Instead of gravestones (like humans traditionally use), the elves plant a Wanderling seed with the deceased person's hair wrapped around it. When a tree grows from the seed, it will resemble the physical characteristics of whoever passed away.
Description[edit | edit source]
The Wanderling Woods are described as a very quiet place, lacking even the sound of birds. Each grave has a unique tree based on the person's DNA. There is a golden archway with white flowers and the words, "Those Who Wander Are Not Lost," a saying that Sophie notes to be quite similar to a saying written by J.R.R. Tolkien in his series The Lord of the Rings.
Unlocked Description[edit | edit source]
As the Lost Cities' only graveyard, the Wanderling Woods is a place of peaceful silence, filled with carefully arranged, incredibly special trees. Wanderlings are planted with the DNA of someone deceased in order to grow with hints of their physical attributes. As a result, no two Wanderlings are alike, and each is labeled with a sign to indicate the life being memorialized - though there are three Wanderlings that were planted prematurely: Sophie Foster's, Dex Dizznee's, and Alden Vacker's. Only elves may enter the Wanderling Woods (unless special permission is granted by the Council), and a golden sign arches over the entrance reminding visitors that "Those who wander are not lost." And some might comment on how few trees grow in the woods - and claim it as proof that death is rare in the Lost Cities - those mourning loved ones would likely argue that there are still far too many Wanderlings.
Planting[edit | edit source]
A wanderling seed is wrapped with a strand of hair from the deceased person for DNA (although it is assumed that if hair is not available, any other source of DNA from the dead elf would be sufficient). It is planted, and then an elixir is poured over it. This causes the tree to begin to grow, absorbing the DNA and resembling the deceased, taking on features of the person in the form of leaves, flowers, berries, and such.
Trees[edit | edit source]
Cyrah Endal - Her tree is a willow with red leaves and small, purple flowers. Her tree was planted when people thought she died from a leaping accident, but she was actually murdered by Gethen under Fintan's orders before the beginning of the series.
Dexter Alvin Dizznee (still alive) - His tree has a twisted trunk, spiky red leaves, and periwinkle berries. It has grown twice as tall as Sophie's tree and has periwinkle flowers that smell like him if he hasn't showered for a few days. His was planted when he and Sophie were kidnapped in Book 1: Keeper of the Lost Cities.
Jolie Ruewen - Her tree is graceful and wispy, pale, with large, turquoise blossoms. The leaves are green with yellow Spanish Moss. It smells like sugar and honey. Within the branches is the charm bracelet that Grady and Edaline gave to her while Jolie was still living. They add charms every year on the anniversary of her death. In Exile, Edaline and Grady bring a special solution made by the gnomes that causes a glittering, purple-flowered vine to grow around the tree.
Sophie Elizabeth Foster (still alive) - Her tree is described as pale and scrawny, with golden, star-shaped leaves and brown seed pods. Grady and Edaline also brought her a charm bracelet in which they placed an elephant charm (most likely inspired by Ella) when they thought she was dead. Sophie's tree is thought of as plain despite her role in the series. Sophie thinks this is because of her altered DNA.
Mr. Forkle (One of the twins) - His tree reflects his multiple identities and leans slightly as if waiting for its counterpart. Mr. Forkle has a twin, under the same name, and his who died in Lodestar. His tree was not planted in the Wanderling Woods, as to not raise attention to his death, and was planted in Norway.