Haroun and the Sea of Stories

A Water Genie first tasked with disconnecting Rashid's Story Water supply, but thwarted when Haroun steals his Disconnecting Tool. While Iff initially looks out primarily for himself, his love of the Ocean and guilt over neglecting the Old Zone in particular cause him to fully join forces with Haroun to defeat Khattam-Shud and save the Ocean. Iff acts as a prime example of what Guppees are and stand for, as he's gentle and kind, loves to argue and debate whenever he can, and has no taste for violence.

Iff Quotes in Haroun and the Sea of Stories

The Haroun and the Sea of Stories quotes below are all either spoken by Iff or refer to Iff. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Language, Words, and Naming Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Granta Books and Penguin edition of Haroun and the Sea of Stories published in 1991.
Chapter 4 Quotes

To give a thing a name, a label, a handle; to rescue it from anonymity, to pluck it out of the Place of Namelessness, in short to identify it—well, that's a way of bringing the said thing into being. Or, in this case, the said bird or Imaginary Flying Organism.

Related Characters: Iff (speaker), Haroun Khalifa, Butt
Page Number: 63
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 5 Quotes

"A strange sort of Story Moon our Kahani would be, if storybook things weren't everywhere to be found." And Haroun had to admit that that was a reasonable remark.

Related Characters: Butt (speaker), Haroun Khalifa, Iff
Page Number: 79
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 6 Quotes

—"I don't know," panted Iff as he struggled to keep up with the charging boy. "We've never caught a spy before. Maybe we should scold him. Or make him stand in the corner. Or write I must not spy one thousand and one times. Or is that too severe?"

Related Characters: Iff (speaker), Haroun Khalifa, Rashid Khalifa
Page Number: 98
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 7 Quotes

Haroun was rather shocked. "That sounds like mutinous talk to me," he suggested, and Iff, Goopy, Bagha and Mali found that very interesting indeed. "What's a Mutinous?" asked Iff, curiously. "Is it a plant?" Mali inquired.
"You don't understand," Haroun tried to say. "It's an Adjective."
"Nonsense," said the Water Genie. "Adjectives can't talk."
"Money talks, they say," Haroun found himself arguing (all this argument around him was proving infectious), "so why not Adjectives? Come to that, why not anything?"

Related Characters: Haroun Khalifa (speaker), Iff (speaker), Mali (speaker), Bagha, Goopy
Page Number: 118
Explanation and Analysis:

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"But but but what is the point of giving persons Freedom of Speech," declaimed Butt the Hoopoe, "if you then say they must not utilize the same? And is not the Power of Speech the greatest Power of all? Then surely it must be exercised to the full?"

Related Characters: Butt (speaker), Haroun Khalifa, Rashid Khalifa, Iff, General Kitab
Page Number: 119
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 8 Quotes

"All my life I've heard about the wonderful Sea of Stories, and Water Genies, and everything; but I started believing only when I saw Iff in my bathroom the other night. And now that I've actually come to Kahani and seen with my own eyes how beautiful the Ocean is, with its Story Streams in colours whose names I don't even know, and its Floating Gardeners and Plentimaw Fishes and all, well, it turns out I may be too late, because the whole Ocean's going to be dead any minute if we don't do something. And it turns out that I don't like the idea of that, sir, not one bit. I don't like the idea that all the good stories in the world will go wrong for ever and ever, or just die. As I say, I only just started believing in the Ocean, but maybe it isn't too late for me to do my bit."

Related Characters: Haroun Khalifa (speaker), Rashid Khalifa, Iff, General Kitab
Page Number: 137
Explanation and Analysis:

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"Never thought it'd be so bad!"
"We have failed you! We feel sad!"
"I feel terrible! She feels worse!"
"We can hardly speak in verse."

Related Characters: Bagha (speaker), Goopy (speaker), Haroun Khalifa, Iff, Butt, Mali
Page Number: 140
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 9 Quotes

"It's our own fault," he wept. "We are the Guardians of the Ocean, and we didn't guard it. Look at the Ocean, look at it! The oldest stories ever made, and look at them now. We let them rot, we abandoned them, long before this poisoning. We lost touch with our beginnings, with our roots, our Wellspring, our Source. Boring, we said, not in demand, surplus to requirements. And now, look, just look! No colour, no life, no nothing. Spoilt!"

