Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell “Arabella”

You know, the Gentleman with the Thistle-Down Hair had no real reason to worry about Jonathan Strange.  Even if Strange were an even match for the Gentleman (and he isn’t), Strange didn’t even have a reason to go looking for him.

Well, he does now.

The Gentleman must have been a bit disturbed by the fact that even though he and Stephen were invisible while spying on Strange a few episodes back, he felt the magician had to be neutralized all the same.  It doesn’t help (or hurt depending on where you stand) that the Gentleman took a fancy to Arabella.  She’d resisted him once before.  Could she do so again?

Well, sadly, no.  Roused from her bed while her husband slept and warned her friend needed her, Arabella is whisked off to Lost Hope where she’s enchanted along with Lady Pole and Stephen.  The Gentleman was planning that much, having substituted Arabella with some sort of enchanted fairy wood that died soon after Jonathan “found” his missing wife.  And then Strange tried every bit of magic he could think of to revive his dead wife, not knowing she wasn’t even dead in the first place.  He even tries the same spell to summon a fairy that Norrell used to bring the Gentleman to Earth in the first place.  And while the Gentleman doesn’t appear to Strange, he does try the spying thing again with Stephen.

By the by, loved when Stephen cast some mad shade by pointing out the Gentleman really did go when Strange summoned him, even if Strange didn’t know it.

Strange is desperate enough to try and bargain with Norrell for help.  Strange will give up everything, especially his upcoming book on magic, if Norrell will bring his wife back.

Of course, Norrell is a secretive man who would never tell Strange why he can’t.  So, Norrell opts to say nothing.

Childermas disagrees.  The servant even goes to see Strange himself, and while Strange offers to teach Childermas more formal magic beyond the few tricks the man knows, Childermas declines, promising only to replace the loser in the duel between Norrell and Strange so there will always be an opposing point of view and two magicians.  That satisfies Strange.

I like that answer too.  Childermas may be one of my favorite characters from the book for reasons like this.

Jonathan does end up arrested after he walks through the mirrors to Norrell’s house demanding his old teacher come out.  But he’s a magician and a personal friend to the English hero of Waterloo.  He’ll be fine.

As for other developments, Segundus and Honeyfoot actually make some progress on Lady Pole by realizing she isn’t insane. and the gibberish she talks when she tries to tell people what happened to her isn’t gibberish at all.  Honeyfoot used to collect old folk tales, and he starts to recognize what she’s saying.  She’s saying old, mostly forgotten fairy tales with a twist.

They come from the fairy’s point of view.


Defender of the faith, contributing writer, debonair man-about-town.

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