Thank you all very much for attending the third webinar of ErinKenobi2893’s Theoretic Science: Fantasy and Sci-Fi edition series!
This time, we will be talking about what happens to the soul of someone who has been turned into stone. (For the purposes of this post, fantasy fans, agnostics, atheists, and various skeptics, we will just assume that humans and other sentient characters such as Elves, hobbits, dwarves and Ents have immortal souls; we will assume the same of talking animals, unicorns, pegasi, and fauns, other such mythological creatures, as we are operating largely from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.)
Apparently, many authors use turning characters into stone in lieu of killing them off, especially if they’re not supposed to stay dead. Why is this?
I can only assume that it’s because they think that a character in stone is not dead. Their soul is trapped in the stone, hibernating, so to speak, a la The Forbidden Kingdom (case in point: The Monkey King.)
Technically, I suppose all their internal organs are intact, and they’re not destroyed by being turned into stone—except that their molecular structure is now different, making the person technically dead. I mean, a stone heart can’t pump blood, most doctors will agree.
So, though they’re medically dead, their physical structure is intact, and most certainly not disintegrating. Decaying, which is what normally happens to an inert dead body. Is this intentional? I believe that the answer is, yes, very much so.
It’s hard to credit any rumor of a person who was dead returning to life, especially if their body has had a chance to decompose or freeze, since both of them destroy cell structure—at least, it is now, for us modern people, privy to the discoveries of science as we are. (That was supposed to be funny, by the way.) But with their bodies turned to stone, there was nothing missing, and provided there was a way to turn them back… hibernation. Carbon-freeze. Voila!
Also, I should note that you will never see a red-headed Elf in any of my works. Why? Because I think the humans have to have something special to them. (Besides, I just can’t see Elves as being red-headed, ginger, or whatever—and I don’t think Tolkien could, either. I think that the Rohirrim are the only ethnicity of Middle-Earth that has redheads, and it’s the only group of Men with blondes.)