Ninjago Wiki
“Enough! We don't need to waste our time with their pestering! We'll go to Ninjago City to finish this once and for all!”

Return of the Overlord is the twelfth episode of the second season of Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu and the 25th episode overall. It aired on Cartoon Network on November 14, 2012 in the United States.


When Garmadon uses his new Super-Weapon to turn Jamakai Village evil, he unwittingly unsettles the balance, allowing the spirit of the Overlord to cross over and possesses his body.[1]

Extended: The Ninja launch a rescue mission to get Nya and fight Garmadon once and for all. But when they arrive, they find the Stone Army, Garmadon, Nya and the new Super-Weapon have gone to the coast. The reason for this becomes clear: Garmadon is planning to fire missiles of Darkness into Ninjago, gradually turning it into his own image. The Ninja follow, but are stopped and held up by Nya, who has been polluted with Dark Matter and turned into a slave of the Overlord. They eventually overcome and imprison her, then go to the coast and try to reason with Garmadon. The group try but Garmadon says he cannot suppress his Evil and the Ninja are not in time to stop the firing of the Dark missiles from the Garmatron. The balance is shifted as Ninjago is infected by Darkness, and the Overlord betrays and possesses Garmadon, using him to retake a physical form and transforming him into a crocodile-like monster. The Ninja realize the real Dark Lord wasn't Garmadon, it was the Overlord. The reincarnated Overlord attacks Lloyd, who fights with him and tries to bring back his father. Garmadon tries, but the Overlord suppresses him and defeats Lloyd, wrecking the Destiny's Bounty in the progress. The Overlord then opens a portal to Ninjago City and goes through with the Garmatron, along with the Stone Army (and Nya). The Ninja are now stranded on the Dark Island, but Lloyd says, after spying a piece of their ship with the 'Destiny' symbol on it: "We didn't lose the war, today we just lost the fight."[citation needed]


When the Celestial Clock's countdown finally completes, a mighty beam of energy strikes the Stone Army's camp. As the energy fades, The Overlord proudly introduces Lord Garmadon to their completed ultimate weapon: the Garmatron, a massive, heavily-armed tank. As Lord Garmadon gazes in awe, a pair of Stone Soldiers arrive with Nya as their prisoner. The latter declares that her friends will find a way to stop Lord Garmadon, but the villain simply stuffs an apple in Nya's mouth and uses her as the "first test subject" for the Dark Matter.

Meanwhile, the heroes return to the beach, where Dr. Julien asks about the horns he just heard. Sensei Wu explains the situation: the Celestial Clock has ended its countdown, the final battle is about to begin, Lord Garmadon's ultimate weapon is operational, and Nya is a prisoner of the Stone Army. Kai assures a worried Jay that Nya will be too tough for the villains to break, and they will see her again. Master Wu turns to Lloyd, who is still dejected over the prospect of fighting his father, and reminds him that it is his destiny as the Chosen One—all of Ninjago depends on his victory. Misako tells her son that Lord Garmadon is just as reluctant at the prospect of battling his son, and the other ninja pledge their assistance in the final fight.

Reinvigorated by his friends' support, Lloyd leads the charge on Lord Garmadon's base camp, only to find it deserted. The Falcon leads them to massive tracks and a path of destruction leading towards the coast—Sensei Wu realizes that the ultimate weapon is not meant to attack the ninja, but to achieve Lord Garmadon's dream of remaking Ninjago into his image. Misako is horrified—the resulting influx of evil will upset the balance of the world, allowing the Overlord to return in full—and Lloyd resolves that they can't let Lord Garmadon fire a single shot.

The group moves on, but Zane is forced to say goodbye to his father, who is unable to keep up and decides to head back to the Destiny's Bounty. As they run, the ninja reflect on all of their adventures, but the jovial mood is broken when they sense an evil presence nearby. Suddenly, a crimson Spinjitzu tornado hits Cole and Lloyd and stops in front of the group to reveal Nya, corrupted by the Dark Matter into a feral slave of Lord Garmadon. Sensei Wu realizes that the villains are trying to buy time to fire the ultimate weapon, and he, Misako, and Lloyd carry onward while the ninja attempt to subdue Nya without hurting her.

