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.
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.