Beautiful People, Vol. 8: Gidion’s First Solo “Flight”

Beautiful People 1

Beautiful People is a monthly blog meme hosted by Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up and Further In. Every month they pose 10 questions for writers to answer about their writing and give readers the opportunity to learn more about the writer’s characters.

Last month, I introduced Gidion from The Keeper’s Curse as part of the Friendship Edition of Beautiful People. And this month, he was the first character who jumped into my mind when I read Cait and Sky’s questions. It’s a neat coincidence, too, because I just “finalized” a tea inspired by Gidion for my tea-blending project. 😀

A quick character recap: Gidion is Eva’s 21-year-old cousin, and the third major character after Eva and Aurek Kolsteg. He’s also the Captain of the Council of Selanaan (which Eva is a part of, so he’s her boss too), and the Council’s chief negotiator.

(Visit the Beautiful People category page to catch up on past BP posts.)

1. Gidion is in a crisis. Who would he really like to see right now? 

Depends on the circumstances. If a political or diplomatic crisis erupts during Council travels, he’d need to take charge, since he’s the Council Captain. But he’d also look to the rest of the Council for overall support. The ones he trusts the most are the next-oldest / next-in-rank Councilors (Vandar, Keli, and Eva), since he’s known them and worked with them longer than the younger Councilors (Remi and Doni).

If it’s a personal crisis, Gidion would turn to his mother Maji. She’s the sage in his and Eva’s lives; she’s empathetic, understanding, and a good listener who offers sound advice. He might also seek guidance from Edaro, a former Council Captain who joined Fae’s Royal Guard after he retired from the Council. Gidion and Edaro have remained close since then, though; and Gidion considers Edaro to be up there with Eva and Maji as a trusted friend.

2. Is he easy to get along with?

Oh yes! Gidion gets along with just about anybody. He’s friendly, thoughtful, and pleasant to be around. He’s sociable and pleasant to be around, so he’s the kind of character who greets passersby on the street and asks questions to show his interest in others’ well-being. He’s also tolerant of differences in opinion, religion, culture, etc. So, in short, he’s very much a people person.

That being said, Gidion does struggle with certain characters. He and his father Lusan often don’t see eye to eye. Lusan was disappointed when Gidion decided to try out for the Council instead of learning arrow fletchery so he could inherit Lusan’s shop in the future. This has led to difficulties between them, especially since Gidion still lives with his parents. Gidion also finds Prince Virikar, the Commander of Fae’s Royal Guard, to be rude and self-centered, but does his best to try to find middle ground (which is kind of a lost cause against Virik…).

3. Who was the last person he had a deep conversation with?

Either his mother or Eva. Gidion trusts Maji’s insights and generally feels more comfortable talking with his mother than with his father. As for Eva, Gidion is especially close with her because of the emotional support he’s given her over the years. He comforted her when she woke from nightmares, and defended her when her bullies wouldn’t stop tormenting her. (He wasn’t afraid to get into a fight for Eva’s sake, either!) And when two people – siblings, friends, or (in this case) cousins – grow up sharing these kinds of experiences, the trust that develops between them allows them to be able to talk about anything, regardless of who’s the guardian or the protected. So, Gidion has definitely had his share of deep conversations with Eva, and vice versa.

4. Gidion is in the middle of a huge crowd of people. How does he feel? 

Right at home, though not in a “stealing the spotlight” sort of way. 😉 Like I said for #2, Gidion enjoys being around people, so he relishes any opportunities to mingle with other Faeries or the people he’s visiting. If one of Fae’s seasonal festivals is in full swing, he and the rest of the Council can be found assisting the Royal Guard with “policing” the event. But he’ll also take some time to chat with neighbors, shopkeepers, and other acquaintances.

5. Does he believe in luck or miracles?

Well, Gidion believes in miracles, but they’re limited to nature. Faeries in this world worship Tovana (a.k.a. Mother Nature), and they pray to her for successful hunts, plentiful harvests, rain during droughts, etc. So, if Gidion prayed to Tovana for a day of comfortable travel weather when every day before had been raining or hot, and his prayer was answered, he’d call that a miracle.

