Golden Boughs Retirement Village

Golden Boughs Retirement Village

The Golden Boughs Retirement Village is a fictional prison masquerading as a retirement home for fables in the "Fables" spin-off "Jack of Fables". It is run by a man called himself Mr. Revise. The name is an explicit reference to The Golden Bough, a lengthy study in the comparative mythology, religion and folklore of hundreds of cultures, from aboriginal and extinct cultures to 19th-Century faiths.Citation | last = Irvine | first = Alex | author-link = Alexander C. Irvine | contribution = Fables | editor-last = Dougall | editor-first = Alastair | title = The Vertigo Encyclopedia | pages = 72-81 | publisher = Dorling Kindersley | place = New York | year = 2008 | ISBN = 0-7566-4122-5 | oclc = 213309015]

The Facility

The Golden Boughs consists largely of a series of cottages assigned to the various inmates, along with a number of public buildings such as a pub, plus the various buildings required to run the place.

Security consists of a fence, moat and guard towers, which are constantly manned by the junior librarians. In the event of an escape, the facility has a number of carefully trained tigers which can be released to track escapees, along with a group known as the Bagmen, powerful creatures of unknown type which inhabit an all-encompassing outfit that gives them humanoid shape and which can be folded down to resemble a large bag. Each guard tower is equipped with a Doubling Rook, a magical bird which, when released, will multiply quickly until all available food is exhausted, and can be used to deal with any attempt at an aerial escape.

The Golden Boughs resembles the Village of "The Prisoner" in some ways, and as he escapes from the Golden Boughs, Jack Horner explicitly makes the connection in a narrative aside to the reader about the place "in the British TV show" guarded by the evil "weather balloon."


Some of the Fables who are imprisoned were The Tin Man, The Cowardly Lion, The Scarecrow, and Dorothy Gale, the Cat and the Fiddle from Hey Diddle Diddle, Little Tommy Tucker, The Walrus and the Carpenter, and the little oysters, Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox, the Black Sheep and boy from "Baa Baa Black Sheep", Mary, Mary, still quite contrary, Humpty Dumpty, Raven, Wicked John (an earlier version of Jack Horner), Alice, Mother Goose, a large family from the poem "The Road to St. Ives", Cuchulainn, the Jersey Devil, an Kiviuq, the tooth fairy, Mustardseed, Peaseblossom, Moth, and Cobweb from "A Midsummer Night's Dream", the Cottingley fairies Lola and Doris, John Henry, Pecos Bill, and assorted Munchkins. Another prisoner is an old man named Sam who couldn't remember if he was a Fable or not, since his story was almost completely forgotten. He was later proven to be Little Black Sambo, as the tigers chasing him were turned to butter as in the original story. Later on, Lady Luck is captured after a tip supplied by the Pathetic Fallacy at Jack's behest.


Mr. Revise

Mr. Revise is in overall charge of the facility. His exact status is unclear, but he is descended from Literals, a group of magical beings who, unlike the Fables, who are characters from story, appear to personify literary concepts. He is the son of Kevin Thorn and the grandson of the Pathetic Fallacy. As such, Revise holds a considerable amount of supernatural power.

Revise considers his role to be "neutering" Fables partly by stripping them of their darker elements, with his ultimate goal being to rid the world of magic. He had been close to accomplishing that before the Fabletown refugees made their way to this mundane world. He somewhat resembles Walt Disney.

In light of Mr. Revise's intention to "destroy magic" it is worth remembering that "The Golden Bough" was originally written by Sir James Frazer to show that even the "enlightened" faiths of the 19th Century were descended from the most superstitious and primitive. Like Frazer, Mr. Revise may be a "modernist" who wants to abolish superstition.

The Page Sisters

The three Page sisters serve Revise directly as the senior librarians of the Golden Boughs facility, each with their own speciality. Robin Page is in charge of security, training the tigers and so forth, Priscilla Page handles retrievals, the capture of Fables and bringing them back to the facility, while Hillary Page runs the research department. It's been revealed, in "Jack of Fables" #26, that the sisters have two different fathers. Hillary is the daughter of Revise, while Priscilla and Robin are Bookburner's daughters.

The Page sisters all appear to be relatively young, are attractive and all three have slept with Jack Horner, something that he takes considerable pride in having achieved. When last seen, Robin was still at the facility assisting Revise. Priscilla tracked Jack down after his escape from the Golden Boughs and was bringing him home when their van crashed into the Grand Canyon. She was last seen stranded at the side of the road after Jack stole a van, leaving her behind. Hillary spent some time travelling with Jack after his escape, but left after discovering that he'd slept with both of her sisters before her and is now helping the Bookburner, another Literal who may be Revise's brother, track the fugitives.

The Pathetic Fallacy

The facility is also home to a man known as the Pathetic Fallacy, although he comes to prefer being called "Gary", who has the powers of that concept. His precise status is somewhat unclear; while he does Revise's bidding, appears to have his trust and carries out a number of minor staff duties, he is also kind and sympathetic and aided the escape plan. It is later revealed that the Pathetic Fallacy is a Literal, an extremely powerful magical being of a different kind to the Fables, in that he personifies a literary concept rather than being a character from literature. He is the father of Kevin Thorn and grandfather to Revise, although he appears to only be aware of this on occasion.

The Pathetic Fallacy is currently travelling with Jack Horner, taking on the role of his sidekick. He is somewhat naive and frequently confused, although he has lucid moments when he shows a great deal of knowledge about how stories work. He regards inanimate objects (which are, of course, generally quite animate in his presence) as friends and talks to them frequently.


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