Lloyd Montgomery Garmadon is a fictional character and a protagonist in the computer-animated television series Ninjago, (previously known as Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu) which is produced by The Lego Group. He is also the protagonist of The Lego Ninjago Movie, released in 2017. He was created by the original Ninjago screenwriters, Dan and Kevin Hageman and introduced in the first season of Ninjago, titled Rise of the Snakes, which was released in December 2011. In the series, the character was developed from a young boy to his current role as the legendary Green Ninja, a prophesied hero within the lore of the series who is destined to save the land of Ninjago from the forces of evil. He is also defined as the Elemental Master of Energy, which gives him a range of elemental powers, such as shooting green energy beams at enemies and passively shielding his body. Over the course of the series, Lloyd has been portrayed as the strongest member and eventual leader of a team of six teenage ninja, which was formed in the pilot season of Ninjago. The original team consisted of just four members, and Lloyd joined their team later in the first season. In both the series and the movie, the storyline has repeatedly placed him in opposition to Lord Garmadon, his father and prophesied enemy. Although many other villains have since appeared in the series, this complicated relationship between father and son has been an overarching storyline in the show's portrayal of the battle between good and evil.
|First appearance||Ninjago: Rise of the Snakes (2011)|
|Created by||Dan and Kevin Hageman|
|Voiced by||Jillian Michaels (2011–2017)|
Sam Vincent (2018–present)
Dave Franco (The Lego Ninjago Movie)
|Full name||Lloyd Montgomery Garmadon|
|Alias||The Green Ninja|
Elemental Master of Energy
|Species||Human with Oni and Dragon blood|
|Occupation||Leader of the ninja team|
|Family||First Spinjitzu Master (Grandfather)|
Lord Garmadon (Father)
Sensei Wu (Uncle)
Since its launch in 2011, the Ninjago series has seen continued popularity amongst its audience with Lloyd being a consistently popular character. He has been depicted in numerous short films, children's books, graphic novels and other media, and has also been repeatedly released in Lego minifigure form as part of the Lego Ninjago sets that coincide with each Ninjago season.
Concept and creationEdit
In 2009, The Lego Group proposed to make a series about ninja, deciding that there would be four ninja with elemental powers. The Lego Ninjago theme concept originated in the Lego Ninja theme, which was released by Lego in 1998. In 2011, Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu was launched and included some of the concepts from the Lego Ninja theme, such as dragons and fortresses, but also combined this with a modern setting. The series was created by Michael Hegner and Tommy Andreasen, two Danish film producers. The character of Lloyd Garmadon was conceived by two screenwriters, Dan and Kevin Hageman following the pilot season. The first sketch depicting Lloyd Garmadon was created in 2010 by co-creator Tommy Andreasen. The Hageman Brothers have stated that "Lloyd" Garmadon was created as a pun on "Lord" Garmadon.
The Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu series was animated in Copenhagen, Denmark, by Wil Film ApS for its ten season run. The production was relocated to WildBrain Studios in Canada with the release of the eleventh season titled Secrets of the Forbidden Spinjitzu and renamed Ninjago. This marked the use of new animation styles, including anime-style 2D animation, as a way to experiment with the storyline and add new creativity to the show. The run-time for the show was also revised from 22 minutes to 11 minutes.
The eighth season titled Sons of Garmadon implemented a new phase for the ninjas' designs, which were now based on the designs of their movie counterparts in The Lego Ninjago Movie. Not only were the character appearances updated, but Lloyd was presented as noticeably older in appearance, which was further illustrated by the introduction of a new voice actor. The design changes aimed to help new fans of the movie transition to the television series.
For seasons 1 to 7 of the Ninjago series, Lloyd was voiced by Jillian Michaels. However, since the release of The Lego Ninjago Movie and the subsequent changes in character designs in season 8, Lloyd has been voiced by Sam Vincent. In the 2017 film, titled The Lego Ninjago Movie, Lloyd was voiced by Dave Franco.
