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Every time I get rich, someone or something happens to take it all away from me. Or I spend it all on fast cars and fast women and such. Somehow or other I always lose it. But that’s not going to happen this time. This time I will never lose any of my fabulous wealth, as long as I never ever spend a dime of it. Then I’ll always have the same big fortune, as long as no one learns I’ve got it, so please keep quiet about the gold!
— Jack to Gary in Baby Steps Along the Glory Road: The New Adventures of Jack and Jack Part 2 of 4

Jack Horner (also called Jack of the Tales, Jack B. Nimble, Jack the Giant Killer, and (once upon a time) Jack Frost) is a Fable. He was once a resident of Fabletown, but is currently an outlaw living in the mundane world.


Before and During Exodus

Jack is the bastard child of Prince Charming, who knew nothing of their relation, and Prose Page. After his birth, his mother left him as an infant in the care of a poor peasant woman. While Jack claims to have done various fantastic things in the Homelands, including slaying a giant [1] and exploring a kingdom in the clouds[2], he never actually did any of these things. His existence actually stems from the fact that Kevin Thorn, when writing a new story, could not remember the name of Jack's progenitor Wicked John and thus when he was created, he gained all of John's memories up to the point of his own creation and has since acted as a completely separate individual.

During his travels in which he tried to con money out of honest folks, Jack eventually arrived at the ice castle of the very powerful Snow Queen Lumi. Jack charmed his way into working at the castle but soon set his eyes to replace Waldemar, Lumi’s most recent lover. After insulting Waldemar, Jack defeated him in a duel through trickery and made him look truly foolish. This resulted in Waldemar loosing his favor in Lumi’s eyes and so he was sent off to a far away land. Meanwhile Jack took over as Lumi’s new lover and inevitably impregnated her. Unaware that she was pregnant, a sickly Lumi was unable to make her seasonal trip to the next kingdom to bring the season of winter. Thus, she instead appointed Jack as the bringer of winter and gave him her powers, bequeathing him Jack Frost. Though he promised to return Lumi's powers once she felt better, Jack instead abused the power he'd been given and tried to bed many women during his travels. However, his icy demeanor made most women reluctant to sleep with him and he moved throughout the lands randomly, messing up the seasons in the lands and thereby bringing great famine and discontent with him. After he found a willing woman to sleep with, an angry mob caught up with him and Jack froze them to death before moving on. Meanwhile, Lumi found out that she wasn’t sick at all, but pregnant with Jack’s child. Jack, having no intention of returning Lumi's powers, went on the lamb throughout the land. Lumi’s palace was soon ransacked by an army of her displeased subjects, but a powerless Lumi escaped to live with one of her sisters and give birth to a son.

Four years later, Lumi had grown bitter and cold as the season she commanded. Lumi's sisters rallied an army and persuaded Jack to return their sister's powers for parlay, provided that he left that world forever. Bored of being hunted and weary at going to war with three goddesses, he did so, and made an enemy of Lumi, the now cold-hearted Snow Queen. Lumi's sisters dumped him in a world where the Adversary had already invaded, but after Jack had been captured by the Adversary's forces, he took the opportunity to lead his abductors to the realm of Lumi and her sisters in exchange for his freedom. This eventually led to Lumi allying with the Adversary.

At some point, Jack fled the Homeworlds to the mundane realm during the Exodus.


During the American Civil War, he served as a confederate officer. After being kicked out, he cut through a swamp and won a bag that never runs out of space from the Devil. When he came upon a woman who was to die that night, he used the bag to capture Death. After finding out that nothing could die while Death was captured, Jack released Death in exchange for a year of the woman's life. Jack lost both the bag and the girl within a week.[3]

