Study Guide

The Paladin Prophecy Community

By Mark Frost

Community

They were odd and secretive and perpetually broke and moved around like Bedouins every eighteen months. (1.29)

Will's parents aren't part of any community because they move around so much. They're like a military family, except they're not part of the military, either. Why do you think they're so secretive and nomadic? Does it have anything to do with Will himself?

"Because one day, much sooner than you realize, this will become your world." (11.163)

At first it seems like the headmaster is welcoming Will to the school, but we don't think he's actually talking about the school. He's talking about the actual world and how Will might one day be a powerful force in it. We can't decide if making the world your community is cozy or creepy.

"So this is our shared space. Communal kitchen. Bedrooms are through each door. You're over here." (13.28)

The Center has that Hogwarts boarding-school feel, and it's the first time Will has been a part of community that isn't his parents' house. Will he find a community here or not?

"The blank canvas design is intentional, by the way," [Brooke] said. "You're expected to make it your own." (13.30)

Will has the opportunity to customize his own bedroom, which is a great way to make him feel like he is a part of the community and not like a guest in someone else's home.

This is where I live now.

He'd faced this moment many times before. He was used to starting over.

But never alone. Never without my parents.
(13.34-13.36)

Being a part of the school is bittersweet for Will, because he has had to leave his family in order to do it. But it's better than leaving his family and just being alone, we guess. Looks like Will is going to have a little bit of growing up to do.

"It's not just our goal to educate students; we want to create student-citizens." (18.140)

From headmaster Rourke's little speech here, it appears the Center is trying to educate students to be a part of a greater community rather iron-fisted rulers of the world—but sometimes it's tough to tell exactly what they're getting at. What is the purpose of the Center? We're not going to find out in this installment.

"Trust somebody. Lose your game face. Figure out who your friends are—that would be us, by the way—and ask for help. Be real with us, be who you are, or be gone." (20.98)

The way Elise talks to Will, it makes it seem like she's less concerned about building actual friendships and more concerned with building alliances, as if she were a contestant on Survivor or something.

"The white mum is also the emblem of a mysterious organization called the Fraternity of the Triangle," said Brooke, still reading. "A secret society of scientists, architects, and engineers. Its origins reach back to the Middle Ages…and they're aligned with the Freemasons." (27.87)

These secret societies are little communities, too—they're just on the opposite side of things from the side Will and his friends are on. At least as far as we can tell. Everything around here is pretty secretive, after all. The Center itself is something of a secret society.

"Sir, do you know anything about the…possible existence of any secret clubs or societies here at the school?" (28.75)

People are stronger in numbers, which is the appeal of becoming a part of a community. However, bad guys form communities, too, and a secret society is more dangerous than just a random loner whack-job. Will tries to root out rival secret societies. Not that he really knows what's actually going on with anything.

It had been only three days since he'd been there, but it seemed like months ago already. That version of him—Will West 1.0—felt shockingly out of date. (28.89)

Being part of a community changes Will. He is a different person because he must now be social and get along with others. He proves to himself that he can do it.