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1996 ~ Over 10,000 Web Pages in Archive
Hillman Log Notes Series
THE GODS OF MARS
ERB Commenced writing this second Mars book
on July 14, 1912
First Appearance: All-Story Magazine
1913 January - May
First Hardcover Edition: A.C. McClurg &
September 28, 1918 ~ 348 pages
Read the online public domain version of this
GODS OF MARS
A Study Guide for Fans and Researchers
For an alternate version with visible answers go to:
These log notes sequentially pinpoint the important
events throughout the novel.
The information is presented in the form
of 425 questions and answers.
The answers are invisible until the reader drags
his mouse across the screen
which highlights the hidden answer text.
Each chapter title bar has links to the actual
TOTAL POINTS = 425
~ 10 Questions
1. Years since Captain John Carter's body was placed in Richmond, Virginia,
2. Odd interment instructions: open casket placed
in a vault opened only from the inside
3. Accomplishments during his 10 years on Mars: he
fought for and against both green and red Martians, won Dejah Thoris, Princess
of Helium for his wife, and became a prince in the house of Tardos Mors,
Jeddak of Helium
4. Message brought to ERB by old Ben, his body servant:
me tomorrow. Hotel Raleigh. Richmond. John Carter"
5. Number of years Burroughs has known Carter as a man of 30: 35
6. The secret Carter unraveled: how to traverse
the trackless void between Earth and Mars
7. Reason for his return to Earth: to see ERB
before he dies and to give him another manuscript
8. Carter's prediction for tonight: he will die
for the 4th time
9. Time spent on Earth writing the current manuscript:
10. ERB's last sight of Carter: bolting the door
to the crypt from the inside.
I. THE PLANT MEN ~ 30 Questions
1. Date of John Carter's return to Mars: Early
2. Date of Carter's first visit to Mars: March
3. Carter's nightly prayer for 10 years as he stands with arms outstretched
toward Mars: for "a return of that strange power
which twice had drawn him through the immensity of space to Barsoom."
4. Result of his breaking free of his body's sudden paralysis:
sharp click and he finds himself standing naked beside his lifeless Earth
5. Sight that greeted him after a period of unthinkable cold and utter
darkness: another world, hot sun shining through
an opening in the dome of a beautiful trimmed forest above him.
6. Carter's sudden fear: that he has gone to
another planet rather than Mars.
7. The vegetation bed upon which he lies: close-cropped
parklike sward of red grass-like vegetation.
8. A very un-Martian scene in the distance: a
vast blue sea.
9. Conditions that made his first steps difficult: reaction
of his Earth muscles to the lower gravity and thinner air.
10. Colours of the giant trees around him: black,
white, azure, scarlet, yellow, purple
11. Description of the banks of the mighty river feeding the sea: scarlet
vegetation and perpendicular cliffs
Appearance of the first creatures he sees (the Plant Men):
12. . . . Body: hideous, odd, grotesque, hairless
blue body, 12 feet tall but somewhat human in shape.
13. . . . arms: short arms like elephant trunks
with cutting talons and sucking mouths on the end ~ mouths also emit sound
14. . . . head: covered with long, wiggling,
jet-black, angleworm-size hair which serve as ears
15. . . . eye: one white protruding eyeball
16. . . . nose and mouth: a ragged hole
for a nose with no mouth on the head
17. . . . feet: somewhat human in shape but huge
being three feet long and flat and broad
18. . . . feeding method: cuts and sucks grass
with razor-like talons and a mouth on the palm of each "hand."
19. . . . tail: a massive 6-foot-long round appendage
tapering to a flat thin blade trailing at right angles to the ground
20. . . . offspring: tiny replicas of the creature
dangle from the armpits by a small stem sprouting out of their heads
21. . . . locomotion: rapid kangaroo-like leaps
of 30 feet.
