Friday, February 1, 2008

The Word of Tom

Okay. If you don't read Gunnerkrigg Court, this entry isn't for you. Don't read it. (If you really need something to read, I would suggest Gunnerkrigg Court.)

For those of you who do read Gunnerkrigg Court: Tom Siddell, the author, posts on the comic's forum rather frequently, usually to answer questions or to offer background info. Some of it seems like it could be rather important, and some of it is no doubt pure fluff. And I scoured the forum to find it all, so you don't have to!

Also, now that the old Cast Page has been replaced, I've incorporated info from there into this list.

This index last updated 13 June 2008.

The Third Girl From That Photo:
  • She is not related to Gamma at all. [*]
  • She is not Jones. [*]


  • She was born in Good Hope Hospital. [*]
  • She has traces of a Yorkshire/Barnsley accent, as if someone took Kate Rusby's speaking voice and tried to scrub away the accent with a wire brush. [1], [2]
  • Her name is significant. [*] It's pronounced "An-Ti-Mo-Nee" [*] and inflected like "alimony". [*]
  • She doesn't wear perfume [*], so she smells like a 12-year-old girl. [*]
  • She's narrating everything. No word on where in time she's narrating from. [*] (Though presumably, it's the end of Year 9 at the earliest.)
  • She came to the Court about halfway through the first school year. [*]
  • She has extended family, on her father's side. [1], [2]
  • She was somewhere from 5 to 7 years old in the Ch 16 flashback. [1], [2], [3]
  • She wears two necklaces, one with the antimony pendant, and one with the blinker stone. [*]
  • No, she isn't kissing Kat on page 96. [*]
  • Her hair color is not particularly common. [*]

Annie's Parents:
  • Surma wore makeup on many occasions, and Annie has seen her wearing it many times. [*]
  • Surma didn't keep in contact with her friends from the Court. Anja, Donald, and James didn't know where she went when she left. [*]


  • She introduced herself to Annie of her own accord. [*]
  • She was born in Scotland. Her parents moved back to the Court shortly afterwards. [*]
  • She has a slight Scottish accent. [*]
  • Her favorite type of chocolate is any kind with nuts. [*]
  • Her favorite TV shows are The X-Files and Quantum Leap. [*]
  • Sometimes she hangs around at her parents' house on the weekends. [*]
  • She doesn't speak any languages besides English, but she knows one or two words in Gitano. [*]
  • She's "probably about 5 or 6" in the "Uncle Jimmy" flashback. [*]
  • No, she isn't kissing Annie on page 96. [*]

Kat's Parents:
  • Yes Anja has eyes. [*] There is no plot significance to the fact that they're completely black. That's just how Tom draws them. [*]
  • Anja appears to be of Romani descent. She doesn't have a Scottish accent. [*]
  • Donald was the one who made that shield. [*]


  • His voice sounds like the "supertoy teddybear" from the film A.I. [*]
  • His contract of ownership leaves him free to do as he wants, with a few caveats. [*] It's stated in-comic that he can't take a new body without Annie's permission. Other restrictions:
    • He can't hurt Annie.
    • He can't lie to Annie. (This doesn't turn him into a Truth Detector: he can pass along untruths if he himself is deceived. [*])
    • He can't disobey an order from Annie. Her orders and restrictions stand indefinitely, until she explicitly lifts them. The only limitation [*] to the orders and restrictions Annie can give: She can't control his thoughts or words. She can command him to be silent or allow him to speak, but she can't tell him what to say. [*]
  • Annie could order him to possess something else. [*] If she were to do so, she would lose control over Rey's actions, unless his new body were also owned by her. [*]
  • If Annie were to freely give the doll to someone else, that person would gain command over Reynardine. [*]
  • "If something is taken unwillingly from the owner then Reynardine could do what he wanted, since ownership would be broken." [*]
  • Stuff about limitations of Rey's body-snatching abilities. I give up trying to summarize it. The important thing is that Rey could possess a potato if he wanted. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]
  • He had a body once. This is all that's left of him. [*]
  • He will die if he is inside a body when it's destroyed, or if he is outside a body for any length of time. [*]
  • He can possess dead bodies, until they decompose. When his attempt to possess Annie failed, he chose to possess the wolf doll (rather than re-entering Sivo's corpse) because Eglamore didn't know he could do that, so it was a better hiding place. [*]
  • "He can't access any memories of a body he is in, nor can he allow the original owner control." [*]
  • He can't go through glass without shattering it. [*]
  • Tom pronounces it "Reh-ner-deen", though it appears that "Rey-nar-deen" and "Rey-nar-dyne" are also correct pronunciations. [*]
  • He was genuinely surprised that Annie stole that photo; he wasn't being snarky. [*]
  • As of this date, Kat is aware of Rey's full-size wolf form. [*]
  • His voice changes depending on what body he's in, but he always sounds recognizably similar. [*]
  • His shapeshifting powers only work when he possesses inanimate objects. [*]
  • It's his eyes that are glowing on this page. [*]
  • "Annie usually leaves him in her room with instructions to not cause trouble or make noise." [*]