As for luck… Gidion believes more in making one’s own luck and creating one’s destiny than waiting to let things happen by chance. In his opinion, things will work out if you have the skills / know-how, an open mind, good instincts, and a positive attitude. People succeed because of their actions and choices, not because of an accident.

6. Does he like and/or get along with his neighbors?

I think the answers to #2 and #4 make this one a clear “Yes.” Gidion tends to see his neighbors when he’s in town rather than at home, though. Because Faeries live in treehouse-style dwellings called kagenden (the singular form is kagende), the “houses” tend to be further apart for privacy and ease of Faerie flight, and each family owns a sizable plot of land.

7. If Gidion could travel anywhere in TKC’s story world, where would he go?

Since Gidion’s Council duties require him to travel, he’s already been just about everywhere in the Great Isle. 😉 But his favorite place to visit is Denelai, the capital city of the kingdom known as The Hartlands. It’s not so much about the markets or culture, but the people and the city’s general atmosphere. Denelai is known for its warmth and generosity, and is very welcoming to the Faeries (especially the Council and Fae’s royal family). Their friendliness and community spirit reminds Gidion of home, too. The fact that he works well with Denelai’s current king Benolav also adds to his fondness for this city.

8. How does he feel about his body?

Gidion has no problem with his body image. He eats well, is in good physical shape (he’s a skilled swordsman and archer, though he prefers the former weapon), and doesn’t spend a lot of time thinking about his looks.

9. What is the cruelest thing someone has ever said to Gidion? How did he react? 

As mentioned in the answer to #2, Gidion’s father Lusan had never approved of Gidion’s appointment to the Council. He wasn’t fully aware that Gidion had gone through with training for the Council in secrecry, though. (Lusan had originally forbidden Gidion from doing so, saying that he needed Gidion’s help with running the arrow fletchery.) So when Gidion was selected to join the Council, Uncle Lusan was shocked – and livid. His only response to Gidion after the ceremony was, “I raised you to be selfless, not selfish. You may still live with us, but don’t think for a moment that I’ll forgive your decision.”

Gidion undoubtedly expected to hear the latter sentence – but not the former. That’s the part that hurt him more. Yes, he chose the career path that he believed was best for him, but he did so with the intent of protecting his people and helping to make the world at large a better place. He’s part humanitarian, part idealist – a very unselfish character, in other words. And when someone calls you something you’re not, and you know they’re too stubborn to change their way of thinking, the pain it can cause is pretty deep and needs time to heal. 😦 And undoubtedly Lusan’s comment has contributed to the tension between him and his son now.

10. What is the kindest thing someone has ever said to him? How did he react?

When a Council Captain retires from the Council of Selenaan, not only is a new member elected to replace him, but his second-in-command (the Lieutenant) becomes the new Captain. So, Doni’s appointment to the Council happened at the same time that Gidion was promoted to Captain. At the end of the Council’s first weekly meeting after this “lineup change,” Doni and Gidion had an exchange that went something like this:

Doni: (shakes Gidion’s hand) “Thank you very much again for choosing me, Captain. I hope I can make you proud.”

Gidion: (laughs) “You needn’t call me ‘Captain.’ Gidion is perfectly fine.”

Doni: “Are you certain? You’ve done great things with the Council. Negotiating with kings and queens, and drafting that treaty to help end the war between Esterland and the sea pirates. I’m honored to have the chance to work with someone like you, Captain, and I want to show my respect.”

Knowing Gidion, he was probably flattered and floored to hear that on his official first day as Captain, especially from the newest Councilor. He tends to be pretty reserved about his feelings, so his reaction was probably returning Doni’s handshake and a thank-you for the compliment. Inwardly, though, it must have given him a much-needed boost of confidence.

What do you think of Gidion now that you know more about him? Feel free to share your thoughts and any questions you may have by commenting below.

