The Weirdstone of Brisingamen



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The Weirdstone of Brisingamen


Bedimmed

Embedded


Thrice

Flank


Mellow

Fetlock


Sombre

Pig-cote


Hummocks

Whey


Widdershins

Fissures


Flounder





The Legend of Alderley

Discuss how this is a lead in to the rest of the story. Link to Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and Merlin


PART ONE

Chapter One – Highmost Redmanhey

Discuss the appearance and personality of Gowther Mossock. What sort of humour d’you think he has? How d’you know?

Discuss the dialect/accent.

Why are the children there?

Describe the building/farmhouse.
Chapter Two – The Edge

Translate Gowther’s big speech, p20.

The Wizard pub-sign. Who does it remind you of?

What did you think of the woman who stopped them?

What did you think when she began talking in Latin?

What is it she’s saying? How d’you know?

The Tear. What is it? Is it important? What is its other name? Whose is it?

Chapter Three – Maggot-breed of Ymir


And now what do you think about Selina Place?

What story did Gowther tell Colin and Susan?

What did Susan and Colin decide to do after they’d heard Gowther?

Why ‘Abracadabra’ and ‘Open Sesame’?

Discuss that feeling of being watched.

Who did they find or who found them in the wood?

Describe them.

‘ropes hissed like snakes’ (simile).

Why were the children rooted to the spot?

P33, Why all the ellipsis (dots) in Colin’s speech?

P35, what sort of bird do you think it was that ‘cried harshly’ overhead?

P37, who is the man who saves them?

What does he call the strange creatures and what is their proper name?

C

Traipsing

Gaunt

hapter Four – The Fundindelve


Why does the old man talk so oddly?

What is his name? Where have we seen him before?

What race are the creatures from?

What sort of people are they?

Is Ragnarok a good or evil place? And Fundindelve?

What is Firefrost and have you seen anything similar in the story?

So why did he buy a horse?

Why doesn’t he want the children to tell Gowther about him?

P52, who do you think is the dark, tall and gaunt figure?

Chapter Five – Miching Mallecho


What was going on with the owls and the ‘feller’ who went up to Gowther?

Why do you think the wizard had told Colin and Susan to keep their windows closed?

Look at and discuss Gowther’s accent/dialect.

What were you thinking of after Gowther’s visit from…..?

How did the author convey fear/menace?

Why didn’t Gowther tell Bess what had happened outside?


Chapter Six – A Ring of Stones

What is a wheelwright?

Why did Susan want to know if there were mines near where they went fishing?

So what is a ‘mere’ then?

What made Colin and Susan realise what her ‘Tear’ was?

What was Bess’ version of how the Tear ended up with her?

Would you, if you’d met the Svarts, use the path that Cadellin recommended and not go astray?

Were they safe?

How would you feel if you were in the same predicament as Colin and Susan?

What was your first reaction to the ‘thing’ within the stone ring? What did it want?


Chapter Seven - Fenodyree

Draw Fenodyree.

What is the problem now that Susan has lost her Tear?

Who was it that had seen Susan’s Tear? What is she?

Write down the characters met so far and all their names and a brief description.

Could you forget ‘all you have seen and done’?

Are they safe now that Susan no longer has the Tear, do you think? How do you know?

How do you think Colin and Susan felt on hearing that Cadellin was going to face ‘death, and worse than death’?

So why were the owls in Farmer Mussock’s barn?

What’s the problem with living at Llyn-Dhu?

What was the veil that was drawn across the children’s eyes?
PART TWO

Chapter Eight – Mist over Llyn-dhu

What did you think when you started this chapter, how did you think the story would go?

Why was Bess so upset about Susan losing the Tear? And Gowther?

How did you feel when you realised Cadellin was still alive? What did you think might have happened?

Why does Grimnir still have the stone ‘Firefrost’?

Why were Colin and Susan happier than they’d been despite the fact that Grimnir still had the stone, ‘Firefrost’?

Why didn’t Colin and Susan just walk away from somewhere as eerie as Llyn-Dhu?