Zimmy & Gamma:

  • They figured in a comic idea predating GC, titled Alphabet Soup, which Tom never got around to making. [*]
  • They're from Birmingham. [*]
  • That Science Fair entry -- whatever it was -- indicates Zimmy is pretty intelligent. [*]
  • That circle on Zimmy's shirts? Not a coincidence. [*]
  • Gamma is in no way related to the third girl from that photo. [*]

  • She's a Spanish exchange student. [*]


  • It's pronounced "Egg-La-More". [*]
  • His height is "pretty tall". [*]
  • He's in his mid to late 30's. [*]
  • He was knighted by the Queen of England. [1], [2]


  • Suicide Fairies don't have names prior to entering the Court [*]. No word on whether they have names after [*].
  • Region 4 (Red and Blue's place of origin) contains part of Gillitie. No word on where else is included in Region 4. [*]
  • Ogee and Polo (the blonde and pink-haired fairies on The ch 8 Bonus Page) are from Region 6, which is in Zimmy's hometown of Birmingham. [*]
  • Fairy Regions vary in size, but they're generally small. [*]
  • The Regional markings must be visible at all times; a fairy who covers her shoulders must have the appropriate dots on her sleeves. [*]
  • Fairy clothing is made from whatever happens to be lying around, so it will vary from Region to Region. [*]
  • Fairies are born with those dots on their arms [*], and with various other marks and adornments. [*]
  • Red and Blue are in the same year as Annie and Kat, and are the same age. [*]
  • There is a fish boy. [*]
  • Red's accent is fictional. [*]


  • Yes, that flashback is really how he agreed to become a bird. [*]
  • His parents weren't trying to trick him. However, he didn't really have a choice in the matter. [*]
  • "The change was complete and all that implies." [*]
  • Ali and the faculty were aware of the situation the entire week. Ali spent the week at Gunnerkrigg so he could be around kids his age. [*]


  • He acts about the same now as he did when he was alive. He was "a cutie". [*]
  • He was not a student at the Court. [*] He's currently there because that's where he is stationed. [*]

  • His voice in Ch 18 sounds like "Annie and Kat at the same time." [*]
  • In panel 4 of this page, Shadow2 is on the wall, and his foot is on the trapdoor in the floor. [*]
  • He's a male. [*]


  • She's that white-haired girl from the bonus pages. [*]
  • She's nobody important. [*]


  • He's the fellow with the hat in chapters 6 and 14. [*]
  • He's the gardener. [*]
  • The slightly different colors of his speech bubbles (87% grey in ch 6, 90% grey in ch 14) were unintentional. [*]

  • She is not the third girl from that photo. [*]
  • She has no accent. [*]
  • She isn't blind. [*]
  • She was not taught at the Court. [*]

  • For the most part, he can't use his powers at will. [*]
  • He and Parley are totally going to get married. (Assuming this isn't another "guitars and monster trucks" comment...)


  • Robot S13 remembers his life prior to Annie rebuilding him. [*]
  • There are multiple Boxbots. [*] They have many roles. [*]
  • Montgomery isn't making beeping sounds, he's actually saying, "Boop-be-doo." [*]
  • The winged Robots are model-S Robots. [*]
  • There isn't a psychopomp for Robots. [*]
  • They can't have psychic powers. [*]

The Court:

  • The Court has around 1,200 students. This is a normal size for a UK school. [*]
  • Most in-Court communication technology is pretty normal and up-to-date. [*]
  • It's uncommon for people from different years to intermingle. [*] This just happens in British schools. [*]
  • Winsbury just has dark circles around his eyes. No reason. [*]
  • The Headmaster likes traditional English folk music. [*]
  • The teachers get their hair cut at the same place as the students. [*] Presumably, Barber-bot.
  • Sometimes the classes just aren't full at the start of the school year. There's no particular significance to the empty space in Queslett that Annie filled. [*]
  • The Court chooses its students. There are no fees. [*]
  • The Court also supplies everything the students and staff need. [*]
  • The Court is not mentioned in the Act of the Union. [*]
  • No, Janet does not appear on this page. [*]
  • In spite of the similar appearances, the Secret Train to the Giant Animal Holding Cells is not on the same railway as the train in Ch 15 or the one in Ch 18. [*]
  • The Court has farm property and other means of producing food. [*]
  • The term "Court" in the name refers to a formal gathering of people. [*]
  • "It is a logo printed on a form." [*]
  • The accommodations for students are different for every grade, but they don't get "nicer" as one progresses. [*]

