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The Beldam
Aufero vestri dmno manuum a meus antenna
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Well, it's been a few years since I read the book (but it's on the top of my To Read Again List), but Wybie isn't in the book, and I don't think either the grandmother or the doll are in it, either. (Someone correct me if I'm wrong, please!)

Sorry to crush your theory!

But welcome to the board!

"I know that people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones blah blah blah.... but THAT guy is paranoid!" -- Agent Fox Mulder
Posts: 37700 | Location: Jacksonville, FL | Registered: December 13, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Freelance metaphor inspector
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Haven't seen the movie yet (MONDAY! IN 3D!!) but there is no Wybie, no grandmother, no doll.

And what's funny, I read the entire book in the last handful of days and read the word as 'bedlam' and merely thought it was some fantastic/archaic way of referring to the other mother and her rats. Calling something 'the bedlam' seemed so appropriate in my mind somehow that I neither read it correctly nor bothered with a true definition until seeing this thread. How odd.


my tumblr
Posts: 22795 | Location: here | Registered: June 15, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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"BELDAME: (historical) a grandmother, any remote ancestress; a post-menospausal woman with virilization of her secondary sexual traits, such as facial hair and rough voice; eg, Macbeth's witches (see bearded woman)"

Waah. Neil hates me. I knew it.

I gotta go sulk now.

Snot MY fault I got old.

Posts: 4 | Registered: February 09, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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So, we've been chatting in this thread about the Beldam a bit. Looking back here, it looks like there's more interest in the Beldam's origins than I expected.

"Why are there ghosts in the kitchen punching each other in the balls?" - Aidan, "Being Human"
"Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried."
- G.K. Chesterton

My moderator voice is red.
Posts: 48716 | Location: Concord, NH, USA | Registered: July 20, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Great wyrm of Toronto
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I'm pretty sure there was an interview with Neil at one time in which he actually states that he created an origin story for the Beldam or the Other Mother. He didn't, of course, mention what this origin story was. Most authors, like DMs need that background info as they personify their characters.

After I read that somewhere (I thought in an interview in the back of Coraline, but I was wrong), I really did want to know. But either way, I think her very presence and the particulars that we do know about her are frightening and creepy enough to not even need that story.

You can't take the sky from me.
Posts: 6059 | Location: Canada | Registered: July 11, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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i saw the movie 3 times now, and absolutly loved it! I have since read both the book and the graphic novel, and equally loved them. But i have always been interested in the villains of stories and where they came from. The other mother is surrounded in so much mystery, and the book leaves me with several questions about her, like what was the story with her mother (cause you know there is a story there), what exactly is the passageway between worlds, why does she want the children, etc. I think that Neil should make a book completely about her origin and how she came to be. It doesnt nessiceraly need to be a childrens story either. I just want to know where she came from!
Posts: 1 | Registered: March 14, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
has been eaten by a grue.
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i'm a keats whore, myself, so i immediately thought of "la belle dame sans merci" (which, by the way, is sexy as hell), the text of which reads thusly:

Oh what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
Alone and palely loitering?
The sedge has withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.

Oh what can ail thee, knight-at-arms,
So haggard and so woe-begone?
The squirrel's granary is full,
And the harvest's done.

I see a lily on thy brow,
With anguish moist and fever-dew,
And on thy cheeks a fading rose
Fast withereth too.

I met a lady in the meads,
Full beautiful - a faery's child,
Her hair was long, her foot was light,
And her eyes were wild.

I made a garland for her head,
And bracelets too, and fragrant zone;
She looked at me as she did love,
And made sweet moan.

I set her on my pacing steed,
And nothing else saw all day long,
For sidelong would she bend, and sing
A faery's song.

She found me roots of relish sweet,
And honey wild, and manna-dew,
And sure in language strange she said -
'I love thee true'.

She took me to her elfin grot,
And there she wept and sighed full sore,
And there I shut her wild wild eyes
With kisses four.

And there she lulled me asleep
And there I dreamed - Ah! woe betide! -
The latest dream I ever dreamt
On the cold hill side.

I saw pale kings and princes too,
Pale warriors, death-pale were they all;
They cried - 'La Belle Dame sans Merci
Hath thee in thrall!'

I saw their starved lips in the gloam,
With horrid warning gaped wide,
And I awoke and found me here,
On the cold hill's side.

And this is why I sojourn here
Alone and palely loitering,
Though the sedge is withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.

okay, so once we've all come down off the keats-induced high...the story very closely resembles coraline's, and ["They cried - 'La Belle Dame sans Merci/Hath thee in thrall!'] very closely resembles a line spoken by one of the ghost children, although i can't find an exact quote from the movie. so i'm gonna go with my original reaction to the film. Smile

~ fLame Woosh ~
Elite Special Force Procrastinator, trained in High Arts of Extended Coffee Breaks and
Master Linguist of the Water Cooler Conversation
Posts: 7134 | Location: the gloaming | Registered: November 29, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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PARTY IN AN EMPTY CHAT ROOM/// ALL RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Eek Big Grin Eek Big Grin Eek Confused Big Grin Eek Big Grin Smile Confused Big Grin Eek
Posts: 111 | Location: Pudding Palace | Registered: January 17, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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