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The Spiderwick Chronicles is a series of children's books by Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi. They chronicle the adventures of the Grace children, twins Simon and Jared and their older sister Mallory, after they move into Spiderwick Estate and discover a field guide, written by their great-great-uncle Arthur Spiderwick, detailing a world of faeries that they never knew existed.
It consists of the following books:
- The Field Guide
- The Seeing Stone
- Lucinda's Secret
- The Ironwood Tree
- The Wrath of Mulgarath
A sequel series, Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles, has two step-siblings having to find a way to stop a rampage of fire breathing giants threatening the state of Florida.
Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles consists of:
- The Nixie's Song
- A Giant Problem
- The Wyrm King
There are also some companion books, including a reproduction of the Field Guide itself.
The original series was adapted into a film in 2008. It omitted the elves, dwarves and dragons in the books and altered much of the ending.
The books provide examples of:
- All There in the Manual
- All Trolls Are Different
- Always Identical Twins: Simon and Jared
- Attention Deficit Ooh Shiny
- Bluff the Impostor
- Broken Masquerade
- Call Receival Area
- Chekhov's Gunman: Hogsqueal.
- Clockwork Creature: Dwarves have a passion for building these, wanting creatures as long lasting as they are.
- Fairy Tale
- Food Chains
- Goggles Do Something Unusual: The Seeing Stone
- In Which a Trope Is Described: All chapters of both series.
- Lampshade Hanging: Chapter 7 of The Nixie's Song is titled "In Which We Nearly Break The Fourth Wall."
- Literary Agent Hypothesis: It's said the authors took the real stories of the Grace children (and changed their names for privacy's sake) as well as reproduced the Field Guide. The sequel series has a character that's read the previous books and the field guide and they even try getting the help of the authors at a book signing.
- Long Lost Sibling
- Lost and Found
- Mad Lib Fantasy Title
- Mad Scientist
- Magic Hat
- Meaningful Name: Jack, who kills giants.
- Missing Mom: Nick's mom died prior to the beginning of Beyond.
- Mix-and-Match Critters: The faeries seen throughout the series borrow many traits from various plants and animals. Word of God has said that, seeing as faeries are the spirits of nature, it would make sense for them to appear this way.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Fighting the Giants in the second series resulted in the Wyrms being able to run rampant.
- Our Dragons Are Different: Mulgarath's dragons are serpentine, multilegged and venomous. The Hydra is numerous wryms combined like a rat king, rather than a single creature with numerous heads.
- Our Fairies Are Different
- Our Gryphons Are Different: Byron follows the typical classical gryphon body design, but the head is quite different, having a slender beak with teeth/tooth like serrations and ears more similar to those of lions than of the typical griffin ears. The movie made him a regular gryphon though.
- Painting the Fourth Wall: Chapter 7 of The Nixie's Song.
- Rhymes on a Dime: Thimbletack
- See-Thru Specs: The Seeing Stone. Hobgoblin spit acts as a permanent version.
- Shapeshifter Guilt Trip: Mulgarath takes the form of the kids' dad to try to trick them into giving him the book. Not quite a straight example, as they don't know it's him.
- Shapeshifter Swan Song: Averted. Hogsqueal eats Mulgarath in bird, and he doesn't change back to his native form -- rather fortunately for Hogsqueal!
- Storming the Castle: In the books. The movie has the fight arriving on the doorsteps of the house.
- Taking the Kids
- The Fair Folk
- The Full Name Adventures
- Mulgarath may be a devious shapeshifter, dark mage and have ogre's strength, but it's not enough to save him from a hungry Hogsqueal when he takes his bird form.
- Urban Fantasy
The film provides examples of:
- Actor Allusion: Nick Nolte, who plays Mulgarath in human form, had previously starred in another movie with a creature that turns big and green when angry.
- Angel Face, Demon Face: Thimbletack is normally a brownie, which is a small, pink little thing. He turns into a more muscular, green, mini-troll like thing when he's mad.
- Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The film uses "Checkmate" by Yuugin as its theme song in Japan.
- Brick Joke: Hogsqueal and his appetite for birds. It gets dropped on Mulgarath's head like a ten-ton anvil.
- Brooklyn Rage: The "New Yorkers are tough" variant. When preparing to Hold the Line at the end of the movie, Jared gives his mother two kitchen knives to fight with.
Jared: "Steel. Cuts and burns."
Helen (still rather confused): "Well, thank goodness we're New Yorkers."
- Car Fu
- Curse Cut Short: The lead goblin mumbles "Oh, sh-" as the stove full of tomato sauce explodes.
- Disappeared Dad: The dad in question not only left the family, but is lying to Jared about coming to see him. He can't, because he's found another woman.
- Fake American
- Hold the Line: The Grace family defends their house against Mulgarath and the Goblins.
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Dr. Rosen is a Researcher of Magic.
- Talking to Himself: Freddy Highmore played both Jared and his identical twin Simon in the film version. A CMOA for the actor, as their personalities are complete opposites.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Thimbletack loves his honey, and Hogsqueal loves his birds.
- Tricking the Shapeshifter: Jared throws the book into the air, forcing Mulgarath to take crow form to grab it. Shortly thereafter he runs into a very hungry Hogsqueal, much to his detriment.
- Tomato Sauce Weakness: Vinegar and salt are also effective.