The Imperial Capital of Oz!
- "The next morning, as soon as the sun was up, the traveling friends started on their way down the Yellow Brick Road again, soon they saw a beautiful distant green glow in the sky just before them over the flowery meadows and beyond the grassy hills. "That must be the Emerald City!" Said Dorothy. As they walked on, the green glow became brighter and brighter, and it seemed that at last they were nearing the end of their travels. Yet it was late afternoon before the party reached the end of the paved yellow road that stopped at a great marble wall that surrounded the entire city. It was high and thick and of a bright green color and studded in glittering emeralds. "
- ― The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)
Welcome to Emerald City!
- "Oh, look! There's Emerald City! Oh, we're almost there at last! At last! It's beautiful, isn't it? Just like I knew it would be. He really must be a Wonderful Wizard to live in a city like that! "
- ―Dorothy Gale (1939)
The Emerald City, is a fictional place in the magical Land of Oz. It is an element invented by L. Frank Baum, author and creator of the Oz legacy. It first appeared over one hundred years ago in Baums' first Oz book titled The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, published in 1900. It is introduced in chapter eleven titled The Wonderful City of Oz, and is often referred to as the City of Emeralds in the original book.
- "Look, Emerald City is now closer and prettier than ever! "
- ―Dorothy Gale (1939)
The City of Emeralds can be found at the end of Oz's famous Yellow Brick Road which stops at the city gates. There the city stands in the exact center of Oz, being the official imperial capital of all the land. The city is a key character in the book, being the protagonist's desired destination throughout a good majority of the story--When a little orphan farmgirl named Dorothy Gale and her pet dog named Toto are swept away and unexpectedly taken to the undiscovered realm called Oz by a Kansas cyclone, Dorothy becomes determined to find a way back to her loved ones, her Uncle Henry and Aunt Em. The only one believed to be capable of sending Dorothy home where she belongs is Oz's ruler and most dominant figure, the great and powerful, yet reclusive Wizard who lives in the city. Dorothy then embarks on an epic quest filled with many strange and unforgettable adventures on her way to see him.
- Note, despite the city intentionally being built for the Wizard, the City of Emeralds is now ruled by the lovely child Queen and rightful ruler of Oz, Princess Ozma. Ozma is the last surviving heir to Oz's imperial Royal Throne. She was the long-lost daughter of mortal King Pastoria, and the Fairy Queen known as Lurline, whom Ozma refers to as her fairy Godmother. Lurline is also the figure that was responsible for making the Land of Oz the enchanted realm that it is.
When Ozma is not sitting on her bejewled Royal Throne, she enjoys her life inside the Royal Palace of Oz, which is the biggest and largest building of the town standing in the very middle of the entire city. Once the official qauters of the Wizard himself, it is now the home to many familiar and beloved Oz characters. There they all live lives of luxury, residing in private suites and surrounded by beautifully decorated rooms. Sometimes Ozma can be found outside, strolling merrily along the walkways and paths within the Royal Gardens of the courtyard. Ozma is usually always accompanied by her best friend Dorothy Gale, whom Ozma made an official Princess of Oz right under her own reign. Dorothy is not of Royal Blood but she was still a crowned Princess of Oz, as Ozma does as she pleases.
- The German fantasy novel by author Michael Ende, first published in 1979 titled: The Neverending Story; the fictional Imperial Capital in the fantasy land of Fantasia called the Ivory Tower, has been argued by many scholars to indeed be based upon Baum's Emerald City. And it's ruler the Childlike Empress is loosely based on the character of Princess Ozma.
W. W. Denslow & John R. Neill Illustrate Oz's City
- "It's Wonderful! The Emerald City! "
- ―Dorothy Gale (1939)
Popular artist and close friend to L. Frank Baum, W. W. Denslow was known for being a rather successful children's illustrator in the late 1800's. John R. Neill would later illustrate the rest of Baum's Oz stories in the early 1900's, which were sequel books to his first Oz novel. But Denslow's artwork is more well known for being the original drawings to the story that started it all and are more popular compared to John's later Oz interpretations. Denslow's look was also what the iconic 1939 MGM movie loosely based their style on. For example: giving Judy Garland brown pigtails like Denslow's Dorothy instead of short straight blonde hair like Neill's version of Dorothy who was criticized as being too "glamorous" for a orphaned farmgirl.
