Ok since the dragon games I think the thing that most people are talking about is this:
Now a lot of people have been debating whether Apple woke up because of Darling’s “mouth to mouth” or “true love’s kiss”. Now I’m going to hopefully prove to you that this was because of “true love’s kiss”.
first. The light
If this really was mouth to mouth I don’t think that there would light emitting from where their lips touch (Classic true love’s kiss trope right here!).
second: The poison apple
(Yeah I know this is from Snow White not the cartoon but I couldn’t find it) You have to remember that Apple is poisoned by a magical poisoned apple. This is enchanted, normal mouth to mouth wouldn’t do anything to counteract a magical curse. Plus this curse can ONLY be unbroken by “true love’s kiss” kind of suggesting that only a kiss from her true love could wake her up.
The flower shots were pretty far and away the hardest for me.
I ended up making 3D models of the flowers to use as reference for the final shot.
But to start at the beginning, working out how the flowers would grow was the first thing I did on Freaking Out. I couldn’t help with the story boarding or puppets so I just did concepts for the various effects.
I don’t see a lot of autistic/neurodivergent headcanons for Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children. Probably because despite being a best seller it’s not the most popular book series ever, plus the movie adaption (that I refuse to acknowledge exists) for it is a bit more popular at the moment, which is annoying since the book is so wonderful and the movie doesn’t even begin to capture that. But I didn’t come here to rant. It surprises me there’s not a lot of neurodivergent or autistic headcanons for this book because in so many ways this book is like one big metaphor for neurodivergence.
The peculiars are very, what I lovingly have deemed “spectrum-y” or “neurodivergent-like” They have Peculiarity, which is people born and wired with unusual gifts. These gifts are, well, gifts, but can also be disabling in many aspects; A blessing and a curse. It’s, in a lot of ways, like being born neurodivergent. It’s apart of how they’re wired, is the very core of who they are, and affects the way they think and process the world. It develops that way too, some people know right away, some people don’t know until later. Some people are born with their traits, others traits don’t start appearing until later. Some people don’t develop their peculiarity until something happens. But they’re all equally peculiar. There’s no such thing as “sort of” or “a little” peculiar, it makes up the core of who they are, not some of it. Peculiarity is a pervasive thing, and no part of who they are is untouched by it.
(Headcanons under the cut because it’s gonna be loooong. I tried to make this as short as possible, but I have no ability to write short posts, I tend to overexplain and write too much, plus I took this from a blog post I did on representation and adapted it for my Tumblr, so… I did my best. Also since there’s so many characters and I wanted to talk about each of their traits, it’s gonna be long by default. Like I said, I tried.)
(Also, if you disagree with autistic headcanons or this headcanon or anything I write just ignore this, and move on. I see people getting unnecessarily angry over these things and I just don’t get why people can’t just ignore it and let it go. I’m not hurting anyone. Just simply talking about characters and how I see them. When it comes to headcanons no one is wrong, ultimately the author is the one who knows what’s canon)
Jacob Portman is the narrator and protagonist of the story. Jacob is an awkward, chronically nervous boy who is bored of his supposedly ordinary life. He has only had one friend his entire life, a green haired, cigarette smoking boy named Ricky who protects him from bullies and makes fun of him for being in Gifted/Special Education classes. Jacob’s been told incredible stories of peculiar children and their adventures by his grandfather his entire life, but due to bullying and being shot down by his parents, he’s stopped believing in them. But that doesn’t stop him from wanting to lead an extraordinary life, but right now his future holds working at, and attempting to get fired from, a drug store chain called Smart-Aid his whole life, which his uncles own and will later pass on to him. Jacob is the child of his filthy rich mother and his amateur ornithologist father. Jacob wants nothing more than to escape all of this.
Jacob has a lot of traits & quirks similar to mine. He tends to explain things entirely in analogies; I cannot explain things unless if I have an analogy for it. Everything has an analogy. / He often says things like “someone said” “one of my friends said” etc. He doesn’t seem to pick up on who’s talking if he doesn’t see them, voices don’t have a distinction to him. / He’s done so many incredible things, yet he doubts himself all the time, and even when plans are being made and things are going good, he still thinks about all the things that could go wrong. His brain is constantly stuck on what if. / He has shutdowns and meltdowns frequently in the book, he can get very angry/ emotional or very quiet and dissociative. He also has serious anxiety, he is quick to panic and always assumes the worse of things and is always doubting his surroundings and himself. He gets overwhelmed and tired out easily; Despite wanting adventure for his whole life, he didn’t realize how tiring it could/would be. / He’s a naturally very quiet and reserved person, and in many situations he struggles to get his words out, they either come out jumbled or he can’t get them out at all. / He’s hypersensitive, sensory wise, but he’s got a huge heart and is really empathetic. In one passage, him and Emma were telling things about themselves no one knows, Jacob tells her he was so confused and overwhelmed by violence he’d see on tv, even just in cartoons, that he’d freak out and start crying. / Overall Jacob is an anxious, easily overwhelmed & tired out kid who doubts his own strength even when seeing it with his own eyes. He’s an underdog type character, one you instantly connect with and want to root for. He probably is on the spectrum somewhere.
In the beginning of the story, Jacobs’s grandfather dies. He was written off as crazy, because he’d been going on and on about monsters coming to get him and was found dead by Jacob in the middle of a forest. He was trying to fight the monsters. Jacob swears he sees the monster with his own eyes, but his friend, who was with him, didn’t. And everyone decides Jacob is crazy, like his grandfather. But they’re not “crazy”, they’re peculiar. Jacob and his grandfather share the peculiarity of being able to see hollows, invisible monsters who eat peculiar souls that only one with a peculiarity for it can see. People can’t see what they see, so they
Upon his grandfathers death, Jacob has a breakdown. His grandfather was really the only person who understood him. / He has constant panic attacks/outbursts/meltdowns and nightmares, and now resides in his basement because it’s the only room with no windows. He barely goes to school because he now has an even harder time interacting with people and can barely get through a day without panicking. He sees a therapist, who gives him a bunch of diagnosis’s he’s never heard of, and gives him medication which barely helps him. Before his grandfather left the world, his last words were a cryptid sort of map to uncover secrets. “‘Find the bird. In the loop. On the other side of the old man’s grave. September third, 1940. Emerson—the letter. Tell them what happened.”
