Dropped concepts in the Artemis Fowl series?

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Dropped concepts in the Artemis Fowl series?

Postby GMontag » Mon Jun 29, 2015 2:09 am

So ever since I've gotten back to thinking about Artemis Fowl (i.e. the last half-year or so), I've noticed that there are a number of concepts that are mentioned in the series - maybe once, maybe more so - that feel like they've just been "dropped," meaning that you read them once, say to yourself, "Oh, cool! The People have X, or Artemis does Y!" and then they just disappear. Probably happens a lot of series, particularly ones that aren't planned all the way through from the beginning (which sounds like the case for AF). Still, I feel like the entire Artemis Fowl series contained quite a few of these...

So! What are some concepts that people feel like could have been developed more in the series, or concepts that just made you go "whaaaaaa" and then disappeared? Any particular comments about any of them?

Here are my top 11 in no particular order, along with where they appeared (unless it's obvious), and general semi-ranty comments for each:

- telekenetic fairies (AF. Mentioned in the troll incident. Can everyone do it? Actually, more general question, what the heck are the limits of fairy powers anyway? Is Holly a latent psychic!???!??!?!)
- softnoses (TAI. Big deal when first introduced, promptly disappeared afterwards)
- ORBITAL LASER CANNONS (end of TLC - Major annoyance to me, because they seem super-duper out of place and overpowered, they are used once and only once (pretty casually, I might add), and then disappeared. Foaly, what? You built a superweapon, put it in space and FORGOT ABOUT IT?)
- bio bombs (AF. Same deal as above, except for the space part, unless there are bio bombs in space, which by now I wouldn't be surprised about)
- the C Cube and the Eternity Code (Unbreakable encryption i.e. one of the holy grails of more fields than I can count.)
- the Fowls' Mafiya issues, or more generally, their criminal connections (After TAI, the Fowls might as well have been a normal family (with lots of money and negligent parents). AF Senior gets off wayyyy too easy in my opinion for some presumably terrible things he did as a criminal mastermind. Admittedly, Artemis Fowl and the Child Protective Services doesn't sound like a very fun book... wait a second... yes it does!)
- Juliet Butler (She has the super-cool training-montage-like chapter in TEC (and is generally super-cool), and then disappears to go wrestling? Yes, yes, I get her wrestling obsession, but come on...)
- Minerva (Yes, I went there. "Is involved with a skier" is a horrible excuse, Mr. Colfer. (Also, a skier? Really? Doesn't really seem like the type for Minerva...))
- Haven (I feel like Haven warranted a lot more description than it got. It's so cool as a concept!)
- Atlantis/any other major fairy metropolises that we're missing here (I kinda just want to know the extent of fairy civilization. Also, were they like city-states? Did they ever fight each other? I seem to remember an Atlatean ambassador, so maybe each one really was like a city-state...)
- the fairy space program (TAC. They had/have one. They sent stuff to places. Vinyaya went to the moon... How?!? Why!?!?!)

Any others?

Full disclosure: the keen of eye will notice some of these concepts working their way into my fanfics, and I may or may not be using this as a way to fish for ideas to expand on in future works of mine or anyone else who cares to capitalize on them. I for one will not complain if I suddenly see Artemis Fowl and the Child Protective Services on ff.net.

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Re: Dropped concepts in the Artemis Fowl series?

Postby tylerdurbin0919 » Mon Jun 29, 2015 10:32 pm

I didn't notice that they just dropped those ideas either until now.

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Re: Dropped concepts in the Artemis Fowl series?

Postby FadingLight » Tue Jun 30, 2015 1:07 am

I was kinda annoyed when Doodah Day vanished, especially since he was apparently working together with Mulch as a private detective. For some reason, Mulch went back to being a criminal, and Doodah went poof.

On the C Cube: I'm guessing that once the fairies got their hands on it, it had no chance of survival. They wouldn't leave it with Artemis, and the technology was obsolete by fairy standards.
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Re: Dropped concepts in the Artemis Fowl series?

Postby Rocket Axxonu » Tue Jun 30, 2015 5:26 am

Oh my, yes. XD So much we were teased with. (And I get the same impression about the AF series in it not being planned from the beginning. Especially if you read author interviews. Not sure if you've seen any of the pre-TAC interviews, there were some interesting ideas there, but the actual story of TAC was quite a bit different. [It also seems clear that Colfer would have liked to work H/T into the series, from as early as TEC, but it never materialized.])

