The Beast With a Million Eyes – Chapter 7, Act 4, Strip 27

And here the Elder neatly encapsulates what I already implied in last Thursday’s comment: the happiest of happy ends is within reach! …but you might get your arm bitten off first.

As it needs to be, of course…not only for dramatic purposes, but also due to the nature of the setting: an ancient forest. It seems that J.R.R. Tolkien was deeply ageist when it came to woodlands…he adored young forests, but held a pathological mistrust of the older types. Perhaps he stumbled once too often over some half-buried root, or accidentally nibbled on a poisonous mushroom, or something. I don’t know, I could never quite force myself to read a biography of the man.

But fantasy forests have maintained that ambivalent, or even schizophrenic, nature ever since – being alternately depicted/employed as places of calm and shelter, or danger and horror. I have to wonder what forests are like in real life, do they really have that sort of dual nature? I wouldn’t know…I never go there. Too many trees, and such. *vague gesture*

I do know, though, that the “dark and dangerous” setting suits the season, with Halloween coming up, and all…

More on Mon…uh, Halloween.

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