An Animated Dissection: Is Glossaryck of Terms the ‘Dr Manhattan’ of “Star vs the Forces of Evil,” and other observations about the little blue man
Oh good! You survived that freaky image of Glossaryck of Terms’ diamond-shaped eyes, staring into your soul.
Now that the second season of the animated series Star vs the Forces of Evil has come to an end, it’s time to let loose with some thoughts of my own, regarding what I’ve observed.
I often find my animation-addled brain, teeming with thoughts and anecdotes, that most of the time, tend to fly over the heads of most of the show’s fans (who, if social media is any indication, are addicted to ranting and raving over which of their fanships will win out in the end).
I rather enjoy being one of the more mature viewers in the fandom: watching the series, and searching for story/plot/character threads, that most of the young’uns, may not quite comprehend.
I got a whole mess of stuff to discuss about what the last 22 episodes have wrought, but first, I thought I’d compare one little blue man from the show, and how he reminded me of a (rather) big blue man, from a graphic novel I once read.
*Note: This article is written with the knowledge that the reader, is familiar with the first two seasons of the show, “Star vs the Forces of Evil.” If you do not wish to be spoiled, please turn back now.*
In the first few episodes of season 1 of Star vs the Forces of Evil, viewers were treated to the image of a strange, floating little blue man, who appeared without acknowledgement.
It wasn’t until the 6th episode’s segment, titled Mewberty, that we were formally introduced to Glossaryck of Terms (voiced by Jeffrey Tambor), whom Marco Diaz attempted to seek advice from, as Star Butterfly began to go through…mewberty!
Glossaryck revealed that he was a fixture of Star’s magic instruction book, which contained spells that she could use with her family’s wand. At first refusing to help, Glossaryck changed his tune, when Marco fulfilled his request to get him some pudding.
This led to Marco feeding the little man, who seemed to just give out riddles about how to help Star, with no concrete answers…or so it seemed.
Many things that Glossaryck has done over the course of the last two seasons, seem incredibly ridiculous, and oftentimes, make no sense whatsoever.
Most of the time, despite the way he acts, Glossaryck seems to know what to do, but the big question is…how?
And then, in remembering a scene from the graphic novel Watchmen, I came upon my theory: What if Glossaryck is like Jon Osterman, aka Dr Manhattan, in Watchmen?
In the Alan Moore-written graphic novel, Osterman is a scientist, who is seemingly disintegrated, when he ends up locked in a test chamber, and has his “intrinsic field” removed.
However, Jon is far from dead.
A number of strange things are seen around the labs over the next few months as Jon’s consciousness attempts to re-form him., One day, Jon is successful, and materializes before a stunned crowd of his peers. However, his appearance is different from his original form.
Though taking on a humanoid form, Osterman’s skin is blue, and more attuned to that of a perfect male physique.
As time goes on, Jon becomes less and less human, and soon takes up the moniker of Dr Manhattan. He is able to manipulate matter, and seems to be able to see through time and space.
This ability to see and know all however, leaves him incredibly disconnected from humanity, frustrating several persons he attempted to have relationships with. His pupil-less eyes, often seem encased in a face, whose expressions seem placidly calm most of the time.
One could almost see the same in regards to Glossaryck at times.
Of course, there’s been no proof that Glossaryck of Terms was once a normal ‘Mewman’ who became a magically-enhanced little blue man, but several of the things I recalled from the Watchmen graphic novel, popped into my head when thinking of him.
Much like Dr Manhattan, Glossaryck at times, can be frustratingly vague, as if he knows something is going to happen, but never tells just what will happen.
A prime example is in the segment titled By the Book, wherein he refuses to come out of a box of donuts, and is almost crushed by a garbage truck! However, in the end, he does several things that end up saving the day, and getting Star to perform a specific spell.
The first time I saw this story, and ran what Glossaryck said through my brain a few times, it made zero sense. However, as Season 2 carried onward, I revisited By the Book, and was surprised how it seemed a little less ridiculous!
Another notable comparison from Watchmen, is how Dr Manhattan would wear a rather placid, almost expressionless look on his face, even when something should strike a person as emotional, or shocking. Because of his ability to see the universe as it is (pre-determined, with little chance of alteration), Manhattan often appeared apathetic.
We see Glossaryck wear such an expression, in the story, Raid the Cave.
