Disclaimer: I don't own the Labyrinth, or its characters, or The Groundhog story.
Chapter 3: Once Upon A Time:
There was a King
Once upon a time in a far away land, a young prince lived in a shinning castle. Although he had everything his heart desired, the prince was spoiled, selfish and unkind.
-Beauty and the Beast (1991)
(150 Years Ago)
Shortly after visiting the Labyrinth, Lord Oberon received the most joyful news he had ever heard in a long time. His beloved, Tatiana, revealed to him that she was now at last expecting, which was the couples' greatest wish; to have a child of their own. Because Fae were a powerful and immortal race, they had the most difficulty of procuring children, unless they married an elf or human, having a child, was rare blessing indeed for many.
Soon, the entire kingdom rejoiced with the royal couple, and anxiously awaited the day when the High Queen would give birth to the heir of the throne. When the appointed time came however, there was more astonishing news; for Lady Tatiana was not expecting one, but two! And having twins was even rarer.
For the many long hours, everyone in the kingdom seemed to be holding their breath while High King was on the edge with increasing impatience and concern, praying fervently that both his wife and children would come through the delivery alright. Then, at long last, a faithful servant proudly announced to the High King that he had a healthy son and a daughter, and that the queen was doing just fine. Shortly there after, the High King was admitted to see his queen and their newborn children. Tatiana looked exhausted, liked her body nothing more to do than sleep, but she wanted nothing more than to see the look of joy of her husband's face as he first beheld his children for the first time. Oberon looked wondrously at the two sleeping infants beside each other in a little crib beside Tatiana's bed. He glanced over at Tatiana and saw a light of joy in her eyes that he had not seen before. He gently took her hand lovingly and squeezed it, urging her to rest. Tatiana finally allowed sleep to over take her, as she finally consented to close her heavily eyelids, but slept with a small but peaceful smile on her face that night. During that time, Oberon watched over the sleeping twins with unexplainable pride and joy he had felt, as he studied them and memorized every detail of them by heart.
The following three days later, it was announced the High King was to hold a huge celebration at the castle in ten days time, in honor of the twins' christening. It would also be on that day, when the royal couple would officially announce the names of the twins. For the next ten days, the entire kingdom was buzzing with excitement as they made preparations for the grand event. Cart loads of food and wine were brought in the banquet hall of the castle, while the royal cooks cooked a storm that filled the air with such a delicious aroma, that everyone could smell the food being prepared from miles around. The shops were flocked with customers as they bought new clothes and wares for the special occasion while everyone worked fiercely to get extra work done so they would be free to celebrate all day on the grand event. It was like getting ready to celebrate Christmas time at the peak of spring.
Finally, on the tenth day, the castle was flood with guest in the grand hall. Never had any heard such fine music, or had seen the castle look so festive. But before the feasting could begin, everyone awaited to for High King and Queen to present royal twins to their subjects. Soon, trumpets blared, announcing the arrivals of the two sovereigns, and everyone hushed and settled down as they awaited the news. The royal ambassador unrolled a scroll and read aloud to all: "Hear ye, hear ye! On the thirteenth day since their royal majesties birth, we have all gathered here today to celebrate their christening, where the true heir shall be proclaimed, and all shall know their royal highness by name and presence. So it is with great pleasure that I give to you Prince Jareth; heir to the high throne, and her royal highness, Princess Athena."
75 years had past since that day, yet no one but Oberon, Tatiana and their most trusted advisor, Mordecai, knew what the soothsayer had foretold on the twin's christening that day, as it was traditional for soothsayers to predict a child's future on their christening day. Before, the infants were presents to their subjects, the mysterious Zaltor, the old wandering soothsayer, unexpectedly appeared in the room without warning. He solemnly bowed before the started royal couple and royal advisor, as formally greeted them and asked if he may have the honor to see what fate held in store for the twins.