The Garmatron finally reaches the coast of the Island of Darkness, where the Overlord tells Lord Garmadon to show Ninjago his power. At General Kozu's command, Stone Soldiers begin loading Dark Matter bullets into the cannon, but Lloyd, Misako, and Master Wu arrive before Lord Garmadon can fire. To the Overlord's dismay, Lord Garmadon leaves the controls to confront his family—despite their pleas, he insists that the only way they can be together again is if he corrupts the entire world with the same evil that has consumed his being.

With that, Lord Garmadon activates the Garmatron's cannon, only to discover that it has a twenty-second warm-up period. Misako deflects blasts from the tank's side cannons, allowing Lloyd to jump aboard; however, General Kozu manages to pin the Green Ninja down long enough for the Garmatron to fire. The warhead soars over the ocean and bursts into clouds of darkness over Ignacia, draining the color from the land and transforming the people into snarling, purple-eyed beasts. Lloyd attempts to summon his powers as the Stone Army loads another round, but Lord Garmadon activates a trap door that drops Lloyd and General Kozu out of the Garmatron before firing again.

Back in the jungle, the ninja are having a rough time against Nya, until Zane realizes that they can use their elemental powers on the environment instead of their opponent. He uses his Elemental Blade to break the chain of Nya's weapon; Jay creates an electric barrier to deflect thrown needles; Cole blinds Nya with a cloud of dust; Kai cuts down a nearby tree so its leaves surround his corrupted sister. Finally, Zane freezes the tree, leaving Nya trapped within a dome of ice. As Kai comments that "this club just became boys only," he leads the others down the Garmatron's trail.

The Overlord begins cackling as the Garmatron's second shot corrupts Jamanakai Village; below, Lloyd laments his failure, but Master Wu assures him that he did his best. Misako realizes that the balance has been undone, and the Overlord confirms that he is finally free to take over Ninjago. Lord Garmadon is infuriated at this, raging that Ninjago is his to conquer, but the Overlord reveals that it was never going to be his, shortly before a beam of white light engulfs the top of the Garmatron.

As the ninja rush up to their allies, Lord Garmadon's hands morph into claws, his limbs lengthen, and the demented laughter of the Overlord issues from his newly-reptilian mouth. Sensei Wu tells Lloyd that the creature atop the Garmatron is no longer his father—the Overlord has possessed Lord Garmadon's body. Misako warns her son that the Overlord will show no mercy, but the ninja offer their support once again—with determination, Lloyd leads them in attacking the Stone Army.

Seeking more evil power to increase his strength, the Overlord aims the Garmatron's cannon at Ninjago City, but nothing happens. Looking over the side of his vehicle, the Overlord realizes that the whole of his army is occupied fighting the ninja, with Master Wu and Misako preventing the Stone Soldiers from bringing the next warhead to the Garmatron. Although General Kozu attacks Sensei Wu, the old master kicks him into the Garmatron's loading port—thinking that the next bullet is loaded, the Overlord fires, sending his general flying into Ninjago City. General Kozu ends up crashing through the window of the Mojo Dojo, where Dareth sends his students to swarm the four-armed Stone General. Enraged, the Overlord decides to load the cannon personally, only for Lloyd to leap atop the Garmatron and challenge him to battle.

While Kai hijacks one of the Garmatron's turrets to back Jay up against the remnants of the Stone Army, the Overlord knocks Lloyd off of the tank. Their battle continues on the beach, briefly clashing with energy beams before Lloyd dodges and blasts his foe into the jungle. The Overlord quickly recovers and flies above the trees, delivering a brutal tackle that sends Lloyd flying. The Overlord gloats that he can keep this up for eternity, but Lloyd is alone—in response, Lloyd removes his mask and asserts that his father will never hurt him.

Lord Garmadon briefly asserts himself from within the Overlord, begging Lloyd to stay strong—the Overlord's confusion and shock allows Lloyd to take the offensive. As they clash with their energy beams once more, Lloyd calls out to his father, whose struggles cause the Overlord to falter. As Lloyd pushes his power to the limit, the Overlord roars that his father is gone before overcoming Lloyd's attack, trapping the Green Ninja in a sphere of dark energy and hurling him across the beach. Misako and Master Wu rush to Lloyd's side as the Overlord finally turns the Garmatron's cannon on his foes, but the tank's next shot is blocked by the Destiny's Bounty, piloted by Dr. Julien.

