Nathan (vovat) wrote,

Tip Me Over

If you don't know about Tip, you should probably read The Marvelous Land of Oz. It's a great book, and it's available online. Since I do think the ending of the book is pretty interesting, I'm going to put the rest of this entry under a cut.

Okay, I'm sure that cut stopped absolutely nobody who had any interest at all in Oz books. But anyway, Tippetarius (Tip for short) was Mombi's name for the male form into which he transformed Ozma when she was a baby. After being interrogated by Glinda, Mombi restored Ozma to her true form, and she became ruler of Oz. I've seen complaints that, while Tip is blatantly boyish, Ozma is quite girly, not really showing much sign of her former personality. Actually, I'm not too sure about that. As Kenneth Shepherd pointed out in an old Baum Bugle article, Ozma of Oz shows the title character acting rather belligerent, which could be seen as lingering effects of testosterone. Other authors have since brought back Ozma's male alter-ego in various ways:

  • Jack Snow's "A Murder in Oz" has Tip, who still exists as a disembodied spirit, killing Ozma in order to obtain life. I'm not sure exactly how that would work, but the Wizard says he'll try to find a way to bring both Ozma and Tip back to life as separate entities. There's no indication as to whether he's successful, however.
  • In Onyx Madden's Mysterious Chronicles, which takes place in between Land and Ozma, the Royal Ruler of Oz is having trouble adjusting to her new form, and dresses in her old clothes to have another adventure as Tip.
  • After Ozma loses her memory and has her clothes ruined in a hedge maze during the events of the McGraws' Forbidden Fountain, she dresses in boy's clothes that an old Gillikin woman gives her. While she's dressed this way, Jack Pumpkinhead recognizes her as Tip, and asks why she's not still a girl.
  • In Melody Grandy's Seven Blue Mountains trilogy, Tippetarius is a separate individual, the youngest Prince of Lostland, whose form Mombi switched with Ozma's. Since this Tip was raised as a girl, he is obviously surprised at the male form that was returned to him when Ozma was disenchanted, and ends up having to flee the kingdom and seek employment as an assistant to the sorcerer/botanist Zim Greenleaf. When he finally meets Ozma and learns his odd relationship to her, she makes him a Prince and Ambassador of Oz.

Tags: books, characters, oz

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