[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/51Xu6FEV-WL__SL500_AA300__2857.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:300:“Every living thing deserves respect, be it humble or proud, ugly or beautiful.”]]

Generations of youngsters have struggled in vain to pronounce the names in '''The Chronicles of Prydain''', a five-book series of fantasy novels by the late American author LloydAlexander. Based (very) loosely on the {{Mabinogion}} and taking place in the fantasy world of Prydain, which bears no small resemblance to UsefulNotes/{{Wales}}, the novels feature a series of epic adventures in a land of HighFantasy, but place more emphasis on [[ComingOfAgeStory the protagonist's growing maturity and his journey into manhood.]]

Long ago, the land of Prydain [[AndManGrewProud was a rich, and prosperous land, renowned for its craftsmen who knew many great secrets about shaping metal and firing clay.]] Arawn, the local EvilOverlord, would have none of that, and using his cunning and trickery he stole away those wonderous treasures and secrets and locked them away in his fortress, Annuvin, [[JerkAss where they would serve no one]]. The once fair land fell into decay and surely would have fallen under Arawn's power had not the mighty and heroic Sons of Don arrived in Prydain and united its people in an alliance against Arawn's forces. Years have passed and the Sons of Don have maintained peace, but there are those who fear that the people have grown too reliant on their new rulers, the lesser lords constantly feud with each other for foolish and petty reasons, and Arawn is still lurking in the shadows, waiting for the perfect moment to strike.

Enter the protagonist, '''Taran''', Assistant Pig-Keeper to the oracular pig Hen Wen. A [[KidHero boy seemingly in his early teens]] who was [[ParentalAbandonment orphaned as an infant,]] Taran is thrust into the conflicts between the Sons of Don and Arawn as they struggle for the rulership of Prydain. Taran is an ambitious, headstrong youth who initially [[JumpedAtTheCall leaps at any call to adventure]] and believes himself [[HeroicWannabe capable of great things,]] but in truth he often finds that leading a heroic life of adventure is not all as romantic and exciting as he would have thought. Over the course of the novels, Taran grows from a callow, stubborn youth into a genuinely wise and noble young man, and in the end, learns the hard way what it truly means to be a hero.

Joining Taran on his adventures are his loyal group of lovable companions, whose interactions are one of the most enjoyable parts of the series:

'''Eilonwy''': An enchantress and [[EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses princess]] who [[MotorMouth talks constantly]] in similes and serves as a [[HeroesWantRedheads romantic interest]] for Taran. She's also a {{Tsundere}} and a bit of an ActionGirl. One of the earliest modern examples of a RebelliousPrincess.

'''Fflewddur Fflam''': A [[BoisterousBruiser loud-mouthed]] bard and king who has a tendency to [[SmallNameBigEgo theatrically exaggerate accounts of his own adventure]]s. He carries a magical harp whose strings break whenever he "colors the facts". (They break often. Even moments of modesty count against him) His catchphrases are "A Fflam is (insert appropriate adjective here)!," and "Great Belin!"

'''Gurgi''': [[NonHumanSidekick A shaggy creature]] who speaks in rhyme. At first he has a tendency to be a DirtyCoward but he grows to become brave and loyal, and comes to admire Taran for his wisdom and call him "Master."

'''Doli''': A member of TheFairFolk, a [[GrumpyOldMan grumpy dwarf]] and JerkWithAHeartOfGold. Complains a lot. He has the ability to turn invisible (by holding his breath), but [[BlessedWithSuck hates to do so as it causes a horrible ringing in his ears.]]

'''Gwydion''': TheWisePrince and [[TheObiWan mentor]] to Taran, a great warrior and war leader whom Taran looks up to and idolizes immensely. He leads the Sons of Don in their battles against the forces of evil, taking the role of a SupportingLeader.

And normally a book-specific GuestStarPartyMember or two, such as '''Adaon''' the WarriorPoet and '''Ellidyr''' PrinceCharmless in ''The Black Cauldron'', LordErrorProne '''Prince Rhun''' in ''The Castle of Llyr'' and '''Glew''' in ''The High King'', who takes over the DirtyCoward role from Gurgi.

The series contains five books as well as one anthology which also serves as a prequel:
#''The Book of Three (1964)''
#''The Black Cauldron (1965)''
#''The Castle of Llyr (1966)''
#''Taran Wanderer (1967)''
#''The High King (1968)''
#''The Foundling and Other Tales From Prydain (1973)''

Disney produced a movie version of ''TheBlackCauldron'' in 1985, which notably blended elements from the first two books.

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!!This series includes examples of, or the sources for:

