Is Tren Krom made of organic muscle?

Throughout the Bionicle story, it is common for fantastical sci-fi objects to be treated as normal, since, in the Bionicle universe, they are.

However, there are some cases of common real-world objects finding their way into the story, where they are treated as rare, or perplexing. When this happens, Greg Farshtey always did a good job of presenting them through the character’s eyes in a way that makes them seem foreign to the reader. I have compiled some of these examples below:

So now, let’s look at the description of Tren Krom through this lens:

“He couldn’t get the image of Tren Krom out of his mind – a writhing, crimson mass of tentacles emerging from a gelatinous central core, with two dead yellow eyes that somehow followed every movement without ever moving themselves. At least, that was what he had seen at a glance – somehow, Brutaka knew to gaze for long at Tren Krom would be to invite madness.”

“Even when I [Mutran] look back now, I remember only a scarlet mass, a face that was not a face, tentacles lined with tiny, sharpened hooks, eyes that were little more than holes in a gelatinous skull, and that voice… oh, that voice made Makuta Teridax sound lilting and sweet.”

Upon first reading, this brings to mind a Jello-like creature. But, is it possible that this “red gelatin” is simply a “Bionicle description” of raw organic muscle?

Not only would fit with Greg’s previous descriptions of “normal” objects, but it would also bring a new aspect of “nightmarishness” to Tren Krom for the reader. Additionally, the “small white hooks” could be organic teeth, and the magical appearance of Tren Krom’s extra eye could be as simple as Tren Krom opening an eyelid; I don’t believe Matoran Universe physiology include eyelids, so characters would be unfamiliar with such an action.

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But aren’t the toa partly made up of muscle? I think that they’d be familiar with muscle tissue.

Perhaps Trem Krom is supposed to be covered in skin? As far as I know, most of the living things on Aqua Magna have no skin.

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Considering numerous references to a character closing their eyes, they seem to have some sort of eyelids.

It isn’t just shutting off their optical receptors, either, since tanma still saw the light from Matoro using the ignika with his eyes closed.

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But they wouldn’t be familiar with the material. Additionally, Tren Krom seems to be more of a “blob” of muscle, while the muscles in a Toa would have more defined shapes.

Finally, the muscles might not be identical-except-for-material; they share the same purpose, but we don’t know if they use the same “technology”.

Shoot, yeah. You’re right. I guess Tren Krom did just generate an eye. Or perhaps he just brought it to the surface of his body, and he was keeping it stored within.

Either way, this was more of a side theory.

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It could be somewhat like the eye of a snail.

Why would he have teeth lining his tentacles? I think more along the lines of Giant Squid.

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I agree that the spikes on Tren Krom’s tentacles are more similar to the hooks on Giant squids and Colossal squids. I imagine that a lot of characters know about teeth, since a lot of rahi appear to have them.

The hooks of a colossal squids are made of chiton, so maybe that’s what the hooks on Tren Krom’s tentacles are made of? AFAIK, there is no mention of chiton, or things made of chiton in the story.

squid

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I always assumed he was made of muscle. I interpreted his description as basically a giant heart with tenticles.

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When the Toa of Stone caught up to him, he found Kopaka standing over what looked like a piece of scarlet gelatin. Pohatu glanced around and saw that similar objects covered the ground for hundreds of yards.

Here’s your Tren Krom.

This is one of the best interpretations. Nothing mechanical, just a big heart but with veins and arteries as the tentacles.

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I just did this drawing that sort of represents a flying version of what I was describing:

I found these:

https://greg.thegreatarchives.com/2008-2010/page38#post1515-line4,7
https://greg.thegreatarchives.com/2013-2017/page725#post12763611-line6,12
https://greg.thegreatarchives.com/2013-2017/page453#post11049107-line1,3

That pretty much wraps it up.

Although the question remains as to why he was described in such a foreign manner. The organic protodermis shown in the movies did not seem to be red or gelatinous. (I know the movies aren’t exactly the top of the pile in terms of canon, but they’re currently all we have in terms of a visual portrayal of organic protodermis)

Perhaps Tren Krom is a different… alloy, I guess… of organic protodermis.

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This raises the question of what exactly organic protodermis… is.

Protodermis is a metal… and organic protodermis is tissue…

Yeah… this could’ve been explained better. Maybe protodermis is capable of behaving in a similar to carbon, acting as the basis of biomechanical life on a molecular level?

Or protodermis is a vast variety or substances made of an extensive but specific set atoms, leading to enough versatility to make a whole universe…

OR protodermis is an element or substance connected to the very essence of creativity (and thereby the concept of LEGO)… which… honestly might be my new head-canon?

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My thought is that protodermis is a specific unique compound or element, but then nothing in the Matoran Universe is made of pure protodermis.

For example, Protodermic rock is a mixture of protodermis and minerals from Spherus Magna.

Liquid protodermis is a slurry of water and protodermis. (This also fits with the idea that the oceans and rivers inside Mata Nui were for transferring materials)

Protosteel is an iron-protodermis alloy.

Tren Krom is protodermis-infused strawberry Jell-o.

And so on.

This also explains why Toa and other Matoran Universe beings are able to use their powers on non-protodermic beings or objects: their powers were designed by the Great Beings to work on the non-protodermic version (perhaps using technology developed by the Great Beings prior to the concept of the Great Spirit Robot), but then they homogenized the Matoran Universe with protodermis to strengthen the connection between a being and the object they are manipulating.

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And even some of the books mention the toa having “Teeth” of sorts.

Organic Protodermis is protodermis being used as a connective tissue, such as muscle and ligaments. Protodermis can also be generated in solid forms, such as metallic protodermis (as seen on characters’ armor and weapons) and in liquid form (molten protodermis, energized protodermis). Tren Krom appears to use a variant of organic protodermis that is very close in appearance to actual organic muscle, as well as having a generally organic appearance.

My theory here is that Tren Krom, being on of the GB’s first creations, was made partly as a test for how close they could get to creating a fully organic being, resulting in his strange appearance and insane powers. He sounds, from his description, like a cross between a slime from D&D and a giant squid.