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Garth is a heroic insect warrior appearing in He-man and the Masters of the Universe.

For more about the setting of this 1980s cartoon series, see our guide to Eternia.

The story seed for Garth was the idiom “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. However, Garth transforms from a hideous bug-creature into a beautiful butterfly-man – leaning more to the fairy tale, The ugly duckling.

The insect people have their own capsule entry in the Denizens of Eternia article.



  • Real Name: Garth.
  • Known Relatives: The Insect People.
  • Group Affiliation: The Insect People, Heroic Warriors.
  • Base of Operations: The Insect village at the base of Rose Mountain. Before their transformation they were isolationist holdouts in tunnels under the Mystic Mountain.
  • Insect form:
    • Height: 5’9″ (1.75 m). Weight: 165 lbs. (75 Kg.).
    • Eyes: Black. Hair: None.
  • Humanoid butterfly form:
    • Height: 6’0″ (1.82 m). Weight: 210 lbs. (95 Kg.).
    • Eyes: Black. Hair: None.

Powers & Abilities

The Insect People continue functioning at full capacity even with limited oxygen levels.

In his original form Garth appeared as a humanoid insect with four arms and a chitinous shell covering his entire body. He was able to cling to ceilings and crawl along them.

In his new form, Garth emerged with a set of butterfly wings allowing him to fly.

Garth - Masters of the Universe 1980s cartoon - insect form model sheet


He-man encountered the Insect People for the first time when Skeletor tried to conquer the world by cutting off its oxygen supply. He did this by preventing the waters from the Sea of Eternity from flowing.

This in turn killed the trees of the Vine Jungle and Evergreen Forest. These two forested areas supply Eternia with most of its oxygen.

Eye of the Beholder

All plant life began to wither, and people became so weak they could hardly stand. Machines that ran by burning fuel also failed.

With the clues from Man-At-Arms and He-man, the Sorceress of Grayskull deduced the problem would be discovered at the Sea of Eternity.

He-man journeyed there on foot. After a meeting with the Insect People’s leaders, one of their own, Garth, joined He-man on his quest.

The two found Skeletor was indeed the culprit. He had pumped out the Sea of Eternity and stopped its flow – just as the Sorceress had surmised.

Garth - Masters of the Universe 1980s cartoon - insect form shaman cave

Garth and the shaman.

A dynamic duo

He-man became incapacitated from the low oxygen levels. Therefore, it was up to Garth to stop Skeletor’s machine. He dove into the sea and clogged the intake tube, apparently sacrificing himself.

However, Garth soon emerged in his new form, that of a butterfly winged humanoid. He worked with He-man to defeat Skeletor and returned the waters to their natural flow.

The Insect People promised to guard the Sea of Eternity from then on.

The Bitter Rose

The Insect people, after a short time, began transforming at a fast rate.

Some changed to look like Garth, but the majority lost their four-armed look and became more human-looking. Their faces changed as well.

The least changed was the Shaman who retained his four arms and chitinous exo-skeleton – though his eyes became human-like.

This race moved out of the subterranean caverns and built adobe style houses above ground at the base of Rose Mountain.

The Rose Goddess

As legend has it, a goddess, waiting for her husband to return from war, cried bitter tears on Rose Mountain. A rose grew where she had stood. It’s the only thing that grows on Rose Mountain.

Orko sought a unique and beautiful gift for Dree Elle. He picked the bitter rose of Rose Mountain. The mountain reacted by beginning to crumble.

The Insect People were in mortal danger of being crushed by the avalanche that followed. He-man, Man-At-Arms, and Teela rescued them.

Beast-Man and Trapjaw ambushed Orko, captured him, and took him back to Snake Mountain with the Bitter Rose. But Garth saw the ambush and infiltrated Snake Mountain.

Garth then helped Orko escape Snake Mountain and evade Skeletor’s warriors. But a deflected blast from Skeletor’s Roton hit the rose, killing it!

All you need is love

Man-At-Arms had an idea. He took the rose back to the Royal Palace to use his “matcherator ray” on the rose. He hoped to make an exact copy of it.

