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Daughter of the Lilies - 7.50

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New comic!

Today's News:
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Hi, Thistle.

I'd like to take a quick moment to thank Milo Neuman, who helped A LOT in finalizing Thistle's design and making her the cutest she could possibly be!

The lighting effects on this page make Thistle a little difficult to see, so here's a better look for you:
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There are so many other great DotL things to share with you this week!

The beautiful talented minds over at Sister Claire featured Orrig and Thistle in an amazing Missing Moments chapter (i love all the missing moments they're so wonderful and such treasures and treats aaaaaaaa thank you Ash!!!),

Sarcasticles has been working on a really incredible, multi-chapter, truly epic DotL fanfiction that could very easily fit into the canon of the story, entitled "The Monster of the Salt Rock Hills." I am enjoying it immensely, you should absolutely read it. I've included links to the author's Tumblr and A03 sites; you can read it on either one.

Finally, for fun, you can take a look at all past Thistle Theories as archived on the Tumblr Tag
And if you have time, you can reread Chapter 1, Chapter 2, and Chapter 7 with new context and understanding.
I'll also slowly begin dumping all my backlogged Thistle artwork that I've been unable to share until now, on my Tumblr and Twitter, so keep an eye on those for a lot of additional information and artwork.

...We made it. We're finally here.


I'm exhausted.
Post edited by BellisPerennis on
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Comments

  • 60 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Ah, she's gorgeous! Poor dear, all those scars - her past life hasn't just been emotional and psychological torture...
    edit: Just re-read the snippet of the poster - "Infestation", huh? So it would seem Cave Elves are officially vermin... :(
    Post edited by DaiJB on
  • Thistle says in the first pages that in cave elf society, the women have ultimate authority. So the fact that this cave elf was beating up his superior would be something akin to treason.
  • I suspected this ever since she made the comment about even cave elves running from her. I am both thrilled that that theory was correct and OH MY GOSH SHE'S ADORABLE! I MEAN WE ALREADY KNEW THAT BUT HER FACE! AAHHHH! Okay I'm good now.
  • John said:
    I gotta say I am rather disappointed by the reveal.  All of this build-up to her not fitting in with society, looking truly inhuman, alien, or monstrous instead she looks like a cave elf.

    I feel this ruins her character since there is magic and glamour is a thing that can be done with magic.

    Maybe it would do to remember that in that society, cave elves ARE truly monstrous - they're not just regarded as primitive savages, but vicious murderers and cannibals. They're the boogie monsters people use to frighten children, the horrors that lurk in the dark, stalk the lone wanderer in the night or snatch up unguarded babies from windows to devour them. It's like having the blood-splattered mask of a serial killer glued to your face.
    From what we've seen, cave elves are truly regarded as dangerous monsters, nothing more, and have even demonic associations in folk culture. (All the more ironic Thistle now hunts monsters for a living!)
    In short: This really does cast her out from society and invokes horror and revulsion in anyone who sees her face. I really don't see how the features being more or less humanoid and not more visually abhorrent takes anything away from that - especially considering that big clawed hands and a mouth full of sharp, pointy teeth already are a handful, even if you disregard the role of cave elves in this world and what they're associated with.

    As for glamour: I wouldn't be too quick in assuming magic can do anything, especially if done by anyone, and as far as I know, we have seen no evidence of glamours being a thing in this world, more like the opposite. And even in stories where glamours exist, they're never impenetrable - especially by skilled magicians - and are more easily dispelled and fragile than a physical mask, and thus not something you would hide behind for a prolonged period of time if you have any other choice.
    Besides, if there were glamours like that, they would work just as well for any disfiguration or something you might have imagined, not just a cave elf, so I don't see how this ruins anything.
    Post edited by desercitus on
  • Thoughts, roughly in order of appearance:
    Adorable bat-ear girl!
    Oh, Brent is in TROU-ble~
    They will make adorable multiracial babies. <3
    Post edited by GaiaMechanic on
  • John said:

    The readers are led to believe that Thistle has an appearance under the hood that makes everyone terrified of her. That she is somehow disfigured. An appearance that wouldn't sit well in the fantasy setting. I figure it would be akin to something like an alien appearance or eldritch horror. Something that is unknowable and utterly terrifying, but that is not the case here.