And as he uncovers more mysterious clues, he decides this is his extraordinary adventure and decides to find the old children’s home he’s been told about his whole life.
His dad agrees to go to Cairnholm, Wales- the island Grandpa Portman grew up on, because it has lots of birds and his dad’s career is attempting to write books on birds but later giving up in frustration. But, despite agreeing, he, and everyone else, finds it crazy Jacob believes he’ll find anyone out there. Miss Peregrine has to be ancient by now, and with the war that went on around that time, they all have to be long gone.
B̶U̶T̶ ̶B̶O̶Y̶,̶ ̶W̶E̶R̶E̶ ̶T̶H̶E̶Y̶ ̶W̶R̶O̶N̶G̶
He comes across the house but it’s all old and decrepit. But something inside him tells him to keep coming back, and he goes a bit more inside every time. Soon, he finds his Grandpa’s old room and a suitcase of old photographs, some of which his Grandpa had shown him as a child. Then he hears talking, he could’ve sworn he’d seen faces, and since he’s been convinced he’s crazy- this freaks him out. But then he sees them, faces he’d seen in photographs. He chases after them, down into a bog, and into the town he’d just been in. Everything looks the same, except older. He goes to the same pub they’d been staying at, only to find completely different workers, who chase him out and into an alley to hide. There he is discovered by one of the children; Emma Bloom.
Emma introduces herself by holding a knife to his throat, assuming he’s here to hurt her. She tries to seem intimidating but she’s shaken like a leaf and obviously terrified. This girl turns out to be one of the most lovable, memorable, and most relatable characters I’ve ever read.
Let me talk about this girl. She is very spectrum-y. And a lot like me.
Emma has the peculiarity of fire. She can generate fire from her hands, without getting burned herself. She was abused by her parents as a child because they thought she was a pyromaniac and a liar.
She isn’t quick to trust people, it takes a lot of patience and time for her to trust Jacob and later fall in love with him, she’s had a lot of hurt in her life- childhood trauma, heartbreak, and despite this tough exterior she seems to have, she’s really just an emotional ball of anxiety. / When Jacob’s grandpa, her previous lover (yes I know that sounds…wrong, but you have to remember they live in a time loop, therefor she doesn’t age) left, she didn’t handle it well at all, and she lost a lot of trust. This toughness is her mask, it helps her interact with others better in a way. She’s not good at showing her emotions, and in a lot of ways, seems rather ashamed of them. She doesn’t want people to see beyond her mask. And she pushes people away for fear things will repeat and she’ll get hurt, even when it seems she’s began to trust someone, she seems to almost turn on them, because she dwells so much on the past. One quote in the book, which I connected to deeply, describes her masking and emotional struggles: “To some it might’ve seemed callous, the way she boxed up her pain and set it aside, but I knew her well enough now to understand. She had a heart the size of France, and the lucky few whom she loved with it were loved with every square inch—but its size made it dangerous, too. If she let it feel everything, she’d be wrecked. So she had to tame it, shush it, shut it up. Float the worst pains off to an island that was quickly filling with them, where she would go to live one day.“ - One of my favorite quotes from the books, and one of my favorite quotes in general. So painfully beautiful and relatable, I completely understand it. I completely understand Emma.
Emma, in a lot of ways, comes off as any other teenage girl you might meet- that is, in the 1940’s. But there’s little quirks that show right through her mask; There’s only so much it can hide. She tends to just bolt out of a room, especially when there’s an emotional or upsetting subject, which is very common in autistic people as nobody likes crying or melting down in front of everyone, especially when you’ve put up a mask. But as the story progresses, her mask doesn’t always stay up, and begins to fade. She has meltdowns that even amongst her passion nearly stop her in her tracks. And despite being able to mask herself, specifically her emotions, and passing for “common” for years, the thought of being able to pass now sounds like a joke.
She takes things very literally (one example: she thinks the phrase “cool” in regards to her peculiarity is silly until she fully processes the intent) and easily misunderstands jokes/takes offense to them. / She can be a bit “too serious”, she’s described as having a serious expression on all the time (in the book she’s referred to as “flinty” meaning she wears a serious expression), some of this has to do with the logical way an autistic brain processes things, this also has a lot to do with difficulty with expression. Autistic people tend to struggle with expressing themselves, coming off as very default or too serious. In pictures, I never smiled, even if I was happy, because I just couldn’t express it and had no idea what to do with my face. I struggle to express myself emotionally too. That is why Emma is so relatable to me.
She needs to be alone a lot. She likes company, and likes having people around her to reassure her, but she needs to go off on her own to have time to herself or shutdown, or else she feels moody and everything is too much to deal with. / She goes non-verbal when she’s upset/overwhelmed/tired/angry/etc., in a few instances she’s described as “struggling to get her words out”- other times, however, she’ll respond to these situations by being overly verbal and talking a mile a minute. Though she works hard to carry herself as articulate and put together, she tends to get jumbled a lot and stammer over her words.
She comes off as stubborn or bossy- this is because she has a plan in her head and wants others to follow it and also likes having rules and routines, so because of this she comes off as very “stuck in her ways” or “bossy/controlling”. / Needs things to be in a special place and to be organized.
She can be filterless and a bit brash- she will say whatever comes to her mind without thinking; She doesn’t always think through her actions either and can be very impulsive. She doesn’t mean to be rude or thoughtless, but at times she’s so passionate or so set on a plan, that she won’t think it through. And her brain just doesn’t have a filter, so she can’t control what she says. She has no ability to think something and hold it in, unless if she’s masking herself. She can also become so hyperfocused on or passionate about things that it messes with her auditory and visual processing, and at times she becomes so focused she just shuts down and dazes away.
She can be black and white in areas others are grey but grey in areas others are black and white- she switches from optimist to pessimist with a pin drop, and she cleverly notices things and options others don’t even think of; Her behavior is often baffling to the others and can come off as, again, not thought out- she works on impulse most of the time; She describes herself in one instance as “thinking peculiarly” a lot like my autistic brain. Despite being a logical person, she at times has this childlike optimism, again, like I said, it’s very baffling to others sometimes. It’s often like she has two sides to one girl. Two completely different ways of thinking that constantly contradict each other. I so get it.
