Oswald (Moving Pictures)

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In the Cthinema at Holy Wood, a twelve-foot tall effigy of a golden man (also known as Osric and Osbert) lies atop a slab, clutching a sword before it that on its own is taller than an average man. He wears golden armour, and has a facial expression suggesting mildly uncomfortable constipation. Next to the slab is a huge gong and the hammer to ring it, that with the passage of time and damp has corroded onto its supports.

Victor Tugelbend at first gets it entirely backwards and comes to the conclusion that the purpose of Deccan Ribobe and the priests of Holy Wood was to keep this figure, or whatever it represented, imprisoned. With the help of the Librarian, he realises he has been reading the Book of Holy Wood back to front: the Cthinema is a natural gateway to the Dungeon Dimensions and the figure is in fact a Gatekeeper, charged with awakening if the dread denizens attempt to break through into our world, and holding them back.

Just about everyone who sees it thinks it looks like their Uncle Osbert. Or Oswald. Or Osric.

The suggestion is there, after the nature of the Umnian Golems is revealed in Making Money, that this is a Golem with a very special chem: Awaken at the sound of the Gongge, and do battle with Thinges which do not have human forme, till the Thynges be slain and the Portal be sealed.

In the manner of Golems, what's the betting that Oswald (Or Osbert. Or Osric.) is still down there in the ruins of the Cthinema?

Alternately, Oswald/Osric/etc may be an example of a Disc-bound god, either manifested spontaneously from the long-ago Academy Awards ceremonies of ancient Holy Wood, or purpose-built a la Mrs. Gogol's techniques to guard the Cthinema against the Dungeon Things. In which case, the rituals of Deccan Ribobe and his predecessors constituted the necessary worship that kept him conscious, and Ribobe's passing caused him to revert to a normal statue, much as the Great God Om became a normal tortoise outside of Brutha's proximity. He revived anew when Victor Tugelbend and Ginger demonstrated sufficient faith in his protection to return to the Cthinema and sound the gong.


Oswald is a clear reference to the Academy Award of Merit statuette handed out at the Academy Awards, commonly known as the Oscars (another name beginning with 'Os'). The original "Oscar" was so-called because a secretary remarked that "it looked like her uncle Oscar".

The "Huge Gong with a hammer next to it" is a reference to the introduction to all J. Arthur Rank films: A muscular man striking a huge Gong with a hammer. At one time, this introduction was as famous as the M.G.M. Lion.