troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Kickstarter Message
TV Tropes Needs Your Help
X
Big things are happening on TV Tropes! New admins, new designs, fewer ads, mobile versions, beta testing opportunities, thematic discovery engine, fun trope tools and toys, and much more - Learn how to help here and discuss here.
View Kickstarter Project
Headscratchers: Artemis Fowl
  • Artemis's supposed to be an awesome genius but in the fourth book when he's in trouble and has some kind of digital handcuffs he asked to Holly how many digits the password has. She said that three and then stated that there were thousands of possibilities... Artemis replies that there are millions. Now if you have 3 digits in which each can have 10 different possibilities (0 to 9) then you have 10^3 = 1000 possibilites.
    • Even if you take the view that single/double digit codes are valid (highly unlikely) you would still only have 1110 possibilities. On the other hand, my copy doesn't have Artemis saying this at all. He never states the number of possibilities (Holly says "there are so many"), but he does say that the settings have likely not been changed from factory ones (37% probability, according to him).
    • Do not forget the fact he had been mind wiped and the numbers were in Gnommish and he had no way of knowing how many numbers were required compare it to You having handcuffs like these and the numbers being in a language you had never heard of and did not know how to read it and not knowing how many numbers were in the code.
      • Umm, no. He asks Holly, and she says that the code is three digits long. And the script the numbers were written in doesn't affect how many buttons there are, just means he couldn't see which is which. If you had a Cyrillic keyboard in front of you, you could tell that there are 36 characters even if you can't read all of them.
      • In the audio book I have, both things are said. Possibly your copy of the book is a later print that removed the "millions of possibilities" line when Colfer realized it was inaccurate.
      • Chalk it up to Fridge Brilliance in a way. Think about it: Far more than mathematics, Artemis' primary skills lie in psychological manipulation. What he needed was for Holly to figure out the combination without just guessing and so he made her think that she needed to figure it out with logic rather than go through all possibilities by exaggerating the number of possibilities there. By dropping it so casually he avoided her noticing, and she was able to figure out the combination as a result. Genius, that is Artemis.
      • Actually, there is another reason: Remember, Artemis doesn't know Gnommish at that point. It's an outside context language for him. He would have no idea of how many digits the fairy system had. For all he knew, Gnommish was base-100, which would change a lot. Even human languages have had bases other than 10, the maya had a base-20, and in (really)Old English shepard's jargon, you used base twenty. Computer language is base-two, and the fairies might have had a totally original system, such as maybe having all multiples 10 be their own digits. He didn't know that Gnommish was base ten, and so his words reflected his ignorance.
  • Despite all the technological advancements of the fairies, they seem far behind humans in the area of social sciences. For example, they are far more sexist than the modern West. Also, has anyone noticed that they effectively live under a dictatorship? Their supreme governing body is the Council. It is said that the Council appoints its own members, with no mention made of any sort of elections or term limits. Or, for that matter, terms at all. Why haven't the fairies noticed that many human countries have democracy and they don't? The lack of it has been the cause of many revolutions in world history. Why haven't the fairies rebelled or at least protested?
    • There's a reference to them holding a referendum (on the issue of removing one of the more inconvenient hexes Frond put on all The People way back when) in The Time Paradox. The sexism I think is Author Tract; several of the female fairies are clearly wronged by sexist attitudes: Opal wouldn't be nearly so bad if her father hadn't expected her to get an MRS degree instead of doing what she loved, Holly is told outright she has to be better than the guys to keep her job, while Lili Frond gets special treatment but isn't taken seriously.
      • As I recall it, she didn't have to be better because Root hates women (he didn't), she had to be better because she was the highest ranking female employed by the LEP (and really the only one anybody took seriously) and any slipup she made would be attributed to her sex, giving the sexists justification in not hiring women. A bad justification, but still one they would jump at the chance to have.
      • She wasn't and isn't the highest ranking female in the LEP, though. Wing Commander Vinyaya has outranked her the whole time, taught Holly in the academy, and is old enough to be grey-haired. Though, no, Root wasn't telling her to be better out of outright personal misogyny, but out of an understanding of institutional misogyny. Not that he was doing much that we see to counter it, and so far as I can see in the later few books, when she's under Vinyaya's and Kelp's commands, things don't seem so bad on the institutionalised sexism front, even though in the latter case she's in Recon and under a bloke's command, so the difference could only be the individual male commander.
      • It's probably a confusion in terms. LEP is simply the Lower Elements Police, responsible for everything from traffic tickets to murder. LEP Recon are the Big Boys (and Girl) who handle threats to The People, among them most anything to do with Artemis Fowl. Vinyaya was presumably a member of some other branch of the LEP, and thus, Holly is the highest ranking female officer in her particular branch.
      • And Vinyaya was in LEP Retrieval, right?
      • Holly is explicitly stated to be the first and so far only female officer to successfully enter the LEPRecon unit; Root claims he pushes her harder than the male officers so she can prove females can do the job (she gets called a "test case" several times in the first book).
    • Fairies live a long time. There was a reference to one dwarf who was over two thousand years old. Their society probably changes a lot more slowly, because a lot of people would still be around from the days where sexism and dictatorships were the norm. They are starting to change, but it just doesn't happen as fast as it does with humans.
  • Where are everyone's grandparents? Fairies live for hundreds of years and Holly is stated in the first book to be somewhere in her eighties ("She had lost her father when she was barely sixty, almost twenty years ago now"). So not only should her grandparents be alive, but her great-grandparents, her great-great-grandparents, and possibly her great-great-great-grandparents. Artemis is a teenager. Where are his grandparents?
    • He lives in a World of No Grandparents.
      • It's mentioned in the first book that Artemis' paternal grandfather died when Artemis was very young. Possibly this happened with his other three grandparents, as well. For all we know, Artemis' mother was an orphan.
    • Since the Fowls have been high-class criminals for generations, I don't it unbelievable they were bumped off at some point, but Holly's do look like a pretty big absence. However, she is stated to be Cupid's great-granddaughter, which implies a much longer generation time than you'd base off Holly's own age and might help explain it.
    • It is directly stated in the first book that Fairies can only have children once every twenty years. Compare that to humans and the amount of time its likely to take them to have children, plus the fact that their is limited living space for their population to inhabit, and its possible that most Fairies wait several centuries before choosing to have children. Either that, or Holly is just unlucky enough that her grandparents also had lives which were cut short.
      • Also, don't forget that it's mentioned in The Time Paradox that the fairies just recently survived a major plague. The elderly and the very young are those most susceptible to disease, so it wouldn't be surprising that most fairies grandparents died in the plague.
  • In The Opal Deception, why would humans need Opal's weapons to win a war against fairies? In the first book Holly says "number would subdue even magic". Its true, too. Haven City is stated to have around 10,000 inhabitants, and Atlantis has a similar amount. That means for every 1 fairy, there are about 325,000 humans. And fairies can't go into human buildings unless invited. And they can't operate in sunlight. And their magic depends solely on a ritual that could be prevented by simply cutting down ancient oaks by river fronts. They seem to have no more than a few hundred LEP officers. They could never hope to even take the worlds' surface, much less hold it. Even with the loss of internet, the human war machine would easily overwhelm them. Face it, if humans ever fought fairies, fairies would be royally screwed.
