So, this week’s question focuses on my story’s villain. The thing about The Elder Throne, though, is that it actually has two villains – although one is certainly worse than the other. However, today I want to shake things up in this challenge, so I’m choosing to look at my secondary villain instead of my main one (who you will find out about in subsequent weeks).
This man is a type of every-day villain. There’s nothing dramatic about him, but his views on the world are poisonous, and he makes life very difficult for everyone around him. I used the basic questions suggested in a previous post of mine – Hot Seating – which is a theatrical method of getting into character. Everyone, meet the ‘noble’ and ever-pompous… Lord Leander Goodfellow.
- How old are you/when were you born?
I’ve seen about thirty-seven Seelie Winters.
- Where were you born?
The Seelie Court, of course, where else? The Goodfellows are a long-standing, very important Seelie family, who have been members of the Court since the time of Queen Tara the Great. We wouldn’t dream of moving anywhere else in the world.
- What’s your favourite food?
Meat pie. My wife Hayleigh used to run this very quaint pie stall with her parents before I elevated her to noble status. Of course, running the pie stall is completely beneath a member of the Goodfellow family, so I told her she had to give it up, but she still occasionally cooks one for me and my son Gourd when the mood takes her.
- Are you allergic to anything?
Cold iron. And filthy half-blooded Commanders who think they’re better than everyone else.
- Cats or dogs (preference)?
I dislike animals.
They’re noisy, make a mess, and they never seem to like me either. I don’t know why.
- What has been the best day of your life so far?
Possibly inheriting my father’s position on the Council, as Head of Culture. It’s always good to have the ear of the Seelie King, after all…
- And the worst?
Losing Prince Huckleberry’s friendship. We were ten and he misinterpreted my intentions towards the half-blooded Valerian boy that was in my way. The prince broke my nose ‘for bullying’ and wouldn’t listen to reason from that day on. He even befriended the undeserving little… But it doesn’t matter now. Huck disappeared about a decade ago, but his illegitimate daughter Anna has just arrived in the Court. I intend she and my son Gourd will become fast friends. And who knows, perhaps a romance, when they’re older? Unfortunately, so far, she seems to be displaying her father’s stubbornness and ill-advised choice in friends. She hangs around with a Changeling, for Macha’s sake!
- Do you have any habits you’re ashamed of?
- What would make you kill someone?
Oh, I couldn’t do that. Once, when I was seven, my cousin Fearghal and I were teasing the Valerian boy by the lake. I have water powers, you see, so I was ducking him whenever he tried to get out. Harmless fun, of course. But then his filthy UnSeelie mother got involved, and claimed he nearly drowned because of us! Pfft. We’d only been doing it for fifteen minutes. Unlike her, I would never kill anyone.
- Have you ever smoked/taken drugs?
No. Such behaviour is unbecoming of the upper class. Although I’m certain Prince Huck tried both.
- What would you do if I poked you in the eye right now?
Have you up before the Council and punished. As well you should be! Who do you think you are, touching a noble Seelie lord?
- Would you ever wear trainers without socks?
I would never wear trainers. They’re human footwear and I have better taste than that.
- Who is your best friend?
As I said, it used to be Prince Huck. Now, probably my cousin Fearghal Bracken. He’s a Lieutenant in Valerian’s army. I still hope that one day the Council will come to their senses and remove Valerian and replace him with Fearghal instead. At least he’s full-blooded Seelie!
- Where did you and your best friend meet?
We’ve known each other since he was born. I’m six months younger than him. Our parents live across the street from each other… or at least did, until my father passed away.
- Will you wear this pink dress?
Don’t be absurd.
- Who is your favourite superhero?
Superhero? Those fantasy humans with powers that pale in comparison to the fae’s? Ha. As if I’d answer.
- What are you most afraid of?
Being stripped off my power and title. And wealth. Or, really, my family. Hayleigh and Gourd are my world.
- Are you romantic?
I like to think so. I can’t currently think of an example… but I’m sure I’ve been romantic in the past.
- Do you bite sellotape or cut it with scissors?
I wouldn’t use such an offensive item when I’m perfectly capable of using Seelie-made items.
- How often do you clean your teeth a day?
Twice, once in the morning and once at night before bed.
- Do you pick your nose?
I have been known to, on occasion. Not in front of anyone though, that’s disgusting.
- If you could have one job, what would it be?
Honestly, I’m very good at the job I have – Head of Culture. However, with my political connections, I do believe I’d be well suited for a higher position. Some might say a ‘royal’ one. But, alas. I’m fifteenth in line for the throne and Huck’s brat looks irritatingly healthy.
- Would you swim with sharks?
I don’t see why not. Being water fae, very few sea creatures scare me.
- Would you go into space?
I’d rather not.
- You sneeze into your hand in public and don’t have a tissue. What do you do?
Wipe it down my trousers, I imagine. I’m a very busy man.
- Your mother/brother/sister falls over. What do you do?
I don’t have any siblings, and my mother died a few years ago. If she’d fallen over when she was alive, however, I’d help her up, of course. She was very delicate, my mother. A great beauty in her day, too.
- Do you dunk biscuits in your tea?
I do. It’s one of life’s underrated joys.
- Do you believe in love at first sight?
I used to. I have had an unfortunate track record with girlfriends, however. We won’t go into that. However, my love for my wife Hayleigh was something that grew over time. She tells me she loved me quickly, but then she is far too soft-hearted. Imagine, she believes that Changelings should have the same rights as faeries! Bless her. I’ve tried to explain why that’s a ridiculous idea, but she just shakes her head and carries on with her dreaming. But she is my rock. I appreciate her more than anyone guesses.
- Have you ever stolen anything?
I actually haven’t. Although… I helped Fearghal steal Valerian’s girlfriend once. Does that count?