• Before making a single edit, Tropedia EXPECTS our site policy and manual of style to be followed. Failure to do so may result in deletion of contributions and blocks of users who refuse to learn to do so. Our policies can be reviewed here.
  • All images MUST now have proper attribution, those who neglect to assign at least the "fair use" licensing to an image may have it deleted. All new pages should use the preloadable templates feature on the edit page to add the appropriate basic page markup. Pages that don't do this will be subject to deletion, with or without explanation.
  • All new trope pages will be made with the "Trope Workshop" found on the "Troper Tools" menu and worked on until they have at least three examples. The Trope workshop specific templates can then be removed and it will be regarded as a regular trope page after being moved to the Main namespace. THIS SHOULD BE WORKING NOW, REPORT ANY ISSUES TO Janna2000, SelfCloak or RRabbit42. DON'T MAKE PAGES MANUALLY UNLESS A TEMPLATE IS BROKEN, AND REPORT IT THAT IS THE CASE. PAGES WILL BE DELETED OTHERWISE IF THEY ARE MISSING BASIC MARKUP.


Farm-Fresh balance.pngYMMVTransmit blue.pngRadarWikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotes • (Emoticon happy.pngFunnyHeart.pngHeartwarmingSilk award star gold 3.pngAwesome) • Refridgerator.pngFridgeGroup.pngCharactersScript edit.pngFanfic RecsSkull0.pngNightmare FuelRsz 1rsz 2rsz 1shout-out icon.pngShout OutMagnifier.pngPlotGota icono.pngTear JerkerBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersHelp.pngTriviaWMGFilmRoll-small.pngRecapRainbow.pngHo YayPhoto link.pngImage LinksNyan-Cat-Original.pngMemesHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconicLibrary science symbol .svg SourceSetting

"On the first day, there was a mystery.

On the second day, there was darkness.

On the third day, there were pirates.

On the fourth day, there was war.

On the fifth day, there was fear.

On the sixth day, there was sorcery.

On the seventh day, there was a choice."
Keys to the Kingdom

A fantasy series of seven books by Garth Nix, consisting of Mister Monday, Grim Tuesday, Drowned Wednesday, Sir Thursday, Lady Friday, Superior Saturday, and Lord Sunday.

At the epicentre of the universe is The House, a non-afterlife Celestial Bureaucracy created by The Architect to be responsible for recording everything that happens in the rest of the universe, the Secondary Realms. After the disappearance of The Architect, the seven most powerful denizens of The House decide not to appoint a mortal from the Secondary Realms as the Rightful Heir in accordance with The Will she had left behind, but instead to break and imprison The Will in seven parts and keep the power of the titular Keys To The Kingdom for themselves. Ten thousand years later, Part One of The Will escapes its imprisonment and is partially successful at tricking one of the trustees into handing over part of his Key to a mortal Rightful Heir, Arthur Penhaligon. Initially reluctant, Arthur is charged with defeating each of the trustees and claiming their Keys. However, he also discovers difficulty not only with the House and its residents, but also with the fact that he may or may not be coming home...

