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Toadstool

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Earth Star surrounded by Toadstools

Earth Star surrounded by Toadstools

A Toadstool is the unfortunate result of when a toadlet has failed to reach the Fairy Ring to Toad Hollow before the end of the warm season. They can be found scattered across the Great Forest.

DescriptionEdit

Often found in groups, Toadstools look just like ordinary mushrooms. Usually pale in color, they are about the same height as a toadlet and feel rather stiff to the touch, like stone.[1]

In the first season, a Toadstool's cap is often depicted as round and smooth, like a marble.[2] In the second season, however, the Toadstool design is slightly tweaked: the caps now have a more defined umbrella shape with slightly darker warts on top of them, giving them a higher resemblance to actual mushrooms.[3]

OriginsEdit

In "One for All", it is revealed that Toadstools are, in fact, toadlets who have undergone a magical transformation. Mistle Toad explains to the Toad Patrol that each year toadlets must go through the Great Migration and try to reach the Fairy Ring that will take them to Toad Hollow. Upon reaching the haven, the curse will no longer have any effect. But if toadlets fail to reach the ring in time, this causes them to magically turn into mushrooms upon its closure, no matter where the toads are in the forest.

For the duration of the first season, there is no explanation as to why toadlets turn into Toadstools. It's only halfway through  the second that the truth is finally revealed: the Toadstool transformation is actually a defense mechanism set in place by the Ancients. It is meant to protect the toadlets during the winter until the return of the warm season.[4]

The Ancients & the cureEdit

In the second season, after studying the Castle of the Ancients with Mistle Toad, the Toad Patrol discovers that the Toadstool transformation is not permanent. A magical symphony, orchestrated by the Ancients long ago, has the power to change all the Toadstools of the forest back into toadlets.[5] In order to play it, the Toad Patrol must separate and travel to different corners of the woods in search of the instruments the Ancients once used.[3] Because one of those instruments is entirely made of ice, the symphony has to be played before the end of winter.[6] It must also be done to the letter or else the performer will be turned into a Toadstool.[3][7]

Aside from this, there are other elements in the show that link the Ancients to the Toadstools. For instance, although the reason for this is currently unknown, a large chamber inside the Castle of the Ancients houses rows and rows of Toadstools in a maze-like setup.[4] Sigmund, a mute salamander, guards the Toadstool Caverns and waits for the day the trapped toadlets will return to normal.[7]

Reverse transformationEdit

Toadstools symphony

Toadstools reacting to the symphony

When the symphony is played, the Toadstools throughout the forest immediately react to it. They will squirm in place, as if the toadlets inside are pushing to get free. The toadlets will then emerge from the mushrooms and wake up as they were before their transformation.[8] If only one instrument is played instead of all three, the cure will have no effect: the Toadstools will settle down as the symphony ends and will become motionless once again.[3]

Earth Star's situation Edit

Although the Toadstool transformation was first thought to be permanent, there was one exception to the rule: Earth Star, oddly enough, returned to normal some time after succumbing to the curse.

In "The Giver of Names" and "The Stay Away Place", he reveals to the Toad Patrol that he had become a Toadstool a season before. His group and him missed the Fairy Ring and instantly turned into mushrooms. But, he mysteriously woke up a year later, perfectly unchanged, while his friends remained transformed. No one, not even Mistle Toad, can explain how that's possible.

To this day, it is still unclear how Earth Star managed to break the spell.

TriviaEdit

  • In "The Fairy Ring", the members of the Toad Patrol find a circle of mushrooms and immediately assume they are Toadstools until Mistle Toad corrects them.
  • The transformation of a toadlet into a Toadstool is never directly shown onscreen, but instead conveyed by other types of exposition, like shadows flickering on a cavern wall.[2][7] Nothing explicit is ever shown.
  • Out of all the major characters in the show, Earth Star is the only one to experience the Toadstool transformation.[9] He is also the only one who experiences it twice.[7]
  • In French, the Toadstools are referred to as "champignons de pierre," which literally translates to "stone mushrooms."

ReferencesEdit

  1. "One for All", Episode 1 (season 1); Toad Patrol, 1999.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "The Stay Away Place", Episode 6 (season 1); Toad Patrol, 1999.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "The Lost Symphony", Episode 22 (season 2); Toad Patrol, 1999.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Invasion", Episode 21 (season 2); Toad Patrol, 1999.
  5. "The Castle of the Ancients", Episode 17 (season 2); Toad Patrol, 1999.
  6. "Good Day", Episode 23 (season 2); Toad Patrol, 1999.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 "The Sacrifice", Episode 24 (season 2); Toad Patrol, 1999.
  8. "Journey's End", Episode 26 (season 2); Toad Patrol, 1999.
  9. "The Giver of Names", Episode 2 (season 1); Toad Patrol, 1999.

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