* ActionGirl: Eilonwy frequently proves more capable than Taran, especially in the early books.
* AdiposeRex: Averted by King Smoit of Cantrev Cadiffor, who is notably overweight but is also very muscular, just plain huge, and has StoutStrength in spades.
* AnAesop: Taran frequently learns important life lessons, although this is done more subtly and gracefully than many instances of this trope.
* AllNaturalGemPolish
* AlwaysChaoticEvil
** The Huntsmen of Annuvin, Arawn's EliteMooks, who have sworn a blood oath of bondage to his will.
** Averted with the gwythaints, Arawn's spies, who serve Arawn out of fear.
* AmbitionIsEvil: Played straight and subverted. Ultimately it all comes down to intent.
* AndroclesLion: Taran nurses a fledgling gwythaint back to health in the first book. She returns the favor, twice.
* AnguishedDeclarationOfLove: Taran makes a subtle one of these in ''The Castle of Llyr'', trying to help Eilonwy break free of her magically-induced amnesia.
* AnyoneCanDie: [[spoiler: Rhun]]'s death was completely unexpected. It only gets worse with [[spoiler: Achren, King Math, and especially ''Coll'']].
* ArtifactOfDoom: The titular Black Cauldron of the second book.
** Inverted with the Book of Three. It will only serve good people with honorable and honest intent.
** Similarly, Gwydion's sword, Dyrnwyn, can only be drawn (safely) by those of "noble worth." Taran (and others) initially think this means only one of the Sons of Don (due to the fact that they originally mistranslated that part of the inscription as "RoyalBlood"), but in a critical moment [[spoiler:Taran himself is able to draw the sword when his intention is pure (to defend someone else, not to attack in anger) and after undergoing CharacterDevelopment in the fourth book, where he developed the personal nobility to wield the sword without falling to evil]].
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: Played straight, especially with Prince Gwydion and King Smoit. In a land like Prydain, you ''only'' become royalty by being able to kick everyone else's ass.
** Averted, ironically enough, with [[spoiler:Arawn. His greatest strengths were always trickery & deception.]]
** Subverted every so often, depending on the situation. One notable instance is when Taran finds out about how two noblemen living in King Smoit's domain constantly are at each other's throats, causing damage to innocent civilians in the process. Smoit's usual solution is to try to knock sense into them and shove them in his dungeons. Taran suggests he try something different, since it clearly isn't working. His proposed solution centers around humbling them and showing them the severity of the damage they've caused (making them serve as laborers for the farmer whose land they destroyed) as well as finding a third option for what to do with the prize cow they were fighting over (give it to the same farmer, and have the cow's next, equally-valuable, twin calves be split between the two). Since the two noblemen are seen standing peacefully together at the end of ''The High King'', it presumably left an impression on them.
* AscendedFanboy: Taran.
* AsLongAsItSoundsForeign: A mild example. Nearly all of the character and place names are derived from Welsh mythology, but WordOfGod admitted to having completely made up the very Welsh-sounding Eilonwy.
* AwesomeMomentOfCrowning: [[spoiler: Taran at the end of the series.]]
* AwLookTheyReallyDoLoveEachOther: Taran and Eilonwy, ''constantly.''
** Also, Fflewddur and his harp.
* BackupBluff: King Rhun, during a fight where the air is full of smoke and confusion, races his horse from one side of the battlefield to the other, shouting orders to regiments of cavalry that don't exist.
* BadassBeard: King Smoit is known for his long fiery red beard.
* BadassTeacher: Do '''not''' screw with Dallben.
* BaldOfAwesome: Coll - much to Taran's shock, as he apparently thought heroes should have impressive hair. During ''The High King'', Coll even goes without a helmet.
* BalefulPolymorph: One of Morda's more frightening powers.
* BattleCouple: Taran and Eilonwy again.
* BeautyEqualsGoodness
** Inverted with Achren, who is as wicked as she is beautiful. And for further inversion, [[spoiler:her beauty fades after her sort-of HeelFaceTurn in books four and five]].
** In fact, Lloyd Alexander uses this trope against us: both [[spoiler:Morgant and Pryderi]] are presented as attractive, when in fact they both turn out to be bad guys.
** Eilonwy, however, is the trope played perfectly straight.
** We have no idea whether Taran plays it straight or not, because not a single aspect of his appearance is ever described in the whole series.
* BerserkButton
** Do ''not'' judge Eilonwy based on her gender. Don't call her a "little girl" or suggest she [[StayInTheKitchen stick to "women's work."]]
** Do not insult her in front of Taran.
* BigBad: The EvilOverlord Arawn.
* BigBadEnsemble: Achren is actively opposed to Arawn. [[spoiler:Morgant]] tries to steal the Black Cauldron out from under both Arawn and Gwydion in order to try and become a FromNobodyToNightmare. Morda is an EvilSorcerer who plans to outmatch Arawn some day. Dorath, meanwhile, was just a PsychoForHire bandit with an "[[SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker everything burns]]" worldview; the companions often encounter him out of pure bad luck, yet he's always willing to make their lives miserable just for the hell of it. Whoever Gwyn the Hunter answers to may be a BiggerBad, but even Prince Gwydion doesn't know that entity's identity or whether he's evil. [[spoiler:Pryderi]]...[[BigBadWannabe thinks he's playing Arawn for his own benefit,]] [[OutGambitted but isn't]].
* BigDamnHeroes: Gwydion is in love with this trope.
* BigEater: King Smoit, who doesn't seem to eat multiple meals so much as eat a single meal all day long.
** Gurgi sort of counts. He loves to eat, and is implied to eat a lot; but his small size means that he can't eat much in one sitting.
* BigFun: King Smoit again.
* BiggerBad: Possibly the mysterious lord of Gwyn the Hunter fits the bill.
* BigGood: High King Math, son of Mathonwy, and Dallben the Enchanter.
* BilingualBonus: Several of the names of people and places. For example, "Hen Wen" means "old white [one] (feminine)" in Welsh. Gwydion means "born of trees." Averted with Eilonwy, which (as noted above) Lloyd Alexander invented for the books.
* {{Bishounen}}: Adaon.
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler:Arawn is defeated, but Prydain has been ravaged by war, many heroes have fallen, the power of magic has been lost forever, and Taran and Eilonwy give up eternal life and are separated from nearly all of their friends in order to stay in Prydain to help rebuild. On the other hand, Taran became High King of Prydain, married Eilonwy, and they both led happy and fulfilling lives and were such prosperous rulers that the bards wrote songs about them.]]