    The first one is true - under the hood, Thistle is terrifying to everyone who has a vague notion of what cave elves are, or just can't stomach the maw of a shark and the big claws.
    A disfiguration was one possible explanation, among many. Some of them were bound to be wrong.
    Third one is true as well. Even in a fantasy setting, the obvious appearance of a large, flesh-eating predator doesn't sit well, especially if it's a species notorious for murder and cannibalism.

    I think maybe I get what you mean - were you expecting some kind of cthonic, lovecraftian horror? Sure that would've been cool, such things always are, but you have to admit it wouldn't sit well with the story's theme of dealing with real life issues we know and can relate to.
    Some kind of "eldritch horror" would've been cool, but story wise a bit shallow, or at least inconsistent with the dominating way of storytelling. So I understand it if you expected that, but see little reason to be disappointed now that the story can be taken into a direction that is a bit more constructive.

    John said:
    And with her being a cave elf I do not understand how she can say even cave elves are afraid of her appearance since here she will be defending herself.
    Not sure what you're asking here, but her question makes sense, since she would assume cave elves wouldn't be afraid of one of their own to the point of running away in terror. Of course without realising he didn't run from her because there was something wrong with her appearance per se, but because he was so horrified of what he'd done by attacking a perceived social superior.
    Instead Thistle assumes there must be something wrong with her, as usual. Poor girl.
    Post edited by desercitus on
  • John said:
    Eh, you have valid points, but it still feels lackluster and disappointing to me. Oh well.
    Well, I guess there's no way to change feelings. You can't please everyone, after all.
  • The blue eyes make me think she isn't really a cave elf. A crossbreed like Brent would be the most obvious guess, but I'll hold out for something more surprising... like, maybe she turns into whatever touches her skin?
  • Also, this may have been talked about in other threads, but is anyone else seeing the replies out of order?
    You're probably viewing them sorted by Votes rather than Date Added. Look at the top of the list of replies. If you change the sorting, you should see them "in order" again.
    Try this link to see the effect I'm talking about.
    Minor correction: You have to look at the first page of comments to see the sorting option. It's under the main post. (In this case, it's the comic page itself. Look just below that.)
    Post edited by Renbear on
  • wow!

    To be honest, the most impressive thing for me is that the first strip was published on October 24, 2013. This is 4 years and 3 months later. What I mean is, this reveal is huge for us, but it must be even more so for Meg.

    Thistle is awesome. I guess all the cave elves theorists were right.
  • Gasp, she is adorable! Like a bat. Also like the little scars she has. Took me a bit to piece it together, even reread the first bit with the cave elves encounter just to verify, but just love that by going back I was able to get more of the hints than the first time reading. Hmm, might have to reread this chapter to make sure we don't get anyone walking in on her.
  • I'll be honest, when I first heard the Cave Elf theory I didn't like it. I didn't see anything special or significant about Thistle being a cave elf especially with her being involved with the Drath and The One Who is Three. Though recently, it has slowly grown on me. Now seeing that is it confirmed and that SHE IS FREAKING CUTE I love it. Now I'm excited for the backstory behind it! Was she always like that? Was she raised by humans? How did she first get involved with the Drath? Do cave elves use magic or is that something that makes her unique? SO MANY QUESTIONS!!! Good Job meg and crew! Keep up the great work!!!!
    Post edited by DreamAfflicted on
  • Now I'm excited for the backstory behind it! Was she always like that? Was she raised by humans? How did she first get involved with the Drath? Do cave elves use magic or is that something that makes her unique? SO MANY QUESTIONS!!!
    That's what makes this reveal so great: It doesn't take out all the mystery, but instead opens so many more questions by answering the one we knew - despite the reveal, there are now even more things we ask ourselves about Thistle and her past. Which is just great storytelling.
    (Most pressing question right now: How does Gwendolyn or whatever her name is, who doesn't seem the kind of person to bother herself with people who are generally considered vermin, fit into this?
    And is Thistle's Drath history in any way related to this, and if so, how? Why do the Drath know her? Okay, more than one question, it seems...)

