Ludo Avarius is the main antagonist of the first half of Star vs. the Forces of Evil. In season 1, he uses an army of monsters in order to steal Star's wand and take over the universe. Throughout season 2, however, he has his own wand and new monster followers. Toward the end of season 2, his body is possessed by Toffee.
At the beginning of season 3, Ludo discovers that his wand has become his right hand. Using this, he briefly takes over the Butterfly Kingdom, but ultimately decides to go on a soul-searching journey after Toffee's final defeat. As of "Princess Quasar Caterpillar and the Magic Bell", he lives with his brother Dennis in the old Castle Avarius.
Ludo is a short, grayish-green bird-like monster. His head is round, having some bumps and warts on it. He has yellow eyes, and a dark gray beak with sharp white fangs. On top of his head is a light blue patch with a gray fringe of hair circling it. His body is very skinny and boney.
In season one, he wears a mossy green cloak and an unidentified creature's skull on his head like a crown. He also wears a white diaper and olive-colored flipflops under his cloak. During the events of "Ludo in the Wild", his appearance changes completely, having lost his castle and minions. He grows a thick purplish-gray beard braided into three tails and wears a yellow chip bag after taming a giant spider. He retains the flipflops from his original attire.
In "The Hard Way" and "Starcrushed", Ludo gains glowing green eyes while Toffee is in possession of his body. In the latter episode, Toffee's arm regrows over Ludo's right arm and the skeletal arm of Ludo's wand, with the wand's crystal fragment embedded in the palm. His right arm returns to normal at the conclusion of The Battle for Mewni.
In "Ludo, Where Art Thou?", he wears a pink dressing gown, and ties his beard up into a knot at the back of his head.
In his debut, Ludo is evil and bent on stealing Star's wand so that he can take over the universe with it. He is very power-hungry, and he leads an entire army of other evil monsters that are out to help him steal the wand. Self-centered, he puts his needs above those of his minions' and doesn't show compassion if they or anyone around him gets hurt. Despite his evil personality, he is shown to be quite cowardly, childish, and weak, having his minions fight for him (never engaging in combat personally), and often giving up on a fight and retreating after Star and Marco defeat his minions.
When he is forced to fend for himself, Ludo develops great determination, besting a giant spider in battle through sheer cunning and bringing both it and a giant eagle that had assaulted him earlier into his service. He even sheds his former cowardice, allowing a bar full of rats to attack him in order to make him angry enough to charge his wand. He also shows some degree of care for his new minions, telling the spider and eagle to run just before he unleashes the power of his charged wand on the rats.
In "The Hard Way", Ludo reveals to Glossaryck that, as the runt of a litter of fifty siblings, he has had to fend for himself his entire life and thus yearns for some genuine guidance and positive reinforcement.
In "Starcrushed", Ludo reveals that the reason he became evil and kicked his family out of his castle was because of the way they treated him, despite his parents doing it to try and toughen him up. It was at this point that he started to actually lose his sanity as Toffee's control over him strengthened.
In "Toffee", Ludo becomes deeply distraught after Toffee coldly tells him he didn't play any part in his scheme, and he decides to go on a soul-searching journey through the void after Toffee is defeated.
In "Ludo, Where Art Thou?", Ludo grows deranged from his extended time in solitude, but after helping and encouraging Dennis to face their parents, he regains enough sanity to face his own problems.
In "Princess Quasar Caterpillar and the Magic Bell", Ludo is shown to have been struggling with not falling back into his former villainous ways, a situation that is not helped by Dennis rebuilding his castle and hiring back Ludo's former minions, who encourage him to try and steal the wand again. In the end, Ludo decides to briefly channel his former villainous ways to protect Dennis, by attacking the Land Baron who conned him out of the deed to the castle, though this time it is rooted from his brotherly bond with Dennis and out of good intentions.
Ludo despises Star, desiring to get her wand, and constantly annoyed that she always defeats him and his army. He doesn't like it whenever she undermines his power or calls him out for making stupid plans. When he tries to team up with her to deal with Toffee, it is only for his own benefit, and he tries to take her wand whenever he sees an opening. After the wand (along with Castle Avarius) is destroyed, he vows revenge on Star before she throws him into another dimension.
