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This subsection of the Heralds of Valdemar Character Sheet involves characters from the Last Herald-Mage Trilogy.

Herald-Mage Vanyel Ashkevron and Companion Yfandes

  • The Arch Mage: The last in Valdemar for a very long time.
  • Ambadassador By Magic's Price, Vanyel has become much in demand as a diplomat, probably because of the massive respect engendered by his magical powers and battlefield heroics.
  • All Gays Are Promiscuous: Subverted; Vanyel could possibly count his number of lifetime lovers on one hand (no more than two hands) and is basically celibate by the time he reaches his thirties.
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  • All Gays Are Pedophiles: Explicitly averted. People (at least Withen and anyone influenced by him) seem convinced that he's after underage and barely-legal males and view the amount of time he spends with them as suspicious. His detractors are wrong: he just has a soft spot for troubled youth (possibly due to his own miserable childhood and adolescence).
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: He mentions once that he will protect Valdemar even after his death if he can. He does; he and Yfandes become the spirit guardians who 'haunt' the northern border, and Stefen later joins them. Centuries later, at the end of Winds of Fury, they all move on — though we're not told whether they've gone to the Havens at last or decided to come back.
  • Badass Gay: He saves his country several times over, sometimes by diplomacy, sometimes with magic, and sometimes with sheer physical skill. In fact, this is the reason why homophobia isn't an issue in Valdemar as a whole: How do you condemn gays when your nation's greatest hero is openly homosexual?
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  • Badass in Distress: While held captive by a group of thugs.
  • Bi the Way: Considers the possibility for a while before dismissing it in Magic's Promise. May be slightly true considering the existence of his children, the twins being conceived by him precisely because both Starwind and Moondance were unable to take care of that part themselves. Then again, they are lifebonded and Vanyel notes it as a "business deal" in a fashion.
  • Blessed with Suck: How he feels about his gifts in between getting them and being trained in them. He still sometimes feels this way, but his sense of duty keeps him from too much despair.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Vanyel and Liss deliver a much-deserved tirade to Withen in Magic's Pawn.
  • Camp Gay: Vanyel in Magic's Pawn (his father knew he was gay because he liked music and fancy clothes), and, to a lesser degree, in Magic's Promise and Magic's Price.
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  • Chosen Conception Partner: He fathered several children at the adoptive parents' bequest, starting two Secret Legacies among the Tayledras and the Valdemaran royal family. In Valdemar's case, the fact that he was openly gay disguised the fact that he and Shavri were Jisa's real parents.
  • Color-Coded Eyes: Silver eyes, symbolizing his beauty and his remote nature; his power sets him apart.
  • Covered with Scars: By the beginning of Magic's Promise, he has collected numerous "decorations" from knives, swords, mage-fire, electricity, a demon trying to eat his heart, etc., uzw., and so forth.
  • Curtains Match the Window: By the end of Magic's Price his hair is more silver than black, matching his eyes.
  • Dance Battler: Based on descriptions of his combat style.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Yfandes. She's especially snarky when dealing with Vanyel's angsting, though of course he gets her back when he can.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: Vanyel dreams of his battle with Leareth years before it happens.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Thanks to Tylendel.
    • Also, thanks to Stefen in the third book.
  • Doomed by Canon: His death was revealed in Arrows of the Queen.
  • Dream-Crushing Handicap: Wanted to be a Bard, but didn't have the Bardic Gift or talent for compositionnote . Tylendel (who has sources in Bardic)later tells Vanyel that if Van wasn't his father's heir the Bardic Academy would have snapped him up for minstrel training in a heartbeat.
  • Driven to Suicide: Fortunately interrupted both times.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Vanyel has pale skin and blue-black hair, and when he comes into his power, even his allies find him a little scary.
  • Gayngst He feels it a lot in Pawn. By Promise, he's mostly concerned with the pragmatic effects of having a reputation for homosexuality in a somewhat homophobic culture.
  • Go-to Alias: Valdir the scruffy minstrel, of the Go-to Identity variation.
  • Heel Realization: When Stefan interferes with a massive Roaring Rampage of Revenge in Magic's Price.
  • Heroic BSoD: In Magic's Pawn, after Tylendel's death, and in Magic's Price after being tortured and assaulted by a gang hired by the Big Bad Leareth. The main plot of Magic's Promise is kicked off by Vanyel getting sent to Forst Reach for a holiday because almost everyone who gets a good look at him realizes he's on the verge of this from sheer exhaustion and probable PTSD.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Vanyel and Yfandes die together in a Final Strike that eliminates Leareth and his army.
  • Honorary Uncle: Tries to get Stefen to consider him that early in Magic's Price, due to him being good friends with (and actually slightly younger than) his actual nephew. This is also his official status to Jisa, but it slips towards actual fatherly support due to both Randale and Shavri having other issues on their plate by the time she's six and also because, due to Randale's infertility, Vanyel is Jisa's biological father.
