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This article is about the character from the Skylanders series. You may be looking for the origin character from The Legend of Spyro series or his TV spinoff counterpart.

“Summon every Skylander from the far corners of this world to stand before my might and be broken! I am Malefor! And I am magnificent!”
    —Malefor, Skylanders Issue 8

Malefor is the self-crowned[1] Undead Dragon King in the underworld of Skylands. Prior to his debut, he was the one who corrupted Cynder into doing his evil bidding and later attempted to capture Hex to learn the secrets of her powers.

Character Development

When IDW comic writer, David Rodriguez, first started working on the Skylanders franchise, he read all the backstories of the Skylanders and believed it was really interesting that Spyro, Cynder and Hex each had a common thing in their past. When the comic series started, comic editor, David Hedgecock, wanted to know if IDW had any ideas for someting big as the first 3-part comic story arc. Rodriguez pitched Hedgecock the idea of Malefor and the team at Activision began working with the story arc. Eight or nine months later, the supervillain Malefor was born.

It was a huge responsibility for David Rodriguez and Ron Marz to bring Malefor back, as they and IDW were given free reign by Activision to resurrect Malefor and make him as "awesome as possible". Having played the original Spyro games, David had to gain research from previous Spyro games to create fiction around Malefor's return with the help of one of the producers of the Skylanders and The Legend of Spyro series, Mike Graham, who also worked on the Spyro games for years.[2]

According to the concept given to him by Activision and IDW, Fico Ossio, IDW Comic Artist of Skylanders, used references of Malefor's design from The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon to create Malefor's redesign and equipped him with armor and a steam punk vibe.[3]


Unlike most villains in the Skylanders series, as his name represents, Malefor is considered the most malevolent, rarely possessing any comedic elements. Because of his fearsome reputation, he is described as one of the most dangerous creatures to ever walk the Skylands. He is malicious, vengeful and cruel; a prime example of his evil nature was when he chose to spare Spyro, Cynder and Hex (the three very Skylanders who caused Malefor more pain and fustration than anyone else) just to make them suffer by using their own powers to destroy everything they have accomplished and everyone they care about.

Malefor's notable trait is his arrogance. He thinks very highly of himself, boasting about his superiority, immense power and ultimately crowning himself the Undead Dragon King. He wants to conquer Skylands simply because he believes he is the only one fit to rule it. The thought of anyone having a higher status above his own would mean accepting that he isn't what he claims to be, which doesn't sit well for Malefor, prompting him to not stop until he is crowned the greatest and most powerful of them all.[2] His methods are manipulative and sinister, as he corrupts the inhabitants of Skylands and tricks others to carry out his evil ends.

This evil dragon is one who doesn't take defeat very well, as failure and those that stand in his way are simply minor setbacks and obstacles to his goal. Despite the odds against him, Malefor will refuse to accept defeat in the midst of battle. A cowardly side to his personality is displayed when Malefor is on the verge of defeat, when he cannot fight the inevitable, driving him to the point of pleading for help.


Partly living up to his self-crowned title, Malefor wields Undead magic. With it, he holds the ability to corrupt the minds of individuals, turning them into minions made to do his bidding. Like most dragons, he is able to fly and breath fire. Before Hex defeated him for the first time, Malefor was strong enough to battle against the powerful sorceress at a draw. Being a magical purple dragon, Malefor is capable of harnessing the powers of the elements of Skylands, although he has been shown to use the element of Fire.

Patched together after his defeat at the hands of Hex, Malefor is protected by his steampunk armor. The armor itself stores magical energy which makes him even stronger than he used to be, but was also needed for Malefor to leave the Underworld.[2] His tail is now a mechanical weapon, which allows Malefor to extend it and use like a whip. His armored tail spike is also used to deliver devastating blows. However because his tail is now weaponized, this allows his enemies to grab hold of his tail without him realizing it until it is too late.

He once possessed a magical crystal made by Calliope that stole the powers of the Skylanders he defeated. When enhanced by the powers of Skylanders, Malefor can be an even more powerful opponent, having the strength to hold his own against a large group of them, including the powerful Giants, and defeat them with relative ease. In this state, he possesses nigh-invulnerability, as the combined efforts of most of the Skylanders did little to no harm on Malefor nor his armor, and only the Dread-Yacht crashing over the dragon could significantly damage him.