    At last, I too didn't really consider a cave elf possibility until Thistle's hands were shown, but it fits with pretty much everything (correct me if I'm wrong), despite not answering all our questions - which won't have been the intention anyway.
    And upon reflection, it's great to see how many subtle little clues were strewn around the story, clues that can be so easily overlooked or misinterpreted if you don't know precisely what you're looking for, but still make it very clear in hindsight this isn't something someone pulled out of their hat, but was always there, between the lines.

    P.S.: Remembered one thing I can't explain right now: Cave elves have night vision, yet Thistle summons a light in the dark ( http://www.daughterofthelilies.com/dotl/702 ) - perhaps a habit of keeping up her cover?
    PPS: That may actually be it. Thistle has grown a little paranoid about maintaining her secret (as evidenced here: http://www.daughterofthelilies.com/dotl/740 ), and it would be a bit telling and more than a bit suspicious if people noticed she can see in the dark, so in order to disguise that, Thistle has taken on the habit of summoning a light whenever it's dark. And the habit, being a habit, still shows itself when no one is around to fool about her vision.
    Or Thistle just can't see in the dark, unlike her "wild brethren", for whatever reason.
    In any case, forget I said anything.
    Post edited by desercitus on
  • John said:
    I gotta say I am rather disappointed by the reveal.  I thought she would be outside the norm of having something close to a humanoid face.  Instead she looks like a cave elf.

    I feel this ruins her character.
    Sorry you feel that way, though I can't really understand why. It fits the story, general theme and all the little clues and seemingly "meaningless" details we've been given, so how does this in any way diminish (or "ruin") her character?
    Besides the reveal not being what you expected it to be (which may be precisely the point of a reveal like this)?
    Post edited by desercitus on


  • P.S.: Remembered one thing I can't explain right now: Cave elves have night vision, yet Thistle summons a light in the dark ( http://www.daughterofthelilies.com/dotl/702 ) - perhaps a habit of keeping up her cover?
    I don't think that was a dedicated light, rather the communication spell. It seems to have the light build in, which seems rather handy.
  • Eh, you have valid points, but it still feels lackluster and disappointing to me. Oh well.
  • Actually, I think that an important element of the story is that Thistle has big confidence issues - remember, she is the one who thinks that she is a monster. + the villagers, but we have well established that they may have simply entered in the wrong moment (seeing your baby with a known cannibalistic species may trigger certain reactions).

    Maybe I've interpreted the story in the wrong way until now, but I'm left under the distinct impression that it is one about the problems of perception of the self, belief in oneself and anxiety. It's very suitable that Thistle actually looks cute, but considers herself as "a monster". Especially if she is not entirely cave elf.
    Post edited by p_stein on
  • *quietly adds two new pictures to her background screen rotation on her work computer* *whistles innocently*
  • It looks like she was at least raised not only human but in high society (or at least nice society rather than fringes). http://www.daughterofthelilies.com/dotl/35 shows her not even considering why she wasn't allowed to sit there.
  • I know I said before that it would be a good twist if Thistle was only horrifying for in-universe cultural reasons, and wasn’t horrifying at all to the reader. But in retrospect, I should have considered that comics are a visual medium. It’s pretty goofy to imagine someone seeing this face and recoiling in horror.
  • John said:
    It just feels lazy to me. With the reveal it becomes a case of racism, nothing more. However, I do not mean to belittle the issue that is racism because it is still a huge fucking problem in our world that needs fixing.

    The readers are led to believe that Thistle has an appearance under the hood that makes everyone terrified of her. That she is somehow disfigured. An appearance that wouldn't sit well in the fantasy setting. I figure it would be akin to something like an alien appearance or eldritch horror. Something that is unknowable and utterly terrifying, but that is not the case here.

    And with her being a cave elf I do not understand how she can say even cave elves are afraid of her appearance since here she will be defending herself.
    Personally, I think the lazy approach would be to make it something eldritch and horrible, instead of dealing with the very real themes of racism, mental illness, and self-confidence. I also think your approach to this page is very much coming from a place of not understanding/appreciating the themes and storytelling in the comic.