Lloyd is recognisable by his green gi, the ninja outfit that he typically wears in the Ninjago series and across the Lego Ninjago franchise. The design of his gi has changed multiple times over the course of the series, but he is usually depicted wearing a hood and mask when in combat. He is also typically portrayed using a katana as his signature weapon. When he is introduced in the first season of Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu, he appears as a young boy, with blonde hair in a bowl-cut style, wearing a black, hooded outfit.[E 1] However, over the course of the series he is rapidly aged up to a young teenager with long, blonde, tousled hair.[E 2] In his first appearance, Lloyd is portrayed as a minor antagonist who makes childish attempts to perform evil deeds, such as robbing villagers of candy and pulling pranks.[E 3] He is also depicted attempting to conquer Ninjago, but failing due to his immaturity.[E 4] As the story develops, he is taken into the care of his uncle, Master Wu, and turned from the path of evil. Throughout subsequent seasons, Lloyd’s character has been developed from a mischievous child into a wise and skilled ninja. By the seventh season, titled Hands of Time, the series portrays him as a fully developed character, ready to take the role of master and eventual leader of the team.[E 5] At the beginning of the eighth season, titled Sons of Garmadon, Lloyd is further developed into an older teenager and appears visibly older, having longer hair and a lower voice.[E 6] His eyes are green, reflecting his green elemental power, and typically glow in combat scenes. His character is also presented as more mature, and within the dialogue, he is often shown displaying wisdom beyond his years. Since the release of the eleventh season, Lloyd's character has been consistently portrayed as a calm and confident team leader, able to make quick decisions when facing adversity.[E 7] Chronologically, Lloyd is still depicted as the youngest member of the ninja team (although his age has not been clearly defined) while the other ninja have been described as "grown-up teenagers".[E 8] In The Lego Ninjago Movie, Lloyd's age is revealed to be 16.
In the Ninjago series, Lloyd is described as an "Elemental Master", one of several characters who can manipulate an "element". In Lloyd's case, his given title is the Elemental Master of Energy, which gives him the ability to manipulate energy in various ways, such as shooting green energy blasts at his enemies, creating explosions of energy and creating an energy shield to protect his body from attack.[E 9] These powers first begin to develop in the second season, Legacy of the Green Ninja.[E 10] Lloyd's powers are shown to become progressively stronger the more he trains, as he develops the ability to form balls of energy and shoot energy blasts.[E 11] Towards the end of the second season, Lloyd’s powers are depicted at their greatest strength when they are transformed into his "Golden Power", which he then uses to destroy the Overlord, the main antagonist of the season, in an explosion of light.[E 12] However, in the third season, titled Rebooted, Lloyd voluntarily gives up his Golden Power, leaving just his elemental energy powers remaining.[E 13]
In early seasons, Lloyd's powers are shown to be connected to the elemental powers of the original four ninja. He has been consistently portrayed as the strongest Elemental Master, which has been explained by the fact that he can harness all of other ninja's elemental powers.[E 14] Over the course of the series, Lloyd’s elemental power has sometimes been temporarily lost as a result of both internal and external forces to serve the storyline. This is particularly evident in the eighth season Sons of Garmadon and ninth season Hunted, in which Lloyd is shown to completely lose his elemental powers after losing a brutal fight with his father, Lord Garmadon.[E 15] Like the other ninja, Lloyd also has the ability to use his elemental powers to summon an elemental vehicle or energy dragon at will.[E 16][E 17]
In his first appearance in the first season, Lloyd is shown to have no experience in combat, but is subsequently trained by the ninja in the second season. As part of this combat training, Lloyd is shown to develop his skills in the art of "Spinjitzu", a fictional martial arts technique, in which the characters rotate rapidly to create a tornado of their elemental power and hit enemies in the process.[E 18] When Lloyd is developed into a young teenager, he is shown to have acquired the physical skill and focus to become a confident and skilled warrior.[E 19] In addition to these skills, the writers have also depicted Lloyd and the ninja repeatedly using Spinjitzu to form a "Tornado of Creation" to defeat enemies, which involves the characters combining their individual Spinjitzu tornadoes.[E 20] In the fifth season titled Possession, a new skill called "Airjitzu" is introduced, which is similar to Spinjitzu, but allows the characters to levitate off the ground.[E 21]
Ninjago TV seriesEdit
Since his first appearance in the television series in 2011, Lloyd's fictional family history has been placed at the center of both the main storyline and the lore of the show. Significantly, he is positioned as the grandson of the First Spinjitzu Master, who is described as the legendary inventor of the show's fictional martial art of "Spinjitzu" and the creator of Ninjago.[E 22] He is also the son of Lord Garmadon, the elder son of the First Spinjitzu Master, and Misako, an archaeologist. The series incorporates a fictional backstory relating how Lloyd's father was consumed by darkness and cast into another realm called the Underworld by Lloyd’s uncle, Wu. These events are shown to have a major impact on Lloyd's character, who is presented growing up without knowing his father, but desiring to follow in his footsteps.[E 23] In the first season, the prophecy of the Green Ninja is revealed, who, according to the lore of the show, is destined to rise above the other ninja and save Ninjago from a dark lord.[E 24]
Lloyd makes his debut in the first season, Rise of the Snakes, as a mischievous child desiring to be an evil warlord like his father. The story portrays him attempting to prove himself by conquering Ninjago, but failing. This then leads to him being taken into the care of Master Wu. It is later revealed that Lloyd is destined to become the prophesied Green Ninja, which consequently results in an inevitable confrontation with his father.[E 25] In the second season, titled Legacy of the Green Ninja, the story centers on the ninja training Lloyd to develop his fighting skills and learn the fictional martial art of Spinjitzu. Meanwhile, his father is shown plotting to conquer Ninjago through various devious plans. In the episode "Child's Play", Lloyd is magically aged up to an adolescent. The show illustrates his powers developing in strength until the season finale, which culminates in Lloyd unlocking his "Golden Power" and defeating the Overlord, an entity of pure evil.
