Thursday, March 27, 2008


There is something I have been thinking about for some time. Who exactly is Garnet? Do you remember her character in RTO? Well hardcore fans will remember that is Aunt Em's sister. She only mentions her briefly in the start of the film, where she says;

Em - "Garnet says she'll loan it to us."
Henry- "That's Charity Em'"
Em- "She my sister, its family, not charity."

That line is the very line that got me thinking. Who is Garnet? Where did she come from? Why would she have the money for Dorothy's treatment and Aunt Em does not?

So It was time to do some research.

I know that Walter Murch was a huge fan of the book. Most everything in the film had a book reference.
But what I found was, Garnet was not mentioned in any of the Oz books....hmmm....

So she must have been created by Return to Oz Directer Walter Murch. When he and Gill Dennis created the draft of the film.

So I found her origin, (kind of) Now the question that can't be answered for sure is:
Where did she come from?

But I do have a theory on this one. I do know an interesting story as a gag Walter Murch named Doctor Worley and Nurse Wilson after two crew members. So I think they may have done the same with Em's sister Garnet. But there is only one problem to this theory... There's no Garnet in the credits. But on the other side, I could not find a Worley in the credits either, and I know he was named after a crew member. So I think it is safe to say this could be what happened.

Now so far we know that Garnet is Emily's (Aunt Em's) Sister. But we are not clear on her last name or origin in the story. We do know that Emily's last name is Blue, but that can't be her maiden name since she is married to Henry Blue. We also know that Garnet can't be Dorothy's mother, because in the books, Dorothy is an orphan. So she must just be a random sister of Emilys.

And the last question;

Why would she have the money and Aunt Em does not?

I think since the tornado, the Blue family now have a mortgage on the house, which they can barely afford. Before the storm they must not have owned any money to the bank. Farm country is like that, some people back then would never borrow from a bank, and their land and houses would be paid in full. And you have to remember there was not home owners insurance then, so a wreckage would be devastating! Not to mention the entire house was blown away. So that means all of their stuff, gone! Garnet must live somewhere not close to the Blue farm, or did not have as much damage as they did. And because of that, could apparently afford Dorothy's treatment.

In conclusion there was not much to find out about Garnet, and still some pondering questions about her. She is a part of the Return to Oz world, and it would be interesting to see some more info on her. But that is probably not going to happen. But it is good to know that Aunt Em had family she can count on in a crisis. Maybe Garnet was never meant to be discovered, and I tend to look way to far into things, besides, Return to Oz is just a movie after all.


Jared said...

It is entirely possible that Em had a sister. What I wondered about the movie was how did Aunt Em and Uncle Henry pay it off? Getting refunded for Dorothy's treatment (which never happened, and then when you consider what the nature of the treatment was...) is unlikely.

PJ said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Baum does tell us that Em has a sister in the fourth book, right? Isn't that how Zeb is related to them?

Celia Foster said...

P.J, I think you are onto something there. In the fanfiction piece I am writing, I'm planning to explain more about the Gale's financial situation and why Garnet offered to help them. In the movie novelization of Return to Oz, it explains Aunt Em was born and raised in Ohio. I think Garnet still lives there and that's why we never meet her.