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Grim Reapers, or Reapers, are types of ghosts that ferry ghosts between the Monster and Ghost Worlds.
The Monster High grim reapers are River Styxx, her father, Charon, D'eath, G. Reaper, and Grimmie Reaper. The first four are all related, and the relation with the fifth, as well as his very existence, is unclear. Charon is River's uncle and implied to specifically be her father's brother. D'eath is the cousin of River's father (and presumably therefore of Charon too). D'eath and G. Reaper may be the same person, but the fiction is not conclusive on this. Grimmie Reaper is a Monster High alumn. In addition to these six, River berates the Ghosts of Hauntings for "messing with another reaper's confetti canons", insinuating that at least one of them is a grim reaper. If so, the logical candidate would be Future, who also has the skill of future vision just like confirmed grim reapers.
In Monster High, grim reapers are exclusively psychopomps and not executioners or even announcers, although they do have a scythe and the gift of foresight. They are the only creatures able to travel between the Ghost World and Monster World by default and this means that nearly the entire species has the same occupation. For the most part, as beings who live in the Ghost World, their interactions are limited to ghosts, but they are able and expected to deal with solids too if the situation calls for it. As per Haunted and River's Haunted - Student Spirits diary, there's a reaper convention held in Las Plague-as, which given the seeming familiarity of the Monster High students might be located in the Monster World. The location's name is a portmanteau of Las Vegas and the Plague, which devastation brought in the 14th century is at the source of the creation of the Grim Reaper imagery.
D'eath is one of the original six Monster High employees Mattel introduced in 2010, though he belongs to the 2/3th to barely receive fictional presence. His 2010 appearances are limited to his inclusion in the Fearbook. The only information provided at this time was that he's the school counselor and attended North Styx State and Tombstone Tech to get the required degrees. In 2011, D'eath was not included in any fiction, but the sole appearance of G. Reaper occurred in "Back-to-Ghoul". He, too, is Monster High's school counselor. At this time, the characters could easily be the same person, but this started changing in 2012 when D'eath had a short spike in fictional presence due to inclusion in the Between Classes booklets and Ghoulfriends Forever and received characterization. D'eath is highly incompetent at his job, perpetually morose, enchanted by Scaris but psychologically unable to arrange to travel to there, and Rochelle hypothesizes he owns a cat. For as short as Reaper appeared in "Back-to-Ghoul", this does not match with his depiction, give or take owning a cat. In issue #10 of the UK magazine, released in January of 2013, a few pages were dedicated to the staff of Monster High, focussing on four of the original six. In case of D'eath, this included his credentials and art — published fully for the first time — but the name used was Reaper. This would imply again that the two are the same person, though D'eath's "attributes" as per the art are a newspaper and a cup of coffee, while as per "Back-to-Ghoul" Reaper carries around a scythe. Lastly, in Late 2014 River's Haunted diary complicated the situation again. According to it, reapers are bound by Oath of Neutrality, "By my scythe I do solemnly swear to use neither word nor deed to affect an outcome as yet undecided." River elaborates that any reaper who breaks this oath must give up their scythe and spend the next thousand years as a solid overthinking their deeds. This happened to her father's cousin, who's only identified as "a high school guidance counselor" nowadays. The full description matches D'eath perfectly, but it makes Reaper peculiar because he still has his scythe. It is possible that G. Reaper must be considered retconned as a fluke manifestation of D'eath, but equally if D'eath and Reaper have a dual identity going on like Jekyll and Hyde have, that would match all of the fiction regarding them so far. As aforementioned, the fiction is not conclusive on this.
D'eath's role a student counselor plays on the role of the Grim Reaper as psychopomp, as instead of helping the deceased through dying, D'eath helps students through high school. His once-enrollment at North Styx State is a reference to the river Styx, which in certain Roman adaptions of Greek mythology was the body that separated the realm of the living from the realm of the dead. River's last name, Styxx, also is a reference to the river. The ferryman who helped the deceased across the river for a fee, traditionally one coin, was Charon, whose tendency to leave coins everywhere bother's River's father. Rochelle's hunch that D'eath owns a cat is a shout-out to the Death of the Discworld novels. Though probably unintentional, both D'eath's friendship with Rochelle and false date with Sylphia Flapper in the Ghoulfriends Forever evoke the Death and the Maiden motif.
River Styxx was added to the franchise in the second half of 2014 and, as a full character, most on grim reapers in Monster High is established in material revolving around her, such as that grim reapers are classified as ghosts and why D'eath nonetheless lives in the world of the solids. River is a R.I.P., a Reaper In Preparation as pun on the phrase Rest In Peace, meaning that while she gets to carry around a stick, no blade is attached to it yet. She also is not able yet to see the future. Her father owns a ferry service in the Ghost World and he lets River help out in various ways so she can work to becoming a full reaper. River owns a pet raven, Cawtion, a creature commonly associated with death and dying.
Future is based on the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come from the novel A Christmas Carol. The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is not necessarily Death, but likely inspired by the entity and rarely not interpreted as the same being. Future is in a similar situation, being dressed not unlike a funeral director and sharing the power of foresight with the confirmed reapers of Monster High, but he's also different in several ways. He does not have a skeletal appearance or a scythe or alternative tool like the confirmed ones. He also belongs to a group, of which the other two members have little going for a reaper identification, although this is the same as with Yet to Come among the Ghosts of Christmas. Coupled with the fact that ghosts are not well-defined in Haunted and that Future as an ally of Revenant is already operating outside of the rules of the Ghost World, it is not possible to say for certain whether he is a grim reaper or not.
- Like the Moirai, the Gorgons have also undergone triplication, with Medusa being the original.
- The poem of Lenore has been of high influence on the development of the vampire genre.
- Though created for different purposes independent of Doña Sebastiana, La Calavera Catrina also is a fusion of Native American customs and European ones.
- In the 1909/1910 novel The Phantom of the Opera, the titular phantom attends a ball dressed as the Red Death. The Phantom of the Opera also is an adaption of the Death and the Maiden motif.
- La Mort dans l'Art
- Psychopomps: Making a Road for the Spirit to Cross over
- The Gender of Death: A Cultural History in Art and Literature
- Death-defining personifications: the relatively stable representation of the Grim Reaper vs. the diachronic and synchronic variations in the representation of the Grande Faucheuse
- Godfather Death: Death in Fairy Tales by Terri Windling