Using the all-seeing eye spell (from Queen Eclipsa’s forbidden chapter about Dark Magic!), Star is able to find Glossaryck and the book of spells, but strangely enough, he is not at all downtrodden over being captured, nor gives her clear remarks on just where he is (“I’m in a cave. On the ground!”)
He does make a few allusions to the spying spell she’s using, and is only slightly surprised, when Star somehow, manages to alter it, and is able to reach through it! The spell is only meant to allow one to see things, but somehow, with her own magic, Star manages to break through, and reach out to Glossaryck…who shows no propensity to do the same! He even claims that he and the book, are now Ludo’s property!
“Glossaryck, don’t you want to come with me?” pleads Star. “I thought we were, friends.”
“…friends?” he quizzically asks. “Now that’s such a simple concept.”
This admission seems to ‘hurt’ Star emotionally, and the connection begins to collapse!
Star tries a few more times to get Glossaryck to come with her, but he refuses to budge.
“But, I need you!” she cries.
“Maybe, ‘this’ is what you need,” he says, as the portal closes!
The results of what happened, finally allows Star to do something she has feared to do: tell her parents that she lost the book, and Glossaryck! Thinking they are going to yell at her for messing up, Star is surprised when instead, they tell her how they will keep her secret safe, and to “sit tight.”
However, in the wake of this, Star actually does something proactive. Taking a notebook, she begins to make her own spellbook, cataloging the magic spells that she’s made up on her own.
This is a reaction that seems a bit ‘deeper’ than what we experienced in the story, By the Book. When one looks at the end result of Glossaryck not coming back with Star, it feels that he has set things in motion, that may not be comprehensible to Star and her parents at this time.
Unlike some shows that will just give a character a backstory via memory-dump, it seems the Star vs the Forces of Evil writers are wont to make information about Glossaryck so readily available. Instead, it becomes a scavenger hunt, and if one were to go back over Season 2, you can find all sorts of little story hints, sometimes buried deep within a story.
Notable is in the segment Page Turner, where Glossaryck is forcibly pulled away from Star, who is examining a forbidden chapter, on Queen Eclipsa.
This ordeal seems to be one of the few times that we really see Glossaryck being annoyed in a rather primadonna fashion. At first, it’s in regards to the ridiculous security measures he has to go through to reach the Magic High Commission, but then his irritation transfers to Star’s mother, who has called the meeting, to request Glossaryck speed up Star’s magical training.
He then explains that this seems to be common in almost every single Queen he’s trained: sooner or later, they can’t just leave him alone, and make demands on how he should train future successors to the throne.
Of all the Princesses and Queens he’s trained, Glossaryck claims that Queen Eclipsa, was the only one who just left him alone. Of course, this just builds on more questions as to what Eclipsa’s reign on Mewni was like. It seems she is the black sheep of the royal line, and there may be something associated with her past, that could come to light next season.
Of course, some beings in the show’s multiverse, are pretty irked at the little blue man. While we have had Star’s father River give his opinion (“Little guy always creeped me out!”), one who has shown some malice towards Glossaryck, is a member of the Magic High Commission, named Rhombulus.
This was followed up in discussion he had with Star Butterfly, in the segment, Crystal Clear.
Rhombulus explained that some of his frustrations, came from being unable to win an argument with Glossaryck, along with him seeming to be “an all-knowing jerk.”
Someone did point out a rather intriguing thing, in the episode, Bon Bon the Birthday Clown, which might back this up.
Glossaryck ends up going along with Star and Janna to Bon Bon’s seance. During the course of the evening, we see a number of rats scurrying about the cemetery.
As the evening gets colder, Glossaryck nonchalantly asks Star if she intends to use a spell in the book, that has a “little drawing of a rat.”
Star doesn’t care about the page, and in a rather surprising move, Glossaryck sets it aflame, and warms himself!
It is possible, that Glossaryck was anticipating Ludo taking him and the book that evening, and knowing of Ludo’s rat minions, probably felt the spell on that page, might be dangerous later on (it’s never made clear just what the spell would do).
Of course, this is largely speculation, but given the amount of rats we see, it could be possible.
One of the last segments in Season 2, to feature Glossaryck as part of a main storyline, is titled The Hard Way.