In his character sheet, he is shown releasing intoxicating smoke from his chestplate's vents, though this ability has yet to be shown in action.



It was said that Malefor had lurked in the shadows of the Underworld for centuries, crowning himself the Undead Dragon King and corrupting the inhabitants of Skylands into his servants to carry out his bidding. The evil dragon played a sinister role in the histories of both Hex and Cynder, two Undead Skylanders. When his minions stole Cynder's egg, Malefor was the one who raised and trained her in the ways of evil, darkness, and undead magic. His evil influence was what caused Cynder to spread fear throughout Skylands for years, until Spyro finally defeated her, freeing Cynder from Malefor's control.

Sometime after losing Cynder to the Skylanders, Malefor set his sights on a powerful sorceress named Hex and sought to capture her to unlock the secrets of her powers and use them for his own evil ends. In response to being hunted, Hex confronted the Undead Dragon King in the underworld depths. After a lengthy battle, she successfully defeated Malefor, nearly destroying him. It was believed that the evil dragon was finished off for good, but in reality he went into hiding to recover from the injuries he received from his battle with Hex. During the years of his recovery, Malefor plotted for revenge on those who wronged him. A suit of steampunk armor was built to help patch his battered body together, giving him mechanical wings and a tail in place of the ones he had lost. This not only helped Malefor recover, but also provided him protection and to use his armor as a weapon for future use. 

In additon, Malefor lost a large number of his followers during the aftermath of his defeat. After centuries of lurking in the Cadaverous Crypts as a shadow of his former self, Malefor came to a distressed fairy named Calliope before she went to the Skylanders for help. He struck a deal with the fairy that he would help her find her lost family if she did what the Dragon King wanted.[2] Calliope agreed to the deal, and the evil dragon sent the fairy to steal the powers of Spyro, Cynder and Hex, unaware of the dark intentions Malefor had planned.

Return of the Dragon King Part 1

The shadow of Malefor absorbing the powers of Spyro, Cynder and Hex to revive himself.

Calliope managed to succeed in fulfilling her part of the bargain, but was pursued by Spyro, Hex, Cynder and Wallop soon after they discovered her misdeeds. Upon reaching the depths of Cadaverous Crypts where Malefor laid, Calliope hesitated on shattering the crystal to release the powers of the Skylanders, as doing so will make them helpless. Malefor furiously ordered the fairy to fulfill the deed, or she would face the consequences for disobeying him. Calliope reluctantly obeyed and released the powers of the Skylanders from the crystal, which were then absorbed by Malefor, allowing him to be revived. Almost immediately, the evil dragon unleashed a devastating fire breath upon Spyro, Cynder, Hex and Wallop, knocking them unconscious before announcing his return.

Return of the Dragon King Part 2

After subduing his targets, Malefor imprisoned Spyro, Cynder, Hex and Wallop within the Cadaverous Crypts. The Undead Dragon King then ordered Calliope to create a crystal for him to absorb the powers of Skylanders and left the fairy in charge to guard his prisoners before he began his next course of action. After a tense exchange in conversation, Calliope revealed that Malefor spared Spyro, Cynder and Hex because he wanted them to suffer as they were the ones who caused him more pain and fustration than anyone else in Skylands. As part of his scheme upon his resurrection, Malefor sought to destroy everything the three Skylanders knew and loved using their own powers, starting with the Skylanders Academy, much to their horror. Upon this realization, Malefor was already on his way to launch an attack on the school, intending to build a stronghold in its place before he begins his rule over all of Skylands.

Malefor standing before the unconscious forms of the Skylanders who fought him.

The evil dragon was met by many Skylanders that were summoned to protect the Academy from his wrath. Despite their best efforts, Malefor's power overwhelmed the Skylanders, including the powerful Giants, allowing the evil Dragon King to absorb their powers with his crystal to make himself more powerful. He eventually breached the Academy's defenses with a single strike of his tail in spite of the remaining Skylanders' attempts to shoot him down, stealing the powers of the remaining Skylanders as he did. Malefor was then confronted by the spirit projection of Master Eon, who ordered him to leave the Skylanders Academy or face the terrible consequences. Malefor only laughed at Eon's threat, believing that there was nothing the Portal Master can do to stop the dragon from claiming what was rightfully his. He was proven wrong when Spyro, Cynder, and Hex arrived after they were freed from the caves by Flynn and Mags. As the three Skylanders declared a fight, Malefor accepted the challenge, willing to battle his archenemies to the bitter end.