24 thoughts on “Beautiful People, Vol. 8: Gidion’s First Solo “Flight”

  1. I still think he sounds delightful (and a good balance of sweet, sincere, and strong). Like the best sort of best friend, brother, or cousin – I’d definitely want to be on his side. Sad to hear that his dad doesn’t appreciate him though 😦 It sounds like they have pretty different personalities!

    It seems like it’s pretty honorable to be on the Council, though Lusan’s expectations that his son would follow in his footsteps isn’t surprising. Still, does this friction ever result in the mild-sounding Gideon acting out? Is Gideon tempted to outright defy his father, or does his strong sense of duty always keep him in check in this area?

    As an aside, how do Eva and Lusan get on? Does Eva and Gideon’s closeness cause even more tension in the household? What about Gideon and his mom’s closer relationship?
    Just realized that I pelted you with questions . . . but I really like the sound of Gideon’s character (as I expressed last month), and I’m interested in his arc, for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Rebekah! 🙂 And for the record, there’s no “e” in Gidion’s name. 😉

      Yeah, his father Lusan had grown up believing that family loyalty and tradition should be one’s greatest priorities in life. So naturaly Lusan had hoped that Gidion would become an arrow fletcher like him and take over the shop when Lusan retired or passed away. And when Gidion didn’t show that interest, and then decided he wanted a different career altogether… well, Lusan wasn’t very happy.

      In terms of Gidion acting out.. He would have reacted differently at certain ages. When he was 7 or 8 years old, he didn’t question his father, but he got bored pretty easily of the arrow-fletching. Around 10 or 11 years old, he started slacking off (for lack of a better term) at the shop and spending less time there because he knew where his true interest laid(?). During TKC, though, Gidion doesn’t have much reason to act out. However, he will raise his voice if he loses his temper or is trying to get his point across, but only as a last resort. (He goes red in the face when this happens, too.) It’s so rare for him to have an outburst that when he does, everyone’s too stunned to respond. This bit happens in TKC, btw; I forgot to include it in the post itself (was in a hurry to finish this, since I was running late with it :/ ). And I imagine it’s happened with Lusan once or twice, too.

      Also, I should point out that Lusan doesn’t question Gidion’s Council responsibilities or force him to work in the shop during TKC, but it doesn’t stop him from voicing his resentment now and then…

      Eva and Uncle Lusan. Ha. Ha ha. They don’t always get along. I think I talked about that in the Parental Edition of BP back in June… Ah yes. I’ll copy and paste for your convenience:

      “Uncle Lusan is a different story. He loves Eva and his biological son Gidion, but his strict traditionalism often clashes with her independent streak and occasional tactlessness. A great example? Uncle Lusan threatened to throw Eva out of their home when she was named to the Council. Thank goodness for Aunt Maji’s peace-making (one of her strengths).”

      On that note, Aunt Maji is a big reason why the household finds some kind of peace. She has an effortless way of smoothing things over and reminding everyone that they need to love each other despite the fact that they won’t get along all of the time. And not only do the other three respect her for her coolheadedness and wisdom, but they all know she’s right. 😉

      As for everyone else’s closeness, Lusan doesn’t mind it. He’s a workaholic, actually, so he doesn’t notice it all that much. You know what workaholics are like. *lol*

      No worries about all the questions! I hope the answers make sense / clarify things for you. 🙂 What’s interesting about TKC is that there’s quite a bit of tension between Gidion and Eva. She suspects that he’s hiding something from her, and… well, that’s all I can say for now. 😉

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      • GIDION – Got it (though my auto-correct is still giving me a heck of a time over it).
        Thanks for all the answers, I am very inquisitive and can be taxing!
        Family secrets . . . ooh, I like the sound of that.
        I’m actually starting to feel a little bit bad for Lusan, myself. It sounds like everyone’s a bit against him. It reminds me of a real life personal anecdote: when I was a teenager, my parents bought a farm, moved us all out there, and we were expected to help out. I hated it. But I love my parents. And I was a teenager, so there was that. It put us at odds (though I am now grateful for many of the accumulated experiences). The point of this is – my dad wasn’t being unreasonable – but there were a lot of problems on both sides. Needless to say, I’m not farming now, and my parents are 100% supportive of that, but there was a lot of emotional friction over these same issues.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s OK! Any questions help me ensure that I know these characters inside and out, and that the “inside and out” makes sense in the end.