    Also, Thistle probably doesn't speak Cave Elf. I saw where someone put up a translation of the male Cave Elf's speech bubbles, and he was begging for mercy/forgiveness. They're matriarchal, and he attacked a female, which is why he ran away. Thistle, however, who likely wasn't raised in that culture and doesn't speak the language has no idea what he said. Given her self-doubt (due in part to a Drath echo), she assumed he found her monstrous just like everyone else.

    Post edited by Kindelwyrm on
  • I have to say, at first I was really disappointed too. I remember seeing the upper face and eyes a few panels ago and thinking to myself "If she ends up being just a misunderstood hottie, I'm gonna super upset. She clearly should be horribly ugly as has been suggested and hinted at the entire time". But that was cause I was really liking the idea of a main character who, for once, isn't good looking or a cutie-patootie. I thought that would be a nice change of pace and be more interesting. Also I was on board the "permanently disfigured by drath interaction" train.

    But I'm glad I came to the forums to express my disappointment, cause I read through the comments and realized I was totally wrong. My opinion of this reveal went from "cliched" to "brilliant". It wasn't a mismatched buildup/reveal, it had been thoroughly and faithfully hinted at the entire time. I had just misunderstood the hints. In the context of the story, the setting, poor self image, character knowledge, and everything else, it totally fits and makes perfect sense to me now.

    Had the reveal been of a horrible visage, I probably would have been like "OH MY GOD SHE'S... exactly what I expected... Okay then" which then I guess isn't much of a surprise, game changing, reveal. But she's just a total cutie-patootie and love her now more than ever.

    I'm going to be thinking about this all day now, going back and re-reading everything to find all the other tidbits I missed. Thanks a lot, I had exams to study for today you jerks.
    Post edited by Carpetmat on
  • As a reminder, The creator of the comic Meg has stated that she hopes everyone who did not get the reveal that they were hoping for will create an AU work (fanfic, drawing, whatever) that shows what they were expecting.

    Anyone who didn't see what they were expecting, I look forward to what you create.

    "VIEW ALL THE THEORIES!"
  • I havent seen anyone mention this! Remember we found out (sort of) that alot of her self esteem issues are from that white woman nobel who we thought might be her mother. Obviously we dont know how accurate the Drath is as the writer confirmed that they say what will get to you, not what is real. However its likely it was compounding some really bad stuff from memories that were bad. and this changes very much knowing now she's not a half orc or an elf or a human. obviously we dont know MUCH but its likely that she was an indentured servant/slave/ house girl for that woman. If i were to fill in the gaps i'd think maybe the woman's estate killed a family hiding and the one who did it didnt feel like killing a vermin child and so she kept it as a sercret servant. Even if she was sent to mage school it might have been to hide her, or she could have got a tutor or become part of whatever it is she is after she left 'home'. regardless of the circumstances it is very significant that we know she didnt just have a (probably) horrible caretaker but that the caretaker was probably much worse because her society thinks Thistle's race is inferior
  • Wow, she's really cute. I bet when Lyra sees her, she'll get an ice cold letter from Margot. ,,Hey, what are you looking at? And stop drooling!"
  • Renbear said:
    Also, this may have been talked about in other threads, but is anyone else seeing the replies out of order?
    You're probably viewing them sorted by Votes rather than Date Added. Look at the top of the list of replies. If you change the sorting, you should see them "in order" again.
    Try this link to see the effect I'm talking about.
    Minor correction: You have to look at the first page of comments to see the sorting option. It's under the main post. (In this case, it's the comic page itself. Look just below that.)<

    Thanks, that worked!
    Post edited by BellisPerennis on
  • There will be some more questions arising (besides the existing ones).. To make it short, it's all about her past.
  • ARGH! So much keeeute I am going to die!
  • This seems like a good as place as any to make note of a detail I noticed during an archive crawl. We all remember that when healing Lou-Anne's baby, Thistle's pupils took on a golden light.

    Well, she's not the only one: http://www.daughterofthelilies.com/dotl/613.

    It seems that whatever is affecting Thistle happened to Master Wu as well.

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