Denslow & Baum agreed to give the Emerald City a very futuristic and elaborate 19th/20th century/south American Spanish theme, as the city buildings had many domed or oddly shaped roofs with giant sparkling emeralds set on the very tip top. The tall gothic European windows and detail all have an exotic, even Arabic design and otherworldly look that was very elaborate for it's time.
In the later Oz books It is highly likely that the Hotel Del Coronado influenced its description in later books, as well as in the artwork by Neill.
The Most Glorious Place On The Face Of The Earth...
- "You're out of the woods, you're out of the dark, you're out of the night, step into the sun, step into the light, Keep straight ahead for the most glorious place on the face of the earth or the sky, hold onto your breath, hold onto your heart, hold onto your hope, march up to the gate and bid it open, open... "
The city is a magnificent place indeed, being described as stately, statuesque, imposing and even intimidating. The equal of which has never been seen or discovered, (even in other enchanted realms and fairylands.) In fact, it is so magnificent that a bright green glow can be seen far off into the distance many miles away that shines brightly high up, above the city and into the sky even in broad daylight. The closer you get to the city, the more it's glow intensifies, and becomes brighter and brighter until everything surrounding the city, including the rays of the sun appear to be of a greenish tint.
Glowing Green Gates
- "At the end of the road of yellow brick, was a big marble gate, all studded with giant sparkling emeralds that glittered in the sun so brightly, that even the painted eyes of the Scarecrow were dazzled by the brilliancy. "
- ―The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)
The City of Emeralds is surrounded by an extremely high and handsome wall. This wall is described as being incredibly immense, thick and of the finest green marble, polished smooth and encrusted with giant sparkling emeralds that glisten and dazzle in the sun ever so brightly, it could easily blind one if not careful.
- "There was a giant emerald bell beside the green gate, and Dorothy pushed the button and heard a faint, silvery tinkle sound within. Then the big bejeweled door swung slowly open, and they all passed through and found themselves in a high arched room, the walls of which glistened with countless emeralds. "
- ―The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)
Along this great green wall are four gate openings set at distances with two tall solid gold towers on each side of it's entrance. The towers are there for the Emerald City soldiers aka the Royal Army of Oz can watch for any enemies or unwanted intruders. The top of the green wall also has a wide walkway that connects the towers to one another so the soldiers can walk abreast upon.
These four city gates also face each of the four vast countries in the Land of Oz.
- The Blue Munchkins of the East, the Purple Gillikins of the North, the Yellow Winkies of the West and the red Quadlings of the South lands.
And the Emerald City is in the middle, being Oz's imperial capital. Much like how Washington D.C. is to America. Being that the Wonderful Wizard of Oz is indeed one of the very first American Fairytales to be written.
However, the Emerald City gate on the west wing of Oz, originally did not have any type of road of which lead to the Winkie Country of Oz like the others lead into their own directions they faced. This is because no one wished to ever venture west since the people of Oz were far too cautious to trespass on into the Wicked Witch of the West's turf. Because this Wicked Witch also imprisoned and enslaved intruders. So the Emerald City did not want to be responsible for the horrible fate of any Ozians. Thus, resulting in not having a legitimate way for people to travel into the western quadrant. Unless it was commanded by the city's ruler, the great and powerful Wizard who lived in the Royal Palace of Oz, safe inside his city.
- "You will remember there was no road---not even a pathway--- between the castle of the Wicked Witch and the Emerald City."
- ―The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Not until the Wicked Witch was ultimately liquefied and destroyed by Dorothy Gale of Kansas was there a road that ran through her country. After her demise the Tin Woodman, became the new monarch ruler there. The west wing of the Emerald City now has a path which leads to the Tin Woodmans' Tin-Castle.
*Inside City of Emeralds*
- In the Oz books, Baum is richly descriptive when writing about the Emerald City's authentic architecture and breathtaking appearance from the inside out. In Oz's capital city, there is no poverty, suffering, sickness, death or even violence.
