Elements of the Novel
7 March 2003
The Plot of the Novel The Dark is Rising
IV Plot of The Dark is Rising
The Dark is Rising is divided into three sections. In the first section, Will Stanton is introduced to the supernatural world of the Old Ones and the Dark. He doesn't really know what's going on.
The second part is called The Learning. Will and the others continue to be attacked by the Dark, and the Old Ones teach Will the way.
The third part is called The Testing. In this last section, Will takes an active part in the battle against the Dark.
Part I - The Finding
Midwinter's Eve: Will Stanton is confused. He knows something is happening, but doesn't understand. He sees the Walker attacked by ravens. The chapter ends when his skylight collapses on him in the night. The rest of his family assumes that it was caused by the snow, but Will finds a black feather in the mess.
Midwinter Day: Will wakes in the night and finds that time has stopped. He meets the Dark Rider, but doesn't eat with him. He receives the first sign from the Smith - it is the Sign of Iron. Later, he leaves the road and the Dark Rider threatens him, but he escapes. The chapter ends when Will finds a pair of huge wooden doors standing alone in the forest.
The Sign-Seeker: Will enters the doors there he meets the Old Lady and Merriman Lyons. After a short ceremony welcoming him into the Old Ones, they are attacked by the Dark. The Old Lady weakens and disappears.
The Walker on the Old Way: It is now Will's birthday. As he returns from Christmas shopping, he foolishly tries to play with the powers that he learned about the previous day. He meets the Walker and gets the sign of bronze from him. Maggie Barnes shows up and reveals that she is one of the Dark. Merriman has to rescue him.
Part II - The Learning
Christmas Eve: On Christmas, the family finds an old box of ornaments. Each one was carved to resemble a family-member's initial. They go caroling and end up at the local manor, where Merriman works in the Twentieth Century. He takes Will back in time.
The Book of Gramarye: Back in 1875, Will acquires the Sign of Wood. Then he reads the Book of Gramarye, which teaches him how to use his powers. The book is kept in a special place to keep it safe; to get it out a man named Hawkins has to risk his life.
Betrayal: Hawkins betrays the Old Ones, going with Maggie Barnes, the witch-girl. Merriman Lyons and Will return to the Twentieth Century, to the Christmas Caroling at the manor.
Christmas Day: For Christmas, Will receives a strange native mask from his brother in the navy. He realizes that it has come from an Old One halfway around the world. The Dark Rider comes into their house, having been invited by Will's father. While he is there, the Dark Rider steals the ornament that is the initial of Will's sister. The family goes to church for Christmas Day services and the Dark attacks. In the church, they find the Sign of Stone. A snowstorm begins, and Will's family takes in the Walker, since he is homeless.
Part III - The Testing
The Coming of the Cold: At the Stanton home, the Walker acts crazy. Merriman comes to tell that people are gathering at the manor, where there are fuel and food supplies. Will and his father bring the Walker there and the storm worsens, trapping them there.
The Hawk in the Dark: The Dark attack the people in the house. Merriman gives Hawkins / the Walker a chance to turn against the Dark and return to the light, but he refuses.
The King of Fire and Water: The Dark Rider uses Will's Sister's initial to cast a spell on her and kidnap her. Will rescues her and finds the signs of fire and water.
The Hunt Rides: The Old Ones summon an ancient magic creature which chases the Dark Rider. To lighten his load, the Dark Rider throws the Walker, who was riding with him, off horse. The Walker's back is broken, and he repents before he dies.
The Joining of the Signs: The Old Ones unite the signs and celebrate their victory over the Dark.
Main Plot, Sub-Plots
The main plot is Will's induction into the Old Ones and how he and the Old Ones battle against the Dark.
The most important sub-plot would be the story of the Walker/Hawkins.
Another important sub-plot is Will's struggle to keep his family from finding out what is going on and to keep them safe.