We’re past customs and on the way to Great Roll, Will is almost home. Let’s unpack.
Given all the disasters 1 currently impacting the world, the image of refugees returning home seems rather timely. We live in a world struggling with vast displacement, destruction, and turmoil. So it was nice being able to write a depiction of people taking the plywood down and displaced people returning home.
But it was also important to keep Will distant from this renewed life. He’s not part of The Realm and, while he had a role to play in helping establishing the peace now being enjoyed, it’s not part of his story. Will sees what he helped create through windows, and in the sound of laughter and cheers, but that’s all he’ll experience of this new future.
In fact, Will’s real experience of this new hope is punctuated by the customs fence in No Entry, “Gnomes Only From This Point.” He doesn’t get to see a good picture of the renewed hope spreading across The Realm. Rather, he sees the remaining refugees in The Harbor, and that fence marking the end of their world. While the Narrator reassures us even this fence will come down, there’s still work to be done.
The Professor has been returning to the more goofy personality he displayed in the early chapters of the book. The stress of being in the war managed to focus him 2, but now he’s feeling more free to allow his mind to roam.
And so we’re back to a gnome who tells his nephew how wonderful it is for him to be intimated by his daughter.
Things are getting back to normal.