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Tom Sewell

Susan, her Family, and her Haunted Mansion

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I'm starting this thread for anyone who wants to share thoughts about Susan and people or things connected to Susan. Whether or not "real" ghosts are going to be allowed in the Moperverse isn't settled. To quote Charlotte, "If ghosts are real, ghosts are real." But Susan has certainly been haunted by her past, and perhaps an actual ghost.

The the only street view we have of Chateau de Pompoms is an early work of Dan's. Possibly magic has revised the architecture in the better part of a year of story time that has passed since. Still, it's probably still big. I may be living in the po' side o' Santa Clara County now, but I've seen plenty of Palo Alto and Los Altos, two of the richest communities in the world, and I have yet to see a three-story mansion.

So who lives in that enormous mansion? Apparently just Susan and her mother. No maids, no butler, no gardener, no chauffeur, no cook. The intercom system plays Mexican radio, but maybe that's for the Mexican ghosts.

It's quite likely Dan just didn't want to show any staff. They could be asleep, gone home, gone out. Mrs. Pompoms could just use services as needed. Still, Susan never mentions housework or chores.

There are only two occasions where Susan's mother appears. In the very first panel we see her in, she's in her bathrobe and holding a pretty large wineglass. It's dark or getting dark outside but it's winter and a movie night is planned, so it shouldn't be that late. She couldn't put down that glass before coming to meet Susan and her guests?

Next we see Susan's mom in Hammerchlorianslater in the narrative but in two flashback panels from Susan's first year at Moperville North. In the first Susan's mom looks sober as she slices carrots, and in the second she's tearing Principal Verrucht a new one. These scenes happened before Susan went to France, got her magic mark, and killed her first vampire.

I've noted that wineglass long enough ago that I don't have the faintest idea when. But it wasn't until I started this post that I considered this possibility: Susan's mom is drinking now because she knows what happened in France.

Now, if this is true, why hasn't it been mentioned? Why did Susan complain in Playing With Dolls that she would need multiple trips to sneak four dolls from the car into her house?

A possible answer: Susan doesn't know her mother knows. And possibly she doesn't want to know. The most likely source for Susan's mother to learn the secret? Mrs. Kitsune, of course. It is very difficult for me to accept that Noriko's sister, from the same long magically-endowed bloodline, wouldn't know pretty much everything that's going on with her eldest daughter. Sharing her concerns with the mother of another magically talented young woman and a prime potential recruit for the covert magical ops that tore apart Noriko's marriage sounds plausible to me.

 

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If this is correct...

Yes, I can see how getting news like that about your daughter could shatter your entire world view.  Driving her to a point where she could no longer cope in a healthy way.

This gives a kind of confirmation to the idea that Susan's (and Diane's?) magical affinity was inherited from the father.  If Mrs Pompoms had an affinity, that kind of realization could trigger an angst induced awakening.

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Posted (edited)

Perhaps there's another clue in the title of the book Susan brought downstairs for her dad to read to her, or maybe to read with her dad: Sleeping Beauty. Now what might symbolize? It could just have been something like "Mother Goose", or "Fairy Tales", or no title showing at all.

  • Susan's magic is still asleep
  • Losing the fairy tale book as she loses belief in her father
  • Putting to sleep Tiffany the beautiful, trusting little girl

I haven't checked through the archives (I have the complete main story line and all the canon NPs on my computer) but I don't remember Susan with another book until she gets her spellbook.

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Susan's mom would have an extra reason to be torn up about the trip to France: It wouldn't have happened if she hadn't badgered Verrucht and anyone else she needed to badger to send Susan on the trip.

Edited by Tom Sewell
Addition

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