Molly O’Reilly was created by writer John Ney Rieber and artist Peter Snejbjerg in The Books of Magic issue 5 in 1994.
Molly O’Reilly is one of the most popular characters in the Books of Magic franchise. She is beloved by fans and the creators. She often wears Doc Martin-style boots, torn leggings, and a halter top, giving off a sense of punk sarcastic spriteliness.
She started off as Tim Hunter’s first love interest, and was notable for her independence, intelligence, and strength. At first, we see their relationship as a pure, happy thing that is meant to be. She deals very well with Tim’s magical world, and it turns out that her grandmother has some insight into the world of faerie. Over time, both we and Molly realize that Tim can often be kind of a jerk, and the relationship becomes fraught. It becomes clear to the reader that she is the better person of the two. Eventually, she ends up in Faerie, where she is cursed. She wreaks havoc in Faerie and returns home but can no longer touch the ground. Along the way, she has a semi-affair with a faerie prince, and Tim also has a semi-affair with a (nice) succubus. Their relationship becomes increasingly distant, and she eventually leaves him and returns home, where she takes care of various magical creatures Tim created long ago. She has an antagonistic visit from the Other, an alternate universe version of Tim, and she thinks it was Tim, breaking a long-ago vow to her to never talk with demons. She writes Tim a letter explaining how a demon will destroy his future, and says she will never see him again.
It eventually turns out that Tim’s emotional distance is due to some magical restraints on him that he didn’t know about, but he discovers it too late to save their relationship.
From beginning to end, Molly retains her strong independent, self-reliant, and humorous streak, but she adds a level of maturity and deep sadness as well.
Major Story Arcs
Books of Magic: Initial Relationship with Tim
Molly and Tim know each other from school, although not well. She has spent some time in the country in Ireland but is now in England. She finally comes up to him and pushes him into being friends and taking chatty walks.
However, a new girl shows up at school—Leah, a thin, leggy blond with short skirts. She says she’s from California, and the boys are all moon-eyed at her, including Tim, which annoys Molly to no end. She meets with Tim to walk home from school, but they run into Leah, who immediately horns in on Tim. On their way, they run into a stray cat, which Leah strongly reacts to, calling it filthy. Molly immediately protects it, and from then on adopts it, naming it Filthy. Tim leaves with Molly as Leah goes home, but Molly is embarrassed and mad at her jealousy of the beautiful girl.
Unknown to Molly and Tim, Leah is a succubus forced to do whatever an evil magician, Martyn, says. (Martyn pretends to be a kindly neighbor.) He wants Leah to seduce Tim and control his magic. As part of the plot, Martyn burns Tim’s dad Bill so Martyn can then have Tim stay at his house.
Tim is devastated, even though he and his dad don’t get along. Molly comes by to see if Tim will apologize for the day before, but then discovers about his dad and comforts him. (As she walks through the burnt house, she thinks she better get some ice cream out of this—the first mention of ice cream figuring heavily in their relationship.) They hug and she tells him that there are a number of schizophrenics and fey people in her family; the family as a whole can see and feel things others can’t. He talks about what happened—a big thing for the introverted Tim.
However, Molly won’t let him get away with being too cruel in his feelings about his dad, or his desire for revenge. She makes him understand that his dad has gone through hard things and it’s understandable that he’d be the way he is. And she knows what the revenge cycle is life from living in Ireland where religious violence is constant.
Leah is listening nearby, and comes to respect and like Molly for her empathic truth-telling. But then Tim, still under stress, reacts badly to her honestly and tells her off. Molly runs away, and Leah decides to try to seduce him after all, since he’s being a jerk.
However, Tim and Leah just end up being friends, and he helps her escape from Martyn.
Tim comes by Molly’s with flowers to apologize. She gives him a hard time but then makes him realize she’s joking and she’s happy to see him. She says they’re going out for ice cream.
They stop off at Swan’s Dance Studio, where Molly practices, for Molly’ backpack. She sees Marya there. Marya used to live in Russia long ago, but found her way to a magical land called Free Country where kids don’t age, and just recently returned. Dance is her all-abiding love.
Molly invites her to come along to get ice cream with her and her “boyfriend,” but says not to tell Tim that he is her boyfriend yet. She knows Tim would get embarrassed about the idea. Marya suggests they go to the café she works at, which is where the Punk Waitress works.
