I had to go back and check what the woodsman’s directions were and this is pretty interesting:
‘Take your brother north and look for a town. Beware the Unknown! Fear the Beast and leave these woods if you can.’
So the woodsman sent them to Pottsfield. So either he knew what was happening at Pottsfield, or he didn’t. I’m going to have to guess he did, because I don’t think Pottsfield is shy about the whole being dead thing. Which would mean in the woodsman’s eyes, to be amongst the dead is better than staying in the woods with the Beast. Which is kind of morbid, dude. And they should do it ‘if they can’, which is a little ambiguous. If they have the will to die they should, to avoid a worse fate? Or does it mean that some people in the Unknown physically can’t get to Pottsfield, and is that because of the Beast?
The town is specifically said to be outside of the Unknown, and the people of the Unknown seem to be viewed as trespassers (although it’s also implied that they’ll all eventually end up in Pottsfield anyway??). Pottsfield is definitely a peaceful sort of not-quite-afterlife. It’s all very bright and shiny compared to the dark grey that sweeps back in when the kids run back into the woods. And as they set off into the fading light, we get this last image of a leaf, which is caught on the boundary fence that separates the Unknown from Pottsfield, unable to go any further. Because the directions weren’t good, because Wirt and Greg aren’t ready to be skelebros and party like it’s 1699 just yet.
I wonder about Enoch. He doesn’t seem to be making any moves to help Wirt and Greg, I guess because to Enoch everyone ends up in the same place anyway. Is there something the Unknown does that messes with the natural order of things? I’m thinking maybe the Unknown is after stories - the Unknown has only been seen by a few people in history, but those people who end up there are witness to stories that are told to those who wander through the wood. Or not just wander, but are lost. Wirt and Greg are lost, Beatrice is apparently looking for a way home too, and the Woodsman isn’t home either - he took over an abandoned Mill and then lost that when the kids destroyed it. They’re all alone, fundamentally.
Whereas the people of Pottsfield are unknown and unremembered by the living. They have no tales. They don’t even have gravestones. Even their many, many rituals and festival practices have been forgotten as time moved on. But unlike the people in the Unknown, they have community and home and a sense of continuity and memory. They share common ground. And to the Woodsman, who is frustrated and afraid, that probably seems like the better deal.
It also makes me wonder about Adelaide and whether her pasture will also be considered outside of the Unknown or part of it? I guess we’ll find out next episode!
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otgw rant 13
Okay, so you know how in the art book they have a list of episodes that they didn’t use? My favorite one has always been “Home”. If you don’t know what it’s it’s very similar to Distillatoria. Wirt and Greg find traintracks and follow them hoping to go back home. They end up back home and start getting back into the swing of things, but things are clearly wrong. Tv is only re-runs and things start disapearing. Turns out that they didn’t end up going home and it was just their memories. Eventually the woodsman comes back to take them back and tells them that their journey isn’t over. Btw this was when the story was tome of the unknown. Honestly I love this idea, even more than I do Distillatoria. Instead of “Haha funny plant cause hallucinations!”, it’s “Uh oh! Mental Health causing you to think you are home!”. I wish I was in that alternate timeline where this episode got made.
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