We are in trouble!
Trouble are we in!Zorn and Thorn
Zorn and Thorn are non-player characters from Final Fantasy IX. They are twins who serve as Queen Brahne's court jesters and mages. They look nearly identical and wear similar clothing. Zorn is the older of the two, and wears blue, while Thorn wears red.
In the game's English translation, Zorn and Thorn speak in an antimetabole speech pattern using the same words to reply to each other but in active and passive form. For example, Zorn would say, "Are you sure of this?" while Thorn would say, "Sure of this, are you?". In the Japanese version Zorn finishes his sentences with o-ja'ru and Thorn with go-ja'ru, which is an old type of dialect not used in modern speech. In the Spanish version, Zorn ends his lines with pífate, while Thorn ends them with páfate, simple verbal tics that have no meaning.
Zorn and Thorn wear jester hats with bells, collared jackets and buttoned up shirts in blue and red respectively. Their jackets, color aside, are slightly different, as Zorn has a spade and a club suit on his left and right arm respectively, and Thorn has a heart and a diamond suit. While Zorn's blue makeup curves over his brow and nose in thin lines, Thorn's makeup colors his eyes in red, with a red circle above each eye. Their lips are of their respective colors, and both their faces are painted white. Their red and blue apparel may refer to the twin moons (their theme music also sometimes being referred to as the "Jesters of the Moon"), and by extension, the planets Gaia and Terra.
Zorn and Thorn are over-dramatic and panicky, resorting to running around mindlessly when something goes wrong, and one always follows the other. They speak with exclamation, shouting at each other and proclaiming the other is wrong. They are sycophants that court those in power and, despite their childish behavior, are loyal to those they serve. Zorn and Thorn can act cowardly in times of danger and flee.
Zorn and Thorn were born in July of 1711 and some 21 years later, began working as court mages in Alexandria Castle. When Queen Brahne wanted to start manufacturing black mages the jesters became embroiled in the scheme, overseeing the construction of a secret factory underneath the rural farming village of Dali. In July of 1799 Zorn and Thorn accidentally dropped a prototype black mage from an airship when transporting it over Treno.
When Princess Garnet leaves Alexandria Castle, Zorn and Thorn become frantic. Under Queen Brahne's orders they track the princess, and at the peak of the Ice Cavern they summon Black Waltz 1 to stall Garnet's new friend, Zidane, while the jesters flee. Zorn and Thorn later come along on the Alexandrian attack on Burmecia, appearing in Gizamaluke's Grotto and in Burmecia itself.
Zorn and Thorn have the power to extract eidolons from a person, which they do after capturing Garnet and holding her in the Alexandria Castle basement, extracting Shiva, Ifrit, Atomos, Odin, and Bahamut for Queen Brahne's use.
Zorn and Thorn flee Alexandria when Garnet becomes queen and come to serve Kuja, Brahne's manipulator who had taught her about eidolons and the ways of manufacturing black mages. After kidnapping Eiko Carol, the jesters attempt to extract eidolons from her in the depths of Mount Gulug, but are unsuccessful as a summoner must reach the age of sixteen for the ritual to work. Defeated by Eiko's eidolon Madeen, it is revealed Zorn and Thorn are not truly twins and their true form is the two halves of the double-headed monster Meltigemini. When Meltigemini reforms to cover Kuja's departure, Zidane and company kill the monster.
Zorn and Thorn are fought as bosses in Alexandria Castle during the attempt to rescue Garnet. Meltigemini is the fusion of Zorn and Thorn and is fought upon Mount Gulug, although the two appear as dummied enemies in the fight.
"Court Jesters" (月なきみそらの道化師たち, Tsukinaki Misora no Dōkeshitachi?), also known as the "Jesters of the Moon", plays whenever the two make an appearance. It is the ninth track from the first disc of the Final Fantasy IX: Original Soundtrack.
Zorn and Thorn appear as enemies in Pictlogica Final Fantasy.
The jesters from Final Fantasy IX appear as enemies in Final Fantasy Record Keeper.
Behind the scenes
In an old development memo Hironobu Sakaguchi wrote to draft the Final Fantasy IX opening sequence he has later shared online, Zorn and Thorn are not two individual people, but, rather, their role is taken by a single tall old mage called "Zorn". The queen is enjoying the play Tantalus Theater Troupe is putting on, and Zorn approaches her on the balcony where she is seated, but is stopped by "Lieutenant Steiner" who leads a guard of paladins for the queen's protection. Zorn says he has special permission to be let through and indicates to the queen he has urgent news. The queen waives him through and Zorn relays that Princess Garnet has taken the "stone of Leviathan" and a soldier handed it to her because she said that the queen had asked her to get it. The queen says she never asked it, and the mage's follower comes and informs the princess is nowhere in the castle.
When Beatrix is attempting to reverse the sleeping spell cast on Garnet, Thorn says, "Irrevocable is the spell we have cast!" when in fact it was Kuja who cast the spell on the princess.
Zorn is the German word for "anger". Thorn is an English word that alludes to suffering. In Christian belief, Jesus Christ was crowned with a wreath of thorns during his crucifixion.
The French localization names them "Pile" and "Face", which can respectively mean "Heads" and "Tails", referring to the two sides of a coin.
In Spain they are referred as "Ton" and "Son". Sin ton ni son ("without ton nor son") is an idiom which means "nonsense".
- Final Fantasy IX Ultimania p.027
- curiousACfan (4 March, 2009). FFIX World Chronology – p.44-46 of the FFIX Ultimania. Archived from the original on 19 November, 2020.
- Hironobu Sakaguchi (26 February, 2011). From the old back up file. Accessed 19 November, 2020. Archived from the original on March 30, 2012.