Tim is worried because he doesn’t have any money. When Molly and Marya come out, Tim and Marya recognize each other from a previous magical adventure. Marya tells Molly that Tim is a sorcerer, and calls him her boyfriend right off the bat.
Tim stalks off talking to himself about how he can’t believe what is happening to him, and the girls merrily chase after him. However, Tim accidentally used his magic to stop time, freezing them in place.
The magical Khara and Nikki show up, unaffected by Tim’s spell. Khara gets Tim to realize that having a super-cool girl who is OK with magic and wants you to be her boyfriend is a good thing! She lends him some money to buy ice cream and takes his Stone of Opening in return.
They leave, and Tim figures out how to start time again. He accepts that’s he’s Molly’s boyfriend. They see a unicorn, and a boy who looks like a dirty chimney sweep attacks—it’s Daniel, a friend of Marya’s from Free Country. Now, however, he’s become overly obsessed with Marya and has turned evil.
Molly isn’t even vaguely intimidated by the magical bad guy, and kicks Daniel in the groin. They put Marya on the unicorn and have her ride off. Marya keeps the unicorn from then on.
Tim tries to heal Daniel from the evil he’s cloaked himself in, but can’t. Instead, Daniel leads him into the sewers to find the man who transformed him, Reverend Slaggingham. They leave Molly kind of in the lurch back on the street, which she isn’t happy about.
It turns out Slaggingham has already been taken down, but Daniel traps Tim in the sewers. Eventually Tim gets out and Molly finds him. Molly teases him about leaving her and not getting ice cream, which makes Tim embarrassed, but she relents and tells him she was joking. They continue on their ice cream journey.
They finally get some ice cream cones, seemingly from the Punk Waitress (because she mentions it later on) although we don’t see her. They walk through the streets holding hands, deeply happy together. Molly continues teasing Tim, this time about her moving in with him while his dad is in the hospital. She loves when he takes her seriously when she’s joking.
They almost kiss, but are interrupted by Gwendolyn, another person from long ago; she seemingly kept her youth due to Slaggingham’s powers. She wants them to help her with Auberon, the King of Faerie, whose soul is currently stuck in a ball. Molly is mad that their date and kiss is being ruined, but she thinks Tim should help if he can.
Tim is freaked out because he realizes that Auberon is the husband of Titania, Queen of Faerie, who he believes is his mother. Just then, Titania runs up. She’s been looking for Auberon. She and Tim argue, and the soul-sphere is broken. Auberon’s soul goes back in his body, and he calms the regal Titania.
Auberon heard him call Titania his mother, and discovers she cheated on him with Tamlin. However, he looks at Tim and can tell he has no Faerie blood. This makes it seem like Titania is not his mother, but later we discover that Titania was originally a human, so it is possible that she is after all. Molly comforts him about the fact that once again he doesn't know who his parents really are.
Books of Magic: Visiting Hell
Later, Tim takes Molly to an abandoned lot where he used to play as a boy. He unconsciously used his magic there to create a variety of beings who he now realizes are real and not his imagination. Molly thinks he’s taking her there to hook up, like Tim’s friend Jimmy Morehead is known to do, and is annoyed with him for being a typical boy until he shows her how it’s magic. She loves it, and they have fun playing with some of the creatures, such as Tanger and Crimple, who are little twig beings.
Molly has to go to the bathroom, so she goes into a thicket, but as the others say, the Lot is dangerous when you’re out of sight, so Crimple goes with her. When she’s done, she finds a large dollhouse and a bunch of dolls. She assumes they were Tim’s, and looks forward to teasing him about it, but when she checks it out, she gets trapped inside by some pink tyrannosaurs. They take her to Hell and bring Crimple along.
There, they force her to sit through annoying tea parties; this particular section of Hell looks like a kids’ school. They are trying to train her to be a mindless bimbo for Sir Timothy Hunter, a version of Tim from the future who has spent years trying to recreate a Molly that loves him. Now he wants to kidnap the real Molly. The demon Barbatos, who basically controls Sir Timothy’s mind, puts the plan into action.
