The Jabberwock is the main antagonist in the 2016 horror novel Alice by Christina Henry. Based on The Jabberwock of the original story of Alice, he is a much more fearsome creature than even Lewis Carroll could have conceived.
A cruel, duplicitous, monstrous being, the Jabberwock was originally human but abandoned any goodness he had to enslave, kill and torture humanity. He abandoned fearing darkness to being in the dark. However, he was immensely arrogant, and such arrogance was maybe with reason, given his power. However, this proved his downfall, as he met his match by the least of his enemies - Alice.
Back in ancient times, magic ruled the world, and two magicians were dominant amongst their peers. The two magicians used light magic for the good of humanity. However, one of the two wizards became envious of mortals, and distrusting of his fellow magician's plans to aid humanity when clearly they were flawed and magic made one all powerful. Seeing that dark magic gave one the upper hand; the magician turned from one who feared the dark to one who dwelled in the dark, and the more he used dark magic the more evil he became.
Soon, his fellow magician saw the evil corrupting his friend, and, with a heavy heart, the good magician went to a blacksmith who forged him a sacred blade, which the good magician poured his own blood into, rendering it powerful against evil. The blacksmith announced his work finished and gave the magician the blade.
With a sense of regret, the good magician confronted his former friend. The dark magician sneered, knowing that his friend could never confront dark magic. But the good magician impaled the evil sorcerer with the blade, absorbing the dark magic and briefly rendering his friend powerless. The Jabberwock begged to be slain, but the good magician put the beast in a box and imprisoned him beneath what would become a mental asylum, never to trouble the world again.
Role in the novel
The Jabberwock terrifies even Hatcher, an alleged madman and mass murderer who hacked five men to death with an axe. The Jabberwock is clearly disturbing the magically sensitive Hatcher, who occasionally is prone to being possessed by the Jabberwock. Hatcher's only friend in the mental asylum is Alice, a young woman who went to the Old City one day with her friend, Dor, but blacked out during an insane tea party and woke up with blood all over her and a giant rabbit attacking. Because of this, Alice ended up in the mental asylum.
Escaping the mental asylum
Alice ad Hatcher become friends because they both fear the Jabberwock despite Alice's repeated claims the monster does not exist. However, Alice dreams of fire that night and the asylum burns down in the night. Everyone perishes except Alice and Hatcher, who break free of their bonds and flee into the dangerous Old City. Alice sees a towering monstrous shadow break out of the burning hospital and knows the Jabberwock is real, and free.
Escaping many encounters with vagabonds and criminals in the City, they learn of a turf war between Mr Carpenter, a gang leader, and the fearsome Walrus, alleged to eat girls alive, and other gang leaders such as Cheshire, and the Caterpillar. Overwhelmed, Hatcher takes shelter with his grandmother, Bess, and Bess admits to having Seer blood, and being about to die due to old age. Alice is disguised as a man and Alice and Hatcher go to see Cheshire.
On the way, they hide from Mr Carpenter's men in a shady inn, and during the confrontation which follows a sinister shadow appears at the door, calling for Alice. Alice screams that the Jabberwock is not real, and the shadow screams in agony and vanishes, filling the room with eerie red light.
This is bad news, because magicians were banished from the City eons ago, and now everyone knows Alice is a magician. Cheshire proves to be less than helpful, but he does tell them of the origin of the Jabberwock, that he was a dark magician banished by his former friend. However, Alice says she knows the story. Cheshire muses that she is "interesting" and after giving them a test of character in a Wonderland-like maze of sentient evil roses and a Siren, Cheshire takes them to a path to see the Caterpillar.
The evil Caterpillar has a brothel where he has imprisoned innocent young girls and cut open their backs in a butterfly symbol. When Alice kills him in rage at this, the palace begins to crumble due to the Caterpillar's magic being gone. It slides into oblivion yet Alice and Hatcher manage to escape the chaos. They rescue a prisoner who Cheshire claimed was a mermaid.
After disposing of the evil Walrus, formerly a wrestler known as Grinder, they free the Walrus' prisoners. But Alice and Hatcher, along with the prisoners, enter outside to find a scene of destruction: corpses litter the blood stained streets, with a threatening silence: The Jabberwock has attacked.
A prisoner of the Walrus, the rabbit named Pipkin, says he will take the terrified girls to the safety of the country.
Hatcher takes Alice back to Heathtown, his old district, and arrives back home. He takes Alice on to see the evil Rabbit who began it all after Hatcher confronted his inner demons. The Rabbit mocks Hatcher at his inability to protect his daughter, Jenny, from the gangs, and then Alice is shocked that her friend, Dor, was actually an accomplice of the Rabbit and betrayed him to her. Sick of being punished, Dor kills the Rabbit and allows herself to be killed by Hatcher.
As the place falls apart, Alice and Hatcher escape. Alice's powers as a magician are finally awoken, and Alice uses them to temporarily put Hatcher to sleep to keep him from interfering.
She confronts the Jabberwocky, who sinisterly appears as a regular man wearing a black suit and cloak. He mocks her for being "a puny little girl" and scoffs at what such a weak girl could do to harm him.
Alice commands him to take her hand. She asks him why he appeared to her in this way. The evil Jabberwocky says well, he could become something more monstrous, to which Alice says no. But she notices his monstrous shadow encroaching the city and threatening to drown the whole world in blood.
The Jabberwock mocks Alice's insignificance in the wider scheme of things and asks how she will dare to "wish him out of existence." He laughs at her uselessness. But Alice's power lies in wish granting. She wishes him to become a weak butterfly, trapped in a cage.
The Jabberwock's eyes widen in shock and he screams before vanishing. His shadow vanishes from the city and all the darkness is immediately lifted. What's left is a little case, with an angry butterfly inside, trapped forever. Alice threatens the Jabberwock that she will put him in her pocket, never look at him again. In time, she will never tell her daughter about the Jabberwock, and the whole world will grow to forget the monster. She will then return the jar to the world and throw the Jabberwock into a vast lake.
The Jabberwock returns in the sequel, Red Queen. He is bereft of power and does not rest in peace. If he hadn't been sealed right shut in Alice's pocket he would be kicking up the daisies and would have made everyone in the world an ex-person. Alice knows she couldn't replace him so she just leaves him in her pocket sealed shut in her bottle. She knows that she could never mention him or even think of him because if she does; he will torment her in her dreams. He has tried to torment her in a waking nightmare but failed. He has since become an urban legend for his brief reign of terror; a young girl Cheshire rescued in the Old City shudders when Cheshire mentions the Jabberwock and says "I know of him." No one should think about the Jabberwock because his rage is still radioactive.
Once Alice is pressed into a confrontation with the White Queen's Goblin general in the heart of the mountain, Alice breaks through the Goblin's barriers, illusions and deceit, and slashes the Goblin through the throat, killing the monster and ending his long reign of terror. In doing so, his dying magic (as he is a Magician) is awoken and creates an interdimensional vortex which sucks his lair into an unending abyss.
Why is this important? Well, all of Alice's possessions get sucked in; although she manages to escape. Amongst her possessions is a tiny bottle with an angry Butterfly trapped in it.
Thus the Jabberwock is finally left to fall into oblivion throughout eternity and hopefully finally die in his unending final prison.