Oberon hesitated at first, for much Zaltar was unknown as to know where he had come from, where he lived and what he did. Some believed as he was also a powerful sorcerer. Others claimed he did strange things. Few had even claimed he was a ghost. The High King glanced at Mordecai from the corner of his eye. Mordecai, who telepathic, nodded and he communicated in mind speech. "He may be strange, but his insights have always be regarded sound and true."
With that, Oberon than consented, and with a tall, smooth but sturdy oaken staff in hand, he approached the two twins and paused to peer at them. Both twins were awake and both had stopped moving to look at the strange but quiet wizard like man. Athena's look was that of innocent curiosity. She squirmed in a more comfortable position and stuck out her curled fist which stretched out towards Zaltar. Zaltar quietly held out his finger and Athena grabbed and pulled hand towards her mouth, as she tasted his finger. She tasted it and then unexpectedly broke into a smile and cooed. "Ahh," smiled Zaltar with laughing gleam in his eyes and a quiet but knowing smile on his lips. "You have chosen her name well." He said glancing towards the parents, particularly Tatiana. "Athena," he said, trying the sound her name as he closed his eyes as if listening for unknown voice. "An owl, yes" he murmured. He paused and then smiled back sincerely at the parents' eager but questioning looks. "Named after Wisdom, yes, daughter of wisdom she is indeed. Even at a young and tender age, she will be beyond her years, and will the gift to see many things. Listen to her, even if you do not understand."
Before the Oberon or Tatiana could question Zaltar's meaning, Jareth made upsetting cry, as if he realized he was not being noticed, and began squirm vigorously as if trying to get attention. Zaltar's attention immediately turned to the older twin, although he did not attempt to move his finger from Athena's grip. "Ahh the first born," remarked Zaltar, and cocked his head to the side as if trying to better see Jareth. Jareth however already decided he did not like this strange man and continued to fuss. "Hmm," murmured Zaltar, and reached into a small pouch tied to his belt, and brought shimmering silver dust with tiny dried crumbled leaves. He murmured something incoherent which sounded like incantation of a prayer or spell, and then threw a tiny patch into the air. Jareth became still and quiet and watched in awe as the dust and leaves shimmered and sparkled as floated down towards him but seemly dissolved before it actually touched him. As the last shimmer winked out of sight, Jareth suddenly wrinkled his little brow and gave a little sneeze. "Gesundheit, little prince," remarked Zaltar and put away the remaining contents in his pouch and looked solemnly at his parents.
"Your son has great potential to become a great king, only through the love and purity of a magic child from the aboveground can show him the way to towards the way through the labyrinth of true happiness." And before the other three in the room present could question his meaning, Zaltar had disappeared, and was not seen since.
(During the next 150 years later)
Just as Zaltar predicted, both Athena and Jareth grew great potential and much promise. At a young age they were very close, though very different from another.
Both had mismatch eyes. However, Jareth had blue colored eye on right and light purple colored eye on the left, while Athena had the same colored eyes but where switched on different sides. Both were tall and slender, yet Jareth's features were more sharper, and his spiky hair was more like a wild, ivory-colored mane, while Athena's hair was like soft silky golden brown wave.
Just was they were different in appearance except for the eyes, they were also different in personalities. Jareth had attractive charm about him, even as a young child. Because of his winning smile and charming nature, he was never short or lacking with friends, admirers and followers. He was a natural born leader, and had curious knack at making up songs and interesting poetry just for the fun of it. He also had a curious fascination with crystals. There was something the shape and design that attracted his interest. One day, found a stray crystal ball, and started moving it effortlessly on the tips of his fingers, and soon had orb flowing along the movements of his arms, his hands and even shoulder to shoulder. Soon, he gotten into the habit of contact juggling using crystal balls just to pass the time or give him something to do while he was thinking or help pass the time.
Everyone was impressed by Jareth's skills, which unfortunately contributed to his vanity and his egocentric self. Gifted with powers to manipulate images, create illusions, shift, conjure and transform objects and even reorder time, Jareth gradually became a proud and conceited person. After all, he was the future high king was he not? The world was given to him on a silver platter and he would expect no less from anyone under any circumstances.