Tropes used in Keys to the Kingdom include:
  • Adults Are Useless: The main heroes are children and the Denizens of the house are either too stupid or stubborn (or corrupt, or bureaucratic, or evil) to change anything. The Piper's Children are also shown to be much more helpful to Arthur than most Denizens. On the other hand, pretty much all the adult humans in the story are shown to be competent or even Reasonable Authority Figures.
  • A God Am I: A side effect of using sorcery, not just for mortals, but having it on call seems to affect the thinking of many senior Denizens as well.
  • Alternate History: Arthur's world is almost the same as ours, except it was the scene of a devastating plague that prompted the government to take the hard line on any epidemic.
    • However, it may not apply. Arthur's hi-tech cast in Drowned Wednesday, and the fleetingly mentioned electronic paper are two examples of future technology, meaning that the plague could be a future event, and the story is set Twenty Minutes Into the Future.
    • When Leaf thinks about people walking on the moon, she recalls Chinese astronauts.
  • Apocalypse How: Class Z. If the House is consumed by Nothing, Earth and the rest of the Secondary Realms will be gone as well.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: Nothing, the stuff from which everything is made and everything will eventually return. It can do a small variety of things, mostly destroy anything if given enough time and form strange "Nithlings" if combined with normal matter.
  • Ascended to A Higher Plane of Existence: Arthur at the end of Lord Sunday becomes the new Architect, with the power to remake the universe out of Nothing.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: The way the House's hierarchy works. Each Denizen has a number representing how close they are to being full authority. The exact identity of number one is uncertain, and may be Lord Sunday, Dame Primus, the Architect, or some other powerful entity. The lower their number is, the stronger they tend to be. (Directly mentioned in the seventh book when someone tells Suzy that knocking a Denizen out isn't done with the strength of the kick but of authority.)
  • Automaton Horses: The Not-Horses used by the Glorious Army of The Architect are a literal example. They have a tough, metallic skin, run for much longer than a normal horse, and can go without sleep for a week. They do need to be cleaned with a wire brush so that they don't rust though.
  • Batman Gambit: See Who Wants to Live Forever?, below. If Arthur realized at any point what was going on, there is no way he would have gone through with it and the Architect's plan would have been ruined then. However, she's able to be enough of a Manipulative Bastard that he's not able to figure out the truth in time.
    • Despite the fact that it looked like Lord Sunday had plenty of time to tell Arthur when he was trying to convince Arthur to give him the Keys. In fact, telling him the truth could possibly have convinced him. Yet he didn't do it. After all, Sunday's sin is pride....
  • Bigger on the Inside: Practically every building in The House is bigger on the inside than on the outside.
  • Big Bad: The pirate Feverfew is this in Drowned Wednesday, and the title character of each other book in the series is the big bad of that book. In addition, Superior Saturday is responsible for bad things that happen in multiple books.
  • Big Good: Dame Primus. However, as Arthur suspects, she's actually not acting in his best interests at all.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Sure, Arthur is God AND gets to be a normal boy at the same time, and Suzy gets a bit of happiness, but that doesn't change the fact that sooner or later normal Arthur is going to realize he's not mortal, and in the meantime, there's the death of all but about FIVE denizens AND Arthur's mother to worry about (though the House will probably be reconstructed quickly).
  • Blood Magic
  • Brilliant but Lazy: Mister Monday
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: Arthur initially ventures into the House looking for a cure for the Sleepy Plague, caused by the Nithlings sent to retrieve Arthur's part of the First Key.
  • Capital Letters Are Magic: All over the place.
  • Cessation of Existence:

 Arthur What would have happened to me if I had died?

Will: You'd be dead. What do you mean?

Arthur: I mean...Where am I now? Is there some sort of life after death? If the Architect created everything...

Will: There is no afterlife that I know of. There is Nothing, from which all things once came. There is the House, which is constant. There are the Secondary Realms, which are ephemeral. When you are gone from the Secondary Realms that's it, though some say everything returns to Nothing in the end.

