Up with Gillikins

In my apparently ongoing quest to connect Alphonse Mucha’s artwork with Oz, he had a picture called “Princess Hyacinth,” and there’s a Queen Hyacinth in The Giant Horse of Oz.

Okay, I don’t know that they’re that similar in appearance, aside from the flowers in their hair, but they are drawn in a similar style. Of course, Queen Hyacinth was actually named by Ruth Plumly Thompson, and I have no idea if she was familiar with the Mucha picture. Actually, Hyacinth’s name is an interesting play on words, as she lives in a mountaintop city in the clouds (so she’s high-acinth) and the hyacinth is a purple flower and she’s a Gillikin. Hyacinth is the wife of Joe King, ruler of the Gillikin Country as of the end of Giant Horse, and the two of them live in Uptown.

Picture by Shawn Maldonado
I suppose that would make her an Uptown Girl, but I have no evidence that she would take any interest in Billy Joel.

Uptown is located in the Gillikin Mountains and inhabited by Uplanders, who dress like Scots and have features that turn up. I have to say Neill does a good job at making the queen look glamorous while still having the unusual features mentioned by Thompson. Their buildings are tall (well, by Ozian standards, anyway), and rain falls up instead of down. As such, the proper behavior when a storm comes up is to jump into your umbrella. It’s a bit of an odd place for a national capital, seeing as how it’s at the top of a steep mountain. This would make it easy to defend, I guess, but maybe not so easy for the Gillikin people to reach with petitions and such. As I mentioned in this earlier post on Ozian rulers, Ozma’s decision to make Joe and Hyacinth rulers of the Gillikins comes across as a spur-of-the-moment decision, perhaps motivated by the fact that she doesn’t want the country to be without a ruler for any longer than it has to. I tend to think that there’s some magical way to make scaling the mountain and reaching the city easier, perhaps along the lines of the moving Ozcalator that the Wizard of Oz uses in Wonder City.

This entry was posted in Art, Characters, John R. Neill, Oz, Oz Authors, Places, Ruth Plumly Thompson and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Up with Gillikins

  1. Anthony Will says:

    Vovat (or should I say Fablesto) I love your articles on Oz!! I don’t wish you would do less articles on your other interests, just more on Oz. Of course, that would make a lot more work for you. Maybe you could easily do short articles on various aspects of the non Baum famous forty authors (as Baum is well covered elsewhere) and of the more prominent or unusual non canon authors. Anyways, when I see a Vovatia article with an obvious Oz title in my in box, I am a happy guy. Keep up the admirable work!!

  2. Pingback: Gillikin Geography | VoVatia

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