Molly, however, is having none of this, and tells off the tyrannosaurs, who talk like babies to her. They threaten her with Vuall, a demon governess who doubles down on the attempted brainwashing. Molly continues to stand up for herself, but Vuall makes her read a storybook that tries to make her believe she is the character in the book. Vuall will hurt Crimple unless she reads it. It is about a princess who learns to not be independent and to do what it takes to make people fall in love with her. However, the princess rebels again, and is punished for it.
When Molly finishes the story she takes the opportunity to fight back, and she and Crimple defeat Vuall. Tim has been looking for her all this time, and shows up to bring her back. Once again, she teases him, making him think she’s mad at him for putting her in situations where she’s brought to Hell. This time, however, she stops making fun and they kiss for a long time. This is the height of their relationship, and their love starts transforming Hell, which can’t take the power of their feelings for each other.
They decide to look for Tanger and Tim’s golem, Happy, who came with Tim earlier but were separated. Molly insists on helping and not being sent home like a precious doll. They kiss again, and Vuall turns into a beautiful sleeping young woman. Tim starts teasing Molly for once about waking her up with a kiss, and says Molly will have to take him out for ice cream when they get home.
Meanwhile, their love continues to transform Hell, and stops a plan that Barbatos the demon had to convince other demons into spreading the snack food Happy Crisps all over. Tim and Molly find Barbatos, who has been caught by Tanger, Happy, the angel Araquel, and Sir Timothy, who has been transformed into a dragon, a form he feels fits him much better than he was as a human. He has now turned good.
Seeing Molly, Sir Timothy is ecstatic. He can tell she’s the real deal. However, Barbatos manages to use a spell to send him, Tim, Molly, and Sir Timothy into the storybook that she read earlier.
There, Barbatos manages to make them mostly think they are part of the stories, and forget who they really are, but they also have times they remember what’s going on.
Molly and Sir Timothy are stuck in a giant metal castle, with him still being a dragon, and her a princess, a role she doesn't care to play, no matter how much Sir Timothy wants her to.
Sir Timothy explains how he used to make magically-cloned copies of her, starting when she was seventeen, and was cruel to them.
Tim finds them and knocks down the castle trying to catch Barbatos, who ends up being imprisoned in a metal giant’s fist. However, Molly and Sir Timothy are stuck under the wreckage. Sir Timothy stops the metal from crushing them. He tells Molly who he really is, and how he became evil for so long—by selling his memories to demons. He makes Molly promise to make Tim promise to never talk to demons or sell them a memory, so that he doesn’t end up like him.
Sir Timothy uses up his life force melting a tunnel for Molly to get out. She feels empathy for him in the end.
She makes Tim swear to not talk to demons, but she won’t tell him why. This is the beginning of the downward slide of their relationship, because she feels that she now has secrets from him.
They go back to the real world, leaving Barbatos trapped. As the demon says, “She’ll break your heart in the end.”
Books of Magic: Back on Earth
Molly and Tim get in trouble for being away so long, and she’s grounded. However, she climbs out the window and goes to see Marya. She thinks Marya will understand how mixed up she feels about Tim now, but Marya strangely doesn’t get it. The two of them no longer get along well. The magical Circe shows up, and tells them that she can fix things with men.
Molly is immediately not a fan of the sexed-up-looking Circe, but Circe tells her how she saw her and Tim back when they got ice cream for the first time. Molly eventually warms up to her and tells her what Sir Timothy said. She feels like she should break up with him now to stop from getting hurt, but also doesn’t want to blame him, because this Tim hasn’t actually done anything.
Tim hears all this while sitting nearby in the form of a cat, which he became in order to visit Molly, but now can’t turn back from. He is pained to hear what she’s thinking. Daniel, who liked Marya, shows up, and Circe turns him into a dog. This is what she does—turn men into animals until they learn their lesson. She also sees Tim as a cat, and freezes him in that state. Molly doesn’t realize that’s Tim, but she thinks the dog thing is dumb, because he’ll just continue to love her, and Marya will stop thinking of him as dangerous and accept that he follows her everywhere, which is what she didn’t like when he was human. Molly tells Circe to not do anything to Tim. Circle leaves with Tim as a cat, unknown to Molly.
Circe eventually turns him human again, after checking him out and not finding any corruption in him. However, he doesn’t want to ever hurt Molly, so he asks her to use her magic on him to keep him from doing that. To do so, she inscribes him with two giant magical tattoos, one of a scorpion and one of a butterfly. They will sting him when he has bad thoughts.
