|First appearance||Through the Looking Glass|
|Created by||Lewis Carroll|
A Bandersnatch is a fictional creature from Lewis Carroll's 1872 novel Through the Looking-Glass and 1874 poem "The Hunting of the Snark". Although neither work describes the appearance of a Bandersnatch in great detail, in "The Hunting of the Snark" it has a long neck and snapping jaws, and both works describe it as ferocious and extraordinarily fast. Through the Looking-Glass implies that Bandersnatches may be found in the world behind the looking-glass, and in "The Hunting of the Snark", a Bandersnatch is found by a party of adventurers after crossing an ocean. Bandersnatches have appeared in various adaptations of Carroll's works; they have also been used in other authors' works and in other forms of media.
Carroll's first mention of a Bandersnatch, in the poem "Jabberwocky" (which appears in Through the Looking-Glass), is very brief: the narrator of the poem admonishes his son to "shun / The frumious Bandersnatch"—this particular portmanteau being a concise way of describing the creature's fuming and furious nature. Later in the novel, the White King says of his wife (the White Queen), "She runs so fearfully quick. You might as well try to catch a Bandersnatch!"
In "The Hunting of the Snark", while the party searches for the Snark, the Banker runs ahead and encounters a Bandersnatch:
And the Banker, inspired with a courage so new
It was matter for general remark,
Rushed madly ahead and was lost to their view
In his zeal to discover the Snark.
But while he was seeking with thimbles and care,
A Bandersnatch swiftly drew nigh
And grabbed at the Banker, who shrieked in despair,
For he knew it was useless to fly.
He offered large discount—he offered a check
(Drawn "to bearer") for seven-pounds-ten:
But the Bandersnatch merely extended its neck
And grabbed at the Banker again.
Without rest or pause—while those frumious jaws
Went savagely snapping around—
He skipped and he hopped, and he floundered and flopped,
Till fainting he fell to the ground.
The Bandersnatch fled as the others appeared
Led on by that fear-stricken yell:
And the Bellman remarked "It is just as I feared!"
And solemnly tolled on his bell.
In other media
Anna Matlack Richards's A New Alice in the Old Wonderland (1895) contains a broader description given of the Bandersnatch within the poem Bandersnatchy. In this poem, another hero sets out to slay the frumious Bandersnatch so as to gain respect from his people against the hero who slew the Jabberwock (a story he would sit and tell till after ten o'clock). The author writes that it is necessary to be armed with a vorpal sword or a winxy pistol, because one never can tell what a Bandersnatch might do. According to the hero, the Bandersnatch is a queer thing that whizzles overhead causing him to believe it is up a tree, only to his surprise its legs are awfully high. It pleads with the hero not to shoot, only to fool him and fly away. The hero grabs its tail and cuts it off as his trophy. The hero describes the creature as being extremely long legged with a long tail as well and the ability to fly very quickly. It could be understood that the Bandersnatch perhaps camouflages itself as a tree, given the explanation understood by the hero's description. There is an illustration by the author's daughter, Anna Richards Brewster, of the hero's encounter with the Bandersnatch.
In Larry Niven's "Known Space" mythos (1965 to present), there is a heavy-gravity species somewhat resembling a giant slug which, upon their discovery, were immediately given the genus and species "Frumious bandersnatch".
In the book Sign of Chaos (1987), part of Roger Zelazny's Chronicles of Amber, the protagonist encounters a Bandersnatch. The creature is described as segmented, with a side-to-side gait, leaving a trail of steaming saliva, and hissing like a leaky pressure cooker. The Bandersnatch suffered a heart-attack after having a cardiac arrest spell cast on it, implying that its general anatomy is analogous to normal animals. The episode takes place in a reality created by the mind of one of the characters under the influence of an hallucinogenic drug.
"Bandersnatch" is a name used many times in the Final Fantasy video game series (1987 to present). The name is given to various enemies in many installments of the game in both the Japanese and English-language versions. In most of the games, it is a common enemy that does not create much difficulty for the player, and it usually has qualities of wolves or lions in appearance. In Final Fantasy IX, however, the Bandersnatch is a slightly stronger enemy with a strange appearance that seems to be a large, demonic poodle with an expansive toothy grin. It is summoned by the antagonists during an important story scene in the game.
