B is for Brydon

Brydon is the main character in the Gauntlet Series, so it’s lucky for me his name starts with an early letter. He’s also my favorite character, despite Toryn’s endless charm. Although Brydon is almost a cookie-cutter version of a “good guy” I think it works for him and he’s grown into the part and made it his own. He’s almost too good, at times, and his fatal flaw might be that he trusts too easily and actually believes things will always turn out all right in the end.

Brydon’s morality is rather black and white and seldom strays into the greyer areas, whereas Toryn muddles around in so much grey that nothing is ever black and white in his world. I think they make a nice contrast as a team. Brydon has a clear view of good and evil, us and them, right and wrong, and he has no problem acting on those visions. He had no qualms about killing the assassins attacking him in the first chapter of the series, but once Toryn was down and wounded, he would never have cold-bloodedly finished him off.

Part of the fun of writing the story has been testing Brydon’s moral fiber. Everything is crystal clear to him in the beginning. He plans to find the magical object, return to his wonderful country, marry the princess, and rule with her in peaceful harmony. He believes the neighboring country of Redol is populated with barbaric enemies filled with hatred. He thinks his own path is righteous and and good. Meeting Toryn is the catalyst that doesn’t necessarily change any of that for Brydon, but rather diverts it a bit. Brydon’s path, initially, is like a paved road leading straight to his goals. Toryn takes great delight in pointing out every potential tangent path and divergent possibility.

Although Brydon’s vision is clear in regards to what he needs to do, he is frequently sidetracked from his good intentions by falling for the wrong women. He first meets Sellaris and, although he despises her moral viewpoints, he finds himself unwillingly attracted to her. While he manages to resist her, he later encounters Shevyn, and her fiery silence draws him in and ends up entangling him so completely that he begins to question fulfilling the quest.

While Toryn despises Sellaris, he is more than happy enough to encourage Brydon into falling for Shevyn, despite the fact that he thinks Brydon might make an excellent king back in Falara, and might even have the potential to end the decades-long war between their countries. Brydon dives headlong into danger in order to retrieve the Gauntlet from the hands of his enemies, and to save his friends along the way. His simple quest becomes far less simple as the story unfolds, and at the end it is obvious that Brydon is going to have to make a choice, and his decision will affect more than just himself and his immediate friends.

Whatever he ends up doing in the end, Toryn will most likely be there to tell him he made the wrong choice.

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