Instead, Dree Elle and Orko touched hands holding the rose between them. Their love brought the rose back to life.

Orko had taken the rose with only goodness in his heart. And because he chose the rose as a gift of true love, the rose goddess was free. Rose Mountain changed in that moment from a barren peak and grew abundant plant life.

The insect people were safe from avalanches. The Bitter Rose was placed near the village. They would never forget the legend.

Garth - Masters of the Universe 1980s cartoon - transformed form model sheet


Garth in his butterfly-like form is a handsome man.

He wears a brown and red tight fitting full body suit.

His wings are also bright red.

Small antennae sprout from the top of his head.

Garth’s original form was insect-like with four arms and a hard brown carapace. He had two fingers and a thumb on each hand and two toes on each foot.


The insect people distrusted others and had isolated themselves in underground caverns. Garth shared his people’s isolationist ideals, but was the one willing to give others a chance.

When their eggs were in danger of being crushed by a cave in, only Garth placed himself in harm’s way to save them.

Garth - Masters of the Universe 1980s cartoon - transformed emerges water wings


“Strange how those two thought I was a monster when they themselves look so strange to me.”

He-man: “My people are suffering as you are.”
Shaman: “And why should we believe someone as hideous as you ?”
Garth: “No Shaman. Let us not judge this one by his strange looks. No doubt we look strange to him. I am Garth. What do you intend to do ?”

Skeletor: “…then nothing will stop me !”
Garth: “That’s what you think.”
Skeletor: “Hehehehe, is this the only ally you could find to fight against me ? A hideous insect ? A crawling ugly bug ?”
He-man: “He may look ugly, but he’s got more heart, courage, and beauty inside him than you could ever hope to have Skeletor.”

(After Garth is transformed)
He-man: “Garth is it really you ?”
Garth: “It is, friend He-man.”

He-man: “Garth, thank you my friend but what do you suppose transformed you like this ?”
Garth: “I’m not sure but I think that this is the form my people will evolve into in centuries to come.”
He-man: “The Sea of Eternity is rich in oxygen. Your swim must’ve speeded up the process.”
Garth: “Perhaps. They say its waters have many unusual powers.”


DC Heroes RPG


A 263 points Character.

Dex: 05 Str: 04 Bod: 04
Int: 04 Wil: 03 Min: 04
Inf: 03 Aur: 04 Spi: 04
Init: 012 HP: 015


Flight (Winged): 05


Thief (Stealth)*: 05, Weaponry (melee)*: 05


Attractive, Life Support (Thin Atmosphere).


Shaman (High), Insect People Colony (High), He-man (High).


Authority Figure (Insect People).


Upholding the Good.


Hero of the Insect People.



Garth - Masters of the Universe 1980s cartoon - transformed shaman points sky

Garth’s Original Form

A 299 points Character (Without equipment).

Dex: 05 Str: 06 Bod: 03
Int: 04 Wil: 03 Min: 04
Inf: 03 Aur: 04 Spi: 04
Init: 012 HP: 010


Cling: 04, Extra Limb (X2)*: 06, Jumping: 01, Skin Armor: 02


Thief (Stealth)*: 05, Weaponry (melee)*: 05


Life Support (Thin Atmosphere)


The Insect People (High), Shaman (High), He-man (Low)


Altered Anatomy, Authority Figure (Though Shaman is the leader you can bet any trouble to the Insect People will be dealt with by Garth), Strange Appearance.


Upholding the Good.


Advisor to the Shaman.




Though Garth didn’t use any weapons, he has access to the same iron spears his people used [BODY 09, Enhance (EV): 02 (cap is 06), Descriptor: Piercing, R#3, Cost: 28].

Design notes

I’ve given Garth the Attractive Advantage in his new form as a contrast to his original monstrous one. However, because of his limited appearances it’s not really demonstrated in the series.

Writeups.org writer avatar Ethan Roe

By Ethan Roe.

Source of Character: The 1983/1984 animated series He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, voiced by George DiCenzo and John Erwin.

Helper(s): Wikipedia, IMDb.

Writeup completed on the 18th of October, 2021.