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Literature / Skellig

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Skellig is a novel by David Almond about a boy who finds a decrepit Winged Humanoid living in a dark corner of the garage of the house his family has just moved into. It received the Carnegie Medal in 1998.

In 2009, it was adapted into a TV movie starring Tim Roth as Skellig, Bill Milner (Son of Rambow) as Michael, and John Simm and Kelly Macdonald as Michael's parents.

This book/movie provides examples of:


  • Adult Fear: Michael's parents move into a new house (in the film it is stressed how much financial strain this puts on them). Then the mother has a baby...who falls gravely ill and may die at any moment. Not to mention the hospital bills.
  • Angel Unaware: Skellig, maybe.
  • Animal Eyes: In the film, Skellig repeatedly demonstrates he has a nictitating membrane, similar to that of a birds. Incidentally, humans once also possessed a third eyelid, but it was lost early in the course of our evolution.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Mina, the girl who lives next door to Michael.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Skellig is cynical, snarky and rude, but he's a good guy at heart.
  • Magic Realism
  • Our Angels Are Different: If Skellig is an angel, he's certainly very different from what you'd expect.
  • Plot-Induced Illness: Had the baby never been sick, Michael likely wouldn't have felt so alienated from his family and therefore wouldn't have gone exploring by himself in dangerous places like the garage (or old shed in the movie adaptation) and discovered Skellig, or at the least would have been enlisted by his parents to help more around the house or with the baby - and then he just would not have had the free time.
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  • Riddle for the Ages: Skellig's true nature is never revealed, and he dances around the issue when asked.
  • Shout-Out: Skellig Michael is an island and site of an ancient monastery off the coast of Ireland.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Skellig says he is as old as the earth, and has utterly given up on life, but is unable to die.
  • Winged Humanoid: Skellig


Video Example(s):



Being a Winged Humanoid, Skellig's eyes have nictitating membranes (inner eyelids) like an avian.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / AnimalEyes

Media sources:

Main / AnimalEyes