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Alexander

Alexander (aka Alexander-Gwydion) is the son of Graham and Valanice, Grandson of Prince Cedric and Coignice on his mother's side, and Sir Hereward on his father's, and twin brother of Rosella. He is the sole Crown Prince of Daventry as well as the King of the Green Isles. Alexander's formal name is Alexander of Daventry. He is also known as Gwydion of Llewdor (or Gwydion of Daventry) by those who know his past (and still signs as such in his published works).[1] As a member of the Royal Family of Daventry he holds the title of Prince Alexander. He has earned the title of King Alexander within the Green Isles [2].

Background

Kidnapped

As an infant, he was kidnapped out of his cradle by the wizard Manannan. His parents had taken the babies and some friends on a summer outing on Lake Maylie. That evening, Manannan evidently put some kind of a brief sleep spell on the assemblage; one moment he was there, the next he was gone, although the cradle still rocked.[3] Some claim he was kidnapped from his nursery (or at least it was one of the places that Valanice searched for her child after finding him missing). Valanice looked into the nursery and found it unattended (the nursemaid Annabel was missing) with Alexander's crib empty and Rosella crying uncontrollably. The castle was scoured high and low, and every inch of Daventry was searched, but there never was any sign of the little boy. [4] Though for years many searched for him across Daventry, in time he was long-lost and presumed-dead.

Whatever the case, Manannan kept Alexander as a slave - renaming him "Gwydion" - in the land of Llewdor, intending to kill him on his eighteenth birthday. He did teach the prince to read and write, but he never revealed Alexander's true identity. Gwydion knew of his eventual fate and decided to make his escape.[5]

Escape

While his master was out on a journey, Gwydion found Manannan's secret laboratory and a spell book that would help with undoing his master. Gwydion chanced exploring Llewdor, collecting the ingredients for his spells, and meeting and evading certain inhabitants, ranging from bandits, to the Three Bears, and Medusa.

Along the way, Gwydion met the Oracle, who told him of true heritage and fate of his true homeland: a three-headed dragon that demanded a sacrifice, and this year's sacrifice was his twin sister Rosella. Knowing himself now as Alexander, he used a spell to create a cookie that would turn Manannan into a cat, and he succeeded to ridding the land of his evil master.

Now seeking a way to Daventry, Alexander bought passage from some sailors, but only after boarding their ship did he discover they were pirates. They took his possessions and threw him into the cargo hold, and traveled across the Western Sea. But Alexander escaped and used another of his spells to put the pirates to sleep.

Jumping overboard, Alexander journeyed to Daventry through the snowy Great Mountains, even escaping the Abominable Snowman. Upon his return, he learned from a gnome where he could find the dragon and his sister. Journeying to Cloudland, Alexander used his last spell to kill the dragon. Introducing himself to his sister, Alexander had to prove their relationship by showing Rosella a birthmark he was said to have on his right buttock. Alexander showed her and they both left and rejoined his family.

Life in Daventry

Alexandertfc

Not more than an hour into his reunion with his parents, his father tossed the 'adventure's cap' towards him and his sister. Alexander witnessed his father clutch his chest and collapse. Alexander held a steady vigil by his father's side, while his sister was off in the land of Tamir. He was overjoyed when his sister returned, and saved his father's life.

While his father's conditions improved in the following days, Alexander found himself the center of attention in the kingdom. Many wanted to know his life in Llewdor under the Wizard Manannan. Alexander agreed to an interview with the famous Derek Karlavaegen which was published in the pages of Daventry People.

Some weeks after his return home to Daventry, Alexander made a trip back to the Western Sea in order to destroy the Pirates that had enslaved him using a great storm spell on them.[6] The pirates and the ship were brought down by the tentacles of a great squid and eaten by sharks.[7] He killed all but one. Alexander continued to study the theory and practice of the magic, and was soon considered one of Daventry's leading scholars and practitioners of the craft.[8] In his pursuit to learn more about magic Alexander met and befriended the old wizard Morowyn, who lived in the woods south west of Daventry.[9] Due to Alexander's experience he started teaching magic at the Royal University, where he published his first book A Magical Primer.