Related Characters: Iff (speaker), Haroun Khalifa, Khattam-Shud, Mali
Page Number: 146
Explanation and Analysis:

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"But this is all too fanciful for words," he told himself. "A boat made out of shadows? A shadow-ship? Don't be nuts." But the idea kept nagging at him, and wouldn't let go. Look at the edges of everything here, said a voice in his head. The edges of the poison tanks, the crane, the ship itself. Don't they look, well, fuzzy? That's what shadows are like; even when they're sharp, they're never as sharp-edged as real, substantial things.

Related Characters: Haroun Khalifa (speaker), Khattam-Shud, Iff
Page Number: 152
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 10 Quotes

We must make a great many poisons, because each and every story in the Ocean needs to be ruined in a different way. To ruin a happy story, you must make it sad. To ruin an action drama, you must make it move too slowly. To ruin a mystery you must make the criminal's identity obvious even to the most stupid audience..."

Related Characters: Khattam-Shud (speaker), Haroun Khalifa, Iff
Page Number: 160
Explanation and Analysis:

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Iff Character Timeline in Haroun and the Sea of Stories

The timeline below shows where the character Iff appears in Haroun and the Sea of Stories. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3: The Dull Lake
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...man refuses, Haroun threatens to wake Rashid, and the little man finally introduces himself as Iff the Water Genie, from the Ocean of the Streams of Story. Haroun is shocked that... (full context)
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Iff continues that the scheme is perfect, as letters never arrive to the Grand Comptroller, also... (full context)
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Haroun asks Iff to take him to Gup City to see the Walrus so he can fix the... (full context)
Chapter 4: An Iff and a Butt
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Iff commands Haroun to pick a bird, to which Haroun points out that the peacock bed... (full context)
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Iff reaches into his pocket and pulls out a handful of tiny birds and instructs Haroun... (full context)
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...somehow hairy, and he thinks of Mr. Butt, the mail coach driver. Haroun yells at Iff and asks if the bird is a machine. The Hoopoe turns its head, looks directly... (full context)
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...appears to be made of only colorful liquid. As they land in the warm water, Iff says that they're in the Ocean of the Streams of Story. (full context)
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Haroun, noticing that there's no land in sight, accuses Iff of playing a trick on him. Iff explains that they're taking a shortcut to avoid... (full context)
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Iff explains to Haroun that the Ocean of the Streams of Story is made up of... (full context)
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Haroun wakes to find Iff next to him, looking worried. Iff asked if the story went as planned, and if... (full context)
Chapter 5: About Guppees and Chupwalas
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As Haroun, Butt, and Iff journey towards Gup City, Haroun considers that many ideas he formerly considered mere fiction are... (full context)
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Haroun asks Iff to tell him about Khattam-Shud, and Iff replies with Rashid's exact words, that Khattam-Shud is... (full context)
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...numerous mechanical flying birds all rushing the same direction, with Water Genies on their backs. Iff says that something serious has happened, as everyone is being called back to base, making... (full context)
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Iff and the Gardener exchange greetings, and Haroun notes that the Gardener isn't very talkative. Iff... (full context)
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...that the Ocean is starting to hurt, and that their names are Bagha and Goopy. Iff tells Haroun that these fish may seem talkative, but are actually much quieter than usual... (full context)
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Iff tells Haroun that Plentimaw Fish swallow stories, and in their bellies, the stories mix and... (full context)
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...The Palace of King Chattergy, the Parliament of Gup, and the P2C2E House. Butt drops Iff and Haroun off at the edge of the Lagoon in the Pleasure Garden. Haroun notices... (full context)
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Iff gestures to the balcony of the palace, pointing out General Kitab, a court Speaker, King... (full context)
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Iff turns to Haroun and tells him that with the war, the Walrus won't have time... (full context)
Chapter 6: The Spy's Story
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...and as he goes, he hears Guppees muttering both about Rashid and Batcheat's poor singing. Iff follows, imploring Haroun to be patient, and Haroun angrily asks Iff what Guppees do to... (full context)
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...nose and teeth. The Walrus asks what Batcheat was doing in the Twilight Strip, and Iff offers that many young people go to the Twilight Strip to see the stars. (full context)
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...off. Bolo angrily asks Rashid why he did nothing, and the other dignitaries look pained. Iff, seeing Haroun's anger, whispers that they don't let princes do anything important and not to... (full context)
Chapter 7: Into the Twilight Strip
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...one won't go wrong. Blabbermouth mentions that she took the Disconnecting Tool from Haroun for Iff. Haroun is deflated, but Blabbermouth notes that since Rashid is in Gup City himself, he... (full context)
