In the 1983 animated show, Dungeons & Dragons, six children board a rollercoaster ride at an amusement park. But what starts off as simple bit of fun soon turns into a nightmare, when the ride magically transports the children into a dangerous world known as The Realm.
The Realm is a dark land, filled with monstrous creatures and demonic forces. And whether they like it or not, it is where the children must reside, until such time as they can find a way home.
Across the course of three seasons, the children work tirelessly to escape The Realm, coming very close on multiple occasions to make it back to the amusement park. But despite their best efforts, something always comes along to throw a spanner in the works.
But how many times do they almost make it home? Probably more times than you recall!
Dungeons & Dragons ran for a total of 27 episodes and within this time, the children almost made it back to the amusement park eight times – which is roughly a third of the show’s entire run. Sadly, each opportunity to return home was thwarted or scuppered in some way, but they did come close to escaping The Realm.
Want to read all the details of their ‘almost made it home’ adventures? Sure, you do!
Here are all eight times the children of Dungeons & Dragons nearly returned home.
The Eye of the Beholder
The first opportunity the children have to return home, takes place in the episode, The Eye of the Beholder. In this story, the children discover a portal back to their home world, which is guarded by a hideous monster known as the Beholder.
With the help of a knight called Sir John, the children defeat the Beholder, granting them access to the portal. However, before they can travel through the portal and return to the amusement park, the children’s enemy, Venger, arrives and threatens the life of Sir John.
Unable to abandon Sir John in his moment of need, the children turn their back on the portal and come to his aid. The portal closes, sealing off the way home.
Beauty and the Bogbeast
The second opportunity to return home is presented in Beauty and the Bogbeast – an episode which largely centres around Eric the Cavalier. Early into this episode, Eric is transformed into a frog-like creature known as a bogbeast, and much fun is made of his appearance.
But the gentle teasing subsides when the children manage to open a portal back home. They return to the amusement park, bringing much joy and celebration, but unfortunately, Eric maintains his ‘monstrous’ bogbeast complexion, which for him is a cause of great concern.
Realising the only way to reverse his situation lies in The Realm, Eric reluctantly accepts that he will need to go back through the portal. And realising that Eric won’t be able to cope on his own in The Realm, the children follow him back, bidding farewell to their home world once more.
Moving onto ‘almost made it home’ example number three, and after stepping inside a magic box, the children find themselves back on the rollercoaster ride and heading home. But the children do not travel alone – Venger has followed them through the box, and soon joins them in the amusement park.
Knowing that Venger poses a significant threat to their home world, the children understand that the only way to protect those they love is to ensure Venger returns to The Realm. They go back through the box, with Venger following behind, and say goodbye to yet another chance at freedom.
The Girl Who Dreamed Tomorrow
In The Girl Who Dreamed Tomorrow, the children meet a girl called Terri, who has also been transported into The Realm via the rollercoaster ride. Terri has prophetic dreams throughout the episode, including a vision of being back home.
Working together, the children manage to make Terri’s dream come true, by opening a portal and allowing her safe passage home. However, in order to maintain her safety, they remain behind to fight Venger.
It should be noted that while the children do not make it home, The Girl Who Dreamed Tomorrow is one of the show’s most important episodes because of Terri’s dream. In the dream, not only does Terry make it back, but Bobby the Barbarian also returns, suggesting that in the not-too distant future, the children will make it home.
Day of the Dungeon Master
In Day of the Dungeon Master, Dungeon Master temporarily gifts his magical powers to Eric. Realising this power means he can do almost anything, Eric uses his new abilities to open a portal back to the amusement park.
But just as the children are about to return home, Venger arrives to thwart their plans. This cause Eric to (uncharacteristically) take on Venger by himself, while urging the rest of the children to travel home.
The children do not want to abandon Eric and stay to fight by his side. The portal closes and once again, the way home is cut off.
The Dragon’s Graveyard
In The Dragon’s Graveyard, the children open a portal in the mountains, which leads back to the amusement park. However, Venger makes yet another appearance and thwarts their plans.
Frustrated and angry at this latest setback, the children decide they need to rid themselves of Venger for good. After enlisting the help of Tiamat the dragon, the children trap Venger in the Dragon’s Graveyard and come close to killing their enemy.
Ultimately, the children decide to spare Venger’s life – a decision which Dungeon Master informs them is the correct move on their part. He then confirms that although they won’t be going home just yet, they have now made their first true step on the road home.
Child of the Stargazer
In Child of the Stargazer, the children come close to returning home when Diana the Acrobat manages to open a portal back to the amusement park. However, the children have to abandon their dreams for the greater good, when it becomes clear that fulfilling an ancient prophecy is more important.
Cave of the Fairie Dragons
And finally, in Cave of the Fairie Dragons, the children befriend a group of Fairie Dragons who have become trapped in The Realm. The children help the dragons return to their home world, by opening a portal in a magic mirror.
Although the mirror can also open a portal back to the amusement park, the children realise that if the mirror were to fall into the wrong hands, the dragons would forever be in danger. So, in order to keep the dragons safe, the children destroy the mirror, which in turn scuppers their eighth chance of returning home.
And there you go – all eight times the children almost made it home! But unfortunately, as series was cancelled before the final episode could be produced, ‘almost made it home’ was as close as the children got.
However, dry those tears, because while the children remained in The Realm throughout all 27 episodes of the show, it was heavily implied that they would find a way home eventually. It should also be noted that the unproduced series finale, Requiem, did see the children make it back to the amusement park for good, so there was a resolution of sorts… it just never made it to air.
The important thing to take from all this, is that the children never gave up and always looked out for each other. They proved that friendship was very important, and that doing the right thing was always the correct path to take, no matter the cost.
Thank you for taking the time to stop by It’s A Stampede! to read this post about the ‘80s cartoon, Dungeons & Dragons. For more nostalgia-inducing D&D content, be sure to check out the recommended reads below.