressed?

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    Is Orko depressed?

    This is a weird thought. Anyway:

    Orko is constantly running away from home and isolating himself from his friends. When confronted about his issues, he is relunctant to talk about them, or brushes off assistance. When other characters show Orko affection, he is flustered. He broke in to tears at the thought that his freinds would look for him if he went missing. He had to be convinced that he was loved regardless of his abilities, multiple times. What makes this most real, however, is that other characters are concerned about him. Even across Filmation’s loose continuity, they know to check on Orko if he is upset, otherwise he is at risk of endangering himself. And they are right.

    Am I reading too deep into a kid’s cartoon? Yes. 100%.

    But for the sake of argument, let’s assume death of the author for a second. In the context of the show alone, there’s plenty of evidence that he has mental health issues, an overwhelming amount compared to the other characters. Or at least VERY low self esteem.

    Thoughts?

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    Heroic Warrior AllenJ1977's Avatar
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    Interesting question. I'd go with low self-esteem regarding the issues you brought up. The thing that really sticks out to me - and might point to depression - is isolation. Yeah, like you said he runs away and isolates himself from his friends on Eternia and constantly needs reinforcement from them. But, I think there's more to it. Orko is a "stranger in a strange land", being an alien on Eternia. Sure, he's been visited by other Trollans and has been able to visit his home world on occasion, but he's still been cast adrift from them. That's got to have a major impact on his psyche. I can tell you from experience that being cut off from people (for the most part) can definitely have a negative impact on a person.

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    Heroic Warrior motogp_fanatic's Avatar
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    Base on Filmation cartoon alone. It seems bad things sometimes get into him from time to time...but he always bring out the fun in the palace, knows he is welcomed in Eternia, has friends that's like a family.. Has his own room, freedom and welcomed even in Grayskull. He even knows Adam secret... It is just he is characterized like a kid... He's OK IMHO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by motogp_fanatic View Post
    Base on Filmation cartoon alone. It seems bad things sometimes get into him from time to time...but he always bring out the fun in the palace, knows he is welcomed in Eternia, has friends that's like a family.. Has his own room, freedom and welcomed even in Grayskull. He even knows Adam secret... It is just he is characterized like a kid... He's OK IMHO.

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    I would agree with this, except that the fact that he is characterized as a child makes his acting this way worse. I would be worried if my child acted the way Orko does. Besides, having good things in his life are not indicators of him not being depressed. (I don't think he has depression, but low self esteem as AllenJ1977 said.)

    I find it interesting that the writers have ascribed this trait to the comic releif of all people. Adam seems like a more likely candidate, with all of his responsibilities and having to hide a vital part of himself from his family and Teela.

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    Heroic Warrior AllenJ1977's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KNight( View Post
    I would agree with this, except that the fact that he is characterized as a child makes his acting this way worse. I would be worried if my child acted the way Orko does. Besides, having good things in his life are not indicators of him not being depressed. (I don't think he has depression, but low self esteem as AllenJ1977 said.)

    I find it interesting that the writers have ascribed this trait to the comic releif of all people. Adam seems like a more likely candidate, with all of his responsibilities and having to hide a vital part of himself from his family and Teela.
    You would think Adam would be depressed with all he has to deal with. But, your line about "comic relief" really made me think. Just consider the comedians in our world who suffer, or have suffered, from depression: Robin Williams, Jim Carrey, Drew Carey, Wayne Brady. Those are just a handful I've found in a few minutes' googling. While comedians and the "funny people" in our lives aren't the only ones to have depression, there's a definite link there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AllenJ1977 View Post
    You would think Adam would be depressed with all he has to deal with. But, your line about "comic relief" really made me think. Just consider the comedians in our world who suffer, or have suffered, from depression: Robin Williams, Jim Carrey, Drew Carey, Wayne Brady. Those are just a handful I've found in a few minutes' googling. While comedians and the "funny people" in our lives aren't the only ones to have depression, there's a definite link there.
    That is a good point you brought up. Similar to the idea that artists tend to struggle with mental illnesses, and comedians are a kind of artist. They say that comedy is derived from misery, so it makes sense that comedians may experience higher rates of depression.