Why weren’t they afraid of getting lost? What would you do?

You know when they asked the policeman for directions, how did you feel (out of place and time, anchoring the story in reality)?
Chapter Nine – St Mary’s Clyffe

Why does the author change from concentrating on Colin and Susan? How does it help the story? The atmosphere?

After all that how could they go in the room?

Who is the strongest character of the 2? Why do you say that?

If I’d asked you that question earlier in the book, would you have chosen the same person? Why?

Could it get any worse for Colin and Susan when the hound appeared? What did you think? Did you think they would get away?

Where did they end up?

Why did Susan feel that she was falling?


Chapter Ten – Plankshaft


Why were they gasping so soon down in the depths? (lack of good air, full of harmful gases)

How do you think Colin and Susan felt when they saw the ladder wobbling?

Why did the children not get claustrophobic? (fear preventing them from thinking about where they were)

‘Darkness pressed in from every side’ What does that mean? (only the torchlight which varied according to where they were pointed)

P 112, why was it ‘no place for panic’? (too many ways to get lost)

P 115, ‘they journeyed into despair’? (because they way went up and down)

Who has the stronger character in this chapter? Why?

P 119. How effective is the author in painting the picture of Susan on the plank and engaging our emotions?

Who do the eyes belong to? (the Svarts)

How did Colin lose his fear of the plank? (by having to help Susan or else)


Chapter Eleven – Prince of the Huldrafolk

P121 Why do you think Susan had all those urges? (magic, a spell)

What happens to svarts when they are dead? (crumble to dust)

How did Colin feel when he realise that it was the dwarfs following them?

P 128, ‘our journey will be merry ere long’. What does that mean?

Why did the dwarfs put their ears to the ground?

What is a Svartmoot?
Chapter Twelve – In the Cave of the Svartmoot

P 132, ‘guttural and nasal sounds’. Discuss.

What don’t the svarts like? (light)

How did Durathror know what was going to happen? (understood the language of the svarts)

Who had first dug out the mines? (the dwarfs)

Why could the svarts carry the torches and not fear the light of them? (because the flames came from the firedrake’s blood)

Which of the dwarfs enjoyed fighting? (Durathror)

What makes the svarts turn to dust when killed? (the touch of iron)

What is it about Durathror’s cloak?
Chapter Thirteen – ‘Where no Svart will ever tread’

P 145, ‘The deed is nothing. It is the thought that breeds fear’. Discuss.

P 147, ‘the eyes of men were ever blind’. Discuss. What do the dwarfs think of mankind?

How do the dwarfs talk, style? (old-fashioned, formal)

What was Durathror’s cloak made of? (eagle feathers)

Why could they not kill the morthdoers, Grimnir and Shape-Shifter? (their magic was too powerful, more powerful than Durathror’s sword)

Why were the children so quiet and thoughtful at the end of the chapter? (realising that what they have done has not solved/ended a problem but has initiated greater danger to which they could see no end)
Chapter Fourteen – The Earldelving

Look at Durathror’s speech – ‘Mortally. I will pit my…….’ And rewrite it so that it is easy to understand.

Look at the description of Colin in the water. How effective is it in conveying the scene? Why has the author written so much about it?

Look at the descriptions of the children going through the tunnels. Pick out bits to look at. Consider effectiveness?

Why were the children able to go through that tiny tunnel? (the only way out, either that or die horribly)

What makes you think they will or will not get out? (surviving all this, surely they must be going to win out)

‘Colin screwed himself round in the tunnel. It was really not possible, but desperation tipped the scales’. Discuss.

