Friday, June 24, 2011

R is for Rogan

Oh, dear! If I don’t get cracking, I’m not going to finish this series by the end of the month, am I? Well, I stalled a little on this one because I couldn’t think of a fantastically good “R” to do. But at last I settled on a character with as little role or good luck as he can possibly have . . . Sir Rogan, knight of Farthestshore, one of Aethelbald’s entourage.

Poor Rogan. He really doesn’t get a whole lot of page time. And then he appears to serve no other purpose than that of ‘Red Shirt.’ He’s there at a battle to die dramatically, and everyone (except the reader) sheds a tear because everyone (but the reader) cares.

But when you’re fictional, you really want your readers to care whether you die or not. I mean, it’s a lot of work, taking part in a book . . . probably took him years of training and applications to get accepted even in such a minor role! And then, pfffff. Dead. Years of training and preparation, all eaten up in one ill-fated moment with a Dragon. And nobody even cares!

So I’m going to give Rogan a bit of credit here on my blog so that he can feel better about himself, poor man.

Rogan hails from Rudiobus, same kingdom from whence the famous Bard Eanrin sprang. As such, Rogan is bright and golden (he has red-gold hair, if I remember correctly) with green eyes. I get the impression that he’s a bit devilish in personality, ready for a fight. When he and his companion, Sir Imoo, are guarding King Fidel in the Northern Mountains, Rogan gets the first sense of approaching danger. He “smells it,” he says. And the notion seems to excite him! He hums to himself and even begins to sing a battle-song.

There is some implication that he, like Eanrin, might also take cat-form upon occasion. But he is no housecat like Monster . . . I imagine Rogan is much more of the alley tomcat, looking for a scrape!

This doesn’t mean that he is a particularly brilliant warrior. Earlier in the story, we see him and Sir Oeric sparring together. Rogan uses steel since his sword cannot hurt Oeric’s stony hide. Oeric uses wood, but it is still poor Rogan who seems to come out the worse for wear. Not that anyone cares . . .

Poor Rogan.

Well, someone at least seems to care a bit when Rogan meets his fiery end. Sir Imoo and Sir Oeric witness the brief encounter between the young knight and the Dragon. And Imoo is so distraught by what he sees that he nearly gets himself burned to a crisp swiftly after! Instead, the Dragon sweeps him away with his arm, and Imoo, though probably bruised and bloodied, survives the night.

Imoo and Rogan are friends, obviously. Two very different people, but friends even so. We know little about them in Heartless, and next to nothing is said about either of them or their history. But perhaps one day I’ll have the opportunity to tell a story . . . a story about a lost slave with no memory, a band of minstrel-spies, a secret passage, and a ruthless queen . . .

Someday. And perhaps after reading that story, poor Rogan will find some sympathy among the readers and move up from “Red Shirt” status into that place reserved for legitimate characters!


Anonymous said...

Well, now that I know a bit more about poor Rogan, I might be more sad next time I read Heartless and when he meets his demise.

Anne Elisabeth Stengl said...

Rogan will be ever so grateful for your sympathy!

Anonymous said...

Christa here!
I actually liked Rogan and was pretty bummed that he met such a... well, crispy end. lol Sorry, couldn't resist. But I was bummed and couldn't understand how he would want to face off the Dragon like that, probably knowing full well what would happen. So thank you so much for talking about him. I was hoping you would and now that you've gone into his character a little, I understand why he did what he did.