* TheBlacksmith: Hevydd. Also, Coll. Hevydd teaches Taran to forge blades, but while Taran proves to be a talented smith, his heart isn't in it.
* BlessedWithSuck
** Doli and his invisibility powers, which make his ears ring and hurt.
** Also Fflewddur's harp, which is of excellent quality (and enchanted), but it's almost always in need of repair, since the strings keep breaking every time Fflewddur stretches the truth.
** The powers Eilonwy and her mother inherited provide the wielder with a lot of power, but they also did neither of the women any good. As an enchantress, Queen Angharad was expected to marry a man born with magical powers of his own, and ended up banished when she decided to elope with a man who she loved, but who gained his magical powers from his own efforts and not birth. Eilonwy, meanwhile, only uses a magic spell ''once'' in the series, which doesn't even really work. She was kidnapped from her mother as a baby because Achren wanted to steal her powers, and ends up abducted and {{brainwashed}} in the third book, because of this plan. After that, she can't even use her powers, though she still has them. The last straw is in ''The High King'', when she learns that [[spoiler:her latent magic is still enough to mean she has no choice but to leave Taran and travel to the Summer Country, which she declares as being "worse than unfair" because she never ''asked'' for said powers. When Dalben informs her of a way to be rid of them, she does it without a second's hesitation.]]
* BoisterousBruiser: Fflewddur. King Smoit even more so.
* BornLucky: Llonio gives this impression, in ''Taran Wanderer'', but the lesson he teaches Taran is how to make his own luck.
* {{Brainwashed}}: [[spoiler: Eilonwy in the third book.]]
* BreakTheHaughty: Taran is horrified to find out that his father is [[spoiler:Craddoc the shepherd]] and views his new life as a prison sentence. [[spoiler:His time working for Craddoc is what is truly responsible for convincing him that nobility comes from work and honor rather than royal blood and wealth. By the time Craddoc dies and confesses that Taran isn't really his son, Taran has acquired humility and is not ashamed to be a shepherd's son.]]
* CassandraTruth: Seriously, Fflewddur really is a king. Granted, his kingdom is so small that he can leave his palace in the morning and be out of his kingdom by the end of the day, but he's a king nonetheless. Unlike most things, he doesn't feel the need to exaggerate this and freely admits he doesn't like being in his kingdom, which is why he became a bard.
* CatchPhrase: Almost every important character besides Taran has at least one.
** "Taran of Caer Dallben, I'm not speaking to you!"
** "Great Belin!"
** "A Fflam..."
** "Crunchings and munchings."
** "Deliver us from fools and assistant pig-keepers."
** "When I was a giant..."
** "My beard and bones!"
* CharacterDevelopment: '''The''' reason these books are so good.
** Taran, who grows from a stubborn, witless child to a wise and noble leader.
** Also Eilonwy, who starts out rather bratty and temperamental, growing into a mature and compassionate person by the end of the series. Some of her development is off-page, as she does not appear in the fourth book.
** In fact, almost every major character gets some important development, but Taran and Eilonwy are the most noticeable since the books span their adolescence.
* ChangedMyMindKid: Doli walks out on the companions at least once a book, only to come back in short order, to the point where it becomes something of a running gag.
* ChangelingFantasy: [[ZigZaggingTrope Zigzagged]]. Taran knows he's adopted from the start, and hopes he'll turn out to be a prince ... but when he sets off to find out who he his (by learning who his parents were), he gets more than one answer. In fact, though at least two men (a poor shepherd and a king) both try to claim him as a son, his real parents are [[spoiler:unknown, even to Dallben]].
* ChekhovsBoomerang: Admit it, you never saw the [[spoiler:gwythaint]] coming in ''The High King''.
* ChekhovsGun
** The ring Eilonwy receives at the end of the first book ends up coming [[DeusExMachina in quite handy]] in the finale.
** Also, the [[spoiler:gwythaint]]. When it [[AndroclesLion finally returns the favor]], the reader's probably already forgotten the incident. A GenreSavvy reader would note that she ''already'' rendered Taran and co. one favor, and that was all most of us would have expected.
* ChekhovsGunman
** Nearly everyone Taran befriends on his journey in ''Taran Wanderer'' comes back to help out in the campaign against Arawn in ''The High King''.
** Or gets [[spoiler: killed tragically]] to provide more personal drama for the final conflict.
* TheChessmaster: Arawn. (Also Morgant and Pryderi).
* AChildShallLeadThem: Taran still seems to be a teenager when he is made a war leader, and eventually [[spoiler: High King.]]
* CivilWar: Like historical Wales, the various kings and lords of Prydain are always fighting somewhere in the kingdom. In addition, several of these kings side with Arawn against Math for their own benefit, up to and including Pryderi, the most powerful ruler in Prydain except for King Math.
* CleverCrows: The heroic Kaw the crow, who turns out to be an important ally to the heroes.
* CloudCuckooLander: Eilonwy, while still managing to be the only person in the group with any common sense.
* ClippedWingAngel: Arawn [[spoiler: turns into a snake and is beheaded in one blow by Taran]].
--> [[spoiler:[[EvilOverlordList 34. I will not turn into a snake. It never helps.]]]]
* ComingOfAgeStory: Well, the whole series, but especially the fourth book, which is pretty obviously the turning point where Taran [[TookALevelInBadass finally takes his long-overdue levels in badass.]]
* ConservationOfNinjutsu: The Huntsmen of Annuvin literally become stronger when one of their number is killed.
* ConsummateLiar: Fflewddur. Ironically, his most outrageous claim (that he's actually a king) is true.
* CoolHorse: Gwydion's horse, Melyngar, in the first book; her son Melynlas for the rest of the series; also Lluagor, Adaon's mare who eventually becomes Melynlas' mate.
* CoolOldGuy: Coll
* CoolOldLady: Dwyvach, the weaver woman.
* CoolSword
** [[FlamingSword Dyrnwyn]], of course.
** The blade Taran forged is an example. It's a pretty ugly weapon, but it's actually better than his finely-shaped old weapon.
* CowardlyLion: Gurgi means well, but whines and cowers when he feels threatened and runs at the first sign of danger with no regard for his companions. Fortunately, he [[CharacterDevelopment grows much more brave and loyal as the series goes on.]]