    • Except that the technology of the Fairies is vastly superior to that of humans. Most notable are the nuclear weapons they possess which can have their blast radius calibrated as needed, and which destroy only organic life, while leaving infrastructure completely intact. The technology of the bomb could probably be refined to be lethal only to humans. Plus, its not that they can't go out during the day, its merely that the daylight dilutes their magic, which would increase the risk of their being discovered. This would not be a concern if the Masquerade was breached. Also, humans would not necessarily know about the specific needs of the Ritual, and even then would probably be unable to access all necessary oak trees (particularly if the Fairies started actively defending them). Finish with the fact that Fairies can be very liberal with what they interpret as an invitation, not to mention the fact that it is shown that they can simply destroy a dwelling to get at anyone inside it, and that in the latest book the enchantment enforcing that rule was broken, and suddenly a war between humans and Fairies seems to vastly favour the latter.
      • Humans occupy almost every corner of world, to wipe us out they would have to biobomb half the land, even if they didn't care about the planet, this would presumably severly sap their magic powers. If they could refine the biobomb (how do you refine radiation anyway?) they would have used it in the first book. They can't conquer us permantly ala Goa'uld, since we'll eventually reverse engineer the tech, overcome the magic, and then the population difference will come into play, too much of a 'shadow goverment' will vastly increase risks of detection. Possibly, some kind of bioplague would work, but civilisation would crumble, and we could start chucking around the nukes.
      • Plus the fairies are cowards. while their technology and magic might more than a match for todays armies the People simply don't have the stomach for outright war. Butler notes this in the 3rd book.
      • Backing up the last point, they lost a war 10 000 years ago. Possibly from being cowards (Abbot mentioned it in book 5, but that was possibly an exaggeration) and from the demon warlocks, who could interfere with time, being pacifists. (It was mentioned in book 5 that by the time Qwan got over his pacifist nature, they would all have been eaten by demons). The fairies got even more scared from being beaten despite vastly superior tech and chickened out. They demon warlocks disappeared not long after the war (having chickened out temporaily and lifted their island out of time) and can't overcome their nature to help. By the time they came back, we've developed nukes and could chuck them around, so they may be afraid of a Earth blows up everyone dies situation.
        *** On another point, Artemis does acknowledge that if it wasn't for the fact that fairies aren't willing to go to war for real estate (because of their magic? it changed Artemis Senior), we'd be dead and gone.
    • When have we ever actually seen the potential combat application of fairy magic? Fairy magic is implied to be far more powerful than shown in the books, and presumably has a bad case of holding back the Phlebotinium with magic. If the Godzilla Threshold was passed on a fairy-society-wide scale, they could throw down some serious firepower. In the first book, the Sprite Artemis interrogates threatens to "kill him in a snap of her fingers". This is clear hypoerbole on her part, but still relevant as it shows magic can be used offensively. In most of the scenarios involving fairy magic being accessible to the protagonists, the said fairy is low on power, and more often than not blows it in a big healing. The empowered Opal Koboi can use magical stunning bolts sufficient to cut through a horde of animals. The demon warlocks induce a volcano and channel its power, as well as channeling the power of a presumably very high-yield bomb. No1 can summon an illusion of a dozen human soldiers. Summoning energy bolts is a frequently mentioned magical power. Not to mention the potential Heart Is an Awesome Power uses for their shown magic powers and technologies. Mass mesmerization using broadcasting technologies, anyone (not everybody has the Heroic Willpower to stand up to the Mesmer)? Or creative uses of time travel?
      • When have it been impied that fairy magic is more powerful? The Sprite in first book was probably just lying as a last resort to scare him. Opal Koboi was only been able to get her super-charge magic was only because she was taking the fairy-equivalent of magic steriods. And when is it mention that energy bolts is a magical power, as its not use by the LEP or anyone at all. Also there is only ONE island of demons. humans have spread across the ENTIRE GLOBE. Time-Travel is shown as incredibly dangerous, and not always successful, and Mass Mesmerization wont work because you not everyone will be looking at a screen, and given on how a mesmerized person is portrayed in the book, can be easily recognized.
  • In The Opal Deception how did any of the fairies buy the story that a stun weapon that had been given to Holly mere minutes before could blow up Commander Root?
    • They're idiots.
    • Neutrino blasters aren't just stun weapons. They have a stun setting, but can go right up to "slice through metal". And Root's wearing a prototype shimmer-suit, which is of course nuclear-powered.
      • My understanding of the situation was that the Internal Affairs officer Ark Sool already had it in for Holly, and was interpreting the situation in the light he wanted to see it in. He casually brushed aside Foaly's objections to his theory by ignoring the parts that made no sense. It was said earlier that he considered all of the LEP to be hot-headed loose cannons. He was so thrilled to be rid of the two he considered to be the most dangerous that he was willing to invent any wild theory.
  • What gives the Fairies the right to mind-wipe any humans that find out about them? They have no jurisdiction over humans.
  • At the end of The Eternity Code, the fairies are picking through Artemis' memories and those of his human friends in order to find and remove all those related to the fairy world. Wouldn't they therefore have discovered his Memory Gambit?
    • Ah, Fridge Logic. That bothered me too. The best I could come up with was that Foaly knew Artemis had been in the presence of fairies on that particular day, so he just wiped the whole day without looking at it.
    • It seems like I remember Foaly talking about how he should triple-check to make sure nothing else was there before Root shut him up.
    • I thought it was more like "I'll take a look at this as my own personal hobby, when I don't have anything else on the back burner." Since Foaly averages about one new gadget per book (I haven't read The Time Paradox), its possible he didn't get around to it or forgot about it.
    • It was automatic, probably, because I can't see Foaly sieving through three years of memories and deleting every memory of Artemis thinking about fairies.
    • It was mostly automatic process, which was supposed to remove all fairy (including the said Memory Gambit) related memories. Foaly does actually suspect that Fowl might have something up his sleeves and does say they should triple-check everything. Manually. Root shuts him down and tells him to just get over it. So yeah, if they had checked themselves the memories, they would have seen it. As it happened, they didn't and it slipped through the cracks. To explain it otherwise, imagine you want to remove all .txt files from a folder. One of those text files details how your friend plans to restore the data and where he hid them. However, rather than manually check each and every text file(memory), you just press "Delete all .txt files". That file will slip through and you don't find out about his plan.
  • How did Artemis not know Butler's first name before the events of The Eternity Code? Does Butler not get payslips?
    • Most likely, the payroll for all employees of the Fowls is handled by a computer system - if there's someone overseeing it, it's probably an accountant or bookkeeper of some sort, not the family's eldest son. This doesn't mean that Artemis couldn't find the information if he wanted to, but then, Butler is one of a very few people who Artemis genuinely respects. If Butler asked Artemis not to look it up, I think Artemis would probably honor the request. At least as long as there was no way he could profit monetarily from knowing Butler's first name, that is.
    • Maybe the Fowls pay Butler's fees to the agency, who pass it on to him.
    • That and they could just pay him straight up cash. They're aren't exactly a lawful bunch, those Fowls. Plus Butler has a dozen fake identities.
  • What, exactly, was Eoin trying to achieve with the Holly/Artemis relationship in Time Paradox? He gave all the logical reasons why not (except, strangely, the age difference), but they ended the book rather in lust when they started it as just friends.
    • If I remember correctly, the time stream turned them into a pair of horny teenagers, so hormones were definitely in the play. The ending seemed ambiguous.
    • Related: am I the only one sensing an Author's Saving Throw here? Note how Minerva wasn't even mentioned in Time Paradox. And even though I ship Holly/Artemis, I genuinely liked Minerva.
      • Yeah, I'd say the lack of Minerva was Author's Saving Throw, but I hope she gets Rescued from the Scrappy Heap as just a friend next book. Seriously, Arty needs help, and he doesn't even think about asking somebody as smart as he is? I'm still perplexed by what was intended by the A/H, especially since as far as I can tell anti-shippers are going "see, they're wrong for each other, Colfer says so" and shippers are going "It's canon now, b* tches" and very few people have changed their mind one way or the other about the rightness of the pairing.