    I was thinking about your point on isolation, and I have to wonder, is Orko really isolated? He can return to Trolla if he wants, and on Eternia he has a surrogate family, as motogp_fanatic said. There’s no implication in the series that I know of, that he considers himself different from the Eternians.

    Maybe Orko’s self-worth is tied to his magical powers. On Trolla he built his identity around them, so when he lost his amulet he lost his self esteem. And on Eternia he has deep friendships, but on Trolla he doesn’t have many. There are only three Trollans he has been shown to have a connection with, Montork, Dre-elle (who he didn’t meet until later) and the one who is a compulsive liar. It seems as though on Trolla, he is popular and powerful but doesn’t have many friends, while on Eternia he has close friends but no fame or power.

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    Heroic Warrior AllenJ1977's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KNight( View Post
    That is a good point you brought up. Similar to the idea that artists tend to struggle with mental illnesses, and comedians are a kind of artist. They say that comedy is derived from misery, so it makes sense that comedians may experience higher rates of depression.

    I was thinking about your point on isolation, and I have to wonder, is Orko really isolated? He can return to Trolla if he wants, and on Eternia he has a surrogate family, as motogp_fanatic said. There’s no implication in the series that I know of, that he considers himself different from the Eternians.

    Maybe Orko’s self-worth is tied to his magical powers. On Trolla he built his identity around them, so when he lost his amulet he lost his self esteem. And on Eternia he has deep friendships, but on Trolla he doesn’t have many. There are only three Trollans he has been shown to have a connection with, Montork, Dre-elle (who he didn’t meet until later) and the one who is a compulsive liar. It seems as though on Trolla, he is popular and powerful but doesn’t have many friends, while on Eternia he has close friends but no fame or power.
    Those are great points. I love your hypothesis about Orko's self-worth being tied to his powers. Man, this whole discussion would make a great essay and I'd love to see something like this explored in a canon story.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AllenJ1977 View Post
    Interesting question. I'd go with low self-esteem regarding the issues you brought up. The thing that really sticks out to me - and might point to depression - is isolation. Yeah, like you said he runs away and isolates himself from his friends on Eternia and constantly needs reinforcement from them. But, I think there's more to it. Orko is a "stranger in a strange land", being an alien on Eternia. Sure, he's been visited by other Trollans and has been able to visit his home world on occasion, but he's still been cast adrift from them. That's got to have a major impact on his psyche. I can tell you from experience that being cut off from people (for the most part) can definitely have a negative impact on a person.
    I think this makes the most sense.

    Having lived outside of my own country for many many years, I can relate to this.

    You never really belong in the new country/world you live in and have changed too much to fit back into the country/world you were from. You end up always looking for something. In Orko's case, I suspect he is trying too hard to "belong"?

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    Heroic Warrior AllenJ1977's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkerBoh View Post
    In Orko's case, I suspect he is trying too hard to "belong"?
    I think you're right. In hindsight, there's are so many scenes in the series where he seems to be trying so hard to fit in.

    BTW, love your handle. Walker's my favorite character in the Shannara series.

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    Orko was a Master of the Universe on Trolla . His powers are little more than a joke on Eternia . He probably feels pretty useless and frustrated especially when Skeletor is causing trouble . He was arguably at least as powerful as Skeletor if not more so .
    I think Orko is the opposite , I think an above average positive outlook on life is what keeps him functioning like normal at all . Sure i am as helpless as a puppy but i dont need to wear pants to work .

    What i dont get is , with a Sorceress , a Zodak , a HeMan a genius Duncan , wise Granmyer , an army of lesser no name wizards in Arcane College and of course an old castle containing all the knowledge of the universe . Nobody can restore his powers or make a new amulet or retrieve the old amulet .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lokus View Post
    Orko was a Master of the Universe on Trolla . His powers are little more than a joke on Eternia . He probably feels pretty useless and frustrated especially when Skeletor is causing trouble . He was arguably at least as powerful as Skeletor if not more so .
    I think Orko is the opposite , I think an above average positive outlook on life is what keeps him functioning like normal at all . Sure i am as helpless as a puppy but i dont need to wear pants to work .

