Warning: Contains Spoilers!
‘She has chosen both the board upon which the battle will be fought, and the pieces also.’
Aufwader’s Thoughts: Rereaders one and all, I would like to present to you today the Jarvis Villain Scale. We have here a means of categorising each major baddie across the canon, from Most Fun to Least. Allow me to illustrate my findings.
While such things are generally too subjective for close analysis, I’m sure we can all agree that the likes of Jupiter, the Raith Sidhe, and Rhiannon Rigantona sit, more or less, in realm of Most Fun. They wield larger-than-life power and have the grandiose dialogue to match. Their goals include such villainous staples as world domination, immortality, and the pursuit of petty grievances to an overblown degree. We boo them, but we enjoy booing them, and would not be too alarmed if they felt like hypnotising us into their nefarious cause. They are a good time, and the dastardly exploits of their followers are equally entertaining to read about.
Somewhere in the middle, in that nebulous space reserved for the truly ambiguous, are the Lords of the Deep. They exact terrible punishments upon their undeserving subjects, but they’re also benevolent when it suits them, and let’s face it, in some scenes they cannot help but steal the show. Of all Robiny deities and divine pretenders, I would hazard that they are the most stereotypically ‘god-like’ – neither truly good nor evil, capable of undoing the fabric of creation, and impossible to comprehend with mortal eyes.
Sharing this middle ground are the likes of Morgawrus, and those other questionable but unexplored beings of the canon, such as Zenna’s deep-sea companions, and, so far, Gogus and the Stag.
Moving toward Least Fun, we have such delights as the Dawn Prince, and with him, the Ismus and his servants. Then there’s Nathaniel Crozier, and in his imprint, Mister Dark. There’s also the Count de Feria, about whom I’ll say no more here. All hurters of small children and animals, all vindictive and sadistic in the extreme, all guilty of something, or multiple somethings, that puts them beyond the pail.
Sadly, it looks like Woden is going to end up in with this lot. First the bloody-haired Valkyrja, then poor Reverend Galloway, and now the odious Jack Timms, who makes the likes of Crozier look positively genteel. I had such high hopes for you, proud Gallows God, former lover of Verdandi! Ah well, there’s no accounting for bad taste in lackeys and thralls. Here’s hoping the Nornir can set up their defences in time
Matt’s Thoughts: I’m still yet to work out how Gogus fits into all this, not sure if the Stag was just for the spectacle and will become important, and I can’t see Jack Timms causing anything but grief.
But I’m intrigued by the idea – reflected in the name of this chapter, ‘White and Black Pieces’ – that the Museum is really a vast chess board with various people being used. Which is sort of a great way of explaining the role of Neil – he has been a pawn of Ursula’s plans, and now we see Timms as Woden’s dark pawn. Showdown coming?