Hyperempathy; She instantly empathizes with captive peculiars and wants to take them with her even if it’s illogical, but she wants to protect them and do what’s right; Her empathy can make her angry or emotional easily, however, and she struggles to express it a lot, which makes her come off as almost numb to it. / She dwells on things a lot, especially situations or people that have confused or upset her. She has a hard time moving on and letting things go. And it seems as if the minute she begins to let something go, one little thing can set her off again.
She does lots of stimmy things, and fidgets a lot, especially when overwhelmed or nervous. She paces a lot when nervous, at times will curl up or hug her knees when really upset, I believe this is considered Gargoyle Sitting, I do this too. She likes to swim a lot- that could be because she likes the way it feels and likes to move around, or maybe could be a special interest, but her love of swimming is on a neuroatypical level and I don’t know how or where to mention it. She just fidgets in lots of ways, she fidgets with her peculiarity too, doing things like crumbling up balls of paper and setting it on fire.
Overall, Emma is a girl with a large heart and large emotions, sometimes a bit too large for her to contain; She feels everything at once, or one thing after another, and even if she feels nothing she feels it with all of her. She’s incredibly intelligent and witty, and as fiery as her peculiarity. She’s so incredibly relatable and it kind of pains me to see how much they changed in the movie adaption of the book, as they took away all her most relatable traits. I like that she’s rough around the edges, she’s not perfect and despite her tendency to mask herself, she doesn’t claim to be. She’s a lovable and memorable character, and one I can relate to so deeply.
Aside Emma, we soon meet Millard Nullings. He has the peculiarity of invisibility, which he uses to his advantage for observing things and when needed- taking things.
Millard is the perfect depiction of an autistic kid. He’s a rather awkward fellow, for starters. He doesn’t pick up social cues very well; He doesn’t understand others don’t like it if you spy on them or eavesdrop on their conversations, or that it makes other uncomfortable when you’re completely nude- even if they can’t see you. He doesn’t wear clothes…ever; This comes in handy for observing, but even when he doesn’t want to be intentionally invisible, he just can’t stand wearing clothes, he will put up a tremendous fight just to not wear clothes. In one instance, he is asked to put on clothes and comes out in a jacket- Just a jacket. That is classic sensory issues, I’ll admit I don’t wear pants unless I have a reason to- Millard takes it to another level. Textures can be painful to autistic people, there was a point where my sensory issues were so bad I couldn’t wear clothes without screaming in pain. Now I’ve found clothes that suit my needs, so I don’t have this problem too often, but I certainly still struggle with it. / Millard also seems to show a dislike of being touched (upon being asked to hold hands with Jacob, he quickly pulls away. And there’s a few other passages where he doesn’t like being touched) and to noise in some passages, but can be under sensitive to major pain such as being shot, it’s almost as if it’s so painful that he becomes numb to it, that is how I react to major pain, usually being I shock and feel the pain and reacting to it later. That can also present itself emotionally, sometimes Millard comes off as numb or apathetic to others emotions, when really, he is experiencing an overabundance of them- he just doesn’t know how to express it, so the ability to express it has become numbed.
Millard has this incredible hyperfocus on things, especially areas of special interest. His first special interest is the island of Cairnholm, which he spent 27 years studying every single species on the island, and since everyday is the same day because of the loop, it’s like replaying a video to get every single inch of detail. Others think it’s useless to study all this, but it’s not to Millard as he’s passionate about it. And in many ways, his knowledge comes in handy. He has other special interests throughout the book, one being maps. He tends to become interested in odd or very specific things. / When they lost the map of days, his prized possession which held many notes and analyzations, he seemed so broken by it. That part is hard to read because- that poor boy :( He also has interests in Perplexus Anomoly (a famous Peculiar) and a sub-interest in obscure and/or unpleasant loops. He loves to infodump knowledge and facts. In one passage he had been shot, and the others made sure he was okay by having him infodump. Not even kidding. Legit, that would be me in a fiction book.
He speaks very formally, and knows many big words. When reading or presenting something, he tends to speak and express himself in an exaggerated manor. Due to a lack of understanding of social cues, he can tend to ramble on, or speak too loudly, especially when infodumping, and doesn’t understand if it bothers others. He tends to either speak too loudly or too quietly, or not speak at all. He goes quiet/non-verbal quite often.
He exhibits demand avoidance, which is a nice change from the smart kid who must follow rules stereotype. He isn’t one to do what people tell him, but at the same time, he has rules made by himself he must follow. He also is very logical, and isn’t quick to believe in things not backed up by fact. Like The Tales for instance, he once thought of them as stories, but upon seeing their factual basis, he began to believe. / He has different ideas of fun than others, and can be the odd one out even amongst other peculiars. His idea of fun is studying and analyzing things, he doesn’t enjoy games and he prefers doing things on his own/being on his own in general.
He can be very literal, as a result of how logical he is. Jokes often fly over his head or he’ll respond to a simple statement or joke with logical facts or a whole lecture (example: “I feel as powerful as an ant” “ants are quite powerful actually” “You know what I mean) He also answers rhetorical questions like actual questions because he doesn’t understand they’re meant to be rhetorical (as described in the same passage.) / He’s very blunt, and says what comes to his mind. Like I said, he’s not the best at comforting and can come off as apathetic in some ways, but that’s not actually the case. He’s a very sweet, actually very empathetic boy, but he doesn’t think about what he says before he says it. He has no filter. He also struggles to process all he’s feeling and doesn’t know how to respond to it. That’s why he comes off as default or blunt, or even careless.
He can have difficulty relating to, understanding, and/or comforting others, but when he has a strong connection with someone, he deeply empathizes with them and finds it easier to relate to them and comfort them. He’s not the best shoulder to cry on, but upon meeting another invisible peculiar, he is so comforting and sweet, telling the young boy to embrace who he is as well as giving the parents advice. It was such a sweet scene.
Millard can get easily overwhelmed, and panics/shuts down. He tends to hyperventilate a lot, and his words get jumbled/broken up and all ability to verbalize fades. Other times, he shows an unusual lack of fear in situations. It seems as if he shows fear or lack of fear in unusual times, small things can overwhelm him but in the face of danger he can be almost too comfortable. It seems odd to others, but the way he acts and reacts to things make perfect sense to him. He tends to either overreact or underreact, which is very relatable to me. / He stims & fidgets a lot. His most common stims are humming and pacing. He’s always humming or pacing, or fiddling with his hands, especially in deep thought or to keep calm. When he’s really excited he just moves all around, flapping/moving his hands and pacing/twirling in circles.