Anyway, some of mine are these:

1. The time-stop. We only really saw this used in book 1 (unless you count
Spoiler:
what Foaly did at the end of TLG to save Caballine, but that wasn't quite the same thing.
I would have liked to see it again. (And we never did find out if the fairies ever figured out how Artemis escaped the time-stop, so that thread was kind of left dangling.) On the one hand, I suppose only appearing once gave it more power, but it was one most the interesting concepts of the first book. (Also still confused about the rules surrounding the time-stop. Apparently no one has ever figured out a way to escape the time-stop [besides what Artemis did in book 1], but it explicitly says at one point that Foaly's created a portal that lets you leave whenever you want. (What?? I'm still trying to reconcile that one.)

2. The Book. Again, it plays a huge role in the first book, and it seems like such a big deal, but in later books it's only mentioned briefly here and there. (No1 undoes the spell that keeps fairies from entering dwellings like it's nothing, but wasn't there something in the early books saying that undoing the spells wasn't approved by the courts? As it would be violating the ancient sacred laws. I always wondered just how seriously the fairies took their sacred laws, they seemed less strictly enforced in the later books than the earlier ones.)

3. Second your wanting more description of Haven and Atlantis, and all the lower elements really. For Atlantis, as far as I remember, the main characters never actually went inside the city, even in TAC. (We only ever saw the prison.) I'd like to know more about what it looks like, and how the people's customs there differ from those of Haven and such. We also know that Haven is the biggest fairy metropolis, with Atlantis possibly being the second largest (maybe? I can't remember, but that's what I've always assumed), but does that mean there are other smaller fairy cities scattered about? For some reason I've been picturing it more like small settlements scattered about, and some individuals families living in various places, in a sort of frontier-esque way. I know we saw the abandoned theme park in TOD...where was that again?

I like your idea of fairy city-states, and even perhaps skirmishes over the centuries...the People always seem to think of themselves as a peaceful race, but you see disgruntled officers like Cudgeon teaming up with maniacs like Opal Koboi and plotting to overthrow the government, and goblin uprisings in the capitol city. Seems to me like their were probably more all-fairy conflicts than they'd like to admit.


4. TLC, when they see the dimensions through the rips in time (while they're on Hybras, and the time spell is breaking down.) Are there other dimensions with people/creatures living in them? What kind? (Parallel worlds possibly?)

5. Foaly's space probe (TAC), and other mentions of space and the possibility of there being aliens. But maybe this is just because I like stories with aliens. (Animorphs, anyone?) For some reason I always liked the picture of a race of evil aliens out to conquer the galaxy coming to earth, forcing humans and fairies to work together... (Yes, apparently I go for the cliches. XD!)

6. Gremlins. Mentioned, but never described, and you never see a gremlin character. (What kind of people are they? What's their culture? What do they look like??)

7. Quantum Zombies? Eh?

8. Mud-fairies, or humans with magical blood, the result of human-fairy unions. I can't remember if this concept was ever mentioned in the books, but Colfer's mentioned it in at least one interview, and I think one of the codes from the books talks about them.

9. Section Eight. They were a secret part of the LEP which existed for centuries, watching for demons and carrying out high-level missions for the LEP on the side. We know (I think?) that they switched over helping demons get reintegrated with Haven society, but I'd have liked to see more of them. (And what happened to them after Vinyaya died?)

10. Also, totally second Minerva. She's was there for one book, then disappeared, never to be mentioned again. She's another human who now has knowledge about the People, and TLC left off with the definite impression that she and Artemis would have more interaction in the future. There was a lot of potential there. (Skier, egh, I know. X3 Though I suppose if Artemis goes for a police officer, who knows what's possible. But that 'when she saw this guy ski she forgot all about intelligence' thing. No, please.)

11. Qwan. He was an interesting character, but aside from a few mentions from No1, he doesn't appear after TLC. (In fact, he's almost written off by a line that says something about how No1 'pretends he didn't pass his teacher in skill years ago.' Yes, No1 has incredible magical powers, but Qwan is a magical master and expert on the equations of spells and time travel [which is on par with rocket science in terms of complexity] with most likely hundreds of years of experience, plus his thousands of years as a statue, where he was apparently conscious.) What is Qwan doing now besides teaching No1 and Qweffor? Seems like his first-hand experience with the ancient war with the humans would make his knowledge of great cultural value.

12. You mentioned telekinetic fairies, I wondered about that too. XD The series also mentioned empaths, which, if I'm remembering right, are fairies who are able to tap into a collective memory of the events down through the ages, or something weird like that. (Or able to sync up with other warlocks and get their memories before they die. Something like that.) I thought that sounded interesting too, but we didn't learn much about them...