  • Hurting Hero: Hoi... By the end of Magic's Pawn, Van has found purpose and identity as a Herald, but his own peace and happiness comes at a distant second to Duty, and he's only too aware of it. It only gets worse in the next two books.
  • Ice Queen: During a large chunk of the first part of Magic's Pawn, with the appropriate metaphors and everything.
  • Incompatible Orientation: Poor(?) Melenna.
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: During Promise and Price he does his best to avoid having lovers, or even close non-Herald friends, knowing that his enemies would harm them just to get to him.
  • It's Personal: A recurring motivator.
    • In his own trilogy, he goes particularly hard after mages who have killed his fellow Heralds. This nearly backfires on him when Leareth provokes him into a rage and takes advantage of his inattention to trap him.
    • In "present-day" Valdemar, after centuries as a deterrent against enemy mages, he gets personally involved in Winds of Fury. This makes sense because Mornelithe Falconsbane, the current Big Bad, was Leareth — or more correctly, both men were the ancient sorcerer Ma'ar. Later, in Storm Breaking, he and Yfandes are among the many who help end the final Storm which Ma'ar helped start.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Much of the point of Magic's Pawn is to coax the gold out of his jerk act that he constructed to protect himself from being hurt.
  • Last of His Kind: The Last Herald-Mage
  • Living Legend: By the second book, even Heralds are awestruck by him.
  • Lover and Beloved: He's twice Stefen's age, and for this reason among others tries very hard to stick strictly to a mentorship role for quite a while, only Stefen isn't having it. Van himself was a Beloved to Tylendel, which meant he depended on his lover for everything. Their closest associates quickly pointed out how unhealthy it was.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: He has this reaction in Pawn after seeing the results of giving Tylendel Savil's spellbook, and again in Price after killing two semi-innocent people along with their brutal associates.
  • Magic Knight: He can fight magically, physically, or both.
  • Mindlink Mates: With Tylendel and Stefen.
  • A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read: When his MindSpeech first wakes up, he can't shield out anyone's thoughts, so he hears how most of the other Heralds would rather he had died and Tylendel had lived. This leads to him almost being Driven to Suicide, but luckily Yfandes and Savil stop him.
  • One-Man Army: Destroys a powerful mage (who was actually Ma'ar), four of his apprentices and an entire invading army almost single-handedly. (He needs Yfandes' help to overpower Leareth but still)
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Has enough power that he could potentially level Haven (Valdemar's capital).
  • Phrase Catcher: At the beginning of Magic's Promise, he is repeatedly told "You look like hell". He does, having just gotten back from a year on the front lines filling in for five other Herald-Mages at once.
  • Professional Sex Ed: His father hires him a female prostitute in an attempt to cure his homosexuality.
  • Rape as Drama: After his capture by a sadistic gang in Magic's Price.
  • Red Baron: Demon's Bane, Shadow Stalker, The Hero of Stony Tor...
  • Reincarnation Romance: With Tylendel/Stefen.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: He goes on a couple of these: first, after a magically-altered creature kills Savil, and second, after a group of thugs rapes and tortures him, both in Magic's Price.
  • Safety in Indifference: At the start of Magic's Pawn Vanyel finally decides to cut himself off from all emotion as a way of dealing with his emotionally abusive father exiling him to a strange city. This is reflected by his ice dream, and eventually leads to him opening up to Tylendel.
    • Bounces back into this by Magic's Price as the deaths of many of his friends and lingering wounds from Tylendel's death make it too tempting for him to retreat into Duty and not let anyone get too close.
  • Secret Legacy: He is the ancestor of the Valdemaran royal line and a line of mages in Clan k'Treva.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Unstated but very much there by the second book. He's on a hair trigger, shows Death Seeker tendencies, has trouble coping with the deaths of his friends and has a Guilt Complex over it. By the third book, he's retreating into himself over untreated emotional problems.
  • Shrouded in Myth: To the later generations. The song Demonsbane (about the battle of Stony Tor) is a good example of his folk hero status. In it he takes on a nobleman backed by a wizard, demons, and thirteen armed men single-handed and wipes the floor with them just to make a point.
  • So Beautiful, It's a Curse: Savil thinks Van would be better off he were a little less pretty. He doesn't agree.
  • Superpower Lottery: He won it. But since the price of his lottery ticket was Tylendel, he would have rather have not entered at all.
  • Took a Level in Badass: When the trilogy starts, he's a fop with no manifested powers of any kind. By the second book, he's probably the most effective warrior in Valdemar. By the third, he's a Person of Mass Destruction.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: Nearly dies from it too.
  • Troubled, but Cute: He's got looks... but he's such a mess of open emotional wounds that a look is all you'll get. He even tries to close himself off from those who literally share his mind — Yfandes and Stefen — because he thinks they won't understand.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility: Even though the stress of the job seems to be nearly killing him (and it's only a matter of time before an enemy does him in for real), he can't quit protecting Valdemar through his work as a herald.
  • What Beautiful Eyes!: Silver ones, which he gets from his mother, along with the rest of his good looks.