    What i dont get is , with a Sorceress , a Zodak , a HeMan a genius Duncan , wise Granmyer , an army of lesser no name wizards in Arcane College and of course an old castle containing all the knowledge of the universe . Nobody can restore his powers or make a new amulet or retrieve the old amulet .
    If they try they can do that story. But Filmation made Orko like that simply because he is a fun character.. Making him to be like what he is in trolla will make things different with kids which is the audience that time... Im happy to see the episodes where Orko showcase the Orko The Great skills.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lokus View Post
    Orko was a Master of the Universe on Trolla . His powers are little more than a joke on Eternia . He probably feels pretty useless and frustrated especially when Skeletor is causing trouble . He was arguably at least as powerful as Skeletor if not more so .
    I think Orko is the opposite , I think an above average positive outlook on life is what keeps him functioning like normal at all . Sure i am as helpless as a puppy but i dont need to wear pants to work .

    What i dont get is , with a Sorceress , a Zodak , a HeMan a genius Duncan , wise Granmyer , an army of lesser no name wizards in Arcane College and of course an old castle containing all the knowledge of the universe . Nobody can restore his powers or make a new amulet or retrieve the old amulet .
    I agree with this. I think he has a lot of problems, and has been through a lot, but is also surprisingly resilient. He is optimistic, but is still dealing with a lot, and sometimes needs help.

    I don't want Orko to get his amulet back, because I think it would ruin his character arc. If he gets it back, he learns nothing, so why was it taken away from him in the first place? It's more rewarding to see him learn to do magic on Eternia and see him be even better at magic because of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by motogp_fanatic View Post
    If they try they can do that story. But Filmation made Orko like that simply because he is a fun character.. Making him to be like what he is in trolla will make things different with kids which is the audience that time... Im happy to see the episodes where Orko showcase the Orko The Great skills.

    Sent from my vivo 1718 using Tapatalk
    For this discussion I like to assume death of the author. The intentions of the writers no longer matter, and we only look at what they have actually given us, without thinking ‘They did it this way because he’s the comic releif.’ It’s true, but not to the MOTU characters themselves. They don’t know they are in a cartoon. It’s more fun that way, IMO.

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    Heroic Warrior McHorde-Trooper's Avatar
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    This is a fascinating exploration of Orko as a character. There's several good points that could really fit why Orko acts the way he does. Although I knew about things like culture shock and depression I hadn't thought about Orko related to them.

    I think the only other time I've though about Orko differently was when I came up with a crazy fan fiction idea. What if Orko was an assassin pretending to be a good guy and failing miserably to kill anyone? It would have been a short dark comedy, but I didn't do anything with it. The idea did inspire the fanfic I did write though. Not sure if it's still posted here.

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    Heroic Warrior AllenJ1977's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by McHorde-Trooper View Post
    This is a fascinating exploration of Orko as a character. There's several good points that could really fit why Orko acts the way he does. Although I knew about things like culture shock and depression I hadn't thought about Orko related to them.
    Glad you're enjoying the discussion. It's been a blast. I'm so glad KNight( brought it up.

    I think the only other time I've though about Orko differently was when I came up with a crazy fan fiction idea. What if Orko was an assassin pretending to be a good guy and failing miserably to kill anyone? It would have been a short dark comedy, but I didn't do anything with it. The idea did inspire the fanfic I did write though. Not sure if it's still posted here.
    Do you remember the title of the story? I'd love to read it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KNight( View Post
    For this discussion I like to assume death of the author. The intentions of the writers no longer matter, and we only look at what they have actually given us, without thinking ‘They did it this way because he’s the comic releif.’ It’s true, but not to the MOTU characters themselves. They don’t know they are in a cartoon. It’s more fun that way, IMO.
    Well going by death of the author, it brings up many possibilities. Because otherwise you'd have to reconcile that the writers never really had a good grasp on Orko. Beyond "comic relief", sometimes he was acting like a teenager-in-trouble and other times like a very young kid. With so many writers who were brought in to play in MOTU sandbox for Filmation, they all had different needs for Orko to act for the needs-of-the-specific episode.That's why on first glance, is Orko depressed? Not in medical terms if you really look into the episodes. But yes; death of the author opens up everything.
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