Fed up with the interference, the Overlord creates a portal for his army, declaring that they will go to Ninjago City personally to finish the job. From the back of the Garmatron, Nya mockingly bids farewell to her brother as he leaps at the portal, only to fall short. Kai screams in fury and despair as the portal closes, leaving the heroes trapped on the Island of Darkness. Misako manages to awaken Lloyd, who wonders if he has failed the prophecy; Master Wu tells him that he did not defeat the Overlord, but he did not lose his life either. Picking up a piece of the Destiny's Bounty—marked with the symbol for "destiny"—Lloyd muses that he didn't lose the battle, only the fight; the true clash between good and evil is far from over.











For the transcript of the episode, click here.


  • This episode is listed as "The Overlord Commeth,"[2] which may have been a working title for this episode.
  • Regarding the scene where Garmadon explains his motives to his family and is subsequently possessed by the Overlord and forced to fight Lloyd, the Hageman Brothers stated, "One of our favorites. Garmadon has a good point. Always make your villains heroes of their own story."[3]
  • This is the first episode in the series to feature the name of an individual character in its title.

Cultural references

  • The way the ninja pledge their assistance to Lloyd before they attack Lord Garmadon's base camp references a scene from the film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, where Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli offer their sword, bow, and ax (respectively) to aid Frodo in his quest.
    • The episode title is similar to that of the third book in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Return of the King.


  • This is the first appearance of the Garmatron, and the last appearance of the Destiny's Bounty's original design, as well as its last appearance until "The Corridor of Elders." It's also the final appearance of Lord Garmadon as a villain until the episode "Dread on Arrival" in Season 8.
  • In the "suit up" montage, a photo of Jay and Nya at Mega Monster Amusement Park is seen, but Jay has his regular hair and different clothes than he did in "Once Bitten, Twice Shy", and Nya is wearing her regular clothes as opposed to the formal outfit she had worn during their date in the episode, meaning Jay and Nya had gone on multiple dates to the amusement park by the time of this episode.
  • The events of "The Golden Weapon," "Home," "The Green Ninja," and "Day of the Great Devourer" are mentioned.
  • Kai comments that "this club just became boys only!" after the corrupted Nya is incapacitated, mirroring Nya's rationale for adopting the identity of Samurai X in the previous season.
  • When the Overlord reveals that he was only using Lord Garmadon to take over Ninjago, Garmadon yells that the Overlord "stole that from my playbook!" This may refer to the events of "Weapons of Destiny," where Garmadon used Samukai to create a means of reaching a place where he could gain the power he needed to wield all four Golden Weapons simultaneously. It might also refer to "The Royal Blacksmiths," where Lord Garmadon claimed that he had only gone along with Master Wu's alliance so he could escape his dimension and return to Ninjago.
  • This is the first time Nya does Spinjitzu, albeit with the help of Dark Matter.
  • Mystake also appears in the episode, but does not speak.


  • At the beginning of the episode, the Celestial Clock is shown completing its countdown and firing a beam into Lord Garmadon's camp to complete the Garmatron. However, this sequence is completely different from the events at the end of the previous episode (especially noticeable due to the "Previously on Ninjago" segment that shows said events moments before this sequence).
  • One of the Warriors speaks in English when General Kozu seems to be the only one who can do so.
  • When Lloyd wonders why Lord Garmadon isn't using the Garmatron on the ninja, he is wearing his old ZX uniform.[4]
    • Lloyd also appears in the ZX uniform multiple times during this episode and the previous one.
  • The Overlord fires a Dark Matter missile from the Garmatron's main cannon at the end of the episode, despite the ninja preventing him from loading the cannon after its second shot (although the Stone Army could have reloaded the cannon during Lloyd's battle with the Overlord or he loaded it by himself like he said after they prevented it the last time).
  • When Lloyd and the Overlord fire beams at each other, in the first shot, the Overlord fires beams from his top arms, however, in the next shot, he fires beams from his bottom arms, then, a few shots after, the beams from the bottom arms are gone, and vice versa after every few shots.
  • When the Overlord is telling his army they will go to Ninjago City, some of the Stone Warriors do not have armor on one of their shoulders.
  • One of the synopses for the episode spells Jamanakai Village as "Jamakai Village".





For the gallery of the episode, click here.


