When Mor'du was human, he had once possessed a fatherly-brotherly love for his father and three younger brothers. However, he was confident in his strength but confused this for character and thus led to his arrogence, a trait that caused him to struggle with his loved ones. Like Merida, he let his pride control action and clashed with his family, but unlike Merida he was willing to let hatred and desire get the better of him instead of realizing his mistake and mend what was left of his broken family. His desire for power drove him to go far enough to start a war, and then ultimately killed his own brothers in cold blood.
As a bear, Mor'du's hatred and rage manifested through his actions and carnage, especially when he slaughtered his family. However, after fighting his own men, his violent nature would eventually consume what was left of his humanity, leaving his human mind and conscience buried deep within the mind of his cursed form. As a result, Mor'du was left as a vicious, malevolent monster incapable of sentience. His uncontrollable violence was so prominent that even a small child could fall victim to his murderous intentions.
When he was killed, the spirit of the prince was finally freed from his prison and, apparently learning his mistake, thanked Merida with respect for freeing him and moved on peacefully to the afterlife.
As a human, Mor'du had a strong build and was the tallest of his brothers. He had brown hair and a beard, and wore a dark colored robe and fur cloak. He did not wear a shirt, which showed that his body was covered with various tattoos. He also had unnaturally glowing yellow eyes. As a bear, Mor'du is completely black, very large and is taller than King Fergus. He has many hideous scars and wounds across his body as well as arrows sticking from his upper back due to all the fighting, carnage and murder he had committed (killing men, women, and children). This makes him appear malformed and rugged, but still quite large. His face is the most disfigured of all, and has one glowing yellow eye and one dead red eye.
Legend of Mor'du
Mor'du's history is revealed in "The Legend of Mor'du".
Mor'du was once a human prince, the eldest of four brothers, all the sons of a wise king beloved by his people. The youngest brother was wise, the third brother was compassionate; the second brother was just, and the eldest brother, Mor'du, was strong, but he mistook great strength for character.
One dark autumn, the king grew ill. On his death-bed, the king requested the kingdom be divided among his four sons, so together they could be the pillars that would hold it together and maintain peace.
Alas, the first brother felt that, as the eldest and the technical heir, he alone had the right to rule the whole kingdom and a seed of selfishness grew in him like a poison.
To his brothers he claimed his right to rule and demanded their obediance, shattering the bonds of their brotherhood by breaking the family stone.
Words turned to war. Brother turned against brother in a war fought on four sides that changed the kingdom forever. While the eldest prince commanded a powerful army, the battle remained a bitter stalemate.
Starving for victory, the prince cursed his fate and stalked the woods until he came to an ancient circle of stones.
The Will-o-the-wisps appeared and led him to a dark loch where, not far from the shore, was the cottage of a witch. He demanded from her a spell that could change his fate.
The strength of ten men he desired, and to persuade her he offered his signet ring. The bargain was struck though the Witch could see his wounded soul. She completed the spell in the form of a potion but offered him a choice: To fulfill his dark wish or heal the bonds of family he had broken.
The prince baited his brothers with the false promise of truce, but when they met in their father's throneroom he once again declared himself the sole ruler and demanded their obedience.
When his brothers defied him again, he drank the spell, which immediately took effect. To his surprise however, it transformed him into a great black bear. Only by mending the bonds torn by pride could he break the spell. Instead he accepted the form of the monster and slew his brothers in cold blood.
He returned to command his army but they saw only the dreaded beast and so turned against him. He slaughtered a great many while the rest fled the kingdom in terror.
With the armies of the brothers fractured the kingdom fell to darkness and ruin, and the blight of the Great Black, Mor'du, fell across his domain.
Desiring power for over the bonds of family, Mor'du had changed his fate for the worst, doomed to wander endlessly, his soul forever buried in this scarred and tormented shell.
He first appears at the beginning when King Fergus and Queen Elinor, with their child Princess Merida celebrating Merida's birthday. When Merida fires an arrow off into the woods and goes to find it, the wisps appear and try to lead her with them. From the undergrowth, its sugguested that Mor'du is watching her. When Merida finds herself back at the camp, her mother begins taking her away, but Mor'du attacks and Fergus with his household guard rushes to defend his wife and child. Though they give the princess and the queen time to escape on horseback, Mor'du shows no fear nor vulnerability to them, even striking the head off a spear when Fergus tries to stab him. As Fergus draws his sword and goads the bear to attack, Mor'du strikes, cutting to black. Later, it is revealed that the sword shattered when Fergus struck the bear and his leg was eaten, giving him a great hatred of the monstrous bear.