In the third season, Rebooted, the Overlord returns as a digital entity without physical form. The story depicts him capturing Lloyd and draining him of most of his Golden Power. In the season finale, the Digital Overlord is ultimately defeated by a member of the ninja team named Zane, who is seemingly destroyed. In the final episode, the story shows how this loss results in the dissolution of the ninja team. However, in the following season, Lloyd is shown attempting to rebuild it. The fourth season, titled Tournament of Elements, involves the ninja travelling to an island in search of Zane, whom they believe is alive on the island, and competing in season antagonist Master Chen's Tournament of Elements. After discovering Chen's true plan to conquer Ninjago, Lloyd and the ninja are shown making an alliance with several other Elemental Masters to fight against Chen and his army. The plot is resolved with Garmadon making the decision to sacrifice himself in order to save Ninjago, which is shown to leave Lloyd with feelings of loss for his father.
In the fifth season, titled Possession, events in the story show Lloyd being possessed by the spirit of an Elemental Master named Morro, with his body taking an evil form for the majority of the season. In subsequent seasons, the ninja have been pitted against several other villains, such as evil genie Nadakhan in the sixth season, Skybound, and Krux and Acronix, Elemental Masters of time in the seventh season, Hands of Time. Although the writers shows him initially struggling to gain the respect of the ninja, Lloyd is eventually portrayed developing in confidence and maturity to become the permanent leader of the team.
In the eighth season, Sons of Garmadon, Lloyd is portrayed developing romantic feelings for a character named Princess Harumi, who is eventually revealed to be "The Quiet One", the leader of a criminal biker gang called the Sons of Garmadon. As the story develops, she resurrects Lord Garmadon in a ritual that only brings back his worst parts. This event is shown to have enormous impact on Lloyd, who decides to confront his father alone, but is nearly killed and loses his elemental powers. The story enters a new phase in the ninth season titled Hunted, in which Garmadon conquers Ninjago with a giant stone monster, forcing Lloyd to go into hiding. However, the plot illustrates a further development of Lloyd's character, by showing him eventually finding his voice and broadcasting a message of hope to the people of Ninjago. The story culminates in Lloyd facing Garmadon once more and finally defeating him after learning to resist his attacks rather than fight back.[E 26]
In more recent seasons, Lloyd has been portrayed leading the ninja to successfully defeat several other villains and their armies, including a demonic race called the Oni in the tenth season, March of the Oni, a snake queen named Aspheera in the eleventh season, Secrets of the Forbidden Spinjitzu, a sentient video game named Unagami in the twelfth season, Prime Empire, an evil Skull Sorcerer in the thirteenth season, Master of the Mountain, and an underwater tyrant named Prince Kalmaar in the fourteenth season, Seabound.
The Lego Ninjago MovieEdit
Lloyd is the protagonist of The Lego Ninjago Movie, released in 2017. Although the plot is not directly related to the Ninjago television series, Lloyd retains his role as the Green Ninja and leader of the secret ninja force. The film focuses on Lloyd defending Ninjago City from his evil father, Lord Garmadon, who makes regular attempts to conquer Ninjago City with the help of his Shark Army. Lloyd is universally despised for being the son of an evil warlord, but the citizens of Ninjago City are unaware that he is the Green Ninja. Lloyd and the ninja fight Garmadon and his minions using their mechs, until Lloyd uses the "Ultimate Weapon" (a laser pointer) on Garmadon, which attracts a live-action cat named Meowthra, who starts to destroy the city. To put an end to the destruction, Lloyd and the ninja must go on a perilous journey to find the "Ultimate, Ultimate Weapon" with Garmadon in tow. On the journey, Lloyd spends time with his father and bonds with him in the process. At the end of the film, Lloyd reveals that he is the Green Ninja, having saved Ninjago City from Meowthra, and is reconciled with his father. He also learns that his green energy power means life and connects all living things in the way that he is connected to his family and the ninja.
Lloyd and the ninja have been released numerous times in Lego minifigure form, as part of the Lego Ninjago playsets developed alongside the series. Since 2011, the Lego Ninjago themed sets have been released in waves each year to correspond with the Ninjago seasons. The playsets in each wave feature some of the main locations, vehicles, mechs, weapons and characters from the corresponding season, including Lloyd and the ninja dressed in their current gi designs.