Books of Magic: Burning Girl in Faerie
Molly ends up going back to her Granny Fiona’s farm in Ireland. Granny can sense certain mystical things, and the future to an uncertain degree, and has asked for Molly to come stay with her. When Molly gets a letter, Granny has a bad feeling about it. She tells her to only open it in a fairy ring on a special hill. She also gives her some food in her pack.
Molly goes to the hill and opens it. It’s from Gwendolyn, who after rescuing Auberon stayed at Tim’s house as a nanny. She tells Molly that Tim ran away, and that he asked Gwendolyn to tell her he loved her. She also explains about the tattoos. Molly realizes that he heard what she told Marya about Sir Timothy. Molly resolves to tell Tim about it in her own words over ice cream.
Molly determines to talk to the fairies as her Gran implied she could with the food she packed. She wants help finding Tim. The Amadan shows up and they enter a contest to see which is the bigger fool. If she loses, he can turn her to stone.
Tim has gone to California to see if Zatanna will mentor him. He runs into Leah first. He can’t stop thinking about Molly, and Leah also likes Molly so she doesn’t hit on him.
Molly is transported to Faerie for the contest. She is given real human food so she doesn’t have to eat Faerie food and get stuck there. She is annoyed about the whole thing but still thinks warmly of Tim. Auberon tells her he wants her to be the fool, because Amadan has lost his ability to do so. He will grant her a wish if she does.
At the stables of the court, Molly finds a horse which she recognizes has a stone in its hoof from her farm days. The fairies, however, don’t understand such prosaic things and imagine it's a curse. She pops out the stone. She can tell he wasn’t always a horse and takes him with her.
It has now been weeks, with no contest. She realizes that no one actually does anything in Faerie, and decides to build a treehouse to stay in. The building process is noisy and distracting to Titania, and seduces her Flitlings away from Titania and up to the treehouse to help Molly. One of them, Yarrow, becomes a friend to Molly. Titania considers this worthy of a great curse.
Molly also starts a garden so she can grow real food to eat. At night, however, Titania puts a magic seed in the soil and overnight it all grows up. She eats some of it, thinking it’s what she grew, but realizes it’s Faerie food and she is now stuck there.
Back on Earth, Tim and Leah have been spending more time together and feeling attracted to each other. Leah turns herself into Molly’s shape and kisses Tim, and they almost have ex before Tim realizes it’s really Leah. He’s angry at her, but also not sure what he would have done if she just came to him as herself. They kiss again.
In Faerie, Molly now burns everything she touches. She confronts Titania in court, flames out of control. Titania now feels bad about how Molly has lost her old life on Earth. Molly doesn’t accept the apology and strikes at her with fire.
Molly runs out and starts burning all of Faerie down in a weeks-long campaign of anger and all-out war against Titania. She kills numerous elite soldiers and leaves a box of their ashes at Titania’s feet without Titania seeing her. She is now the “burning girl” with a “heart of fire.” Titania, however, feels guilty as much as angry, understanding what she did. She says Molly “teaches me the kind of queen I am.”
Meanwhile, the horse that Molly rescued, which stayed with her while she was in the treehouse, now wanders the realm. We discover that it is actually a prince named Taik who was turned into a horse by his own mother, Titania. He discovers that roses can cure him. He also finds Molly, and runs off with her to help her escape some of Titania’s magical wardings.
He turns back to human, and asks Molly to marry him. They have felt close for a while, even though he was a horse, and their mutual anger against Titania bonds them. Molly also stops burning for a while, perhaps being content. However, soon she realizes she is getting the symptoms of schizophrenia again—seeing things and hearing voices—because she has been off her meds, and she has no way to get more. She starts burning again. Then she realizes that perhaps her gran, seeing the future, packed some in her bag.
However, Taik suggests that she is not seeing and hearing things because she is sick, but because those things are real. He transforms before her eyes into a cruel skeletal being. Molly now massively erupts in flame, but Taik walks through it unharmed. There is so much fire she is blinded. Taik says that he was possessed by the demon Abaddon, and Abaddon is now taking control. He wants to use her power against Titania.