The prince later gave Derek Karlavaegen, who lives not far from the Three Bears (having moved there only a few months after Alexander's escape), gold to give to the Bear family as payment for Alexander's deeds. Upon hearing the story of the prince's trials and adventures, they forgave him and gladly took the offered gold.[10]

Alexander spent a several months outside of Daventry learning about nearby lands.[11] Returning from his journey, Alexander returned to Castle Daventry during a fierce storm. He spotted what he thought was a dark castle in the sky. The following week, there were rumors of black knights attacking the countryside. Although not much of a fighter himself, he assisted the training of the soldiers and volunteers of the kingdom in preparation for invasion. His father brought all the knights and soldiers of the kingdom together for council. Alexander witnessed the evil sorcerer Telgrin, enter the castle, attack his father, and ultimately stealing his soul before leaving, leaving only a mindless husk of a body behind.

As there was nothing the court physician could do for his father, Alexander traveled to Morowyn's house to meet the wizard to learn more about the evil Telgrin. The good wizard gave him some advice, and sent his apprentice Cyril to assist him on his journey.

Alexander traveled to the Floating Castle to free his father's disembodied soul from the evil sorcerer, Telgrin. He returned to Castle Daventry, helped the physician reunite his father's soul with it's body, saving his father's life.KQTFC

On one fine spring day, he was minimized along with his family and castle in revenge by Mordack, and placed inside of a jar. The evil wizard tortured him, pulling him from the jar and holding above the clawing form of his brother, Manannan. The evil wizard had hoped that he could convince the young magician be able to turn his brother back into his original form. Alexander's actions well known in the magical world at this time[12], bluffed his way by Mordack claiming he had 'accidentally' turned his poor brother into a cat. After Graham rescued his family, Alexander fell in love with Cassima, Mordack's slave-girl the moment he met her. They promised to see each other again. Alexander and his family then returned home.

During the return celebrations, the young Prince Alexander alone seemed not to share his family's joy. He was quietly suffering; he felt responsible for his family's ordeal. Had he not angered Manannan and Mordack in the first place? But King Graham was gentle as well as brave, and he and Valanice worked together to calm their son's tormented heart, and all was happy in the kingdom once more.

Alexander made a trip to Mordack's Island not long after, in order to study Mordack's grimoire; The Objurgation of Souls. While there, he named the form of magic within the book; Iconomancy.[13] Still teaching at the Royal Academy, on his return he published his second book; Iconomancy: A Magic Without Words. Around this time, Alexander also had a reunion with his magician friends Cyril, Lydia and Morowyn...

For a short time there was communication between Alexander and Cassima. During these brief communications Alexander learned more about her life under Mordack, and her friends in his castle. How, where or when they communicated is unknown.[4] But in time the interaction stopped altogether, and Alexander lost track of her. Alexander developed melancholy and began to pine away for the princess he had known only for a short while.

Journey to the Green Isles

Some time later, he receives a message from the Magic Mirror about Cassima. He decided he would travel to the travel to the Land of the Green Isles in KQ VI to rescue Cassima. First he traveled to Llewdor to speak to Derek Karlavaegen while his ship was being readied.[14] He then traveled to the Islands over the course of three months. Once he made it the islands he saved Cassima from Alhazred, the royal Vizier. They were married and Alexander became King of the Green Isles. Their marriage uniting the two kingdoms.

King of the Green Isles

After becoming King of Green Isles, he and Cassima would sometimes visit Daventry by ship. They would play a game of King's Questions with the Captain of the ship, to pass the time while they journeyed back home.

During the cataclysm, he suffered the same fate of all the mortal people of the world, and was saved and the world restored by the quest of Connor.

He lived with Manannan so long using the name Gwydion, that he still thought of himself as Gwydion even after he became king of the land of the Green Isles. He thinks of the name Alexander as being merely an identity that he wears like someone would wear a cloak. Because he chooses to keep his slave name, his full name is Alexander-Gwydion.