During his time in Fabletown, Jack was generally known as a schemer, albeit not a terribly competent one. On December 22, 1956, Jack traveled to the Homeland's North Pole to try and steal Santa Clause's naughty and nice lists, hoping to sell them internationally for a profit. Unfortunately, Santa caught him and he was arrested and charged back in Fabletown.[4] By the twenty-first century, he started up an online business, at about the time when the market for such things fell apart. One of his default schemes appears to involve the selling of the remaining magic beans, from the batch used to grow the famous beanstalk. However, as Jack's tendencies are well-known in Fabletown, he's never succeeded, which is fortunate as he doesn't actually possess the beans any longer; they're among the magical items held by Fabletown. Bigby Wolf, Fabletown's then-sheriff, has always been distrustful of Jack, never believing anything he says (even when he's telling the truth) and making it a point to hold Jack under suspicion whenever anything goes wrong, even going so far as to arrest him immediately on false charges.

Four years prior to his departure from Fabletown, Jack and his girlfriend at the time, Rose Red, conspired together in one of his get rich quick schemes. They pretended to fight and break up, allowing Rose to get together with Bluebeard. Once he proposed she asked that she have the dowry upfront and that they keep their relationship a secret. This was meant to allow Jack the money to start up an Internet scam and the time to pay it back however it lost it all, so the two staged Rose's murder. The two were eventually caught by Bigby Wolf and were given $10,000 in fines as well as 200 hours of community service. They able to pay back the fines by selling Prince Charming titles and lands back to him, which Jack had previously won.

With the election of Prince Charming to the position of Mayor, Jack came to the conclusion that Fabletown was finished. Stealing the contents of one of the late Bluebeard's treasure rooms, an amount of money in the region of two and a half billion dollars, he left Fabletown in the company of a Lilliputian named Jill who had assisted him with the theft.[2]

Nimble Pictures

Jack, with Jill in tow, headed for Hollywood, where he used his wealth to set up a new studio called Nimble Pictures, taking the alias of John Trick. His principal aim was to shoot a trilogy of films about himself, which he felt would increase his popularity among the mundanes, making him more powerful. He stayed in Hollywood for around five years, until Jill, fed up with his treatment of her, managed to call Fabletown and ask them for help. Fabletown engineered a takeover of Nimble Pictures, with Jack's right-hand man, Moss Waterhouse, as the new head of the studio. Beast came to Hollywood where he explained to Jack that the Fabletown authorities wanted Jack's head. Beast, however, disliked bloodshed and told Jack to leave, taking just a small amount of money with him, and that he never wanted to see Jack again. Jack, with no options remaining to him, agreed.

The Golden Boughs Retirement Community

Jack began to hitchhike, with no particular destination in mind. He was picked up by a van which, he quickly learned when they put a gun to his head, had been looking for him specifically. Despite attempting to escape en route, Jack ended up in the Golden Boughs Retirement Community, effectively a high-security prison populated entirely by Fables. In fairly short order, he slept with Goldilocks, briefly saw Alice, was severely beaten by Paul Bunyan and met the head of the Community, a man named Mr. Revise. Revise informed Jack that his goal was to rid the world of magic, an aim that he'd nearly achieved before the Fables arrived hundreds of years earlier and that Jack, with his movie trilogy, had also disrupted. Jack immediately swore to escape from the place, asking the other Fables there who was with him. During his stay he also developed friendship with two of the inmates Gary the Pathetic Fallacy and Old Sam who had forgotten he was once Sambo. With assistance from the Tooth Fairy and the fairies of A Midsummer Night's Dream, he and dozens of other Fables escaped The Golden Boughs. He also learned that Goldilocks was a spy for Mr. Revise, though his logic was convoluted (he reasoned that all of Revise's assistants wear glasses). Once again he is hitchhiking across the country, with no particular destination in mind.