It turns out that the fairies long ago made a compact called the Tiend with Hell. They would lease a portion of Hell in exchange for sending Hell a selection of souls on a regular basis. Taik’s soul was part of this process, although it’s not exactly clear why he was turned into a horse. It seems that perhaps Abaddon had already tainted him before he was traded to Hell. Regardless, now the demons are coming for new souls, and perhaps all of Faerie. Abaddon is part of this plan.
Simultaneously, Faerie is going through a Leveling. A magical realm whose appearances become too different from its reality and intent is Leveled, meaning it is all turned to nothingness, and then one of its inhabitants, called a Leveler, either keeps it that way or finds a way to return it to what it is supposed to be.
Yarrow, the Flitling who had become friends with Molly back in the treehouse, comes to help her against Taik. However, it doesn’t work and she falls. Luckily Auberon comes in to help as well.
It is at this time that the Leveling begins. Taik, Auberon, and Molly are all separated and face their own fears and internal contentions. Molly talks to another version of her self, who tries to ground her in her more normal “indomitable” personality, instead of getting blinded by anger. She realizes her problems are due to no longer knowing who to trust.
Taik’s soul fights Abaddon, and is stabbed, but then his horse-self romps all over Abaddon.
Yarrow then becomes the Leveler, and recreates Faerie, based in part on the lessons she learned from Molly—the “difference between pretending life and living it.” Taik is returned to his normal life and form.
Titania and Auberon wish to reward Molly for her role in restoring Faerie and Taik. Titania can’t remove her curse, but makes it so she will always float over the ground, so it will not destroy her, and has a bag of unending Faerie food, so she can eat.
Tim (who was in Faerie trying to help with the Leveling) and Molly are both returned to Earth, and appear outside of a casino in Minnesota. They tentatively reunite, having not seen each other in a long time, and both having had semi-affairs of the heart. However, they kiss, and rekindle some of their old feelings, both clearly wanting things to go back they way they were.
Books of Magic: Moving on from Tim
They sit down at a restaurant, both famished for real food and comfort. However, when Molly is about to take a sip of water, she realizes she would be destroyed and runs off. They hear a noise, and Molly finds the magician Tannarak, who tried to kill himself, but he can’t because of his immortality. They talk about how no one has noticed how she floats yet, including Tim. Tim hears this from around a corner.
Zatanna, who’s been helping Tannarak’s girlfriend Tala, shows up and Tim introduces Zatanna and Molly. Zatanna agrees to let the kids live with her, and drives them all toward her home. She does want them to contact their parents about where they are, however.
They stop at a rest stop in the middle of nowhere in Wyoming, and run into a crazy pack of feral kids that are connected to a cult. Tim and Molly get in an argument with Zatanna about what it really means to be a guardian of children (like their own parents), and whether their will should be respected, since these kids’ guardian is obviously crazy.
They reach Zatanna’s house in San Francisco and stay there for a month. Zatanna teaches Tim magic. However, Molly is increasingly unhappy. She calls her dad and says she wants to come home. She’s tired of Tim ignoring her in favor of learning more magic. He no longer really talks or listens to her.
A group of gargoyles, whose job it is to watch humans and learn their secrets, is concerned, because they think Molly, who they call Tim’s Other (a term The Books of Magic have used before) is going to leave him. In this case, it is clear that Other is used in the sense of a romantic partner who completes you. The gargoyles are concerned that Tim is so unstable that he’ll cause massive havoc if Molly leaves him.
Zatanna perceives what’s going on with Molly, and while giving a lecture on misdirection in magic to Tim, palms off a magic ticket to go home to Molly.
Molly and Tim go up to the roof to chat and take care of Zatanna’s bunnies, and one of the gargoyles confronts them, saying they both have secrets. He tells them both about Leah seducing Tim. Molly is crushed. However, Tim brings up Taik, which Molly also obviously feels bad about. But the gargoyle points out that Molly told Tim about Taik, and Tim didn’t tell Molly about Leah.
Molly points out that Tim didn’t originally even notice she was floating, and still hadn’t noticed that she couldn’t eat—even ice cream. Tim pleads with Molly to stay, that they’re talking now, but she pulls out Zatanna’s note and teleports home.