13. I wanted to see more about Foaly's app 'Offspring.' XD! (Was that a real thing, or just Holly's oxygen-deprived imagination? And why would she be coming up with something like that anyway?)



Juliet: Yeah, Colfer did keep talking about wanting to bring Juliet back into the story, but he didn't really until TAC and TLG. (She gets back her memories in TAC and fights zombie wrestling fans, then in TLG she
Spoiler:
gets possessed by one of the spirits of the Danu.
But I don't think we really see the same character development (at least from what I remember) that we saw in TEC. I'd have liked to see her come back and play a larger role as she did in the earlier books...

The Russian Mafia (and other mafias): Oh my, yes. I totally agree. X3 (We really get an image of what Artemis Senior is like from the early books, and that vibe of cold, ruthless criminal empire kingpin is really there in spades. So when he comes back from Russia a changed man, you'd think that past (and while we're at it, Artemis's past, too) would come back to haunt him. Opal Koboi comes back for vengeance on Artemis every other book, but it might have been nice to see an enemy from Artemis/his father's shady pasts, someone who they might have even worked with.

Space program: I know. I think it was first mentioned in TLC (I think that might be where it first talks about how Vinyaya led a team to the moon, if I'm remembering right), and it sort of keeps coming back, but we don't get a lot of concrete information on it. In TLG, No1 goes to the moon on an expedition because if he'd been on earth, he would have inconveniently been able to put a stop to Opal's plot. But we don't know much about it. (Again, I want to see an alien plot twist. ;9)

The C Cube: I know, the idea of an unbreakable 'eternity code' is so epic. Though I think Fading is probably right that when Artemis was mind-wiped, the fairies would have destroyed it...although, I don't know if an eternity code would be obsolete even by fairy standards. (I could totally imagine Foaly still has the cube sitting in his lab, and he occasionally goes back to look at it, to try to crack the code, and is still working on it even now.)

Doodah Day/Mulch detective agency: I know, I was disappointed by that too. X3 (I mean, Mulch had come such a long way, and then we come to TLG and he's back to where he started? What??) I've wondered where Doodah ended up. (Yet another character of TLC who was relegated to the 'never to return' pile...)



Also, so many plot threads left dangling in TLG. X3
Spoiler:
1. Apparently, the Council was almost entirely wiped out when half the city was destroyed. (I was like, wow, that was sudden.) I was disappointed about that, because I always wanted to learn more about the Council. We hear about Vinyaya and Cahartez, but who are the others? (Above all, who voted for Sool??) But considering the development in TLG, my next question was, who's going to take over leadership of the People with them gone? (Especially in light of the disaster of technological meltdown.)

2. Fairy-human collision. TLG ended on a 'the humans almost found out but not quite' note, but it seems inevitable that they'll find out sometime. Will there be a war like the People have always feared? Or will they find a way to reconcile their differences and live in peace?

3. Holly's father. I think he was first mentioned in TAI, and Holly says that he died when she was sixty, but we never learn how or why, or anything else about him. In TLG, we get a short flashback, where we learn about how he shaped her development. (In the flashback, he seems to be affectionate, and also encourages her to have a sense of stoic responsibility and good work ethic, but also seems to further instill in her a sense of the Mud Men as the enemy. I'm also guessing he might have been LEP, as he addresses Holly as 'soldier' in a sort of game they seemed to be playing.) I would have liked to learn more about Holly's past and her life growing up.




Oh, and there's one last thing I used to really want to see addressed, but it sort of faded to the back of my mind when I read a fanfiction that did it already. ;9

At the end of TLC, after Artemis essentially brings Holly back from the dead, he thinks to himself something like, 'There will be consequences for this. You can't change the past and go unscathed.' (Something like that.) At the time, I so wanted to see something come of that, but in the end he essentially gets away with it. X3


There's probably more I'm not thinking of, but that's all for now. ;9
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Re: Dropped concepts in the Artemis Fowl series?

Postby FadingLight » Sat Jul 04, 2015 9:46 pm

Some really minor ones:

Who's the demoness with red markings from The Lost Colony? Is she actually No. 1's mother?

Also: swear toads. Could you enchant a toad to speak without swearing all the time? What would it say? And the fact that the fairies stuck Abbot's soul into a guinea pig. Could they stick other souls into other bodies? Does the soul have to be occupying the same body as another soul? What are the ethical ramifications?
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Re: Dropped concepts in the Artemis Fowl series?