      • For that matter, Minerva could conceivably be Rescued from the Scrappy Heap as a love interest, given that she's had three years to mature while hanging out with Butler. She could easily have grown into something a little more palatable.
      • Maybe she got mindwiped. Artemis didn't in the first book becaues he won, not in the second book because they had a deal (and he saved fairy civilisation from Koboi) and did get wiped in the third book. He cheats it and saves the fairies again in the fourth book and they decide to leave it. Minerva gave them a lot of trouble and they decided to wipe her.
      • Actually, Word of God says that Minerva has a love interest already, and won't be hooking up with Artemis any time soon.
    • May I just say that the idea of a relationship between a 15-year old boy and a...how old is Holly? 80? year old fairy squicks the hell out of me?
      • This is probably the hundredth time someone's said this, but remember that fairies live longer than humans, so technically, an 80 year old fairy is pretty young. She seems like a twenty-five-year-old to me.
      • In the first chapter of The Atlantis Complex, released as a teaser, we finally get a description of Vinyaya. Apparently she's 400 years old, and "barely" middle aged. Additionally, Holly was employed and clearly legally adult at the point she deaged to in TTP, which was during puberty (apparently equivalent in age to Artemis, therefore 14 or 15), so the fact she's an adult now doesn't even necessitate an equivalent age that's over 18. I had been thinking of her as, like, 20, now I think it's plausible she's the equivalent of 17. For women at least, 17 is past puberty, and the differences between the same woman at 14 and 17 are clear, but not extreme.
    • Doesn't squick me, but I still ship Artemis/Minerva, and occasionally even Artemis/Juliet.
      • It's a very weird situation, since Artemis is younger than Holly but almost mentally older than her - either way it's squicky.
      • Yes, you may. I was very surprised the author chose to take it that way, because of the ages. The species thing doesn't bother me at all, though it does bother some of the characters (Mulch was already on record as saying he doesn't date outside his species, and was squicked about the kiss). I figure it's probably less weird than Tolkien elves, what with Tolkien's elves being monogamous for ever, while presumably a Colfer elf could meet someone else while still young instead of pining themselves to death after the death of a human spouse.
      • Of course, given that Artemis has magic now, it may well be that he's gained a longer lifespan along with it. For example, it's implied that, although his healing may have made Butler physically older, it also infused him with enough life to keep him going long enough to outlive quite a few people.
      • Naw, he lost the magic.
      • Two related things that bug me: First, the author seems to be playing around with the fairies' aging. (This also may affect the Why Don't Fairies have Ancestors All Over the Place discussion at the top of the page) In The Time Paradox, she loses eighteen years (since her mother's death) while going back in time eight years to just before the first book. If the was eighty in the first book, and looked 70 when she returned from the future, why would she need to tell Root that not only did the holocom make her look younger but made her look ten years old? That should have either meant she looked like a toddler, or fairies don't age very quickly after the first decade and that ten years wouldn't matter. Anyway, this royally screws up how weird the HArtemis ship is, since their aging may or may not be affected by the eye/magic switch in the fifth book and all the time travel in the sixth. (Artemis pretty much verifies this, mentioning that with all the healing magic pumped through him in the course of the series, he's probably half fairy by now. Giving more ammo to the shippers.)
      • I'm not sure I follow you. The most precise mention of Holly's de-aging I recall is her thought her face is missing a few decades wear and tear, and she later adds that she's about the equivalent of Artemis's age. The comment about 'looking ten years old on the monitor' (which I took to mean the monitor at her end) is in the context of explaining why the panel says she's in Africa when she's supposedly calling from Hamburg. I have just re-read the scene, and she doesn't say a thing to excuse looking younger, and Root doesn't appear to notice, even though he notices a lot else that's odd about the scene. As far as I recall, they return exactly to their proper physical ages when they return to the present, and I don't see any reason to believe it would effect their rate of aging. The healing might, true, but we don't know that it will.
      • Maybe Eoin just has a thing for Interspecies Shotacon.
      • As well as the age difference, there's also their respective heights. In the first book Holly is described as 1 metre tall, or 3 feet 2 inches. Artemis is described elsewhere as 'slight' but not 'actually a midget', so he's probably at least 2 feet taller than her, or an additional two-thirds of her height. And he's not even fully grown. Logistics squick, if you think too hard about it
      • Holly's within the 'normal' height range for a human with Dwarfism, and they frequently have relationships with average-size people. I believe the world's shortest man is 74cm tall, and had an average-sized girlfriend last I heard.
      • The May-December Romance doesn't squick me, but the interspecies dating would. I mean, there probably isn't much of a premise for it given that the fairies were relocated to the Earth's core a LONG time ago, and very few of them get topside to interact with humans, let alone have actual conversations with them. Isn't it true that Artemis is one of the only people to ever translate the book (he may actually be the first)? I can't even begin to wonder what their kids might look like. Let alone the stigma of something like that going on Holly's reputation.
      • I think you mean Mayfly-December Romance. The code along the bottom of one of the books strongly implies that there is fairy ancestry in the human population, and in the first book we're told implying a fairy has human ancestry is a grievous insult, which together imply that we did interbreed occasionally once (and that hybrids are fertile with both parent populations). All those Changeling myths came from somewhere. Fairies only started hiding their existence rather than just their homes fairly recently, and it's implied Humans and The People got on reasonably well during the days of Frond. Not that I think she would be thought well of either, because she'd be thought of as sleeping with the enemy. As for what the children would look like, probably like short (low human average range, high Elf range) bi-racial people with slightly but not inexplicably pointy ears.
      • What about their ability to wield magic?
      • They'd have it. As Artemis observes, humans have the ability to wield magic, trapped in some long dormant part of the brain. What they lack is a way of accessing it without a jumpstart, as Artemis himself received when he stole magic from the Demon-Fairy-Human Nexus as they traveled through time.
      • Holly could easily be the human equivalent of 18 at 60 and not be much older when she's 80. Healing undoes damage, it doesn't slow growth (because that;s natural and may well be accelerated by magic the same way eating lots does) and would extend a fairy's adult life.
  • Why did Opal go through an elaborate scheme involving time travel to get the lemur? Without the time travel, young Artemis would have sold the Lemur to the extinctionists who would have given it to Opal anyway.
    • ...I had a whole explanation ready to write out here and just realised that it involves Opal starting her own Stable Time Loop by going into the 'future' and becoming Artemis' mother to get the lemur that would be hers by making Artemis go back in time which he wouldn't have done if she hadn't done that in the first place. You're right, it makes no sense!
    • Bear in mind that there is no 'original' timeline to work from here - Artemis's memories of the event are fictions created by his own mind after No. 1 mindwipes him. Presumably, something would have gone wrong - I'm betting on Butler arranging for the lemur's escape after Artemis makes the exchange.
    • From Opal's perspective the Extinctionists had already messed up, and the lemur was out of her hands. She knows that Artemis will go back in time and get the lemur - that's already happened, it can't unhappen - so she makes sure that when he gets the lemur he gives it to her.
      • ...or she didn't realize that her going into the future was what screwed up the "get the lemur from the Extinctionists" plan. She isn't exactly a picture of mental health.
      • She may not want to change her own time line so she went with it and planned for it to end with her getting the lemur anyway.
    • The way i see it, Opal didn't start the time-traveling thing. From her perspective, she had already lost the lemur. She went forward in time in order to get the situation under her control again. I'd explain better, but time is confusing as hell.
