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Recap / Gunnerkrigg Court Chapter 7 "Of New and Old"

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What is the significance of the tic-toc birds?

Annie is on the bridge across the Annan Waters, as Kat stands on the steps watching, and she thinks something is wrong. She shouldn't be there. Reynardine is tugging at her shirt, as a desperate-looking Mr. Eglamore runs toward her. The Tic-Toc birds sit on the lamps and do nothing. Oh, and Robot's back from the forest.

That morning. Annie is meeting Donald and Anja Donlan, Kat's parents. Mr. Eglamore is there as well, and they know she told Kat about Reynardine. They're not bothered by this. The three teachers have dealt with him in the past, and the Donlans were working on a way to extract him from Sivo. They think there's nothing he can do to hurt anyone anymore. Annie and Kat aren't so certain.

The Donlans also want to show Annie an old photo. It's of Anja, Donald, James Eglamore, Surma Stibnite, Anthony Carver and an unidentified girl with brown hair when they were students at the Court. Surma looks almost exactly like Annie, apart from having curly hair. Mr. Donlan reveals that Annie's father had a habit, when he was younger, of taking off for months at a time without notice. Mr. Eglamore notes that it doesn't look like he's changed in that respect. None of them have been able to find Anthony Carver either. They tell her that she's taken care of, though, and she doesn't need to worry. Annie doesn't look convinced.


Annie also has something she wants to show the teachers. She takes out her stuffed wolf and places it on the table. Anja can tell there's something wrong with it, and Annie orders Reynardine to show himself. The teachers react strongly to this — Eglamore draws a knife, and Anja uses magic to tie him up. Annie tells them he's not a threat, and orders Reynardine to tell them why — as the wolf belongs to Annie, he must follow her orders, and cannot leave it without her permission. Anja announces he's telling the truth, but is surprised he could inhabit a mere object. Reynardine tells her he can inhabit anything with eyes, alive or not.

Eglamore demands Annie turn Reynardine over to them, but she refuses, and she, Kat and Reynardine leave. The adults are surprised, and Eglamore feels guilty because he handed Annie the toy after Sivo died. Anja tells him he's not to blame, because he didn't know. She thinks it may even help in the long run. Eglamore's jackknife is revealed to be a gift from Surma that he always carries.


That evening, Annie and Kat are talking in an empty lab, and Annie apologizes for causing a scene earlier. Kat doesn't mind, because she knows her parents don't blame Annie for anything, they just feel somewhat useless because they couldn't help, not to mention being somewhat upset about Reynardine. Annie appreciates Kat's friendship. Rey makes a crass remark wondering if Annie and Kat are going to kiss now, and Annie angrily orders him to be silent. Kat then looks out the window and sees something odd on the bridge. Annie, wondering if the distant figure is a returning Robot, suggests they go take a look.

Arriving at the steps, Kat remarks that whatever it is isn't moving. Annie says it must be Robot, and he needs her help, so she steps off the last step and onto the ground, setting off an alarm. Annie tells Kat she should stay where she is so she doesn't get into trouble, and takes off down the bridge as Kat yells "Annie! What are you doing?"

It is Robot, who's acquired a new, wooden arm. And he's accompanied by Shadow 2, to Annie's surprise. Reynardine, on the other hand, is not pleased.

Mr. Eglamore arrives, carrying a cloth-wrapped object, to find Kat on the steps. He sees Annie on the bridge, and Kat tells him what happened. Eglamore, concerned, asks Kat if Reynardine was with her. On Kat's "Yes", he takes off down the length of the bridge.

Annie knows something is wrong. Rey does too, but since he can't speak until she gives him permission, he's reduced to pulling on her sweater. Annie asks Robot about his new arm, and tells Rey off for his apparent rudeness. Robot, on hearing Rey's name, lunges for him and grabs him by the throat. Annie is startled. Eglamore, approaching, pulls a glowing sword out of the wrappings, and throws it. Robot pushes Annie just before getting impaled by it. The sword severs both of Robot's arms and the shadow accompanying him.

Annie falls off the bridge. Eglamore yells in terror: "SURMA!"


  • The Bus Came Back: Robot's back from the forest . . .
  • Call-Back: In the first real instance of this in the comic, the robot Annie sent into the woods in "The Shadow and the Robot" returns.
  • Cliffhanger: Annie's fallen off the bridge . . .
  • Cool Sword: The glowing purple one Eglamore busts out. It can kill living shadows.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: Annie's parents, Kat's parents and Mr. Eglamore were all in the same year of school at the Court.
  • Foreshadowing: The unusual-acting Robot, on hearing of Rey's presence, tries to grab him.
  • In Medias Res: It starts off with Annie on the bridge, then cuts back to that morning, before returning to the bridge again.
  • Living Shadow: Robot's accompanied by a shadow-person, who Annie assumes to be Shadow 2.
  • Not Himself: Robot, as most evidenced by his speech bubbles. There's something not right with him.
  • Painting the Medium: There's something wrong with Robot, and his speech bubbles illustrate this: they're round purple ones overlaying his usual straight-edged green ones.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Eglamore has a folding knife Surma gave him.
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: Annie looks just like her mother at the same age, except for having straight hair.
  • Wrong Name Outburst: At the end, Eglamore mistakenly calls Annie by her mother's name.


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