Postby Rocket Axxonu » Sun Jul 05, 2015 5:31 am

Lol, you know, I kind of wanted to learn more about No1's mother, too, and would have liked to see her make an appearance. I mean, it was kind of a big deal in TLC that No1 wanted to meet his mother, and at the end of TLC, he does seem to plan to go find her. But we never found out what happened with that. (Was she really his mother? Then who was his father? Where did he get the warlock blood? Or can demon warlocks be born from purely non-magical parents?)

I also wondered about what happened to Abbot, too. (I loved iesnoth's fanfiction where Abbot returned as the villain again. XD) Huh, I never thought about it that far though. That is a question. Has soul transferral been a practice down through the ages? (Yeah, it does raise a lot of questions, placing a soul into an animal's body, when the animal probably has its own life and soul already. After the big deal the People make about being nature-friendly and being vegetarian and whatnot, seems a little bit...well.)
“After all, absolutely no one can help but suspect a criminal, liar, and manipulator of committing crimes, lying, and manipulating. And of course, no one is more aware of that simple fact than Artemis Fowl.”

Opal sets into motion her most diabolical scheme yet, to frame Artemis and turn his closest friends against him. Only this time she has a new calculating partner who knows Artemis better than he knows himself. [Post TAC]

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8336552/1/Noble-Heart ...Shameless self-advertising, guys! C;

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Re: Dropped concepts in the Artemis Fowl series?

Postby Athena32 » Sun Sep 06, 2015 9:08 pm

The time stop wasn't mentioned in any of the books except AF and TLG because they couldn't use it.
TAI: The heroes were supposed to be dead, and had no contact with the LEP. Foaly was trapped in the ops booth and the army of techies that it would take to set a time stop up are being attacked by goblins. Even if they knew that Opal was responsible for the revolution, they couldn't have used the weapon.
TEC: The LEP was not aware of the operation, and therefore could not get them the materials. Spiro tower is not a good place to time stop because it is not isolated, with a definite boundary, or very easy to access.
TOD: The heroes were suspected murderers, and presumed dead. Also, Opal doesn't have a definite base in this, and so there was no place that it would do any good.
TLC: Haven was in lockdown, and all Holly had was what she carried with her. Last I checked, the section 8 suit does not have the boatload of hardware it would take to construct a time stop jammed in one suit.
TTP: Where in this book would it be a good time to stop time?
TAC: No hardware, plus there is no good place to stop time.

Whew! Long post.

The point is that the time stop is not the trump card of the fairies arsenal. It only works some of the time.
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Re: Dropped concepts in the Artemis Fowl series?

Postby Athena32 » Sun Sep 06, 2015 9:13 pm

I also wanted to meet No.1's mother. How else will we know if she survived the brief time before the bomb exploded? Remember the imps that disappeared? She could have gone the same way...

Speaking of those imps, did they make it back? Or did someone eventually find their remains on the surface of the moon? (That would be hard to explain. I'm sure SETI would have a field day with it.)
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Re: Dropped concepts in the Artemis Fowl series?

Postby Neojian » Tue Dec 01, 2015 2:19 am

I love the Precogs as heroes on the Minority Report TV show. The makers of it could do justice to an Artemis Fowl TV show. David Mazouz, Bruce Wayne on Gotham could play Artemis.

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Re: Dropped concepts in the Artemis Fowl series?

Postby Athena32 » Mon Feb 08, 2016 5:01 am

I would love to hear more about Holly's family. In TTP, we learned that her mother died of radiation poisoning, and her father died when she was barely 60. Is that before or after her mother's death?

Also following on what Rocket said, I think a bit more about the book would be useful. If No.1 can reverse the rule of the dwellings, can he reverse other things, like the no fairy can mesmerize another rule? Also, no rule of dwellings, does that mean that future criminals can keep their magic? That would cause some troubles for Atlantis jails.

Seconding (thirding?) gremlins, soul transfer, and Offspring (Is the science behind that even possible? I would think it'd need to have DNA samples or something. I suppose it could work if you find the DNA sequences aligned with a certain trait, then go from there...)
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Re: Dropped concepts in the Artemis Fowl series?

Postby Merv Simestra » Tue Feb 09, 2016 3:51 am

The more I learn about writing, the more I realize that Eoin did very little world-building, or creating and developing parts to a world, for the Fairy world. You never know about the history of the Book, of what all the families of fairies are, the details about Holly's parents and even the history of some of her colleagues, the time-stop, No.1's mother, and a bunch of other things related to the fairies. Artemis Fowl is an amazing story, but I understand why some people don't see it as a good story. And I think the main reason is that there isn't a lot of world-building or background to some of the awesome concepts in the books.
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Re: Dropped concepts in the Artemis Fowl series?

