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Jafar is the main antagonist of Liz Braswell's 2015 novel A Whole New World, a "what if …?" of the Disney classic Aladdin in which one imagines what would have happened if Aladdin had not been able to take the magic lamp. He is therefore based on the film's main antagonist of the same name.
Jafar is described as quite similar to his animated counterpart. He is greedy, cruel, psychopathic and sarcastic, he aspires to become the new sultan of Agrabah and uses tricks, deceptions and lies to get what he wants, as well as being characterized by ways of doing mellifluous and cordial that give way to violent attitudes once you get what you want. However, his negative qualities are much more extreme. For example, although Jasmine believes that Iago is the "person" Jafar cared about most, Jafar does not scruple to sacrifice him in a dark ritual in order to gain more power, while waiting to get the magic lamp, thanks to which he could obtain the power to dominate Agrabah. In fact, he has a much stronger tendency to murder than in the film, since there is no problem in killing anyone who poses a threat or an obstacle to him, or anyone who dares to even contradict him. It proves this when he kills the Sultan of Agrabah after ousting him, knocking him off the balcony under the eyes of Jasmine and the people of the city. It therefore demonstrates a very accentuated sadism, not even scruple about torturing and humiliating or blackmailing its enemies.
He is also a skilled deceiver, showing himself to be a generous Sultan by raining money from the sky every day, distributing food and establishing teams of soldiers to patrol Agrabah to keep peace, and then tighten up his rules when, after being robbed of the tomes magical by Aladdin, Jasmine and their thieving friends, he distributes the food after having sworn loyalty to the citizens or even going to mark them on fire. He also shows a strong cunning, when he manages to prevent Aladdin's attempted theft, however, his lack of experience in the fight and his short temper make him a rather questionable tactician. His megalomania is also very accentuated, as when he is conscious of the limits of magic, he decides to go beyond them by obtaining the well-known black magic text Al Azif, thanks to which he could increase his power out of all proportion, and which he uses to awaken the dead and add them to the his army. In contrast, Jafar having lived in solitude throughout his life, seems to want to be loved and admired by Jasmine and the people of Agrabah but, being unable to understand that love and admiration are not obtained with fear and violence, he decides to use magic to bend the will of others and get what he wants from people. Despite this, it seems that the lowest and most wicked people are willing to swear allegiance of their own free will.
Despite killing Iago, Jafar nevertheless continues to keep the memory of him, creating a coat of arms (the same one that affects the hands of people who swear allegiance) and turning to him while tearing the Magic Carpet to pieces. He also considers himself an opportunistic person, able to take the possibilities of life on the fly and to look at the positive side in everything negative and respond creatively to adversity. Finally, Jafar claims to place his absolute trust in magic, considering it the right solution for any problem.
Not much is known about Jafar's past. From the words of Jasmine and himself, we learn that his mother gave him the name "Jafar" after bringing him into the world, and that he was sold as a slave without ever having experienced affection and understanding from anyone and working hard to survive in a difficult world and building your luck. In unknown circumstances, Jafar became Grand Vizier of the Sultan of Agrabah, but he began to cultivate the desire to become Sultan and later also master of the world. Thanks to his knowledge of the world of magic, Jafar became aware of the mythical Cave of Wonders, inside which were kept immense treasures and a magic lamp with inside a genius with great powers and able to fulfill three wishes, and that the The entrance to this place was reserved only for pure-hearted people, the so-called "Diamonds in the Rough". So, to find out which person in Agrabah was most qualified to enter the Cave of Wonders, Jafar sacrificed his parrot Iago in a dark ritual that revealed the identity of the pure-hearted person he needed, Aladdin, a young man who grew up on the street in the Straccioni district and who made his living with small thefts.
To get him, he ordered Razoul, the captain of the guards (who knew Aladdin, having often hunted him), to arrest him and have him locked up in the palace dungeons. Here, Jafar, disguised as an elderly prisoner, convinced Aladdin to help him take the lamp from the Cave by promising him a substantial reward, and helped him escape from prison. As he had foreseen, Aladdin managed to enter the Cave of Wonders and take the lamp but, because of his little monkey Abu, who tried to steal a large ruby (the Cave did not allow any treasure beyond the lamp to be touched), the Cave turned into an immense sea of lava. Being able to avoid being burnt alive by a breath thanks to a Magic Carpet found in the Cave, Aladdin reached Jafar and handed him the magic lamp. Triumphant, Jafar started to kill Aladdin with a dagger but was unable to do so thanks to Abu, who bit his foot. So Aladdin and Abu were buried alive in the desert, while Aladdin returned to the royal palace and asked the Genius of the lamp, as his first desire, to become Sultan.