    • Simple. Future!Artemis already was changing into a more traditional Hero. Eventually, he would have tried to Set Right What Once Went Wrong and save the lemur he'd killed, and then encountered Miss Koboi. Opal follows him into the future, but stops a little while earlier, realizes she failed, so she "infects" Mrs. Fowl to try and change the past, resulting in a Stable Time Loop.
    • Opal was already going to get the lemur but then Future!Artemis came and messed everything up. So she went into the future two days before the beginning of the story to impersonate Angeline, so that two days later when Artemis comes back with the lemur, she can steal it back. Of course, by impersonating Angeline, she sets off the whole story. So, she is the cause of her own failure.
  • Am I the only person who sees a gigantic plot hole in the fact that Opal from before Artemis got involved with the fairies was taken out of her timeline and left in the 'future'? Unless they catch her and send her back to the exact point she left (and with a mindwipe, at that) in the next book, the entire plot of at least the Opal Deception is royally fucked over.
    • Sequel Hook.
    • Woohoo!
      • Except that she sent herself back at the end of Time Paradox. Which is why she disappeared by the time the retrieval team arrived.
      • She could have teleported to another location. She could bust herself out that way, though. Maybe she can't gather enough magic without her animals or could only summon up enough for one teleport at a time. Or she wants to just avert the thing to save herself a lot of grief ('it cost me a year of wonderful life') and if she gets herself involved it would created a time paradox.
      • I see it more as no matter how Past Opal shows up again in the future (haven't read seven but she could be in the 8th, since she's been in every even numbered book) by the end she will be subdued, mind-wiped and sent back to her proper place in time. After all, the events of book 6 show that N*1's time travel creates a Stable Time Loop. The chase for the lemur is not jarring because everyone who shouldn't know things too soon are conveniently mind-wiped, setting up the events of book 1. And nothing is wrong with her being sent back just seconds after she jumped into the residual time portal because, of course, this is time travel. (And obviously, not having a mention of Past Opal still in the past would weaken the powerful Mind Screw waiting at the penultimate climax). It seems Past Opal won't be sent back by her own power, since 1) she would need to get the equivalent of silky safika lemur brain juice to power her animal doped super magic, and 2) she doesn't have her memories of being in the future and that point of losing the lemur convinces her magic isn't all it's cracked up to be and her plans for conquest switch to using science.
    • I think the Holly/Artemis thing is adorable. It's been the Fan-Preferred Couple since book one. Whatever age differences are made up by Artemis' mental maturity and elf:human year ratios. By this point in the Atlantis Complex, it'd be pretty hard to argue that Artemis/Holly was not completely canon, at least from Artemis' side.
  • Why didn't Artemis consider going after a silky sifaka that wasn't the last one? If they'd traveled back in time before Opal started harvesting lemur brain fluid, for example, they could have picked one up without going against Artemis the younger. They could even have got a breeding pair.
    • I imagine that Artemis saw an opportunity to save two birds with one stone. He was looking to save his mother, yes, that was the most important thing. But Artemis was instrumental in the extinction of a species. In the time between the lemur incident and the present, he has progressively become a better person. And now he's standing on the edge of the abyss, lying to one of his only friends (and, not to make too big a point of it, a woman he has very conflicting feelings towards) and he has a chance to stop himself from allying with the most evil bastards humanity has to offer. He takes it.
    • It was mentioned that they could only go to times and places they experienced. While Holly could do time, possibly neither of them have been to Madagascar in person, so Artemis just decided to take the easy option because he needs to save his mother, dammit.
    • But it was the last silky safaka anyway, not the last male or the last female. If Artemis hadn't sold it to the Extinctionists, it would have died naturally before Angeline needed rescuing anyway. If he had gone back and gotten a breeding pair he could revive the safaka population, which was driven to extinction by hunters, etc. He wasn't an instrumental part at all in my opinion.
      • That always bugged me too, but chalk it up to the whole "no sex in a kid's book" thing. Though there was that highly awkward bit in the fifth book about hormones, but still, not breeding.
      • Except that cloning a female from him was mentioned. Not exactly what they need one for, but a need of a female was mentioned.
  • Why didn't Opal keep samples of silky sifaka DNA, if the lemurs were so important to her plans?
    • Wasn't she forced to give it away so it could be used to cure a plague that was killing the People?
      • She was forced to give away the brain fluid extract. She was just too much of an idiot/lunatic to keep extra samples of "useless" flesh or other sources of genetic material.
    • Because the ban on cloning was a lot more strictly policed then or she didn't know she could enhance her magic that way until her donors died. It was only later that she realised that she could do it, maybe even from her research. She never said she knew at the time and her laments about her dead donors could be that she would have kept them alive for more Spelltropy cures and still had them when she realised.
  • Speaking of the silky sikafa...Does anyone else find it a little ridiculous that everyone, including Artemis, considers sending the lemur to its death to be a despicable and unforgiveable action? He's wracked with guilt, and everyone is gasping and backing away—because he sacrificed a lemur in order to potentially save his father's life. It just doesn't seem to make sense that of all the criminal activities Artemis has ever engaged in—which include kidnapping!—he would latch on to this one, performed out of love for his father, as the most horrible thing he has ever done. Also, since when was his mother an environmental activist?
    • He was ashamed of this one in part because a) he was responsible for ending an entire species, and b) he did it out of *spite*. Remember, he hated the lemur because his mother had just spent some ridiculous sum on it, which he felt should be used in the search for his father, so he transferred some of his frustration/hatred to the lemur. He may have felt, among other things, that this was an uncharacteristic loss of control. Also, perhaps he regrets associating with the extinctionists because they are the other side of criminality - where Artemis is cold, calculating, and profit-making, the extinctionists are just bigots with too much money to spend. Perhaps Artemis disliked that experience because it reminded him what kind of person he had to become similar to.
    • It's pointed out several times that faeries are very environmentally conscious and love animals (most of them are vegetarians), so they'd of course look down on Artemis killing the lemur, especially as the lemur was the last of its species.
      • Vegetarians? Vole curry, anyone?
      • Made by or originally for, not of, perhaps?
      • Mulch is guilt-ridden over killing a rabbit and apologized to a spider he squishes in the first book, but this apparent sympathy with animals seems to have disappeared by The Arctic Incident ("he began to take trophies...a cat if he was peckish.").
      • The vegetarian inconsistencies start within the first book. Mulch apologises to the spider, but likes that the soil around the manor has plenty of insect life, even though spiders are no 'higher' a form of life than insects-in-general, and some of those 'insects' may have been spiders. We're also told that insects are a nutritional requirement for dwarves.
      • Could just be that the apology to the spider was Mulch chiding himself for being too jumpy.
    • I always figured that faeries view eating meat as a necessity, given biological requirements, and do their best to limit the killing of animals to what's necessary for food. Mulch apologized to the spider because he killed it by accident, and felt guilty about killing the rabbit because rather than using it for food or something else necessary, he's just doing it to get away from his captors.
      • As mentioned in the Artic Incident. But in the Atlantis Complex, Holly is calls Mulch disgusting when he suggests real meat. Maybe it ranges from culture to culture, species to species. Pixies may eat endangered animals and dwarves may eat insects, but elves need less protein and their culture is strictly vegetarian.
  • How do fairies see while vibrating too fast for eyes to follow them?
    • Magic.
    • Speaking of which, how does vibrating really fast make them invisible? Light waves would still bounce off of them, they'd just look sort of blurry. Also, they'd get so hot it would probably kill them.
      • Magic. According to one book, they're quite often misidentified as heat haze, so the author does acknowledge at least once they'd be slightly visible. I think the only reason the 'vibrating' explanation is given for invisibility is so in the first book Artemis can discover a way to see them with Human technology.
