|The Ringing of the Bell|
|Season 1, Episode 7|
|Air Date||November 6th, 2014|
"Lullaby in Frogland"
"Babes in the Woods"
The Ringing of the Bell is the seventh episode of Over the Garden Wall.
Wirt and Gregory, now away from Beatrice, find themselves hiding in a cottage where they meet a young girl named Lorna. They hide from "Auntie Whispers", a woman who lives with Lorna and commands her with a bell that makes her follow the ringer's orders. Auntie Whispers keeps hinting at the fact that trespassers may get eaten if found. Soon enough, the brothers are found, and eventually come to realize the meaning of Whispers' hints.
Wirt and Greg are still walking through the woods in the rain after realizing Beatrice tricked them. Greg begins to wonder whether Wirt has a plan to return home, who claims he does, though Greg does not have to follow if he does not want to. As the brothers to continue their walk, the Woodsman appears to them and nervously explains that the Beast knows of the boys' presence and will come after them. As he tries to give them advice so they can escape his clutches, the brothers don't listen to the Woodsman, believing he is the beast, and run away. The Woodsman tries to get the boys to listen but is stopped by the Beast, telling him that they should talk.
As the Brothers flee, they find a house which they believe is abandoned, and decide to enter. Upon entering, they find a basket full of black turtles and a young girl named Lorna, who arrives surprised at their presence. Wirt tries to explain that they believed her home was abandoned, and Lorna believes the boys, then tells them to leave warning them of her guardian Auntie Whispers. Upon hearing the door open the brothers hide in one of the turtle baskets. Auntie Whispers arrives, greets Lorna, and instinctively believes there are children hiding in the house. Using a magical bell, she asks Lorna if any children came wondering into the house. A hypnotized Lorna tells Whispers to look in the basket, who turns her attention to one of the turtles instead of the brothers, thinking she "meant it to be the turtles that smell so ripe". Seeing Lorna has no secrets to keep, she goes off to bed and tells her to sort the bones of those who entered and have been eaten alive in the house before. Since Lorna had already done so, Whispers commands her to clean the floor until it shines, claiming it was the only way to keep Lorna from becoming "wicked", then finally goes to sleep. Wirt and Greg go to Lorna and come to realize that she always does tasks given to her by Whispers, and that she is always given a new task when finishing one. Wirt then agrees to help Lorna with washing the floor so they could get it done fast, so they would have time to escape.
As Lorna and Wirt wash the floors Greg and his frog wander up to Auntie Whispers' bedroom and accidentally wakes her up. As Whispers comes downstairs, commands Lorna to come to her side, but can't find her bell. The brothers and Lorna hide in the closet. Whispers bangs on the door, warning them to stay away from her before it's too late. At first, Wirt and Greg do not understand why, but realize what she meant when Lorna transforms into a grotesque demonic figure, revealing she was the one eating people, and Auntie Whispers made her do so many chores to keep her "wicked" side at bay. Wirt and Greg escape through a window as Lorna chases after them, but Wirt and Greg fall in a swamp. As Lorna comes closer, Greg then starts to shake his frog, which starts to glow, revealing that the frog ate the bell while they were in Whispers' bedroom. Wirt shakes the frog and commands the spirit to stop making Lorna cause havoc, and to exit her body, never to return. The spirits obeys the command, leaving Lorna's body and disappearing into the night. Auntie Whispers sees this and expresses her joy that her beloved Lorna is not possessed anymore, but is also sad, now that she would no longer need her to look after her. Lorna decides to stay with Whispers, saying that she is her family, and the two can now live a happier life. As Wirt and Greg depart, Auntie Whispers warns them to beware her sister, Adelaide, stating she can't be trusted, unaware that she is dead.
The brothers continue their walk in the woods where Wirt begins to feel doubt about whether they'll find their way home. Greg encourages Wirt to think otherwise and tells him to lead the way. The Beast, watching at a distance, tells the Woodsman how lucky they are for the boys to not have listened to the warning earlier, claiming that said warning would have cost them both dearly. The Beast asks the Woodsman if he even cared about his own daughter's soul over the children, to which the Woodsman answers that he wanted to find another way, other than bargaining the souls of children as of they were tokens. The episode ends with the Beast claiming that there is only one way - his way.
- This is the second appearance of The Beast.
- Auntie Whispers is Adelaide's sister.
- At the end, Auntie Whispers warns Wirt and Greg about Adelaide which they already previously encountered in "Lullaby in Frogland."
- The name "Lorna" was coined for the book Lorna Doone: A Romance of Exmoor, also about a young woman with a dead family who is hidden away, but falls in love with a young man.(Reference)
- Auntie Whispers may be inspired by Yubaba and Zeniba from the movie Spirited Away.
- And there are many stories about girls from the world because they are outside the ghosts live in them.
- Wirt and Lorna show signs of attraction for each other during the episode, both blushing often at the sight of the other.