22. Original source of all life forms on Barsoom: the
Tree of Life
23. Carter's unusual means of travel across the Martian meadows: giant
leaps and bounds thanks to his Earth muscles
24. The plant men's prey: 2 men and 4 women of
differing green Martian tribes
25: Green Martian appearance: 15' tall, white
curving tusks, protruding eyes on the sides of their heads, antennae ears
from foreheads, 4 arms.
26. Main weapon of the plant men: leaps and powerful
27. Fate of all but one of the green Martians: killed
by the great tails and talons of the plant men.
28. Carter's reaction: he picks up a long sword
and races to the aid of the surviving green man.
29. Reason for the coming of plant men reinforcements:
man shrieking and waving directions from the cliff face.
30. The identity of Carter's battle companion: Tars
Tarkas, Jeddak of Thark ~ Carter's great friend, statesman and mighty general.
II: A FOREST BATTLE ~ 15 Q
1. Reason for the race to the cliffs: to find
a cave or ledge to aid them in their battle with the hordes of plant men.
2. Cliff face description: smooth and perpendicular
rising to over 5,000' ~ laced with gold veins and precious jewels ~ caves
are all too high to reach.
3. Only hope for escape:
reach and scale the giant trees nearest the cliffs.
4. The problem the Thark will have with this plan: green
warriors hate to flee and are not used to climbing.
5. Reinforcements to assist the plant men: the
great white apes of Barsoom.
6. Appearance of the plant men allies: somewhat
like an Africa gorilla but are white, walk upright, are 15 feet tall with
7. Reason for Tars Tarkas' return from the trees: to
save Carter who has been brought down.
8. Surprise at the giant tree: an opening in
9. What lay within the tree opening:
ladder reaching up the hollow tree toward light above.
10. Length of climb to daylight opening: 500
11. Destination of the tree limb: ledge and cave
opening in the cliff face.
12. Final fate of Tars Tarkas' companions: white
apes devour their flesh after the plant men have sucked out the blood.
13. Obstruction at the end of the cave tunnel: a
14. What Carter and Tars Tarkas found beyond the door:
empty dimly lit chamber.
15. What followed the slamming of the door: sound
of a cruel and mocking laugh.
III: THE CHAMBER OF MYSTERY ~ 20 Q
1. Why the Jeddak and Princess of Helium offered fabulous rewards:
find John Carter who disappeared at the atmosphere plant after saving the
2. Conclusion reached about his disappearance: he
had taken the final pilgrimage down the River Iss to the Valley Dor.
3. News of Dejah Thoris: she still lives.
4. The name of Carter's present location: the
Valley Dor by the Lost Sea of Korus.
5. Reason for Tars Tarkas making the pilgrimage: to
be with his lost love and John Carter in paradise.
6. What the Valley Dor means to Martians: heaven,
a final resting place -- a valley of love and peace.
7. Fate of the billions who have made the pilgrimage:
cruel demise by the plant men and white apes.
8. Traditional fate of anyone who returns from the Valley Dor:
the blasphemer will be killed.
9. Martian equivalent of "between the devil and the deep blue sea":
the wild thoat of certainty and the mad zitidar of fact."
10. What the dim light of the radium illuminator reveals:
200' chamber cut out of the cliff with the rock walls containing gold and
precious stones and two locked doorways.
11. Disturbing warning: another cruel mocking
laugh followed by a threat that they have no hope -- there is no escape
or resurrection for the dead.
12. The name of this place: the Golden Cliffs
of the Mountains of Otz -- part of the fortresses of the Holy Therns.
13. Their attackers: banths.
14. Appearance of Barsoomian lions: hairless
with mane, long lithe yellow body with 10 legs, enormous jaws with rows
15. What prompted each appearance of a banth: when
the defenders' backs are turned to a concealed doorway.
16. What Carter saw beyond the revolving door that appears in the mirror
on Tars Tarkas' harness: a well-lit chamber with
banths and red Martians chained to the wall, and an evil white-skinned
man with long yellow hair.
17. What Carter faced when he dashed through the revolving door:
the white man's radium pistol.
18. Carter's statement that shocked his white opponent:
if I were from the Temple of Issus?"