      • The Hand Wave basically relies on Persistence of Vision, or possibly a Weirdness Censor.
  • Why are the fairies such huge colossal tremendous pricks? Their whole position pretty much boils down to "Humans are ugly and slimy and can't do magic and destroy the environment and are racist and gross!", and nobody decides to pose as a wealthy eccentric who happens to have developed extremely green technologies? There's Fantastic Racism, and then there's a Planet Of Idiot Balls.
    • Considering humans drove fairies off the face of the Earth and proceeded to destroy the planet and blow the shit out of each other, for almost no reason whatsoever, I'd say the vast majority of the bias isn't far off the mark. We're xenophobic, greedy, killing machines—at least a good portion of us are—and considering we forced their entire race of people into underground living I'd say the People have the right to be pissed. As for the "wealthy eccentric who happens to have developed extremely green technologies"...well, if someone three feet tall suddenly appeared in human society and proceeded to build things that shouldn't logically exist for fifty years, you don't think maybe people would get a bit suspicious?
      • Hell, yeah, we're greedy, xenophobic and violent, but from what we actually see of The People's behavior, as opposed to being told, they really aren't all that much better, there are just fewer of them (and we're told outright that this isn't intentional, they just have a much longer breeding cycle), and they primarily draw their 'us vs. them' line around The People rather than a nation or ethnic group, so their xenophobia is aimed near-solely at us. They're also more sexist than most of The West.
      • I also think that a lot of the fairies' perceptions of humans are attributed to gross generalizations. Since it's been hundreds of years since fairies were driven underground, technically it was only our ancestors who deserved that anger. Of course, there's still the fact that we'd wage war on them if we found out about it (though YMMV on that account) and that we're destroying the earth, but once again, gross generalizations, and, as the above troper said, it's not like they're doing much to counteract it, as far as we know.
      • If fairies are supposedly so much better than humans at everything, how the hell could humans drive them underground to begin with, anyway?
      • Because there are a lot more of us. Haven and Atlantis, their largest cities, only have tens of thousands of inhabitants, and one gets the impression that Haven and Atlantis are all there is to The People's civilization these days. (on the other hand, plenty of people seem to think Australia consists of Sydney, Melbourne, and scenery, so just because we get that impression doesn't mean there aren't towns and villages, though underground it would be harder than here.)
    • Maybe that's the point. They sit around on their high horse (well, subterranean horse) and condemn humans for doing whatever, but basically the only moral advantage they have on us is that they pollute less. Which is probably easy enough to do when finite resources have been a concern for millennia instead of decades. But a lot of them are dicks, there seems to be just as much crime and theft underground as there is above-ground, and fairy society has as many hang-ups and foibles as does human society. It's not that they're all dicks, it's that they're all people.
      • They have hypnotism, memory alteration, a tech wizard, and incredibly detailed info on the human world. There is no reason for them not to simply pick the right guy, and hypnotism him into discovering the right technologies, and then manipulate the news / stock market for those technologies to be picked upon. Hell, they should have done this from the very start, instead of sitting around and bitching, especially if they care about nature so much.
      • The reason is obvious: They don't trust humans to use their technology for good. As soon as they give up any of their technology, they can't control what happens with it anymore. They might give the humans the secret to free energy, only for the humans to say "We could make the biggest bomb ever!" Just look at all the grief they went through when Artemis discovered them and their tech.
    • Dwarves are stated as natural kleptomaniacs, goblins are stupid and predisposed to crime and violence, demons make slaughterhouses look like PETA headquarters and I can't remember reading about a single half-competent gnome in the whole eight books. It seem to me like a case of Can't Argue with Elves. Even more, Artemis is in later books considered by Holly a friend and an escentially good person, yet we, the human audience, still consider him morally ambiguous, let that sink in for a minute. Humans ins general still consider thing like peace, harmony and carnig for the environement as positive thing that we should seek, yes there are human groups that like war (like demons do) or crime (like goblins), humans do have less than ideal governement that make questionable choices (like the Council) and figures of authorithy that are pretty amoral (like Ark Sool) and go straigth to violence and firepower to solve any problem, even enlisting others and making them violent too (Like Cudgeon and Abbot), let's not forget the odd Corrupt Corporate Executive willing to go to any lenghts to achieve their goals(Like Opal). Humans do have a lot more criminals and bad people than fairies (mainly because we outnumber them roughly 35000:1) and we do pollute more than them. Then again I don't remember ever seeing Holly take quick showers or separating garbage (although that would be pretty boring). the People are less polluting not because they make a daily conscious effort to protect the Earth, but on account of having supertechnology that is not only cleaner, it is also cheaper, more efficient and more accessible than polluting technology, do they think humans would keep polluting the air with oil based engines if they could get their hands in some of those microscopic nuclear super lasting batteries? It seems to me that fairies simply gathered in the old days because of their small numbers and declared an "Us vs Them" on humans, then simply projected an Always Chaotic Evil image on us.
      • I think this is going a bit far. Demons are implied to still be the same as 10000 years ago we all of the fairies were more violent. Since Abbot to me it was implied time past at a different rate in limbo. Either that or demons were really waiting 100000 years to return and start a war. Gnomes and dwarves we do not know enough about. Goblins as a race are too stupid to be more evolved. The rest seem to be more of the occasional rogue or crazies so trying to use Opal as an example does not work. The choices the Council made were for the survival of the people and were far less questionable. It was mentioned at one point that the fairies technology automatically sorts their trash for them. The fairies are only more willing to use violence because their have stun weapons. In the end, they will use lethal force because they have absolutely no reason to trust humans. Pixies, sprites, centaurs and elves, being perhaps the more developed intellectually or emotional of the races are more against violence.
  • Don't know if this qualifies, but Holly and No 1 enter Taipei 101 with absolutely no repercussions as far as magic-loss is concerned.
    • There's a sign that says 'welcome' or something. (I don't know if the real thing does, but it's mentioned in the book. Which has interesting implications for folk who have doormats.)
      • If there is, it's not near the main entrance. But since Taipei 101 is a building for public use, who holds the privilege of inviting fairies in? The government? Anyone (meaning Artemis himself could just invite them in)?
      • I just re-read the scene, and the book claims it's a small plaque over the main entrance. As for who has authority to give a fairy permission to enter a public building, I don't rightly know. I know in TEC Juliet asked security guards in the various buildings they infiltrated if she could bring her 'invisible friend' into the building to get Holly permission, but they had some actual authority over who entered.
    • Thinking about it, I'm not even sure if they would need an invitation anyway. Doesn't the spell only forbid them from entering actual dwellings, where people dwell?
    • It's all houses, if I remember correct. And they were worried about Taipei 101. But when they tried to enter, with reading "welcome" sign and didn't get any effect, they concluded it was effective. Also, it's not "who has authority". In book 1, Juliet works for Artemis but she can order Holly and Holly must obey(of course she finds a way). So it's not "who has authority". "Welcome" sign is universal and most likely placed by someone with actual authority so it has same effect has person granting entrance.
  • Am I the only one bothered by the fact that Opal's use of the pituitary gland hasn't yet been used for some Foe Yay? I mean, I get the fact that Artemis/Holly shippers would probably rather die than see this, but come on! It'd be perfect! Hell, when I first heard about Minerva in advertisements I was pretty sure one of the plot points was going to be the reveal that she WAS Opal, a little more grown up and human looking. I mean, let's face it... Like Minerva, Opal is pretty and Artemis's intellectual equal... and unlike Minerva, she's got the experience with fairy technology to render her a legitimate threat instead of a hopeless side show.
