The Big Picture
- Fionna and Cake are fictional characters from Adventure Time created by the Ice King for fanfiction based on Finn and Jake’s adventures.
- Despite not being canon, Fionna and Cake have become beloved characters in the Adventure Time universe and represent a love letter to fanfiction.
- The upcoming show Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake suggests that Fionna and Cake may exist in a parallel universe and will travel to the land of Ooo for a Simon-related reason.
Who indeed are Fionna (Madeleine Martin) and Cake (Roz Ryan)? Some will say that they are nothing but figments of the Ice King’s (Tom Kenny) imagination. The Ice King, on the other hand, will claim that they are very much real, no matter what naysayers may claim. For those of us who don’t live in Ooo, however, the most sensible answer is that Fionna and Cake are two beloved characters from Adventure Time that are finally getting their own show. After a two-year wait since its announcement, Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake is coming to Max with ten half-hour episodes all about the life and times of Cake, the cat, and Fionna, the human. The show’s setting seems a little different from what we got used to on Adventure Time, with it taking place in a city, and the new series will be targeted towards a somewhat older demographic, but Fionna and Cake will undoubtedly still bear a lot of resemblance to their original Adventure Time counterparts.
But who exactly are Fionna and Cake in the world of Adventure Time? The two characters are in-universe creations of the Ice King for a series of fanfics based on the adventures of Finn (Jeremy Shada) and Jake (John DiMaggio). Throughout the ten-season long series, they pop up every now and then in stories told by the Ice King as well as other characters, in what can only be described as showrunner Pendleton Ward‘s own love letter to fanfiction. Though their adventures form a kind of cohesive whole, they are not necessarily canonical parts of the world of Adventure Time. However, this new show may just be about to change everything…
Fionna and Cake Are ‘Adventure Time’s Love Letter to Fanfiction
Fionna and Cake’s first appearance in the land of Ooo takes place in Season 3, Episode 9, titled simply “Fionna and Cake.” Written by Steven Universe’s own Rebecca Sugar alongside Adam Muto, who is now acting as showrunner for Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake, the episode has the Ice King kidnapping Finn and Jake in order to read them his genderswapped — and, in Cake’s case, species-swapped — fanfiction about them. With a heavier romantic undertone than is usually the case for Adventure Time, the Ice King’s fic features a love story between Fionna and the Prince Gumball (Neil Patrick Harris), kicked off by an attack from the evil Ice Queen (Grey Griffin). What Fionna doesn’t know, however, is that this new, love-stricken version of the prince is actually the Ice Queen in disguise.
At the end of “Fionna and Cake,” Prince Gumball is indeed smitten with the titular heroine, but she turns him down, coming to the conclusion that she doesn’t actually want to date any of her male friends. The only man whose attention she desires is, of course, the Ice King. As a matter of fact, all the men and women in the universe of the first Fionna and Cake fanfic wish to date the Ice King. It’s a properly distressing ending for a story created by one of Ooo’s ickiest personalities.
But, over the course of six episodes of Adventure Time, scattered across five seasons of the show, we get to know more about Fionna and Cake through stories told by characters as varied as Marceline (Olivia Olson) and Lumpy Space Princess (Pendleton Ward). Though their adventures are first introduced through the eyes of the creepiest man on Ooo, they eventually become a true declaration of love for fanfic and fanfic writers everywhere. Fionna and Cake’s adventures aren’t real in the world of Adventure Time, though they are based on the deeds of Finn and Jake, and the two characters belong to no one. Even though the Ice King tries to claim ownership of them from time to time, they can be shaped and transformed according to whoever is telling the story, and that’s precisely what makes them so precious.
What Do We Know About Fionna and Cake So Far?
Still, the Fionna and Cake fandom has some level of agreement about what constitutes the canon — or, rather, fanon — of their adventures. In the world of Fionna and Cake, all the gender-conforming people of Ooo (so, you know, not BMO) are genderbent versions of their original selves: there’s Prince Gumball, Marshall Lee (Donald Glover), the Vampire King (Billy Brown), Lumpy Space Prince (Peter Serafinowicz), and so on. Fionna and Cake have personalities extremely similar to that of Finn and Jake, with Fionna being a proper badass, and Cake a loyal, music-loving prankster.
However, Fionna is also a lot more, well, sexualized than Finn. She’s curvier and her outfit in Adventure Time is more traditionally feminine, with a short skirt paired with long stockings, whereas Finn only wears shorts and boots. Her stories are also frequently more romance-centered, following the Ice King’s lead in “Fionna and Cake,” with the men of this alternative version of Ooo often hitting on her in different manners. While Gumball simply asks her on a date, Marshall Lee serenades her with a song about a good girl falling for the bad guy. But the story usually ends with Fionna turning down whoever her intended is at the moment. The sole exception is Lumpy Space Prince, Lumpy Space Princess’ self-insert in Season 6’s “The Prince Who Wanted Everything,” who is so irresistible that Fionna can’t help but fall under his spell.
It’s all in good fun, but that doesn’t stop the Ice King from believing that Fionna and Cake are actually real, or at least that he can bring them to life. Season 8’s “Mystery Dungeon” focuses on the Ice King trying to find a way to make his characters real, and Season 5’s “Bad Little Boy” ends with the creepy wizard bowing at an altar to Fionna and Cake, swearing to them that he believes in their existence. Season 9’s “Fionna and Cake and Fionna” comes close to making the poor man’s dreams come true, but, in the end, the so-called real Fionna was just a mummy that took the form of Fionna to fool the Ice King.
Will Fionna and Cake Be Real in ‘Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake’?
But all of this seems to be about to change. The trailer for Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake suggests that the two fictional adventurers might not be just fictional at all for the denizens of Ooo, but also inhabitants of a universe parallel to their own. The trailer tells us that, though the stories written by the Ice King were still very much original tales, there is indeed a girl named Fionna and a cat named Cake living in some other corner of the multiverse. This will not be the first time Adventure Time deals with alternate realities, as the multiverse has been a prominent element in the show, from Lumpy Space to the existence of Prismo, a being that exists in a dimension outside of time at the center of the multiverse and that is actually pretty close with Jake.
The synopsis and trailers for Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake have the two titular characters traveling from a universe extremely similar to our own to the land of Ooo, where they request the assistance of a now powerless Simon Petrikov. For those who don’t remember, this is the true identity of the man we came to know as the Ice King. Originally a kind-hearted archaeologist, Simon was driven insane and had his personality and memories completely erased after stumbling upon the Ice King’s crown. At the end of the original show, however, he is returned to his former self. From the trailer, it appears that Fionna and Cake are dragged across the multiverse for some Simon-related reason and now need his help to return home.
Adventure Time: Fionna and Cake debuts with two episodes on August 31 followed by two episodes weekly through September 28 on Max. You can check out the new trailer down below:
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