He’s a thinker, and good with plans and solving things. He likes challenging his brain and solving things, it’s fun to him. Like I said, his idea of fun is analyzation and solving puzzles. His brain and thinking abilities are just as much of a gift as his peculiarity. He has his immature moments, mostly emotionally, but he is also very mature. Sometimes awkwardly mature, knowing big words and seeing things in a way much wiser than those around him. He likes to argue a point and figure things out, though at times he does this at times where he shouldn’t. And he’s incredibly good at figuring things out, but often is teased for his odd way of looking at things but winds up making everyone think again because he’s figured out or solved a mystery/problem.
He loves being peculiar, but especially the peculiarity he has, can at times be very disabling. To quote from the book- a quote that both warms and pains my heart, because I know this feeling so well- “I don’t want you to think that I don’t like being invisible, I do. I love being peculiar- it’s the very core of who I am. But there are days I wish I could turn it off.” He’s confidently peculiar, embraces it and loves it as a part of who he is. When Jacob at first doesn’t know if he’s peculiar, Millard responds to it as a shame. Yet, it can be disabling, and make things really difficult. There are things, whether he wants to do them or not, that he will never be able to do because of the way he was born. And that, the basis of it and the quote, are so utterly relatable. Peculiar, autistic, neurodivergent; They’re a lot alike. There’s gifts and curses, and loving yourself doesn’t mean you can’t or don’t struggle. There are days I wish I could turn things off too, but I never would if given the opportunity, because I love being who I am; Being autistic too much to risk it. There’s too much good.
Millard is a favorite character of mine. Though, it’s so incredibly hard to pick favorite characters when the whole ensemble is so good, but if I had anything I’d consider a favorite, Millard would be up there. I can relate to his character, his love of thinking, his intense interest in things others don’t seem to look twice at. He’s a lovable character and seems to steal any excerpt he’s written in.
Emma and Millard escort Jacob (in a hostage-like way) to the children’s home. There we meet many other peculiars:
Bronwyn Bruntley: Bronwyn has the peculiarity of strength, like her deceased brother Victor. But despite her strength, she’s so gentle. She’d use her peculiarity to rescue an entire litter of kittens from a tree rather than lifting weights and things.
Upon looking up “hyperempathy” in a dictionary, you’d probably find Bronwyn’s picture. She has a heart as strong as her arms, and she’s the most loyal girl you’ll ever meet. She’s so incredibly sweet and encouraging to the others, and has a strong paternal instinct. She’s very protective and despite her timid, anxious disposition, she becomes like a vicious mother bear protecting her cubs when it comes to standing up for and saving her friends. Her heart and emotions, at times, seem a bit too big for her body; Her empathy gets so overflowing at times it gets in the way, and it’s as if she puts logic on a back burner and let’s empathy make her decisions. This can frustrate the others, but other times they understand. She just wants so desperately to do the right thing all the time and for everything to be okay/everyone to be happy. / She feels things very deeply, and not just empathy wise. If she’s anxious, she’s extremely anxious. If she’s angry, she becomes viciously, all consumingly angry. If she’s sad, the sadness drowns her. She feels everything very deeply. She is quick to panic or go into hysterics, and despite being a natural optimist, she has an anxious pessimism of quickly assuming the worst and quickly becoming anxious and overwhelmed.
Bronwyn is described in some passages as “not very bright”- however, she’s very intelligent and clever, but it’s easy to mistake her as such due to the way she thinks. She can be very naive, and has an almost childlike way of thinking at times. She also is very literal brained; For instance, even if she’s apart of a plan or a trick, she still misreads it and will mistake it as fact or actually happening. This is because her brain naturally is very literal about things. She’s very honest and genuine, and has no ability to lie. She’s terrible at partaking in tricks or plans, as she’s a horrible liar and let’s empathy get in the way of following through with things, even if it’s the best situation.
Her strength may be limitless, but her energy isn’t. She tires out easily which often affects her strength, and at times she’ll just shut down and become too tired to continue doing whatever she has to do- even if what she has to do could save herself or others, she forgets about everything because she’s mentally and physically very tired.
She doesn’t wear shoes; She probably went through all three books barefoot, actually. She just doesn’t like the feeling of them, it’s a bad sensory feel. She doesn’t like dresses or dressing up either. She also doesn’t like dressing up for photos or having her photo taken in general. In photos she’s not very expressive and just isn’t interested with it.
She stims by pacing and pressure stimming (with pillows, and maybe with heavier things due to her extreme strength) She also bites her nails, especially when she’s nervous. I’d imagine her hugs are great for pressure stimming! Heck, she probably hugs herself. She also groans and makes noises a lot, which could be verbal stimming.
Bronwyn is a lovable, awkward bean with a heart too big for her body. I can relate so much to her character and her extreme empathy. She’s so sweet and all around an amazing, memorable, and extremely precious and adorable character.
Olive Abroholos Elephanta; Olive is the second to youngest Peculiar. She has the peculiarity of levitation, and must wear leaden shoes to prevent flying away. Due to her heavy shoes, she walks rather slowly. And when she’s excited, even her shoes can’t keep her from levitating a little! Olive was probably around 10 when she stopped aging, but definitely acts way younger. She’s a bit immature, and very hyperactive. She doesn’t really have much boundaries and just says or does things without thinking or filtering them through. She’d tell a stranger her life story without even thinking first if it’d put her in danger. And she doesn’t understand when others don’t want her to talk to them. / She has a huge imagination and can be a bit random at times, and the things she says can be a bit illogical, but they make sense to her. / She’s an incredibly picky eater, even when they’re refugees and don’t have many opportunities to eat, she only wants to eat meat pies. She’d rather starve than eat something that gives her sensory issues. / She seems to have some processing issues, and has a difficult time understanding what people say or mean. / Hyperempathetic; If others are upset she’ll get upset, she wants to help people even if they don’t want it. But she’s not the very best at comforting others, as she doesn’t always understand and can get overwhelmed. / She mimicks/echolals/scripts others. She tends to script what she hears adults say, which is why she says things like “it’s those damned jerries again” which is extremely out of character for her. / Can be very naive and a bit too trusting, and has a naturally optimistic outlook on things. / Stims with echolalia/scripting, and in some excerpts with pressure stimming (I.e. Hugging herself to create pressure). She also seems to really like when she gets to levitate because it feels nice to just float around / Olive is an adorable character with a big heart and a vivid imagination! You’ll want to hug her instantly even if you hate hugs! That’s how precious she is!