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...with the Royal Pages. Haroun notices Rashid, also still wearing his nightshirt, standing next to Iff, Disconnecting Tool in hand. As Haroun reaches them, Iff makes a jab at Haroun's theft... (full context)
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Rashid and Haroun board Butt the Hoopoe with Iff, and Haroun introduces his father to Mali, Goopy, and Bagha. As the entire Guppee army... (full context)
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...the Ocean before Batcheat, and Haroun, shocked, says that it sounds like mutinous talk. Curious, Iff, the Plentimaw Fish, and Mali ask what a Mutinous is. Haroun tries to explain that... (full context)
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...of all. Haroun remarks that Guppees couldn't keep a secret to save their lives, and Iff offers that they could tell secrets, and that he knows many that are quite juicy.... (full context)
Chapter 8: Shadow Warriors
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Haroun, Iff, Goopy, Bagha, Mali, and Butt make their way through the Twilight Strip to the Southern... (full context)
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...to keep swimming in the thick, poisoned water, and Haroun asks them to keep watch. Iff, Haroun, Butt, and Mali continue south, and a forest appears in the Ocean. Mali says... (full context)
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When a reasonable channel had been cleared, Haroun, Iff, and Butt enter. Haroun calls for Mali but gets no answer. Suddenly, they hear a... (full context)
Chapter 9: The Dark Ship
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Iff, Butt, and Haroun are pulled slowly forward, but Haroun cannot think of what they’re being... (full context)
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The dark waters splash as Butt is brought to a halt, and one of Iff's slippers falls into the water and is quickly eaten by the acid, horrifying Haroun. Haroun... (full context)
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...In front of them is what looks like a wall of night. 13 Chupwalas surround Iff, Butt, and Haroun, and all of these are scrawny and "weaselly-looking," with black cloaks bearing... (full context)
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The Chupwalas lead Butt to a gangway so Haroun and Iff can board the ship. Two Chupwalas remove Butt's brain box amidst Butt's cries, and with... (full context)
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Iff and Haroun are pushed towards a large hatchway, and out of the doors comes Khattam-Shud.... (full context)
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...is actually Mr. Sengupta, who stole Soraya, and demands to know where he's hiding her. Iff calms Haroun and tells him that this is definitely Khattam-Shud, not Mr. Sengupta. (full context)
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...swords and fire, before shrinking back to his original form. He then says that since Iff and Haroun are spies, they should see what they came to see. He turns towards... (full context)
Chapter 10: Haroun's Wish
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...stairs, suddenly the darkness created by the darkbulbs switches off and turns to twilight, and Iff and Haroun can see into the ship. They follow Khattam-Shud into the ship's belly, and... (full context)
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...poison to properly ruin it, and suggests how one can ruin different types of stories. Iff mutters that to ruin an Ocean of Stories, you add a Khattam-Shud. The Cultmaster continues... (full context)
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After 11 minutes, Haroun stops listening but continues following Khattam-Shud and Iff. He starts paying attention again when he hears Khattam-Shud mention "the Plug." Khattam-Shud explains to... (full context)
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Haroun reaches into his other pocket and pulls out the half-full bottle of Wishwater that Iff had given him earlier. Haroun drinks the water, thinking it might take more than 11... (full context)
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...begin to shrink and melt, and the ship is doing the same. Haroun, yelling for Iff and Mali, runs up the gangway. When he reaches the deck, it feels like tar... (full context)
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Iff declares that Butt has blown a fuse and Haroun feels responsible for ruining Butt. Iff... (full context)
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Haroun wonders out loud what happened to Khattam-Shud, and Iff shrugs and says that he certainly melted like the other shadows. Haroun thinks of everyone... (full context)
Chapter 11: Princess Batcheat
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...happily accepts. Water Genies sent to search the Ocean soon locate Butt the Hoopoe, Haroun, Iff, Mali, Goopy, and Bagha. The party is reunited with Rashid and Blabbermouth on the shores... (full context)
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In Gup City, Iff, Mali, Goopy, and Bagha are all promoted and given joint responsibility for cleaning up the... (full context)
Chapter 12: Was It the Walrus?
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...to the Walrus why his wish was necessary. Winding through the wild party, Haroun spots Iff dancing. Iff refuses to argue with the Walrus. Haroun, disappointed, heads for the second wedding... (full context)
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...isn't alone. He's surrounded by King Chattergy, Prince Bolo, Princess Batcheat, Mudra, Blabbermouth, General Kitab, Iff, Mali, and Rashid, all smiling, and video monitors with the smiling faces of Goopy, Bagha,... (full context)
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...kisses Haroun, who is quite pleased. At the edge of the Lagoon, Haroun, Rashid, and Iff board Butt and wave goodbye to everyone else. It occurs to Haroun that Rashid surely... (full context)