Tim does go nuts, and Khara returns to tell him to pull himself together and realize what he’s been acting like. Then she sees the butterfly tattoo on his arm, which Circe gave him (he got rid of the scorpion tattoo earlier). She says the butterfly symbolizes a fluttering nature, one that flits about from place to place without becoming attached to anything. The goal of the tattoo, unknown to Tim, was to keep Molly safe by keeping Tim from being able to be attached to her, and thus keeping him away from her. This while time since he got the tattoo—and thus the time since the high point of their relationship—he has been distant and wandering because of the tattoo.
Khara gives him back his Stone of Opening, which allows him to remove the tattoo and start feeling things again. He sees Molly at home, coming to terms with herself and feeling at peace, and decides not to intervene. That it is better to keep her safe. Khara, however, is somewhat worried, because Molly is what kept Tim grounded. She was his bridge to reality.
Molly is not seen in The Books of Magic for some time, and even then, only rarely. Indeed, issue 56 (15 issues since her last real appearance) is called “The Last Molly Story.”
At one point, Tim returns to find her, but she isn’t there, she went back to Ireland because she couldn’t bear to live in London with her curse. Her brothers say Tim “ruined her” and attack him, and Tim accidentally knocks Johnny’s prosthetic leg off. One of Tim’s creations, a group of tiny green plastic soldiers, try to help Tim by shooting at the brothers, but he gets angry and destroys them. The brothers tell him off some more, and he leaves.
Molly returns home after a long stay with her Gran. Gran knew what was going on at home—all of the beings Tim created as a child in the abandoned lot have shown up at her house, because they are scared Tim will destroy them, as he did to the plastic soldiers. Tim has been going off the deep end again, this time because he and his new mentor, Thomas Currie, are worried about the Other. Tim not only created individual beings as a child, he created entire universes whenever he went through an emotional experience he couldn’t handle. That emotion led to the creation of the new universe, and he lost the access to that memory/emotion. This is a second reason, in addition to the tattoo, that Tim has been a huge jerk. One of the Tims from these other universes has been going from universe to universe, killing its Tim, and absorbing all the power of that universe. Tim and Thomas know he is coming to the real universe and don’t think Tim is powerful enough to fight him.
Molly’s brother Johnny leads her up to where the beings are hidden. She is happy to meet Tanger and Crimple and Happy again, and many others. Awn the Blink has made them a special hiding place in her house. They explain how Tim destroyed the soldiers.
The Other does show up in reality, and comes to see Molly, who he is obsessed with, just like Sir Timothy was, except that the Other likes to meet the Mollys in each reality (and then kill them, usually). The Other beats up Molly’s three brothers, and Molly comes out. She thinks he’s the real Tim. He’s surprised to see her floating, which to her is just another sign of him not paying attention to her, since the real Tim already knew that. He grabs her, making a joke about going out for ice cream, but she trips him, and Happy comes out. He can’t affect Happy without making the real Tim aware of him. Molly accuses him of speaking to demons, and he says he has. Molly says she never wants to see him again. She undertakes the mission of caring for Tim’s creations, and writes him a letter to Tim, telling him explicitly how selling his memories to demon will result in him turning into Sir Timothy. Tim eventually reads it and is concerned about what the Other will do in this reality.
Much later, Tim shapes himself to look like Molly and sneaks into the Other’s mansion. That ruse works well enough to get into the Other’s presence. He then tricks the other into absorbing all his magic, which is too much for the Other. Tim also sells a memory to Barbatos, who is there, as part of his plan. However, he inserts his soul into the memory, leaving his body soulless. It is this body that becomes Sir Timothy; Tim creates an entire new reality for it and Barbatos to inhabit, so that they never hurt the real world, only a pretend one.
Decades later, Tim activates his soul within Barbatos, and uses it to control the demon’s body and reshape it into his own body. Thus Tim did sell a memory to a demon and that did lead to the creation of Sir Timothy, but Tim was also able to use that scenario to defeat both the Other and Barbatos, and come out as himself in the end. By merging with the Other, Tim finally came into the possession of all the memories and emotions that had gone into his other universes as a child. He can now express and understand the pain he caused all the girls he has been with. Thus he should now, theoretically, no longer be an out-of-touch jerk.
This conception of the Other as a being that is important to someone is obviously different from the one that was used when the gargoyles said that Molly was Tim’s Other. However, both conceptions involve the idea that the Other will help someone find out who they really are.
