Thomas | Chapter 9

thomas

So perished Mulligan, the last of his line, and penultimate custodian of the ninth fragment. 

Aufwader’s Thoughts: I loved the scene with Woodget and Zenna so much that it was the first drawing I ever posted on Silvering Sea. The mermouse and her shadowy realm suggest, but never explain, some fundamental things about the Deptford universe. Though I said earlier that I don’t really want to know anything more about the sea-daughters, those ‘nameless spirits and cloistered intellects’ of the deep dark oceans are definitely something to mull over.

Of course, what everyone really remembers about this chapter is Mulligan’s grisly demise. I will happily clutch my pearls with the rest of you over any number of distressing Robiny deaths. Piccadilly? Ouch! Oswald? Get me a hanky to mop my tears! Dab? Vesper? Tysle? Squirrels in the Ring of Banbha? Dreadful, awful, horrific, don’t even talk about it!

Almost any manner of morbidly-imagined exit can make me wince in the right circumstances, but the black blood of Sarpedon runs in my veins, and I’m sorry everybody but however much I like Mulligan, I honour the Dark Despoiler more. Take that, Green Council! Take that, goody-two-shoes wholetails! May your paltry endeavours crumble before your eyes!

On a more wholesome note, bless Woodget in this chapter. Look at him, being all stoic and getting on with things despite that he’s just been in an honest-to-goodness shipwreck and almost drowned. His character journey is similar to Vesper’s in some ways, in that he slowly loses his naiveté as a result of the suffering he endures. It’s heart-rending to read, even for a jaded old reptile such as I. Fare you well, Master Pipple. May you come out of this chapter’s cliffhanger with your fluffy little head still attached to your shoulders.

Matt’s Thoughts: What a dark and devious co-blogger I have …

But I must admit, was there any precedent anywhere in the realms of anthropomorphic animal tales for inserting this sort of body horror? I feel with the original Mice trilogy that the violence was visceral but within enough bounds that it could possibly become an animated film (albeit of a darker shade).

However, by the time you get to Thomas, I feel like Mr Jarvis had worked out his readers’ limits and how far he could go – and then just goes there. It’s violent, it’s high stakes, it reels us right in. Someone like Nathaniel Crozier might well be one of the darkest villains, but the Scale have a love of violence and suffering that puts them in a class of their own as Jarvis villains.

Anyway, I can’t natter when we’ve got a chapter ending like that hanging over our heads (gag intended). Onwards!

One thought on “Thomas | Chapter 9

  1. Like they have for others, Mulligan’s death scene, as well as all the venom-related deaths in this book, have always stood out to me because of their sheer gruesomeness. And I also think the main reason for that is because they’re described in all their disgusting, stomach-churning detail. Peeling certainly would be as painful or worse for the victim, but with those having all happened “off-screen” and these being so in-your-face, it’s a lot more unsettling for the reader (and for the characters who witness them). Also it’s incredibly unnerving that the Scale have blades that can merely prick you and condemn you to a torturous death. At least the Hobbers have to catch you and take their time to peel you – then you might still stand a chance of getting away. The slightest touch of a Scale weapon and you’re history!

    Poor Thomas and Woodget! It’s bad enough that they were shipwrecked and have to deal with the fact that so many of their fellow passengers have perished, their corpses littering the shores of Crete, but now Mulligan has stumbled up screaming in agony, literally melting away in front of them and they have no idea why. Honestly I’m surprised those two kept it together as well as they did seeing that.

    Poisoning by venom is definitely the most… uh… creative manner of death Robin has ever come up with in the world of Deptford. It’s like the process of decomposition (with which I am quite familiar as I’ve studied it and death in general, mainly due to my morbid curiosity), but sped up and happening while still alive. Eww! The worst part to me is the detail of Mulligan’s eyes melting in their sockets. DX Again, yuck!

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