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass
** Gwystyl deliberately hides his competence and badassery so well that he can come across like a wiener while helping Taran and his crew ''break into a castle''.
** Fflewddur Fflam is the less than popular king of a tiny kingdom and a semi-talented bard who tells grandiose lies. By the end of the first book we find out that he is also a deadly swordsman and a tried warrior. Amusingly, a prequel short story implies that most of the time, Fflewddur himself is unaware of his own badassery.
* CrownOfHorns: In ''The Book of Three'' the chief villain is the Horned King, who wears a mask made out of a human skull with great antlers rising in cruel curves. He is a warlord who is Arawn's champion and the War Leader of Annuvin.
* CurbStompBattle: The second half of the Battle of Caer Dathyl. Pryderi's regular forces are marginally defeated, but the armies of Prydain can't stand against the Cauldron-Born.
* CursedWithAwesome: Glew turns himself into a giant and gets trapped in a cave he's too big to maneuver through.
* DeadpanSnarker: Dallben, usually when Taran is acting childish. Also Eilonwy, who combines it with a mixture of PolitenessJudo and PassiveAggressiveKombat.
* DealWithTheDevil: NEVER make a deal with Arawn. Unlike most "devils", Arawn never keeps his end of the bargain.
* DeathByNewberyMedal: ''The High King'' won a Newberry Medal and is a veritable named-character bloodbath. [[spoiler: Even if none of the characters on the cover die. No, not even the ReallyBigCat]]. ''The Black Cauldron'', by comparison, won a Newberry Honor and only has a body count of two.
* DesperatelyLookingForAPurposeInLife: ''Taran Wanderer''
* DistressedDamsel: Eilonwy occasionally, especially in ''The Castle of Llyr''. Half the time she ends up either saving ''herself'' or saving her intended rescuers.
* DisproportionateRetribution: King Smoit is likely to cave a few skulls in over petty arguments [[SurroundedByidiots with his minions.]]
* DontTouchItYouIdiot: Dallben to Taran, over the Book of Three. Eilonwy to Taran, over Dyrnwyn. There are more (Taran's not the only one who meddles with things he shouldn't).
* DoomedHometown: Averted. Caer Dallben goes untouched by evil for all five books. Not only that, when a villain finally does show up to torch the place, ''he'' gets his ass kicked.
* TheDragon: The Horned King
* DreamingOfThingsToCome: Happens to Adaon and Taran in ''The Black Cauldron''.
* EarnYourHappyEnding: In the land of Prydain, everything comes at a high price.
* EliteMooks: The Huntsmen and the Cauldron-Born.
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses: Eilonwy. Somewhat subverted, in that Taran (and therefore the reader) does not learn that she ''is'' a princess until literally the last page of the first book -- when Dallben mentions it casually. Eilonwy herself never drops so much as a hint, except when noting that "mine are the people of Llyr Half-Speech, the Sea King." Her royal heritage is a plot point in the third book, but otherwise, she never concerns herself with princessdom very much. Her informed princessdom is justified, in that she is [[LastOfHisKind Last of Her Kind]], so in political terms her heritage is largely moot.
* EveryoneCanSeeIt: The entire group seems to be aware of Taran's feelings for Eilonwy except Taran himself. Eilonwy ''herself'' lampshades this twice in the last book. Taran's crush on Eilonwy is fully developed by the middle of book 3; in fact, Achren uses it to torture him. What he has trouble figuring out is that, yes, the princess likes him back, pig-keeping and all.
* EvilOverlord: Arawn is a classic example.
* EvilSorcerer: Arawn Death-Lord and Queen Achren
* ExitPursuedByABear
** [[spoiler:Dorath and his bandits]] are torn apart by wolves right before he [[IHaveYouNowMyPretty "removes Eilonwy's charms."]]
** Something similar happens to [[spoiler:the Huntsmen]], not long after. The heroes see them camping on the banks of a dried-up river and melt a frozen waterfall to flood them out. As soon as they climb to dry ground, a group of bears and wolves maul them to death.
* ExtremeOmnivore: It's never explicitly stated, but it's heavily implied that Orgoch (of the Three Sisters) eats pretty nearly anything, including people.
* FaceHeelTurn:[[spoiler: King Morgant]]
* TheFaceless: Arawn Death-Lord, partially because of his ShapeShifting talents. Menwy the Bard is the only mortal on record to have seen Arawn's true face. Considering that she trained him, Achren has probably seen his true face as well. She even states that she will know it's him no matter what form he shapeshifts into.
* FaintingSeer: Hen Wen in ''The High King'', including a combination of terrified refusal to pass on her visions, and bizarre, nonsensical prophecies before she goes into HeroicBSOD.
* TheFairFolk: A bit of a subversion, as they have no particular liking for men but are willing to work with them against Arawn. The king is grudgingly fond of Taran and Eilonwy, and Doli has more affection for the entire group than he likes to admit.
* FantasyCounterpartCulture: Lloyd Alexander loves to take readers on cultural visits. Prydain is heavily based on Welsh mythology, especially evident in the character names. Of course, this is [[BilingualBonus no surprise to those knowing]] that "Prydain" is the Welsh spelling of "Britain".
* AFatherToHisMen: King Smoit (who, we learn, is a childless widower). He even offers to adopt Taran when he hears he's looking for his birth parents.
* FearlessFool: Taran, at first. He learns a more suitable reaction to danger as time goes by.
* FieryRedhead: Eilonwy
* FlamingSword: Dyrnwyn
* FlowersForAlgernonSyndrome: Adaon's brooch has this effect on people, particularly Taran. [[spoiler:He [[BroughtDownToNormal gives it up]] in order to get the Black Cauldron]].
* FriendToAllLivingThings: Medwyn, who apparently is Prydain's version of [[Literature/TheBible Noah]].
* FromNobodyToNightmare: Arawn. He was just some hapless dipshit until he became Achren's [[TheStarscream Starscream]], swindled all her secrets from her, then usurped her and became [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast the Lord of Death]].
* GeneHunting: ''Taran Wanderer'' is a mix of this and WalkingTheEarth.
* GenreSavvy: Fflewddur, occasionally. He's WrongGenreSavvy almost as often.
* TheGhost: During ''The Black Cauldron'', Adaon speaks often and fondly of Arianllyn, the girl to whom he is betrothed. She's never seen; in fact, the only thing the reader ever learns about her is that she was the one who gave Adaon his brooch.
* GiantFlyer: The gwythaints. It turns out that they aren't AlwaysChaoticEvil.
* GodSaveUsFromTheQueen: Achren
* GondorCallsForAid: The premise of much of the final book.