Ninjago episodes
Pilot episodes 1. Way of the Ninja · 2. The Golden Weapon · 3. King of Shadows · 4. Weapons of Destiny
Mini-movies 1. Secrets of the Blacksmith · 2. Flight of the Dragon Ninja · 3. The New Masters of Spinjitzu · 4. An Underworldly Takeover · 5. Return to the Fire Temple · 6. Battle Between Brothers
Season 1: Rise of the Snakes 1. Rise of the Snakes · 2. Home · 3. Snakebit · 4. Never Trust a Snake · 5. Can of Worms · 6. The Snake King · 7. Tick Tock · 8. Once Bitten, Twice Shy · 9. The Royal Blacksmiths · 10. The Green Ninja · 11. All of Nothing · 12. The Rise of the Great Devourer · 13. Day of the Great Devourer
Season 2: Legacy of the Green Ninja 14. Darkness Shall Rise · 15. Pirates vs. Ninja · 16. Double Trouble · 17. Ninjaball Run · 18. Child's Play · 19. Wrong Place, Wrong Time · 20. The Stone Army · 21. The Day Ninjago Stood Still · 22. The Last Voyage · 23. Island of Darkness · 24. The Last Hope · 25. Return of the Overlord · 26. Rise of the Spinjitzu Master
Season 3: Rebooted 27. The Surge · 28. The Art of the Silent Fist · 29. Blackout · 30. The Curse of the Golden Master · 31. Enter the Digiverse · 32. Codename: Arcturus · 33. The Void · 34. The Titanium Ninja
Season 4: Tournament of Elements 35. The Invitation · 36. Only One Can Remain · 37. Versus · 38. Ninja Roll · 39. Spy for a Spy · 40. Spellbound · 41. The Forgotten Element · 42. The Day of the Dragon · 43. The Greatest Fear of All · 44. The Corridor of Elders
Season 5: Possession 45. Winds of Change · 46. Ghost Story · 47. Stiix and Stones· 48. The Temple on Haunted Hill · 49. Peak-a-Boo · 50. Kingdom Come · 51. The Crooked Path · 52. Grave Danger · 53. Curseworld, Part I · 54. Curseworld, Part II
Chen mini-movies (non-canon) 1. Chen's New Chair · 2. Chair Play Chen · 3. Chair Up Chen · 4. Chairful What You Wish For · 5. Bad Chair Day
Season 6: Skybound 55. Infamous · 56. Public Enemy Number One · 57. Enkrypted · 58. Misfortune Rising · 59. On a Wish and a Prayer · 60. My Dinner With Nadakhan · 61. Wishmasters · 62. The Last Resort · 63. Operation Land Ho! · 64. The Way Back
Tall Tales (non-canon) 1. The Tall Tale of Flintlocke · 2. The Tall Tale of Clancee · 3. The Tall Tale of Doubloon · 4. The Tall Tale of Dogshank · 5. The Tall Tale of Monkey Wretch · 6. The Tall Tale of Sqiffy and Bucko
Special Day of the Departed
Operation Heavy Metal 1. Operation Heavy Metal: Machia · 2. Operation Heavy Metal: Buffmillion · 3. Operation Heavy Metal: Blunck · 4. Operation Heavy Metal: Raggmunk
Season 7: The Hands of Time 65. The Hands of Time · 66. The Hatching · 67. A Time of Traitors · 68. Scavengers · 69. A Line in the Sand · 70. The Attack · 71. Secrets Discovered · 72. Pause and Effect · 73. Out of the Fire and Into the Boiling Sea · 74. Lost in Time
Wu's Teas mini-movies (non-canon) Wu's Teas
Ninjago: Decoded 1. Legacy · 2. Vehicles and Mechs · 3. Legendary Places · 4. Ninjago's Most Wanted · 5. The Digiverse and Beyond · 6. The Elemental Masters · 7. Beasts and Dragons · 8. Rise of Garmadon · 9. Prophecy of the Green Ninja · 10. Greatest Battles
Season 8: Sons of Garmadon 75. The Mask of Deception · 76. The Jade Princess · 77. The Oni and the Dragon · 78. Snake Jaguar · 79. Dead Man's Squall · 80. The Quiet One · 81. Game of Masks · 82. Dread on Arrival · 83. True Potential · 84. Big Trouble, Little Ninjago
Season 9: Hunted 85. Firstbourne · 86. Iron & Stone · 87. Radio Free Ninjago · 88. How to Build a Dragon · 89. The Gilded Path · 90. Two Lies, One Truth · 91. The Weakest Link · 92. Saving Faith · 93. Lessons for a Master · 94. Green Destiny