Arriving in Las Vegas, he uses the Pathetic Fallacy and his fame as John Trick to rebuild his wealth again, marrying a rich heiress and "talking" the casino equipment into letting him win. Unfortunately, his new bride's family had a very powerful enemy. One who performs rituals and appears to feast on some lucky winners brains, she dons a royal queens attire with Clubs as her main accessories. Some say she may be Lady Luck, which Jack would later discover through her Belgian allies. Jack is now widowed after a bomb killed his father in law, his new bride, and fried Jack himself. Now recovered from his injuries, all of his departed wife's fortune, is now his own, making Jack a very rich man once again. After a confrontation with Lady Luck however, Jack does eventually stop Lady Luck by getting Gary to call Robin, one of the Page Sisters. After deceiving her during one of her rituals, she's apprehending by them.

But he doesn't get to keep his money either, when one of Lady Luck's men are found dead, killed by his deceased wife's lawyer. Mainly because if its thought Jack did something immoral the money goes to him. Hoping to frame Jack, and take the money, he called the police, but with Gary's help he escapes again and is seen once again hitchhiking.

The Bad Prince

After the events in Las Vegas, Jack and Gary are captured again by Priscilla Page who already captured Wicked John. After a fight between Jack and John starts in the van, it crashes off the road into the Grand Canyon. After recovering from the crash, Jack, Gary and Priscilla are sitting near a campfire, when a mysterious man appears. He plunges the sword Excalibur through Jack's chest and dies shortly thereafter. Once John appears with the Gertrude (Priscilla's assistant), Gary explains that Jack is actually a copy of John and Jack, delighted with the news, pulls Excalibur out of his chest and impales John with it. Raven shows up after that and the party decides to move out of the canyon while leaving John behind (as the sword would draw too much attention to his Fable nature). During the trip out of the canyon, Jack tells Raven he and Priscilla had sex. This leaves her shocked and tries denying several times. Jack, Raven and Gary soon ditch Priscilla and Gertrude and end up in a motel near the interstate in New Mexico.


In the motel, Jack does the impossible, and puts Humpty Dumpty (who had died during the Golden Bough breakout) back together again. Jack explains he brought the Humpty Dumpty parts with him, as Humpty promised to lead Jack to a hidden treasure. The treasure lies in Americana, so the foursome breach the magical border by jumping on the Great Train and bump into Hillary and Paul Bunyan.

Once in Americana, they find out that the man Hillary thought to be her father, the "Bookburner", isn't and that he holds a grudge against Revise for stealing her mother away from him. He sends Natty Bumppo and Slue-Foot Sue after them until they finally shake them off and end up on the spot where Humpty's hidden treasure lies. During which he and Hillary have a quick moment of passion, to which he brags in front of her that he slept with Robin and Priscilla as well; much to her anger. While she, Raven, and Humpty try to get rid of him and Gary, they eventually escape. And find Raven waiting, though mostly because his animal spirit threatened him. There he reveals he has all the gold in a suitcase; leaving Hillary and Humpty with rocks and are captured by the Bookburner and he begins his march against the Golden Boughs.

Jack is seen briefly during the Turning Pages story, as it is revealed that he was telling the truth about sleeping with Robin and Priscilla though their reasons were different than in his version. During the Books of War story, Jack seizes control for the battle at Golden Boughs against the Bookburner, however despite his best efforts, they seemed to be losing the battle. Until Jack through pure luck, actually creates a good plan and escapes the Bookburner. But at a cost of Golden Boughs, is blown up by the volcano spirits. Jack would also get startling news that he was the illegitimate son of Prince Charming and Prose Page; the Page Sister's mother; thus meaning he committed incest with his half-sisters.


But then, after Jack took possession of Revise's books which he added to his treasure in his briefcase, Jack Horner lost his immortality due to the greed caused by harboring the treasures, mirroring the story of Fafnir. Gary himself has also lost his Literal powers. Both Jack and Gary don't know what was happening to them, but Gary theorizes that the former artist of the comic did this as a revenge to Jack's insults to him back then. Cursed, Horner started aging and bloating, before finally becoming a dragon destined to be slain by a hero (which turned out to be his own son). Although there was another way to escape the curse by Jack giving up his own selfish ways, due to his nature, it was too impossible for Jack. So both he and Gary had to wait for his destined foe to come and slay him.