Tim writes Molly a letter explaining what he did, and says that he did it all in order to follow her wishes as well as he could. But he learned that running away from a problem like talking with demons is sometimes worse than the problem, and he hoped that this solution might be the best one, and that instead of turning into a monster, it would show why he isn’t one.
In a montage of scenes at the end of the series, Molly is seen happily working with Tim’s magical creations to build a rocketship in her back yard.
Books of Faerie: Molly's Story
It is unclear when exactly this limited series, published from September to December 1999, takes place. Molly still has her curse at the beginning of the story, but it is healed by the end. This would imply that it takes place after issue 56, “The Last Molly Story,” published in January 1999, where she still floats, and the Other comes after her, and she writes Tim the letter saying she doesn’t want to see him. In issue 75, published in August 2000, when we see Molly and the magical beings building the rocket, we can’t see if Molly is floating or not, so it is possible that that scene comes after Molly’s Story. Also, Barbatos is still in the giant’s Fist in Molly’s Story, and he only escapes it in issue 75. This also implies that Molly’s Story takes place between issues 56 and 75. However, she does not wear the Twilight gem, which she gains in this series, around her neck in issue 75.
Molly continues to bear the price of Titania’s curse, but lives a relatively normal life at home. Notably, her home life seems to most revolve around her mother and her unseen father, and not the rowdy band of brothers seen in the main volume.
The fact that Molly hovers over the ground can’t be hidden from the populace, and she has become famous for her “powers.” She is tired of people constantly asking her about it. She occasionally sees Tim around, and hides from him. She tries to focus on life with her cat, Filthy. We do not see any of the creations Tim made that come to live with her.
Thinking back to the good days with Tim, she says she had been waiting her whole life for someone to talk with her like that. But now she is truly over him, and gets some ice cream from the Punk Waitress to celebrate. However, she remembers she can’t eat normal food at the last second.
Her mother has very old fashioned tastes, and tries to get Molly to wear an old frock and hat. Molly ignores them, but gets a letter from her fey grandmother that includes a cold iron key and a note about someone who is “really a frog.”
The local church official shows up and announces that the church is willing to consider sainthood for her due to her miraculous powers. Molly, who doesn’t care about the church and is annoyed at the intrusion, smacks him with a broom and runs off.
She visits a local toy shop, where they have been selling the recently-popular toy line of Fairy dolls. She wants to find a Titania to rip its head off out of anger at her curse. Instead she finds a Yarrow, and realizes that they’re real. She touches it with the iron key and brings Yarrow to life. As they later discover, these toys have been created by Barbatos, who is enslaving much of Faerie with the help of a giant frog named Ibbit and a gem called Twilight.
Yarrow explains that she and Auberon discovered that the gem Twilight has vast powers controlling the realm of Faerie, and that it should be able to remove her curse. However, they were captured. Yarrow wants Molly to now help Auberon.
Molly agrees, and Yarrow transports them to Faerie. They meet Briar Rose. They don’t trust her, but they accept her offer of guiding them to Auberon and Titania. They run into Bongsquall, the Yes of No, a dwarf who can force you into saying Yes to anything he says, thus enslaving you. Yarrow is caught, but Briar and Molly escape.
They collect a variety of enchanted waters from a series of magic ponds. However, Molly falls in one and is shrunken to the size of a mouse. Her cat Filthy stalks her, thinking she is in fact a mouse. Molly manages to get Filthy to eat some cat food instead. Filthy then drinks some of the pool’s weird waters, and grows bat wings. Molly also touches the water and grows fairy-style wings as well.
Molly and Filthy, no longer trusting Briar, hide. When Briar comes out, she mutters to herself and makes it clear that she was not really Molly’s ally.
Molly and Filthy collect a variety of the pools’ waters and fly off to find Yarrow. The Yes of No is working her to death, but Briar explained his weakness to Molly: Bongsquall can make you always say Yes to him, but he also has to say Yes to you, so you need to know how to trick him into saying Yes to what you want. She gets him to agree to drink some of her magic water, and shrinks him down so Filthy can eat him. They discover that Bondsquall got his powers from Barbatos, who Molly now knows is currently in Faerie.
Yarrow and Molly then search for Titania, and find her in a prison, captured by Briar Rose, who has hated her for millennia.
Briar’s real goal is to control Faerie. She gets Titania to give her Barbatos’s location, and then asks him for help in becoming the new queen; in return she’ll help him get back to hell and give him Molly’s soul.
