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Headscratchers: Spice and Wolf

  • So, Okay, Holo claims to "dwell within the wheat" and says she'll disappear if it's destroyed. What does that MEAN exactly? Is that saying she'd die or something? Is her whole race like that, somehow just projecting from some sort of plant? Or is this some new development that happened to her after settling in Pasloe? It's so vague on what any of that means so far.
  • Near the end of the first season, and Lawrence encounter a pack of wild wolves led by a wolf god like Holo. However, she later learns that her home may indeed be gone. Why does no one remember the wolf god they met before?
    • If her family/tribe and home are gone, she's "all alone" for good. There may be other gods, but she doesn't care about them. And Lawrence won't be around very long by her standards, plus they're not sure about their feelings for each other anyway.
  • Why is Horo naked in most fan art of her?
  • In episode 10 when Lawrence is running around trying to find a merchant who would lend him money, all of them turn him down (many of them in horrifically insulting ways). It is only later that he has it spelled out for him that it is only because Holo is tagging along with him that he kept getting rejected. Why is having a woman outside waiting for you some sort of unforgivable offense?
    • Holo is at the time dressed in fashionable city clothing, giving an impression of an unmarried young woman with a flighty attitude. Every fellow merchant assumes that Lawrence wasted his money trying to impress a girl in some macho display and is still making a fool of himself for her sake. Also, Deliberate Values Dissonance: taking a woman to business negotiations shows unprofessional attitude in the pseudo-Medieval culture of the story. The books make it much more clear how ridiculous it is for a traveling merchant to have a companion. It really doesn't happen, so seeing Holo inspires a lot of suspicion in people.
  • Holo is vaguely mournful that her villagers came to consider her an oppressive thief for occasionally allowing bad harvests, but why did she never just explain she had to let the farmland rest for a while? Or better yet, why not warn them that the soil was getting exhausted and that they should set aside extra stores for the following year? A little heads up would've gone a long way to preserving her reputation. She appears to Lawrence easily enough on harvest night, why not to other villagers in past years? It doesn't seem very smart of Holo the Wise Wolf.
    • The villagers saw Holo as a deity. Even if she explained her actions, there's no guarantee that the villagers believed her explanations. Far easier for them to believe that their capricious "god" is just making up excuses as to why she isn't aiding them at a particular moment in time then to accept that they have to bear with some minor misfortune to pay for their otherwise great abundance.
    • More puzzling is the fact that, despite that periodic bad harvests (which is not, within the anime at least, stated to be outright crop failure - it could be as mild as "the harvest is half the size it usually is, but no one's going hungry") are a known quantity, the villagers apparently never took to making sure that there'd be enough stored so that they wouldn't have to worry about it. To this troper, it suggests that the villagers were so greedy that they were selling all the excess they could each year and not leaving anything in reserve, depending on Holo to give them a crop of equal size the next year in order to make it through the winter reliably.
  • When Lawrence sells pepper, Horo uncovers the fact that the local merchant has a noticeably tilted table (on which he does the weighting). Both sides are pretending that it's a pretty grave offense and that it's basically amounts to cheating. Except that the local merchant uses center beam balance scales, which (as long as they are properly calibrated to 0 prior to weighting) are not affected by a tilted base.
    • The anime clarifies this (if memory serves) by having Holo ask if the tilted table would affect how the scales balanced; Lawrence confirms that they shouldn't, and Holo states that the scales seemed to be tilting with the table - implying that the scales the merchant is using are weighted to favour him rather than to reflect the true measure (which is a pretty grave offence) and the way that the table is tilted is just to keep people from noticing this. Lawrence follows up on the insinuation by asking to judge the scales' trustworthiness with his own weights. She also insinuates that the merchant is trying to get them drunk by giving them wine when they'd asked for water. (For context: the water in the medieval era was rarely trustworthy and it would often be made safe to drink by adding alcohol - such as wine. Thus, Lawrence would probably not see anything unusual in the water tasting like wine's been added to it, but Holo is insinuating that there isn't any water in the cups at all.)