Identity of the “Guide”

Who is the guide?

Manson has confirmed that the Guide is the Minotaur. There are many clues to his identity littered through out the book, including a trail of clues (perhaps involving trefoils or references to Cerberus), and the “Easter Egg” described below.

Title Page:

The Key-Stone: The key points us to the the key-shaped trap (see the map of The Trap rooms). The fact that the key is carved into a stone is perhaps a visual word riddle for “keystone” indicating that what we find in the trap is important.

The Mason Objects: The spike, compass, hammer and square are often placed together in the symbolism of the Masons, usually these items are placed flanking the Bible. Here the scroll is in the location usually occupied by the Bible, suggesting that what is on the scroll is important.


In many masonic images the Bible is flanked or overlaid by the compass and square. The hammer and spike are also common elements (in the left and center images).

Hidden Letters: The letters in the maze in the map spell out “IN SLY” this uses all the obvious letters in the map except for a “C” (it could also be an “n” or a “u”) which is off to the right separate from the others. The objects surrounding the parchment perhaps signify letters and spell out “devil” or “evil.” So the phrase is “Devil In Sly” or “Evil In Sly.” Alternately the objects leaning against the keystone could spell out “I AM” so the whole phrase reads “I am in sly.” Or the “C” could be taken as “see” so it reads “See In Sly.”

Possible phrasings:
(see) IN SLY

Room 43:


  - Images copyright 1985 by Christopher Manson

679 thoughts on “Identity of the “Guide”

  1. Hello to everyone! It’s my first post, even though I have solved the path part of a maze something like 7 years ago. But it looks like that there are still unanswered questions, so I will try to join the team of deep divers here :)

    There is one thing about the Guide that I have not found anyone mentioning. It was quite obvious that he is the Minotaur, but who he is also? I think, that Minotaur, as a guide has one more layer to him. It is the reader. There are couple of points that are hinting to that.

    1) in the introduction it is said that people do not see his crown/pain/fire in his eyes. They do not see because it is not obvious as he is metaphorical Minotaur – the reader, trapped in the Maze. The blind trying to lead other blind.

    2) To understand how he looks IN THE MAZE, the reader can look at the mirror in Room 7. The mirror is empty because each of the readers looks differently. But each of the readers is the guide for that group and each of the readers is the Minotaur – “just add horns to your own face and you will see”. Only then there are horns, because of that the group does not notice anything.

    3) In room 45 there is “I AM” which of course is part of another puzzle, but also it is one more confirmation of the same. You raise the quetsion “who is the guide” and the answer is “I AM”.

    4) “This House is not only made of stone and mortar, wood and paint; it is made of time and mystery, hope and fear.” — It is made of time, because the reader tries to solve the puzzle in different times: some in 1987, others in 1995, others in 2022. There is HOPE to find the solution. And FEAR to fail.

    5) “Construction never stops. I take some pride in my role as architect.” – construction is the process of solving and mapping the Maze. If one Minotaur has mapped the Maze, the other one is still mapping it right now.

    6) from this comes one more point about many groups and many Minotaurs – when one group is traveling in Room 10, the other group is in the room where they are arguing and suddenly hears the doorknob rattle. And when one group is in Room 26 ringing the bell, the other is in Room 1 hearing it. When one group is in Room 4 chopping wood, the other is in Room 39 hearing it. Because of that all groups, WE all “hear” each other.

    7) “They think I will guide them to the center. Perhaps I will….” — yes, beacause it will depend whether the Maze is solved by that particular guide, or not.

    So, what do you think?

    • To add to previous post: a way to look at the Maze is to as a work of modern literature, which can be interactive, interlinked, intertextual and hypertextual. The time works different there because of unlimited amount of times the Maze is being solved. The structure is constantly changing, because the one who is trying to solve and lead his own group of people through the Maze, makes his/her own construction with his/her own theories on how it is made. Maybe because of there are various types of rooms – one is similiar to one reader’s home, the other one is similar to other reader’s garden, etc.

    • I am going to be thinking about this for a while. Bravo for adding another entirely unique and rich reading to a book where so many have been posited.

  2. Another thing, if it hasn’t been said already: In room 25, the guide narrates “Though one of my parents might be lowborn, the other was close to a king;” In mythology, the Minotaur’s parents are a sacrificial bull, who you could argue is low-born, and Pasiphaë (the wife of King Minos), who was close to a king, make of that what you will.

  3. So, I found some information that may or may not appertain to the identity of the GUIDE, keeping in mind that the GUIDE is the MINOTAUR. I’m fairly certain it has absolutely nothing to do with MANSON’S original intentions, but nevertheless, I thought it would be interesting to note the following: The Latin *root “ANIM” (MINA-toor*;Minotaur) means “MIND” or “SPIRIT”. This latin root ANIM is easily recalled via the word ANIMAL, for an animal is a living, moving creature and so contains a “SPIRIT” and “MIND”. Thank you for taking the time to read this latest update of mine. B


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