Friday, October 18, 2013

Breaking Casting News: OUAT's The Shadow (spoiler warning)

The Shadow from OUAT
Just a quickie but I assume by now, since the "character" debuted at the end of Season 2, that you know about "The Shadow" in Neverland so it shouldn't be a surprise that "he" would get a voice.

The (somewhat unexpected) news (ie the "who" being unexpected, not that they gave "him" a voice) did make me think about The Shadows in fairy tales, specifically the malevolent, usually unseen-till-the-last (if at all), larger and over-arching nemesis that isn't named (from War, through to incarnations of The Morrigan) or given a specific personality.

I find this kind of character interesting because in fairy tales - and myth - Shadows (with a capital "s") can usually be defeated but they're so large, such forces of nature - are, in fact, often a personification of nature - that the vanquishing is only ever temporary. Sometimes it's for the lifetime of the hero/heroine, sometimes it's for centuries but it's part of that whole cycle of life thing and one of the reasons they are a necessary archetype in fairy tales. Often fairy tales are the smaller stories happening within a period of a Shadowed time or land and conquering the Shadow isn't part of the story at all.

Where I think modern retelling of tales often fall down is they 1) feel the need to make it so big/global/destroy-the-world type stakes that it MUST be faced NOW and 2) as such they must destroy ALL trace of the Big Evil, so that it will NEVER rise again, but this upsets the balance of the world in ways that are rarely dealt with.

Anyway, we shall see (probably at the end of this season) what happens in OUAT's Neverland with this oh-so-powerful Nemesis. Will he be forever destroyed? Or will he simply change form? (As energy does, since energy can't actually be destroyed, only transformed.)

For those who don't mind spoilers, finding out who the voice of The Shadow will be might make you think about shadows in a different way too...
✒ ✒ ✒  ✒ (click the "Read more" link below this line - NOTE: SPOILER AHEAD! ) ✒ ✒ ✒ ✒ ✒ 

So here 'tis: The Shadow will be voiced by.. Marilyn Manson.
"We wanted to cast someone with the vocal ability to make our skin crawl."

Yeah. That will work. (See what I mean about contemplating shadows? You're thinking about other "shadow" figures who would make for interesting casting now too, aren't you?) You can check the story HERE.


  1. Hi. Russian doll-сollectors have found parallels between OUaT and EAH. What do you think about that?

  2. There are two interesting corollaries to your post, of which only one has to do with fantasy. The first, which doesn't, is Karl Schroeder's award-winning novel _Ventus_, which he later released as a free-download textfile on his website. In that novel, the entire galaxy is run by something called the Archipelago, which is so powerful that it literally cannot be overthrown, and therefore takes a largely hands-off attitude to people's affairs as long as people keep it informed and ask its permission to do things. The Archipelago is very much a Shadow as you describe it, but a benign Shadow that does a good job of being a living, mortal God. The second reference, as you might have guessed, is to Sauron from _Lord of the Rings_, who is the quintessential and archetypal fantasy Shadow. Sauron is malevolent the way most Shadows have been perceived throughout our species' history and prehistory with the struggle of those who are in someone else's power to attain freedom and self-determination. Schroeder's perspective seems to be that we have exited that long epoch in our species' growth and are ready to start perceiving those who have power over us as benevolent--which is something Christianity has advocated for two millennia and its critics have rejected on the grounds that the real God can only be a mortal man or woman just like us.