Postby GMontag » Wed Feb 17, 2016 5:02 am

Yup, I completely agree with Merv. It's something that becomes painfully obvious in the later books, but also shows up easily if you just read several of the books in a short time span. For all the things that Colfer did right, he was clearly not concerned with world-building. It's almost at the point where you could conceivably skip around the series and read things episodically, because while general character traits and changes are more or less kept intact from book to book, the background is never much more than "background," with things being reset or changed as convenient. I would've actually loved to see the world behind the AF series, because a world with underground gun-toting fairies has SO much potential lore, but before you got to that, you'd almost have to go back and pull out the "real canon" from the canon, just to smooth out a bunch of the inconsistencies that pop up from book to book.

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Re: Dropped concepts in the Artemis Fowl series?

Postby FadingLight » Sun Mar 13, 2016 11:13 pm

Yeah… I love Artemis Fowl mainly for its concept, characters, and plots, but after reading this thread I realized there really was a lot of stuff that was never developed/vanished and never mentioned again. I love the series anyways though. And that means there's a lot of stuff to use in any fanfiction I might write.

More dropped concepts, it's actually been a while since I reread the books so I might be remembering this wrong:
Online there seems to be disagreement about whether gremlins or centaurs are one of the Eight Fairy Families… I think the eight families were never really defined in the books.
Water sprites definitely exist… so are there such things as "water elves" or "water pixies" and such?
Hybrids between different kinds of fairies, if I remember right we only see one in the books once. It didn't seem like anyone was particularly surprised to a see the hybrid, so they probably aren't that rare, and yet they only appear in that one scene. Hmm.
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Which do you think seems more suspicious? An alien-looking craft hovering in the yard of a country home, or a floating doorway with a centaur standing in it?—Domovoi Butler
We can only change the future, not the past or present.—Artemis Fowl II
I'm trying to care, Artemis. But I thought it was all supposed to be over when the fat lady sings. Well, she's singing, but it doesn't appear to be over.—Holly Short

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Re: Dropped concepts in the Artemis Fowl series?

Postby Athena32 » Sun Apr 03, 2016 12:59 am

I liked your comment about the Hybrids, Fading. It's an interesting thought- in our world, would that be biologically akin to two people from different countries having children (a very common thing) or two people from a different species or level of evolution having children (a not super common thing)? Also, with such a small population, wouldn't all defining traits sort of disappear after many millennia (aka-how long they've been down there)?

It's true that Colfer didn't do much world building. Of course, the only extreme example of world building that I've seen was J.R.R Tolkien, with the Silmarillion, and Adventures of Tom Bombadil, not to mention the entire language that he wrote. Can anyone think of another example of elaborate world building? I don't think there are too many examples out there, though I could be dead wrong.
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Re: Dropped concepts in the Artemis Fowl series?

Postby Merv Simestra » Sun Apr 03, 2016 5:39 am

The hybrids thing is really interesting. I keep forgetting parts of the world that exist since they weren't expanded upon. Though, it does make the series excellent fanfic material. There are so many directions to take with fan-worldbuilding (i.e. worldbuilding within fanfics) that it's not surprising so many Artemis Fowl fanfics exist that touch on these things. Wonder what Eoin thinks of that....

Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia is a good example of medium worldbuilding, bigger than a little, but not as elaborate as Tolkien. Cornelia Funke's Inkheart trilogy comes pretty close to epic worldbuilding though. :) I can't think of much else off the top of my head. Rowling could count, but she kind of cheated by placing the fantasy "world" in the real one. But yeah. I think Stephen R. Lawhead could count for his Song of Albion series. Oh, and Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Cycle counts as leaning towards epic worldbuilding. He did more than Lewis but not as much as Tolkien. It's kind of hard to top Tolkien's work though. :P Elaborate worldbuilding itself is pretty hard, since you have to remember a lot of details and events that occurred in your story. So it's not surprising that some fantasy authors don't do as much as Tolkien, Funke, or Paolini did.

I feel a lecture on fantasy literature that I remember from my Fantasy Lit class coming, but this isn't really the place for it. :P
"On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God."
"God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble."


Procrastinator and Obsessive are my middle names.

Spoiler:
Voted Eternity Awards 2013 winner of...
Favorite Moderator/Administrator
Best Journal Writer
The Sensible One
Most Likely to Run for President
Most Devoted to AFC
and Always in the Know.
Again with the president thing.

Shameless plug: visit my website!.

Pandora Hearts, the most epic manga to have existed. 2006--2015
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