* GreatBigBookOfEverything: The titular Book of Three.
* TheGrimReaper: Although Gwyn the Hunter isn't anything like the hooded and cloaked skeleton we're all familiar with, he seems to have the same role as the Reaper in the setting. (He isn't evil, though; Arawn, the "Lord of Death," fills that role.)
* GuestStarPartyMember: Adaon, Ellidyr, Glew, Coll, and Llassar.
* TheHecateSisters: Orddu, Orwen, and Orgoch are a textbook case.
* {{Hellhound}}: The dogs of Gwyn the Hunter.
* HeelFaceTurn: [[spoiler: Achren]], possibly. Other interpretations suggest more of an EnemyMine against Arawn.
* HeelRealization: Ellidyr comes to a version of this at at the end of ''The Black Cauldron'' and [[spoiler: atones with a HeroicSacrifice.]]
-->"The black beast you saw is a harsh master; its claws are sharp. Yet I did not feel them until now."
* HeroesWantRedheads: Eilonwy, whom the narrative notes has red-gold hair. A lot of artwork inaccurately depicts her as blonde, however, probably because of TheFilmOfTheBook. And when she ''is'' shown with red hair (see some editions of The Black Cauldron), it's pure red, not the more subtle shade that "red-gold" is probably supposed to describe.
* HeroicBSOD: Taran, following the death of [[spoiler:Craddoc the shepherd.]] Not just because [[spoiler:Craddoc]] died, but that his first thought on seeing him was that he was finally free from his life as [[spoiler:a shepherd]]. He was so ashamed and disgusted with himself for having ever had the thought that he never got over it or forgave himself for it.
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler:Ellidyr]] in ''The Black Cauldron,'' [[spoiler:Rhun and Coll]] in ''The High King.'' Maybe [[spoiler:Achren]], depending on your point of view.
* HeroicWannabe: Taran, in the first two books.
* HolyIsNotSafe: Dyrnwyn is clearly a holy blade, being the only weapon capable of killing the undead Cauldron Born or the DarkLord Arawn, but it's also extremely dangerous to anyone [[OnlyTheChosenMayWield insufficiently worthy]] who tries to draw it.
* HonorBeforeReason: A recurring theme. A major part of Taran's growth is learning when to put aside his honor.
* HornedHumanoid: The Horned King. Somewhat subverted, as the horns are part of a helmet he wears, not a part of the Horned King himself.
* HorseOfADifferentColor: Llyan, a small wildcat who grew to the size of a horse through the use of potions. She eventually adopts [[spoiler:Fflewddur]] and allows him to ride on her back.
* HumiliationConga: Queen Achren. Starts off as a powerful sorceress and queen, and rules Prydain as an absolute tyrant. Later, she is overthrown by her more powerful protege and consort [[spoiler: Arawn]], and is moved to Spiral Castle. The castle is destroyed by the heroes, robbing Achren of her powers, which she attempts to replace by draining Eilonwy. She is also repeatedly spurned by the object of her affections, Gwydion. By the fourth book, she's a powerless refugee who works as a maid in Caer Dallben. Quite a long way to fall.
* HypnotizeThePrincess: Heavily influences the plot of ''The Castle of Llyr''.
* IHaveYouNowMyPretty: The outlaw Dorath threatens to rape Princess Eilonwy and have her raped by his fellows "until she is a match for a swineherd." Subverted slightly in that Dorath never states precisely what it is he intends to do to her; he says he intends to "remove her charms." The dialogue is written just vaguely enough that the book's younger readers only know that Eilonwy is in danger, without knowing the specifics that might traumatize them. [[LateToThePunchline Older readers can ferret out Dorath's meaning for themselves, as Eilonwy did.]] It's possible that [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation he had something else in mind]], however.
* IJustWantToBeNormal: Eilonwy in ''The Castle of Llyr''.
* IKnowYourTrueName: Used by Gwydion to defeat Horned King, but only in the background. A bit of FridgeBrilliance, when this somewhat out of place logic is applied to the rest of the series. Gwydion claims that naming something is to imply mastery over it. No one knows Taran's true name, thus making him master of his own destiny.
* ImplacableMan: Arawn employs entire implacable ''armies.'' The Cauldron-Born cannot be slain by any mortal craft and carry out their tasks without tiring and without question or remorse. The Huntsmen of Annuvin are feared and renowned for pursuing their prey relentlessly, and fatigue means little to them. They can be killed, but that just makes them mad.
** The major disadvantage of the Cauldron-Born is that they become weaker the further they are from Annuvin.
** The strength of the Huntsmen is that when one is killed, the rest of them become stronger.
* InformedAbility: Many characters are said to be enchanters, but they rarely if ever use these abilities. Possibly [[JustifiedTrope justified]] with Eilonwy as she never finished her training. And she [[spoiler: destroys any hope of mastering her magic in the third book.]]
* IngestingKnowledge: How Dallben got to be so wise. It was an accident.
* IntimateHealing: Not quite, but for a kids' story, the way Achren touches Taran's wound in the first book is rather...at least, suggestive.
* IsItSomethingYouEat?: Orddu asks, "What is a Gurgi? Do you eat it or sit on it?"
* ItIsPronouncedTroPAY: Not actually an example of this, but if you're not familiar with Welsh and its charmingly quirky spelling, you'd be fooled.
** What doesn't help is that Welsh has ''seven'' vowels, each with two or more pronunciations - A, E, I & O sound roughly like you'd expect, but U sounds like I in all aspects and W is pronounced 'oo', in various ways. And Y has ''four'' pronunciations - it normally sounds like an I or a U in the last syllable of a word, or 'uh' elsewhere. [[SincerityMode This is actually quite hard to forget]]. [[MyGodYouAreSerious No, really]].
* ItsTheJourneyThatCounts: The original title (and current alt title) was MirrorOfLlunet (from ''Taran Wanderer''), making it the original TropeNamer.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Good old Doli
* JourneyToFindOneself: The whole point of ''Taran Wanderer.''
* JumpedAtTheCall: Taran in the first two books. Also Ellidyr, who is essentially Taran's more hotheaded foil.
* JustEatGilligan
** Suggested numerous times by Fflewddur of [[TheMillstone Glew.]]
** In the first book, Gwydion finds Taran to be [[TheLoad so troublesome]] that he gives serious consideration to just dumping him back at Caer Dalben. Unfortunately, he must hurry to find Hen Wen (also, there'd be no story if that happened).
* KeystoneArmy: The Cauldron-Born
* KidHero: Taran
* KillEmAll: Many, many characters died in the last book, ''The High King''. Perhaps for this reason it's left off many a school reading list that contains the other four books in the series. This is despite the fact that it won a [[DeathByNewberyMedal Newbery Medal]]...