Why did the children talk ‘rapidly and loudly’, having got through at last? (relief at having survived)

‘Last monotony of stone’ (last paragraph). Discuss.
Chapter Fifteen – A Stromkarl sings

What is a stromkarl? (a singer and player of the harp, but also people of the river (says in the next chapter))

Where did he say not to go? (to Fundindelve)

How did they say they could reach Cadellin? (only by day when eyes were weak against the light)

Discuss what Susan means by saying ‘pigs conner fly……’

How do Gowther and Susan react to the story and the presence of the 2 dwarfs? (very calmly and unsurprised, take it all in their stride)

How does Gowther come over at the end of this chapter when he s talking to Serena Place? (very courageous but not doing for glory but because that is how it is with him)


Chapter Sixteen – The Wood of Radnor

Look at and discuss the first opening paragraph of the chapter. How much do you understand? Why? Does the author intend this? (probably because it adds to the tension, all you know is that it’s all bound to be horrible. Everything is beginning to look grim)

Look at and translate one of Gowther’s speeches

‘That makes me a lot easier, I must say’ Does it? Is he speaking the truth/clearly?

What is the morthbrood? (witches and wizards)

How were the birds behaving? (in concert, covering the ground at regular intervals, patrolling from the sky)

What about the scarecrows? (they are, but they can see for the enemy)

Who killed the birds? (the lios-alfar)

Who are the lios-alfar? (somebody really marvellous, sort of elves? Good fighters, the elves of light)

Durathror exchanged, with the lios-alfar, what? (he received the power of flight in return for handing over the power of invisibility)

What did seeing Hodgkins in the wood reveal? (just how widespread the morthbrood were, how nobody was what they seemed to be, who could be trusted?)

Why does Gowther believe Harry Wardle can be trusted, despite the dwarfs’ warnings? (because he’s just too naïve, too trusting, can’t believe that all the people he’s known for so long could be anything other than they have been)

Translate Gowther’s and Harry’s conversation from the dialect.

How did Gowther react to the realisation that Harry was one of the morthbrood? (with complete disbelief and shock, he was dumbstruck)


Chapter Seventeen – Mara

‘Fear is our enemies’ greatest ally’. Why? (Panic makes people forget things, do rash things, act without thinking)

‘Yon warlock, with his snow garments’ who are the dwarfs referring to? (Hodgkins)

So what is fimbulwinter? (the ice-giant’s breath, cold, snow, ice, wind)

What impression did you get of the man on the horse on the hill? For, or against the children and the dwarfs? Why do you say that?

Why was running water important? (it loses/kills the scent, important if the hounds are out)

Why did the lios-alfar have to go away? (go or die, pollution drove them away, they fed on beauty)

Why did Gowther and Fenodyree use each others tracks? (to confuse the enemy, to look like one person only, and that a human)

Discuss the description of the Mara. Is it a good picture? Is anything missing? Could quickly draw it.

What is the Mara? (a troll woman)

What happens to them at dawn? (turn to stone, if the sun catches them)
Chapter Eighteen – Angharad Goldenhand

Why did the Mara not follow them to the island? (followed the tracks only, did not have half a mind to use)

What sort of cloaks did the children have? (ones made of giant’s beard-hair)

How many were needed for Gowther? (4)

What were the proofs that it was not a dream? (they all had the same dream, they were wrapped in cloaks, & Susan had the bracelet)

Who is Angharad Goldenhand? (the wife of one of the knights in Fundindelve)

Why does Fenodyree say that she has been very generous? (because if they are victorious, she will not see her husband of 7 days for many hundred years)
Chapter Nineteen – Gaberlunzie

What will happen to all the ‘baddies’ if they cannot use the stone? (their lives will be forfeit)

P229 –‘limitless as a desert, and as silent as a mine’. Why has the author used these phrases? (to underline just how difficult it is going to be for the children for to get to where they are going, it is an immense task)

P233 – re-write Jim Trafford’s speech in the pub.

