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Literature / Into the Woods

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"The three of us alone, the three of us together. Forever and for always."

Into the Woods is a book series by Lyn Gardner, consisting of two books, Into the Woods and Out of the Woods. Basically, it mashes up loads of famous fairy tales like Hansel and Gretel, The Three Little Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood and many more, creating an original story for readers.

The plot itself concerns three half-orphan girls (their mother died while giving birth to the baby), Aurora, the oldest and a Neat Freak, Storm, the middle child and an Action Girl, Tomboy, and Any, the Adorably Precocious Child who is a talking baby, of course. Storm owns a MacGuffin magical pipe that can grant any wish in the cosmos, that of course evildoers want to obtain for their own nefarious deeds. They come under some strange and cruel adventures throughout the books.

Not to be confused with the more well-known musical.

Into the Woods contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Storm, and to a far lesser extent Aurora and Any too.
  • Adorably Precocious Child: Any is a talking, verbose, smart baby who still acts her age.
  • Androcles' Lion: In the sequel, Storm saves a lion that was abused under the hands of Belladonna.
  • Big Bad: In the first book, it's Dr. Dewilde. In the sequel, it's the evil witch Belladonna.
  • Back from the Dead: After being murdered by Belladonna, Aurora comes back from the Underworld in the sequel.
  • Disney Death: Happens several times throughout the sequel, to Aurora after being killed by Belladonna, and Kit after also being killed by Belladonna. They both come back.
  • Don't Go in the Woods: Well, what do you think?
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Hermes, Belladonna's second in command, is described as scared of her and rightly so, as she used his brother as a prop in a ghost train.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Belladonna melts, described graphically.
  • For the Evulz: Belladonna's reason for wanting to start wars and enslave thousands is "fun".
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Aurora is a very Nice Girl with nice hair to boot.
  • MacGuffin: Storm's reality bending pipe, that can do whatever the owner asks it to. It's also sentient, and the baddies want it.
  • Nice Girl: Aurora absolutely cares for her sisters and all of her friends.
  • Talking Animal: Played with. Every animal has their own language, however the people in-universe have to learn it themselves, like a real language.
  • The Promise: Played with, again. Aurora promises her love interest, Kit, her heart. Bella the witch wants to eat it, but according to the rulebook of heart-stealing, you can only take it after being promised it. She has to make Aurora promise it to her, eventually when she tries to just kill her and take it she is killed by not following the rules. Serves her right.
  • The Starscream: In the sequel, Hermes, Belladonna's second in command, has shades of this, described as worryingly excited when told to get the pipe. Bella realizes this, and deicdes to go and get it herself.
  • The Bus Came Back: Dr. Dewilde, the Big Bad from the first book reappears in the Underworld in the sequel. He tries to kill the girls again.
  • Tomboy: Storm is the quintessential example of this trope.
  • Wicked Witch: Belladonna, the Big Bad of the sequel, is a particularly vile and evil example: a 1000 year old one who wants to start wars, enslave thousands and rip out Aurora's heart.