Crouching Princess, Hidden Prince

The idea of a seemingly insignificant person turning out to be royalty is a common one in myths and fairy tales, and the Oz books are no exception. Since the royals aren’t usually revealed until near the end of the story, there are obviously going to be some spoilers here.

Picture by Xamag
The most notable example is Ozma herself, with the additional twist that she had been turned into a boy. Although it’s not central to the plot, Rinkitink in Oz reveals that Bilbil the goat is actually Prince Bobo of Boboland under an enchantment. I suppose Ojo and Unc Nunkie were sort of a subversion in that Patchwork Girl points out that they’re descended from Munchkin royalty, yet they never show any interest in claiming the throne. It’s up to Ruth Plumly Thompson’s Ojo to make them active princes again, and to reveal why Unc Nunkie was hiding this fact. Indeed, characters turning out to be royal was something that happened all the time in Thompson. Royal Book reveals that the Scarecrow is the reincarnation of the Emperor of the Silver Island. In Kabumpo and Grampa, a missing princess turns out to have been turned inanimate by an evil wizard who wanted to marry her, then restored to life through magic.

Lost King obviously uses this theme as well, with Ozma’s father Pastoria found working as a tailor in the fortress city of Blankenburg. He’s offered the throne, but he leaves it to his daughter and continues in the tailoring business. The Good Witch of the North and Sir Hokus of Pokes turn out not only to be royalty, but also much younger than they appeared.

In Purple Prince, Randy is aware of his royal origins, but few of the other characters are. Dick Martin’s Ozmapolitan does a different take on the idea, with Septimius Septentrion turning out to be a prince, but one who is actively working NOT to inherit the throne.

I’m not going to bother listing all of the non-canonical books that involve hidden royalty, but I feel it only right to mention Hidden Prince, since he’s right in the title. This aspect of the plot is very Thompsonian, with Prince Cyan having been enchanted in much the same way as Peg Amy and Pretty Good.

This entry was posted in Characters, Dick Martin, Gina Wickwar, L. Frank Baum, Oz, Oz Authors, Ruth Plumly Thompson and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Crouching Princess, Hidden Prince

  1. Pingback: Oz-Crossed Lovers | VoVatia

  2. Pingback: Princes Proving Their Prowess, Whatever That Means | VoVatia

  3. Pingback: Good Knight, Sleep Tight | VoVatia

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