The Goddess is an Eternian deity tasked with maintaining the natural order and protecting Castle Grayskull from those would plunder it. Originally, it is she who provides He-Man with the armor and weapons he needs to fight Skeletor; later, she guards the Cavern of Power where Prince Adam and Cringer transform into He-Man and Battle Cat.
In the 1980s Masters of the Universe toy line, both the Goddess and Teela are represented by the same action figure, suggesting a link between the two. In "The Tale of Teela!," it is established that the Goddess is also named Teela, and that the warrior-woman is named for her because she was created from a portion of the Goddess's power.
The Goddess played a major role in the early comics, in which she was known as both "Goddess" and "Sorceress." With the development of the 1983 animated series, the character was reinvented as Teela Na, Sorceress of Castle Grayskull, a falcon-themed woman who resides within the castle itself. To avoid confusion with this later Sorceress, the cobra-themed incarnation is primarily known as "the Goddess."
In the recent DC comics the Goddess is portrayed as being the evolved version of Teela, the replacement for the Sorceress, having been given her powers by birthright. In this guise Teela has green skin and a more elaborate form of her cobra mask and cobra staff.
Mattel had no plans to include any female characters in the Masters of the Universe line until Donald F. Glut wrote the story that would be divided into the first four minicomics. The first of these, "He-Man and the Power Sword," immediately introduces a green-skinned woman in snake armor that He-Man rescues shortly after venturing out of his native jungle. He-Man identifies the woman as "a sorceress," and she recognizes him as the legendary hero that she has been waiting for. She takes He-Man into some ancient ruins where she has guarded ancient treasures, from before the Great Wars that she now gives to him so he can defend Castle Grayskull. Later, when Skeletor raids the castle and re-unites the two halves of the Power Sword, the Sorceress mysteriously appears to aid He-Man by effortlessly taking the sword and splitting it once more. After He-Man, Teela, and Man-At-Arms defeat Skeletor and Beast Man, she declares that henceforth the castle may only be opened by using the whole Power Sword as a key to the Jaw-Bridge, and that she will hide the two halves of the sword to prevent that from happening.
When the Sorceress next appears in "He-Man Meets Ram-Man!" and "The Ordeal of Man-E-Faces!," she is no longer green, and she communes with nature until she senses distrubances that require her to take action. It is not until "The Tale of Teela!" and "The Magic Stealer!" that she is renamed "the Goddess," though her role in the stories remains unchanged.
According to "The Tale of Teela!" Skeletor captured Point Dread some twenty years earlier and lured the Goddess there in a trap. He hoped to siphon off a portion of the Goddess's power to fashion into an infant duplicate, whom he would raise to adulthood and then take as his bride. Skeletor believed that this duplicate would share the Goddess's access to Castle Grayskull, but before he could complete his plot Man-At-Arms interfered. With the villain driven away, Man-At-Arms agreed to raise the child, since the Goddess's duties would not permit her to do so. Man-At-Arms named the child after the Goddess's true name, Teela.
Paul Kupperberg's stories in the full-size DC comic books primarily refer to the character as "the Goddess," although "the Sorceress" is occasionally used. In this version of continuity, she sends her falcon Zoar to aid Prince Adam in a battle with Damon over Ceril's jungle village. The falcon transforms him into He-Man, beginning his role as Eternia's champion. Henceforth, whenever the Goddess senses a disturbance, Zoar is sent to alert Prince Adam, who goes with Cringer to the Cavern of Power. There they instantly become He-Man and Battle Cat before hearing the Goddess's instructions.
In the three-issue limited series, He-Man and Battle Cat visit the cavern only to find that Skeletor awaits them there, holding the Goddess captive. To save her they are forced to seek out three talismans that Skeletor hopes to use to locate the other half of the Power Sword. However, the Goddess is never in any real danger, and once He-Man recovers the talismans and Zodac turns them over to Zoar, the falcon uses them to free her from Skeletor's clutches.
Masters of the Universe Classics bio
The Masters of the Universe Classics toy line has combined elements from all previous continuities, and as such has restored the Goddess to a position of importance in Eternian history. According to the biographies printed on the toys, the Goddess is Sharella, a spirit guide who consulted the Council of Elders between the death of King Grayskull and the lifetime of Prince Adam some 500 years later. During this time the Goddess trained "secret heroic guardians" such as Vikor, Wun-Dar, and Oo-Larr to protect the two halves of Grayskull's "Sword of He" until a worthy heir emerged.
The Classics storyline has yet to present any information about her activities during the present day, or her relationship (if any) with the Sorceress, Teela, and Prince Adam.
Masters of the Universe (1980s)
The action figure marketed as Teela also served to represent the Goddess. Mattel designed the figure with a removable cobra headdress, allowing it to be either character, albeit with Teela's long blonde tresses replaced with an auburn topknot bun. Teela is also packaged with the Goddess's serpentine staff and snake-skin shield. These accessories inspired the ones packaged with Teela's 2002 figure, though that toy had no overt reference to the Goddess.
Masters of the Universe Classics
In a nod to the original toy, the Classics Teela is packaged with the headdress, staff, and shield of the Goddess, as well as an alternate head designed to fit under the headdress. Classics Teela also comes with Zoar, befitting the figure's alternate role.
However, a second figure explicitly marketed as the Goddess was also released. This figure is little more than a repaint of Classics Teela resembling the glowing green Goddess from "He-Man and the Power Sword." This figure's single head is the same as Teela's alternate head. The Goddess is packaged with the familiar cobra headdress and shield, but also features the armor and weapons she presented to He-Man in her first appearance. It also comes with a spear, which does not appear to have any previous association with the character.
The Goddess and Eternian Religion
The Goddess can be assumed to be the deity worshipped by most people on Eternia since the Preternia era, and Goddess worship became the dominant Eternian faith between 10,000 years and 1000 years before Year 0 (with Year 0 being the date for King Jarod founding the planetary government of Eternia; see Timeline of Eternia).
During the time of the Great Wars, Castle Grayskull presumably became a center of worship of the Goddess, and Queen Veena, Kuduk Ungol, and Teela Na can be assumed as Sorceress of Castle Grayskull to have received their magical powers from the Goddess.
In the recent DC comics, the Goddess is portrayed as being the deity of the Snakemen the race of reptilian humanoids who lived on Eternia before humans took their place. To King Hiss' extreme dismay, the Snakemen accepting the Goddess as their leader and Snake Mountain as their place of worship.
Monotheism vs. Polytheism
The most dominant sect on the planet Eternia, officially supported by the government of Eternia, presumes the Goddess is the One True Deity in this universe and all other universes.
Some heterodox worshippers of the Goddess, however, while acknowledging the Goddess as Supreme Being, also argue there are other gods and deities deserving of worship.
The official monotheistic sect of Goddess worship is divided on whether the current Sorceress of Castle Grayskull (Teela Na) and her predecessors (Queen Veena and Kuduk Ungol) have received their magic powers from the Goddess or even whether the Sorceress of Grayskull is an actual avatar of the Goddess herself.