“For each of us comes a time when we must be more than what we are.”
Lloyd AlexanderThe Castle of Llyr

This quote is from the book, The Castle of Llyr and said by Dallben, the kindly old wizard (as is implied by the books) who the main protagonist of the series (the Chronicles of Prydain) lives with. This is one of my favourite quotes ever, and I’m going to get it tattooed on me sometime soon.

Taran and the Princess Eilonwy in the 1984 Disney Feature, The Black Cauldron

This quote, to me, means that we have to overcome whatever we face. This quote is spoken to Taran, the main protagonist, who is an Assistant Pig-Keeper. When Dallben says this to Taran in the book, he is reminding Taran that even though he is but an Assistant Pig-Keeper, he has the ability to be more than that. Dallben is also saying that just because one is labelled as one thing, that should not limit the abilities one has. Taran has so much potential, and Dallben sees that, but Taran doesn’t.

If I’m not wrong, this quote is said near the middle of the book, or near the end. I could be completely wrong. But what I’m getting at is that in the next book, Taran Wanderer, Taran goes off in search for his father, or his family, but mostly himself. He encounters some difficult situations, and thinks he has found his father at one point, but his dreams are dashed. He learns a valuable lesson at that point- that just because he is fatherless, does not mean he is witless or anything less than anyone else.

Taran, I think, is my favourite literary character. I’ve read a lot of books, and he is still my favourite. I think there’s something intensely noble, loyal, childish and mature about him. Maybe I see a lot of myself in Taran- in the way he starts off the series being so sure, bordering on foolhardy, and how at the end, he becomes a great leader, willing to listen and learn from others. I just hope my story ends off as well as his does.

Here’s a picture from the internet of the poster I bought this summer; it was one of the official ones given to a Toronto movie theatre to post when the movie was in theatres!

The Black Cauldron

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