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Chorh-Gom Prison
ChorhGomEnt
The prison entrance in Kung Fu Panda'
Escape from Chorh-Gom Prison is impossible! ... One way in, one way out. One thousand guards, and one prisoner.
  —Commander Vachir to Zeng, Kung Fu Panda  

Chorh-Gom Prison (also spelled "Chor-Ghom", "Chor-Gom", or "Chorh-Ghom") is an elaborate stronghold located in the snowy peaks of Tavan Bogd in Mongolia. It was originally built to hold a single prisoner—Tai Lung, who had been charged with a lifetime incarceration sentence for his ruthless crimes against the citizens of the Valley of Peace.[1] The prison had temporarily been closed down after Tai Lung escaped and destroyed the prison,[2] but it has since been rebuilt and later re-opened as a regular prison able to house many inmates.[3]

The prison presumably continues to be heavily guarded by the Anvil of Heaven, a one thousand-strong army of elite rhinos. Their previous leader and warden of the prison was Commander Vachir, who hasn't been seen or mentioned since Tai Lung's escape.

Description

Exterior

The exterior of the prison consists of an enormous set of double doors which serve as the entrance to the prison. A fortress-like structure is visible in the mountain area above the doors. The formation of the mountain surrounding the prison closely resembles a mouth.

Interior

The interior consists of an enormous cavern noted to be over 3,000 feet deep.[4] A pathway closely resembling the Great Wall of China spirals around the walls of the prison, reaching all the way down to the bottom, with sentry towers at multiple intervals.

The area where Tai Lung was held consists of a small rock island in the middle of a seemingly bottomless abyss, surrounded by the prison's sentry towers. A small wooden elevator is the only means of reaching this area. The ceiling of the prison is rigged with explosives in order to send the cavern's enormous stalactites plummeting into the prison, as a sort of self-destruct mechanism, should Tai Lung break free.

History

Construction

PrisonMountains
The prison among the snowy Tavan Bogd peaks
SpottedstarAdded by Spottedstar

Chorh-Gom Prison was carved out of the most inaccessible peak of the snow-blasted Tavan Bogd Mountains in outer Mongolia twenty years prior to the events of Kung Fu Panda. Its sole purpose was to hold Tai Lung to prevent him from threatening the innocent ever again. It had been designed as the most formidable gaol ever built, complete with elaborate and deadly defenses and self-destruct mechanisms in case the unthinkable should happen—Tai Lung escapes.[5]

In Kung Fu Panda

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Commander Vachir speaking with Zeng
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After Oogway had a premonition of Tai Lung's return to the Valley, Shifu sent the palace messenger Zeng to warn the guards at the prison and to tighten its security. The warden Commander Vachir was outraged, protesting that escape from Chorh-Gom was impossible. He showed the messenger goose around the fortress, presenting the prison's current securities as well as the bound and motionless prisoner himself, Tai Lung. Believing the leopard to be helpless, Commander Vachir did nothing to strengthen the defenses of the prison as he was told.

But while Zeng and Vachir were returning to the prison's entrance, one of Zeng's feathers (which had fallen off of him earlier) floated next to Tai Lung, who then used it to pick the lock on his restraints (using his tail) and break free. Despite all of the guards' efforts and the various defenses the prison held, Tai Lung managed to craftily dodge and fight his way through each of them, eventually making his way to the entrance and literally blasting his way through the guards and door. The leopard then told Zeng to fly back to the Jade Palace and give a message saying: "The real Dragon Warrior is coming home."

In Kung Fu Panda Issue 1

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Add a caption!
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Some time after Tai Lung's escape, Chorh-Gom Prison was rebuilt with a variety of new traps. Po and the Furious Five volunteered to test the prison's new security system, and were given a tour by the new warden, who appeared to be just as overconfident as his predecessor.

However, when two careless prison guards accidentally set off the new security system, trapping its residents inside, the warden panicked and knocked himself out by running at the main door.

Po and the Five were forced to evade and fend off the various deadly traps, such as the bashing beam and the slaying slicers. With the help of the two prison guards, the six were able to use the logs of lamentation to climb up to a higher level, carrying the stunned warden with them. After fending off one last trap (a multitude of arrows), Po and the Five were eventually rescued when the two guards let down a rope ladder for them to climb up.

Po and the Five stated that it took all six of them to break out, meaning that the prison was indeed very well-built.

In Legends of Awesomeness

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PoChorhGomLOA
Po going undercover as a new prisoner in "Jailhouse Panda"
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In the episode "Jailhouse Panda", Po went undercover as a wanted criminal to locate and talk to a prisoner named Tong Fo, who had craftily hid away the sacred War Hammer of Lei Lang before his incarceration.[3]

In "Rhino's Revenge", a former rhino guard named Hundun mentioned that Chorh-Gom got shut down when Po defeated Tai Lung. With his entire life in shambles, Hundun made his way to the Valley of Peace to get his revenge on Po, only to be defeated by the Dragon Warrior. He was then sent back to his old post, only this time as a prisoner, with Chorh-Gom being re-opened for all types of criminals across China.[2]