It is foreshadowed that someday he would give Graham grandchildren.[15]

Personality and traits

Alexander bears a striking resemblance to his father.[16] Lean of body, he is taller than his father, but his eyes and the firm set of his jaw are the same as King Graham's. His mother's fairness of face is also there for all to see, and Alexander's resemblance to his sister, Princess Rosella is quite pronounced. One only has to look at them together to know they are twins. Even without the evidence of the small birthmark on his right thigh, his ears alone would mark him as the king's son. His voice is soft, mature beyond his years.[17]

Alexander had learned much during his forced servitude to Manannan. Beyond the smattering of magical lore that he had managed to wrest from the wizard, he had been forced to learn something of discipline and self-reliance. He had honed the ability to think on his feet. It was possible, even likely, that he had in some ways benefited from his strange and loveless childhood. Yet these lessons had cost him dearly as well. [18]

Alexander's essential nature is that he is by birth a prince, by upbringing a slave, by inclination a scholar and a magician. It is his nature to approach all problems slowly--he believes if he approaches them slowly enough, oftentimes they vanish before he reaches them. Impetuous action is not his nature--he learned from a grim school to advance slowly, and to be sure of his ground before advancing. This training has saved him many times. He simply does not attempt to force or shout his way into deadly situations. Alexander's nature is no less stubborn for being contemplative; his slow perseverance brings him triumph.[19] He is not inclined to jump into things, and hasty action is foreign to his nature.[20]

Alexander has a large streak of misdirection in his nature. It is due, no doubt, to his difficult upbringing as a slave-boy in Manannan's house, where forthright honesty, if practiced, would certainly not count for helpful survival. This is not to imply that Alexander is actually dishonest; merely that, though Alexander is the kindest and most tender-hearted of princes, he is not above a bit of tactful chicanery when he thinks it may be the shortest--not to mention best--route to his goal. He does it well. A certain amount of acting ability was another thing Alexander found useful for survival during his boyhood.[21]

Alexander does not have a particularly suspicious nature--though one who grows to manhood as the slave of a mad wizard is more likely to develop one than most--but simply that, as a scholar, he likes to have things perfectly clear.[22] So even still this has lead to his essential nature still being marked by coolness and suspicion. Alexander recognizes that such character traits can swiftly become character flaws, and strives not to succumb to them.[23]

It has never been in Alexander's character to wish to stand by while others bully the helpless. It is equally a part of his character not to wish to simply champion them, but help them stick up for themselves.[24]

Patience is an art that Alexander was forced to learn in order to survive his master, and it was patience that carried him through various crises.[25]

Alexander is resourceful and clever.[26] He is more of a magician and a scholar than a writer.[27]

A romantic, like his parents and sister, he fell in love with Cassima at first sight and also stepped in to rescue damsels in distress such as Lydia, Beauty and the Lady Celeste.

It is said bells were rang, and Alexander was welcomed back into the heart of his family on his return. It is said, however that the poor prince did not escape his captivity unscathed. Sometimes Alexander waked in the night with terrible nightmares, in which he never escaped the wrath of the evil wizard. On those nights, he could be seen walking the castle battlements, with a strange haunted, and somehow unsettling look in his eye. Despite, or perhaps because of this haunted quality the handsome Crown Prince has been the object of admiration for many young ladies of noble birth, but none seemed to capture his fancy.[28]

Alexander is a person of many skills. He is a talented magician. Prince Alexander was able to escape Manannan by learning magic and turning his captor into a cat. He has since studied the theory and practice of that craft, and is considered one of Daventry's leading scholars and practitioners of magic.[29]

The wand of Manannan now belongs to the prince, and he used it in preparation for all major spells.[30]

Both in KQ3, where he used Manannan's spell book and wand to win his freedom, and in the "long" path of KQ6 he casts spells to accomplish his goals and to save his own life. In the King's Quest Companion, he wrote two books/articles, A Magical Primer and Iconomancy: A Magic Without Words, the spell-casting form that Mordack favored and Graham was forced to use. He also transcribed the Fragments from The Sorcery of Old (author unknown) into the A Magical Primer.