Lloyd has appeared alongside the other ninja characters in magazines, short films, video games, coloring books, graphic novels, children's books, and a theme park ride. In 2014, he also made a cameo appearance in The Lego Movie. A 4D short animated film titled Lego Ninjago: Master of the 4th Dimension, was released in Legoland on January 12, 2018, featuring Lloyd and the ninja. The plot focuses on Master Wu teaching the ninja a lesson about the Scroll of the 4th Dimension, which affects gravity and organized matter. Lloyd and the ninja also appear in an interactive theme park ride called Lego Ninjago: The Ride at Legoland.
Various accompanying books to the Ninjago series have been produced featuring Lloyd and the ninja. A total of 12 graphic novels have been published, written by Greg Farshtey. Since the beginning of 2012, a Lego Ninjago magazine has been released in the UK and the Netherlands every month, containing a comic strip, facts, puzzles, posters, competitions and other activities.
Several mini-movies have been produced alongside the Ninjago television series, which include appearances from Lloyd and the ninja:
Pilot Episode Mini-movies - six short films that take place immediately after the pilot season, released in 2011
Chen Mini-movies - five mini-movies that focus on Master Chen and his chair from Tournament of Elements, released in 2015
Tall Tales - six mini-movies that focus on the Sky Pirates of Skybound, released in 2016
Wu's Teas - a collection of 20 Ninjago shorts that focus on Master Wu's tea shop, released in 2017
Happy Birthday To You! - a one minute short, released on Netflix on September 14, 2017
Ninjago: Decoded - a mini-series of ten episodes which takes place between Hands of Time and Sons of Garmadon, released on November 27, 2017
Tales from the Monastery of Spinjitzu - six Ninjago: Legacy films from the Lego website, released December 19, 2018
Prime Empire Original Shorts - six Ninjago shorts that provide additional background information about Prime Empire, released in 2020
Ninjago: Reimagined - five shorts in different animations styles released in 2021 to celebrate the series' 10th anniversary
Lloyd has appeared as a playable character in a variety of video games and mobile games, including Lego Ninjago: Nindroids (2014), Lego Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin (2015), Lego Dimensions (2015), Lego Worlds (2017), The Lego Ninjago Movie Video Game (2017), Lego Brawls (2019) and Lego Legacy: Heroes Unboxed (2020).
Lloyd's turbulent relationship with his father, Lord Garmadon, received some positive comments among film critics following his appearance in The Lego Ninjago Movie. Movieguide noted that the movie has a "strong pro-family worldview", and that "the reconciliation between Lloyd and his father leads to the father’s redemption" and that "the movie promotes family reconciliation". Julian Roman of Movieweb also commented that "The Lego Ninjago Movie is essentially about a father and son reconnecting". On August 13, 2021, Graeme Virtue of The Guardian included Lloyd Garmadon on a list of "ten of the best ninjas in pop culture".
Influence and legacyEdit
Since his introduction as a central character in the first season of the Ninjago series, Lloyd has become widely recognizable among the show's target audience, who is mainly primary-aged children and teenagers. His appearance as the central hero in The Lego Ninjago Movie in 2017 had further impact in terms of introducing the character to a wider mainstream audience. Lloyd's popularity as a character has been maintained for over a decade, since his first appearance in 2011. This has resulted in many primary-aged children having grown up watching the character in the early seasons and eventually taking their appreciation of him into adulthood.
The enduring popularity of the character can be partly attributed to his relatability as a typical teenager with everyday problems. Christopher Stamp, Senior Designer at Lego, has stated that "None of the characters are perfect, they are all flawed and I think that is something everyone can relate to". This relatability was also demonstrated in The Lego Ninjago Movie. Dave Franco, voice actor of Lloyd in the movie, commented "It’s particularly hard for Lloyd because, during the day, he's a tortured high school kid and everyone hates him because of the fact his dad is so awful. But then, at night, he becomes the Green Ninja and he protects everyone from Garmadon, yet he doesn't get any of the glory because no one knows he's the Green Ninja".
Lloyd's position as the central character in the series has been influential in terms of the messaging that has come out of the show and the movie. Plugged In noted that Lloyd's story is an exploration of familial bonds and focuses on the character's longing for a deeper father-son connection. "As the story unfolds, we witness the transforming power of a loving relationship as well as the difference forgiveness and communication can make in a broken one". The Ninjago series has also intentionally tried to teach children messages about the importance of inclusivity, friendship, confidence, and staying true to oneself, in which Lloyd embodies a positive role model to children. Michael Svane Knap remarked that "Some have grown up with Lego Ninjago and are now expressing their gratitude and telling us how they have learned lifelong skills".
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