• Olly Jordan

Chapter 42 - Once Upon a Dream - Creating so Familiar a Gleam - Uni 3rd Year 2017/18


‘What if the sleeping beauty never woke up? 'Once Upon a Dream' marks the second book in a new YA line that reimagines classic Disney stories in surprising new ways.

It should be simple–a dragon defeated, a slumbering princess in a castle, a prince poised to wake her. But when the prince falls asleep as his lips touch the fair maiden’s, it is clear that this fairy tale is far from over. With a desperate fairy’s last curse controlling her mind, Princess Aurora must escape from a different castle of thorns and navigate a dangerously magical landscape–created from her very own dreams. Aurora isn’t alone–a charming prince is eager to join her quest, and old friends offer their help. But as Maleficent’s agents follow her every move, Aurora struggles to discover who her true allies are and, moreover, who she truly is. Time is running out. Will the sleeping beauty be able to wake herself up?' http://books.disney.com/book/once-upon-a-dream/ This is a book that I read over summer 2017 and fell in love with. It is a book that takes a twist on the ending of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty and has some dark tones throughout the book. While reading it, I did not visualise Aurora as she is in the film, I completely fell in love with and prefered the ending of this book rather than what happened in the film.


This book is very current in terms of female empowerment because this Aurora, or Aurora Rose as she is commonly called, ends up becoming quite the warrior princess and battling Maleficent with magic in the dream world that she is trapped in. Aurora Rose defeats Maleficent with the help of the fairies and Philip, it is not the story based on the love of a man she met briefly in the forest that you get in the animated film. Aurora Rose in the book even says that she surely wouldn’t have fallen in love at first sight with a man she just met. These kind of female empowerments are reflective of today and is a story that could only have been told in current day because of this. If the Aurora in the film were to turn down a man and fight for herself, that would not have reflected how women are perceived in society at the time of the film being made. This book essentially emphasises and embraces how far and strong women are now by retelling a classic story to suit current times.

‘Once Upon a Dream: A Twisted Tale’ - Quotes

I wanted to find some quotes where possible that describe any of the character’s appearances, this would obviously help me to visualise what kind of person I would cast as my Aurora for my portrait to go onto the book cover design.