** The closing body count at the end of the book is: [[spoiler:Coll, Achren, Magg, High King Math, Annlaw Clay-Shaper, Llonio, King Rhun, King Pryderi, Arawn, Achren, and Taran's gwythaint]]. If you count returning to the "Summer Country" as a metaphor for death (which it is in some belief systems), then the book also claims [[spoiler:Gwydion, Fflewddur, Llyan, Doli, Taliesin, Gurgi, Glew, and the Fair Folk and Sons of Don]] ''writ large'', since following Arawn's death TheMagicGoesAway, so to speak.
* KingIncognito: Prince Gwydion and Fflewddur. Gwydion travels around the countryside in common garb because he doesn't buy into the "[[SharpDressedMan clothes make the man]]" cliche; in ''The Castle of Llyr'', he is deliberately disguised to avoid detection. Fflewddur does much the same, only he goes out of his way to remind everyone that he's a king.
* LargeHam: Fflewddur
* LastOfHerKind: Eilonwy, the last descendant of the royal House of Llyr. As the last Princess of Llyr, she alone is heir to a sizeable number of enchantments and magic powers, which reside in her by birth; but because her father was a non-magical commoner, she tends to refer to herself as being only "half an enchantress". This only really becomes relevant starting from the third book in the series, when she is returned to her ancient family castle, Caer Colur; having been kidnapped as an infant, she never realized the scope of her magical heritage.
* LeftForDead: Happens to Gwydion with surprising regularity, usually allowing him to go off and do something just as or even more badass than Taran's group elsewhere.
* LieDetector: Fflewddur's harp, but it only detects Fflewddur's lies.
* LittlePeople: Doli, Gwystyl, and the rest of TheFairFolk are smaller than humans in size.
* TheLoad: Taran himself in book one. Rhun in book three. Glew in book five.
* LoadBearingBoss: Half the architecture in Prydain appears to be held up by villains.
** Spiral Castle collapses after Achren is defeated in ''The Book of Three'', but it was more of a happy accident. Taran pulling Dyrnwyn (a load-bearing ''sword'') from the tombs in Spiral Castle lead to its collapse--it just happened to perfectly coincide with Gwydion warding off Archen.
** Caer Colur collapses after Achren is defeated in ''The Castle of Llyr''.
** In a non-villainous example, Dallben claims that his home will be consumed with magical fire if he is killed, along with anyone foolish enough to kill him. [[spoiler: He may have been bluffing about this, we never actually find out either way.]]
** In ''The High King'', [[spoiler:Annuvin]] is destroyed when [[spoiler:Arawn]] is slain.
* LordErrorProne: Prince Rhun; not overly proud, but certainly foolish and bumbling enough for two, and a WideEyedIdealist to boot.
* LukeIAmYourFather: [[spoiler:Craddoc]] to Taran, [[spoiler:but it turns out not to be true]].
* MadeOfShiny: The Golden Pelydryn, better known as Eilonwy's bauble.
* TheMagicGoesAway
** Following [[spoiler:Arawn's death]] at the end of ''The High King'' the [[spoiler:Fair Folk, the Sons of Don, and other magically-adept humans like Dallben]] use this as an excuse to leave Prydain, claiming they're no longer needed. [[spoiler:Eilonwy]] gives up her powers rather than leave Prydain out of love for [[spoiler:Taran]].
** Now now, only "the enchantments of evil" have been vanquished.
** Dallben gives the breaking and complete loss of [[spoiler:Hen Wen's oracular powers]] as further evidence that the good magic also has to leave the mortal world.
** Even Dyrnwyn loses its powers after Taran [[spoiler:slays Arawn]] with it.
* MagicMirror: The Mirror of Llunet is the object of Taran's quest in ''Taran Wanderer''. Taran wishes to know of his parentage and so seeks this mirror which will show the truth.
* MegaNeko: Llyan
* MetafictionalTitle: ''The Book of Three''.
* {{Metaphorgotten}}: Eilonwy's similes fall somewhere between this and {{Malaproper}}.
* MildlyRoyal: [[spoiler: Taran]] is implied to be one of these kings due to CharacterDevelopment.
* MirrorOfLlunet: The (former) TropeNamer.
* MonsterShapedMountain: ''The High King''. Mount Dragon was so named because its peak was in the rough shape of a monstrous, crested dragon's head with gaping jaws, and on either side the lower slopes spread like outflung wings.
* {{Mordor}}: Annuvin
* MotorMouth: In the first three books, Eilonwy talks so much that it annoys the villains to the extent that, on an occasion when everyone else is merely tied up, Eilonwy is BoundAndGagged; in the fifth book she's a bit more subdued.
* MyGirlBackHome: Arianllyn, Adaon's betrothed. [[spoiler: He never makes it back to her, and [[FatalFamilyPhoto the poor guy didn't even show a photo of her.]]]]
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: Arawn Death-Lord; Achren; The Horned King; Gwyn the Hunter
* NighInvulnerable: The Cauldron-Born, and [[spoiler: Morda.]] At least until their respective weaknesses are discovered....
* NoManOfWomanBorn: A prophecy states that the BigBad will be vanquished only when such things as "rivers burn with frozen fire" and "night turn to noon" occur. [[spoiler: Some characters set a fire to melt a frozen waterfall and the burning logs are carried on top of the ensuing deluge, while another uses magic to light up an entire valley in the middle of the night.]]
* NonHumanSidekick
** Gurgi
** And Hen Wen, upon occasion.
** Kaw as well.
** Melyngar, in the first book.
* NotQuiteDead: [[spoiler: Gwydion]]
* NotSoDifferent: Taran and Ellidyr. They both learn better.
* TheObiWan: Taran is lucky enough to have ''three'': Gwydion, Dallben and Coll. [[spoiler: And only one of them dies.]]
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Gwystyl, but more like Obfuscating Chickenshittery.
* OffstageVillainy: Sure, his subordinates and armies are out in full force, but Arawn himself just can't be asked to actually do anything until ''The High King''. However, he does his own dirty work in one of the prequel short stories.
* OlderSidekick: Fflewddur to Taran & Eilonwy.
* TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou: Gwydion to the Horned King, although he accepts that he himself might die in the attempt.
* OnlyTheChosenMayWield: Taran and [[spoiler:Dyrnwyn]] which is a sword ''under'' the stone.)
* OracularUrchin: Hen Wen is a non-human variant.
* OrcusOnHisThrone: Arawn, despite being the nigh-omnipotent "Death Lord", works primarily through proxies like The Horned King, Morgant, Magg, Achren and Pryderi and leaves Annuvin just once to steal [[spoiler:Dyrnwyn]]. It's [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] in that Arawn can be killed when he leaves Annuvin and takes a mortal shape, and would rather not risk his own life when he has a horde of Huntsmen, gwythaints, deathless Cauldron Born etc. Arawn is also portrayed as more of a trickster or Old Scratch figure who prefers to get what he wants through manipulation and guile rather than overt shows of force.
