As Old as Time

Inciting Event: Philippe the horse comes back to Belle’s house, but her father is missing. Belle looks for him and arrives at Beast’s castle.

In the parallel story about Belle’s parents, Maurice and Rosalind get married.

Both the stories—the “present” about Belle and the Beast and the “past” about Belle’s mother/Belle’s birth/Beast’s creation—are engaged nearly at the same time in the book.

First Plot Point: Belle accidentally destroys the enchanted rose and has a vision discovering who transformed the Beast: her own mother, which Belle totally forgot since childhood. Belle is forced to abandon her Normal World of mother-orphan girl and enters a new condition: she has a mother, which could be alive and seems terrible, and Belle is trapped in her mother’s curse—as the castle become blocked by magic—with her mother’s magic’s result: the Beast.

In the parallel (past) story, Rosalind (Belle’s mother) cursed the Prince after his parents did nothing to defend magical people in their kingdom from an ethnic cleansing done by humans that brought the magical people near to extinction.

The First Plot Point overlaps in both stories with the end of the “Part I” of the book, and the “past” story finishes here: no more chapters on the “past” story will follow.

First Pinch Point: One night, Belle meets a magical statue of ivy that seemed to be sent by her mother, wherever she is, to warn Belle “against the dark.” Belle is terrorized and runs away from the statue.

The power of Belle’s mother (who may be good or bad) is here revaled, and at the same time the real enemy is suggested (Dr. D’Arque, which at this point of the story Belle mistakes for the word “dark”).

Midpoint: Beast has an astonishing moment of revelation on how much of a self-centered egoist he has been.

A new magic from Belle’s mother appears while Belle is having finally a good time with Beast at dinner: a 21-petalled rose appear in the middle of the table as to remidner that Beast is forever doomed.

Here Belle has a revelation moment: she discovers with surprise that she is worried for Beast instead of being terrified, and that they both are trapped due to their parents’ actions. She stops complaining about her imprisonment and starts to act: she analyses logically the clues they have in order to find out where her mother is and if there is a way to break the curse.

Second Pinch Point: Gaston makes an agreement with D’Arque, the sinister manager of the insane asylum, to convince Belle to marry him. Without having a clue what he is doing, Gaston reveals the existence of Beast to D’Arque.

Third Plot Point: D’Arque captures Maurice: both Belle’s parents are in the hands of the enemy.

Rosalind, who has been tortured since 10 years, meets her husband in prison. He recognizes her despite a forgetting charm that should protect him from remembering her and other magic people. Rosalind nearly dies of pain, physical and psychological.

Note that this is the end of “Part II” of the book, and that Rosalind reappears, but in the “present” story.

Climax: Belle and Beast, finally out of the castle, run in search for help, to end in a frenetic chain of increasingly bad events.

The bookseller, Belle’s godfather and only friend, is missing and his shop is destroyed by arson. Belle’s father is not at home. She is kidnapped by  D’Arque’s employees who nd bring her to the prison/asylum.

Beast comes back to the castle to order his furniture-servants to help him, but when he left the castle the servants became just furniture, with no more life inside.

Beast then begs townspeople for help: he is even offers allow them to capture or even kill him, if they help with the rescue.

Belle is tortured but manages to escape. She finds her mother and father, frees all the people captured by D’Arque (not only magic people, but also inoffensive humans are only slightly abnormal).

Beast is coming with Gaston and all the townspeople.

Climactic Moment: D’Arque nearly kills Belle and her parents. Beast attacks him, surrendering to the beastly instinct and risking his last trace of humanity. Belle stops and saves the Beast. Gaston kills D’Arque. Belle demonstrates to the townspeople how foolish Gaston is and demands Beast remain safe. Beast and Rosalind establish an amnesty between the kingdom and magic people.

Rosalind makes sure Beast won’t become an animal forever thanks to Belle’s love and offers to use her remaining magic to turn him back to his human appearance.

Beast refuses, demanding Rosalind remove the curse from his servants instead. Rosalind obeys.

Resolution: Rosalind suggests a possible way to make the Beast human-looking again: he should travel the world, looking for magic people and convincing them to gather in the castle, as magic from a lot of magic people could outdo her curse.

The castle becomes a safe place for magic people, allowing peace after decades of oppression.  Belle’s dream of travelling and seeing the world comes true.

(Submitted by Ali Kindl.)

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