|“It was a time in our history when man and Serpentine were not getting along. As our sides clashed, we hoped for a truce. But not Chen.”|
|— Garmadon, "Spellbound"|
The Serpentine War (also known as the Anacondrai Wars) was a conflict that took place thousands of years after the first defeat of the Overlord and his Stone Army by the First Spinjitzu Master, and forty years before the return of the Time Twins during the events of the seventh season. It was fought between the five tribes of the Serpentine and the people of Ninjago, with the Anacondrai and the Elemental Alliance serving as leaders of the respective sides.
The Serpentine were wreaking havoc on Ninjago, raiding places like Jamanakai Village, and terrorizing those living there. The Elemental Masters formed an alliance to battle the Serpentine and protect the citizens. At Jamanakai Village, the Elemental Masters drove back the Serpentine Tribes but were forced to retreat upon the arrival of the Anacondrai. A crucial battle in the war took place at Birchwood Forest, with the Elemental Alliance fighting Arcturus and his Anacondrai, but this battle was lost as well. The Elemental Masters found hope by using the Sacred Flutes to hypnotize the Serpentine and imprison them in a series of tombs. Arcturus and the other Anacondrai generals were found guilty of committing war crimes and were consequently banished to the Cursed Realm.
The war serves as a very important event in Ninjago's history and the storyline. It serves as the backstory for Season 1, Season 4, and for some events in Season 7. It also helps to explain the Golden Master in Season 3 and serves as the motivations for the majority of Serpentine villains.
More than forty years ago, the humans and the Serpentine did not get along, but both sides wanted to live in truce. Garmadon was at that time in the teachings of Master Chen along with Clouse. However, Chen found the peace between the humans and Serpentine boring and wanted to start a war, which Garmadon disagreed. However, Chen did not abandon his plan and united the Serpentine tribes, which had previously fought amongst themselves and then he lied to them that the people were going to attack, which was the reason why the Serpentine attacked the humans first, thus starting the Serpentine War.
Battle in Jamanakai Village
In an effort to prevent Serpentine from winning the war, the Elemental Masters joined forces and fought against Serpentine. One of the first battles of the war took place in Jamanakai Village, where the Elemental Masters and Ninjago soldiers fought Hypnobrai, Venomari, Fangpyre and Constrictai, which they almost defeated until the village was attacked by Anacondrai led by General Arcturus. After the defeat of the humans, Chen decided to join the Serpentine and asked Garmadon for the same, although Garmadon wanted nothing more than to be with Misako, so he left his master.
Battle in Birchwood Forest
Garmadon then joined his brother and formed an alliance with other Elemental Masters. The decisive battle of the Elemental Alliance along with Ninjago soldiers and rice farmers against Anacondrai took place in the Birchwood forest and the humans almost won. However, Chen managed to turn some of the masters against the others, such as the Master of Earth, who he manipulated by utilizing Hypnobrai hypnosis, which resulted in Anacodrai's victory.
Defeat of the Serpentine
The defeated alliance has withdrawn to Jamanakai Village. However, Garmadon noticed that one of the villagers was playing the flute and hypnotizing his snake's team in a basket. The Elemental Alliance therefore decided to do the same with Serpentine and created several Sacred Flutes that were able to control Serpentine. With the help of these flutes, they managed to control the Serpentine and seal them in five separate tombs in different places in Ninjago. The war ended and the trial began with the Anacondrai generals. Although they begged for mercy, Mystake, who was one of three judges, rejected the request for mercy. Garmadon therefore used the Book of Spells and expelled the generals to the Cursed Realm so that they could no longer threaten Ninjago. Chen and Clouse were charged with their crimes and were exiled to a secluded island. The war ended, and peace ensued in Ninjago after long battles.
Over the next decades, humans completely forgot about the Serpentine and began to consider it just a legend. The Elemental Alliance disbanded, and after Garmadon was completely controlled by the Great Devourer's venom, Wu banished him to the Underworld. However, almost forty years after the war, little Lloyd Garmadon wanted to follow his father's example and released Serpentine from their tombs. Pythor, who was only a low ranking opportunist during the Serpentine War, united Serpentine tribes and took the title of Snake King. Then he released the Great Devourer to avenge the humans for imprisoning them in tombs. Later, after the defeat of Devourer, Serpentine and the humans decided to live in peace.
However, Chen prepared a plan on his island and later organized the Tournament of Elements, where he got all of the current Elemental Masters and their Elemental Powers, which he needed for the spell of transforming into Anacodrai. After this transformation, Chen began the Second Serpentine War, which ended with Garmadon's sacrifice and the exchange of his soul for the souls of the Anacondrai generals in the Cursed Realm.
- Three parts of the Serpentine War's story have been told in the series.
- In the first season of the series, it is explained that the five tribes of Serpentine all fought against each other for rule over Ninjago.
- In the 2014 episode "The Curse of the Golden Master", Acidicus explains that all five of the tribes tried to warn the people of Ninjago about the coming of the Golden Master, but they thought the Serpentine were the enemy and that started the wars.
- In a flashback from the 2015 episode "Spellbound," all five of the tribes are seen working together against the Elemental Alliance, later revealed to have been tricked by Chen into fighting them.
- The concept of the five tribes battling against each other is not mentioned in the later explanations of the wars.
- The Serpentine War was first revealed to have taken place 40 years ago in the 2017 episode, "The Hands of Time."
- The conflict is referred to as both the "Serpentine War" and "Serpentine Wars" throughout the series. It can be assumed that "Serpentine War" refers to the conflict as a whole while "Serpentine Wars" refers to the conflict as a series of battles, though there is not much difference between these two.
- Although Garmadon used the Book of Spells for Anacondrai banishment, Clouse owned the book during the Tournament of Elements.
- When asked if Misako fought in the Serpentine War, Tommy Andreasen said "[she] may have been involved in some civil resistance, but the EMs [Elemental Masters] were in charge."
- "The Forgotten Element"
- "Rise of the Snakes"
- "Battle Between Brothers"
- "The Rise of the Great Devourer"
- "The Invitation"
- Season 4: Tournament of Elements
- "The Corridor of Elders"
War of the Oni and the Dragons · Light vs. Darkness · Reign of Aspheera · Long Winter · Serpentine War · Battle for All of Time · Attack of the Great Devourer · The Final Battle · Nindroid crisis · Second Serpentine War · Battle of Stiix · Fall of Ninjago · Rise of Ninjago · Oni Invasion · Monastery Siege · Lloyd's Journey · Liberation of the Never-Realm · Attack from Prime Empire · Battle for Shintaro · Conflict on the uncharted island