Study Guide

Gary (Gareth) of Naxen in Alanna: The First Adventure

By Tamora Pierce

Gary (Gareth) of Naxen

The son of the Duke of Naxen, Gary is a "large young man with chestnut hair and eyes" (2.71). He offers to sponsor "Alan" during his first day at court, and he kindly shows her the ropes. Aw. BFFs 4EVA. So what's this charmer like?

For one, he definitely has a sense of humor. Here's what he says about free time: it's "an illusion. It's what you get when you die and the gods reward you for a life spent working from dawn until midnight" (2.102). (We hear that!) Plus, Gary is smart. Alanna digs that, and not just because he helps her with her homework; she loves that she can make "someone as intelligent as Gary laugh" (2.160).

He's also the first of Alanna's friends to meet George. The two of them get along pretty well, so it's clear that Gary knows how to keep a secret. Still, the fact that Alanna doesn't trust him with her secret just indicates that she sees her position risky enough already. We like to think that Gary would accept Alanna for who she is… but would it be worth risking shame and humiliation to find out?