Herald Trainee Tylendel Frelennye and Companion Gala

  • Closet Key: For Vanyel
  • Diabolus ex Machina: Like whoa.
  • Dirty Mind-Reading/Sex by Proxy: An ill-planned attempt unlocks all his psychic gifts too early.
    • Apparently he tried to do this with his Companion in a moment of loneliness. She never let him forget it.
  • Driven to Suicide
  • The First Cut Is the Deepest: Until he met Vanyel, Tylendel shied away from lovers and relationships due to a bad first time.
  • Genki Girl: Gala, from what little we see of her, is a playful and energetic filly. It makes it all the sadder and more shocking when she coldly renounces Lendel.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Gala.
  • Hot-Blooded: A mild example. Tylendel is certainly intense about everything (loving Van, supporting his brother, learning magic) and also has a habit of rushing into things, against the advice of everyone around him.
  • I Owe You My Life: Stavan kept him sane for months after his gift awoke and before he was Chosen. Due to that, Tylendel feels like he owes Stavan a debt which is why he supports his brother even when he shouldn't.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Serves as this to Vanyel. Unfortunately he's oblivious to his status as such at first, and when Savil brings it to his attention he chooses to ignore it. As as result, when he is Driven to Suicide Vanyel is unable to cope with his loss and attempts suicide as well.
  • Mindlink Mates: With Vanyel
  • My Greatest Failure: The Heralds themselves seem to consider him this, especially Savil, his trainer.
    • His greatest regret after his death was leaving Vanyel all alone.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Second only to Vanyel. Before he was Chosen, Tylendel would drop into a trance, lose control of his Gifts and wake up in a massive crater. One wonders how powerful he would have been had he survived to become a full Herald-Mage
  • Power Incontinence: He suffered this before he was Chosen. As he's not fully trained, it crops up in moments of emotional stress. Like when Stavan died
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: After Stavan is killed
  • Thicker Than Water: Constantly excuses and supports his brother. It moves into Moral Myopia to everyone's frustration.
  • Twin Telepathy: With his brother Stavan.
  • Un-person: Due to the tragedies surrounding his suicide, he is never referred to by name and he is not mentioned in any records in Haven. By Magic's Price, with the exception of a few people (including Vanyel and Savil), most everyone acts like he never existed.
    • To be fair to the Heralds, it's not at all intentional. They're more incredibly uncomfortable with mentioning him. (which isn't much better)