19. Carter's problem while battling the second opponent:
is weak from exertion and lack of food and sleep.
20. Action that saved the fallen Carter from the second attacker's
sword: he reaches and fires the first attacker's
IV: THUVIA ~ 20 Q
1. Carter's reason for wanting to go through the revolving door: to
assist Tars Tarkas against the banths.
2. The secret to opening the revolving door: the
Martian slave girl uses the dead keeper's keys
3. The proverb that inspires fighting Tharks:
"Leave to a Thark his head and one hand and he may yet conquer."
4. Reason for the quick victory against the six banths:
the slave girl tames them by speaking to them in low tones.
5. How the girl knew of John Carter: the Therns
who control the area know of everything in the outside world.
6. Fate planned for the girl now they have tired of her after 15 years
and they since they fear her powers: Death -- the
plant men will suck her blood and the Holy Therns are to eat her flesh.
7. Abode of the Holy Therns: in luxurious palaces
and on the outer slopes overlooking the valley.
8. How may some of those making the pilgrimage fall into the clutches
of the Therns: by escaping the plant men and apes
or by Therns claiming a victim they covet.
9. Importance of the Temple of Issus?: "a heaven
within a heaven" to which the Therns journey - no one ever escapes its
10. Why the plant men and apes are held sacred: Therns
believe this is how they spend their lives if they die before age 1000
and can't reach the Temple of Issus.
11. What happens to their soul if their reincarnation in the plant
men and apes dies before the allotted time: it passes
into the carcass of a slimy reptile-like silian for eternity.
12. Carter's justification for their escape from the Valley Dor: the
fable is a rank and wicked deception, the valley is not sacred and the
Therns are not holy. It is their duty to expose the lie.
13. The reason Carter felt they would not be believed:
are too wedded to their stupid infatuation for impossible superstitions
14. Description of the party that had now joined Carter in escaping:
and ten red Martians, now armed with weapons of the two dead Therns.
15. The control that Holy Therns had over all of Barsoom:
temples and spies in every community.
16. Special ornament worn by the thern they meet in the arms storeroom:
gold circlet on his head containing a large stone identical to the one
worn by the keeper of the atmosphere plant.
17. Characteristic of Barsoom's rarest jewel: It
scintillates nine rays: seven familiar Earth colours and two of wondrous
beauty that are unique to Barsoom.
18. How Thuvia got revenge for 15 years of maltreatment:
shoots the Holy Thern dead.
19. Thuvia's plan for Carter: to wear the Sator
Throg's trappings and yellow wig to pass as a Holy Thern of the Tenth Cycle.
20. Action taken after retrieving arms from the weapons room: sleep
while the released prisoners keep watch.
V: CORRIDORS OF PERIL ~ 20 Q
1. Reason for Carter's sudden awakening: attack
by 12 lesser therns that kills the red men in the party.
2. Carter's ruse: he poses as Sator Throg leading
slaves with the captured Tars Tarkas and dead body of Carter (actually
the body of Sator Throg).
3. Carter's orders to the therns: throw the body
to the plant men and return to their quarters.
4. Why the thern leader's suspicions were aroused:
the body's bald head and familiar face.
5. What Carter needed to ease the pain of his wounds:
healing salves and lotions of the green Martian women.
6. The escapees next destination: to the top
of the cliffs and through the gardens to the inner courts and through the
temples to the outer courts and ramparts.
7. Number of thern defenders: one million.
8. Number of hours that Carter and Tars Tarkas had slept in the arms
room: 14 hours.
9. Conditions on Barsoom created by the rare atmosphere:
days and cold nights with no twilight in between.
10. Reason for the carefully trimmed trees in the valley:
of plant men strip the leaves as high up as they can reach.
11. Duty of the thern sentry standing on the cliff balcony:
the plant men to Martians arriving on the river Issus.
12. Devourers of the victims' flesh after the plant men hadsucked out
the blood: the great white apes.
13. Reason Sator Throg spared Thuvia's life: the
novelty of her strange power over banths.