    • Honestly, I don't think Opal would stoop to such a thing, and post-pituitary Opal hasn't had a plot yet anyway, if she ever does, given the "not again" reaction of fandom to past!Opal being TTP's big bad.
    • True. She's almost becoming Dr. Wily at this point, isn't she? Though it appears Colfer has a pattern: Every even-numbered book gets Opal for a villain, while every odd-numbered book gets an original villain. So that means we'll see it come book 8. And honestly, it's not that I wanted to see anything come of it, it was more irritation that the concept didn't get touched on. I mean, come on. The setup is there. The pituitary gland is practically Chekhov's Body Part and it's not yet been used.
    • Because she might still look like a human 10 year old after only having it for a year?
  • In The Lost Colony, I have trouble with the monkeying around with the timeline near the end. Specifically, when Holly dies. If Artemis truly shot a bullet/something into the past, shouldn't we have already seen it? And therefore, Holly should have never died! If not, it's not consistent with The Time Paradox, in which actions in the translated past affect actions in the present.
    • TLC's 'time travel' was a result of the unstable flow of time in Limbo, which was outside real time, while the time travel in TTP was between two points in real space-time. They sound different enough to be subject to different conditions to me.
  • In fairy society, leather, such as in seating, is fine and dandy, but fur is evil and immoral? Am I missing something here?
    • Fur is viscerally and obviously from an animal, and given the dialogue when Holly and Artemis notice the fur-covered seats in Opal's shuttle in the fourth book, I'd say Colfer just plain forgot. Especially since there is also far more fuss about fur than leather in the real world.
    • Moreover, leather usually comes from the skin of animals that people eat anyway. Fur usually comes from the skin of animals that are hunted exclusively for their fur.
      • That only works for humans being fine with leather: Fairies are primarily vegetarian, and what animals they are mentioned as eating are very small, so they aren't generating big bits of leather as a waste product of their diet. Yet, multiple fairy shuttles we see have leather seating, and Mulch wears leather trousers without comment.
      • We really only ever see Haven, which is underground. The food and other organic products they mention—vole curry, fungus cigars—are appropriate to an underground environment. Atlantis, which is presumably underwater, may eat more fish and other sea critters, which would logically be larger and provide more skin for making into leather. They export it to Haven and other fairy villages.
    • Or it could just be, y'know, synthetic leather. Which is not exactly rare.
  • The biobomb kills anything living. This is perfectly acceptable to the fairies. In Fowl Manor, for example, there were insects, spiders, rats, mice, birds, probably some bats and small reptiles that had to be running around. It was an old place, this kind of thing happens. But the fairies killed what were probably hundreds of different organisms in a (failed!) attempt to keep their secret. Humans may be bastards, but fairies are dicks.
    • Holly's loss was also acceptable to everybody except her direct superior, and she's one of them. The Masquerade is more important to them than any individual life.
      • I'm more willing to take Holly dying as an acceptable moral compromise. She's an LEP officer, she understands the risks and requirements of protecting the People. She wasn't on duty at the time, but it's still part of her job to put her life on the line, and she seems to accept that. But it's hypocritical to claim that everything humans do is evil while they're killing hundreds (if not thousands, if insects count) of critters. And while you could just say, "Well, yes, elves are hypocrites, it's been pointed out elsewhere on this very page, and probably by you," the fact that no one calls them on it is just a bit questionable.
      • 'cause killing a house full of vermin is the same as being responsible for greatest mass extinction since late Cretaceous.
      • There is a paragraph in the book where at least Holly doesn't really like the idea of killing everything, but it has to be done to protect the People. And it is their last resort; by that point everyone was convinced that there was no other way to stop Artemis.
    • What bugs me is that it says the bio-bomb kills anything living, but it really only affects animals. The plants survive. If it works the way they say it does, then at the end of book 1 Fowl Manor should have been a bare patch of ground with a few buildings on it.
      • actually in book 1, it said that the flowers inside the Manor wilted. Also since the fairies can control their bio-bomb blast radius, so perfectly that they concluded only the building.
  • The fairies claim that radiation is more harmful to them than it is to us because they never had a chance to build up a tolerance to it. We've had nuclear bombs and power plants for between two and four generations. We've (knowingly) had radioactive material for something like a century. How the fuck can we have "built up a tolerance" to it? Moreover, they've had nuclear power for centuries, and there are still fairies alive—most adults, one would assume, since the eighty-year-old Holly is considered to be fairly young—that were born well before nuclear power was a thing on the surface. So is it just sitting around breathing the background radiation that turns us into supermen?
    • That's what I figured. They shield their neutrino blasters, but we just let the sun irradiate us and our homes like a big, safe, electric space heater.
    • I figured that they'd be getting a lot less cosmic radiation and also a lot less radiation from the sun. This would also explain why they are weaker in sunlight, seeing as they live underground and are basically shield from anything outside of nutrinos which come from space.
    • The amount of radiation a human being receives from things like cell phone use, microwave use, radio broadcasting and medical tests over a lifetime is less than a thousandth of what we get from the sun, and the amount we get from nuclear power plants is somewhere between zero and immeasurably small. The radiation we get from the sun, not to mention underground radon reserves, is what they're talking about.
    • That's true and was initially what I assumed, but other than radon gas in the air the largest source of background radiation is rocks in the ground and buildings. Surely living underground would compensate for the lack of cosmic radiation?
      • In which case they didn't fail to develop such a resistance, but lost it over the years, since they used to live on the surface.
  • In Time Paradox, why don't Opal, the pixie twins, and Holly suffer 'trespasser sickness' when they're inside Fowl Manor in the past?
    • As I recall, the narration mentioned that Opal used her super-charged magic to suppress the sickness. As for Holly, well, it's still Artemis' home, so the older Artemis may have given her an implied invitation by bringing her through the tunnel with him. No idea about the Brills, though.
      • Yeah, just checked and the sickness doesn't affect Opal because she's so full of magic she can fight it off with little effect. Pixie twins still remain unexplained.
      • It's possible Opal somehow shields them, or maybe the twins have already lost their magic. They are crooks after all.
      • Unlikely, Opal doesn't care much for the hired help.
      • Wait, but didn't N01 removed the 'trespasser sickness' spell in between The Lost Colony and The Time Paradox?
      • He did, but it should still apply to Fowl Manor when Holly and Artemis are in the past.
    • For Holly, doesn't it say it no longer affects fairies because it was ruled unnecessary? Perhaps that simply stuck when she went back in time, as part of her own 'personal timeline'. Alternatively, perhaps having no. 1's magic helped, since it's different than normal magic.
  • In The Time Paradox, why does Artemis not have any form of recall occur during the book? Toward the end, Artemis (from 8-years in the past) is mind wiped, and sent back to his time. When Artemis (the older version) goes back in time, he should have began having partial or total recall of his wiped memories as the story progresses. He shouldn't have needed to guess that Opal was behind the plot, he should have known.
    • Because that wipe was by No 1, who, we're told, is not far off functionally omnipotent. Even after re-experiencing all the events of TTP older!Artemis doesn't remember his part as a 10-year-old.
  • If the People all live underground(and presumably have lived there for countless generations)why do they have a tendency for darker skins? Aren't they supposed to be really, really pale? I don't know a whole lot about biology, so can someone please explain this to me?
    • How dark your skin is is not just a question of tanning, it's also how much melanin you have naturally occurring in your skin. How many black people do you know who turned white after moving to England? And it also says that sprites and goblins are green.