However, in in an effort to protect Daventry from the ravages of two evil sorcerers, Alexander "played dumb" when Mordack demanded he magically return Manannan to his human form. Mordack knew better than to believe Alexander whose continuing magical accomplishments had made him quite well known by that time.[31][32]

He is also a decent fighter, and has helped train and arm many of the guards of the castle as best he could.[33] However, swordplay has never been a large part of Alexander's education, either as the slave-boy Gwydion or as the rediscovered Prince Alexander. King Graham believed there were better ways than force to resolve most problems, and Alexander never had the heart to fully learn the discipline of the blade.[34] Still, what knowledge he knew helped him in combat with some of the black knights of the Floating Castle, and against Abdul Alhazred, though they were better swordsman than him.

Alexander's is as fit of mind as he is of body; to him, conundrums are to be relished for their sake, caressed like a lover until they yield themselves.[35]

Alexander is not one to pass up an opportunity to increase his store of knowledge, but he is nobody's fool.[36]

Alexander is quite open about his time as a slave (and the imaginative punishments that Manannan made him endure). He speaks of the time with intensity as if reliving his experiences for others might exorcise the daemons of his past.[37] He was once interviewed by Derek Karlavaegen (not long after his Sister's return from Tamir) for the Daventry People (a popular newspaper Daventry) about his life under Manannan and his escape, "Prince Alexander's Own Story! Exclusive Interview".[38] He also discussed it a bit in his essay, 'A Magical Primer'. He explained further while telling his adventures in the Green Isles for Derek Karlavaegen to record for the court chronicles in both lands.

Alexander doesn't like to eat tomatoes.[39] He's had an aversion to cooking ever since he experimented with a certain cookie recipe involving cat hair and fish oil.[40]

Alexander's musical abilities have always leaned more towards wind instruments.[41]

To this day he still thinks of himself as Gwydion, although he does acknowledge and use Alexander. Sometimes he signs himself "Alexander-Gwydion".[42]

During his time living at Castle Daventry, he has as made several journeys beyond the kingdom, even spending several months away from the kingdom[43]. He visited the wizard Morowyn. He journeyed to the shores of the continent of Daventry to defeat the pirates that had nearly enslaved him, he made a trip to Mordack's Island to study the The Objurgation of Souls. He even made a journey back to Llewdor before his trip to the Land of the Green Isles.

Some accounts suggest Alexander to be shy and nervous, around others (no doubt due to his time only having the wizard to interact with).[44]

Details

  • The Sacred Ones' Oracle predicted that Alexander would never leave the Land of the Green Isles, perhaps ever.[45] This means he would end up becoming the King of the Green Isles, and would live there for the rest of his life (he would only leave to visit his former home land).
  • Alexander's eye color are indistinguishable in KQ3, blue in KQ4, dark in KQ5, brown in KQ6 (or blue or green if counting the icon interface either PC or Amiga version), and often dark brown in box art.
  • Another prophecy from the ghost of Edward suggests that Graham would give his people a prince that make their future secure (as Alexander became the king of the Green Isles its unclear if he will fulfill that prophecy.).
  • Alexander has worn several different outfits throughout the games and artwork, see Alexander's Wardrobe.
  • There was apparently communication between Alexander and Cassima between the time they met in Mordack's Island and seeing each other in the magic mirror, but how, or where or when is unknown. Nothing is at it appears, and little is known.[4] During these brief communications Alexander was given further explanation as to how she lost her Locket, she told him about Dink, and more about the Mordack's Henchman.
  • Just after seeing Cassima in the mirror, but before the three month voyage, Alexander returned to Llewdor while his ship was being prepared, to visit Derek Karlavaegen where he received a copy of the Guidebook to the Land of the Green Isles.[46] He read it during the three month journey (memorizing the Ancient Ones alphabet and riddles), and lost it when the ship crashed on the rocky shoals surrounding the Green Isles.
  • Alexander had to have become a scholar, practitioner of magic, and teacher in the Royal University between KQ4 and KQ5 (as that part of his history was known prior to the release of the 2nd edition of the Companion).
  • Alexander was on a journey for several months just before the events of the Floating Castle (it is unclear if this relates to any of his journeys such as the the trip to the pirates, or something else).
  • Strangely, although Alexander resembles his father in KQV, and according to published lore (KQ4 manual), if Alexander shows copper Daventry coin to the Guard Dogs, they will say that don't see much resemblance between him and his father (they comment that perhaps he resembles his mother more).
  • Alexander has given an exclusive interview and full expose for the Daventry People, of his time living under Manannan, see Prince Alexander's Own Story!: Exclusive Interview.
  • Alexander had an unpleasant experience with the former court dentist of Daventry.[47]
  • It is suggested that Daventry and Green Isles were united in the marriage of Alexander to Cassima.[48] Leaving a possibility that he could rule both kingdoms someday. Assuming Rosella chose not to become the next in line.
  • The exact timing of when Alexander first met Morowyn is unclear, it could have occurred right after his father's heart attack (when the royal magicians were overlooking the king), while his sister was in Tamir, or shortly after her return.
  • It is said that a few spells in The Sorcery of Old are in a language Alexander understood. This would seem to suggest that Alexander knows more than one language than just the Common tongue (English), including Latin[49]. Fragments from The Sorcery of Old appears may be a translation of the spells into the common tongue... then again the KQ3 manual appears to contain a copy of the The Sorcery of Old in English as an in-universe document in English.