Molly and Yarrow look for Auberon. He explains more about how the Twilight gem works and confirms it can remove her curse. He agrees to help with Briar, Ibbit, and Barbatos. They use Granny’s key to get him out of his cell.
They find Ibbit and Molly distracts him while Auberon prepares to shoot him, but they find him sad and sympathetic. Briar intervenes and shoots Auberon. Titania shows up and defeats Briar. Molly takes Briar’s bow and arrow, and now sadly prepares to kill Ibbit. Barbatos shows up, holding Filthy hostage, and says he’ll kill him if she doesn’t stop.
Molly shoots the Twilight gem off Ibbit’s neck, then throws some magic water on him, turning him back into the normal frog that Granny said he was in her note.
Barbatos drops Filthy and disappears.
Auberon says that Twilight now needs a new bearer, who must be worthy of it. It chooses Molly, and she agrees to take it. Upon wearing it, it removes the curse and wings, and returns her to her normal size. Filthy also loses his wings.
Molly returns to Earth, with Auberon and Titania in her debt. Now that she no longer floats, people quickly forget about her miraculous nature and ignore her again. However, she does now carry Faerie with her where ever she goes due to the gem; she is now Faerie’s protector.
Molly checks back in on the toy stores to see if they still carry Barbatos’s Fairy toys, but they’ve been replaced with a new fad. Satisfied that there are no more fairies there in need of saving, Molly and Filthy go off to get some ice cream.
The Names of Magic
In this miniseries, which acts as a bridge between The Books of Magic and Hunter: The Age of Magic, John Constantine briefly shows up at Molly’s house. He warns her that it would be best if she went back to her Gran’s, because a group of evil cultists looking for Tim have just shown up at her house asking about her.
Molly appears again briefly in the follow-up series, Hunter: The Age of Magic, and again in Life During Wartime: The Books of Magick.
The Hag of the Iron Well, who has seen many cycles of existence for Faerie, looks back at the just-completed cycle and sees that Molly may have been the Queen of Faerie in one of various pasts. This is in accordance with the original plan for a Books of Faerie standalone series, which would have ended with Molly being Queen. It also shows her meeting Sturm the troll, traveling with Gyvv the powerful Faerie creature, and kissing three men, one of which is Tim and one of which is blue.The Hag mentions that she marries someone’s son this cycle, implying that it was someone important.
Sir Timothy Hunter, an alternate future version of Tim in the year 2012, has been without Molly for years. He continually tries to create new Mollys that work for him like the old one, but they’re never quite right. He doesn’t understand that her independence is a key part of what he loved about her, and he makes her too subservient.
In the first other universe that the Other visits, the local Tim has gone insane because he froze time and can’t figure out how to unfreeze it. He has done terrible things, with the implication being that he has been raping Molly’s time-frozen body. When the Other turns time back on again, the local Tim’s first thought is that Molly has no clothes on, and, distracted, he is hit by a truck. The Other meets many Mollys in these other universes, and destroys them all along with their universes.
In one of Tim's alternate universes, older version of Tim and Molly are seen married and with a child.
In the universe that Mr. Currie comes from, which is basically a perfect medieval fantasy world, Molly has some kind of close relationship with Tim. She is seen riding a unicorn before they are attacked by the Other. She kicks him in the groin, but their touch lights her on a magical fire, and she dies.
In another alternate universe of Tim’s, all of his friends are heroes in a parody of Teen Titans. Molly is Junior Goddess, the “rebellious daughter of [an] Irish Bog God.” She has a magic lasso like Wonder Woman, and has a tender relationship with the local Tim. She is a rival of the Raven-like character based on Leah, Moonchild, who ultimately betrays her and the others to the Other.
In yet another reality of Tim’s, Molly and Tim get along very well, in a close approximation of their early real relationship. They are both a bit manipulative of Tim’s dad, which seems a little more edgy. She gives him a kite, and they fly it in the empty lot, but the Other attacks. Molly does well, breaking his arm, but he warns her: “You’d kill him yourself, you know, if you knew how he treats you. I’ve seen hundreds of Tims and Mollys on hundreds of worlds. And trust me—it’s never pretty, what he does to you in the end.” She says she only cares about her Tim, and they say they’re going out for ice cream, but then the Other kills them both.