Notable prisoners

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  • Tai Lung — Tai Lung is the most famous prisoner of Chorh-Gom, as he was the reason the prison was constructed to begin with. After he turned to evil and was subdued, the prison was constructed to hold the leopard for the rest of his life. Twenty years after he was incarcerated, he escaped when Zeng came and one of his feathers fell into Tai Lung's grasp. He used it to pick the lock on his restraints, thus becoming the first prisoner to escape the prison. In the end, Tai Lung's was ultimately defeated by Po, who used the Wuxi Finger Hold on him after already having weakened him in battle.
  • Fenghuang — Once the strongest of the Furious Five of her generation, Fenghuang turned to evil when her power and skill went to her head and she challenged, but lost to Oogway. She fled to the Northern Mountains for refuge, and years later returned upon hearing of Oogway's passing. She was eventually stopped by Po, who had her locked away for her evil intentions, though Fenghuang swore revenge.
  • Fung and his bandits — A band of Crocodile Bandits led by Fung. At one time they were in prison, they followed the orders of criminal mastermind, Tong Fo. Apparently they live in prison about "90% of the time".
  • Hundun — Hundun was once a member of the Anvil of Heaven, who were tasked with keeping Tai Lung in prison. When Tai Lung escaped, Hundun was among those who tried in vain to stop him, but failed. Tai Lung was defeated by the Dragon Warrior, but without its prisoner, the prison was closed, depriving Hundun of his job, and losing his house, his family, and he blamed all his troubles on the Dragon Warrior. When he found out it was Po who "ruined his life", he tried to kill him, but he was thwarted and sent to the very prison he'd devoted himself to.
  • Taotie — Once a student under Master Oogway, alongside Shifu, Taotie was a rather clumsy student and never mastered kung fu, though he found himself to be a skilled inventor and helped Shifu design the Training Hall. To overcome his lack of martial art skills, he stole the Jade Orb of Infinite Power to power up a machine to compensate his weakness. He proudly presented his invention to Oogway and Shifu, but he was dismissed for dishonoring kung fu and sought revenge on Shifu. He has attacked the Jade Palace several times until at last, he was caught and sent to prison, but thanks to Bian Zao smuggling his machine parts to help him break free, he escaped. In Bosom Enemies he tries to take out Po and the Furious Five with the information that was given to him, but Taotie has decided to stop his own creation because he's present that was given to him by Po was a magnifying glass, when it was over Taotie thanks Po for what he has done, but Po sends him and Bian Zao to Chorh-Gom Prison.
  • Tong FoComing soon!
  • JunjieComing soon!
  • Meng TaoComing soon!
  • General Tsin — Tsin is a retired war hero who, upon first retiring, became insane and started a hobby of collecting villains in the Valley. Po soon stopped Tsin and had him imprisoned for attacking the villains without any reasonable cause.
  • The Undertaker — The keeper of a graveyard who used a staff to control a legion of undead jiang shi in his plans to conquer China. He lost his staff to Po, who commanded the Jiang shi to rest, but not before he commanded them to drag the Undertaker off to Chorh-Gom Prison.
  • Shengqi — The only known prisoner of Chorh-Gom who was not a criminal, Shengqi was arrested after protecting his daughter from being harshly punished by the Duke Pingjun. He eventually broke out of the prison and hid out, and was tracked down by Po for the bounty on his head. However, the panda came to believe his innocence, and helped him reunite with his daughter instead.
  • Mei Ling - Once a kung fu master, Mei Ling was Shifu's old flame until he broke up with her for using her skills to steal. Once she tried to discredit the masters of the Jade Palace and was almost sent to prison only to escape en route. She later willingly went to prison, to protect Shifu from Junjie and so he would not sacrifice his honor for her, and they maintained their relationship with a picnic in her cell.

Trivia

  • "Chorh-Gom" translated from Mongolian into English means "sitting in prison" or "in prison".[6]
  • There were a number of inspirations for the design of the prison, including sets from House of Flying Daggers, prison designs from the 1700s, as well as the idea of applying the linear layout of the Great Wall of China to the interior prison walls.[7]
  • 1,500 arrows shower down on Tai Lung during his escape in the first movie.[4]

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References

  1. Revealed in DreamWorks Animation's Kung Fu Panda (2008). Written by Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger & directed by John Stevenson, Mark Osborne. Distributed by Paramount Pictures.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Revealed in "Rhino's Revenge" from Nickelodeon's Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness. No. 12, Season 1. Written by Scott Kreamer & directed by Michael Mullen. Originally aired November 27, 2011.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Revealed in "Jailhouse Panda" from Nickelodeon's Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness. No. 8, Season 1. Written by Doug Langdale, Jon Ross & directed by Michael Mullen. Originally aired November 18, 2011.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Kung Fu Panda Fun Facts by HP
  5. Kung Fu Panda Official Site - Chorh-Gom Prison (old version; retrieved August 3, 2010)
  6. Revealed in the DVD audio commentary of DreamWorks Animation's Kung Fu Panda (2008). Narrated by John Stevenson and Mark Osborne (directors).
  7. Miller-Zarneke, Tracey. The Art of Kung Fu Panda, p. 178. ISBN: 1933784571.
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