Return of the Dragon King Part 3

Despite knowing that Spyro, Hex, and Cynder were weakened without their powers, Malefor realized too late that he had neglected to steal Wallop's powers, allowing the Skylanders to have a slight advantage. After being struck in the jaw by Wallop's fully-charged Traptanium Hammer, Malefor grew enraged and chased after the four Skylanders around the Academy, only to fall into a trap set by Spyro. In spite of being trapped by Mags' Atomic Gumballs and having the Dread-Yacht crashed into him by Hex, Malefor was able to withstand the blow with his armor only being slightly damaged. Directing his fury towards Spyro, the evil dragon angrily cursed the young dragon of his repeated interference in the Dragon King's plans, instilling confusion as Spyro has no memory of fighting the evil dragon before as Hex was the one known for having defeated Malefor in the past.

Malefor pleading for Calliope's help as he is pulled to his defeat.

Spyro, Cynder, Hex and Wallop soon engaged Malefor again head-on, but were easily knocked aside despite their efforts. With a hint from Calliope on Malefor's weakpoint, the Skylanders were able to shatter the evil dragon's chestplate on his armor that contained his power-draining crystal. Spyro used his firebreath on the crystal, shattering it and restoring the Skylanders their powers and strength. However Malefor wasn't defeated yet, proclaiming that he still had enough power to finish the Skylanders. Noticing Calliope's part in helping his enemies, the evil dragon angrily demanded to the fairy how she would ever find her family without his help, reminding the fairy of their deal. Calliope declared that she would find her family with the help from her friends and the Skylanders in spite of the horrible things she had done.

During Spyro's speech to Malefor, that the Dragon King would lose everytime when the Skylanders are together as a team and a family, the Dread-Yacht's anchor was tied to Malefor's tail by the other Skylanders. The damaged vessel was then hammered over the edge of the island by Wallop, slowly pulling Malefor down with it. The evil dragon struggled to fight against his fate, frantically pleading to Calliope to help him in exchange for anything she wanted, including sending her back to her family. Calliope refused, only wanting to never see Malefor again, leaving the evil dragon to be pulled over the edge and plummet to parts unknown, away from Skylands.



Malefor is aware that the young dragon is arrogant, but not a fool. His anger is mostly directed towards Spyro, as he claims to have battled the young purple dragon before, but the Skylander has no memory of such an event.


When his minions stole Cynder's egg, Malefor brought her up as his own black-hearted daughter and trained her to strike fear into the hearts of his subjects. He used Cynder to terrorize Skylands until she was defeated by Spyro, who freed her from Malefor's spell. As Cynder became part of the Skylanders to fight for good, she became one of the three Skylanders that brought Malefor more pain and fustration than anyone else.


Malefor had initially heard about Hex's powerful spell-casting abilities and plotted to kidnap her to learn about her secrets. After making several attempts to capture Hex through his minions, his actions forced the elven sorceress to confront Malefor himself in his own domain, where she battled and defeated the evil dragon in single combat. The battle left Malefor terribly wounded, causing him to greatly despise Hex for what she did.


Seeing Calliope in distress in trying to find her lost family, Malefor offered to help the fairy in exchange for doing what he wanted. However the dragon saw Calliope as an unwitting pawn in his plan to get revenge on his enemies and rule Skylands as its king.[2] Once Calliope did her part of the deal, Malefor immediately went on to fulfilling his own evil deeds instead of helping the fairy straight away. This would prove to be his downfall, as Calliope would later realize the error of what she had done and help the Skylanders defeat Malefor. When Malefor was being pulled down to the abyss, he desperately pleaded for Calliope's help, only for her to refuse and allow Malefor to suffer his defeat.

Master Eon

As he is the self-proclaimed Lord of the Undead, Malefor is convinced that Master Eon, a Portal Master, has no power over him. When Eon threatened Malefor, the evil dragon wasn't intimidated by the Portal Master's display of power and merely laughed at his demands to leave the Skylanders Academy.


