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No one else but him: Jareth, the only human in the Labyrinth

No one else but him: Jareth, the only human in the Labyrinth published on No Comments on No one else but him: Jareth, the only human in the Labyrinth

So I was reading reviews of Return to Labyrinth, volume 4, a shitty manga predicated on Jareth naming Toby as heir to the maze. As I did so, I said to myself, “Some movies just shouldn’t have sequels.” And Labyrinth is one such. It creates a convincing and immersive world that wraps up conclusively at the end of its time frame and needs no embellishment in the form of further adventures. [That said, I will not censure fanfic writers for doing their damnedest to prove me otherwise. :p ]

As I scanned the reviews, a thought occurred to me: the sequels to Labyrinth stink for many reasons, one of the major ones being that they expand on the human population of the Labyrinth. The Return to Labyrinth series, for example, brings in Mizumi, Queen of Moraine [what?!], her two daughters, a mysterious girl named Moppet, etc., etc., etc. These additions negatively affect the original, true population of Labyrinth, i.e., just Jareth.

In order to prove that more humans in the Labyrinth is a bad idea, I should probably tell you why having only one is a good idea, no? As the sole human in the Labyrinth, Jareth provides a 1:1 correspondence to Sarah. He matches her. He becomes her complement in a way that clearly identifies him as a central figure of fantasy fulfillment, undistracted by other people. His symbolic appearance as the flip side of Sarah [hello there, Jareth, walking on the underside of the Escher maze while Sarah runs along the top!] is obviously telegraphed in his solitude. Jareth as sole human makes his symbolic role and his connection to Sarah crystal-ball-clear [nyuk nyuk].

Jareth’s aloneness also highlights another important aspect of his and Sarah’s character: their loneliness. Just in case you weren’t convinced by his pre-Magic-Dance boredom that Jareth feels lonely, his sad isolation also comes through in the sheer numbers. That is to say that he’s outnumbered by Muppets. He sits in his castle, spinning idle fantasies, in the same way that Sarah roams the park alone, practicing her lines with no one. Jareth’s singleness underscores the dangerous estrangement that Sarah suffers when she’s too immersed in her daydreams.

Having more people than Jareth in the Labyrinth depersonalizes the whole adventure for Sarah by diffusing Jareth’s symbolic heft and downplaying his twinship with her.

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