Ludo has instructed his bird and spider minions to try and break Glossaryck’s spirit, but in a surprising move, Glossaryck claims he is willing to help Ludo reach his “full potential.”
Unlike Star who possesses an imagination (the “Narwhal Blast” she uses, is a spell of her own invention), Ludo seems devoid of any creativity. This leads to Glossaryck showing him a simple levitation spell from the book, and through positive reinforcement, Ludo seemed excited that he had learned how to gain some control over his wand.
After a positive first day of learning, Glossaryck (much to his annoyance), puts Ludo to bed, but is later awakened when Ludo claims ‘his wand’ mentioned that Glossaryck had shown a certain spell to Star.
At the little bird-creature’s insistence, Glossaryck opens the forbidden chapter, and Ludo is blasted into the air, suspended in the center of a swirling vortex!
Suddenly, Ludo’s eyes go green, and from his mouth, issues forth the voice of Toffee, a lizard-creature, that was supposed to have been destroyed at the end of Season 1!
“Give it up, old man,” says Toffee. “You’ll never get him (aka Ludo) on your side.”
“But I don’t have, a side,” counters Glossaryck.
“You don’t, do you?” asks Toffee, before smiling fiendishly. “…perfect.”
That conversation, was the last we’ve seen of Glossaryck of Terms this season.
When Moon Butterfly and the Magic High Commission infiltrated Ludo’s castle and confronted him, he mentioned that Glossaryck was gone, and he had no idea where he was.
The MHC’s High Chancellor named Lekmet, also thought he had found the spellbook, only to find it was blank, leading the council to believe that what they found, was a fake.
So, that beg’s the question…where are Glossaryck and the book of spells?
My opinion is…they’re now inside the wand that Ludo/Toffee wields!
An earlier Season 2 segment titled Into the Wand, had Glossaryck explaining to Star, that things could be stored within the wand, which is an extension of the wielder’s memories.
Much like Toffee’s finger that was found hidden inside Star’s wand, I am of the persuasion, that Glossaryck and the book, have suffered the same fate, under Ludo/Toffee’s wielding of the wand, and are trapped for the time being!
Of course, there also is the question, of what happens to Ludo when Toffee takes over.
By the end of Season 2, it looks like Toffee may be in total control of Ludo’s body, leading me to assume that Ludo’s soul, is also trapped within the wand.
If that is the case, and Ludo and Glossaryck are stuck in the wand, I could see their story arcs for Season 3, maybe showing the two working through some personal issues Ludo has.
We’ve seen this season, that Ludo is actually little more than a child, the ‘runt’ son of Lord and Lady Avarius (as seen in the episode, Face the Music). The family was extra-hard on Ludo, hoping to toughen him up…which led to him taking over the family castle with a gang of monsters, and changing the locks (which explains Ludo’s castle and minions, that we saw in Season 1!).
As annoying and childish as Ludo can be, I can see Glossaryck trying to help turn him ‘good,’ or clear up his anger issues with his family. It may be a key element to Ludo regaining control of his body from Toffee, let alone possibly destroying the disembodied lizard-creature, who seems to somehow be linked to the magical energy in the universe!
Of course, if the inside of Star’s wand creates a world based around the mind of it’s user…one wonders what horrors are inside Ludo/Toffee’s wand. The big question is, will we see inside it next Season?
This was one of those blog articles, that just struck like lightning!
Oftentimes, it can be the more enigmatic characters in a show or film, that cause the wheels in my head to turn.
A prime example, is my analysis of the character No Face (aka Kaonashi), from Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away. That analysis, is one of my most-viewed dissections, and is still going strong after almost 5 years!
I will confess that I have been sitting on a dissection of the character Toffee since the end of Season 1, but given how much more enigmatic Glossaryck of Terms has been this season, my brain seemed to just expel all of these thoughts in a matter of hours!
As we close out this little Animated Dissection, I thought I’d make one more reference to Watchmen.
The following quotes happen, after Laurie Juspeczyk is told by Dr Manhattan, that even though he knows what will happen, he still gives the expected responses, as they are meant to be played out. I can’t help but feel that it could very well speak to how Glossaryck fits, into the world of Star vs the Forces of Evil:
Laurie Juspeczyk: “The most powerful thing in the universe, and you’re just a puppet following a script?”
Dr Manhattan: “We’re all puppets, Laurie. I’m just the puppet who can see the strings.”