Nathan (vovat) wrote,

Jinxin' the Land

First of all, happy birthday to annamatic!

Next, I think I'll follow up my Oogaboo post by featuring another kingdom on the outskirts of Oz. This time, it's Jinxland, an area in the southeastern Quadling Country with a rather tumultuous political history. It's largely separated from the rest of Oz, being surrounded by mountains and a great gulf, aside from where it borders the Deadly Desert. Because of this isolation, it's a popular dwelling place for illegal witches, most prominently the one-eyed Blinkie. Jinxland is a quite beautiful land, but when Trot and Cap'n Bill arrive there in The Scarecrow of Oz, it has a quite unpleasant ruler, with the rather telling name of King Krewl. Not too long before, the ruler had been the beneficent King Kynd, but his Prime Minister Phearse pushed him into the Great Gulf, and usurped the throne. Phearse later got into an argument with his own Prime Minister Krewl, and the latter buried the former under rocks at the bottom of a lake. During the course of the book, Krewl himself is eventually deposed by the Scarecrow, with help from a flock of Orks.

Another significant part of the plot of Scarecrow involves Kynd's daughter Gloria, who is being raised by her uncle King Krewl, falling in love with Phearse's son Pon. At this time, Pon is working as a gardener's boy, and the King is determined to marry Gloria to the old and rich Lord Googly-Goo. The American visitors don't think much of Pon, who's somewhat of a wuss. Really, though, I can kind of identify with him, and he's quite loyal despite his fragility. Anyway, after the Scarecrow shows up and conquers King Krewl, Gloria is crowned Queen of Jinxland, and Pon becomes her consort. Krewl himself is demoted to gardener's assistant, and forced to change his name to Grewl.

As with Oogaboo, Jinxland also makes some return appearances in apocryphal books and stories. Most significantly, Phyllis Ann Karr's The Gardener's Boy of Oz provides a lot of additional details about the history of the kingdom. According to this story, King Kynd's wife and Gloria's mother was named Tralynda, and she was also largely responsible for raising Pon. Phearse never married or had children of his own, Pon actually being a child he bought from the Wicked Witch Blinkie so that he could marry Pon to Gloria and legitimize his own reign. One issue that remains confusing, however, is how Krewl and Gloria are related. She refers to him as her uncle in Scarecrow, but since there's a reference in Gardener's Boy to Krewl wanting to marry Tralynda, he's obviously not her brother. So he's either not technically her uncle (which is certainly possible), and Kynd and Krewl are brothers. While this latter would make sense, I don't recall anyone in Gardener's Boy acknowledging it, and wouldn't Krewl's being a blood relative of Kynd's mean he would have been ahead of Phearse in line for the throne? Then again, that's assuming we really know how the laws of succession in Jinxland work. Anyway, Gardener's Boy reveals the fates of Kynd, Tralynda, and Phearse; and the former two are restored to the throne, leaving Pon and Gloria much more free time.

Tags: books, characters, oz

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