My sister asked if the events of “The Labyrinth” are meant to be Sarah dreaming, or are they real? Although my primary reaction was that she shouldn’t put that much thought into any children’s movie (or any instance of David Bowie in tight pants), I’d like to take this opportunity to put so much thought into this children’s movie, that it’ll blow your mind.
So why is David Bowie kidnapping a child from an underage Jennifer Connelley?
In a time long long ago a sorcerer named Jareth fell in love with a girl named Sarah. Sarah’s father and step-mother would not let her marry Jareth because they wanted her to keep her, as a servant, to care for their other child. In a fit of rage Jareth kidnapped this other child and spirited it away to the fairy world. In this new world Jareth built a palace for his Sarah. He turned the spoiled child into a goblin, and kept it to be a servant.
Many stories of the fairy world tell us that time moves differently there than in our world (Rip Van Winkle for one). In the time it took for Jareth to build his kingdom, which he may have thought was little more than a few years, Sarah grew old and died.
Overcome by grief and addled by a lifetime spent in a strange world filled with monsters, Jareth goes mad. He refuses to believe that he has lost his love. He searches the mortal world from his castle, looking for her.
Sarah is Hebrew name. So, it is common, and has been in use for thousands and thousands of years. It does not take long (for him) to find a dark haired girl named Sarah, who has a younger sibling, and who feels that she is treated unfairly by her step mother. In a fit of rage he kidnaps this other child and spirits it away to the fairy world. Perhaps this new Sarah dies in the quest to find the child, perhaps she wins her sibling back and flees.
Jareth searches the mortal world from his from his castle, looking for her. It does not take long to find a dark haired girl named Sarah…
This is how Jareth becomes the goblin king. Every goblin in the goblin city is a child Jareth has stolen, who was not recovered by a Sarah. (he told the current Sarah that Toby would become a goblin if she did not find him in time)
This is why he builds the maze. The magic bog, the junk yard of useless treasures, all tricks to slow Sarah down. Because if he can only have his Sarah for the time it takes for her to regain the stolen child, he will make it take as long as possible, keep her as long as possible.
This is why there exists in our world a book containing the story. Because it has happened before. So many times. At some point some lucky Sarah must have returned to our world to tell the story.
This is why when the most recent Sarah first meets Hoggle at the start of the labyrinth, and introduces herself; “I’m Sarah”, Hoggle responds “That’s what I figured.”
Because of course she’s Sarah.
They were all Sarah.