Tales from the Monastery of Spinjitzu 1. Master Class · 2. Green and Gold · 3. The Weekend Drill · 4. Elemental Rider · 5. Blue Lightning · 6. Samurai X-Treme
Season 10: March of the Oni 95. The Darkness Comes · 96. Into the Breach · 97. The Fall · 98. Endings
Season 11: Secrets of the Forbidden Spinjitzu 99. Wasted True Potential · 100. Questing for Quests · 101. A Rocky Start · 102. The Belly of the Beast · 103. Boobytraps and How to Survive Them · 104. The News Never Sleeps! · 105. Ninja vs Lava · 106. Snaketastrophy · 107. Powerless · 108. Ancient History · 109. Never Trust a Human · 110. Under Siege · 111. The Explorers Club · 112. Vengeance is Mine! · 113. A Cold Goodbye · 114. The Never-Realm · 115. Fire Maker · 116. An Unlikely Ally · 117. The Absolute Worst · 118. The Message · 119. The Traveler's Tree · 120. Krag's Lament · 121. Secret of the Wolf · 122. The Last of the Formlings · 123. My Enemy, My Friend · 124. The Kaiju Protocol · 125. Corruption · 126. A Fragile Hope · 127. Once and for All · 128. Awakenings
Prime Empire Original Shorts 1. Let's Dance · 2. Upgrade · 3. The Meaning of Victory · 4. The Stowaway · 5. Manhunt · 6. Gayle Gossip: A Closer Look
Season 12: Prime Empire 129. Would You Like to Enter Prime Empire? · 130. Dyer Island · 131. Level Thirteen · 132. Superstar Rockin' Jay · 133. I am Okino · 134. The Glitch · 135. The Cliffs of Hysteria · 136. The Maze of the Red Dragon · 137. One Step Forward, Two Steps Back · 138. Racer Seven · 139. The Speedway Five-Billion · 140. Stop, Drop and Side Scroll · 141. Ninjago Confidential · 142. The Prodigal Father · 143. The Temple of Madness · 144. Game Over
Season 13: Master of the Mountain 145. Shintaro · 146. Into the Dark · 147. The Worst Rescue Ever · 148. The Two Blades · 149. Queen of the Munce · 150. Trial By Mino · 151. The Skull Sorcerer · 152. The Real Fall · 153. Dungeon Party! · 154. Dungeon Crawl! · 155. Grief-Bringer · 156. Masters Never Quit · 157. The Darkest Hour · 158. The Ascent · 159. The Upply Strike Back! · 160. The Son of Lilly
The Island 161. Uncharted · 162. The Keepers of the Amulet · 163. The Gift of Jay · 164. The Tooth of Wojira
Season 14: Seabound 165. A Big Splash · 166. The Call of the Deep · 167. Unsinkable · 168. Five Thousand Fathoms Down · 169. The Wrath of Kalmaar · 170. Long Live the King · 171. Escape from Merlopia · 172. The Tale of Benthomaar · 173. The Storm Amulet · 174. Riddle of the Sphinx · 175. Papergirl · 176. Master of the Sea · 177. The Calm Before the Storm · 178. Assault on Ninjago City · 179. Nyad · 180. The Turn of the Tide
Ninjago: Reimagined 1. Golden Legend · 2. Gold Rush · 3. A Day in the Life of a Golden Ninja · 4. Sweatin' to the Goldies · 5. Golden Hour
The Virtues of Spinjitzu 1. Curiosity · 2. Balance · 3. Wisdom · 4. Honesty · 5. Generosity · 6. Courage
Season 15: Crystalized 181. Farewell the Sea · 182. The Call of Home · 183. The Shape of Nya · 184. A Mayor Problem · 185. Public Enemies 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5! · 186. A Painful Promise · 187. Ninjago City vs. Ninja · 188. Kryptarium Prison Blues · 189. Hounddog McBrag · 190. The Benefit of Grief · 191. The Fifth Villain · 192. The Council of the Crystal King · 193. TBA · 194. TBA · 195. TBA · 196. TBA · 197. TBA · 198. TBA · 199. TBA · 200. TBA · 201. TBA · 202. TBA · 203. TBA · 204. TBA · 205. TBA · 206. TBA · 207. TBA · 208. TBA · 209. TBA · 210. TBA
Unknown Ninjago 2023 installment TBA