Deus ex machina

Katarina Hjärpe head_overheels at
Tue Dec 21 02:43:12 EST 2004

>Chrestomanci -- obviously -- in CL, WW, MoV (if I remember right),
>the Sage of Threar, Carol Oneir's 100th dream.

I don't think Chrestomanci can be called a Deus ex Machina in Charmed Life 
or Carol Oneir's 100th Dream, since he's integral to the story there. The 
point of a Deus ex Machina as I see it isn't whether or not it's a powerful 
person, but that it pops out of nowhere by the end of the story when the 
situation has become incredibly complicated, and solves it all in a moment. 
So "Oops, we just won the lottery" or "Hey, look, that bird just flew in 
with the missing will in its beak" could be Deus ex Machinas too, depending 
on the situation. (If it's properly set up and foreshadowed, it's not a Deus 
ex Machina.)

OTOH, Chrestomanci is most *definitely* a Deus ex Machina in Witch Week, and 
it has driven me batshit every time I read it. I'd much rather that the kids 
had come up with a solution on their own.


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