* OurElvesAreBetter: Averted. The Fair Folk are powerful and magical, sure, but they're not portrayed as much better than the humans, being prone to (often unjustified) FantasticRacism, [[{{Jerkass}} pettiness]] and [[{{Wangst}} whining about every little thing]].
* OutGambitted: [[spoiler:Pryderi]] thinks he is tricking Arawn into serving him. [[spoiler:He isn't]].
* PapaWolf: Gwydion can get this way when his companions are threatened. (He gets ''really'' mad when Achren torments Taran in ''The Castle of Llyr.'')
* ParentalMarriageVeto: Eilonwy's parents. Gwydion mentions it briefly in the third book; the extra volume ''The Foundling and Other Tales of Prydain'' gives the story of their romance in much greater detail. In summary: Angharad, Eilonwy's mother, was a highborn enchantress who rejected her snooty wizard suitors and instead fell for a humble storyteller. [[MostWritersAreWriters (Lloyd Alexander does love his bards.)]] The pair of them were exiled.
* {{Patronymic}}: In Prydain, men use patronymic naming, and women use matronymic naming. Taran's lack of such a name troubles him greatly and is a driving force for much of his story, particularly in ''[[MeaningfulName Taran Wanderer]]''.
* PositiveDiscrimination: Eilonwy at Taran's expense in the first three books. Although she herself is pretty shrewish at the beginning.
* PreAsskickingOneLiner: Taran gives a memorable one to Morda, [[spoiler:only for it to backfire since Morda is NighInvulnerable.]]
* PrinceCharmless: Ellidyr. Slightly subverted in that there's absolutely no potential for romance between him and Eilonwy. In fact, he actually goes out of his way to insult her quite a few times in ''The Black Cauldron'', introducing the reader to Taran's BerserkButton in the process.
* PrincessClassic: Eilonwy appears to have become this briefly in the last book, only for she herself to lampshade how [[RebelliousPrincess unnatural it is for her.]] She spends most of the rest of the book as a SweetPollyOliver.
* RagtagBunchOfMisfits: Taran and his friends. Amusing since several of them are royals.
* RagsToRoyalty: The story of High King [[spoiler:Taran]].
* RealityWritingBook: The Book of Three.
* RebelliousPrincess: Eilonwy, who started this trend nearly thirty years before Disney, making this OlderThanTheyThink. Not only that, she was also ''Disney's'' first rebellious princess!
* RedemptionDemotion: Justified in the case of Achren, as by the time of her HeelFaceTurn her powers have run out.
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: [[spoiler: Ellidyr in Book 2. Achren in Book 5 is a less clear-cut case; it's unclear whether she was genuinely redeemed or just involved in an EnemyMine.]]
* RedEyesTakeWarning: The gwythaints, servants of Arawn, have blood-red eyes.
* RefusingParadise: [[spoiler: In the end, Taran is offered the chance to sail to the Summer Country. He stays to help rebuild after the war, and becomes the new High King. Eilonwy also decides to stay with him. ]]
* RetiredBadass: Coll, who once single-handedly fought his way into Annuvin to save Hen Wen.
** According to ''The Foundling and Other Tales'', he did have [[SpeaksFluentAnimal some]] [[FriendToAllLivingThings help]] along the way.
* {{Retirony}}: In ''The Black Cauldron'' Adaon speaks several times of Arianllyn, the woman to whom he is betrothed. Guess what happens to him not too much later?
* RhymesOnADime: Gurgi likes to speak with rhyming pairs of words ("smashings and gnashings", "crunchings and munchings", etc.)
* TheRival: Ellidyr.
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: Roughly half of the important characters are royalty. They also tend to be [[AuthorityEqualsAsskicking totally badass.]]
* RunningGag: A string on Flam's harp breaks whenever he lies (which is often). The bigger the lie, the more strings break.
* SandInMyEyes: In ''The High King'', when Fflewdur Flam sacrifices his harp for firewood, he complains of how it smokes, though it burns with very little smoke. He then comments that he's glad to be rid of it, and two strings break.
* ScaledUp: Arawn does this just before [[spoiler:his death]]. {{Justified}} as he was trying to get out unseen, and almost succeeded.
* SchmuckBait: The Book of Three. Taran, what is your fascination with this mysterious and forbidden tome?! Fortunately, the book seems to be sentient, and it punishes Taran's innocent curiosity with the equivalent pain of a few mere bee stings. [[spoiler: King Pryderi, on the other hand, wanted to steal the book and use its secrets to gain power, and he [[ShockAndAwe was not so lucky.]]]]
** Reading into the backstory a bit, turns out the Book of Three was a bit of SchmuckBait for ''Dallben'', too. Evidently in Prydain, wisdom comes with a high price. [[spoiler:It turned Dallben from a youth to an old man overnight.]]
* SelfDisposingVillain: [[spoiler:King Pryderi]]. To elaborate, [[spoiler:he attempts to steal the Book of Three from Dallben. The enchanter warns him that betraying his former allies and working with Arawn have marked him for death if he touches the Book. He does it anyway and the Book burns him to a crisp with a lightning bolt]].
* SenseLossSadness: After giving away Adaon's brooch to the three witches, Taran notices he lacks the clarity and wisdom he had while he wore it.
* SentOffToWorkForRelatives:
** Taran works Craddoc's farm thinking [[spoiler: mistakenly that Craddoc is his real father]].
** Eilonwy is sent to the Isle of Mona to learn to be a lady, "working" at being a princess for several years.
* ShapeShifter: Arawn.
* SmallNameBigEgo: Ellidyr treats the main characters with much contempt and responds violently if anyone so much as thinks about impugning his honor. It's [[JustifiedTrope explained]] that he is like this because he is from an old yet impoverished noble family, and his father and elder brothers squandered their house's money and good name. Poor Ellidyr hasn't got much left except his pride and his horse.
* SolarAndLunar: The emblem of the House of Don is the sun, on account of the fact that the Sons and Daughters of Don are descended from the Lady Don and her consort, Belin the sun king. Meanwhile, the emblem of the House of Llyr (Eilonwy's all-but-extinct lineage) is the crescent moon; this is on account of the fact that they are descended from Llyr Half-Speech the Sea King, and the tides of the sea are governed by the phases of the moon.
* SoulJar: [[spoiler: Morda]] has one of these.
* TheStarscream