I have also made the quotes bold where there are descriptions that influenced my ideas later on in the design process. The 'clues' are pieces of imagery that I was considering using for the book cover design in my inital idea and I had to also know what kind of dress Aurora was wearing for the majority of the book so I could be accurate to the book, so that has also been highlighted. Page 3 ‘The girl – sunlight herself. He first saw her in a ray of sunshine. She was dancing and singing in a forest clearing, her golden hair sparkling as it twirled around her. Her voice was the very essence of a happy, sunny day distilled into song. She was weightless on her toes as golden motes in a drowsy beam, floating their way up the ceiling.’ Phillips description of Aurora Page 7 ‘At least she was beautiful and sweet-tempered, with a halo of golden hair that made her look like a cherub. Everyone who saw the princess fell in love with her.’ ‘The first fairy laughed wickedly. “Hmmm. How about beauty? She may as well be pleasant to look upon while she slaves for us eternally.” The second fairy said, “I’ll give her the gift of song and dance. Perhaps she can entertain us.” Maleficent’s twisted version of reality that she has made dream Aurora believe - first fairy is meant to be Flora and the second, Fauna. Page 11 ‘there was a puff of green smoke. Maleficent appeared. She did not look like she had before; now she leaned hard on a staff, and her beautiful face was drawn and hollow. Black robes wrapped around her like she was an ancient pilgrim at the end of a very long journey.’ ‘She raised her staff and green light glowed from the crystalline orb at its top.’ Maleficent description Pages 14, 15 ‘THE PRINCESS AURORA was spinning. She couldn’t help it. When the corridors were wide, inviting, and empty… When bright bands of actual sunlight slipped through the vines and the windows, golden and slow, puddling on the ground the way she imagined it did in real forests… When the soft carpet beckoned, patterned with dark colours and bright spots the way meadows were supposed to be… Then she would sing and spin, twirling down the corridor, feeling the warm moments of light on her skin as she flung her arms out. Trying to recapture snippets of dreams that once in a while involved the woods. Sometimes she took off her golden shoes.’ Description of the inside of the castle. There are thorns all around the castle, imprisoning the kingdom so they can not escape to get help, but Aurora believes it to be safety because the ‘Outside’ is dangerous. Page 18 ‘Maleficent sat upon the throne with an easy elegance Aurora wished she had. Her long fingers languidly pointed here and gestured there as she spoke.’ ‘Some of the servants were black and grey and strangely shaped. They had beaks instead of mouths, or pig snouts, or worse, no mouths at all. Their feet were cloven hooves or spurred chicken claws or huge, splayed trotters. But they were needed to keep the fouler monsters at bay, the ones from Outside. Maleficent summoned them out of clay and spirits from another world – a not very nice world, the princess guessed.’ Maleficent’s guards Page 20 ‘She felt nothing but gratitude towards the woman who cared for her – but she still couldn’t look her aunt directly in her yellow eyes. They never seemed to focus on anything. It was impossible to tell precisely what the woman felt except when she made an effort, by moving her mouth.’ Maleficent description Page 21 ‘her aunt’s hollowed cheek.’ Maleficent description Page 22 ‘Shuffling around the corner were two of Maleficent’s private guards: oily black-and-grey monsters who moved ponderously along, barely upright. They looked like they had been put together wrong.’ Page 23 ‘the yellow eyes of a demon.’ Maleficents guards Page 24 First clue to Outside – blue feather ‘Aurora noticed her hands were still clasped where the minstrel had held them. When she pulled them apart, she found he had pressed something there for her to hold. She held it up on wonder. It was a single brilliant blue feather.’ Page 28 ‘At the last moment, she changed her mind and put it in the girdle by her chatelaine.’ Description of details and accessories of Aurora’s outfit Page 29 ‘Some things came to her naturally: singing, playing the recorder, kindness, patience in sewing.’ Page 34-37 Second clue ‘Princess Aurora sat up, surprised by the sudden cascade of parchment pages that fell to the floor. Not a book… a deck of cards. Brightly coloured, intricately painted cards whose pictures were still intact. She picked them up with just the tips of her very careful fingers, as if at her touch they would disappear back into her imagination. The first few were familiar. They were the kind used for games that people in the castle often played to pass their long hours of confinement. A three of swords, a nine of cups, a two of hearts, all in bright and simple heraldic colours of the kingdom. An eight of chairs. A 13 of dolls. A zero of castles. The numbers were elegant, elongated and golden, just like the ones she drew in the air when maths was easy. A strange ache throbbed where she had been hit in the head by the cards. What golden numbers? When was maths easy? That never happened, except perhaps in a dream… She shook herself and flipped to the next card. A joker. Aurora frowned at this one. The figure sported the usual impish grin of his kind - but his motley seemed ragged. His face was long and narrow, and instead of a sceptre or wand he carried a lute. He looked, all things considered, a trifle too much like the minstrel. And after him cam even stranger cards of equally bizarre suits. A one of suns: a shining yellow ball, golden rays streaking out sharply to the edges of the card. Aurora held it close to her face, wondering at the detail. She wished the