Claire Densmore; A peculiar with the peculiarity of having an extra mouth on the back of her head. Claire is an emotional, anxious little girl who strongly dislikes attention and prefers to be alone. She hates change, and thrives with routine. She’s quite quiet and doesn’t say much throughout the book, really only talking when anxious or upset. She tends to cling to Bronwyn, Olive, or Miss Peregrine, especially when anxious, otherwise she’s not able to handle situations. She has a vivid imagination, yet is a very serious and logical little girl; She has a great love of stories, and absolutely cannot sleep without hearing one. / Claire reminds me a lot of myself when I was younger, an anxious, quiet, routine loving mini-autistic. Therefore, I adore her. / Like Olive- she is precious. So precious. They are precious lil autistic best friends and you will instantly adore these two little precious beans, because they are just so precious. Did I mention they’re precious?
Fiona Frauenfeld and Hugh Apiston: Hugh and Fiona are easily the cutest fictional couple, like ever. Fiona has the peculiarity of plant manipulation, and Hugh has a bee hive in his stomach, and can control his bees as well. Their peculiarities co-exist as bees pollinate flowers and uGH IT’S TOO CUTE THEY’RE TOO CUTE I CAN’T BARE IT.
Hugh is an adorable dork, I mean that in the highest compliment. He loves his bees, they’re his whole life. He has names for them; He literally can tell the difference between all of his many, many bees. Since bees die after one sting, and he has to use his bees for self defense often, you know what the outcome is- and he is so heartbroken over them. The bee that sticks with him the whole story is Henry, who has a broken wing. I think Henry is his favorite bee. He also acts like a proud dad when his bees save the day. He is described as enjoying the attention he gets, but I think he prefers the attention on his bees, not himself, but he also is obviously proud of himself when he does something good, probably because he doubts himself and doesn’t know he has it in him. Gahh he’s just adorable.
Hugh is a goofball, yet he also can be very serious. Despite his slight naivety, he’s very smart and witty.
He has no filter at all. He just states his opinions and thoughts without thinking about if they’ll be rude or hurtful. He doesn’t intend them to be that way, because he’s so sweet, he just doesn’t have control over what comes out of his mouth.
He’s an emotional boy- though he’s a bit embarrassed by that sometimes; He feels very deeply for others, and always wants to do the right thing. He’s very empathetic and kind, especially to Fiona, who didn’t trust anyone when first arriving to Miss P’s home, but soon learned to trust Hugh, and Hugh instantly found a way to communicate with her and get her to open up.
Hugh is kind of all over the place- I mean that in a good way. He’s got autistic traits, some ADHD-like qualities. All and all, he’s just a really great, neuroatypical character. Him and his bees.
Anyways- We also have Fiona, precious Fiona. Fiona canonically has trauma from her days before the loop, where she was nearly burned for (being accused of) being a witch. Due to this, she is selectively mute, because she was so badly traumatized. She has ways of communicating with Hugh, her partner, but it took very long to even get to that state. She does communicate verbally at some points in the book, but only when it’s very serious or when she’s very overwhelmed, and she usually talks very loudly, or screams, and in a very heavy Irish accent. But most of the time, she’s non-verbal, and hardly speaks verbally.
Her verbal issues come mostly from her trauma, but a lot of her communication issues seem to come from something else outside of her trauma, if that makes sense. A lot of her social anxiety can also come from trauma, but it seems it’s always been a struggle outside of it, and I read her as autistic, which would explain a lot of it. She’s very reserved and is usually by herself or with Hugh, or helping take care of the younger children. She loves her plants, always having some form of plants or foliage with her wherever she goes.
She seems to have hygiene issues, her hair is never brushed, and she always looks sort of dirty and beggar-like, and instantly stands out amongst the others. I don’t like brushing my hair and I struggle to keep hygiene and change my clothes on a routinely basis, because it takes up a lot of spoons, and things like hair brushing and showering often trigger lots of sensory issues.
She’s very anxious, a lot of which is due to her PTSD, and seems to dissociate a lot. She has some sensory issues in which she’s hypersensitive, but she seems to be hyposensitive to her sense of self- which, yes, is a sense. It’s considered the sixth sense, and I am hyposensitive to it too. This causes dissociating and needing constant grounding. I have to keep busy and stim so I can be aware of my own presence. In one passage, she just straight up puts a hand full of sandy pebbles in her mouth and rolls them around to convince her senses she’s here and everything is real. She needs that grounding stimulation.
She’s a very kind, empathetic soul and much like Bronwyn, loves to take care of others, despite her need to be alone and away from others often. Hugh is who she’s most comfortable with, and the only person she really verbalizes with when she verbalizes at all. These two are heart achingly precious, and you will love them. Though, spoiler, Fiona has a rather tragic point in the story, which is yet to be resolved, but I’m hoping it resolves on a positive note in the next trilogy, as I feel we didn’t get to see much of her, and it would be a shame if it was left that way. That is all I will say on the matter, in case if anyone reading this hasn’t read the story.
Horace Somnusson: Horace has the peculiarity of prophetic dreams, meaning his dreams can predict the future almost always accurately. Though, the closer he is to someone, it becomes harder to predict their future. Though, this doesn’t make his peculiarity useless, because it comes in handy quite often. / His dreams can be vivid and terrifying, waking him up screaming, crying, rambling, and in deep panic. Because of this, he’s scared of sleeping, and can go days without because he keeps himself up to avoid nightmares.
Horace has an extreme interest in fashion, an interest that gets him teased by others often. He loves fashion so much he will go to extreme lengths to avoid getting his clothes dirty, and will overdress for everything. The thought of having to wear basic, normal clothes is quite terrifying to him. He at times puts his interest in and almost need for being fashionable before safety and at times, logic.
