Talk:The Dark Is Rising Sequence

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In that notes section it reads as follows: "Will Stanton's eleventh birthday is momentous in the book. In the Hollywood version he is 13 to 14 years old (and American) in order to help distinguish him from Harry Potter, a later creation but earlier international film star who learns on his eleventh birthday that he is a wizard." Harry Potter is not the star he's the character. I can't seem to edit the note, if someone else could that would be great. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:32, 10 December 2012 (UTC)


I have merged the infor from the pages for the indivdual books in the series onto this page. Most of those pages were only stubs, and in this way a fuller artticle will result. I am about to convert the separate pages into redirects. DES 23:55, 31 May 2005 (UTC)


To see the history of the text on the individual works, consult the history of the separate articles at Over Sea, Under Stone, The Dark Is Rising, Greenwitch, The Grey King, and Silver on the Tree, all of which are now redirects to the series article. DES 00:06, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I would like it if each of the books to have their own entry, as THE GREY KING does already. that includes THE DARK IS RISING itself (the book, not the cycle named after it). ***Ria777 19:53, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

Old Ones[edit]

Are the Old Ones actually immortal? They age, but slowly. Merriman was old, as was The Lady.

They are unkillable except by the Old, and High Magics. Aging in and of itself does not mean they will die of old age, and none of them actually do. They also leave the mortal world at the end of Silver on the Tree. All pretty good reasons to call them immortal, methinks.

Who was "The Lady"?[edit]

I've been pouring over Welsh, Celtic, and British mythology trying to figure out definitively who the character "The Lady" in the Dark is Rising series is mean to represent. With all the meaning and significance behind all the other characters, I can't believe she's not also significant historically and mythologically. The most obvious guess would be that she's "Morgaine." Or perhaps "Viviane"? Any thoughts?

Personally I always thought she was closer to the Lady of the Lake, that is, the elemental essence of England. But that's just me; she's an archetype, something that all those women contain a piece of. -- Metahacker 01:24, 5 April 2006 (UTC)
I agree. She's very much an archetype; in all the time I spent reading the books and studying medieval fantasy of the British Isles etc. etc., I haven't found a single person upon whom she could be based. She comes across to me as a composite though--guide, protector, but frail. I'll stop babbling now! Mohsin.Siddiqui 19:48, 26 September 2006 (UTC)


I was under the impression that the grail in the stories was not the Holy Grail of legend but a different cup. Applejuicefool 16:11, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

I would have to go back and re-read the books to confirm this, but I believe it was actually the same grail as is referred to in Arthurian myth etc. (Merriman Lyon = Merlin, and so on); generally the Arthurian grail was supposed to be the Christian grail, and so I'd assume it's all in line? Mohsin.Siddiqui 19:55, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
Two years late but I don't think it matters! From Over Sea, Under Stone when Merriman is translating the parchment to the Drews: "...the grail, made in the fashion of the Holy Grail, ...". It's quite clear that this grail is not the Holy Grail. I'd change the article if I could think of what to write instead... anyone? Sparrer (talk) 02:35, 19 November 2008 (UTC)


While this article is long, I find it to be severely lacking in information. (I came to the article as I wasn't sure if I had ever read the books as a child. I come away from it no more certain, as I can't get much out of this.) The plot synopsis for each book are bare, consisting mainly of "this book introduces/involves character(s) characcter X, description of character," there's no information on when the books were first published, or who published them. In fact, most of the article seems to be taken up with a list of the characters.

Granted, maybe all this makes sense to someone who has read (or at least recalls) the books, but the article should be useful to those who haven't as well. Just my two cents. g026r 19:27, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

I came looking for the sequence in the Dark Is Rising Sequence. There's a book missing, so I'll add it, but I haven't read it, so I can't give a good synopsis. —19:12, 25 April 2007‎

Random bits[edit]

The "Random Tidbits about the Stanton Family" section seems to be more apt as a part or sub-section of the "Characters" section, no? It's really not substantially different from what's included there, and although the characters don't show up in each and every book (neither do the rooks for goodness' sake), they are pretty central to a lot of what goes on across the series. Again, I obviously need to read the series again, but I feel like this change would be a good one. Mohsin.Siddiqui 20:14, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Double Redirects[edit]

I've been trying to remove the links on this page that redirect back to this page and find other double redirects - I didn't realize I wasn't logged in earlier when I made some changes, but those were me as well. Lcarscad 20:37, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Multiple Changes[edit]

1. I think we need a summary for the entire series. 2. I think perhaps a section describing the themes? 3. We need to move the stanton family to the character section 4. We need to decide whether or not we are going to tell those newbury succession people to take a hike or not. We have a standard for the books where we redirect all of the books to this one page. Now The _Grey_King has its own page though because people were concerned about the newbury succession page. But I think that it is too inconsistent. Jpittman 16:24, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Merriman SPOILER[edit]

