- "Then you have seen your father."
"I have seen what you did to him. But he's alive in spite of you!"
- —Bavmorda and Sorsha, in Willow: A Novel
Tanthalos IX, born Mikal Tanthalos, was the last King of Tir Asleen until the rise of the Demon Queen Bavmorda. When he was still the heir to the throne of his father, Tanthalos VIII, the young Prince Mikal initially courted Fin Raziel. However, the prince fell under the influence of Bavmorda's spells, and he ended up marrying her instead. The two had a daughter, Sorsha, and the evil sorceress eliminated her parents-in-law, thus putting her husband on the throne. Before his daughter turned five, the new King Tanthalos IX was frozen in crystal along with the rest of Tir Asleen. He remained trapped until the fall of Bavmorda.
Prince Mikal Tanthalos was the son of King Tanthalos VIII, who ruled over the Daikini kingdom of Tir Asleen. During his childhood, the prince got acquainted with Fin Raziel, the young apprentice of Tir Asleen's court magician. However, Mikal spent his youth travelling the kingdoms of the Western continent, and the two did not meet again for many years. When they were both nearly twenty, they met again for the first time in many years, and they fell in love. Within a season of that meeting, Mikal ended up asking Raziel, "Could I ever be worthy of you?" The two experienced a passionate romance, which had serious repercussions on Raziel's magical abilities. Meanwhile, their relation provoked the jealousy of Bavmorda, another talented sorceress of Tir Asleen.
- "I love Bavmorda. She is the only one I ever loved. I will make her my princess, and she will reign as a great queen."
- —Prince Mikal, under the influence of Bavmorda's charms, in The Willow Sourcebook
Just as Raziel was considering abandoning her magical studies in the favor of Mikal, Bavmorda asked the prince on a forest trip. Although he was not attracted to her, the prince was too courteous to refuse a noted enchantress. During their trip, she started working slow rituals of obedience on the prince. As the rituals grew more effective, the prince would vanish with Bavmorda for days, making love in caves and bowers that only the sorceress knew. During their moments of magically-induced intimacy, Bavmorda's minions kept watch, turning back any lurking creatures from their natural habitats.
The prince was being lured away from Fin Raziel, but she did not see it coming. One day, after another argument with her master, Raziel encountered her beloved prince in a hallway of the Tir Asleen castle. When he spoke to her courteously but formally, she understood that something had happened to him, but it was too late. The heir to the throne was now Bavmorda's puppet, and he wished to marry her as soon as possible. Across the kingdom, many magicians found that change of heart suspicious, but none dared intervene. As Raziel fell into disgrace, Bavmorda also arranged to destroy Vulsant's morale, prompting him to resign. The prince married Bavmorda, but the official celebration caused very little rejoicing. Eventually, Mikal and Bavmorda had a daughter, Sorsha, who inherited her father's fiery hair and good nature.
Time of WhispersEdit
- "You insult me! My father was a weakling! A fool! An enemy of Nockmaar!"
- —Sorsha, in Willow: A Novel
Not long after the birth of Sorsha, Prince Mikal's parents, the old king Tanthalos and his queen, died together in an uncanny accident. Some, including the court poet Durward whispered that Bavmorda's spells had killed the royal couple, but the sorceress had them silenced. With his father dead, Prince Mikal took the mantle of king, under the name of Tanthalos IX. Despite the spell that kept him on Bavmorda's leash, Mikal proved to be a good, loving father to Sorsha. It was he who taught her to ride a pony through the castle's orchard and to row a little boat in the upper reaches of the River Freen. Despite her father's doting attitude, Sorsha was bent early to her mother's will. As king, however, Tanthalos IX proved ineffective. In truth, it was the new Queen Bavmorda who pulled the strings at Tir Asleen. She loosed her magic upon the land, causing the crops to wither and the livestock to sicken.
The short reign of King Tanthalos IX ended before his daughter's fifth birthday, when Bavmorda decided that she had no more use for her husband—or for Tir Asleen as a whole. She then froze the citizenry of the kingdom into quartz-like statues, and the king suffered the same fate as his subjects, at age thirty-five. He was calling greetings to someone across the courtyard when Bavmorda's spell struck. Bavmorda also made sure that young Sorsha's memories of her father were blocked, thus ensuring the princess' unswerving loyalty to her mother only. Like all citizens of Tir Asleen, King Tanthalos IX remained trapped in his quartz block for many years. until the fall of Bavmorda, 1,342 years after the Nelwyn Arrival Day.
Personality and traitsEdit
In his youth, Prince Mikal was a handsome young man with bright red hair, the broad honest face of his family, and calm, wide-spaced eyes. He was a compassionate and generous man who liked to laugh and cared much for his daughter. In his crystal prison, Tanthalos was kept alive, but still grew older; upon being freed, his hair had turned white.
- Willow (First appearance)