Athena personality was quite opposite. She was often quiet and was not at all flamboyant like twin brother, who lived for attention and having a good time. Athena preferred the tranquility of nature, or curled up with a book in father's library. However, although she did not have a large magnitude admirers and attention seekers as her brother was, she had established long lasting devoted friendships among of couple of people, and was known for gentle and compassionate nature, towards those in need. While Athena grown close with her parents, she and her family noticed there was undesirable change in Jareth that was growing within him as he reached adolescents and soon became a stranger to his family.
As it turned out, Jareth began hanging out with rebellious and self-indulgent youths who considered his friends, who fed on his ego and vanity. Soon, Jareth had no respect for the lowly and humble subjects of his kingdom, let alone for his tutors and elders. He openly insulted, jeered and even humiliated subjects with his friends. He spent his time at glamorous parties, while displaying vulgar behavior as he made crude jokes and used many a young women to indulge for his pleasure. He was the high prince, and he could do what ever he wanted.
Soon Athena was grievously pained to see her brother act so self-centered and had felt no shame for his offensive actions. Oberon and Tatiana were humiliated and frustrated by their son's actions as well. They had felt they had failed in raising their son, and despite all their efforts, Jareth would not listen nor paid to heed them.
Just when the royal couple felt that they were at their wits' end in what to do with their obstinate son, they received in unexpected visitor, whom they had almost forgotten—the Lady of the Labyrinth. She was as beautiful and as ageless as ever, with a tender empathic look in her eyes for the distraught parents. "Fear not my lieges. Had I not told you that we would meet again when a child of yours would lose his way, and would come and reside in my Labyrinth till he has changed?"
"How can he change in the Labyrinth if he will not listen ever to us?" questioned Lord Oberon with despair.
"Take heart, Lord Oberon and Lady Tatiana, there was a purpose for the Labyrinth being built, and it's time your son learned responsibility. He must earn the right to become king if he wishes to be so."
Oberon and Tatiana were willing to try anything and readily agreed to what the Lady of the Labyrinth had proposed.
… and thus it was, that the High King and Queen went to their son and told him that he was to be sent away to the mysterious realm of the Labyrinth and would be mostly confined there as King of the Goblins, who lived in the Labyrinth. The spoiled young prince refused to listen, until the King and Queen made it clear he would not become High King and would be stripped of his powers if he disobeyed them. So grudging, the prince gave in, and was made King of what seemed a very lowly kingdom, made of creatures that appeared to be silly, stupid, slow-witted or incoercible. The young prince, now known as the Goblin King soon became mean-spirited when he realized he was tied down to the rules of the Labyrinth. Although he was cruel, the Labyrinth would not allow him to harm his subjects without a justified cause, though he continued scorn the Labyrinth and it's inhabitants. As time went on, the young prince's manner improved very little. However, one day, the Labyrinth allowed him to venture into the Aboveground, under the strictest circumstances not use magic unless he was summoned to do so. Further more, he would not be allowed to venture in his true form, unless he was called upon. If wished to explore the Aboveground, he would have to take the shape of animal.
Begrudgingly, the Goblin King agreed, unaware that the Labyrinth had been setting her plans in motion. Taking the shape of a barn owl, the Goblin King had not been in the Aboveground long, when his eye caught sight of a beautiful but troubled young girl. Although he would have scorned to think humans could ever attract his interest, there was something about the girl that had captured his interest so. She had another world about her, and although she was very young, she was showing signs of becoming a very attractive young woman. He realized her name was Sarah, and she was angry and upset with her life. Her mother whom she had adored more than anyone had broken the young's girl heart by abandoning her daughter to pursue her own interests, without so much a care about her family she had left behind. The young girl had barely enough time to grieve, when her father remarried again, and barely showed interest in his young daughter who felt neglected and unloved.