The Wood:
  • The Glass-Eyed Men are gendered. [*] [*]
  • Coyote is permanently residing in Gillitie. Currently. [*]
  • Gillitie is pronounced "Gill-it-ee" [*]
  • "For the time being", Coyote is "the head honcho." [*]
  • The Glass-Eyed Men don't eat. They see with their eyes. [*]

The Guides / Good Hope:
  • "Good Hope has more visiting Guides than other hospitals," [*] but other than that, it's a normal hospital. [*]
  • The Guides on this page are (clockwise from top left) Neith, Ankou, Agni, Mercury/Hermes, and Veles. [*]
  • In the afterlife, "Everyone ends up in the same place. How you get there may vary." [*]
  • Guides can make themselves visible to anyone they want, but they usually don't. [*]
  • Tom's answer to the question of his jurisdiction [*] suggests that jurisdiction is determined by religion and geography.
  • There isn't a psychopomp for robots. [*]

General Stuff:

  • "I have an ending in mind, but I don't know how long the whole story will be." [*]
  • Every character gets a differently colored speech bubble. This allows Tom to convey information through the colors. [*]
  • There are probably other places like Gillitie and Gunnerkrigg, and they probably have contact with each other. [*]
  • The story takes place during a current year. [*]
  • The Queen of England is a fictional individual, not Elizabeth II. [*]

The Third Girl From That Photo:

Questions Tom Was Asked Which He Pointedly Did Not Answer:
  • When exactly are our heroines' birthdays? [*]
  • When Mort makes doors disappear (as in Chapter Four), is he actually transforming them into blank walls, or just projecting the image of blank walls over the doors? [*]
  • Is the cherry tree somehow related to Robot's new arm? [*]
  • Will we ever find out what it was that Zimmy entered into the science fair? [*]
  • Is Sullivan's John going to become a more important character in the future? [*]
  • Do Gamma and Zimmy have the same lessons as most students? If so, what are their favourite lessons? [*]
  • What's the name of the headmaster of Gunnerkrigg Court? [*]
  • What did the Court do with Sivo's body? [*]
  • Does Annie know which of the Guides will come for her when she dies? [*]
  • Is the "very nice man" native to Gillitie Wood? [*]
  • Is Jones a robot? [*]
  • How many staff members does the Court employ? [*]
  • Does Reynardine's possession of someone affect their lifespan? Like, do they live longer or shorter than they normally would? [*]
And here are some translations! Some of these are from Tom's commentary below the pages (they're reprinted here in case the commentary is ever taken down); the rest are translated by fans in this thread.
  • "Zbogom, stari prijatelj," is Slovenian for "Goodbye, old friend."
  • Dulce et dec..." is most likely a truncation of the quote, "Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori," Latin for "It is sweet and fitting to die for one's country."
  • "[65] Ch 4, P 6: (all Spanish)
    • Panel 4: "¿Pero, donde está la puerta?" = "But, where is the door?"
    • Panel 7: "¡Je je! Un globo." = "He he! A balloon."
  • [66] Ch 4, P 7: (all Spanish)
    • Panel 2: "¿Qué?" = "What?"
    • Panel 3: "¿Hola?" = "Hello?"
    • Panel 6: "Uy... qué asco." = "Ugh... disgusting."
  • [67] Ch 4, P 8: (all Spanish)
    • Panel 5: "Qué ojos tan lindos tienes... Paz." = "What beautiful eyes you have... Paz."
    • Panel 6: "¿Me los darás? = "Will you give them to me?"
  • The greek sign over Zimmy and Gamma's head means "Danger insects".
  • [74] Ch 5, P 5: (all Polish)
    • Panel 6: "Glupie..." = "Stupid..."
    • Panel 7: To nie było bardzo miłe. = "That wasn't very nice."
  • "Dwr Budr" is Welsh for "filthy water." It's also the name of a song by Orbital.
  • "Ora Lege Relege Labora Et Invenies" is Latin for "Pray, read, read again, work, and you shall find."
  • [157] Ch 9, P 7: That's "Annie", written in hieroglyphs.
  • "Dobranoc" is Polish for "Goodnight."
Cast Page
We asked Tom to update it and he did! Here are the old versions of the page, courtesy of the Wayback Machine:


Here are some!
"Questions to Tom" is dead. Long live "Questions to Tom #2".


Julián Alberto Arce said...

Great job, just something to add; we know that at least Annie is narrating from two years from the future because of what she said in this point, Chap 14 Pag 35

Of course, she could be narrating from a point later than two years, but we can assume that summer time of year 3 would be the minimum

And I'm Cenit from the GC forum :D

Sammy B. said...

You're right.

However, I'm trying to limit this index to things Mr. Siddell has said, the stuff that one can't find in the comic itself. (Plus translations.)