"A long time ago, in the underground realm, where there are no lies or pain, there lived a princess who dreamed of the human world. She dreamed of blue skies, soft breeze, and sunshine. One day, eluding her keepers, the princess escaped. Once outside, the brightness blinded her and erased every trace of the past from her memory. She forgot who she was and where she came from. Her body suffered cold, sickness, and pain. Eventually, she died. However, her father, the king, always knew that the princess' soul would return, perhaps in another body, in another place, at another time. And he would wait for her, until he drew his last breath, until the world stopped turning..."
The opening lines of the film set the stage for the fantastical world of the film. The faun tells us the story of Princess Moanna, who wandered out of the safety of the underworld and was subjected to the hardships of the world of the living.
"Don't eat or drink anything during your stay..."
Ofelia doesn't obey this command from her magic book of instructions when she wanders down to the banquet hall where the Pale Man is sitting. This is the only rule that she must obey while she is down there, and she reads it with care before descending into the labyrinth.
"You have spilled your own blood rather than the blood of the innocent. That was your final task and most important."
Ofelia's father, the king of the underworld, says this at the end of the film as she's transformed from a dying girl on earth into a princess in her father's kingdom. The line shows that Ofelia's rebellion against the faun was not as misguided as it seemed, and that her own blood being spilled was enough for her to be transported back to her place in the underworld.
"I have so many names, names that only the wind and the trees can pronounce. I am... I am a faun."
The Faun says this to Ofelia when she wanders into the labyrinth one night. He introduces himself to her as immortal and ancient, and informs her that she will never be able to understand or pronounce his name, as she is a mortal.
"You'll meet her, she's very pretty, even though sometimes she's sad for many days at a time. You'll see, when she smiles, you'll love her."
One night, while her mother is sleeping, Ofelia dresses the unborn baby growing in her belly. She speaks to her unborn little brother and tells him that he will meet their mother soon, and easily be taken in by her beauty.
"...to obey, just like that, for obedience's sake... without questioning... That's something only people like you do."
When Vidal discovers that Dr. Ferreiro has been working for the rebels, he is angered and suggests that the doctor ought to have obeyed him unquestioningly. The doctor responds with this line, suggesting that blind obedience is not something that everyone has an easy time doing, insulting the captain's fascist politics.
"You're getting older, and you'll see that life isn't like your fairy tales. The world is a cruel place. And you'll learn that, even if it hurts."
When she finds the mandrake root concoction under her bed, Carmen gets frustrated with her young daughter, Ofelia, and scolds her for being so imaginative and out-of-touch with reality. Believing the mandrake root is a ridiculous superstition, she urges Ofelia to recognize that fairy tales are not real, and that life is more difficult than magic stories might suggest.
"Hello, I am Princess Moanna, and I am not afraid of you."
When Ofelia goes into the ailing tree to fetch the key from the belly of the giant toad, she says this to the toad. Even though the large amphibian is rather intimidating, Ofelia insists to him that he does not scare her.
"We catch one and he turns out to be a stutterer. Fuck! We'll be here all night."
The evil Captain Vidal taunts the rebel captive he is torturing. He gets all of his information from torturing rebels that he finds, and this line illuminates just what a despicable sadist he truly is.
"He won't even know your name."
When Mercedes and Pedro have cornered Vidal, he begs them to tell his son when he died, but Mercedes tells him that his son will not even know his name, just before Pedro shoots him.
Pan’s Labyrinth Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Pan’s Labyrinth is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.