When the party of Dorothy first entered the city, before walking into the city's streets they first found themselves all in an office-chamber. Much like a service entrance that is described as an all green room with a high bejewled ceiling. This chamber room is where the staff of administrators and servants work and is run by the Guardian of the Gates. And by the Wizard's law, there is a policy, no one in Oz is ever allowed to come into the Emerald City unless he or she is first adorned with the green tinted glass spectacles with golden bands that are locked tightly on with a giant gold key that only the Gaurdian himself has which is kept on a large golden chain around his neck.
The green glasses of the city in Oz cannot be taken off, even if one wishes to do so. This is believed to be for a persons' own good and to stop people's eyes from being forever blinded by the glory and shine of the city's magnificence and it's overall splendor that is held within each and every emerald that decorates the brilliant green buildings and sights all around that make up the city.
- "Even with eyes protected by the green spectacles, Dorothy and her friends were at first dazzled by the brilliancy of the wonderful city. The streets were lined with beautiful green houses all built of green marble and studded everywhere with sparkling emeralds. They walked over a pavement of the same green marble, and where the blocks were joined together were rows of emeralds, set closely, and glittering in the brightness of the sun. The window panes were of green glass; even the sky above the city had a green tint, and the rays of the sun were green. "
- ―The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)
Baum states that there are exactly 9,654 buildings and roughly 57,318 residents who reside in the Emerald City. When first entering into the city one will notice that all the sidewalks and streets are of wide marble slabs all polished as smooth as a diamond. These marble curbs of the sidewalks next to the streets are all divided by thousands of clustered emeralds. The luxurious buildings are of houses, shops, markets, apartments, libraries, restaurants, workshops, toy stores, theaters and other places to socialize. These buildings are all neatly lined up in rows, one after the other that consist of green glass with stain glassed windows and are built of marble as well. Some parts of the buildings such as the doors or roofs and staircases are constructed from real solid gold and silver.
The city is also said to be filled with dozens of lovely green gardens with gorgeous green marble water fountains and marble statues. In the gardens many plants and blooming scented flowers are at every hand. There are multiple parks with refreshing green ponds, hundreds of rich and spacious jeweled palaces, towers, domes, balconies, bridges and spires all flaunt pretty green flags that read OZ which flutter in the breeze and wind.
- Electrical lights decorate many buildings not only inside but on the outside as well. Lights of which brighten up in the green city in the night time. Eelectric buildings that lite up were very futuristic and modern during the time of which the original story takes place in circa 1899-1900.
Emerald City Citizens
- "There were many people—men, women, and children—walking about, and these were all dressed in green clothes and had greenish skins. They looked at Dorothy and her strangely assorted company with wondering eyes, and the children all ran away and hid behind their mothers when they saw the Lion; but no one spoke to them. Many shops stood in the street, and Dorothy saw that everything in them was green. Green candy and green pop corn were offered for sale, as well as green shoes, green hats, and green clothes of all sorts. At one place a man was selling green lemonade, and when the children bought it Dorothy could see that they paid for it with green pennies. "
- ―The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)
The Emerald City's citizens are sheltered people but also happy. They are so happy infact, they keep the city alive and aglow. A Seamstress works in the green city streets, standing about and selling beautiful green handmade clothing of fabrics fit for an Emperor. These citizens are quite a fashionable bunch, wearing elaborate garments and costumes with real emeralds for buttons or gems sewn into the hems. Some of the clothing is really made out of all white cloth but because the city is so green, everything including the fabric appears to be green also. Even the city tints the shade of the people's skin which appears to be greenish.
The citizens also are all educated, content, and free from care. And the residents of the city rarely ever go beyond the city's marble wall and into the outside of the city because the Emerald City is the most beautiful place in all of Oz. It is so comfortable, prosperous and peaceful that no one ever truly wants to leave or live anywhere else once they have lived in the city after a while. And since the city is now ruled by Princess Ozma of Oz, the people of Emerald City love their ruler so much that they always want to be and live by her side, under her reign.
*The Royal Palace In Emerald City*
At the very center of the city, in the town's sqaure, the imperial Royal Palace of Oz stands. This building is the biggest and tallest in the entire city.
