Reflections in a black mirror: analyzing Bloody Mary and her presence in “The Wolf Among Us”
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It’s a typical setting; a group of teens enjoying each others company at a sleepover, when suddenly, they decide to play a game. At the behest of the others, one of the teens gets up, goes to the bathroom, turns off all of the lights, and while staring into the mirror, she recites her name. The confidence that the teen feels for performing the ritual quickly turns to fear, however, once she looks up and sees a reflection in the mirror, and she realizes that she has summoned the terrible Bloody Mary. All over the world, people have performed the ritual in one way or another, and because of this popularity, the legend has even seen adaptations in visual mediums such as film, television, and recently, even video games. In the case of the latter, Telltale Games brought Bloody Mary to life in their episodic neo-noir game The Wolf Among Us, but in the form of a sadistic antagonist that has rarely been seen in legend. I plan to analyze the major variants of the Bloody Mary legend and ritual, as well as the variant depicted in The Wolf Among Us, and I will see just what kind of effect this depiction has on the legend complex.