What was the problem with what Jim had said? (he had unwittingly revealed the whereabouts of the children and companions to those who were their enemies)

‘My horse is not of earthly stock,’ says Gaberlunzie. What does he mean? (it’s magical, therefore does not follow earthly horse rules limiting it to ½ riders)

p240, ‘trench after trench…..’ Explain what it actually means. (the ditches will prevent the short morthbrood from following easily, because they will have to climb in and out of them whereas they are gliding across on the horse)

What did the foxes do to help? (rolled all over the footsteps obliterating all traces)

What else was good about what they did? (their scent/smell was stronger than that of people or dwarfs so others that might follow would have no scent to follow)

Chapter Twenty – Shuttlingslow

Why was the cold no longer a problem? (the cloaks Angharad had given them)

P244 ‘Near-perpendicular slope’?

What was the plume of smoke above Alderley Edge that they saw? (flocks of crows)

Why did the birds attack Susan more than the others? (because of the bracelet and the Tear)

What were they trying to do? (take her away)

What happened when the Mara picked Susan up? Why? (Angharad’s bracelet made it melt and it reverted to a lump of stone)

How did Durathror use this incident? (he pointed out to the svarts that it boded ill for them. If doom could befall the Mara then what could happen to them)

What stopped the morthbrood from attacking (reluctance to end on the dwarves’ swords)

P254 ‘The long struggle was over, either way. A load of responsibility was lifted from their hearts.’ (they had got to the end of the road, what ever happened they had done their best but they couldn’t do anymore, so there wasn’t any point worrying)

P254 ‘all evil closed upon them.’ (everybody attacked, they were surrounded)

‘F & D wove a net of light with their swords.’ (flashing in the daylight, moving every which way to catch all the attackers)

P255 ‘it was the last flare of a guttering candle before the night swamps all.’ (the last embers of a dying fire!)
Chapter Twenty-one – The Headless Cross

What happened when Grimnir spoke? (it sounded very like Cadellin)

Why did the morthbrood and Grimnir not notice the children after G had the bracelet? (the wolf of Ragnarok had come upon them and they were sore afraid, they knew disaster was in the air for daring to cheat the master of Ragnarok)

Who did it turn out Grimnir was? (Cadellin’s brother)

What happened then? (the wolf cloud came down and swallowed every evil thing in sight but Cadellin had surrounded them with a blue haze, from Firefrost and they were protected)

Did the wolf cloud get every evil thing? (no, one crow survived and flew away, may have been Selina Place)



The Weirdstone of Brisingamen

The Weirdstone of Brisingamen contains many characters, most of whom are magic or mystical in some way.

Your task is to write a ‘Dramatis Personae’ to help other readers. A ‘Dramatis Personae’ is a list of the main characters (and some of the lesser ones) in a book or play, with information about who they are, whom they are related to, and what they look like.

This involves looking through the book (using your skimming and scanning abilities), finding the names of characters, and information about them, from the story.

Set your character list out neatly with the character’s (or group’s) name, followed by an explanation including; what the character or group of characters look like, who they are (elves, dwarfs, morthbrood, etc, and some of these words you will have to explain also), and any other details (relationship to others, importance in the story) that you think will help others to understand the book).

Your work needs careful thought and should be well-presented (this does not mean that you must spend hours illustrating and colouring in). There will also be opportunities to work on this in school (during Literacy) so be sure to bring your book and any notes/work in every day. You may use ICT if you wish.




The Weirdstone of Brisingamen

The Weirdstone of Brisingamen contains many characters, most of whom are magic or mystical in some way.

Your task is to write a ‘Dramatis Personae’ to help other readers. A ‘Dramatis Personae’ is a list of the main characters (and some of the lesser ones) in a book or play, with information about who they are, whom they are related to, and what they look like.

This involves looking through the book (using your skimming and scanning abilities), finding the names of characters, and information about them, from the story.



Set your character list out neatly with the character’s (or group’s) name, followed by an explanation including; what the character or group of characters look like, who they are (elves, dwarfs, morthbrood, etc, and some of these words you will have to explain also), and any other details (relationship to others, importance in the story) that you think will help others to understand the book).

Your work needs careful thought and should be well-presented (this does not mean that you must spend hours illustrating and colouring in). There will also be opportunities to work on this in school (during Literacy) so be sure to bring your book and any notes/work in every day. You may use ICT if you wish.


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