        The secret… It’s not really a family secret, but a plot-driven secret. But I shall say no more on that. 😉

        That must have been tough for everyone. I can see it from both sides, just like you do in hindsight. But I’m glad that everything seems to be OK between you and your parents now (from the sounds of it?). The only real comparison I have is when my family moved when I was 13 years old. I was happy where I was and didn’t want to leave my friends, but being a teenager I had no say in it. In the end, I know my parents did what was best for our family, and I’m thankful for growing up in a suburban town instead of a city. But back then, it was pretty traumatic.

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      • Oh yes, we are all really close! (That just made things harder when we all were a bit at odds though). But the move to the farm, the resulting stress, and my inability to outwardly express frustration gave me more determination to write than ever. I probably wouldn’t have a novel coming out this summer if things had gone differently!! But of course, you never know that when you’re in the moment ;P

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  2. Gidion sounds really cool. ^ ^ I feel bad that he’s at odds with his dad. That’s always tough when your parents don’t like what you do. Also I love your worldbuilding. It’s really fleshed out. ^ ^

    storitorigrace.blogspot.com

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    • Thanks, Tori! 🙂

      Actually, I feel badly for Uncle Lusan after this post. *lol* Unfortunately he can be at odds with both children in the family, even though he means well. I think I might do additional BP posts on him and Aunt Maji in the future. (They were my pick for the Parental Edition back in June.) But it always depends on the questions that Cait and Skye ask us. 😉 Do you choose your BP focal character(s) ahead of time, or wait until the questionnaire comes out each month before deciding?

      I really appreciate the world-building comment. I’m still wary that I might not have done enough – but I think it’s better to think that way than to not do enough in the first place, right?

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      • That would be cool! I’d like to learn more about them. ^ ^ I always wait until the questions come in. I like to choose which character would suit the questions best.

        Yeah. ^ ^ The more you know about your world the more real it will feel for the reader even if you don’t mention all you know about it.

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    • Thanks, Alyssa! 🙂

      Unfortunately, Uncle Lusan is only a minor character in TKC. He won’t be in the picture much once Eva, Gidion, and the rest of the Council are off on their quest. But at least having that background knowledge helps with understanding how Gidion’s family gets along.

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  3. Gidionnn! I loved learning more about him. And that was a nice excerpt you added. Eva and Gidion, I’m super curious what the conflict between them is during TKC since they usually get along. What is he hiding from her? *really wants to know* 😀
    I’m also finding myself intrigued about the horrible Virikar person, hehe. 😉

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  4. OOh! I love it! I love love love the world you’ve created. So, is Fae the name of the country or just the Faerie race? Or is Selanaan the country? And The Hartlands, is that a different kingdom? Does the universe as a whole have a name?

    I love your creation of words and religions — so important for a believable fantasy novel. Also, great answer to #9.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Emily! To answer your questions:
      1) The name of the “world” is the Great Isle. So, imagine a continent where different races and kingdoms exist. Sort of like Middle-Earth… except it’s not Middle-Earth. *lol*
      2) Faeries are one of the races who live in the Great Isle. They tend to refer to themselves as Fae when pluralized, and they have their own realm in a forest called Kasialonen.
      3) Selanaan is a former Fae King whom helped found the Council of Selanaan. So, the Council is named in his honor.
      4) Yes, the Hartlands is a separate realm. It’s the centermost realm of the Great Isle (see where the name comes from? *wink*).

      I think that covers everything. Let me know if I missed anything, though, and if you’re curious about anything else. 😉

      Yeah, Gidion and his father haven’t had an easy time together. You’d think that by now, Lusan would have accepted his son’s choice not to follow in his footsteps… But duty to one’s family is such a priority for Lusan that he still resents Gidion’s Councilship years later.

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