Horace has serious anxiety. He’s considered “cowardly” by some, as he’s quick to panic and back out of things, especially in the face of danger. Though, when this is pointed out, he becomes insecure in himself and feels a need to prove that he isn’t weak or cowardly. He’s proven great bravery in lots of excerpts, but he’s anxious, but that doesn’t make him weak. His friends tell him constantly he’s got nothing to prove, but he still feels he has to. But when it comes to the chances he could prove himself, he becomes so consumed with fear and would rather hide away and be alone in his comfort zone. / He tends to see things from an anxious and often pessimistic point of view, and when he tries to see things from an optimistic view, it comes off as naive and almost humorous. He gets frustrated, and I would be too, because it’s as if no matter how he sees things it’s always wrong to someone. He has to learn, again, that he doesn’t have to prove himself to or please anyone. But he has this need to sort of come off as put together and brave, he doesn’t want people to judge him based on his anxiety.
Horace is kind, sassy, and hilarious. He’s arguably one of the funniest characters in the book, the things he says can be funny without trying. He has a tendency for dramatics and hysterics, and at times his anxiety consumes him, but he’s seriously very brave and would do anything for his friends; He has stepped out of his (at times, non-existent) comfort zone to stick up for them multiple times.
Horace is a great portrayal of Generalized Anxiety, I have anxiety on top of my ASD, and GAD on its own causes social anxiety, constant worry, sleeping issues and many other symptoms Horace presents. I think Horace greatly portrays anxiety, and how disabling and hard it can be. It can make you look and feel weak, or dramatic, but as someone with anxiety and who has known so many wonderful people with anxiety, I can tell you nobody with anxiety isn’t brave. I believe bravery is a symptom of anxiety, you have to be brave, I think, it can be genuinely really disabling, and it takes an incredibly brave person to fight against their own mind. However, it doesn’t go away, even on the strongest medication, so you learn to accept it as a part of who you are. That’s brave. And I think Horace is an excellent portrayal of it.
Enoch O'Connor: Enoch rivals Horace for the funniest character in the story. Him and Horace together are comedy gold.
Enoch is the resident pessimist. Though, he considers himself a realist. He has a very doom and gloom, black and white sort of view on the world. He’s very sarcastic and moody, and most of his dialogue is him adding his two scents. He says things at the wrong times, and often shows no remorse. He doesn’t think he’s said anything wrong. A lot of his tough, sarcastic personality seems over exaggerated and acted, rather than genuine.
Enoch lived in another loop before, and physically (not the age he stopped aging, he stopped aging pretty young, around 12 or 13) is the oldest of the bunch. It’s not explained why he left the loop, but I assume it was probably bad and shaped a lot of why he acts the way he does.
Enoch has the rather interesting peculiarity of necromancy, which is the ability to bring the dead back to life for a short amount of time. He collects hearts from animals and inserts them into dead things, which brings them to life for a short time. He also uses smaller hearts to animate the little clay guys he makes, called Homunculi.
I don’t know if I’d consider Enoch autistic, per say, but like I said- I don’t see any of them as neurotypical. I will note he does have traits similar to mine, though they may not be because of the same reasons. He definitely has social struggles though, as well as struggles affecting his behavior and mood. He comes off as brash and apathetic, yet he has a big heart and is emotional once he lets that guard down. One excerpt in the book, he gave away his very last clay man to calm down a crying common girl, expecting nothing in return; That seemed the most genuine of his character, to me. I think his past shaped a lot of who he is, and is why he seems so cold. But he’s not as cold as he wants to appear. He can be comforting, and he does have a heart. He has said a few times in the books he can’t stand seeing people cry, and I think this has a lot more to do with caring than annoyance. A lot of the sarcasm and gloom is most likely a bit of a mask to avoid getting emotional, either that or they are the result of his past. / He likes to be alone, he likes to work alone, and just be alone. He does seem to struggle around others, but he also just shows no interest for friends or socializing. He likes doing his own thing, whether that be making his clay men or studying war history. / He is argumentative and angry a lot of the time, he always has an argument to whatever people say. He seems to have a lot of pent up hurt and aggression, which he acts out with his clay men by making them fight. He’s often moody, irritable, impatient, and at times disinterested with those around him.
Enoch is one of the most interesting characters in the story, to me. He’s a sarcastic, witty boy, but I also see him as an emotional boy with a lot of hurt, which represents itself in behavioral, mood, personality, social, neuroatypical struggles. I hope we learn more about his backstory, but I think a lot of it is implied. Either way, he’s a very interesting character with an even more interesting peculiarity. He steals the parts he’s in, and he’s a memorable character. I feel I say that about all the characters, it’s probably because everyone in this book is just so likable.
Ymbrynes: The ymbrynes are the women in charge of the loops and the children’s homes. They’re fiercely protective, and like I said, very, very badass. And they’re very, very spectrum-y. / Their whole peculiarity is really based on their love of routine and control. Jacob notes that Miss Peregrine thinks the fix for everything is routine, which some of the peculiar children seem to disagree, but when they’re without it they do. Miss Peregrine specifically likes to keep to herself and with her children, she doesn’t like them leaving the house too much and is very protective of them. She’s an anxious person, and has trouble sitting still. She’s also not a woman of many words, none of the ymbrynes seem to be. She likes schedules and plans for everything, and the loop has a very set routine. Mind you, loops don’t have to have a set routine, Miss Peregrine, and a lot of the other ymbrynes, just prefer it that way. They love familiarness.
And of course, we have our villains, Hollowghast or “Hollows” and wights. Hollows are invisible monsters, who evolve on eating peculiar souls. Hollows were once peculiars of their own, and came to be based on two peculiars, who were unhappy with their peculiarities, and decided they needed to be more powerful. So they conducted in an experiment which thus created the hollows. This is an example of the bad in the peculiar world. If a hollow eats enough souls, it becomes a wight. Wights are different from hollows, as they not only can appear as well as pass for human (with one stand our feature of pupilless eyes, which can easily pass for blindness or be covered up with sunglasses), but have the ability to think and reason- they just don’t. They are, in many ways, far more terrifying than Hollows, because they’re unpredictable and really, cannot be controlled, whereas a gifted Peculiar can control a Hollow with enough work. / These monsters may be terrifying, but the “common” people in the stories can be just as evil. Parents abuse their peculiar children for their differences, they shame peculiars or use peculiars for their own good. In many ways, they can be just as bad, because where Wights understand fully what they’re doing, common people often don’t. But they both think they’re doing the right thing most of the time.
