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Literature / Mare

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Mare is a 2008 Norwegian children's horror triller picture book series by Ruben Eliassen of Phenomena fame, but not illustrated by him. It's completed with 3 books, like most Norwegian Fantasy book series these days.

The Circus is run by a petty crook called Caravaggio, only concerned with two things: making money and keeping the tax collectors at bay. But something tells the greedy man that it might pay off in the long run to let this dark and mysterious lad tag along, even though he keeps threatening to hand him over to the orphanhage.

A film adaption is in the works, it's gonna be a Stop Motion animation movie. How much it's going to cover is unknown, but seems like the whole trilogy. You can read more about it here.

Mare proudly shows off tropes like:

  • Adaptation Name Change: both the title and name of the main character is gonna change. Mare is going to become Terry, and the movie is gonna be called The Dream Prince. This is probably to avoid English-speakers mistaking it for meaning female horse.
  • Author Avatar: Mare looks like a younger Eliassen in one of the sketches.
    • Eliassen himself appears as an author called Ruben.
  • Big Beautiful Woman: Esmeralda, moreso in Eliassen's sketches.
  • Character Title
  • Circus of Fear: To onlookers the Circus is freaky and surreal, although the performers are fairly nice people. Although it's a subversion of the Circus Performers are like Family cliché as while they do care about each other are most doing their best to survive and mostly care about themselves.
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character: while not being a sequel are the characters very different from the characters in Phenomena. While there are some similarities there are no direct expies, unlike most new works turn out now.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Mare, most of the characters mention how eerie he is. Although most of the other major characters are drawn like this as well, special mention goes to Vlad.
  • The Freakshow: The main setting is this.
  • German Expressionism: It could easily be mistaken for a Tim Burton story if one look at the artwork alone.
  • Identity Amnesia: Mare has no idea who he is, and neither does the circus members. He even asks who he is instead of wondering where he is at first.
  • Jack of All Trades: Igor is this for the crew, putting up posters and other things.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: what Esmeralda calls Caravagio.
  • Meaningful Name: Mare got his name from the twins calling him a mare due to everyone having nightmares about him the night they took him in.
  • Mental World: The hallway in Mare's dream leads to these of the other characters.
  • Protagonist Title
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Mare, Vald, and most of the major characters again due to the art style.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Eliassen started writing it after the treasurer gave him a lot of taxes for no aparent reason. When he complained they claimed that while they were fixing it he still had to pay. So this is why it's about Stupid Evil treasures.
  • Red Right Hand: while not evil, Caravagio does have a magical, yes you guessed right, right arm. It has many markings and the tax collectors are trying to take it from him as a payment for unpaid taxes over several years.
  • Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: Rom and Rem have seemingly green eyes.
  • Youthful Freckles: Rom and Rem.