With the spooky season upon us, it is time to give homage to the spookiest of all creatures. The… familiar?
According to TV Tropes:
“This is based on the medieval belief that Satan granted demon servants (in animal form) to witches as part of their pacts and that “cunning folk” (white witches, herbalists, folk healers) were assisted by good spirits.”
The familiar is a common trope in a number of genres; from witchcraft and magical girls, the guiding spirit can spell danger or bring comfort to many a protagonist. These creatures are often physically present alongside the main character, giving them advice (for good or for bad), companionship or a link to powers/the spiritual world. There are occasions when a familiar is a spiritual manifestation, acting as a bridge between this realm and the next.
Familiars can use a wide range of skills as well. Oftentimes they will talk, much to the chagrin of others around them. Though there are some that use telepathy, choosing only to speak with words to add weight or bring about the end of the world.
Are they always on the side of good however? Surprisingly no. Some unlucky protagonists have been led down the garden path to the gates of destruction by an innocuous and cute sprite only to realise far too late what has happened. But, luckily for most fictional characters, an overwhelming majority of familiars are well meaning.
Does your comic have a familiar? Who is your favourite familiar? Let us know in the comment section below! And join us on Sunday evening for our Quackchat at 5:30PM(EST)!
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Emma_Clare at 12:00AM, Oct. 29, 2021
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