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Film / Seventh Son (2015)

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Seventh Son is a 2015 action-fantasy film directed by Sergei Bodrov and starring Jeff Bridges, Julianne Moore, and Ben Barnes. It is loosely based on the young adult fantasy novel series The Wardstone Chronicles. It follows the "spook" Master Gregory, a knight who hunts dark magic users and evil creatures, and his new apprentice Tom (the titular seventh son) as they battle a powerful witch queen, Mother Malkin.

It has no relation to the trilogy of science fiction novels with the same title, or the first novel of the The Tales of Alvin Maker series.


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Provides Examples Of:

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Mother Malkin in the original book series looks absolutely hideous and is a major case of Wicked Witch. Here? She is played by Julianne Moore.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
    • While still a villain, Bony Lizzie was an Abusive Parent to Alice in the book series, and cared very little about her aside from using her as an apprentice (to illustrate, the first book had her willingly injure her to extract her blood and provide it to Mother Malkin). In the movie, she is a Mama Bear who is ready to fight Malkin when she attempts to kill Alice.
    • In the book, Tusk was Mother Malkin's deformed son and The Brute to Bony Lizzie. In the movie, he works for Gregory and pretty much assumes the Battle Butler of the Boggart from the book.
    • Tom's mother to an extend. In the film she's reluctant to see her son leaving to become a Spook, while in the book, she's the one who forced him to be one and gets angry when Tom announces he doesn't want to continue the apprenticeship. Her backstory is also more sympathetic. In the book, she was the mother of all Lamias who preyed on children before turning good, while in the film she was just a good witch.
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  • Adaptational Jerkass: John Gregory is more anti heroic in the film where he's an alcoholic, more unpleasant, violent and abusive toward Tom. He also tries to kill Alice without proof that she had bad intentions.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In the book, Alice does start out on the side of evil and walk on a line between the two sides over the course of the series, but it's made clear very soon she is not happy with her condition and she is fairly fast to join Tom, even implying she was in fact planning to leave of her own even before meeting him. In the movie, she completely willingly serves as a mole for her mother and Malkin, and while her feelings for Tom are genuine she still betrays him and only switches sides after her mother apparently left Tom to die.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Tom's mother. In the book, she is both a Guile Hero capable of playing manipulations on equal ground with the Devil himself and the original Lamia, making her a borderline Physical Goddess who ends up dying in a Heroic Sacrifice to defeat an equally powerful Eldritch Abomination. In the movie, she is defeated and killed with relative ease by Mother Malkin, who was a Starter Villain in the book series.
  • Age Lift: Both Tom and Alice are much older than in the books.
  • Bad Moon Rising: A "Blood Moon" that comes once every century re-energizes Mother Malkin, allowing her to escape her imprisonment. She and her dark lieutenants plan an all-out assault for when the Blood Moon is full and they are at their greatest strength.
  • The Baroness: Mother Malkin. She wears a ton of eyeliner, dresses in a provocative and flamboyant black dress, has a fondness for wrapping victims up with her tail, and is very, very evil.
  • Because Destiny Says So: The justification Tom gives for becoming Master Gregory's apprentice, and later for re-joining him after a bit of a falling out. He has occasional visions of the future that inform him as much.
  • Canon Foreigner: Tom's little sister, John's deceased wife and Malkin's servants don't exist in the book.
  • The Chosen Many: Played with. As revealed in the trailer, there used to be a large fellowship of seventh sons battling evil, but they all died or were converted to the darkness - so now Master Gregory is the only one left.
  • The Chosen One: The main character, Tom Ward. He's the seventh son of a seventh son, destined to battle the forces of evil, and has visions of the future. He's also half-witch, making him even more powerful and unique.
  • Composite Character:
    • This version of Mother Malkin shares the name and villainy of her book counterpart (though not much else otherwise), but mixes it with elements of Meg, Gregory's witch lover from the Book.
    • Similarly, Tusk only shares his book counterpart's name and deformed appearance, while the rest his characterizations take more from Kratch, Gregory's Battle Butler Boggart from the book.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Master Gregory is very specific that Spooks TEND the creatures of darkness, not automatically KILL them. Some, like witches, are too dangerous to be allowed to live; others, like ghasts, are harmless. He even has a troll-like creature named Tusk as a servant and friend.
  • Death by Adaptation: Lizzie and Tom's mother both survive the first book but here they're killed by Malkin.
  • Demonic Possession: Actually possession by a witch - Mother Malkin reveals her return to Master Gregory by possessing a little girl, knowing he'll be called in to exorcise her.
