Over the Garden Wall

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Name: Over the Garden Wall
Abbreviation(s): OtGW
Creator: Patrick McHale
Date(s): November 3 — 7, 2014
Medium: television miniseries
Country of Origin: USA
External Links: Official Site
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Over the Garden Wall Wiki
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Over the Garden Wall is a dark adventure/fantasy-comedy/drama animated miniseries on the Cartoon Network that first aired in 2014. It stars a teenage boy named Wirt and his little brother Greg and their adventures trying to get home.

Canon

Over the Garden Wall is a 10 episode miniseries that follows the half brothers Wirt, voiced by Elijah Wood, and Greg, voiced by Colin Dean and their adventures in the Unknown, a strange forest that is often theorized to be some sort of limbo. In the first episode Wirt and Greg meet a talking bluebird named Beatrice who eventually reveals that she used to be human and is trying to get a magic pair of scissors to turn herself and her family back into humans.

They also meet a Woodsman, who is carrying the dark lantern because he believes his daughter is inside. He fuels it by chopping down Edelwoods (which are revealed to be lost souls turned into trees). Wirt and Greg also hear about a mysterious monster called the Beast, who apparently owns the lantern the Woodsman is carrying. It is later revealed that it is the Beast's soul that is within the lantern and he is shown trying to get it back from the woodsman.

Beatrice offers to help lead them to a witch who can supposedly help them get home.

In their adventures they find a town full of the skeletons wearing pumpkins, lorded over by Enoch (OTGW), a struggling schoolhouse that teaches animals, a tavern and a talking horse named Fred, a pair of rich tea barons who's houses are so large they've merged, and a ferry full of frogs, where it is revealed, Jason Funderberker (Frog) can sing. They are breifly betrayed by Beatrice and set off on their own, meeting a Witch and a cursed cannibal girl.

At this point in the story Wirt and Greg are alone and Wirt has given up. The two brothers settle in to sleep, and edelwood branches begin to grow around Wirt. Greg goes to sleep next to his brother and enters a magical dream world called Cloud City. There he helps the inhabitants and is given a wish. Greg then makes an unspecified wish and is shown walking into the woods with the Beast as the edelwood recedes from Wirt.

The next episode takes place before the brother's fell into the Unknown and reveals that the brothers are from our world, and are not native to the Unknown. Wirt has a crush on a girl named Sara and made a mixtape for her but was too embarrassed to actually give it to her. Greg had no such qualms and Wirt and Greg follow Sara and some friends into the grave yard to try and retrieve the cassette tape. A police officer, trying to pull a prank, pulls into the grave yard and the kids scatter, with Wirt and Greg climbing over the graveyard wall, falling onto some train tracks and then tumbling into a lake.

Inside the Unknown, Greg has been ensnared by the Beast and edelwood is growing up around him. Wirt confronts the Beast and makes the connection that the Beast's soul is in the lantern and threatens to blow it out. The Beast backs down and Wirt returns the Lantern to the woodsman, he gives the scissors to Beatrice, and then leaves with Greg on his back.

Cutting back to the real world Wirt wakes up underwater and grabs both Greg and his frog and emerges from the water before passing out. They wake up in the hospital where Greg is greatly recovered. The show ends with a few scenes of characters in the Unknown, including Beatrice, now a human again, with her family.


Comics

After the success of the tv series Patrick McHale started a comic series that is still on going today, these include:

  • Over The Garden Wall: Tome of the Unknown (2016) by Pat McHale, Jim Campbell (Illustrations)
contains the first four original comics and 2016 standalone comic 
  • Over The Garden Wall: Volume 1 (2017) by Amalia Levari, Danielle Burgos, and Patrick McHale
  • Over The Garden Wall: Volume 2 (2017) by Jim Campbell and Patrick McHale
  • Over The Garden Wall: Volume 3 (2018)
  • Over The Garden Wall: Volume 4 (2018)
  • Over The Garden Wall: Volume 5 (2018)
  • Over The Garden Wall: Hollow Town (2019)

Graphic Novels

In 2018 after the success of the comics graphic novels started being published these include:

  • Distillatoria (2018) by Jonathan Case and Patrick McHale
  • Circus Friends (2019) by by Jonathan Case and Patrick McHale
  • The Benevolent Sisters of Charity (2019) by Sam Johns, Jim Campbell (Illustrations)

Fandom

Popular fandom activities include cosplay, fanart, pumpkin carving, and fic-writing. The fandom is more active in the autumn months during which the show is set, and has a very high number of pumpkin carving arts, often of the Beast, Pottsfeilders, and of Wirt and Greg in the forest.

Popular ships include Wirt/Beatrice (also known as "Infinite Eyerolls" and "Wirtrice") , Wirt/Sara (also known as "Poetry Bee"), Wirt/the Beast (also known as "Poetree"), and the Beast/Enoch, mayor of Pottsfield (also known as "dumb gay eldritch psychopomps" and "Beastnoch"). A popular crossover ship is Wirt/Dipper Pines (Gravity Falls), dubbed "Pinescone". Due to their shared adolescent protagonists and supernatural atmospheres, Over the Garden Wall is sometimes considered a sister fandom to Gravity Falls.

Zines

Tropes and Fanon

  • Humanized versions of non-humanoid characters: the Beast, Enoch, etc.
  • Darkfic and dark fanart -- often including character death and body horror via the canonical process of transformation into Edelwood trees.
  • The "Beast Wirt" AU, in which Wirt either stays in the unknown as the Beast's servant as per the deal he offered, or replaces the Beast after the Beast's death. Often part of the Bad End Friends group. This fic is often paired with Greg returning to the real world alone, or Greg dying/being turned into an edelwood. In the cases where the Beast is dead he is often not permanently gone and continues to torment Wirt as Wirt takes on his role.
  • Less common than Beast!Wirt but still present are Beast!Beatrice and Beast!Greg, and very rarely Beast!Anna.
  • Crossovers with Gravity Falls are extremely common especially in fic-writing.
  • Most fanworks occur during or after cannon, sometimes focused on a return to the Unknown
  • Giving characters without typical names, like the Beast and the Woodsman, names.
  • Only one brother returning home
  • Greg is sometimes depicted with less clear memories of the Unknown, sometimes thinking it to only be a dream because he is so young in cannon.


Fanfic

Fanart

Meta

Communities

Resources

References