  • Chained to a Rock: The Old One, a Prometheus-like character (or maybe the real deal) is chained to a clock, from which wooden puppets appear every twelve hours to remove his eyes, which grow back painfully over the next few hours.
    • Arthur gets chained to a smaller version of the Old One's clock in Lord Sunday
  • Chekhov's Gun
    • The Compleat Atlas of the House is a pretty major one; in Lord Sunday Arthur uses it to, ahem, remake the Universe.
    • And the ambulatory seed pod, since Daisy is one.
    • Arthur finds his lost toy elephant from early childhood, and accidentally brings it to life several books later at a vital moment.
  • Chekhov's Hobby: Fred's ability to sign to the Winged Servants of the Night.
  • The Chessmaster: The Architect and Dame Primus.
  • The Chosen One: Arthur, the Rightful Heir. Arguably deconstructed, since he was chosen because he was about to die, and Monday would promptly get the key back.
  • The Collector: Grim Tuesday and Lord Sunday.
  • The Corruption: A Muggle using Functional Magic will accumulate a buildup of sorcerous taint, eventually transforming them into an immortal Denizen.
    • On a side note, the Will is revealed to have done this to the Trustees, and it's implied they weren't half as bad as they were during the series. Monday's Dusk is the only one who truly seems to be aware of this, though. There's a fairly blatant hint in Sir Thursday, where the titular Trustee's eyes are shown to be yellow. Then the Fourth Part of the Will turns out to be a snake.
  • Creative Sterility: Grim Tuesday can copy anything, but can't make anything original.
    • In Lord Sunday, the Architect states that Denizens in general are incapable of creativity. In fact, this is the whole reason why the Rightful Heir has to be mortal.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Several examples, but primarily Monday's Dusk and the Servants of the Night, who both help Arthur.
  • Day of the Week Name: The Trustees.
  • Dimension Lord: Lord Sunday.
  • Discard and Draw: Arthur does this with the Keys.
  • The Dragon: Each trustee has or once had minions named Dawn, Noon, and Dusk whose job it is to be this, but their loyalties vary.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Experiencing calls to mind drug-taking very quickly, especially when you read Lady Friday's reaction to it.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Sir Thursday, in a particularly nasty variation; he beats his subordinates when he gets angry and once killed two Piper's Children in a fit of rage.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Nithlings are a byproduct of proto-creation-stuff being let into the House. Have varying intelligence, all of them very, very, ugly. Except for the New Nithlings. They just look like ordinary humans with a tentacle or two.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In the seventh book, after the Piper tries to manipulate Arthur into giving up the Keys one last time, Lord Sunday tells him, in short, to shut up and deal with it.
  • Everything's Worse with Bears: Part Two of The Will
  • Evil Overlord: All the trustees except Wednesday.
  • Evil Twin: The Skinless Boy, a mute clone of Arthur created by Saturday to blackmail him into giving up the Keys. Has a nasty Mind Control ability.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The Compleat Atlas of the House and its Immediate Environs is a pretty literal name from the start, but by the end of the series, the extent to which it is literally "Compleat" is turned Up to Eleven.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: Happens to Arthur a lot.
  • Explosive Leash: The collars that children in the Piper's army had written onto their necks, which threatened to strangle them if they were disloyal.
  • Fantastic Voyage: In a submarine crewed by Rats, swallowed by a kilometres-long whale.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Elements of Christian theology, Ancient Greek myth, and European folklore are all present in the House. The protagonist actually meets the Pied Piper, the Ancient Mariner, and a towering old man who is suspiciously similar to Prometheus.
  • Foreshadowing: In Sir Thursday, Dame Primus says that she suspects that the Trustees "have been influenced or induced to behave as they do, with the ultimate aim being the complete and utter destruction of the House — and with it, the entirety of creation." It is the Will that's influencing them for that exact purpose!
  • Gender Is No Object: For Denizens, gender seems to be entirely meaningless.
  • Genki Girl, Plucky Girl: Suzy.
  • Genre Savvy: Arthur spends most of the series making friends with various Denizens. He does the same in the Gardens in Lord Sunday, and his new friend leads him outside. Straight into a trap. Turns out the gardening boy is actually Lord Sunday in disguise.
  • Great Big Book of Everything: The Compleat Atlas of the House and Immediate Environs.
  • Green Rocks: Nothing (that is, Nothing with a capital N — a fictional substance) can do anything needed for the plot — from dissolving stuff, powering machines, or turning you into a mouse for a day.
    • Also the Keys themselves, which can do anything the user demands that is in the user's power, and quite a bit more.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: The Keys To The Kingdom, and the Parts of the Will.
  • Have You Seen My God?: The Architect.
  • Hazardous Water
    • The water in Lady Friday tries to drown you if you aren't protected.
    • Saturday's rain drain would've killed Arthur if he wasn't a Denizen.
    • And if you want to get technical, the rain was Part Six of the Will. And the Will was created to destroy all Creation.
    • Also, the Nothing-polluted rain in the Far Reaches, caused by too much mining of Nothing.
  • Hippie Parents: Leaf's parents, who are not only huge on environmentalism, but also gave their children some interesting names and keep only wooden utensils and jewellery in the house. It's implied that this runs in the family somewhat, from what Leaf says of her grandmother.
  • Hour of Power