As Star immediately recognizes Ludo and addresses him by name in "Star Comes to Earth", that would mean they have either fought once before or Star was familiar enough with his misdeeds to consider him an enemy.
After gaining his own magic wand and a new set of monster followers, he dismisses Star as a credible threat and loses interest in attacking her until his wand sets his sights on her again. It is also hinted in "The Hard Way" and "Book Be Gone" that Ludo feels inferior to her as well. However, when Star later informs Ludo that Toffee is controlling him through the wand, he asks for her help, and even has her throw him back into the void after Toffee's defeat.
Notwithstanding his request for Star's help, he still harbors resentment towards Star, as seen in "Ludo, Where Art Thou?" where he is revealed to have kept dummies in the shape of her and Marco.
As of "Cleaved", however, Ludo has moved past his grudge against Star and appears to have a friendlier attitude toward Star, demonstrated when he waves hello to her when she runs past him and Dennis, and even invites her to join them in a game of basketball.
When Marco helps Star fight his minions off in "Star Comes to Earth", Ludo is displeased that Star isn't unguarded like he had originally been told. Although feeling more hatred towards Star, Ludo doesn't like Marco and considers him a threat. However, "Storm the Castle" shows that he never bothered to learn Marco's name, as he displays no recognition when Star mentions him, saying "I don't know who that is" (though he later refers to Marco by name in "By the Book" and "Ludo, Where Art Thou?", which also shows him having a Marco-shaped dummy out of his grudge towards Marco).
Ludo puts great trust in his army of monsters to defeat Star, but he gets easily irritated with them whenever they fail or act cowardly and wimpy. He doesn't show any compassion towards them, like thinking Beard Deer is being a baby about bleeding internally, makes them do all the work, and insults them when they invariably lose. Ultimately, Ludo's terrible treatment of his army allowed Toffee to convince them to turn on him, and appoint Toffee as their new leader. However, in “Princess Quasar Caterpillar and the Magic Bell”, they seem to be happy to help him out and even talk about the good old days of pursuing the wand together, unintentionally triggering his temptation for doing evil deeds.
Buff Frog is Ludo's most loyal minion. In return, Ludo holds Buff Frog in slightly higher regard than the other monsters, even showing regret when Toffee convinced him to fire Buff Frog. He later tries to convince Buff Frog to work with him in reclaiming his castle by bringing him a sack full of tadpoles to be a father to, and offering his friendship. However, when Star comes along, Ludo callously abandons Buff Frog, telling him he was only pretending. Despite this, he tries to convince Buff Frog to get Star's wand when she is about to attack Toffee, telling him it is "[their] chance", and acting surprised when Buff Frog ignores him.
In "Is Mystery", Ludo still bears some resentment toward Buff Frog, expressing a desire to let him die; he only decides to put Buff Frog to use as one of his workers at the encouragement of his wand. However, this only results in getting himself knocked out, as Buff Frog is convinced that Ludo has lost his mind.
At first, Ludo is greatly impressed by Toffee, finding his professionalism and clever strategies a welcome change from his dim-witted followers. Toffee manages to easily manipulate him because of this, as evidenced when he talks him into firing Buff Frog. Ludo realizes too late that Toffee is just using him, losing the loyalty of his army due to Toffee's machinations, and being thrown out of his own castle by him. From that point on, he hates Toffee, and becomes determined to get his castle and army back from him. Toffee then continues to manipulate Ludo while trapped in the wand and tricks him into letting him possess his body.
Upon learning that Toffee was controlling him through his wand, Ludo goes as far as reaching out to Star for help in getting rid of him. After Toffee regains his old body, Ludo asks him if he had any part in Toffee's plan, to which Toffee coldly answers no. This breaks Ludo, and he is driven to finish Toffee off by crushing him under a pillar, taking great pleasure in getting his revenge.
Ludo and Brittney have had limited interaction, but they have one thing in common: an extreme hatred for Star Butterfly, as shown in "Brittney's Party". Ludo even called Brittney "so nice" for expressing hope that he would destroy Star.