Time passed by before a slayer finally came to confront the now-dragon Jack; his own son, Jack Frost. Jack somehow saw the events that would unfold before with his precognition. As the two battle intensively with each other, Jack finally burns the books and his treasure in rage, and Gary and a large number of Fables were killed. Jack Horner, stricken by shock, finally ended the battle by beheading his own son as the latter finally pierced his sword on Jack; killing him. When the Devils came to collect his soul, all of them started arguing to whoever can claim it. Since all of them are too proud to surrender their prize, they were all destined to bicker for eternity. Thus Jack's soul escaped them yet again while they do so. The last panel show Jack's spirit trying to hitch a ride like he did in the first issue of Jack of Fables.

Last Story

While hitchhiking, the now ghostly Jack Horner was abducted again, this time by the Legion of Devils he has tricked before. They've all decided to put Jack in a specialized Hell custom-made just for him (which was a void after the Universe ended) since none of them can surrender their claim to his soul. However, Jack has again concocted another scheme to escape this. Using his reality-warping powers as a Literal, Jack resurrected Gary to his Hell, and asked his help to use his powers to turn his Hell into another universe where he is a God-King, right after writing down all the specifications and details of it in paper. Gary accepts, and the two now enjoy their new lives in their new universe.


Jack is a con artist, always looking for quick ways to make a buck. A common characteristic seen in Jack is his complete disregard for human life or the feelings of those around him, traits most often seen in sociopaths.[5] He is a pathological liar and an arrogant braggart who always boasts about his adventures. Some of his more sinister deeds include:

  • Hiding away from the fight during the battle of Fabletown.[6]
  • Stealing money from Fabletown in order to make a film trilogy of himself, and keep his partner in crime locked away.[7]
  • Tricked Lumi the Snow Queen into having sexual intercourse with him, then stealing her powers to become Jack Frost.[8]
  • Took advantage and had sexual intercourse of a depressed and distraught Rose Red.[9]
  • Doesn't care about his long lost son Jack Frost Jr., and even sent him away to fight the godlike Kevin Thorne just to get rid of him.[9]
  • Took advantage of the innocent and naive Gary the Pathetic Fallacy.
  • Jack was also a cold-harded killer during his time as Jack Frost and as a gunslinger in the Old West.

Jack actually cares for Gary, but is too stubborn to admit it.

Despite his scheming and reckless personality, he was a devoted foe of the Adversary and a capable combatant in his own right, due to his years of experience fighting giants. He also has displayed true feelings for others, such as when he mourned his wife's death and risked his own safety to protect Gary when the Librarians had captured them. Some of his more noble and humanistic deeds include:

  • Helping out Fabletown in getting rid of Sharpe the reporter from leaking out their secrets.[1]
  • Mourned his wife's death at the hands of Lady Luck.[10]
  • Jack thinks of Gary as his greatest friend, but is too stubborn to admit it to him personally.[11][12]
  • Warning Fabletown multiple times, like the first appearance of the Woodsmen[13] the existence of Golden Boughs and during Kevin Thorne's plans in rewriting existence.[14]
  • He saved Gary the Pathetic Fallacy and Priscilla Page when their van fell into a river.[15]
  • He stayed to help out Mr. Revise in fighting the Bookburner.[16]
  • Became distraught at Gary's apparent death.[17]
  • Designed a universe where he and Gary can live a happy existence.[18]

Physical Appearance

Jack is slender and in good shape often seen in jeans, sneakers and a t-shirt and he keeps his long hair in a ponytail for extra smoothness. He believes himself to be a dashing blonde bad boy, rogue and leader of men. Sometimes people also do believe the hype. He is actually fairly attractive to many women mostly due to his personality.