Those are the main characters but we meet many others along the story, all of which represent unique neurologies in their own ways.
Some memorable characters to me:
Althea- Althea is a girl they meet in Miss Wren’s ice clothed hideout in book 2, which is the ymbryne counsel meeting place and where all the Peculiar records are stored. Althea has an incredibly powerful peculiarity, she is the one who can make the ice, and the ice is so strong it cannot be easily melted even with fire peculiarity. I instantly felt connected to Althea’s character, despite her short presence in the story and unfortunate ending. She is described as having always wooden facial expression and a wooden voice to match. Basically, she’s monotone. She’s also very slow moving, she works very slowly, and she speaks very, very slowly, as if it’s a struggle to get out every word. I instantly connected to Althea, like I said, because she has very classic autistic characteristics. She’s a kind and powerful girl, but she has difficulty with expression. Her voice and face never change, despite what she’s feeling. She is very slow, because being autistic can make one big task like many difficult small tasks, and everything takes up so much energy. Communication is also difficult for autistic people, which can present in many different forms. Althea is verbal, but is definitely selectively non-verbal most of the time, or she might’ve even been non-verbal once, either way, she is shown to struggle greatly with communicating. Communication is very hard for her, she struggles to get her words out quick enough, and it’s as if every word she says and every word she hears is a grueling task to process. Auditory processing struggles are also common in autism, as I struggle with it myself, it can make communication struggles much more difficult.
Nim- Nim is introduced in the third book. He is an assistant to Myron, one of Alma’s brothers. Nim is definitely, without a doubt autistic. He canonically flaps his hands (he’s described as “flapping his hands like little wings” and he is described as flapping in more than one passage) He is easily startled, and he is shown to be overwhelmed by noise. He has poor motor skills. His words get jumbled easily and he also seems to repeat himself, or script things, over and over (for instance, he says “I’m Nim” and introduces himself more than once, as if he’d forgotten he’d done so.) He seems to have odd speaking patterns. His voice is squeaky and high, especially when overwhelmed or excited. He also repeats things and whispers or speaks louder in odd times when speaking. He also has an odd dressing and appearance pattern. / He seems to be scatterbrained and has difficulty memorizing, prioritizing, and with tasks. He seems to shut down when being showered with tasks, as anyone would, but it seems to affect him much deeper. / Finding out dark secrets about Myron seem to affect him worse than anyone else, he doesn’t like change, and wants the world around him to stay the same. If this can’t be, he gets very upset. / Nim is a lovable minor character, one I hope we see more of in the future. He has so many textbook traits, and I can’t help but wonder if it was intended. Especially the flappy hands. That can’t be an accident. If not, I applaud Ransom Riggs for making such an interesting autistic character, and many of them, even if on accident. These characters mean a lot to me.
Melina Manon- Melina is introduced a lot like Emma, assuming the peculiars are wights who are disguised and come to hurt her, and it takes a lot to prove her they’re not. Melina has the peculiarity of telekinesis. Like Emma, she’s rough around the edges, and not quick to trust people. She’s a stubborn and easily angered person, but she also seems to find joy in the smallest of things (such as finding a room for Peculiar archives, Enoch wasn’t impressed as he saw it as just a room, since it is connected to intense interest to her, Melina saw it as more.) She’s protective of those around her, and is highly empathetic towards them, but doesn’t easily trust or get along with the peculiar gang we know. She has much knowledge on peculiar things, a lot like Millard, and knows a bit of old peculiar, also like Millard. Melina most of all enjoys being alone and doesn’t quickly let people in, but when you see past her rough edges, she’s a kind and cool chick. I hope we see more of her in future stories.
Bone brothers (or Joel-and-Peter & Peter-and-Joel)- The brothers are blind and have the peculiarity of echolocation, as well as being connected by the mind; They are one in the same. Upon being separated, they let out such an intense scream it can shatter anything within miles. They’re extremely fascinating characters. In one point they were described as rocking in fear, so am I gonna read them as autistic? Yep. And they’re blind so disability rep woo!
Sam- Sam was a peculiar they met in a loop, who didn’t have an ymbryne or even know she was peculiar. She lived with her normal sister, who wasn’t peculiar. Sam had the peculiarity of indestructibility; She could be impaled through the stomach, and it would be merely an inconvenience. She has no ability to seriously harmed. / Sam was extremely protective of her little sister, and was irritated by her quick trusting of others. Sam was described as being overwhelmed by the presence of the fellow peculiars, since there was so many of them and she’d never met them. Sam also was aware of her peculiarity, without knowing the words, and was even visited by an ymbryne, but didn’t want to leave her little sister behind. She was angry with the peculiars, specifically Enoch, who didn’t seem to mind leaving her sister behind and hurt. She didn’t realize they were merely dealing with the fact the past is already written and nothing they could do would help that, but Enoch tends to spew things out without thinking of how hurtful they may sound. Because of misunderstanding, Sam wrote them off as bad, and was angry she was one of them. Emma was confused and dwelled on this, wishing to change her mind, though she couldn’t and it didn’t really matter. Sam was an interesting character and had a unique part in the story, and though her whereabouts will most likely never be stated, I think it was cool to show a peculiar dealing with discovering who they are and dealing with the realities of peculiarity.
Sharon- Sharon helps the peculiars in the third book, though he at first comes off as intimidating, rude, and just plain bad. Though, he proves himself good when helping them greatly and defending them in the later parts of the story. Sharon’s peculiarity is unknown, but he wears a cape to hide his face and is roughly seven feet tall. / It is later revealed Sharon was addicted to “ambro” a power enhancer, and is basically the peculiar equivalent of drugs/drug addiction. Though he overcame it, it disfigured his face, which he often uses as an advantage to scare people away. Because of this struggle he had, he tries to steer other peculiars away from this lifestyle. Sharon was cool. He needs more stories. He’s a good dude who really likes rats.