14. Means of disposing of the bodies of prisoners who died in chains:
by roaming banths
15. Carter's suggestion for aiding their escape: Thuvia
calls 50 banths to accompany them.
16. Appearance of the offspring of prisoners kept underground:
are deformed, maimed and sightless and possess corpse-like skin. They are
sprawled in heaps like something out of Dante's
17. Reason for no sign of therns: afraid to come
to the lower levels at night because of attacks from banths and prisoners.
18. Reason for the fortresses, army of defenders, and the many sentries
in the inner court: periodic raids from the black
pirates of Barsoom.
19. Reaction of the banths to the open courtyard door and the cool
night odours: they swarm out across the gardens.
20. Sudden actions of the rooftop sentries: cries
of alarm from the roofs of every temple and fortress.
VI: THE BLACK PIRATES OF BARSOOM ~ 15 Q
1. Cause of the sentries' alarm: air attack from
the black pirates of Barsoom.
2. Therns' weapons of defence: rifles with shields
3. Two types of black pirate aircraft:
two-man fliers and larger ships dropping bombs from high altitudes.
4. Suspected home of the pirates: rumoured to
be from the lesser moon of Barsoom.
5. Reason for attacks: to take away arms and
ammunition, to practice warfare, and to capture young girls for sacrifice.
6. Appearance of the pirates: large human forms,
over six feet tall, handsome features, black eyes and skin.
7. Carter's odd-for-a-Southerner observation: their
skin with the appearance of polished ebony adds to their beauty.
8. Reason the therns didn't attack the unguarded fliers on the ground
during the land battles: they fear massive reprisals.
9. The common enemy that both pirates and therns suddenly must defend
10. Means of escape chosen by Carter: one of
the unattended pirate fliers.
11. Problem with the escape plan: the small flier
cannot lift all three of them.
12. Carter's solution: he jumps off sending the
reluctant Thuvia and Tars Tarkas aloft without him.
13. Carter's means of escape from the attacking horde of black pirates:
leaps to grasp a trailing anchor from a large retreating airship.
14. Direction taken by the 10-man aircraft: south.
15. What Carter encountered when he climbed to the ship's deck rail:
fierce face of a black pirate.
VII: A FAIR GODDESS ~ 20 Q
1. What saved Carter from the pirate's revolver:
the hammer falls on an empty chamber.
2. Reason Carter didn't immediately let the pirate fall to his death:
is afraid his death scream will warn the ship's crew.
3. Carter's ally in attacking the ship's sleeping crew:
young white female prisoner.
4. Fate of the first three of the seven crew men: Carter
throws two overboard and the girl shoots one.
5. What Carter learned about the girl after he defeated the remaining
crewmen: she is Phaidor, daughter of Matai Shang,
Holy Hekkador of the Holy Therns, Father of Therns, Master of Life and
Death upon barsoom, Brother of Issus, Princess of Life Eternal.
6. Reason for Phaidor's surprise over Carter's treatment of the pirate
prisoner: she wonders why he doesn't kill the man.
7. Carter's change of course for the flier: he
turns it around and speeds north at high altitude.
8. Reason for a later change of altitude: they
were flying too high and are losing consciousness from lack of air.
9. Phaidor's claim to immortality: only therns
can obtain it in the Temple Issus.
10. Carter's proof that the pirates are not from the moon Thuria: his
prisoner had passed out from lack of oxygen at high altitudes.
11. Phaidor's act of frustration: she stamps
her little foot.
12. Carter's destination: Helium
13. What Carter's removal of his yellow thern wig reveals:
head of closely cropped black hair.
14. The race that traces their lineage directly to the Tree of Life
in the Valley Dor three million years ago: The
First Born of Barsoom -- the "black pirates."
15. Significance of the Tree of Life: the tree
on which all Barsoomian life evolved in the Valley Dor.
16. The four types of life that grew out of the four-sectioned buds:
man, 16-legged worm, white ape, and black man.
17. The first life form to break out of the hard shell:
black man who broke open the other shells populating the planet.
