In the fourteenth part of Moving Pictures, Victor slips into denial about his experience, and Holy Wood makes it harder for him to stay there. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld.
Well, this is all full of dread, isn’t it? Bravo to the folks who made the splits for this book, as I love that this section opens with the Bursar realizing just how intense the unreality spreading over the Disc is. It sets the scene for the unnerving events that follow. Even if the troll conversation is funny, it’s not enough to distract from the inevitability that’s waiting further along in this book. I do think the dialogue is humorous here, but I don’t know that it’s something I need to comment on, you know? I mean, the exchange that Victor and Ginger have while they’re still trapped is so much more interesting to me. For example:
“I just remember the dream. There was this voice telling me that I must wake the – the sleeping man?”
Clearly, that’s the “giant” that Victor spotted laying on the slab, and that’s about where my theorizing ends. I still can’t piece this all together. Why did the original builders of the gate want to keep this being prisoner here? Like the last section of this book, I’m now realizing how I’ve been thinking about this wrong. (It’s so much fun to have my perceptions changed like this.) It’s not just a force that might come out of that place, but an actual being? Oh god, I understand so little of this!
However, I’m utterly confident when I say that Victor is being far too optimistic about the fate of Holy Wood. Granted, I have more information than he does here, given that scene with Death. (!!!!!) It’s unfortunate because I imagine that when this all explodes into the world, it’s going to be horrible. Just because the main entrance to the underground theater collapsed does not mean there’s no way out. What about the passage that ostensibly leads out to the ocean? If the power of Holy Wood can control Ginger to tie up Victor without him knowing, surely it can control someone to swim down into that place. And how significant is it that Victor’s noticed that this force is keeping people alive?
There are a lot of pieces at play here. Death is in town because he’s got a “busy day” coming up, which is frightening all on its own. Jesus, WHY ARE A BUNCH OF PEOPLE GOING TO DIE? Then there’s that scene with the yetis on the Ramtop mountains, which helped me understand the mousetrap scene from earlier. TRAMPLING ELEPHANTS! So what role will the thousand-elephant-parade play in the final part of this nightmare? Didn’t Dibbler need them for Blown Away? They’re already late at this point. I DON’T GET IT.
I do understand why Victor is in denial about all of this, though. I mean, it’s the easiest thing to believe, isn’t it? After seeing such confusing and, frankly, unbelievable things down in that cavern, it’s simpler for Victor to assume that the collapsed entry is the end of it all.
He went to the window and looked out on a pale silver glow.
Holy Wood had vanished.
So, yeah. THIS FUCKED ME UP. I thought this was literal at first. But the realization that this was due to the unnatural fog that had settled in? Not all that good at assuaging my fear, y’all. Where did it come from? Why is it there? Why does it feel so wrong? Surprise, I don’t fucking know because this book is a continual tease. WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? I’m curious to see if the trip to Ankh-Morpork will change these characters’ perspective on things. Unfortunately, based on the Bursar’s first scene in this section, I know that the magic of Holy Wood has already spread far and wide. But maybe the distance will be good? I suspect that Dibbler won’t care or won’t realize what he’s become a part of, but Soll, Victor, and Ginger aren’t that far in, right?
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