    • Monday's Noon can only stay on Earth from noon to one PM. Logically, Dusk and Dawn are under similar restrictions.
    • Similarly, the Trustees can only visit the Secondary Realms on the day they are named after (Monday on Monday, Tuesday on Tuesday, etc.)
  • Humans Are Special: Humans are apparently the most creative mortals in the Universe, the only ones ever to rival the Architect in inventiveness.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Arthur, once he realizes that The Corruption, above, will eventually keep him from going home.
    • Leaf goes through a more minor one in Lord Sunday, when she becomes the Doorkeeper for a while.
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl: Suzy. She thinks nothing of undressing in front of Arthur, and often wears shredded or sliced-open clothing. But then, she has the body of a child....
  • Invisible to Normals: Some of the things from the House are this, such as the Fetchers who come to Arthur's school in the first book. Though Leaf can sometimes see such things, apparently her grandmother was a witch or something.
  • Kid Hero
    • Arthur, obviously.
    • The Piper's Children (most notably Suzy).
    • Leaf is one in some parts.
  • Kill'Em All: Happens to everything in every universe. The people in the Secondary Realms come back to life. Most of the Denizens and Newniths in the House do not. Neither does Emily.
  • Large and In Charge: Almost a physical law in the House. The more power or authority you have, the taller you are (it's suggested they do this to intimidate the lower peons); the holders of the Keys are seven to nine feet high. Being demoted shrinks you.
    • Lord Sunday, last of the Trustees and the most powerful, is ten feet tall.
    • Arthur becomes twelve feet when he becomes the New Architect.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Averted in that washing between the ears removes all memories rather than just the personal identity.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: Arthur, to prevent being noticed, thinks of being soldier "Ray Green" in Sir Thursday from seeing the sun's rays and the forest nearby.
  • Losing Your Head: Denizens can also survive decapitation, if they get their head reattached to the rest of their body soon enough.
  • Magic Mirror: The Fifth Key.
  • Magic Music: The Piper's pipes can force Piper's Children or Raised Rats to obey the Piper's commands.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Dame Primus.
  • Meaningful Name: Piper's Children have their original first name followed by a set of words related to their job (Suzy and Arthur's two fake names involved ink coloring, while Fred presumably handles adding golden initials and numbers.
    • Also, Arthur Penhaligon.
    • Suzy's last name (mentioned once in Mister Monday) is Dyer, which fits the color stuff that most Piper's Children have going on.
  • Middle Child Syndrome: Implied with Friday's Dawn, who disapproves of his mistress' practice of experiencing and has never been allowed into her secret fortress in the Secondary Realms, unlike her Noon and Dusk.
  • Mismatched Eyes: The Old One.
  • The Multiverse: One interpretation of the Secondary Realms and the way the Improbable Stair works; instead of going back or forward in time, the various Landings lead to different versions of history or different worlds entirely.
  • New Transfer Student: Arthur.
  • No Name Given: We never find out what town Arthur lives in, or even the country. It's complicated as the series is set in an Alternate History. Or Twenty Minutes Into the Future.
    • America, the UK, and Australia are all likely candidates, however. References to bushfires and the Australian emergency lines suggest Australia, but pounds are in use.
      • The reference to a "British accent" ought to rule out the UK — no UK native would ever use the term since there are so many different British accents.
    • Lampshaded in Lady Wednesday. Arthur's home is described as something along the lines of 'Odd name for a town... Never heard of that country before...'
  • Noodle Incident: We never discover exactly what the Old One did that pissed the Architect off so badly. A rare example of this trope not being Played for Laughs.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Many Denizens, but Dame Primus in particular.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Denizens can survive most wounds that should kill — one jarring example in particular is in Drowned Wednesday, where Ichabod gets a large splinter right through the stomach... and promptly complains about how that was his best shirt. Priorities.
  • Ordinary High School Student: Arthur, except he's twelve.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Lady Friday can be interpreted in this vein.
  • The Power of Friendship: Arthur has a habit of making friends wherever he is. Subverted in the final book, where his new "friend" is Lord Sunday in disguise, leading him into a trap.
  • Primordial Chaos: The substance called "Nothing".
  • Punch Clock Villain: The New Nithlings are really nice chaps who only serve the Piper because they owe him.
  • Really Seven Hundred Years Old: The Piper's Children appear the same as when they were first brought to The House, mostly between the ages of nine and thirteen. They have lived in the House for more than ten thousand years, but due to Year Inside, Hour Outside were taken from Earth about seven hundred years ago. They still act like children, though.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent
  • Retcon: at the end on Mister Monday, Grim Tuesday is asked to destroy a piece of enchanted cloth, presumably to further the Big Bad's ends. However, in Sir Thursday it is stated that doing so would undo the Big Bad's enchantment, unravelling their plan.
    • Actually, the point was that the shirt pocket wouldn't be destroyed, but would instead spawn the Skinless Boy (hence why he appears at the end of Grim Tuesday and leaves via the elevator, he was born at some point during the book). It was just that to defeat the Skinless Boy, Arthur himself had to plunge the pocket back into Nothing. Quoting Scamandros on the creation:

  Dr. Scamandros: A scrap of material that has lain next to your heart, overlaid with charms and planted in Nothing to grow a Cocigrue!

    • And the Compleat Atlas on the destruction:

  The Atlas: Lord Arthur must plunge that pocket back into Nothing.

    • Both when a Spirit-Eater was being described in the Atlas, and when the incident with the Gray Spot was mentioned in the last book, they said it was mute, yet Leaf heard it apologizing when it was 'accidentally' bumping into everyone to spread it's influence.
  • Rule of Cool: Pretty much the entire series.
    • At the end of the series The New Architect is described as wearing "cool sunglasses".
  • Save the Villain: Arthur and Monday. This is arguably more of a 'heal the villain' than anything else, though.
  • Scaled Up: Mister Monday
  • Seven Deadly Sins: Since the breaking of The Will, each of the trustees has been afflicted by one of the seven deadly sins. In order of Monday to Sunday, they represent Sloth, Greed, Gluttony, Wrath, Lust, Envy, and Pride.
  • Seven Heavenly Virtues: Each part of The Will represents one of the seven virtues. In order of Monday to Sunday, they represent Fortitude, Prudence, Faith, (anyone remember part three babbling on about faith? Yeah.) Justice, Temperance (Moderation), Charity, and Hope.
  • Shockwave Clap: Dame Primus does this with the Second Key in Sir Thursday.
  • Shout-Out: Several. Probably the most notable is The Ancient Mariner being a major secondary character. And he's awesome. He also has a ship that can sail in space shaped like a giant turtle.
    • Subverted, hilariously, when Arthur tries it in-canon.

 Ichabod: The ship is still mostly the counting house, albeit long-transformed and changed. This room is of the counting house, so it will always be connected somehow. If the passageway falls off, some other way will open.

Arthur: Through the wardrobe maybe.

Ichabod: I doubt that, young mortal. That is where I keep the Captain's clothes. It is not a thoroughfare of any kind.

Arthur: Sorry. I was only...(trails off)

(Awkward silence.)

