The hero’s journey…
The journey of the hero is at the heart of all epic fantasy stories. Be it Luke Skywalker, Harry Potter, Frodo Baggins, Katniss Everdeen or in this case… who is the true hero of Gone Dragon?
There is definitely a debate going on here. Magnus is obviously the primary protagonist in Gone Dragon – Book I. But every bit a hero is Catanya. Both these characters and their motives have been discussed in my previous journal entries.
But there are other characters that play their part in Gone Dragon. I am going to take a closer look at them now so we can consider - are there more hero's in Gone Dragon?
A little spoiler alert needs to be given here...
Have you read Gone Dragon - Book I yet?
Eamon is the cryptic old traveller Magnus encounters in Froughton Forest. He goes out of his way to guide Magnus through Froughton Forest and offers words of wisdom (usually by way of riddles). There is clearly more to Eamon and, despite what Magnus thinks when things turn nasty in the city of Guame, he comes to realise there is more to Eamon than a well-travelled old man.
Austagia is the mysterious Irucantî warrior who drafts his niece - Catanya - into the priesthood. Catanya despises Austagia for this but regardless of how she feels about him, Austagia is doing what he believes is best for Catanya. When Austagia finally says to Catanya, “What do you think you cannot do as an Irucantî?” Catanya takes her uncle’s words on board and decides to become a warrior to give her the strength to get what she wants. But Austagia’s role in all this is only just beginning.
Sarah is the jovial gypsy and mother to Magnus’s best friend – Lucas. Through thick and thin and various twists of fate, Sarah and Magnus find themselves together more often than not. Just as well for Magnus, for Sarah more than anyone reminds Magnus to keep his spirits up and believe in himself, even when all seems lost to her. “There is good yet to come from this evening’s wrongs, Magnus, I know it…” Sarah says. And Magnus holds her to her words, too!
Talking of heroes in Gone Dragon cannot be done without mentioning Ganister. He is Sarah’s husband and shares her cheerful demeanour. A former Knight of the Realms, Ganister answers Breona’s call for help when Magnus is in trouble. And he doesn’t hesitate. Ganister plucks Magnus from his burning house, defends him from a Quag warrior, sees Magnus to safety then throws himself back into the fight to try and save Magnus’s parents – Bonstaph and Alavia. Ganister does all without a moment’s consideration for his own wellbeing. The stuff of hero’s!
Make no mistake - war has come once again to the Fire Realm! Xavier mobilises his troops southward to Realms End leaving the north of the realm relatively unprotected. This is where Csilla is called to action. Catanya’s Auntie and a warrior herself, Csilla is leader of a legion of fighters from the Uydferlands. She is quick to move them into position to defend their borders along the Nuyan River to the west and the quarries to the north. There’s one thing for certain – nothing is getting by Csilla without a fight!
Jael is the definitive Irucantî warrior whom Catanya aspires to be like. She is quick to react when a wayward dragon youngling goes walkabout in the dark and dangerous depths of Froughton Forest. Jael puts her life on the line to unfurl the mystery of what exactly happened to the youngling. This proves to be a near-fatal mistake. Furthermore, she makes a judgement call to go against her superiors and do what is right – another fateful decision…
A small role but a big impact.
There are many characters who appear briefly in Book I, yet their roles are often as virtuous as the big players. These include Kriser and Walt – healers who vow to protect someone close to Magnus. Barron – a blacksmith who works with Magnus to free them from a seemingly impossible bind. Delik – the artisan who works with his team to create something remarkable for Catanya.
I’m sure you can find a few others…
So what makes the hero?
Perhaps then, a hero is someone who puts others before themselves – wether by instinct or because they believe it is right - and sometimes at their own detriment. Where it's a more personal goal being achieved, a hero is perhaps someone who ignores all the reasons why they cannot get where they want to be and instead, listens to the one reason why they can.
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