Follow TV Tropes


Series / The Rook

Go To
The Rook TV show

A 2019 tv show based on the The Rook by Daniel O'Malley.

Myfanwy Thomas II wakes up in the rain with no memory and no idea how these men were killed. Fortunately for her, she checks her pockets and finds the first and second of many Notes to Herself, written before the memory loss. Myfanwy the original knew that she was going to lose her memory. Since she's the ultimate contingency planner, she wrote not only many notes To Self, but entire dossiers of everything and everyone at the Checquy, the secret supernatural organization dedicated to saving people from unpleasant manifestations in Britain. As she attempts to uncover her past she discovers she has peculiar abilities, all while being pursued by paranormal adversaries.


This show provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Heroism: Gestalt and Conrad while still shady are both far more heroic throughout the series than in the book.
  • Adaptational Mundanity: In the TV series, people with superpowers are the only non-realistic element. The books featured an array of other magical and supernatural phenomena in addition to this, ranging from prophetic ducks to vampires to dragons, making them a full-on Urban Fantasy.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: Grantchester is more affable here While he has some secrets he's not the villain of the series. Linda is more calculating than in the novel.
  • Adaptational Sexuality: Myfanwy was a virgin in the novels but here she has a sexual relationship with Gestalt including the Eliza body. We know she also has a relationship with another man before.
  • Advertisement:
  • Adaptational Superpower Change: We don't see Linda's powers until late in the first season but they are different from the novel. Instead of Dream Walking she has Make Some Noise. In the novel Conrad can produce different vapours, here he seems to be able to change the chemicals in the air around him. Peter van Syoc has the power to slow his body's functions down rather than being a Grafter. Monica only seems to have her super-strength and is not a Flying Brick.
  • Amnesia Danger: Averted since Myfanwy's power erupts by default if she's attacked/put in enough pain.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Myfanwy may have been meek, but with her past and inhibitions wiped Myfanwy learns not to be afraid to use her powers in a deadly fashion.
  • Biomanipulation: Myfanwy's power. She's able to use it in a variety of ways although in the show it's most deadly, we also see that it has a bioelectric component.
  • Body Horror: The way that Myfanwy's power destroys the bodies of all the people in the first episode.
  • Chess Motifs: Pawns are powered individuals that don't hold Court office. The Court offices are Rooks, Chevaliers (Knights), and Bishops, with two of each. Myfanwy and Gestalt are the two Rooks (hence the series title). Linda is the King and Conrad the Queen.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Myfanwy. The only reason Myfanwy gets anywhere is that she wakes up with notes from her pre-amnesia self in her pockets (they're in all her jacket pockets, just in case), and later gets access to a safe deposit box and a panic room full of information she needs to do her job.
  • Creepy Twins: Two of Gestalt's bodies are twins, and all four of them can move and speak in unison, which everyone else finds unnerving.
  • Elemental Powers: In the novel, Conrad manufactures chemical compounds in his body and vents them in a mist. Here he seems to be able to change the chemical compounds of the atmosphere so that people can fall asleep, be made euphoric, or breathe in deadly irritants.
  • Harbinger of Impending Doom: Myfanwy is studying an autistic woman with precognition named Josie. Josie can only see one month into the future at most and chooses to look at stock numbers, but then she tells Myfanwy she will be attacked and have her memory wiped.
  • Hive Mind: Gestalt is quadruplets (identical twin boys, another boy, and a girl) who have one overall mind running all the bodies. The female body is named "Eliza" and the male bodies are named "Robert", "Alex" and "Teddy" (the latter two are the twins), but they're really all one single person who exists in four places at once. They sometimes pretend to have different personality traits in the different bodies just to make others more comfortable.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Somewhat subverted. Nazim can wipe away memories of normal humans very easily and even specific traumatic memories. When he tries to do it with Myfanwy and later Monica it doesn't seem to go as well.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Bronwyn, who is looking for her sister Myfanwy.
  • Meaningful Name: 'Gestalt': two or more parts that are so integrated that we perceive them as one object.
  • Not His Sled: The identity of The Mole is changed from the book so that readers won't be pre-spoiled.
  • Power Perversion Potential: Conrad uses his power to put the husband of his girlfriend asleep so they can have sex in the same room as the sleeping husband.
  • Precognition: Josie can see into the future but her brain going back and forth from the present to the future manifests along with autism, which makes it hard for her to communicate. She writes down what she sees.
  • Promoted to Love Interest: Gestalt; in the series, they and Myfanwy become an Official Couple. They weren't romantically involved in the books, although Myfanway had a crush on the Robert body when they were young.
  • Puberty Superpower: Averted. Some folks are born with powers, but people can come into them at any age, even in middle adulthood.
  • Related Differently in the Adaptation: Bronwyn is not Myfanwy's cousin like in the novel. She's her sister.
  • She Is the King: The chess motif codenames that go with positions in the Checquy stay the same regardless of the occupant's gender. Lisa is the King and Conrad is the Queen.
  • The Shrink: James D'Arcy plays a therapist who tries to help Myfanwy and Gestalt with therapy.
  • Quest for Identity: Myfanwy wakes up surrounded by dead bodies wearing latex gloves and no memory.