Dreary Lane Theatre theatre director (formerly)
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|“|| We must all play our assigned roles. Are you a pawn or a queen? An idiot or a practiced fool? However this turns out, consider the prospect that you have been misled, Alice. Then ask, by whom?
The Carpenter was a resident of Wonderland and a flamboyant stage director of the Dreary Lane Theatre in the Deluded Depths. Since Alice Liddell's fall into insanity, he had become a corrupted rendition of his former self.
Through the Looking-Glass
The poem told of the titular characters' nighttime stroll along a beach, during which they chanced upon a group of oysters. Despite the disapproval of the eldest oyster, they convinced many of the oysters to join their walk. However, after walking along the beach some more, Walrus and Carpenter were revealed to be predatory and ate all of the oysters.
Although she tried to find the most sympathetic character between Walrus and Carpenter, after some debate, Alice decided she disliked the both of them, as while the Walrus lamented his actions, he ate more than the Carpenter. Contrariwise, the Carpenter ate less but ate as many as he could.
Alice: Madness Returns
After crash landing into the Deluded Depths on the HMS Gryphon, the Mock Turtle gave Alice a ticket to Carpenter's show, Totentanz. Alice hoped to talk to Carpenter about the Infernal Train, but when she arrived at Dreary Lane Theater, it was obvious that the show was far from ready and Carpenter sent Alice out on errands: fetching the script from the Octopus, helping the Music Fish, and waking up the Oyster Starlets, who would be dancing in the show, under the promise that after she finished her tasks, Carpenter would finally talk to her.
However, after Alice was done with her work and set off back to the theater, the Carpenter and Walrus broke the bridge, stopping her from getting back. It became clear to her that the two showmen had a more sinister goal in mind for their show, and Carpenter had just used Alice to get jobs done and have her out of the way. Although Alice was disappointed in Carpenter for breaking his promise, he told her he had no choice before leaving her in the graveyard of the Drowned Sailors.
Alice managed to make her way back to the theater in time for the show, and watched in horror as Walrus started to feast on every fish in the room. As he gorged, the Carpenter pleaded with the enraged Alice that he was simply trying to protect their piece of Wonderland. He then offered some important information, telling her she had been tricked by someone who was trying to destroy Wonderland. As the Infernal Train charged into the theater, Carpenter put himself between the train and Alice, and with his last words, he told her that Caterpillar may be able to help before the Train hit him, likely killing him.
He was a young man with a lean body, square jaw, and red hair, styled into long spikes that lean over to his left hand side, like waves. He also had a small soul patch under his lip, and sideburns on the sides of his face. He had pierced ears (three earrings in his left ear, and a pencil stuck through his right), and small tattoos on his forearms that resembled fish skeletons. He was as tall as a giant, being almost exactly twice Alice's height.
He was missing the lower part of his left leg which had been replaced with a dark peg-leg, and had a few nails stuck in the back of his hands. He was shirtless and did not wear shoes, having only overalls and an apron, with black wristbands and a toolbelt.
Before his death, he was seen wearing a ripped, dark cloak over his normal clothing. He also wielded a large hammer, which had the symbol of Neptune (♆) engraved into the side of its head.
It was never fully justified that the Carpenter was outright evil – while he and Walrus had killed many of the fish that lived in the Depths, he did claim that he was not an enemy of Wonderland and had no choice. He also saved Alice from being crushed by the Infernal Train by throwing himself in front of the locomotive, showing a more heroic side.
Beyond this, Carpenter lived for the world of theater and had a very flamboyant, energetic nature. He took pride in his work, and had a showman persona. He also seemed to have a violent temper, shown when he threatened to kill Walrus when he started to talk about various, unrelated things.
- In American McGee's Alice, a bust of the Walrus and the Carpenter was going to be featured in a certain location, but was scrapped for unknown reasons.
- A large wooden crate labeled "The Carpenter Company" can be found in front of Guffaw Brothers Button Emporium, Houndsditch, and in the docks.
- A miniature version of Carpenter's hammer is also placed near "The Carpenter Company" crate in the docks.
- When Alice first arrives Dreary Lane Theatre, Carpenter greets her like they have met before. However, in Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, the two never meet face-to-face. It is possible that Alice may have met Carpenter at an unknown period of time (possibly before the fire), or that Carpenter had heard about her beforehand. Then again, it would make sense for him to automatically know her, as he is a product of her own mind, as evidenced by the various clams she talked to who all knew her name.
- Totentanz, the name of Carpenter's show, is German for "Dance of Death," a subtle hint as to what actually took place in the show.
- It is implied that the Carpenter is based on a London performer named Bruno Carpentieri, who appears on a carnival poster that can be found outside the Mangled Mermaid; the last location Alice visited before entering her subconscious and encountering the Carpenter.
- Alice accused Carpenter of being a murderer when he left her in the Sailors Graveyard, albeit without proof. However, on the way back to the theater, she found hundreds of dead (and one not-quite-dead) fish people under the floor, showing the sinister nature behind the two gluttons and the truth behind Alice's words.
- Her accusation against the Carpenter may have been due to the visions she had during her time with Bumby. One of the visions in her journal included Carpenter sawing through a male fish's head.
- American McGee's favorite character from Alice: Madness Returns is the Carpenter.