  • Descriptively-Named Species: During training, Tom asks Master Gregory what the difference is between two types of monsters. Gregory points out that their names describe exactly what they do, and so it should be obvious.
  • Drunken Master: Master Gregory is VERY fond of his alcohol, which he says is to kill "cowardice." At one point he beats up a man in a bar fight using his mug of liquor as a weapon - without spilling any of his drink.
  • Dual Wielding: Virahadra does this, and switches to quad wielding when he really cuts loose.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Mother Malkin's sister Bony Lizzie turns on her to protect her daughter Alice.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Mother Malkin, in her backstory. She used to be a good witch in love with Master Gregory, but when he married someone else, she gave herself over to dark magic and murdered his wife.
  • Good Is Not Nice: John Gregory may be a good guy, but he is more of an abusive Jerkass towards Tom.
  • Great Offscreen War: Master Gregory informs Tom that the last time there was a Blood Moon, the witches waged a war on humanity that the world is still recovering from.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Alice is the daughter of a witch mother and human father. It turns out that Tom is, too.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Alice, the daughter of the witch queen Mother Malkin's sister, falls in love with Tom and eventually helps him. However, she was never particularly evil to begin with and distrusted Malkin from the beginning.
  • Informed Ability: Strix the Warlock never uses magic or anything which could qualify him as a warlock on-screen.
  • It Sucks to Be the Chosen One: Early on in Tom's travels with Master Gregory, he reacts to his teacher's drunkenness and abrasive personality by claiming he wishes he were a sixth son instead. It gets worse later on, as he finds himself struggling not only in combat training but also with the idea of burning witches alive.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: Mother Malkin used to be good, but went crazy and gave herself to the darkness when Master Gregory married another woman instead of her. She killed Gregory's wife and became the queen of the witches.
  • Magical Seventh Son: As should be obvious by the title, this is the main character. It turns out he's also the son of a witch, making him a super-special hybrid that's never existed before.
  • Mama Bear: Twice. Tom's mother reveals that she's a witch in order to fight the evil witches who are attacking her hometown and her daughter. Then Alice's mother Bony Lizzie attacks her queen Malkin when she tries to kill Alice for being a traitor. Both of them die for their troubles.
  • Mythology Gag: Malkin offers Alice some blood cakes. Those cakes played a major role in the book. Top was tricked into giving them to Malkin to release her.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Tom is the titular seventh son, of course, but we never see those six brothers which he must have to qualify as this.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: It seems that the most powerful Witches have Draconic alternate forms. Mother Malkin can become a wyvern-like creature with a disturbingly human face, Bony Lizzie can change into a creature that seems to combine the traits of a golden dragon and a reptilian hawk, and Radu the Assassin can morph into a horrifying draconic beast with four arms and giant axe blades coming out of his wrists. Even Strix the Warlock has a forked tongue and reptilian agility.
  • Promoted to Love Interest:
    • Mother Malkin to John Gregory who used to be his lover before she was evil.
    • Downplayed between Tom and Alice who are Implied Love Interest in the books but are lovers in the film.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The queen of the evil witches, Mother Malkin. The opening scene shows Master Gregory sealing her away in a pit, then flashes forward to her escape after the arrival of a Blood Moon re-empowers her.
  • Sliding Scale of Adaptation Modification: Type 2. The movie borrows plot points from multiple books throughout the series and melds them into its own essentially original story, with some major changes to existing characters as well.
  • Spared by the Adaptation:
    • In the book, Gregory kills Tusk but here Tusk is still alive by the end.
    • In the Book, Gregory dies in a battle before Tom completes his training, unlike the movie where he just leaves Chippenden for a personal quest.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Tom develops a romantic interest in a half-witch who works as a spy for the evil queen witch. It turns out he's actually a half-witch too, and they both survive, but decide they cannot be together because of Tom's destiny. It's strongly implied they'll meet again, though.
  • Supernaturally Young Parent: Bony Lizzie looks to be about the same age as her daughter Alice (the actresses are only seven years apart). No doubt she remains physically young due to magic.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Both trailers show the death of Kit Harington's character at the hands of Mother Malkin. Granted it happens early in the film.
  • Voluntary Shape Shifting: Many of the evil witches and warlocks can transform into powerful beasts like dragons or giant lizards. None of the good magic users display this ability.
  • Witch Species: In the film, witches are not the same species as humans, although they look the same and can have children with them.

Alternative Title(s): The Wardstone Chronicles

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