- "Dorothy took Toto in her arms, followed the green girl through seven passages and up three flights of stairs until they came to a room at the front of the Palace. It was the sweetest little room in the world, with a soft comfortable bed that had sheets of green silk and a green velvet counterpane. There was a tiny fountain in the middle of the room, that shot a spray of green perfume into the air, to fall back into a beautifully carved green marble basin. Beautiful green flowers stood in the windows, and there was a shelf with a row of little green books. When Dorothy had time to open these books she found them full of queer green pictures that made her laugh, they were so funny. In a wardrobe were many green dresses, made of silk and satin and velvet; and all of them fitted Dorothy exactly."
- ―The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)
The Palace of Oz is indeed the most luxurious place in the land. It is also the most important and noble place of the city, for this building alone is where the legendary King Pastoria, the King of Oz himself once dwelled long before the Wizard arrived in Oz and chose to overthrow Pastoria and build his all green city around this rather small Palace.
Remember, the Royal Palace is where the great Wizard himself resided during his long reign as ruler. He stayed reclusive in his chambers for many decades, not even allowing the city's staff administration to see him. This went on until the situation of Dorothy took place. And the Wizard left Oz, promising to take Dorothy and her dog Toto home with him to Kansas in the same hot air balloon he arrived in decades prior. But the ballon departed too soon and little Toto ran after a green kitten in the Emerald City streets and by the time Dorothy caught him she was left behind. The Wizard did indeed make it back to our world in America. Resigning as the Wizard and leaving the Scarecrow in charge to be King.
After Dorothy finally found a way home thanks to the magic of the Silver Shoes she wore, the Scarecrow returned to the Emerald City. And even though he was made of straw, the Scarecrow still made a swell ruler and the people of Oz loved him as if he was a real man. But Glinda the Good Witch of the South, finally found King Pastoria's long-lost daughter the fairy child Princess Ozma, after many years of searching.
Ozma now is the child Queen and rightful ruler of the city and all the land of Oz, as she is the true heir to Oz's Throne.
Living in the Palace is Ozma's Royal Court and loyal subjects which consist of many richly dressed people who stand around in the Palace plaza outside the Royal Chambers every morning and talk amongst eachother as they have nothing better else to do. Other people and beings such as the Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion, the Hungry Tiger, the Wizard himself and even Dorothy Gale who Ozma became best friends with and eventually made Dorothy an official Princess, sit inside the Chamber right next to Ozma upon her Royal Throne. There Ozma spends one hour everyday listening to the problems and request of her people whom she cares deeply for and does not like to see any Ozian unhappy.
Queen Ozma's Palace is said to be three stories high, having seven passages which lead to the court room and it's Royal Chamber of the Throne Room of Oz. Before entering this room one must always wipe their feet on a green rug before allowed any further inside. In the luxurious and spacious Palace, the décor is decorated to accompany the Spanish architecture design. The rooms are filled with rich green carpet, solid gold antique furniture and delicate pottery, such as all green marble vases that are said to be filled with neatly arranged fresh green flowers or soft pretty peacock feathers.
The floor is marble also with plush green carpet, yet some parts of the Palace are entirely constructed out of all mirrored glass, reaching from the ground and stretching up to the ceilings. The floors and walls are all of mirror, so one will find themselves completely surrounded by their own multiple reflection at every angle. The Palace also has real giant emerald chandeliers above that gracefully light up the rooms and hallways aglow quite gracefully. Also, electric green marble water fountains are placed all throughout the palace, and spray green perfumed water high up into the air. So high in fact that the green water is said to almost reach the palace ceiling, all while filling the palace rooms with a pretty fresh fragrance.
There are many green maids and green servants who are happy to cater to the Royal court or it's guest. The most popular lady in waiting is the green maid Jellia Jamb aka "the green girl" who is in charge of assisting the Palace's private suites and bed chambers.
Many other magic characters from other fantasy lands outside of Oz, have visited the Royal Palace for banquets or celebrations such as Santa Claus who attended Ozma's Birthday. Santa sat at a table with the Princess that was lavished with many good foods and treats.
The Green Glass Spectacles of Emerald City
You've got to be seen Green...
- "Before them stood a little man about the same size as the Munchkins. He was clothed all in green, from his head to his feet, and even his skin was of a greenish tint. At his side was a large green box"
- ―The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)
The secret behind the Green Spectacles...