      • And before anyone argues with the above troper that it happened to humans (over many generations), Faeries can only reproduce once every eighty years and Holly is only a couple of generations removed from Cupid, so they haven't had time for natural selection to make much difference for things that only matter a tiny bit).
    • The naturally selective disadvantage of dark skin for humans in climes that aren't sunny is vitamin D absorption — harsh sun doesn't cause dark skin on a genetic/racial level, it's just a selective pressure for it. Since The People have been an industrial society for longer than humanity has existed, were nocturnal to begin with, and I don't think you get much vitamin D from artificial lights, vitamin D has probably not been a significant selective pressure. Conversely, one possible selective advantage of darker skin is camouflage. However, it's only elves we're specifically told are brown-skinned: sprites and goblins are green, all the pixies described are pale, and there's been no description I recall of centaur or dwarf skin tone, unless they're mentioned in TAC, which I haven't been able to get a hold of yet.
      • Not entirely true. Methylated portions of DNA can activate or inactivate genes within a single generation, which can then be passed down to offspring. Lamarck wasn't entirely wrong.
  • Why does Artemis' characterization seem to be heading more and more toward Flanderization with each passing book? For this troper (and other readers), Artemis' sudden onset of puberty in The Lost Colony where he's noticing how hot some women are came off a failed attempt at humour, and The Time Paradox read more like well-written fanfiction than a book in the series — Character Development shifting into Flanderization. My first thought upon reading the summary for The Atlantis Complex was that Artemis being afflicted by an Atlantis Complex felt more like an Author's Saving Throw and a cop-out than anything else, but I'll reserve judgement until actually reading the book.
    • It actually is important to the plot, but sometimes it feels like there was no real reason for it.
  • Artemis is a known computer genius. So when Butler opens up Artemis's laptop and double-clicks a video, the default video player is...Quicktime?!
    • Speaking from admitted ignorance of Quicktime's flaws: He made it work right.
  • In The Time Paradox, Artemis must rescue a rare lemur (last of its species) from his younger self. The lemur was the last because the rest of its rare species was eradicated in an accident when Opal Koboi attempted to gather them. The Fridge Logic moment comes when you wonder why Artemis chooses to time-travel back to save the last lemur from himself, which pits him against his only known intellectual match and one of the most dangerous bodyguards in the world, rather than time-travel a bit further to save the other lemurs from the jungle fire, where he will be unopposed and be able to save many more specimen.
    • This was discussed above. He was holding the It's Personal Ball.
    • That, and they couldn't go back in time to something neither of them experienced.
  • Accepting that fairies can erase memories and that the human mind will fill in the blanks itself, surely it is unlikely to the point of practical impossibility that Artemis, Butler and Juliet would all have matching replacement memories, right? What did Foaly think would happens when Artemis mentions an event to Butler, and they both have totally different memories of what happened that day?
    • They also adjust memories as new events crop up. People have not noticed words on their computer screen changing right in front of their eyes because they were changed during saccades.
  • Why are all the readers sympathetic towards Turnball Root? I can understand the characters being sympathetic—they don't know what the reader knows—but how is the audience? He used mind control to force an innocent woman to live with him for the rest of her life, depriving her of her base freedom, her chance at a happy life (happiness through magic doesn't count), and any sapient company besides his own and his lackeys. That isn't love! That's a Stalker with a Crush that actually got the girl! That's Domestic Abuse! It's controlling behavior of the highest degree! That doesn't make him sympathetic, it makes him a monster! (The things he does to all those people, Vishby, the prisoners, Artemis, Holly, Vinyaya... none of it helps his case.) This troper didn't have one iota of sympathy for him and actually relished his death at the end, and she could count all the characters that have inspired those feelings in her on one hand. She doesn't understand why that isn't how everyone else feels.
    • It's probably the fact that he was crazy. And a lot of people can sympathize with genially crazy people, especially when we can see inside their heads. But he was a complete bastard, of course, so this troper doesn't have an ounce of sympathy for him too.
    • On top of that, it is possible to feel sorry for a character without liking them or approving of their actions. I, personally, have sympathy for him without actually sympathizing with him, if that makes any sense. Plus, I imagine that many readers either conciously or unconciously compare him to Opal, the closest thing the series has to an overarching Big Bad. Anyone would seem sympathetic compared to her.
  • Why can't Colfer make up his mind about how magic revocation works? In Arctic Incident, magic revoked Mulch uses the "gift of tongues" to sic the guard dogs on a human guard during a botched heist. Fine, maybe GOT is magic creature trait independent of magic. But then, in Atlantis Complex, the mercenary dwarf can't use GOT BECAUSE HE'S MAGIC REVOKED and had to teach himself rudimentary English. Even Mulch later makes an offhand comment about his "efforts to use Humanese." This is quite a Retcon.
    • Mulch still had the tiny spark of magic unnecessary to speak in tongues. TLC stated this when he spoke in French to Beau Paradizo. He may have spent most of it as time went by, but learned "Humanese" for survival as an exile. Most criminals without magic seem to; the dwarf Butler went up against in TAC understood some words, and Turnball didn't have a problem talking to Lenor.
    • And can he figure out how faeries age? Holly's, what, in her eighties, and yet people still sometimes say that 1000 is really young, but 2000 is the oldest faerie, but Mulch was alive to see the Temple of Artemis, but some characters refer to the first hundred years as being a baby/toddler... gah!
    • It was Artemis saying that 1000 years old is really young before he got the Book and the sprite could be bluffing/really drunk and he got the ages believable within the same species. Opal is the only pixie with a known age, Number 1 is 14 and Qwan is only 10 000 because he was a rock for most of it. Holly is 80 and a legal adult while Vinyaya is 400 and nearly middle aged (they're different species, they don't grow and age in the same ratios and might spend 20 years as a child, 50 years as a teenager and 1500 years as an adult)
  • In Arctic incident, Opal disables the LEP blasters because when she was upgrading them she installed a dot of "Sodder" that was actually a chemical mix that explodes when hit by a ceratin frequency, understandable, but if that's the case why did the blasters fix themselves when the group shut off the broadcast? Shouldn't have exploded, damaged the blasters, and that's that?
    • Err, they didn't. The ones disabled by the solder beads are the Neutrino Sidearms. The Police Plaza DNA cannons were disabled by, essentially, Hacking into Foaly's System and turning them off. When the group shut down the broadcast, all they essentially did was give the on switch back to Foaly, so it worked out fine. Besides, Part of Opal's master plan involved the immediate reactivation of the Cannons once certain conditions are met, so it kinda makes sense that they'd, you know, make sure they can be reactivated.
  • Why didn't Foaly just take the clone's fingerprints as confirmation? Maybe the Retimager isn't considered proper evidence in court, but surely fingerprints are! For that matter, if Opal is such a genius, why did she bother with the clone scheme? Anybody as smart as her would realize the fingerprint problem!
    • It's possible that fairy clones don't have the fingerprint problem. After all, they're made differently. Clones made by humans have to be implanted in a womb, be born, and grow up like all humans do. Fairy clones can be grown in a greenhouse in only two years. Maybe fairies can also make a more exact copy of someone.
      • The fingerprints would have just said "Opal Koboi." Foaly needed to prove that Opal had replaced herself with a clone and so used the Retimager to look at the clone's corneas.
      • What I believe the first troper means is that it in fact wouldn't have said "Opal Koboi" fingerprints are affected, but not completely defined by genetic code (that's why identical twins don't have identical fingerprints). Therefore, the clone would have different fingerprints than the original, proving thus that the real Opal had escaped.
    • Given all the other science problems in the series, I think we can say for sure that Colfer has no idea how real clones work.