When Merida shows her upset at having to marry one of the three lords' sons as her duty to the family, Queen Elinor tells Merida the story of four princes (one of which was Mor'du) who were to have the kingdom split for each, Mor'du plunged the kingdom into chaos by wanting to rule over them and be the best of them, suggesting that he waged war against his brothers. When Merida goes to the witch's hut, the Witch takes Merida's pendant as payment and says that a Prince came to her and asked for the strength of ten men. When Merida asks if this changed his fate, the witch confirms it, showing Merida his clan's ring, the crossed axes.
Later, Merida and her mother (now turned into a bear) follow a trail of wisps to a foggy ruin, bearing the crossed axes of Mor'du's family. Merida explores, falling after walking on an unsteady piece of rubble. Inside, she finds a throne room very similar to her own family's and a shattered stone carving of four brother, one of the brothers broken from the others. She slowly realizes that the Prince who asked for the strength of ten men indeed had his fate changed, and that man became Mor'du. Mor'du appears, stalking Merida from the shadows and he charges. Merida fires an arrow straight at his head, but the arrow does no damage whatsoever. Merida hurriedly tries to crawl up through the ruins and reach her mother's paw, with the gigantic bear trying to devour her. At the last second, she leaps and just manages to grab her mother's paw in time as Mor'du snarls and snaps after her. Merida and her mother run as fast as they can away, running to the great standing stones and bashing into them a bit harder, making a hairline crack along one of the great menhirs.
Merida realizes she must mend the bond torn by pride (as the Witch said,) fixing a tapestry her mother had made of Merida and the family, thereby breaking the spell. However, her mother is attacked by King Fergus and chased to the ring of stones. As Merida rushes to save her mother and change her back, Mor'du stands from the shadows, following her. Mor'du attacks and her father and the lords fight against the bear, but fail. When Merida herself becomes endangered by Mor'du as he prepares to eat her, Queen Elinor attacks, using her claws and teeth to defend her daughter, but Mor'du, proving much older and more dangerous, beats her down with his vast strength. Elinor, seeing the menhir they damaged earlier, smashes Mor'du against the menhir and damages it more, but is struck down. As Mor'du stalks towards Merida and her injured mother, the menhir falls, crushing him.
Mor'du's claws protrude from under the menhir, but his death frees the Prince's spirit, who nods thankfully to Merida before he takes the form of a wisp and disappears.
- His name comes from Gaelic Mór meaning "Big" and "Dubh" meaning Black, which translates to "Big and Black", which matches his physical description perfectly.
- Mor'du is French for "bitten".
- Mor'du is also Latin for "bite".
- In the movie poster, Mor'du can be seen in the background and is in most concept art pictures where it involves large rows of rocks lined up next to each other.
- Mor'du is directly referenced in the original title of Brave which was The Bear and the Bow
- Mor'du is the seventh male character to be turned into an animal through magical means, the first is Arthur Pendragon, the second being the Beast, the third being Jafar, the fourth being Kuzco, the fifth being Kenai, and the sixth being Naveen.
- Mor'du is the first main villain of a Pixar film never to say any dialogue.
- Like Lotso from Toy Story 3, Mor'du is another bear antagonist that appeared in one of the Disney/Pixar Films.
- His appearance is very similar to the Bear from The Fox and the Hound.
- Mor'du's real name is unknown (from when he was human), as he is known by this name as a demon bear.
- His scar on his eye like Scar from The Lion King represents evil and darkness inside his soul.
- Mor'du is completely different from who Merida is and what she did. Both clash with their families because of pride, but go in two different directions. While Merida wanted to be free and frequently clashes with her family, she cares for them and showed no hesitation to try and break the spell when she accidentally cursed them. Mor'du, on the other hand, only wanted to rule the kingdom because of himself being heir to the throne, and instead of realizing his mistake and breaking the spell he inflicted on himself, he allowed his pride to get the better of him and murdered his family without remorse. Also, Mor'du is what Merida would have become if she had become too obsessed with her anger towards her family and exchanged their love for getting what she wanted.
- No one really knows why Mor'du wanted to kill Merida (or her family and possibly the Lords and their sons).
- However, it can be presumed that as the Willo-the-Wisps can lead anyone to their fate, Mor'du (having encountered the wisps before as a human) might have wanted to kill Merida as she is the one following the wisps.
- Weapons do not seem to hurt Mor'du, the beast's hide has several spears and arrows sticking out of him, as his body is riddled with many scars and along with a scarred face all show he has been in many battles and comitted many murders over the years. Also, Fergus' sword shattered when he struck the great black bear, which many weapons might have.
- Mor'du has fought with all 4 clans.
- Eurasian bears are brown (light brown to dark brown) but Mor'du is all black, possibly to represent the darkness in him.
- Like Scar, Mor'du killed members of his family to seize power over his kingdom.