When the Emerald City was first built, the big skyscraper wall of polished marble that surrounded the entire city was entirely all green and covered in giant sparkling emeralds. However, the city inside, while mostly all green and still decorated in jewels and precious gems was entirely not. But the Wizard forced anyone who passed the city gates and entered into his Emerald City, to walk among it's buildings and streets was made to wear green-tinted spectacles/eyeglasses. The glasses are mandatory by the Wizard's rule and consist of two golden bands that went all the way around the head of the person who wore them. The bands are then connected and meet in the middle of the back. Then they are securely locked on and are unable to take off even if one wishes to do so. There is only one key that can unlock the gold bands which the Guardian of the Gates always has.The Guardian of the city gates is the one responsible for adorning people who wish to enter the city to put the glasses on which he keeps in a large bejeweled treasure chest. Inside this chest are glasses of every size, fit for every living being.
- "The man opened the big box, and Dorothy saw that it was filled with spectacles of every size and shape. All of them had green glasses in them. The Guardian of the Gates found a pair that would just fit Dorothy and put them over her eyes. There were two golden bands fastened to them that passed around the back of her head, where they were locked together by a little key that was at the end of a chain the Guardian of the Gates wore around his neck. When they were on, Dorothy could not take them off had she wished, but of course she did not wish to be blinded by the glare of the Emerald City, so she said nothing. Then the green man fitted spectacles for the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman and the Lion, and even on little Toto; and all were locked fast with the key. Then the Guardian of the Gates put on his own glasses and told them he was ready to show them to the Palace. Taking a big golden key from a peg on the wall, he opened another gate, and they all followed him through the portal into the streets of the Emerald City."
- ―The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900)
The Wizard later explains this as an effort to protect the peoples eyes from the "brightness and glory" of the city and for ones eyes would not be dazzled and then blinded by the magnificent emeralds, but it really just made everything appear green. So the people who lived in the city believed it really was all Emerald.
This was a "humbug" and illusionist effect created by the Wizard to fool all of his subjects so they all would think he really had magical powers. (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz).
After the Emerald City was temporarily conquered by General Jinjur and her Army of Revolt, the use of green spectacles was discontinued, although the city itself is still primarily green. (The Marvelous Land of Oz. Soon after Jinjur's revolt, Ozma, the rightful queen of Oz, came to power, greatly reforming the city. Many of her friends moved into the palace with her, as trusted advisors. (The Marvelous Land of Oz)
When the Wizard returned to the city, Ozma made him her close advisor and a prominent figure in the city, one of the few individuals in Oz allowed to perform magic. ("Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz)
Over many years of Ozma's wise rule, the Emerald City became modern utopia of a city, with cars called Scalawagons filling its streets and a variety of magical and technological shops bustling with activity. It was sometimes called the Wonder City of Oz. ("The Wonder City of Oz")
Oz History: How the Emerald City Was Built
Long, long ago, centuries before The Wonderful Wizard of Oz takes place, Oz was once ruled by a very old yet kind and gentle King of mortal blood named Pastoria. Along with his subjects he lived in a tiny Kingdom in Oz filled with peace and harmony. However, one random day out of the clear blue sky, suddenly a large air-craft of sorts came descending down from the clouds up above, it slowly came to the ground and landed in the exact center of Oz. The people of Oz, Pastoria's subjects and even the Witches of Oz themselves had never seen such a peculiar envention. Inside the basket that was attached to the giant balloon was a man, he called himself Oscar Diggs, and enthusiastically introduced himself as a great Wizard and Magician, and a fource to be reckoned with. And the people of Oz believed him. The people of Oz asked if the Wizard would be the ruler of the land and he agreed that he would look after Oz and someday rid the land of its Wicked Witches if they promised to obey his every wish and demand. The people of Oz were gullible people and believed him and his promises. And with that, Pastoria was overthrown. Thus, the people of Oz building the famous Emerald City in his honor and constructing the Yellow Brick Road that lead to the main entrance.