Meeting the firm decision of Princess Jasmine not to bow to him, Jafar asked the Genius, as a second desire, to become the most powerful sorcerer in the world and, obtained new and immense powers, proclaimed himself the new Sultan of Agrabah and sadistically killed the old Sultan, pushing him from the balcony of the building under the horrified eyes of Jasmine and the common people. However, Jafar discovered, with immense disappointment, that the magic of the Genius did not give him the opportunity to bend the will of people, and therefore he could not make Jasmine fall in love with him, for whom he felt a certain attraction. So he decided to extend his lust for power by procuring the famous black magic tome Al Azif (The Arabic name of the Necronomicon), written by the mad wizard Abdul Alhazred, thanks to which he could have gone beyond the limits of magic, become truly omnipotent and no longer depend from the magic of the genius. In the meantime, he established a dictatorial regime in Agrabah, first by covering citizens with wealth by making it rain from the sky (thanks to the magic of the genius) and then by setting up Peacekeeping Teams, charged with patrolling Agrabah to monitor citizens, enforce the law. and kill the dissidents.
Later, Aladdin, managed to get out of the Wonder Cave thanks to the Magic Carpet, evaded Jasmine from the palace, at the price of Razoul's death and the imprisonment of the Carpet, and led her to the Straccioni district to give life, thanks to her friends from childhood, Morgiana and Duban, who had created a gang of thieves to a movement of resistance to the Jafar regime, secretly encouraged by the Genius, too disgusted by Jafar's cruelty. This resistance, as a first act, ventured into the theft of some books of magic from the mountains of Atrazak. This theft made Jafar nervous, who decided to tighten his dictatorial regime, by distributing food in exchange for loyalty oaths or by setting people on fire. In addition to this, Jafar started going around Agrabah in person in search of Jasmine, personally questioning the citizens and killing them mercilessly when they had not met his requests. After the previous theft, Jafar managed to prevent the theft of Al Azif, brought by his soldiers from the land of Carcosa, by cheating Aladdin and his friends with a caravan that carried a treasure chest with stones inside and, communicating to the whole city thanks to a spell that amplifies the voice, to have Al Azif in your hands, to have subjected the Genius to torture after discovering his complicity with the Straccioni and having found a way to resurrect the dead in the form of golems, in addition to warning the inhabitants of Agrabah that the Straccioni are dangerous people and that do not deserve trust. Then he takes Maruf, Duban's father, and his brothers Shirin and Ahmed hostage and locking them in a giant hourglass, ordering the Rags to surrender to him within the next morning, under penalty of the hostages' lives.
Later, he created a team of living dead (including a resurrected Razoul) to whom he gave faculty of flight by making him sew a piece of the Magic Carpet (he was captured and cut into pieces) for each uniform. This leads Aladdin, Jasmine, Morgiana and Duban to come up with an assault plan to Agrabah's palace, to defeat Jafar and steal the lamp and Al Azif from him. So, with no little effort, the four boys manage to break into the building and engage in a brutal confrontation with Jafar. In the course of it, Jasmine, charged with a grudge against him, tries to kill Jafar by taking control of his body by pronouncing some magic words read on one of the books stolen from the wizard and making him almost stabbed to death. However, Aladdin manages to desist the princess from carrying out a murder. Jasmine then takes over Duban who, furious at the kidnapping and attempted murder of his family, arms himself with Al Azif and hits Jafar with a spell, killing him by making him bury under a pile of sand. Before dying, the evil wizard manages to make one last wish, asking the Genius to let the magic die with him. So once the wish is fulfilled, that the Genie, once lost his powers, turns into a human being and Al Azif incinerates, Jafar turns off mockingly, telling Aladdin and his friends that it will be hard for them to get back Agrabah without magic.
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A Whole New World: Jafar