      • The irony is that one of the pathways IS through the cupboard...
    • Arthur spends much of the third book in his dressing-gown.
  • Shrouded in Myth: Arthur himself. By the third book, Japheth has been assigned to writing fictionalised versions of his already fairly impressive accomplishments that portray him as seven-foot tall, and looking something akin to a Greek God. Needless to say, people often tend to be somewhat disappointed on meeting him in person.
    • Of course, he actually does end up looking like this when he becomes the New Architect.
    • The Will is turned into a Frog-Bear; Suzy into an assassin.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Monday's Noon and Monday's Dusk.
    • The Piper sees this between himself and Lord Sunday, especially since he thinks that Sunday threw him into the Nothing.
  • Sinister Scythe: The Reaper carries one.
  • The Starscream: Superior Saturday and the Piper
  • Steampunk: A lot of the 'technology' in the House is either this or Clock Punk. The Raised Rats tech is virtually all Steampunk.
  • Supporting Leader: Dame Primus.
  • Sword Cane: Saturday's Noon and Dusk each have one.
  • Theme Table
  • Too Dumb to Live: Many of the Denizens, much to Arthur's frustration. Lower-ranked Denizens in particular seem to find it all but impossible to do anything that they weren't specifically designed for. Many of the former-bureaucrat crew of the sailing ship Moth had very little idea of what they were doing, despite having crewed the ship for several thousand years.
    • Indeed, the reason the Piper created his Children in the first place is that they could actually learn. What's more, he's since created a bunch of New Nithlings with that ability — so much so that they would rather spend their time learning new crafts than being Evil Minions.
    • The Will. Specifically:
      • The First Part of the Will, which leads Arthur into a trap.
      • The Second Part of the Will, which holds a contest to decide who will use the Key to stop Nothing from consuming the universe.
      • The Third Part of the Will, which wants to waste time while its worshipers sing hymns.
      • The Fourth Part of the Will, which spits acid into the face of the general of a much larger army.
      • The Fifth Part of the Will, which spends more time eating armor than helping Arthur.
      • The Sixth Part of the Will, which gave Arthur orders he didn't have time to follow.
      • And the Seventh, which escapes by virtue of not being onscreen enough to cause problems.
      • It should be noted that Dame Primus, the composite of the parts of the Will, is much better about this; at one point she refuses to split into more than two parts with two Keys each because any less would be an invitation for attack.
  • Totally Radical: Subverted and inverted.
  • Try to Fit That on A Business Card: Arthur's full title at the end of the series is "Lord Arthur Penhaligon, Rightful Heir to the House, the Keys of the Kingdom and the Architect, Master of the Lower House, Lord of the Far Reaches, Duke of the Border Sea, Overlord of the Great Maze, Commander in Chief of the Glorious Army of the Architect, Master of the Middle House, Ruler of the Upper House, Lord of the Incomparable Gardens, the House and the Secondary Realms" as well as being the New Architect. Call him "Art".
  • Twenty Minutes Into the Future: The scenes on Earth imply it's either this or Alternate History. Or both.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Arthur, in some cases when he is using all or almost all of the Keys.
    • Did we mention that Sir Thursday's sin is wrath?
  • Uplifted Animal: The Raised Rats.
  • Vampire Invitation: the Fetchers, although apparently you don't have to own/live in the building to invite them in.
  • The Virus: The Skinless Boy invades the mind of anyone he touches using a parasitic mold, turning them into his servants.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifter: Lord Sunday.
  • We Want Our Jerk Back: When Suzy acts proper, to Arthur's great dismay. (Even if it's only for a short while.)
  • What Do You Mean Its Not Symbolic: Everywhere. The series itself is named for a line from the gospels, and it just gets deeper from there. The Incomparable Gardens are a fairly obvious reference to the Garden of Eden for a start, and given that Lord Sunday's sin is Pride, he could be interpreted as the equivalent to Lucifer. Saturday's Tower, built with the intent of reaching the Gardens, calls to mind the Tower of Babel. The Incomparable Gardens are also hosted on "Drasils", which is suspiciously similiar to the word "Yggdrasil", the World Tree of Norse mythology.
  • Winged Humanoid: Several types of Denizens and Nithlings have wings. Removable wings in varying degrees of usefulness also exist.
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Leaf and especially her brother Branch. Seriously, can you blame the guy for going by 'Ed' instead?
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: The Architect eventually got bored of living and decided she wanted to return to Nothing. But the Old One, who was a part of her, had to be destroyed to in order for her to be dissolved, and his chains can only be broken if all of Creation is undone as well. Thus she started playing Xanatos Speed Chess and created a Batman Gambit; see below and above.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: The Architect made the Will to get the Trustees to carry out her plan to destroy all of Creation, but they refused and broke the Will. However, the Architect then twisted their natures, corrupting each with one of the Seven Deadly Sins, causing them to destroy the House anyway. Then she recruited Arthur to finish the Will and, even though he resisted every step of the way, she managed to manipulate him into completing the Will regardless. Note that this "Speed Chess" took thousands of relative years.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: Time runs differently between The House and the Secondary Realms.
    • Yeah, but Earth seems to be "closely in step with House Time", as in, a week spent in the House translates to a week spent on Earth — sometimes...
      • The overall implication is that Earth and the House proceed in lockstep (or at least at a steady ratio), but that when someone goes through the Front Door, it adjusts the time flow for convenience. Note that the only occasions that time proceeds forward on Earth are when Arthur and Leaf are pulled in via the Border Sea and when Arthur teleports in via the Fifth Key.