Upon meeting these peculiar people, Jacob must choose between the world he once knew and the world he knows now. In the world he knew, he wasn’t normal, but he had to be. But now he’s accepted he’s peculiar, which at first he couldn’t grasp, assuming he was only “a little” peculiar, because he can pass as “common” so well he’d convinced himself he was. But Emma explains to him that’s not possible, peculiarity makes up all of a person, and that you either are or you’re not.
Back at home everyone thinks he’s “crazy” and has a plan to cram him back into ordinary. It sounds like a prison sentence to him. But if he stays, there’s a chance he’ll never go back. But does he want to?
However, the evil wights and hollows continue to evolve, and have found ways into loops, which were once a safe haven for the peculiars. After an attempt to take the ymbrynes and kill peculiars, the peculiars had to fight back, but with Miss Peregrine shortly captive, the loop wasn’t there to be reset. The loop slips and the peculiars, once bored of the routine and familiarness, don’t know how to cope without it. They grab bricks and dirt and anything remaining from their home, and must set sail to find a new home and help their ymbryne, who’s been injured in the midst of the fight.
And that’s just the beginning of the story, and I haven’t even explained it in full detail to avoid telling it all, you have to read it for yourself, and the two more books worth of story. And three ones on the way! It’s an excellent story and one I can’t recommend high enough. In so many ways, it teaches acceptance, not just of those different than you, but of yourself. And that is so important. And if you can stomach the occasional monsters, soul snatching, and bloody death- I consider it required reading.
The message of the story is also just as incredibly important as the characters. When you get down to it, it’s about being different, and it’s about embracing being different.
Peculiars are an active target for abuse and discrimination. The author has described the peculiars as having a mix of disabilities and abilities, but the one thing they all have in common is that they’ve all been marginalized in society for their differences, and they have to stick together as a result of it. Their lives aren’t what causes them to suffer, though, it’s the fact that the outside world doesn’t understand, forcing them to hide away from the outside world and the monsters targeting them. / People can be just as evil as the monsters. Miss Peregrine explains that normals often abuse and neglect their peculiar children, thinking of them as changelings or broken/missing versions of normals. This part stuck with me because especially in the olden days, those same ideals and that same abuse was commonly inflicted on autistic and disabled children. And besides abuse, even the most loving parents or people, as put in the books “will never understand” because they’re not ‘peculiar’.
In one section of the story, came across a traveling group of nomads, two of which, like so often the parents of a disabled child, didn’t know how to help their peculiar child. They assumed curing is what he needed. It wasn’t until Millard, who is invisible like their child, told the boy and his parents about the gifts that come along with peculiarity, that they realized they were wrong and that their son is meant to be who he is.
When they try to mimic society to stay safe, they’re still instantly discovered, as if they’d been trying to hide behind one way glass. People can pick up on different, and they’re usually not too kind. But the peculiars don’t want to be normal, they don’t think they’re lacking something normals have, but normals lacking a certain peculiarness. Their goal is finding ways to live in society and stay safe while remaining who they are.
The book gives a hopeful message, even when fighting your worst monsters, even when it seems all hope has lost- “Everything happens for a reason” We are here for a reason and we are here to find our people and find hope and give hope to others. Even the darkest tunnel has a light at the end of it, and sometimes that light is inside of you. We need a balance of good and bad, we need to fight the monsters in us to know how truly brave we are. We need pain to know how alive we truly are. From taking on monsters in the outside world and inside of themselves- the peculiars become more and more hopeful in themselves and in who they are.
The overall message is that you’re not broken, you’re not less, you’re not in need of changing, and you’re certainly not crazy- you’re just different; Peculiar. And that is an incredible, wonderful thing. And most of all, that you find your people. You find your place, your tribe, whatever you want to call it. You find people like you and they find you, whether you’re Peculiar, or autistic, or otherwise. We gravitate towards people like us, and when you relate to others, beautiful, strong bonds and friendships are so often the outcome.
Even the sister book to the series, Tales of the peculiar tells beautiful short stories with messages that mean so much to me. One in particular which is all about a young man attempting to cure his peculiarity, but the “cure” never works, and he only is truly happy when, well, he allows himself to be peculiar, even if others don’t understand. That message was so incredibly important to me for obvious reasons.
Whether the message of the story is about disability or neurodivergence, or simply a creative story simply born from found photos, I cannot thank Ransom Riggs enough for conceiving a story that I can so beautifully relate to and be touched by the message. It’s not quite “representation”, but it is to me. I’m reading characters whom have traits like mine, whether intended or not. It may be a very long time until there’s good, accurate autistic portrayal in the media. For now, we have to find our own representation through characters who represent difference and uniqueness. This book represents that to me. It represents being different, not broken. They don’t overcome anything, they openly struggle. They’re not here to be an inspiration story to “normals”- they’re here to be themselves. This story, above all, represents being yourself. That message is one that has truly touched me, and one I won’t forget. Ransom Riggs has created an incredible story, one I have read many times over, and will read many more times. He has an incredible writers voice and a brilliant imagination, and I cannot praise him and recommend his work enough. I am so thankful to have found and also for the existence of the story I’ve always wanted; Needed to read, but never knew existed until now. And I absolutely cannot wait for this fall to come, so I can read the awaited first book in second trilogy!
If you read all of this infodump, I offer you a virtual high five. I tried to make it not so long but I kind of failed, ahaha. Hope you enjoyed my headcanon-thingy anyways :-)
“Joey made that rule. I can’t leave because I’m a living, breathing cartoon demon. Humans would freak out at the sight of a living cartoon character who was also a demon. Joey would never approve of me leaving. I don’t want to let him down.”
“Bendy, Joey is very much dead. You’re allowed to leave the studio if you want to.” Smart Bendy stepped in.
“I know he’s gone, but…”
“You don’t even know what year it is!!” Social Bendy said.
“Yes I do! It’s 1950…uhm…something!”
“No. As a matter of fact, it is 2017. You’ve been cooped up in this studio ever since the 30′s without going outside once.” Smart Bendy stated.
“Well whatever! I’m not leaving the studio, and neither are you guys! Joey would be heartbroken…”
Hey Akron, what do think makes a good freaking out, cartoon face?
In general, the ones that always amuse me most have to have some kind of original idea that hasn’t been done. Or smooth animation to go with it, if it’s animated. Having the face drawn really solidly is always a plus too.