Pan's Labyrinth

Pan's Labyrinth

Director and author Guillermo del Toro teamed up with Cornelia to expand "Pan's Labyrinth". Ten short stories open further doors to Ofelia's and to Moanna's world.

In fairy tales, there are men and there are wolves, there are beasts and dead parents, there are girls and forests. Ofelia knows all this, like any young woman with a head full of stories. And she sees right away what the Capitán is, in his immaculate uniform, boots and gloves, smiling: a wolf. But nothing can prepare her for the fevered reality of the Capitán's eerie house, in the midst of a dense forest which conceals many things: half-remembered stories of lost babies; renegade resistance fighters hiding from the army; a labyrinth; beasts and fairies. There is no one to keep Ofelia safe as the labyrinth beckons her into her own story, where the monstrous and the human are inextricable, where myths pulse with living blood ...

Once upon a time, there was a young sculptor named Cintolo. He served a king in a realm so far underground that neither the sun's beams nor the moonlight could find it. He filled the royal gardens with flowers sculpted from rubies and fountains sculpted from malachite. He carved busts of the king and queen that were so lifelike, everyone believed they could hear them breathe.

Their only daughter, the princess Moanna, loved to watch the sculptor work, but Cintolo never managed to sculpt her form. "I can't sit still for that long, Cintolo," she said. "There's too much to do and too much to see."

Then one day Moanna was gone. And Cintolo remembered how often she'd asked him about the sun and the moon and whether he knew what the trees, whose roots laced the ceiling of her bedroom, looked like above the ground.

The king and queen were so heartbroken that the Underground Kingdom echoed with their sighs, and their tears covered the sculptor's flowers like dew. The Faun, who advised them on all affairs of beasts and the sacred things breathing underground, sent out his messengers — bats and fairies, rabbits and ravens — to bring Moanna back, but all those eyes were unable to find her.

When Guillermo del Toro asked me to write a novelization of "Pan's Labyrinth", it really felt like a fairy tale. I was quite sure that it would be impossible to turn that visually stunning masterpiece into a carpet of words. But, of course, you can't say no to such a magical task, even if it seems impossible. We have learned that from fairy tales.