Titles & Nicknames

  • Man of Earth
  • Man of Flesh
  • O Mortal Man
  • Chicken Boy
  • Prince Alexander of Daventry
  • Prince Alexander
  • Prince Alex
  • Gwydion of Llewdor
  • Gwydion of Daventry
  • King Alexander of the Green Isles
  • King Alexander
  • Alexander-Gwydion
  • Prince of Daventry
  • Alex
  • Crown Prince
  • Sire
  • Your Highness
  • Prince Blamentander of Smaventry
  • Prince Salamander of Pagentry
  • Prince Frog/Sir Frog
  • Master of the Genie

See also

Behind the scenes

In KQ6, he was voiced by veteran voice actor Robby Benson.

There are a number of inspirations for Alexander's story in KQ3, the most obvious are the tales of Gwydion, his namesake (though the influence is only marginal). But even more specific, as KQ6 points out is that he is basically the male version of Cinderella (minus a wedding at the end of the story, or the fairy godmother), Manannan steps in as basically the wicked stepfather/sisters.

The idea of a powerful wizard keeping slaves or young child apprentices/servants (with no intention of teaching magic) is also not an original idea. In many stories Wizards often take on female slaves/brides.

In a form that more closely resembles KQ3, it appears in stories such as 'The Thief and His Master' (a German fairy tale) (in which a father sells his son to a Master-Thief/Magician, and the story involves the child's various attempts to escape from both his Dad and his magician master).  Another story Master and Pupil (a danish fairy tale) has a boy who becomes a servant for a wizard, and learns spells under his nose, and escapes back to his parents. When the wizard finds out he goes back to his father and buys the boy from him to enslave him, and prevent him from using magic. The boy uses magic to escape the wizard, after a chase and magic duel, the wizard turns into a hen, and then boy turns into a polecat, and bites the bird's head off. In an Italian story, Maestro Lattantio and His Apprentice Dionigi, a wizard-tailor takes on a boy as his tailor apprentice/servant, but the boy is more interested in learning about magic than being a tailor, and spies on his master to learn magic. The boy is lazy, and often punished by his master (but the boy bore it, if only to secretly learn magic). The story ends with the wizard turning into a rooster, and the boy a fox cutting off the wizard's head. A similar story appears in the story Farmer Weathersky from the Red Fairy Book from the Andrew Lang's Fairy Books series (which was a huge influence on Roberta Williams). In the story, the wizard Weathersky kidnaps the boy on his magic flying slay, forcing the father to come to his rescue. Later the boy having to defend himself from the wizard, who is trying to kill him by using the wizards own spells against him (ending with the wizard turning into a cock, and having its head bitten off by the boy in Fox form). These stories likely influenced the ending of Wizard and the Princess and the wanderer changing into a cat, to eat wizard Harlin who was in bird form. Most of these stories have in common is the wizard chase/duel, which is a theme that appears in KQ5, and Wizard and the Princess.

Another story which could have been a possible influence is the story 'The Magic Book' from the Orange Fairy Book from Andrew Lang's Fairy Books. In the story a boy becomes a magicians servant, boy disobeys magician's rules to stay out of a forbidden room, inside he finds magic book to learn forbidden magic/shapeshifting, the boy runs away from wizard. This story may also have any number of influences on both KQ3 see Gwydion's story, and The Sorcery of Old, and in KQ5, see Iconomancy.

