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Characters introduced in A Wizard of Earthsea

    Ged 

Ged

Sparrowhawk

The protagonist of A Wizard of Earthsea.
  • The Apprentice: Ged to Ogion in A Wizard of Earthsea.
  • Celibate Hero: Ged is celibate because he is a mage. This accounts for a complete lack of romance in the first three books, even when a pairing up, first with his friend's sister and then with Tenar, looked to be inevitable. All the mages in Earthsea are celibate by rule, in theory because they will lose their power unless they are chaste, though the truth of this belief is not exactly confirmed. It's implied in Tehanu (by a village witch, who may not be the most reliable source) that wizards use some sort of spell to render themselves asexual, or possibly just make it easier to be completely celibate.
  • Deuteragonist: Ged's character development is secondary to Tenar's in The Tombs of Atuan and to Arren's in The Farthest Shore.
  • Distressed Dude: To Tenar in The Tombs of Atuan.
  • Famed In-Story: A Wizard of Earthsea is explicitly described as being about Ged when he was young and not famed in story; in it, a friend declares he will make a song so his deeds will be remember, but either he didn't or the song was lost (only distorted pieces survive). However, by The Farthest Shore, Ged is indeed famed.
    • Despite the lines in A Wizard of Earthsea saying that stories of the events of that novel were lost, it is clear that they are common knowledge by the time of The Other Wind, as shown by Alder.
  • Farm Boy: Is a goatherd, son of a blacksmith, on a very rural island out on the edge of civilization — but the island is known for occasionally producing very powerful wizards.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Ged, after unleashing a never-exactly specified evil into the world, is scratched up rather terribly by the thing on one side of his face, and scarred for life. However, in that same book someone says approvingly that the scars indicate him as a true hero—and more importantly they are a sign of his kinship with the Nameless Ones, which Tenar is priestess of.
  • Hero Antagonist: Ged to Tenar in The Tombs of Atuanv.
  • Living Legend: "His life is told of in the Deed of Ged and in many songs, but this is a tale of the time before his fame, before the songs were made."
  • Rite of Passage: In A Wizard of Earthsea, the mage Ogion the Silent gives Duny his True Name of Ged in a coming of age ceremony.
  • Scars Are Forever: Ged has disfiguring scars down one side of his face, inflicted by an evil Living Shadow he summoned as a boy, which remain even when he is the Archmage. He seems to regard them as a reminder of the cost of arrogance and misuse of magic.
  • Shadow Archetype: In A Wizard of Earthsea, Ged accidentally raises an evil spirit representing the darkness in himself, which is actually called the Shadow in the book. It follows him everywhere until he can call it by its true name—which is Ged.
  • Training the Gift of Magic: Ged is first taken as a trainee by a witch when he shows a remarkable ability to cast simple spells after hearing them once, then is apprentice to Ogion, then receives extensive training at a Wizarding School after showing greater but still limited power. It's possible that anyone could achieve something if they knew the right true names, but most people would probably be dangerously clumsy at best.
  • Unusual Pets for Unusual People: In A Wizard of Earthsea, Ged ends up with an otak as his familiar. It's explicitly noted that otaks are not easily domesticated at best, and it is shown when his otak nearly bites some of the other students at his school.
  • Youth Is Wasted on the Dumb: Ged foolishly casts a spell to show off, with devastating consequences.
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    Ogion 


Characters introduced in The Tombs of Atuan

    Tenar 

Tenar

Arha

Ged: You must make a choice. Either you must leave me, lock the door, go up to your altars and give me to your Masters; then go to the Priestess Kossil and make your peace with her—and that is the end of the story—or, you must unlock the door, and go out of it, with me. Leave the Tombs, leave Atuan, and come with me oversea. And that is the beginning of the story. You must be Arha, or you must be Tenar. You cannot be both.
The protagonist of The Tombs of Atuan.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Arha fits this trope very much in The Tombs of Atuan, although there is a subversion in that Ged—who plays the role of dashing adventurer in the novel—does not "defrost" her through sex as often happens, but rather helps her develop a sense of morality and reconnect with her buried humanity.
  • High Priestess: There are 3 High Priestesses at the Place of the Tombs of Atuan, one for each temple. Kossil is the High Priestess of the Godking; Thar is the High Priestess of the Twin Gods; Arha is the High Priestess of the Nameless Ones. But Arha is One Priestess; she is the highest one and even the other two must obey her.
  • Meaningful Rename: Twice, first when goes from Tenar to Arha, and then again when she returns to the name Tenar.
    • She is "eaten" when she's 6, and starts being called "Arha".
      Arha: I am not Tenar anymore.
      Manan: No. I know. I know. Now you're the little Eaten One. But I...
    • Near the end, when she takes back her name Tenar.
      [She awakens from a dream of her mother calling her Tenar.]
      Tenar: I am Tenar. I have my name back. I am Tenar!
  • Ms. Exposition: Early in The Tombs of Atuan she plays this role.
    Arha: Tell me how I was chosen, Manan.
    Manan: Oh, you know all that, little one.
    Arha: Yes, I know. [She proceeds to tell the whole story word-for-word as it was told to her by Thar.]
  • Parental Substitute: To Tehanu.
  • Reincarnation: She is Arha, "The Eaten One," Priestess of the Nameless Ones. The priests hold that everyone is reincarnated, but that only Arha is reincarnated again and again as herself.
  • The Trope Without a Title: "Arha" means "the Eaten One." As the priestess of the Nameless Ones, she too has no name.
  • Tsundere: At least in The Tombs of Atuan. By the time we see her again two books later, in Tehanu, she seems to have grown out of it.

    Manan 

Manan

  • Affectionate Nickname: He calls Arha "little honeycomb."
  • Eunuchs Are Evil: Inverted Trope. Manan is the kindest, most loyal character at the Tombs.
  • Mr. Exposition: Early in The Tombs of Atuan he plays this role.
    Arha: Tell me how I was chosen, Manan.
    Manan: Oh, you know all that, little one.
    Arha: Yes, I know. [She proceeds to tell the whole story word-for-word as it was told to her by Thar.] Now tell me how I was chosen!
    Manan: [Tells the story of going with the priestesses and finding her as a baby.]
  • Parental Substitute: To Arha as she grows up.

    Kossil 

Kossil

High Priestess of the Godking
  • High Priestess: There are 3 High Priestesses at the Place of the Tombs of Atuan, one for each temple. Kossil is the High Priestess of the Godking; Thar is the High Priestess of the Twin Gods; Arha is the High Priestess of the Nameless Ones. But Arha is One Priestess; she is the highest one and even the other two must obey her.
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    Thar 

Thar

High Priestess of the Twin Gods
  • High Priestess: There are 3 High Priestesses at the Place of the Tombs of Atuan, one for each temple. Kossil is the High Priestess of the Godking; Thar is the High Priestess of the Twin Gods; Arha is the High Priestess of the Nameless Ones. But Arha is One Priestess; she is the highest one and even the other two must obey her.
  • Iron Lady/Stern Teacher: She is stern and taciturn, but Arha respects her.
    If Thar had been stern, she had never been cruel. It was pride she had taught to Arha, not fear.

    Penthe 

Penthe


Characters introduced in The Farthest Shore


Alternative Title(s): Earthsea Trilogy

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