Up to His Eld Tricks – Chapter 7, Act 4, Strip 23

Meanwhile, back a millennium before the end of the last strip, the Elder’s mental health is finally starting down the long road toward full recovery…
…and, since this is fiction, arrives there a couple of minutes later. We just don’t have the time for a psychotherapy sub plot right now.

And to prove the fullness of his recovery, he immediately goes back to playing annoying and hurtful pranks on the people who just saved him – and you can’t even blame him for it, since it comes with the territory for a fantasy village elder. Being emotionally abusive is how this type of character proves that they’re quirky and full of life despite their years.

Or, perhaps it would be fairer to say that he plays an annoying prank on the audience, rather than the people who just saved him – after all, said people weren’t present to watch the incident he’s playing on here. He was alone with the audience at that time. Although that conclusion would require an assumption that the scriptwriter kept track of things like that, which is far from certain.

All pranking aside, it’s reasonably certain that he wasn’t making a joke in panel two, when he said that he felt a prophecy coming on. The general situation clearly remains dreary and threatening enough to require one, and in plot-terms there would have hardly been any other reason to bring the Elder back to good mental health, if not to deliver one.

But will he be able to deliver it without further dad jokes, or will the urge to make up for lost time in that regard prove too strong? Find out on Mo…uh, Thursday

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