The Duelist and the Drifter is the eighth episode of ThunderCats 2011 TV Series.
Panthro and Tygra try to rig the Book of Omens to the Thunder Tank. When in a nearby town getting supplies, Lion-O, with Snarf tagging along beside him, has an encounter with an eccentric rabbit-like Drifter who warns him to stay away from the town. Lion-O learns from a vendor that the town doesn't accept Thunderian currency after what happened to Thundera. Lion-O enters a sword competition for the right currencies of the money and wins by slicing the stone block in half with the Sword of Omens.
Lion-O soon ends up challenged by the Duelist, a professional swordsman who collects the swords of the opponents he has defeated. At first Lion-O rejects the Duelist's challenge, but is goaded into accepting when the purple-skinned humanoid indirectly insults Claudus. Afterwards, the Drifter returns, revealing that the Sword of Hattanzo is the Duelist's best sword, which he claimed from its maker--the Drifter himself. The Drifter warns Lion-O that no one can beat the Sword of Hattanzo. When it comes to the sword match, the Duelist manages to overcome Lion-O and claim the Sword of Omens.
Afterwards, Lion-O ends up gaining the unlikely assistance of the Drifter/Hattanzo to make another sword. Once the sword is forged, Lion-O seeks out the Duelist at a nearby tavern and challenges him to a rematch for all of Duelist's swords with Duelist wanting Lion-O to put up his life as well. During the sword match, Lion-O does his best to evade the Duelist's attacks until the Duelist breaks the sword. Upon following the Drifter's "willows are weak" philosophy, Lion-O uses this wisdom to disarm Duelist of his swords.
The Drifter says that Lion-O has what he needed to win in himself. When Duelist tries to attack Lion-O, the Drifter manages to successfully knock down the Duelist and send him out of town. Before going their separate ways, Drifter tells Lion-O that he will return the swords to their rightful owners. Lion-O reunites with Panthro and Tygra, who wonder what took him so long.
- According to the Crew Blog, Jim Meskimen was incorrectly credited as Duelist while Rob Paulsen was incorrectly credited as the Vendor. The Crew members confirmed that the Duelist and Vendor were actually voiced by Miguel Ferrer and Jim Meskimen.
- Originally the story called for the Duelist to battle a Father, whom he kills to get his sword. His young son, then picks his father's sword up, charges at the Duelist, and gets killed as well. This scene was cut as it was thought it was too harsh for the show. The concept for the two can be found on Dan Norton's Deviantart page.
- In the episode the Duelist was supposed to use the Sword of Hatanzo against Lion-O, but due to miscommunication with the animators he used the wrong sword.