Herald-Mage Savil Ashkevron and Companion Kellan

  • Blood Brothers: Is a Wingsister to clan K'Treva, and is especially close to Starwind.
  • Cassandra Truth: Realizes that the deaths of the other Herald-Mages are not accidents, but murders. Vanyel refuses to believe her until its too late.
  • Cool Old Lady
  • Deadpan Snarker: Extremely so. It can occasionally work against her as she comes across as extremely caustic to people who don't know her.
  • Foreshadowing/Idiot Ball: we don't find out Moondance's history until the third book, but if Savil had remembered it during the final stages of Tylendel's arc, she would have been a lot more prepared for, or might even have averted some of, the worst parts of Tylendel's end/Vanyel's beginning as a Herald-Mage. Noted in that it's implied to be one of the things she calls herself out on, after she gets Vanyel to the Tayledras.
  • Mentor
  • My God, What Have I Done??: After narrowly adverting Vanyel's suicide attempt in Magic's Pawn, Savil grimly realizes that all of this could've been avoided had she realized Vanyel's deeply rooted problems as opposed to treating the boy like a nuisance, and she vows to treat him much better.
  • Reincarnation: A Companion named Sayvil pairs up with Kerowyn in By the Sword and is broadly hinted to be Savil reborn. Later confirmed by Word of God off-screen.
  • Resentful Guardian: How she treats Vanyel at first in Magic's Pawn. To Savil, she has more important things to do with her time than babysit and chaperone her "spoiled little nephew" and doesn't hide to Vanyel how much she hates having him around and how inconvenient his being there is. Unsurprisingly, when life takes a tragic turn for Vanyel, he's very reluctant to accept Savil's help.
  • Secret Keeper: Vanyel had to tell her about his children at the end of Magic's Promise after finding out that a spell that can kill anyone in a given bloodline with mage-potential had been set as a trap in the Lineas palace.

Starwind k'Treva

Moondance k'Treva

Brightstar k'Treva

  • Calling the Old Man Out: A downplayed version, but definitely present in his only on-screen appearance in Magic's Price. When Starwind and Moondance are reluctant to leave the Vale to save Vanyel from Leareth's leech-blade, Brightstar steps up to shame them both into going.
  • Has Two Daddies: Actually three considering a third guy sired him.
  • Raised by Dudes: Averted.

Lord Withen Ashkevron

  • Abusive Parents: Withen has a narrow and homophobic view of what a man should be, and holds a good deal of anger and frustration towards Vanyel for not fitting the mold. He treats the teenaged Vanyel very harshly and orders Jervis to "toughen him up" by any means necessary, driving Jervis to break Vanyel's arm during a training bout. He mellows in later books, but it understandably takes years for him and Vanyel to form anything resembling a positive relationship.
  • Cure Your Gays: He actually hires a (female) prostitute for his fifteen-year-old son in order to "cure" him. It doesn't work.
  • Hidden Depths: Turns out to be a decent politician when he moves to Haven.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Angrily arrives at Haven to give Savil a verbal beatdown for allowing Vanyel to carry on a relationship with another boy, but his attitude does a complete one-eighty upon seeing that Tylendel's suicide, the forcible awakening of his Mage abilities, and Vanyel's own suicide attempt had turned Vanyel into a broken, sickly mess.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Is notably more calm, easygoing and accepting of Vanyel in Magic's Price.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Vanyel spent most of his childhood alternately resenting and trying to win the approval of his father.

