I see you have joined us once more for another journey into the Wood.
Today, I’m here to bring you a fanart piece of the Lady Life-in-Death, also known as the Lady of Dreams Realized, sketched by yours truly (Lemon).
The villains of Goldstone Wood are so incredibly diverse. They can range from multifaceted and complex, like Hri Sora with her heartbreaking tale, or symbolic and almost otherworldly, like the Lady of Dreams Realized.
Despite her more human appearance in the fanart above, the lady in the books is described as a lady in the realm of dreams and mist, blacker than the night yet her hair white and colder than ice. She also does love her dice games with her dear brother, and does love winning (though what sister doesn’t enjoy beating her brother?).
She makes appearances in the books Veiled Rose, Moonblood, and Golden Daughter as a mysterious figure who wishes to grant dreams and yet slowly entraps those she serves.
It seems to me that she is a symbol of earthly desire… or perhaps even a symbol of desire for something greater than the earthly and tangible. So often, we humans crave for something that’s better than what reality has to offer. Sometimes, it may just be to get out of debt or achieve that good grade, but many other times (and we lovers of fantasy and fiction can relate), it may be to just… step out of reality itself.
We want greatness, we want power, we want to be in a situation where we can be the heroes of the story, like our dear Lionheart so wished. Unfortunately, if we sink too deeply into those dreams…
Well, contrast what happened with Lionheart, who was rescued, and Hariawan, who ends up consumed by her dreams and trapped. It’s always good to want more — and Sairu (the protagonist of Golden Daughter) was an excellent example of wanting to be more than what you were raised to be and achieving that desire in a healthy (not to mention godly) way. But this beautiful and mysterious villain is an excellent warning for us to guard our thoughts and our aspirations.
Finally, as a last and more literary/historical context that you travelers may find interesting is that Life-in-Death is a figure that appears in literature, specifically the Rime of the Ancient Mariner (Samuel Taylor Coleridge). Here, she has yellow hair, white skin, and red lips and wins the Mariner’s soul through a dice game played with Death (and subsequently dooms the Mariner to just exist, cut off from the realm of the spirit until he completes his penance; ouch).
Coincidence? Perhaps, perhaps not… but the figures DO make interesting spiritual parallels.
So what do you think about this mysterious, almost lucid villain? I hope you’re staying free from her clutches!
Anyway, with that, I must leave you to your paths. But I will leave with a last warning for all the dreamers and creators of this world…
Don’t sink too deeply in your fantasies… because Lady Life-in-Death is more real than you would think.