To escape from the pain that she had felt, Sarah had surprisingly, found a book about Jareth's world, and would spent hours daydreaming and reading the book, longing and wishing for fairy tale to come true. And than—one day, it had happened. Sarah had wished away her half brother to the goblins, where Jareth would turn him into one to his wicked delight, although he could not help but resist seeing Sarah in his true shape. He delighted in the way he had frightened and captivated her with appearance, but to his irritation and disbelief, Sarah pleaded to have her brother back, realizing what her angry and selfishness had done. The Goblin King tried to sway her to forget or her brother and even tried to bribe her by giving her wanted sorely wanted, her dreams. From his own experiences, most people would have excepted Jareth's offer. He expected no less from humans since he heard many of them to be weak and shallow. But to his astonishment, Sarah refused to give in, even when he tried to scare her with a nasty trick.
Finally, Sarah's persistent pleas and teary eyes, pursued him to give her chance to save her brother, one that he thought would be impossible for her to achieve, solving the Labyrinth within thirteen hours, before he turned her brother into goblin. Jareth was admittedly impressed by Sarah's unwavering determination to save her brother, but he thought it would be more amusing to watch become flustered by the confusion and obstacles of the Labyrinth. However, he began to grow uneasy as Sarah slowly, but surely progressed through the Labyrinth, with no signs of giving-up. Deciding to take drastic measures, he sent his cowardly dwarf, Hoggle, whom Sarah had met at the gate, to trick her into leading back at the beginning. When Sarah had persuaded Hoggle to help instead, the Goblin King decided to remind the dwarf that would severally punish him if the dwarf betrayed him. He then tried to immediate Sarah with presence, but she refused to cower before him and had smugly replied that his Labyrinth was a piece of cake.
Amused as well as annoyed at her defiant display, he decided teach her what happened to those who insubordinate towards him, by robbing her a certain amount of time to save her brother, and frightening her and Hoggle with the cleaners.
But Sarah was even more determined than ever to reach the castle, and Jareth soon became jealous of how she persuaded his own subjects to help her when they should have obeying him without question. He also realized he was even more jealous by the way Sarah grew to befriend an ugly cowardly dwarf, when she should be interested in him like everyone young female in the Underground.
Intrigued by challenge draw all her focus upon him and nothing else, the Goblin King forced the half hearted dwarf to give her a drugged, magical peach. Once Sarah had taken a bit of the enchanted fruit, Jareth took control over her mind and clouded all thoughts about saving her brother. He than tried to seduce her through magical illusionary ballroom while pretending to be the prince of dreams, but although Sarah was at first helplessly drawn and allured by him, Sarah suddenly realized she happened as the clock struck, announcing she had only one hour left before her time was up. To Goblin King's dismay, Jareth realized he was falling love with her, and was crushed as Sarah wrenched herself away from him and fled.
Powerless to stop her Sarah was reunited with her friends, even with Hoggle who felt awful about betraying her, whom she tenderly forgave, and was at the castle in record time. Despites, all of Jareth's tricks, pleas and offers, Sarah refused to believe him was sincere, and proclaimed she had no power over her. In the end, Sarah had won her brother back, as well as the respect and admiration of the citizens of the Labyrinth.
For the first time in his life, Jareth had truly fallen in love. Never had anyone had rejected him or denied him anything. Because he did not know how else to act, he became worse off than ever before. He was bitter and sarcastic as well as cruel with everyone, and spent three years sulking and feeling sorry for himself. Finally, his sister, Athena, realized that something more serious had done to slap some sense into her blind and dimmed brother. But first, she managed to pay him a visit…
The Legend of the Goblin King and the Champion of the Labyrinth
Recorded by Athena the Wise, daughter of the High King Oberon and the High Queen Tatiana
Finally, I have gotten this chapter out of the way. I can't say I'm pleased with it, since it could have been much better, but I do want to get to the fun stuff now, before no one wants to read my story anymore. I admit don't like writing long detailed information, but it felt necessary to put down, as to explain why Jareth is the way he is in the story and what Sarah's and Jareth's view about each other at first.
I welcome healthy criticism, comments and reviews, but please no flames! I apologize if I made careless grammar errors.
The next chapter will be about how Jareth meets Sarah again, as she's watching Groundhog Day!