No but guys, GUYS, we need to talk about how important this scene is. Because the commonly accepted lore about unicorns is that they are so good and pure that they’ll only appear to young virginal girls. Because Molly Grue is a middle-aged woman who has been living with bandits for most of her life and is as far from innocent and virginal as you’re likely to get. Because she’s so angry that this creature, embodying everything that society tells her she’s lost, everything she’s thrown away through her own choices, is here now when all that The Unicorn represents is long since behind her. Because she knows, in a way that only someone who’s been steeped in an oppressive system her entire life can ever know, that she’s missed her chance and doesn’t deserve to be seeing a unicorn now.
And you know what? The Unicorn doesn’t give two fucks about her virginity, about her supposed loss of innocence and purity. She’s not repelled by Molly being older, being experienced, being a full human person. None of that has ever mattered to unicorns, only to the people telling stories about them. Not only does she step in to physically comfort her here, but before long this bandit’s wife becomes her friend, closer to her in most ways than Schmendrick.
This story is fucking revolutionary, you guys, and I just have a lot of feelings about it.
And in the book, after this scene, the trio runs into a maiden, a princess, who is young and beautiful and a virgin. She’s singing and doing all the things that supposedly will bring an unicorn to them, so she can prove that she’s pure and marry a prince. Schmendrick, Molly and the Unicorn remain hidden from their sight the whole time. So, when no unicorn comes, the princess gets up, dusts off her skirt and say that the formalities have been met, they can now marry. And she and her prince leave.
When Molly asks why the Unicorn didn’t go to the princess, the Unicorn replies that she doesn’t have time for that.
The Unicorn doesn’t have time to go to a princess who doesn’t really believe in her, but she had time earlier to comfort Molly, who’s belief in the Unicorn never faltered.
Let’s remember too than before the scene pictured in the gif set the only ones who could recognize the Unicorn as a unicorn were animals, supernatural creatures, and Schmendrick and Mommy Fortuna. And the latter two are magic, so maybe they do count as supernatural creatures, which would make Molly the first normal human being to recognize the Unicorn as such in the course of the story.
Molly is a very special character and I love her deeply.