18. The life form from which therns evolved: Great
19. More plant man characteristics: detached
themselves from the Tree of Life before it died, bisexual, tiny brain and
no sense of self-preservation.
20. The reason for Xotar's telling of this detailed history:
distract Carter from seeing an approaching battleship.
VIII: THE DEPTHS OF OMEAN ~ 35 Q
1. Carter's reaction upon seeing the looming battleship:
reverses the engines which drops his craft 100 feet and he then speeds
upward to ram the propellers of the attacking ship.
2. Action that took place before Carter could dislodge his flier from
the battleship: a boarding party swarms over his
deck and he is captured.
3. Carter's thoughts upon being bound by his captors:
Earth muscles can easily break his bonds at any time.
4. The number of crew members on the battleship: 1000
5. Why Carter considered his black captors to be inferior to the red
men of Barsoom: they are lacking in refinement and
chivalry and make vulgar comments about their captives.
6. Reason the pirates looked more favourably upon Carter:
has defeated and wears the harness of their common hereditary foes, the
7. Appearance of splendour on the ship: harnesses
encrusted with precious metals and gems, polished skeel wood decks, beautifully
grained and bejeweled sorapus mixed with shiny aluminum on the cabin surfaces,
gold hand rails, shining metal guns.
8. What Carter perceived to be his only sanctuary on Barsoom if he
was to escape: Helium - Martians elsewhere would
kill him as a blasphemer who escaped the Valley Dor.
9. Surprising action of Phaidor to whom Carter was bound:
she stares and appears to be attracted to Carter.
10. Identity and fate of thern prisoners taken by the pirates over
the years: they are all women and none have returned
to tell of their experiences.
11. Phaidor's justification of their treatment of "lesser" Martians:
are holy and all life is supported to support their race.
12. Justification for eating human flesh: The
Holy Therns are gods and all lower orders are the equivalent of beasts.
13. What Carter would do if he agreed to Phaidor's offer of adoption
by the Therns: turn back all voyagers before they
could enter the Valley Dor and exterminate all the plant men and Great
14. Phaidor's reaction to this plan: shock and
horror at his sacrilege.
15. Change of scenery below: south polar ice
cap, barren of life.
16. Destination of the battleship: back to the
Otz Valley and the secret subterranean entrance to the Holy Land and the
Temple of Issus.
17. Site of the Otz Valley: in a mighty depression
at the south pole, sunk thousands of feet below the surrounding surface.
18. Location of the Otz Mountains that circle the inner valley of Dor
which contains the Lost Sea of Korus: 100 miles north
of the boundary of Otz valley before the ice fields.
19. Location of the Golden Temple of Issus (in the Land of the First
Born): on the shore of the Lost Sea of Korus.
20. Number of people who have escaped the Land of the First Born: none,
although one escaped the Valley of Dor controlled by the Therns.
21. Nature of the riverbed of the River Iss:
far below the ice fields and then through an open canyon across the Valley
22. Location of the villages of lost souls: in
a strip between the ice cap barrier and the Otz mountains.
23. Situation faced by the "lost souls": they
are left alone as they can never escape this area -- they war among themselves.
24. What Martians making the pilgrimage to the Valley Dor and the Therns
journey to the Temple of Issus had in common: both
have been duped and will meet a terrible end rather than enter heaven.
25. Location of the subterranean entrance: over
the crest of a low, black, flat-topped mountain and through an opening
1,000 feet wide.
26. Length of time it took to descend the shaft into the subterranean
world of the First Born: 1/2 hour.
27. Carter's first view of the subterranean world: thousands
of ships floating on a buried sea in under vast open rock dome lit by phosphorescent
28. Replacement for the ship's large aerial propellers:
more powerful water propellers to propel the ship across the water surface.
29. Source of water for this huge subterranean sea: waters
from Issus and Korus above.
30. Method of controlling the sea level: pumping
stations that pump the excess water to the reservoirs to the north which
supplies the red men with irrigation water for their canals.