The name Alexander is a name shared with many great adventurers and leaders (Princes and Kings) of history, the most famous of which is the legendary conqueror Alexander the Great. Another famous Alexander is Paris, the prince of Troy, who killed Achilles during the Trojan War. His elopement with Helen of Sparta, was one of the causes of the war. He later lost his life during the war. In KQ6 Alexander's plight is compared to the lost loves of both Helen of Troy and Cleopatra.

Alexander Pope coined the phrase '...to err is human...' which KQ3 parodied as 'To Heir is Human'. The game tells the story of Alexander's journey and escape. Alexander Graham Bell was the inventor of the telephone, but this is less likely to be inspiration.

Lloyd Alexander was the author of the The Chronicles of Prydain in which the character Gwydion appears as one of the heroes. Sierra did work on an adventure game adaptation of The Black Cauldron for Disney, the same year they made King's Quest 3, which was also designed by Al Lowe and Roberta Williams, among other Sierra alumni.

In early concepts of KQ8, Alexander would have been at Castle Daventry during the cataclysm and had suffered the fate of the rest of the family. In the final game this is only nodded to by the Unicorn, who states that Graham's family has suffered the same fate as all mortals of the world.

Reboot Canon

In the reboot universe Alexander and Cassima have a daughter named Gwendolyn. Alexander first appears in Chapter 4 of the new series though is offhandedly mentioned as early as Chapter 1 (and appears on tapestries). He does get at least a few references by Gwendolyn, in one comment she says she doesn't know which are worse granddad jokes or dad jokes. A classic attired KQ6 Alexander about to encounter the Minotaur can be seen on a tapestry in Gwendolyn's bedroom, taken from the artwork of KQ6, see Alexander (KQGS).

Alexander (unofficial)

Alexander has appeared in multiple fan games, see Alexander (unofficial).


  1. KQC2E, pg. 91, KQC3E, pg
  2. KQC4E, 316
  3. KQC, 2nd Edition, pg 437
  4. KQ5 Hintbook
  5. KQC, 2nd Edition, pg 437
  6. kqc2e, 497
  7. KQC1E, pg 329
  8. KQC1E, pg 289
  9. TFC
  10. KQC1E, pg
  11. TFC, 39
  12. Crispin (KQ5): "While you and Cedric were gone, I did some asking around, and found out that YOUR son, Alexander, had the dubious distinction, if you may, of turning Mordack's brother, Manannan, into a cat some time back."
  13. KQC2E, pg
  14. KQC, 3rd Edition, pg
  15. KQC2E, pg
  16. KQ4 manual, pg
  17. KQC, 2nd Edition, pg 117
  18. TFC, 49, 50
  19. KQC3E, pg 244
  20. KQC3E, 276
  21. KQC3E,302
  22. KQC3E, 244
  23. KQC3E, 274
  24. KQC3E, 270
  25. KQC2E, pg 149
  26. KQC3E, pg 240
  27. KQC3E, pg 238
  28. KQ6 Hintbook, pg
  29. KQC, 2nd Edition, pg 438
  30. KQC1E, pg
  31. KQC, 2nd Edition, pg 438
  32. Alexander (KQ5):""
  33. KQTFC, pg 18
  34. KQC3E, 311
  35. KQC3E, 273
  36. KQC3E, pg 261
  37. KQC3E, 88
  38. King's Quest Companion, 1st Edition, pg
  39. Narrator (KQ6): "Alexander doesn't even like to eat plain tomatoes, much less that rotten one!"
  40. Narrator (KQ6)
  41. Narrator (KQ6)
  42. KQC, 2nd Edition, pg 437
  43. KQTFC, pg 39
  44. Narrator (KQ3, version 2.00)"Shyly, nervously, you enter the throne room with your sister, Princess Rosella. "
  45. KQC3E, 284
  46. KQC, 3rd Edition, pg
  47. KQC3E, 256
  48. KQC3E, 312
  49. TOBOKQ, pg

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