artist had left some room for a hint of the blue sky she couldn’t remember any more. The sun seemed so joyous at its own energy that its eyes were simple curves, squinted shut, its mouth almost non-existent. Did the sun actually have a face? Aurora wasn’t sure. She couldn’t remember. The the picture below it, a naked child happily rode a pony over hills so green she was tempted to pick at the paint with her fingernail. His mount was dappled white and black and had a horn and a beard. None of the remaining horses in the castle looked anything like it. The next card was of a girl who looked, at first glance, like Aurora herself,arms wrapped lovingly around the neck of a lion. The lion was tawny and orange and red, and the girl’s golden hair was so thick and mane-like she could have been a version of the sun itself. Aurora knew lions because they were carved into decorations around the castle and inscribed upon heraldic shields. On the card after that, a girl - who also looked like her - was touching a different beast on the nose. Aurora had no idea what animal it was. Tiny like a squirrel, but with overlong, soft ears that were as ridiculous as the horn on the pony. Its pink nose sprouted long whiskers that were so carefully painted Aurora felt her heart break. She wished she could touch such a creature, like the girl in the picture. And finally, there was an animal by itself in an open green patch surrounded by trees. It looked a bit like a horse but for its shorter body and more slender legs. It had no mane, and its tail was short and fat. Its head was turned backwards, cocked, as if listening for danger. Aurora looked around quickly, suddenly nervous. No book in the castle had all of its pictures, and even the tapestries were blurry. It seemed like this strange deck was complete. Why these? Why now?’ Page 37 ‘Lady Lianna was her handmaiden and closest friend’ ‘Despite her completely appropriate dress and the very stylish, intricately braided buns of ebony that covered her ears, there was something unmistakably foreign about her large black eyes and greyish skin.’ Page 38 ‘The handmaiden planted herself behind the princess and began to unlace the back of her day dress.’ ‘Having finished with the laces, she firmly but politely turned Aurora around and helped her out of the long, buttoned sleeves.’ Aurora dress description Page 39 ‘Lianna’s large eyes were unreadable, as always.’ Page 40 ‘The skirt and bodice were as dark blue as she imagined the sea had been, dotted with golden shots of thread, the way she imagined the ocean had sparkled under a golden sun. The girdle matched her tippets, both made from the same golden cloth taken from one of the old queen’s dresses.’ Aurora’s midvember ball dress 42 ‘”Your hair is so beautiful,” the handmaiden sighed. “ Like spun gold.”’ Another reference to Aurora’s hair being golden Page 63 ‘I didn’t ask for … black hair … or my clumsy feet … or what I am now.’ Lianna describing herself Page 69 Rabbit appearing ‘She tried not to think about the playing card with the tender brown-furred thing lifting its nose to the golden-haired girl - who resembled her so closely. She tried not to think about what the animal would have looked like in real life, whether it was really that friendly, if its fur was soft, if its nose twitched or stayed still… “Extinct as the rabbits.” She began again, taking a breath. “For-” A movement flickered at the edge of her vision. At the base of her desk, next to one of the long legs that ended, ironically, in paws. There of course, was a rabbit. Somehow she had known what it was before she even made herself look at it. And now that she had, she felt her heart beating out of control, her breath catching in her throat. It looked both exactly and not at all like the picture. Its eyes were brown, large, glistening and mostly empty. It leaned forwards, hesitantly, to sniff the leg of the desk, putting its whiskers and silly long ears back. It turned its head to look directly at Aurora. It had no tail. Only a stupidly endearing puff of white on its rear end. “You’re not real,” Aurora said, hopefully and doubtingly. “You’re extinct.”’ Page 73 74 ‘Giant black-and-green vines, some as wide as a man was tall, arched up overhead from beyond the castle walls. They twinned and joined and wove themselves in strangely nauseating patterns. Humungous thorns, some the size of swords, clasped and gouged and held the vines together; the plants’ skin puckered where they pierced, almost like it was painful. A few thin, unhealthy looking leaves decorated the undersides of the largest branches as if they were merely an afterthought on the monstrous plants.’ Description of vines and thorns around the castle Page 76 Cael the stableboy confirms the blue feather is from a blue bird Page 79 ‘She tried to distract herself with the important thing she just learned: that the feather was from a bluebird. A bird that only exists on the Outside… … an Outside that was supposed to be a wasteland, devoid of all but the most noxious and evil life.’ Page 87 Fairies first arrive as small glowing balls in front of Aurora Page 89 ‘Aurora was glorious in her golden gown. Without a trace of envy, Lianna declared it was the most beautiful the princess had looked yet; somehow the seamstresses had managed to create a dress several perfect shades lighter than her hair, and it sparkled when she moved. With her tresses up in intricate loops of braids and a golden diadem on top, the royal princess was an image of the sun itself, her tippet and skirts rays that just touched the earth.’ New golden dress for gold themed midvember ball. - This is the dress that Aurora spends most of her time in the book in Page 95 Lady Astrid stabbed by Maleficent with Aurora watching from just outside the door of the room Page 98 Maleficent opens a window to the ‘other realm’, which is the real world, it shows the real Aurora asleep in the queen’s bed. Aurora now realises that the world she is in is a dream and what she can see in the other realm is reality. Page 100 ‘Lianna had picked up the skirt of her dress to run quickly up the stairs, just as the princess had. But where Aurora had golden shoes, Lianna had… Trotters. Splayed, ugly, fleshy trotters’ Page 101 as Aurora is making her escape to the Outside ‘Her dress kept tangling with her legs despite her nimbleness and grace; she paused just long enough to rip the train off. She felt a twinge of sorrow for the women who sewed the cloth and the old women who wove it. But her legs were now free, and she could take several steps at a time.’ Description of dress after Aurora’s escape. Consider illustrating Aurora in a torn golden dress, seeing as that the dress she is in for the longest time in the book. Page 102 ‘In the courtyard below, a half-dozen misshapen figures tumbled together out of the castle, armed with bows and slings. They had a perfect view of her. “There she is!” One pointed and arm that terminated in a single terrifying hook-like claw.’ Maleficent’s guards Page 106 Aurora escapes the Thorn Castle Page 107-112 The three fairies in the real world Page 108 ‘Flora, the fairy watching over Aurora, had a worried, weary hand to her head. Her strange, flowing vestments of red drifted sadly around her like mist rather than cloth. Her face appeared almost human except up close. There was a strange serenity behind all her normal-seeming emotions. Her companions, a plump little pixie in blue.’ ‘Fauna, the one in green.’ The three fairies descriptions Page 110 Immediately, the three fairies shrank into red, blue, and green balls of light and went whisking through the air, will-o’-the-wisps on a mission.’ ‘The three balls quickly resolved into human-sized figures.’ Description of the three fairies when in a small form Page 127 128 ‘A deer. A doe, she knew, not just from its lack of antlers but also the shape of its face and the size of its flanks. Beautiful and large and slim, and as elegant on its tiny toes as any made-up fairy-tale creature. Standing some distance away from it was the most breathtakingly handsome man Aurora Rose had ever seen. Not that she had seen that many, of course. In either of her childhoods. He was a magnificent as the deer: tall, well-muscled, sleek and healthy. He tossed his head of thick, shining brown hair like an animal’s mane. His face looked like it had been carved by ancient sculptor whose skill had never been surpassed: strong nose, string chin, high cheekbones whose apples were still a little soft and pink with youth. Long eyelashes. Sparkling brown eyes.’ Prince Phillip description Page 184 185 “Thank you,” she said after a minute or two. “For carrying me back there.” “Of course,” he said, breaking off a root with his free hand as they walked. He looked at her mischievously. “But if I’m going to have to rescue you any more, you know, pick you up and throw you over my shoulder, it would be better if you wore softer shoes. Next time.” “There won’t be a next time. I won’t be needing that service again, thank you,” she said haughtily. “I was just … caught unprepared.” “What is it with you girls and pointy shoes, anyway? Get yourself a nice flat-heeled pair of boots, that’s all you need.. . .” “I didn’t wear shoes at all in the forest. I was barefoot all the time, and my skin was as thick as hides. I had so many shoes in the castle … all different colours.” She stopped, thinking about it. Then she reached down with her free hand and slipped off her golden shoes. With a gentle toss, Aurora Rose threw them into the ravine. Page 186-201 You’re So Vain – Forest Fairy Chapter An interesting chapter and dress transformations, a Maleficent trap. Page 202-232 – Sing to me, O Muse Aurora having to sing forever, a Maleficent trap Page 217-218 ‘When he put his other hand on her waist to lift her up for the ladies’ jump, he whispered in her ear. She didn’t understand what he said at first, too focused on his lips just touching her ear, his warm breath on her cheek. “Your dress.” She looked down when her brain stopped whirling. She no longer wore the meringue-like, light blue ridiculous thing. It was a strange mix of her outfit from when she had lived in the forest and what she had escaped the Thorn Castle in. An old brownish skirt and black corset top – but with a golden shirt that flowed under her hips like a tunic. The skirts were all ripped and in tatters. And her shoes were once again gone. She shrugged. “It’s my dream, isn’t it?” she said, whispering in his ear.’ New outfit for Aurora, and it is the first one of her own choosing with the use of magic Page 243 ‘The next morning, she was woken by something uncomfortably side. Irritably, she moved aside and saw that it was Phillip’s sword. Despite her resentment, she couldn’t help admiring the delicately traced motifs winding their way up the grip from the pommel, the golden vines and decorated initials, the carefully faceted and inset gems. She cautiously picked up the blade. It was lighter than she had expected but heavier than she could easily manage. Even to her inexperienced hand, it felt extremely well balanced; though it would take force for her to swing it, she could manipulate the tip easily with just a turn of her wrist. She ran her left hand down its sharp edges, feeling metal that was kept clean and sharp and grew noticeably colder the longer she had it out in the air. There was a tiny recent nick on the left side.’ Phillip’s sword Page 248 249 Aurora’s realisation that she can perform magic by just focusing and wishing for whatever she would like, in this case it was porridge.

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