Although it is important to the overview of the series, need we really reveal Merriman's identity here? These are wonderful books and why spoil Cooper's surprizes for the reader? Kids do read Wikipedia, right? earrach Sept10th,2007 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Earrach (talkcontribs) 20:17, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

See WP: Spoiler. --Thnidu (talk) 18:23, 25 December 2017 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Darkisrising.jpg[edit]

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BetacommandBot 04:42, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

2012 Note. Two days later, the contributor of the image slightly revised its file: [1]. That is not exemplary. I don't know whether it is adequate. --P64 (talk) 20:43, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

Gnostic Symbol[edit]

Does the symbol seen on some of the covers (circle with two perpendicular lines inside) remind anyone of the Gnostic symbol? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:40, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

What does the gnostic symbol look like? It hasn't reminded me of it because I don't know what it is. Cheers! Wassupwestcoast (talk) 22:27, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Here's a link to the image:

It might not be Gnostic specifically, it just reminded me of the little circle with two crossing lines in it that can be seen on that cover of The Dark Is Rising. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:15, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
This is just the mandala - the cross in the circle - the design of each "sign" that Will has to collect to put on his belt in Dark is Rising itself - an old symbol used in many religions, including Gnosticism and Buddhism - Abbeybufo (talkcontribs) 20:01, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

Will's Sibling Number[edit]

In Will's bio, it says that he is the seventh son of a seventh son, yet when I counted his siblings, including Tom, he appears to be the tenth. Does anyone know why this is?Anpan11 (talk) 23:37, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

He's the tenth child but seventh son, that's the difference and what makes him by tradition the 'magic' or 'lucky' one. In this respect girls 'don't count'! Abbeybufo (talkcontribs) 13:23, 13 July 2008 (UTC)

Black Rider[edit]

I don't think he 'patronises' John Smith's establishment. We only see him there once and later we find out that he didn't know John Smith was an Old One until John gave himself away by talking to Will in the Old Speech... Sparrer (talk) 02:22, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

Surely 'patronises' in this context just means he brings his horse to be shod there? By tradition a smith cannot refuse to shoe a horse which needs shoeing, however much he may be 'for' or 'against' the person bringing the horse. Abbeybufo (talkcontribs) 16:56, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes but there's no indication that it's a regular thing, could be he just happened to be passing. Sparrer (talk) 16:00, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
Indeed - the whole point is that a smith by tradition cannot refuse to shoe a horse, whatever he may think of the rider. Equally if a horse need shoeing, its rider [or Rider!] will find the nearest smith. Abbeybufo (talkcontribs) 13:17, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Will's Age[edit]

There have been several attempts to change the age of Will Stanton in this article from eleven to fourteen. This is another unfortunate effect of the film, which made the character older, an American, and with fewer siblings [see section on Will's Siblings above]. In the book, which this article is about, events begin on the day before Will's eleventh birthday. Abbeybufo (talkcontribs) 13:17, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

One mention of Will's age has been revised from 11 to 14 (again).
Regarding the film, one cited source[2] --in advance of the film's release-- says he will be thirteen there. It will be good to ascertain 13 or 14 in the film and to add a Note explaining this point.
Oh, I will write the Note and say 13 or 14, leave the rest to you. --P64 (talk) 18:45, 3 March 2012 (UTC)
After someone has the details (how old in the movie? also on his birthday?), it may be worthwhile to explain fully in the text section Adaptation, and to refer to that in-text explanation from the other three locations --I don't recall al technical details-- rather than use any footNote as I have done. --P64 (talk) 19:16, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Publication Dates[edit]

Shouldn't the titles within the series include the publication dates? I visited this page to find out when this series was published but nowhere (except for a brief reference to The Gray King winning the Newberry Prize in 1976) is there a reference to when these books were written. I know nothing about the series (which is why I was looking it up) or I'd help out here. SophieTorkleson (talk) 02:05, 19 April 2010 (UTC)


The Dark is Rising series listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB) gives these publication dates for UK and US first editions. After the first book, the years match, and the US month is earlier where available.

