Even though the girls are encouraged to look toward a potential future of being the princess in Princess Academy, they are motivated by a lot of their memories from the past. For example, Miri's father doesn't allow her to go into the quarries because he can't help remembering how her mother died. And Britta comes all the way up to Mount Eskel and pretends to be an orphan because she has such fond memories and feelings for Prince Steffan.
Shared memories are also how the residents of Mount Eskel communicate with each other through quarry-speech. So when Miri wants to convey something to the other girls or to Peder, she thinks of a memory that they had together—and almost every time, it gets her point across.
Questions About Memory and the Past
Why does quarry-speech only work through shared memories?
What memory does Miri's father keep from her? Why doesn't he share it?
How do the other girls react when Miri uses quarry-speech at the academy?
Chew on This
The stories told at the spring holiday may just seem like silly legends for children, but they are shared memories that all the villagers on Mount Eskel can remember and bond over.
Miri remembers a time when she was very close to Peder as a child, but as they grow older, they have to create new memories and shape their relationship into one that is no longer platonic.