Powers and Abilities


  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Jack is extremely long-lived on account of being half-Fable and half-Literal. To further supplement his immortality, Jack created a film trilogy of his adventures to increase his popularity amongst the mundies world and make himself nigh-immortal. After tricking numerous versions of the Devil (including Lucifer, Chernabog, Old Nick and others), he also managed to extend his lifespan beyond his first natural death and was thereby granted near-invulnerability.[19] He has survived being impaled by Excalibur, caught in an explosion, being beaten up by Bigby Wolf, being mauled by the Yokai Tomoko, being eaten by a kaiju, punched by a giant Paul Bunyan, and frozen by his son Jack Frost. Although he is practically invulnerable, he can still feel pain, be wounded or knocked out.
  • Superhuman Physicality: Jack seems to possess an undisclosed level of superhuman strength, seen when he lifted a giant wooden ax and used it as a club. He was also seen fighting a human Bigby Wolf in close-quarters combat, albeit he was defeated in the end. Also, during his brief tenure as Jack Frost, he is not bothered by colder climates.
  • Magic: Either because of being the "center of all stories", or because the writers and artists inserted themselves into the story and are toying with him,[20] magical things tend to happen to Jack. His magical nature once reversed Mr. Revise's magic, create items like a bottomless briefcase, and once became a dragon against his will. He can also break the 4th wall.
  • Reality-Bending Powers: According to Jack himself, being half-Literal gives him a "tiny-bit of reality-bending power" if he thinks hard enough about what he wants to happen. He used his powers to summon, resurrect and restore Gary and his powers in an effort to recreate the universe after it died out.[21]

As "Jack Frost" he held sway over ice.

  • Ice Magic: As Jack Frost, he had the powers of the Snow Queen herself. He was immune to temperature extremes, and able to freeze a mob or whole town in thick sheets of ice. His powers as Jack Frost were strong enough to warrant the three other seasons worry and they preferred to parley with him as opposed to a direct confrontation.
  • Dragon Form: Jack once became a fire-breathing winged dragon akin to Fafnir in German legends. His dragon form has claws and teeth that can easily rip Fables, can breath fire, has wings to fly, and is also durable. It also gives him a limited precognition ability to know future events. Though his invincibility and immortality disappears the moment he becomes one.[22]


  • Adept Combatant: He’s an adept fighter, seen when he took on three wooden soldiers and a horde of zombies by himself. Most of his fighting abilities came from his time as a giant slayer, and although it was revealed by Gary that it was Wicked John who did all of it, these memories are still embedded in Jack Horner's mind.[23] His fighting ability is not as proficient as Bigby Wolf or Beast's, and he usually relies on his wit during brawls.
  • Weapons Proficiency: Jack is adept in using many forms of weapons from swords to firearms. He has both knowledgeable in normal weapons like pistols and shotguns and Fable weapons like twin tommy guns, Goldilock’s shotgun and magical bombs (he utlized the magical spirits Wy’east, Klickitat and Loowit as living nukes to destroy the Golden Bough). He once defeated a trained armed knight with nothing more than a mop.
  • Marksmanship: Jack is a superb marksman during his time as an Old West gunslinger. He is very accurate with pistols and fast on the draw.
  • Brilliant Trickster: Although his schemes sometimes fail due to being too confident or lazy, he is still the literal personification of all trickster archetypes in fiction. He has outwitted many of his enemies, including nigh-omnipotent beings such as the Devils, Literal Gods and Death itself. For example, he once outsmarted a legion of Devils such as Nick Slick, Lucifer, Chernabog and others into making him immortal, outwitted the Literals Mr. Revise and Bookburner, defeated Lady Luck who is a Fable that can control luck, stole the powers of the Ice Queen to become Jack Frost, entraped the Grim Reaper in a sack, and resurrected and summoned Gary the Pathetic Fallacy to create a universe where he'd be king and his authority was absolute. His ability to deal himself four jacks whenever he wants is useful in beating others in card games.[3]