Lady Treesa Ashkevron

  • Abusive Parents: While she's not nearly as bad to Vanyel as Withen and Vanyel is in fact her favorite child, she spoils and coddles him while using him to indulge her own desire for courtly romance. None of this helps his emotional stability much, especially since Treesa is incapable of standing up to Withen's abuses of Van.
  • Hysterical Woman: Actually seems to take pride in it.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Maybe. Vanyel views her as hysterical and weak willed but he's biased and the fact remains that she encouraged his interests and protected him in her own way. When Stefen meets her, she's calm, composed and polite to Yfandes. She even endures a mage attack with grace. It's up in the air whether she's Silk Hiding Steel, Obfuscating Stupidity or Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy

Mekeal Ashkevron

  • Absurdly Youthful Father: He's thirteen or fourteen when he gets Melenna pregant with Medren. In addition, he had six children with his wife during the twelve-year Time Skip between the two first books, so his oldest true-born child may not be that much younger than Medren.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: To Vanyel in Magic's Pawn.
  • Generation Xerox: Is the spitting image of Withen. It's a family trait apparently.
  • Older and Wiser: In Magic's Promise and Magic's Price.

Melenna

  • Earn Your Happy Ending: After years as Hopeless Suitor for Vanyel, and almost as long as a single mother to Heroic Bastard Medren: at the end of Magic's Promise, Vanyel gives her a minor noble title in order to make her Tashir's Castellan/Housekeeper; Vanyel nearly chokes in Magic's Price on getting a letter that casually mentions that she and Jervis have married.
  • Hidden Depths: in Magic's Promise Melenna's the only one in Treesa's entourage who doesn't go into hysterics when Tashir goes into a flashback-induced fit that involves an invisible hurricane, and can therefore give Vanyel a good idea of what actually happened, including hints on what triggered it. She also says outright when making her Settled for Gay offer that it's partly because he's so good to her son.
  • Hopeless Suitor: For Vanyel.
  • Settled for Gay: Offers that to Vanyel after admitting to her Hopeless Suitor status so his parents will get off his back. Vanyel gently refuses as he has met people who had done it and told him it was a bad idea.
  • Settle for Sibling: Tried to do this. Medren showed up nine months later.
  • Stalker with a Crush: The lengths to which she goes in Magic's Promise qualify as sexual harassement.

Medren

  • Heroic Bastard
  • Magic Music
  • Out of Focus: Once Vanyel and Stefen get together, he all but drops out of the story. (But given what happens to those close to Vanyel, this is probably a good thing for him)
  • Shipper on Deck: For Vanyel and Stefen. He just forgot to mention to Vanyel, who's slightly paranoid about younger fanboys making advances to him despite Incompatible Orientation, that Stefen was also openly shaych before they had the opportunity to meet (while Stefen knew about Vanyel).

Jervis

  • Earn Your Happy Ending: At the end of Magic's Promise it's implied that Jervis is promoted to a minor noble title in order to become part of Tashir's household. It's mentioned in Magic's Price that he and Melenna have married.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He terrorizes Vanyel in the early parts of the first book, but proves to be a surprisingly decent guy in the subsequent novels.
  • My Master, Right or Wrong: He doesn't actually share Withen's homophobia, but goes along with Withen's orders to 'toughen Vanyel up' in Magic's Pawn because he's deeply loyal to Withen for giving him the position of Armsmaster at Forst Reach. Justified, as for a retired mercenary like himself with no independent resources to speak of, the position is the only thing standing between him and starvation.

King Randale

  • Determinator: By the end, he's holding himself together through sheer willpower, trying to give the new King time to get ready.
  • Mindlink Mates: With Shavri.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: Hints of it in the second book and by the third is outright dying of a terminal incurable disease (implied to be cancer, though never stated).

King's Own Herald Shavri

  • The Empath: Comes with being a Healer. (Centuries later, in Arrows, Empaths are still rare among the Heralds because they're needed too badly as Healers; that lack of experience is one of the reasons Talia's Gift goes rogue on her in Arrow's Flight)
  • Healing Hands: She is a Healer on top of being the King's Own Herald.
    • In the second book, Vanyel muses that Shavri is the first Herald-Healer in history; between Randale's sterility and the tendency for Heralds with really odd Gifts being Chosen just before they're needed, Vanyel suspects Randale's illness before he starts showing symptoms.
  • Mindlink Mates: She and Randale are Lifebonded.
  • The Mistress: Officially insofar as those outside of court and the Circle are concerned, for two reasons: an outside Marriage Alliance was both possible and potentially needed, and the prospect of being co-ruler terrified Shavri.
  • Together in Death: Deliberately invokes this. Terrified of being left alone, she opens up an unblocked link to Randi, tying their lives together. They burn out and die at the same time.