  • Why didn't Holly bother to even attempt to save Root in the Time Paradox? I mean, she's talking to him in the past and she and Artemis are already changing the future by communicating with Mulch, so why not just give the commander a little heads up. "Hey, this'll sound crazy but if you're ever in a situation where there are goblins setting up battery smuggling in an abandoned hanger, don't go in alone because it might just be a trap set by a crazy pixie." I mean really? Nothing? Just Too Cool to Live, eh?
    • The timeline would conceivably hold provided they warned Mulch not to mention any of this ever again. They can't make a major change to the timeline like that. Foaly even mentions this when venting his objections to Artemis' plan - "maybe Holly should save Julius Root from ever being killed?"
    • Concerning Mulch; Artemis and Holly can't read minds. For all they know, Mulch has been keeping this secret from them for all these years. Admittedly, he'd have had to be very good to do so, but it's conceivable, and can hold up with Artemis' beliefs about time travel (that the past has already been changed). They do know for sure that Root is dead, so saving him definitely would be meddling.
    • And don't forget, Koboi scrubbed Mulch's mind of all memories of the past three days near the end of the book.
  • Here's one that goes all the way back to the first book: Why don't the fairies know that you can escape a time-stop by being asleep? Here's my reasoning: San D'Klass had his wizards stop time in order to deliver gifts to the humans. While people were sleeping. Therefore the fairies should have noticed that they were delivering presents to empty houses and figured out that sleeping people could skip the time-stop. Unless Foaly's upgrades to time-stop technology changed something?
    • It's explained that you escape the time stop by changing your state of consciousness. So if you are asleep when the time stop begins it's impossible to wake up. Likewise if you are awake it's impossible to go to sleep. Artemis tried something unexpected and tranquilized himself, which the fairies could never have predicted.
  • In the first book, Artemis, Butler, and Juliet drink champagne mixed with sleeping pills, which you'd think a "genius" like Arty would realize is a big medical no-no. I mean, just take a look at Heath Ledger.
    • It wasn't neccesarily real champagne. Artemis took charge of the bottle, after all, who's to say he didn't change the contents earlier? Saying "Let's celebrate with water!" would have been a bit obvious, and Butler and Juliet didn't really have time to react after drinking it.
  • In Book 3, Artemis claimed he couldn't make a fingerprint copy with his perfect memory gel. Why couldn't he make the inverse copy, and then press gel against that copy to reverse the inverse copy? It would create a fingerprint identical to the original.
    • An inverse copy of an inverse copy wouldn't be accurate enough, I suppose.
      • Or memory gel can't copy other memory gel and just sticks to it instead
      • Why not just get a thin piece of memory gel and then flip it over?
      • Because it would be a flat. The gel scanner needed ridges. Even if you thin it out, the reverse side would still be flat.
    • I was always bugged by why it was reversed to begin with. Shouldn't the gel's pattern have matched Spiro's thumb ridge-for-ridge?
      • There were ridges where there should have been valleys and valleys where there should have been ridges. It was the wrong way around. If you need a visual example, get some clay or Play-Doh or something and press a coin into it. See how the imprint is basically a mirror image of the coin? It's the same basic concept.
    • They're using the flip side, and despite their genius, can't think why they can use the right side.
      • Spiro's thumb has the print right way around. Side A of the memory gel, which they press against his thumb, has his thumbprint in reverse. Side B of the memory gel is either smooth, or has a smudged skin pattern from whichever person took the thumbprint. What "flip side" and "right side" are you talking about?
      • Thankyou! That was bothering me, but I couldn't figure out how to word it.
      • But the whole point of memory latex is that it makes a perfect copy on the outside of the bandage, so that they can be hidden and (presumably) allow the wearer to operate fingerprint sensitive stuff without removing a bandage. Put it on, the bandage reads the thumb print and reshapes the other side to be the same as the thumb. So side B would look exactly like Spiro's thumb!
      • Where did you get that information? I'm fairly certain that they never said that in the book.
      • Alternatively, it would have just collapsed when pressed to the thumb reader. Artemis' plan was never to use the memory gel, it was to use Spiro's thumb. It's just that his plan was also to trick the fairies into helping him, because he knew they would never go along with it.
  • In The Lost Colony, Abbot uses the mesmer on the council, and later Basset. Colfer acknowledges the second time that this is against fairy law - so how come he is not penalised for it?
    • He was a demon? Or he was if you think that getting put in a rodent is punishment.
      • Abbot is using stolen magic to begin with. Presumably, that's a loophole in the rules. Most instances of punishment due to magical law-breaking involve the law-breaker's magic acting up, which wouldn't affect Abbot if it's not his own magic.
      • The demon island was separated from Earth and sent into an alternate dimension before the laws of magic were magically enforced. Also, I don't recall Opal losing her magic just because she mesmerized other fairies, so the fairy law in question would be the legal type. If he's the supreme ruler dominating the rest of the ruling body, there is no one to punish him, and if they didn't have that rule anyways (due to him being the only one with magic), then that law applies to him as much as murder laws in the United States apply in Iran, for example. Oh, and as the second poster said, he was imprisoned in a rodent's body and humiliated for the rest of his natural life. I think that counts as punishment for a demon who was very proud of his physical prowess and highly egocentric.
    • I don't think it is a legal system, I thought it was a natural reaction. The punishments shown for breaking the rules elsewhere in the series range from nausea to losing one's magic entirely (see Mulch), and there is no mention of that being instigated by a legal body, or that it's some kind of symbolic karmic force, but instead it is portrayed as an automatic, generic consequence. The stolen magic loophole seems to cover it, but the question still applies to Opal. Still, entries above have already noted that Colfer isn't particularly consistent.
  • So, in Colony, two demons ask No1 if he's going to warp today or are pink flowers going to grow out of one of their armpits. Yet, later in that same book, when No1 is being interrogated by Minerva, he claims that demons never use the word "pink". So, which is true?
    • Well, he No1 did lose a couple gigabytes of his memory when he came to Earth. Maybe he forgot about all the times other demons said the word "pink".
  • Why didn't they just kill the future Opal BEFORE she became all powerful? Are they just unwilling to kill? Even a dangerous psychopath who will definitely kill if she gets free?
    • Why is it strange that they don't have capital punishment? That's nothing remarkable; there are dangerous psychopaths in human jails who are being kept alive, it's not surprising the fairies do the same. Besides, they had her locked up securely. Remember, she was getting more psychotic as time went on; you can't blame them for not predicting that she would murder her younger self, and she wouldn't have escaped if she hadn't. By the time they realised that, yes, she really was that insane, it was too late.
      • I was talking about right before they put her in the reactor, when they DID know what she was planning. Why let the psychopath live when her options are death or godhood? And if there was nobody to threaten her henchman then they might have backed down and the paradox destruction could have been avoided as well!
  • So how exactly did Holly cure Angeline Fowl in the first book? The entire plot is based on the fact that she was gone because of the sleeping pills, yet apparently Holly used her magic to get rid of her condition.
    • It explains in the third book that she imbued Fowl Manor with magic which would then naturally target anyone in the vicinity for the next few days.
  • In the first book, why does Cudgeon not escape the time stop when Root tranquilizes him with the finger dart? Surely he should have escaped the time stop the same way the Fowls and Butlers did.
  • Exactly how is LE Precon a reconnaissance organization? They sound like an ordinary police force to me. Is the "recon" connection just to make a joke work?
    • They are a reconnaissance branch of the LEP, but we don't see too much of them. The main member we do see is Holly, who tends to go too far with the duty.

Anita BlakeHeadscratchers/LiteratureAt the Mountains of Madness

random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
91875
1