Main article: Malefor (Skylanders)/Gallery


  • Malefor is one of four characters from the Spyro franchise to be featured in the Skylanders series (the other three are Spyro, Cynder and Sparx.
  • Malefor living in the Underworld of Skylands may most likely be a reference to his Legend of Spyro counterpart's imprisonment in the core of the earth at the end of Dawn of the Dragon.
  • In the story summary on the hardcover of Return of the Dragon King, Malefor is stated to be the first purple dragon. However, the comic doesn't mention Malefor's purple dragon heritage.[4] The comic writer, David Rodriguez, noted that there was so much going on in Return of the Dragon King that they thought it best to keep the main arc of Malefor's return and revenge streamlined, barely being able to fit it in the book. The main reason the 'first purple dragon' detail was mentioned on the graphic novel description was so that fans would know that the team was officially bringing Malefor into the Skylanders universe.[2]
    • His heritage as the first purple dragon is a reference to his Legend of Spyro counterpart's origins as the first purple dragon.
  • Malefor was designed by Skylanders IDW Comic Artist, Fico Ossio.[3]
    • Unlike Legend of Spyro's Malefor, Malefor's Skylanders counterpart was given armor and a steampunk vibe; the armor helps patch him together.[3]
  • He makes a cameo as a rare Skystone in Skylanders: SuperChargers. He is a prize in the second round of the Skystones Gauntlet in the Ridepocalypse Demo Derby.
    • The elf Collector has two cursed Malefor Skystones on display in her garden.
  • His appearance before his battle with Hex is similar to his Legend of Spyro counterpart's. This is because Fico Ossio used references of The Legend of Spyro's Malefor to design Malefor in the Skylanders franchise.[5]
  • According to Malefor, Spyro has fought him before. However Spyro has no memory of directly facing Malefor prior to the Return of the Dragon King story arc. Master Eon hints that Spyro's memories before arriving in Skylands are somewhat fractured.[2]
  • Both Skylanders Malefor and his Legend of Spyro counterpart share the same quote ("NO!") as they were dragged to their defeat in their respective debuts.
  • Much like how Malefor's Legend of Spyro counterpart gave himself the title of "the Dark Master" for his power over darkness, Skylanders Malefor crowned himself the "Undead Dragon King" for his power over Undead magic and possibly based on his belief of being the one true ruler of Skylands.
  • In the comics, Malefor is currently the only character with black speech bubbles.
  • This counterpart of Malefor and his Academy counterpart are both bigger than Malefor's original Legend of Spyro incarnation.
  • Malefor was to make his first full Skylanders game appearance in Skylanders: Ring of Heroes. Due to the game's closure in February 2022, he was scrapped.
    • Malefor's design for Ring of Heroes was based on his Skylanders Academy counterpart.


  1. Skylanders: Return of the Dragon King Part 2
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Malefor Q&A
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Fico Ossio's deviantart.com upload on Malefor redesign
  4. Skylanders: Return of the Dragon King
  5. Another sketch
Console Games
Spyro the Dragon - Ripto's Rage!/Gateway To Glimmer - Year of the Dragon - Enter the Dragonfly
A Hero's Tail - Reignited Trilogy
Handheld Games
Season of Ice - Season of Flame - Attack of the Rhynocs - Spyro Orange: The Cortex Conspiracy - Shadow Legacy
The Legend of Spyro series
A New Beginning - The Eternal Night - Dawn of the Dragon - Cancelled 3D Movie
Skylanders series
Spyro's Adventure - Skylanders Academy (TV series)
Mobile Games
Spyro - Spyro: Ripto Quest - Spyro the Dragon
Skylanders: The Machine of Doom - Skylanders: Spyro versus The Mega Monsters
Skylanders: Gill Grunt and the Curse of the Fish Master - Skylanders: Lightning Rod Faces the Cyclops Queen
Skylanders: Cynder Confronts the Weather Wizard - Skylanders: Stump Smash Crosses the Bone Dragon
Skylanders: Trigger Happy Targets the Evil Kaos - Skylanders: Return of the Dragon King
Skylanders: Spyro & Friends