I guess you learn something every day, and I always love to learn something new!
Now, it's entirely possible I've been living under a rock, but I didn't know this. We get a weekly paper here and the first thing I always do is to
pull out the crossword puzzle and start crunching away on it. Exciting country life, right? Anyway, the puzzles vary in difficulty; some are easy,
and some are near impossible, but they all have a theme. This past week I pulled out the crossword puzzle insert and the theme was..."The Wizard
I immediately thought to myself this puzzle would be a slam dunk because I must have watched the 1939 movie 100 times if I've watched it once. So I
dove right in. About 25% of the way through the puzzle I realized I was completely stumped. How can I not be able to answer these questions??? The
answer to this question was my first revelation. I guess I never realized it, but the famed 1939 movie is actually based on a book which was
published in 1900, "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
", by L. Frank Baum. Call me stupid, but I never knew this. Makes perfectly good sense though,
but I just never thought about it. As it turns out, my crossword puzzle was based on the book, not the movie. Well, this sent me down a rabbit hole
of discovery which was really fun. I hope it will be for you too.
'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz'
wasn't just a single book, but rather it was the first book in a series of (14) books about Oz, all of which had
been published before the making of the 1939 classic movie with Judy Garland and others. And Oz, as it turns out, is a very magical place indeed.
As is often the case, motion pictures often leave out parts or all of the back story. Call it 'Editorial License' if you wish, but sometimes just how
much of the back story is omitted can be pretty amazing. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is no exception.
I will limit my post here to some of the things which are the most notable.
Of particular interest is Oz itself. In the movie you get hints of some of these things, but it's never really explained. The "Land of Oz" was
actually broken up into (5) pieces.
You kind of get this idea in the movie there is an "East", a "West", and a "North", but there is no mention of the "South". Nor is there any mention
of the names of these places. Now, in the movie, you know Dorothy's house landed in 'Muchkinland', but you don't know about any of these other
places. Also interestingly, Munchkinland is reversed with 'west' in the movie vs. the book. In other words, Munchkinland is in the East. This is
just a minor note though, but here's a much bigger item.
One thing you never get in the movie is who the witches are and what their purpose is. As it turns out, each of the four main quadrants of Oz is
ruled by a witch. The witches of the 'East' and the 'West' are both wicked witches, and the witches of the 'North' and the 'South' are both good
witches. "Emerald City" is the true seat of power for all of Oz, but because Oz is very remote many don't even know of the existence of "Emerald
City", and the witches have capitalized on this and assumed regional power as a result. The witches know of Emerald City though, and this explains
why Glinda, the "Good Witch of the North" (Glinda was actually South in the book) knows to tell Dorothy to seek out the Wizard in Emerald City.
Another interesting thing is the colors. Each of the four main quadrants has a color. Munchkinland (when swapped east for west) is yellow. And this
is why the road to Emerald City is "The Yellow Brick Road". It also explains why so many other things in Munchkinland are yellow. It turns out each
of the four lands of Oz also have their own colored brick road, so you don't know it, but there is a "Blue Brick Road", a "Purple Brick Road" and a
"Red Brick Road" and all of them lead to Emerald City. Just so happens Glinda tells Dorothy to take the 'Yellow Brick Road' because they were in
Munchkinland and it was yellow.
Another item you don't really see explained in the movie (you do, a little, but most don't catch it) is the fact that the Wicked Witch of the East is
the most powerful of all four of the Witches, and Glinda (north) is the 2nd most powerful witch. So when Dorothy's house lands on the Wicked Witch of
the East, Glinda is now the most powerful witch in Oz. This is how she is able to constantly help Dorothy overcome the spells of the Wicked Witch of
the West (the last remaining wicked witch).
And this last part is definitely not explained in the movie! All of the witches also have a color code. The Wicked witches wear black, and the Good
witches wear white (no surprise here). However, do you recall what color dress Dorothy is wearing in the movie? It's a blue dress with white flecks
in it. So the Munchkins are happy that Dorothy has killed their wicked ruler (the Wicked Witch of the East) when her house lands on her, BUT they
also think Dorothy herself is a witch, and because she has white in her dress she must be a good witch. WOW, right???
There's tons more, but I thought those things were pretty interesting and thought I'd share.
All because of a silly crossword puzzle!!
edit on 8/10/2019 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)