In the massive multiple online role playing games "Mabinogi" (2004) and "LaTale" (2006), the Bandersnatch makes an appearance. In Mabinogi, a Bandersnatch is an ice monster located in "Par Dungeon". A normal Bandersnatch can only be killed with one of the fire spells, or a giant's stomp ability, due to their high defense. The Giant Bandersnatch can be killed as a normal monster, and is the boss of the dungeon. Both normal and giant Bandersnatch move slowly and will not normally attack unless first hit is activated. In Latale, the Bandersnatch is a dog like creature with strange markings and a massive jaw. It's an auto-aggressive monster that either lunges at the player or headbutts when its close to the player. It can be found in the first two rooms of the Treasure Vault Instance or King's Room.
In Pandora Hearts (2006), Lily's chain is a large black dog named Bandersnatch.
In the 2006 novel Ghosts of Onyx by Eric Nylund, the codename 'Bandersnatch' is used to warn UNSC troops for a radiological- or energy-based disaster. It was previously used on occasions where Covenant troops had 'glassed' former human colonies.
In the 2010 film Alice in Wonderland, the Bandersnatch appears as a large, white beast somewhat resembling a bulldog with long hair, black spots, a long tail, and multiple rows of sharp teeth. It is a creature under the control of the Red Queen until Alice returns its eye (which it had lost to the Dormouse). It helps the girl escape and joins the White Queen's forces. In the video game adaptation of the film, it serves a similar role.
In the 2010 graphic novel Calamity Jack, sequel to Rapunzel's Revenge (published in 2006), the giant Blunderboar has a pet Bandersnatch named Lewis, presumably after Lewis Carroll. This Bandersnatch appears as a giant toadlike being with a massive mouth, two small mouths in place of eyes, a long froglike tongue, and the ability to spit acid.
In the Young Justice episode "Earthling", Adam Strange improvises a performance of the second verse of Jabberwocky in order to distract a patrol while on the planet Rann. "Beware the Jabberwock, my son! The jaws that bite, the claws that catch! Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun The frumious Bandersnatch!" He soon scurries away saying "No time to say hello, goodbye! I'm late! I'm late! I'm late!" "...and down the rabbit hole I go!!!" Strange's mission accomplices include a pet from his alien hosts' household with an appearance not unlike some illustrations of a Jubjub bird.
The Bandersnatch appears in the Once Upon a Time in Wonderland episode "Forget-Me-Knot." This version is a monstrous wild boar. In the past, Alice had faced the Bandersnatch before. In the present, Jafar and the Red Queen send the female Bandersnatch after Alice and the Knave of Hearts in order to get Alice to use up one of her wishes from Cyrus. Jafar gives the Bandersnatch the magic message response that Alice made for Cyrus so that it can pick up her scent. The Bandersnatch tracks Alice to the Grendel's house and attacks where it knocks out the Grendel. As Alice restrains the Bandersnatch, the Knave the Hearts stabs it. The Red Queen states to Jafar that the Bandersnatch mates for life and that the male Bandersnatch in their possession is now dead.
In the visual novel Sekien no Inganock - What a Beautiful People, Bandersnatch appears as a fantastic Creature that manifests itself inside the "engine space" within the City's computer network and preys upon hackers who access the virtual reality.
- Carroll, Lewis (1971). Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. London: Oxford University Press.
- Carroll, Lewis. "The Hunting of the Snark". Poetry Foundation. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
- Jaberwocky Definitions
- Richards, Anna Matlock (1895). A New Alice in the Old Wonderland. London: J.B. Lippincott Company.
- Jones, Leslie, J.R.R.Tolkien: A Biography (Greenwood Publishing Group, 2003) p.72
- Zelazny, Roger (2001). Sign of chaos. Thorndike, ME: G.K. Hall. ISBN 0783892918.
- Weber, Scott. "Forgive Durden - Wonderland". Absolutepunk.net. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
- Nylund, Eric (2007). Halo : ghosts of Onyx (1st mass market ed. ed.). New York: Tor. ISBN 0765354705.
- Hale, Shannon; ;, Dean Hale; Hale, [illustrated by] Nathan (2010). Calamity Jack (1st U.S. ed. ed.). New York: Bloomsbury. ISBN 1599903733.