The only thing left of Pastoria was his delicate baby daughter and the fairy child of Fairy Queen Lurline, Princess Ozma. Who one day would get old enough to claim back her place as the rightful heir to her father's imperial Royal Throne. And since Ozma was half fairy, with magic running in her blood, these fairy powers she had could one day be used to challenge the Wizard. This worried the greedy Wizard as he wanted Oz's treasures all to himself. So one late night, the Wizard snuck into the palace of Pastoria, and snatched the baby Princess up and disappeared into the dark night. He gave the baby Ozma to a Witch near by named Mombi who lived in the Northern part of Oz in the Gillikin Country. Mombi was not as gifted or as powerful as the Wicked Witches of the east and west in Oz, but she was still very ugly inside and very Wicked nonetheless. Mombi agreed to the Wizard's offer and favor to keep the baby hidden away from society and to never let anyone know where Ozma was. Mombi, transformed Ozma to disguise her as a boy named Tip to work as her personal servant and kitchen slave for many years. Much like in the story of Cinderella.
- It would not be until after the adventures of Dorothy Gale of Kansas and the Scarecrow becoming King of Emerald City, would Tip's true identity be revealed as the true Queen of Oz.
The City of 1925
In the Wizard of Oz silent film, the Emerald City is shown throughout the story.
This version of the Emerald City was based off of Edmund Dulac's illustration for the Arabian Palace in the Arabian Nights Fairytale.
The City of 1939
The Emerald City in the classic MGM version starring Judy Garland is probably the most well-known look out of all the other Emerald Cities. The city is only seen from a great far off distance upon grassy, flowery hills beside neighboring mountains and looks more like a palace than a city.
Unlike in Baum's descriptions of the city, this city has no gate, only a giant door, and no green spectacles are seen nor mentioned by the Guardian of the Gates.
Inside, all of the buildings are constructed out of hundreds of skyscraper cylinder domes of green glass. These odd looking towers and buildings are all crowded together. Inside of the city a horse of a different color, pulls a drawn carriage and takes guest on a tour of the city. All of the streets are polished and of dark green marble, some area's have velvet carpets. The green cylinder dome buildings have small windows and doors. Colorful gardens are seen with green watered ponds and beauty shops. The image was selected by MGM Art Department head Cedric Gibbons, from a tiny photo of a sketch in the studio's library. The work of a pre-1914 German artist, the picture suggested a city of upside-down test tubes — more abstract than the Moorish, Spanish styled version of the City that Denslow provided in the original book. Assistant art director Jack Martin Smith later explained that the MGM personnel chose the look because it did not resemble any known buildings in any style; "It looked like some strange thing we had never seen before."
Journey Back To Oz 1974
In this animated all star musical semi sequel. The Emerald City is seen throughout the story.As the Scarecrow is now King, Witch Mombi sends her army of green elephants in the city to march their way through the streets and destroy the beautiful buildings.
The Wiz 1978
- "You've got to be seen Green!"
- ―Emerald City Citizens in 'The Wiz' (1978)
The Emerald City in the 1978 musical The Wiz, starring Diana Ross as Dorothy, is actually used (along with all of the land in Oz) as a metaphor for New York City. The Twin Towers are used for the Palace of the Wizard (played by comedian and actor Richard Pryor).
The city's residents are a group of aristocratic, stuck-up, shallow, narcissistic sophisticated phonies who are fashion-forward and materialistic. The citizens are avant-garde while only caring about how they look and what is in or out of style.
Return to Oz 1985
On Dorothy Gale's second trip to Oz, a melancholy six months later (probably longer in Oz), she finds that things throughout the land are not at all how she left them or remembers them.
In this version of the story, Emerald City stays much more faithful to the books in appearance than the 1939 version, or any other version for that matter.Even though the famous city is in a state of apocalyptic ruins throughout the majority of the film, the viewer gets a tantalizing look into the city streets and of what the city looks like on the inside during the celebration parade scene towards the very end. That scene was shot throughout the silver and gold carpeted hallways and mirrored throne room.
The Muppets Wizard of Oz 2005In the 2005 Disney made for TV movie, starring pop singer Ashanti as Dorothy, the Emerald City is more modern and electrified in the night. The city is very modern-looking and almost resembles Las Vegas.
Tin Man 2009
- It is revealed that the O.Z. is actually the same Land of Oz visited by Dorothy Gale hundreds of years after her visit. As such, Central City would presumably be a much changed version of the Emerald City -- though the city shows no sign of its original Emerald coloring.
