Spider Legs in Opal’s Legs? What Do They Mean

By Rakib Sarwar Written by Rakib Sarwar
Updated on August 31, 2023

After finding a children’s book titled “Opal” at a used bookstore, I scanned through its pages to find that it was filled with beautiful illustrations. However, as I turned to the last page, I noticed something strange. There appeared to be spider legs coming out of the main character’s head!

Naturally, I had to do some more investigating, and sure enough, there were actually eight legs protruding from Opal’s skull! As interesting as it was to find this abnormal detail in the book, I couldn’t help but wonder why it was there in the first place.

Spiders are a recurring theme in Opal’s story. Some people think that this is a metaphor for something important, but there has been no consensus on what it could be. Spider legs also appear to reference Orvil’s family history and the death of his father – who was eaten by spiders!

It seems like spider leg imagery may have some sort of meaning related to fear or anxiety about life after death, which does tie into one interpretation of the book as being about how we all live our lives with an impending sense of doom because we know deep down that someday things will come crashing down.

If you would like help deciphering what these symbols might mean, let us know below so we can chat more about it together!

What does spider legs mean in ‘There There’?

there there


Spider legs, also known as ‘spider’s legs’ or ‘spiderlegs’, are seen frequently in literature. It is often used in a variety of different works, such as ‘The Lord of the Rings‘ and ‘Harry Potter’. However, they aren’t just common in books – they can also be found in films, music videos, and paintings. In addition to their frequent appearances in media, spider legs also have a special meaning to many people.

Let’s look at spider legs’ appearance in ‘there there’. First, it must be said that the word ‘spider’ appears several times throughout the book. There are mentions of ‘spider-shadow’, ‘spider’s eyes’, and even a woman named ‘Mrs. Spider’. All of these connections point to spiders having some sort of presence in ‘there there’.

You may have noticed that spider legs also appeared in the book. The main character Orvil, who is a child and has autism, was trying to make sense of his father’s death. At one point, he described how his father had been attacked by spiders and eaten. As an adult who has recently lost a loved one, it is easy to understand how that scene would be extremely surreal and upsetting for him.

As mentioned earlier, spider legs are often used in books to reference death or stress. This is true in ‘there there’, as the book’s main theme is depression, isolation, and anxiety about what happens to us after we die. This would explain why Orvil was having such a difficult time processing his father’s death and has been suffering from nightmares ever since the incident. Spider legs are commonly found throughout the book because of their association with these topics.

Who has spider legs in ‘There There’?

Orvil has spider legs. As mentioned, Orvil is a child who has autism and struggles with anxiety about death. He was the child of a man who was viciously attacked and eaten by spiders. Orvil also talks about how he has been having nightmares ever since his father died.

What do you think the spider legs are/mean?

Spider legs have appeared frequently within the book to connect it with spiders and death. They are associated with Orvil, who has autism and is having an extremely difficult time processing his father’s death at the hands of spiders. The recurring appearance of spider legs throughout the book appears to point at spiders’ association with death and anxiety about life after death.

What are the ‘spiders’ in Opal’s legs?

The reference to spiders in Opal’s legs could be a metaphor for death or illness, due to the symbolism of a spider consuming its prey. Alternatively, it could be a reference to the fact that English is not her first language. She struggles with reading and writing in English because she did not have a chance to learn it from a young age, which makes it difficult for her to communicate with others. It can also be argued that the spiders in her legs are a sign of her anxiety about death.

Which relative of Orvil’s also found spider legs in their leg?

Orvil’s aunt also found spider legs in her leg. In fact, she’s the person who told Orvil about the spider killing his father. She got her spider legs by visiting the place of his father’s death, which Orvil did not do. This suggests that she was suffering from severe distress about Orvil’s father’s death.

Opal’s book has a lot of interesting things. The spider legs could represent something, or it can be another symbol that we need to discover. It is an odd thing for the reader to find in the middle of this narrative about what seems like two average children. What do you think?