The Weird Sisters Riata, Cait, and Smertae have always been guiding and protecting Scotland unseen, indirectly controlling the line of kings according to the old religion. When there is a disagreement between the weird sisters, Riata and Smertae will use men as pawns, and Smertae will direct Macbeth to a crown he was never meant to have.
This re-telling of Macbeth from the witches' point of view is brought to life by Mairghread Scott (The Transformers: Windblade, Lantern City), and illustrated by talented duo Kelly & Nichole Matthews. Toil and Trouble brings a new and inventive take on the tragedy we all know and love.
This work provides examples of:
- Adaptation Species Change: In the original play, The Weird Sisters are a group of witches that prophesies Macbeth's ascension to the throne, superficially resembling the multicultural concept of the Goddesses of Fate in Norse, Celtic and Classical Mythology. Here, they are those goddess of fate, or at least for Scotland. They still refer to themselves as "the Witches of Alba Endure", though.
- Appearance Is in the Eye of the Beholder: When Macbeth and Banquo come across the Weird Sisters at the Circle of Standing Stones, they view them as Animalistic Abominations.
- Calling the Old Man Out: Smertae calls out Raita's Bad Boss tendencies and pettiness towards her for it is, calling back to her making Smertae kill a man for his wife disrespecting her, banishing Smertae for disagreeing with her over a king's candidacy and siding with Norwegian invaders to spite Smertae's decisions.
- Deity of Human Origin: Each of the Weird Sisters were human at one point, having been ascended into agents of destiny for giving their lives for the nation.
- Humans Are Bastards: Raiti likens people to wolves, having an ambitious nature that will make them kill others to get ahead (though it does not help that her favorite trick is corrupting embittered humans).
- Invisible to Normals: The Weird Sisters can walk among humans without being seen by them.
- Jerkass Gods: Raiti seems to have let leadership of her sisters go to her head, feeling that her authority over them make her immune to their criticisms (having banished Cait for nine years over a disagreement) and causing suffering to the people she is meant to watch over.
- When she "tests" a woman's honor through Sacred Hospitality, she felt snubbed when the woman gave her scraps and then thanked herself for her charity. In response, she has Smertae kill her husband at sea via a storm.
- Land, Sea, Sky: Cait, Smertae and Raita seem to embody these three aspects of the world respectively.
- Lord of the Ocean: Smertae is portrayed as being associated with the sea, possessing crab-like characteristics and a white crab as her familiar.
- Plant Person: Cait is first introduced having taken on the form of a tree. Her true, humanoid form still possesses branches in her hair resembling antlers.
- Wizards Duel: Ater Raiti curses Smertae with a rotting body and tries instigating Lady Macbeth to murder the king, Smertae initiated a duel between them when Cait still refuses to pick a side.