Oz the Great & Powerful 2013In Disney's 2013 film, Oz the Great and Powerful, the city is a copy cat replica of the 1939 film's city with a more modern interior design.
Despite looking nearly identical to the 1939's Emerald City, unlike the design of MGM, this city is given a wall around it like described in the original book by Baum.
Once Upon A Time Episode 2014
The popular ABC TV show Once Upon a Time pays homage to the story of The Wizard of Oz while adding a modern twist.
The Emerald City can be seen in the multiple Oz episodes.
Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return 2014
Dorothy must save her friends and the Emerald City!
In the 2014 CGI Oz movie, the Emerald City is shown quite a bit throughout the story and film.
The Wicked Years
The Emerald City in Gregory Maguire's Oz saga is described as being very beautiful indeed, yet also has many unpleasant areas where streets and neighborhoods are poverty-stricken, crime-infested danger zones with hostile and even violent citizens.
The Emerald City appears Wicked: The Musical, serving a similar role to the one in the book. It is prominently featured on the Map of Oz shown in the musical. Son of a Witch, the sequel to Wicked, introduces Southstairs, an extensive political prison located in the caves below the Emerald City. The hit Broadway musical also portrayed the city as slightly more darker as well.
Emerald City Confidential
Dorothy Gale, in this game is now forty years older and prefers to be called Dee for short.
The Emerald City is the dominating key character in this version.
The video game Emerald City Confidential gave the Emerald City a film noir feel and was described as "Baum meets Raymond Chandler."
Although at one point, the character Tip describes the city as being built by the Wizard, at another, the Scarecrow explains that the Wizard had usurped the crown of Pastoria, the former king of the city, and from the Wizard the crown had passed to him. The story, however, reverted to the Wizard having built the city in Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz, with the usurpation of the king's power being done by the four witches before his arrival.
In the first book, one scene of the Emerald City is of particular note in the development of Oz: Dorothy sees rows of shops, selling green articles of every variety, and a vendor of green lemonade, from whom children bought it with green pennies. This contrasts with the later description of Oz, in which money does not feature. Interpreters have argued that money may been introduced into the city by the Wizard, but this is not in the text itself.
Baum's Oz inspiration
The real life city that inspired Oz's capital, was actually all pure white, not emerald green...It is rumored that Baum was inspired to make his fantasy city of Oz an alternative version of the 'White City', which was one of the most magnificent places built for it's time. It is said that he was so enchanted and impressed with the fine and detailed architecture of the place when it was opened to the public as the World's Fair, on his visit he fell in love with it's glowing bright lights that lite all of the big buildings up so beautifully. He wanted his Emerald City to be much like it when writing his book, but instead of naming it White, he chose to call it Emeralds instead. When he went to Chicago for the World Fair, many historians and Oz scholars who interpret The Wizard of Oz as a political allegory agree that the Emerald City was used as a metaphor for Washington, D.C. and unsecured "greenback" paper money. In this reading of the book, the city's illusory splendor and value is compared with the value of paper money, which also has value only because of a shared illusion or convention. It is highly likely that the Hotel del Coronado influenced its description in later books, as well as in the artwork by John R. Neill.
Allusions in popular culture
Seattle has been long nicked named the Emerald City due to all its green night lights that makes the city appear to be all green just like in Oz.
David Williamson (whose brother-in-law wrote the Oz-inspired musical Oz) wrote a play in 1987 called Emerald City. The term is used as a metaphor by the character Elaine Ross, describing Sydney as "the Emerald City of Oz", where people go expecting their dreams to be fulfilled, only to end up with superficial substitutes and broken dreams.
The 2006 Sydney New Year's Eve Festivities were entitled "A Diamond Night in Emerald City" also in reference to Williamson's play and the "Diamond Night" alluding to the 75th anniversary of the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 2007. (The bridge was the centrepiece of the celebrations). Subsequently "Emerald City" has occasionally been used as an unofficial nickname for the city of Sydney.
The city of Seattle, Washington, in the United States uses "The Emerald City" as its official nickname, on account of how green it is in that region of the world. (Note: Washington State is also known as the "Evergreen State.")