  • Mortality: Jack lost his invulnerability when he turned into a dragon, destined to be slain by a hero.[24] It was never revealed why, but the two most popular theories is that Jack was cursed by his own writer to become fat, age and turn into a dragon because the Fable insulted him, and the other is that his long extended tenure in the world which he got from deceiving devils finally ran out and they came after his death to collect his soul.[25]
  • Universal Balance: As speculated by Gary, by turning himself into a "bastion of strength and invulnerability", the universe will always be trying to harm Jack to give reasons of his invulnerability existing.[26]


  • Magic Beans: Jack once owned, and claimed to still own, magical beans that can grow giant beanstalks which reach up through the clouds. These towering beanstalks served as gateways to the Cloud Kingdom.
  • Devil's Burlap Sack: Jack once defeated Old Nick for his prized magical satchel. A powerful sack that can suck everything inside it's powerful vortex. It is inescapable and bottomless in its nature, and even eldritch abominations and celestial beings (e.g. Death) couldn't escape it. Although it was said that Jack Horner lost the burlap sack some time ago, there are also those who suggest that its still with him but he has hidden it.[27] In recent years a similar item appeared in the form of a magical briefcase.
  • Colt Revolver and Cavalry Saber: Weapons he got during his time as a Civil War soldier and gunslinger. He brandished similar weapons during the Battle of Fabletown and Bookburner’s War.


  • Jack Horner is apparently an amalgamation of various stories with a character named Jack. Among the stories he was inspired by are Jack and the Beanstalk, Jack the Giant-killer, Little Jack Horner, and Jack and Jill.
  • Most of the information Jack discloses is met with skepticism because of his tendency to lie or exaggerate.
  • Jack seems to enjoy tacos as seen on Issue #33 of Jack of Fables and having a tree full of one in Issue #148 in Fables.



Jack of Fables


  1. 1.0 1.1 A Sharp Operation
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Jack Be Nimble: Part One of Two"
  3. 3.0 3.1 "A Bag of Bones"
  4. Fables #56
  5. Fables Encyclopedia
  6. Fables: March of the Wooden Soldiers
  7. Fables: Jack Be Nimble
  8. Jack of Fables #6 - Jack Frost, Part One of Two
  9. 9.0 9.1 The Great Fables Crossover
  10. Jack of Fables - Jack of Hearts
  11. Jack of Fables #9
  12. Jack of Gables: The Bad Prince
  13. Fables: March of the Wooden Soldiers
  14. The Great Fables Crossover
  15. Jack of Fables - The Bad Prince
  16. Jack of Fables - The Big Book of War
  17. Jack of Fables #50
  18. Fables: Happily Ever After
  19. Jack of Fables - The Bad Prince
  20. Jack of Fables: The End
  21. Tontine
  22. Jack of Fables #40
  23. Jack of Fables: The Bad Prince
  24. Jack of Fables #40
  25. Vertigo Encyclopedia pp. 105
  26. Jack of Fables #3
  27. Peter & Max: A Fables Novel

See also

Series FablesFairestJack of FablesFables: The Wolf Among UsEverafter: From the Pages of Fables
Specials 1001 Nights of SnowfallPeter & Max: A Fables NovelCinderella: From Fabletown with LoveCinderella: Fables Are ForeverThe Unwritten FablesThe LiteralsFables: Werewolves of the HeartlandFairest: In All The LandBatman Vs. Bigby! A Wolf In Gotham
Characters Bigby WolfSnow WhiteRose RedPrince CharmingBeautyBeastBoy BlueFlycatcherKing ColeFrau TotenkinderGeppettoThe Snow QueenNorth WindJack Horner
Video Games The Wolf Among UsThe Wolf Among Us: Season 2
Jack of Fables
Issues The (Nearly) Great EscapeJack of HeartsThe Bad PrinceAmericanaTurning PagesThe Big Book of WarThe New Adventures of Jack and JackThe Fulminate BladeThe End
Characters Jack HornerKevin ThornGaryMr. ReviseRobin PagePriscilla PageHillary PageJack FrostBabeThe Snow QueenWicked JohnAlice
Locations FabletownGolden Boughs Retirement Village