There are a few ‘tipping points’ in The Elder Throne but the most prominent of these can be traced back to Knightshade Valerian’s birth. S.E. Berrow once likened Knightshade to Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings: he isn’t the main character, but his actions and choices have a ripple effect that make him integral to the story.
Knightshade is the son of Seelie Warrior Cathal Valerian and UnSeelie traitor and spy, Blossom Blackwood. He was born about three months after Prince Huck, who became his best friend at ten years of age.
Without Knightshade’s existence (say, if Blossom Blackwood had not defected to the Seelie Court after all), the following things would not have happened:
- Prince Huckleberry would have continued being a spoiled, angry brat after his mother’s death
- He would have never known true friendship such as Knightshade provides, instead being stuck with shallow courtiers who only want power and influence, such as Leander Goodfellow and Fearghal Bracken
- He would have, at his father’s reluctant behest, agreed to marry Janus Atropa of the UnSeelie Court, ‘securing’ a peace treaty between the two Courts
- Huck would never have met Holly Squires, Anna’s mother, on a night out with Knightshade in the human world
- Anna Squires would have never been born
A story without the protagonist is pretty different, no?
Instead, the story would have played out like this:
- Prince Huckleberry marries Janus Atropa, UnSeelie Commander
- They start a family
- Once Aberon (Huck’s father) dies and the children are of an age to inherit the Seelie crown, Janus Atropa kills Huck and takes over the Seelie Court in the name of someone a lot more powerful than her…
Interestingly enough, Knightshade Valerian’s birth, being a genuine catalyst for Anna Squires’ birth, is actually of benefit for the true villain of the story, who is nameless during The Elder Throne. They require Anna for a specific purpose, unrelated to the Seelie crown. This is hinted at in The Elder Throne but will only be revealed in its sequel, The Winter Court.
So yes. Without Knightshade, everything falls apart for my heroes and villains alike.