Stefen

  • The Ace: Of the Bardic trainees. Medren, who was formerly the prize student, has no trouble accepting that Stef's better than him at everything on top of having a very useful, one-of-a-kind Gift.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Spent his life as a beggar on the streets. Subverted in that besides making him slightly more pragmatic and selfish, Stefen has mostly overcome his childhood and has very few emotional problems from it. Many other characters (cough Vanyel) can only dream of such resilience.
  • Driven to Suicide: Nearly, until he is stopped by Vanyel's ghost.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Literally - in order to earn a place with Vanyel after death, he must spend his life working to overcome the perception of "plain Heralds" as inferior to Herald-Mages.
  • Everything but the Girl: Stef gains prestige, renown and the backing of very powerful patrons and friends (everything he wanted at the beginning of Magic's Price) but loses Van.
  • Foil: To Tylendel. Tylendel is intense with a habit of acting before thinking; Stefen is very methodical and calculating. Tylendel had multiple Gifts at great power, Stefen has only the Bardic Gift. Tylendel as a Herald wants to help people; Stefen is primarily concerned with himself. Tylendel grew up privileged with a close family; Stefen was a street urchin who didn't know his parents. Tylendel struggles with his childhood trauma; Stefan recovered and divorced himself from it. Stefen comes across as a version of Tylendel who has learned from his mistakes... which of course he is.
  • The Hedonist: At first.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: His hair is described as bright auburn.
  • Hourglass Plot: He's Tylendel reincarnated. In addition to now being the "weak but mentally stable" half of the lifebond, the end of Magic's Price has him follow Vanyel on a revenge quest, lose him soon after, attempt suicide, and have to live most of his life without him by his side.
  • I Just Want to Be Badass: Thanks mainly to sheer determination, he manages to keep up with Vanyel on a mission and actually winds up saving it from disaster.
  • Ladykiller in Love: A gay version.
  • Legendary in the Sequel: Later books show that Stef is to the Bards what Vanyel is to Heralds — a legendary figure of great power who became the standard for all later generations.
  • Lover and Beloved: With Vanyel. In regard to sex, though, this is flipped, as he has more experience than Vanyel, who's sometimes celibate for years at a time. It's how Vanyel and Stef avoid the power imbalance that Tylendel and Vanyel had. Stef brought greater mental stability and sexual experience; Vanyel greater life experience.
  • Magic Music: Specifically has the power to soothe pain through music.
  • May–December Romance: Mildly... he's in his late teens when Van is in his early thirties. This helps keep Van from depending on him like he did with Tylendel.
  • Meet Cute: Runs into Vanyel after playing his fingers to bits and snaps at him in irritation.
  • Mindlink Mates: With Vanyel.
  • Morality Chain: He plays a major role in keeping Vanyel sane.
  • Past-Life Memories: Stef has some hints of Tylendel's past life — he calls Vanyel "ashke" and knows things about Savil and Vanyel that he shouldn't. It's mostly subconscious and serves as foreshadowing
  • Really Gets Around: Before meeting Vanyel he had quite the reputation.
  • Reincarnation Romance: He comes back to restore not only Van's lost love but his lifebond.
  • Street Urchin: His backstory.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Mainly due to his childhood and uncertain place in life, Stefen starts out coolly pragmatic and selfish. Spending time with Vanyel teaches him to be more caring and ethical in using his power.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: It's really easy to forget that Stefen is only 18 when he and Vanyel meet. In contrast to a lot of the people around him (Vanyel and Tylendel (and a lot of other Heralds) were emotional messes at that age) and in spite of his childhood, Stefen is stable, self-possessed and confident with hints of wisdom and empathy. He has growing up to do but is still miles ahead of many other characters.
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