  • 1. 1965 ??? UK; US ??? 1966
  • 2. 1973 May UK; US Apr
  • 3. 1974 Jun UK; US ???(Worldcat gives no month; calls the US "first edition"[3])(goodreads gives no month[4])
  • 4. 1975 Oct UK; US ???(Worldcat also gives no month[5])(reportedly reviewed 1975-09-28 in The New York Times[6])(goodreads says "first published July 1st 1975"[7])
  • 5. 1977 Oct UK; US Sep

In the article we/I call this "almost simultaneous" publication of the sequels, but that is a stretch if the four-month difference for The Grey King is reliable. Publication details seem to me worthwhile in the articles devoted to particular books, perhaps in a section "Publication history". (Talk:The Grey King) --P64 (talk) 20:43, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

Explanation of the Welsh in the Rhymes section[edit]

I have a reasonable knowledge of Welsh grammar, and the explanation of the odd ?incorrect grammar in the Welsh couplet makes little sense to me, so it is reasonable to assume it means even less to a non-Welsh speaker. The explanation seems a bit laboured and off-the-point (though no doubt written with best intentions.) Would it be reasonable to simply give the translation, and maybe comment that the Welsh used is anomolous, rather than the current passage on the correct usage of the verb Bod? Jellytussle (talk) 20:35, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

since no-one has objected in the last 14 months since I made the above comment, I have edited the section for simplicity.Jellytussle (talk) 16:15, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

Unready Material[edit]

work in progress imported before emergency save (interrupted)

[...]  Done --more or less "completed" nine months later; notes deleted or transferred to the next section --P64 (talk) 22:54, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

--P64 (talk) 23:57, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

Film adaptation[edit]

The lead of this article, which covers both the second book and the whole series, simply makes the The Seeker (film) an adaptation of book two. Section "Film adaptation" reports that it was planned to be an adaptation of the series. That other article simply calls its subject the film "adaptation of the second book in the five-book young adult fantasy series The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper."

Does the film story essentially amount to Will's discovery of his "Old-Onage" and his acquisition of the six signs, as does the second book story? On the contrary, do the advance of Will to age 14 and the introduction of a love interest constitute some adaptation of the sequel novels? Are any elements of the film clearly drawn from the first book Over Sea, Under Stone? (In turn that article does not mention any film adaptation of the series. It does cover separate radio adaptations of books one and two.)

For contrast or comparison, The Black Cauldron (novel) lead says that it "provided a title and many elements of plot for the only Prydain film, the Disney animated feature The Black Cauldron (film) released in 1985 (below)." Section "Adaptation" says that that book (also the second of five) "was loosely adapted by Walt Disney Productions and released in 1985 as Disney's 25th animated feature film. The Black Cauldron (film) was based primarily on the first two Prydain novels with elements from the others."

It is said of Prydain that there can be no continuing film adaptation of the series. (As for The Lord of the Rings, any subsequent effort would necessarily dispense with what has been done.) Applying that "test" to this case: does The Seeker (film) impinge seriously on film adaptation of either Over Sea, Under Stone or one of its sequels? If so, how? Eg, does it undermine the other stories?

(I have not seen either the Prydain film or the Dark one. I know both from their wikipedia articles only, including some online references by those articles. I know both book twos, and both ones, very well.) --P64 (talk) 17:24, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

Today I undid two edits 22 April 2012 That editor had inserted (quote):
Merriman Lyon is not a tall, white-haired, beak-nosed man; the seeking of the powerful pre-Christian elemental solar wheel signs (a major plot point of the book) is eliminated, etc.
The former seems trivial (does it mean the film's Lyon is not tall, white-haired, or beak-nosed?). The latter seems important or vital because the plot is structured in large part by Will's collection of signs.
Worthy or not, these observations do not fit as tacked onto the Hodge's distinction of this film from Harry Potter films. Nor do they fit the revision from Cooper's disappointment with "several changes" to "these changes" --because our sources (Adler text and audio versions) do not show specifically what disappointed Cooper except Will's adolescence.
By the way, the audio version is worth hearing. The articles (text and audio) include material that should be useful in the biography Susan Cooper, in the film article, and in other sections of this article. --P64 (talk) 23:15, 9 January 2013 (UTC)


Aren't the rhymes a copyright violation? Anyway, I don't think the article needs the texts, though it should mention the musical setting. —JerryFriedman (Talk) 02:17, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

I agree twice: maybe violation and not necessary.
Some quotation of poetry will be useful, however, if it is developed regarding Cooper's use of poetry/rhyme or use of Welsh language (but I don't know either can be done without WP:OR).
The first stanza will be useful --and usable without WP:COPYVIO, i think-- if there is anything to be said about "the powerful pre-Christian elemental solar wheel signs" (quoting what I reverted in section Film adaptation; see immediately above).
--P64 (talk) 23:25, 9 January 2013 (UTC)

The Grey King[edit]

Today I revised The Grey King heavily, altho limited to the lead, infobox, and footer. (Among winners of the U.S. Newbery Medal it may be the only one whose book article does not overtly cover the plot.)

Comments solicited. See also Talk: Tir na n-Og Award and Talk: The Grey King. --P64 (talk) 23:24, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

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