Nathan (vovat) wrote,

Spiders Like Us

By now, you should realize that the general pleasantness of Oz doesn't mean there aren't bizarre monsters lurking in the wild areas. Among these are some giant spiders, the first of which is seen in the very first Oz book. This enormous spider is terrorizing the Quadling Forest, eating animals whenever it wants to. The Cowardly Lion kills the spider while it sleeps by beheading it, which might not seem like a fair fight, but I'm not sure that matters when dealing with ravenous spiders. It's due to this that the Lion is hailed as the king of the forest (not queen, not duke, not prince).

Giant spiders also appear in Glinda of Oz, and this time they're not as monstrous, but they're still a threat. These spiders dwell in the wilds of the Gillikin Country, and are purple in color. They're described as having "big heads, sharp claws, small eyes, and fuzzy hair all over their purple bodies." John R. Neill draws them looking somewhat more comical than this description implies, perhaps to avoid troubling readers. The spiders, who are ruled by a king, trap Ozma and Dorothy in a web, intending to force them into domestic servitude. Between Ozma's wand and the Magic Belt, however, the spiders are unable to touch the girls, and they manage to escape with help from a crab.

Oz also has some normal-sized spiders, like the one that the Scarecrow watches while staying in the Emerald City for the first time. But they're not quite as interesting, are they?
Tags: books, monsters, oz
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