When Ludo first encounters these creatures, he finds himself terrified and at their mercy. In time, however, he manages to overcome them individually and press both of them into his service. While he is generally uncaring and tyrannical towards them, he does show a slight level of care for the two, referring to them as "girls" in a tone of familiarity, and even telling them to run just before he unleashed the power of his wand on the bar rats. Before going on his soul-searching journey through the void, Ludo sets the eagle and spider free and urges them to move on without him. In "Ludo, Where Art Thou?", Ludo is delighted to see Spider again and gives her some bugs that he'd been saving for her. At the end of the episode, he says that he doesn't know who Bird is.
After stealing the Magic Instruction Book, Ludo accepts tutelage from Glossaryck, and quickly takes to him as a father figure, to the point where Glossaryck is unnerved by his affection. However, after being manipulated by his wand, Ludo comes to distrust Glossaryck, believing that he is keeping important information from him.
When Glossaryck's further ridicule in "Book Be Gone" drives Ludo to burn the book in flames, Ludo expresses immediate and immense regret over his actions.
Ludo experienced a very negligent and abusive upbringing. Whenever he speaks of his parents, he does so in a bitter, dismissive tone, and feels little love for his many siblings, at least one of whom had bullied him in their youth. According to Ludo's father Brudo in "Face the Music", Ludo was the runt of his family, and his parents were extra hard on him in order to toughen him up. However, this bore negative developmental issues in Ludo that resulted in him taking over the family castle. The only family member that Ludo feels any affection for at all is his younger brother Dennis, warming slightly when Queen Butterfly mentions him in "Starcrushed". In "Ludo, Where Art Thou?", he deludes himself into thinking his parents really loved him and makes dummies of them out of trash.
In “Princess Quasar Caterpillar and the Magic Bell”, though, he was able to invite several siblings to come help him and Dennis to build them their personal castle.
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- Ludo's name means "play", "game", or "sport" in several languages. His surname "Avarius" comes from the Latin word "Avarus" meaning "greedy" or covetous".
- In Season 1, Ludo's eyes appear small because of the skull hat he wears. As of Season 2, Ludo's eyes appear bigger.
- Ludo wishes to have a huge, muscular "big boy body" and be a lifeguard, as well as take over the universe (this no doubt stems from his being the runt of his family).
- He bares resemblance to a kappa, a kind of Japanese turtle monster and sometimes deity.
- Ludo develops a fond taste for oysters in "Brittney's Party".
- He somewhat likes Brittney Wong for showing the same hate for Star that he has, as seen in "Brittney's Party".
- He is shown to have chaetophobia, a fear of hair, triggered through tickling in "Marco Grows a Beard". This comes from a traumatic experience with "The Tickle Monster", that he had during a birthday party when he was a boy.
- Ludo states in "The Hard Way" that he was hatched from one of fifty eggs and that, due to the lack of a proper father figure or any guidance, he had to learn things "dirty" while growing up.
- Several of his family members appear in "Face the Music" and are mentioned in "Starcrushed", both of which reveal that many of Ludo's siblings' names rhyme with his (with the exception of Dennis).
- The rest of his family have feathers on their arms, allowing for flight. Ludo is lacking these feathers entirely.
- Alan Tudyk, Ludo's voice actor, also provides the voice of King Butterfly.
- In "Ludo in the Wild", Ludo originally calls Spider "Arachnid", suggesting that he became more fond of Spider as time progressed.
- At the end of "Ludo, Where Art Thou?", it is revealed that Ludo made dummies of Marco and Star Butterfly, suggesting his grudge against them still remains (though "Cleaved" suggests that this has passed).
- At the end of "Princess Quasar Caterpillar and the Magic Bell", Ludo revealed to the LandBaron he has been at war with the Butterfly family for many years even before he met Star.
- Ludo shares many similarities with Emperor Pilaf from the Dragon Ball franchise: both are of short stature, have bumbling personalities and grating high-pitched voices, live in isolated castles, constantly berate their henchmen for their failures, and harbor goals of global or universal domination through a magical object (the magic wand for Ludo, the Dragon Balls for Pilaf). Both also seek help from a more competent villain (Toffee for Ludo, King Piccolo for Pilaf) only to be betrayed by said villain and replaced as the primary threat.