‘Over the Garden Wall’ is an animated television miniseries which was first aired in November 2014, although a pilot had been aired in 2013. The series was created for the Cartoon Network by Patrick McHale and is based on his short film ‘Tome of the Unknown’. McHale had begun to develop his ideas for this series in 2004 and had first approached the Cartoon Network in 2006. The series received great critical acclaim and won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program. The characters in this series were also of great interest and were the subject of many theories relating to subliminal messages and suggestions that they were representative of deeper moral issues.
One such character that was the subject of theories was The Beast. In the television series, this was one of the main characters and was voiced by Samuel Ramey. Fans of the miniseries have spent plenty of time debating exactly what this character is and the main conclusion made by these fans is that it is a representation of the devil. It is some kind of a monster that feeds on dying souls.
However, there is an interesting theory that is based on the fact that the typical interpretation of The Beast is unrealistic. This view is based on the general belief that The Unknown is the afterlife. If this is the case, it doesn’t make sense that people can die twice. Therefore, fans have begun to look at possibilities other than The Beast being the devil and this has required them to look closer at the other characters in the show. Specifically, the turtles.
The turtles in ‘Over the Garden Wall’ seem to possess some kind of dark magic. This is evident when Beatrice’s dog goes crazy after eating candy off their backs. Lorna also goes crazy after being in close proximity to them. Therefore, the turtles could hold the key to The Beast.
When The Beast is first introduced by the woodsman and the tavern people, this character is simply described as being a strange monster that runs around the woods and eats children. It is not mentioned how long this has been going on for.
One theory that has been suggested by fans is that it could have been a lone traveler walking through the woods that came into contact with the turtles and it has sent them crazy. As the turtles have an oily and shiny appearance, one idea is that this lone traveler tried to use the turtles as a lamp because they were lost, alone and frightened. Once the traveler came into contact with the turtles, they worked their dark magic and transform what was once a perfectly normal man into what became known as The Beast.
A key clue to this theory is when Wirt proposes that the Lantern contains the soul of The Beast. When he says this, The Beast evaporates all the light and all that Wirt can see in the darkness is the light of The Beast’s eyes. Strangely, they look exactly the same as the eyes of Beatrice’s dog when it went crazy.
Of course, this is just one of many fan theories about The Beast and whether or not it is correct is open to interpretation.