** A bit of a twist, current BigBad Arawn was in fact TheStarscream to former BigBad, Achren. [[spoiler: [[DoubleSubversion Twisted back]] in that Achren [[KarmicDeath turned right around and Starscreamed back at him.]]]]
** Pretty much everyone who works for Arawn becomes TheStarscream at one point. It never ends well.
* StayInTheKitchen
** Taran harbors some unfortunate ideas about women in his youth. Some time spent as the apprentice of the spry Dwyvach Weaver-Woman helps him learn better.
** Many characters wish Eilonwy would stick to women's tasks, out of concern for her safety. Naturally, [[ActionGirl she will not hear of it.]]
* StoneSoup: How cooking works in Llonio's household in ''Taran Wanderer''. He sends all his children to find ingredients, and whatever they bring back ends up in what can only be described as a sort of pancake-omelet.
* StoutStrength: King Smoit.
* SupportingLeader: Gwydion, except in Book 3 where he's part of the acting team.
* SweetPollyOliver: Eilonwy is forbidden to follow the men into battle in ''The Black Cauldron'' because she's a girl, so she dresses as a boy in order to fight alongside Taran. By the time ''The High King'' rolls around, nobody really cares anymore because she's proven that she's a very competent fighter (and because they have learned that they just can't make her stay home). The fact that she has latent magical powers doesn't hurt anything either.
* TagAlongKid: Taran starts out as this to Gwydion but quickly proves his worth. Later, Llassar becomes this to Taran but he too proves himself quickly.
* TalkingAnimal: Kaw.
* TalksLikeASimile: Eilonwy.
* ThouShaltNotKill: [[spoiler:Dallben]], according to Pryderi, though [[spoiler:Dallben]] doesn't confirm it (he only says that no man has ever died ''by his hand'', and that [[spoiler:Arawn]] has misled Pryderi with "half-truths").
* TokenEvilTeammate: [[spoiler: Achren]], who goes from [[spoiler: an evil queen]] to a refugee cleaning up Caer Dallben to helping the heroes take down Arawn.
* TomboyPrincess: Eilonwy. TropeMaker, anyone?
* TomeOfProphecy: The Book Of Three.
* TooDumbToLive: Glew.
* TortureAlwaysWorks: Inverted. Achren took Gwydion to Oeth Anoeth to torture him into obedience, but when he was able to endure, the entire building melted and imbued him with power.
* TreacherousAdvisor: Magg, chancellor to King Rhuddlum of Mona. Fflewddur, in one of his more GenreSavvy moments, is suspicious of him immediately.
* TricksterMentor
** Dallben, although not antagonistic in the slightest, does otherwise fit the description.
** Orddu. In ''Taran Wanderer'' she asks Taran if he's ever "scratched for his own worms." Months later he realizes what she meant.
* TrueCompanions: Taran, Eilonwy, Gurgi, Fflewddur, and Doli are the central members.
* {{Tsundere}}: Eilonwy
* TheUnchosenOne: Taran literally stumbles into the middle of the war and becomes a MessianicArchetype and later [[spoiler:High King of Prydain]] through sheer determination.
* TheUnreveal: We never learn who [[spoiler: Taran's biological parents]] are. They're probably nobody we know. Also, we never really learn who/what [[spoiler:Arawn]] really is. After he's killed, he reverts to his true form which ends up lying face down on the floor, but before anyone can go near him, [[LoadBearingBoss his fortress starts to crumble]] and everyone has to split.
** Though with Taran, the fact that it's not revealed, and in fact probably ''can't'' be revealed, is part of the point. He's not just the son of any two people, but all of Prydain, noble and common alike.
* UnusualEuphemism: Dorath threatens Eilonwy by claiming he will "remove her charms". Hey, it's a kid's book after all.
* UnwittingPawn: [[spoiler: Pryderi]]
* VagueAge: Everybody, really, but it's most notable with Taran and Eilonwy. It's generally understood that the series begins when they're prepubescent and ends around the time they reach adulthood; the only other clue to their ages is that Eilonwy is one or two years younger than Taran. In the last book, Dallben even keeps it deliberately vague by mentioning an event that happened around Taran's birth as having happened "as many years ago as you yourself have years."
* VainSorceress: Achren, who according to Eilonwy, "loves jewelry, but it doesn't become her one bit."
* WalkingTheEarth: Taran in ''[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Taran Wanderer]]''.
* WanderingMinstrel: Fflewddur's (largely unsuccessful) career as a bard before meeting the heroes. However, it was his own choice, since he finds being a failed bard much more enjoyable and fulfilling than staying in his dismal little kingdom.
* WarIsGlorious
** Adaon will tell you this is not the case. [[CallToAgriculture "There is more honor in a field well plowed than in a field steeped in blood."]]
** Coll would agree, preferring to be known as a 'planter of turnips', despite the fact that he'd marched single-handedly into Annuvin to rescue Hen Wen.
** At the start of ''The Book of Three'', Taran believes this. It's one of the first ideas knocked out of his head by his adventures.
* WarriorPoet: Adaon and Taliesin.
* WarriorPrince: Gwydion is the most obvious example.
* WeCanRuleTogether
** Achren makes no secret of the fact that she wishes to make Gwydion her consort, and offers him several chances to join her. Unfortunately for her, Gwydion is a CelibateHero.
** Much to Taran's shock and disbelief, [[spoiler: Gwydion]] makes this offer to him near the end of the series. The rule together part, that is, not the consort part. [[spoiler: It's Arawn in disguise.]]
* WellExcuseMePrincess: Eilonwy rarely stops criticizing Taran, but it doesn't disguise her obvious affection for him.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: [[spoiler:Pryderi]]
* WhatsUpKingDude: Back in Fflewddur Fflam's kingdom, children would often play games and sports in his throne room because of ease of access, and they knew that he was far more likely to join in their games than to shoo them out of the castle.
* WildHair: Fflewddur and Gwydion.
* WillTheyOrWontThey
** Dragged out until the ''very last page'' of the final book with Taran and Eilonwy. [[spoiler: TheyDo, of course.]]
** Eilonwy [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] the whole situation with her response to Taran's [[spoiler:marriage proposal: "Well, indeed. I wondered if you'd ever get round to asking. Of course I will, and if you'd given half a thought to the question you'd have already known my answer."]]
* WiseBeyondTheirYears: Taran, starting in book four, but by this point he's pretty well earned it by making numerous painful sacrifices.
* TheWisePrince
** Prince Gwydion is very knowledgeable and intelligent.
** Adaon in book two is not exactly a prince, but the son of the Chief Bard, and otherwise fulfills the archetype perfectly.

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