31. Structures built on the numerous islands: roofless
circular buildings with heavily barred windows guarded by armed men.
32. The battleship's destination: a larger island
with an roofless oval natatorium-like structure containing a long tank
33. Journey taken by the tank's floating submarine vessel that
they have boarded: down into the depths of the pool.
34. Destination of the submarine: the gardens
of Issus beside the Golden Temple.
35. Phaidor's reaction: a fit of panic in which
she declares her love for Carter and embraces him.
IX: ISSUS, GODDESS OF LIFE ETERNAL ~ 20 Q
1. Reason for Carter's embarrassment over Phaidor's show of affection:
has never been a ladies man -- has always been a fighting man.
2. How Carter tried to discourage Phaidor affections:
declares his eternal love for Dejah Thoris.
3. Phaidor's reaction to her rejection: rage
and threats followed by tears.
4. Route followed by the submarine craft: down
to great dark depths and then forward through a narrow, rock-lined passage
followed by a rise to a lit surface.
5. Where the sub surfaced: a platform surrounded
pool in a subterranean vault to which enter many lighted passageways.
6. Source of power for the elevator car that carries them rapidly up
through a shaft: electromagnetic energy
7. The name of the area of unspeakable beauty in which they enter:
of the Temple of Issus
8. Identity of the slaves that served area: princesses
and goddesses captured from the red Martian and thern races.
9. The order that came from Issus: She wishes
to look upon the daughter of Matai Shang and the alien who had been a Prince
10. Position taken by the prisoners for their entrance to the chamber
of Issus, Goddess of Life Eternal: they crawl backward
on their hands and knees in a degrading fashion.
11. Carter's reason for putting up with this indignity:
to live to see his beloved Dejah Thoris.
12. Issus' decision for Phaidra's future: to
serve for one year as her slave after which time she must die.
13. Issus' decision for Carter's fate: to
be taken as a prisoner to the Isle of Shador on the Sea of Omean.
14. Reason for Xodar's special treatment of John Carter:
is grateful for Carter's having spared his life.
15. Why Issus might bring Carter out of confinement:
provide sport as a fighter against men and beasts in the monthly rites
of the temple.
16. Issus' diet: the
flesh of the best bred of the Holy Therns and the red Barsoomians. . .
and "other dainties."
17. Reason for Carter's sudden recall before Issus: Phaidor
had told her of his good looks and prowess as a fighter against the First
18. Issus' appearance: a very old, repulsive,
emaciated, bald, wrinkled, almost toothless black woman.
19. Xodar's penalty for being bested by Carter: demotion
to a slave of the slaves. . . and Carter's personal slave.
20. Phaidor's plea: she wishes to go with Carter
and share his imprisonment for the year of life remaining to them.
X: THE PRISON ISLE OF SHADOR ~ 10 Q
1. Xodar's treatment from the other First Born: they
revile and curse him and hold him in disgrace.
2. Carter's reaction to the cowardly treatment of Xodar:
he knocks the huge black warrior Thurid unconscious.
3. Carter's order to the onlookers: take the
unconscious and bound Thurid before Issus to show that the Prince of Helium
is a greater warrior than the best of the First Born.
4. What Carter found when they returned to the Isle of Shador: a
small partitioned stone prison with walls rising to 30 feet containing
high barred windows and no roof
5. The only other prisoner: a light-skinned red
Martian boy with strangely familiar features sleeping on a stone bench.
6. Reason for Carter's and Xodar's skirmish:
speaks blasphemous words against the divine Issus.
7. How the young red Martian came to be captured: his
flyer went down in the ice field while he was looking for the Lost Sea
8. Effect that Carter's anti-Issus rant eventually had on Xodar: he
comes to realize that she is a fraud, a mere mortal and the head of a false
9. Escape plan: Carter will scale the wall at
night and they will escape to the surface in a stolen flier.
10. Reason for there being no darkness during the First Born sleep
period: the subterranean dome is lit by phosphorescent
rocks - sunlight cannot reach to these depths.
The Hillman Log Notes
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