Series 6, Quest 6. Sophia attends the Academy of Magic, led by Hordriss the Confuser.

Hordriss the Confuser

By Keith McDonald

Over six years, Hordriss evolved from a dangerous and unpredictable warlock to a mage that supported the Powers that Be. The second longest-serving character.


Hordriss was a proud and powerful sorcerer, labelled 'Confuser' by the druids.

He referred to himself as "one" and expected respect and courtesy from dungeoneers.

His streaked white hair, red robes and deep voice gave him a striking and imposing presence.

You are now in my debt - but then, who is not?

Hordriss

Hordriss the Confuser, played by Clifford Norgate, as seen in Series 3 of Knightmare (1989).
Hordriss the Confuser, Series 3

The great evolver

At six years, Hordriss is the second longest-serving character after Treguard. His role changed considerably over this time.

He was an unpredictable warlock in Series 3 - sometimes helpful, sometimes dangerous. One team must use a SWORD spell to make him retreat.

In Series 4, Hordriss sets dungeoneers a pact in the first level to be redeemed in the third level.

Hordriss the Confuser, played by Clifford Norgate, as seen in Series 4 of Knightmare (1990).
Hordriss the Confuser, Series 4

Ultimately, Hordriss focused on his own advancement. He rose to the rank of wizard in Series 5 and mage in Series 6.

As a mage, Hordriss decides to align with the Powers that Be. He provides the champions' trophies for winning teams and contacts Treguard directly in emergencies.

He also opens an Academy of Magic in the dungeon.

Hordriss the Confuser, played by Clifford Norgate, as seen in Series 8 of Knightmare (1994).
Hordriss the Confuser, Series 8

Strengths and weaknesses

As Hordriss's power grows, conversely, he becomes more vulnerable.

Lord Fear constantly plays to Hordriss's weaknesses. He creates a false Wand of Majesty to appeal to Hordriss's vanity. He also disguises Lissard as Marta the Tavern Maid to fool the besotted mage.

Hordriss's daughter, Sidriss, also provides Lord Fear with an easy hostage - not least because Hordriss vastly overestimates her abilities.

Hordriss the Confuser, played by Clifford Norgate, as seen in Series 6 of Knightmare (1992) - with daughter Sidriss (Iona Kennedy).
Hordriss and daughter Sidriss, Series 6

Overall, Hordriss is twice caught in magical traps, with several further near misses. He also comes out second best in a duel with Grimaldine.

Each incident requires a dungeoneer's help or intervention.

The best displays of Hordriss's power are in his extensive knowledge of magic. While Lord Fear struggles with a FILLET spell, Hordriss can dismantle a skeletron with ease.

In Series 7, Hordriss is crucial to any team reaching Level 3. He transforms the chamber at the end of Level 2 into the Descender.

Hordriss's service to the dungeon is rewarded with a crucial role in the final episode of Series 8 and Knightmare's final winning team.

Hordriss the Confuser, played by Clifford Norgate, as seen in Series 8 of Knightmare (1994).
Hordriss the Confuser, Series 8, final episode

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