|Alexander of Tirragen †|
|Lord of Tirragen|
|In Own Right|
|Years of Service|
|Died||July, 439 HE (killed by Alanna)|
|Height||Approx. 5' 8"|
|Noble House||Tirragen family|
|Residence||Tortallan Royal Palace|
|Knight Master||Duke Roger † (432 - 433 HE)|
|Year Knighted||433 HE|
|Squire||Geoffrey of Meron (433 - 437 HE)|
Henrim of Tirrsmont (presumed 437 - 439 HE)
|Affiliation||Delia of Eldorne|
Ralon of Malven
Coronation Day Battle
|Tortallan Universe character|
|First Appeared||Alanna: The First Adventure|
|Last Appeared||Lioness Rampant|
Alexander "Alex" of Tirragen (pronounced TIHR-ah-genn) was a Knight of Tortall during the first half of the fifth century of the Human Era. He went through page training around the same time as Alanna of Trebond and was part of her circle of friends. He was a skilled mathematician and fencer. Duke Roger of Conté chose Alex for his personal squire, distancing Alex from his friends. Alex drifted away and became part of the Conté Duke's plot against the Crown. He was killed by Alanna in single combat during the Coronation Day Battle in 439 HE.
Alex likely became a page in 425 or 426 HE, at the age of ten. It is presumed that he was a fourth-year page when Alanna of Trebond arrived at the palace, as he was 14 years old and made a squire during her first Midwinter at court. Alex and Gary of Naxen were very close friends as pages, and since Gary sponsored Alanna when she arrived at the palace, Alex became one of Alanna's first friends as a page. Gary once described Alex to Alanna as a "mathematical wizard". He also suggested to Alanna that if she ever needed help from Alex with mathematics, that she should offer to help him with his extra duty chores. Alex had a habit of arguing with Sir Myles of Olau, one of the pages' teachers, about right and wrong. As a page, Alex belonged to a group of friends that included Gary, Alanna, Prince Jonathan, Raoul of Goldenlake, and Francis of Nond.
Alex was made a squire on the second day of Midwinter, 430 HE. In March, 431 HE, Alex caught the Sweating Sickness, within two days of Francis and Gary. He was unable to attend Francis's funeral as he was still bedridden when his friend died. In the winter of 432/433 HE, Duke Roger chose Alex as his personal squire, though Roger himself was not a knight (he was, however, a skilled swordsman).
After becoming Roger's squire, Alex was kept too busy to spend much time with his old friends, and as a result was the only one in Alanna's close circle of friends who was never introduced to George Cooper at the Dancing Dove (Alanna didn't mind this because she didn't want anyone so close to Roger to meet George). As a squire, Alex proved himself to be an excellent swordsman and archer.
When the squires and Alanna traveled to Fief Meron and Persopolis in the summer of 433 HE, Ali Mukhtab, the castle's Bazhir governor, described Alex as cat-like and secretive. Alex was one of only 5 boys (plus Alanna) who Mukhtab took to see the Sunset Room at Persopolis.
Alex passed his Ordeal of Knighthood on the third night of Midwinter in 433 HE, following the Ordeals of Jon and Gary, and subsequently took Geoffrey of Meron as his squire. In June of 434 HE, the Tusaine Ambassador, Mikal of Danne, and several young Tusaine knights came to the royal palace. Alex, Gary, Raoul, and Jonathan got into a heated discussion one night about which country's knights were better, Tortall or Tusaine. Jonathan convinced Sir Dain of Melor from Tusaine to fence with Alanna saying the even Tortall's pages and squires could hold their own against a knight. While Alanna prepared to fence with Dain, Gary revealed that his father had been privately teaching Alex and Alanna fencing for months. On their way to the indoor fencing courts, Alex told Roger that he believed Alanna was just a good a fencer as he was himself, and that some day she may be better. He and Alanna had a long-term "friendly" rivalry, each trying to best the other at fencing and archery, and Alex had a reputation as one of Tortall's finest knights.
When Lady Delia of Eldorne arrived at the palace, stealing the hearts of many men at court, including Jonathan, only Alex and Geoff appeared to be unaffected by her charm. Since he wasn't swooning over Delia, this gave Alanna and Alex a chance to talk. In March, 435 HE, Alex and Alanna decided to find out which of them was the better fencer, and made their way to an indoor practice court to test each other's skills. They used blunt practice blades, and decided to fight without a referee, as not even Alanna's cat, Faithful, was present during the bout. As a skilled fencer, Alex, like Duke Gareth, fought without signals that in normal fencers would give away their next move, making him deadly with a blade. Alanna and Alex traded blows for a time, but eventually Alex's skill got the better of Alanna, and he broke her collarbone with a strong downward swing. Alanna was saved from death at Alex's hands at the end of the fight, when Faithful brought Sir Myles to her rescue. Alex had become absorbed in the fight and seemed incapable of understanding what he was doing to his friend. After Faithful and Myles arrived, Alex did show concern toward Alanna and offered his help in getting her to a healer. Following the fight, Alex was given a border patrol by the Lord Provost and left with his squire.
In the summer of 435 HE, during the Tusaine War, Alex and Geoffrey stayed with Roger at Fort Drell. He and Alanna became friendly again, but not so close as they had been as pages. In January, 437 HE, Alex bet Alanna 10 gold nobles that she couldn't skate once around the palace lake without falling. Halfway around the lake, she ended up breaking through ice that had been pitted with salt. Alex claimed that he didn't know who poured salt on the ice, but the incident aroused Alanna's suspicions of Alex once more. Presumably when Geoffrey of Meron passed his ordeal at Midwinter in 437 HE, Alex took on Henrim of Tirrsmont as his next squire. At some point before July, 439 HE, Alex inherited Fief Tirragen and was made a lord.
The summer of Jonathan's coronation, Alex was part of a secret meeting of conspirators against the Crown, held in a small room deep within the palace. Also present were Princess Josiane of the Copper Isles, Lady Delia, Claw (who was once Ralon of Malven), and a very displeased Roger of Conté. Roger believed that the others were ruining his plans with their incompetence, but didn't understand why Alex, who he said was not a plotter or ambitious, was taking part in their antics. What Alex desired most from the plot on Jonathan's life was the chance to fight Alanna once and for all. One early morning, Alanna took fencing practice with her fellow knights in the outdoor courts. When it came time for Alex to step up, he refused, and promised to fence her another day when she was fresh.
As Jonathan's coronation drew closer, and doubts were expressed about Alex's loyalty to the Crown, it was revealed that Alex would spend hours locked in the suite of rooms he kept in one the old wings of the palace. The Lord Provost was uncertain of whether or not there were hidden passages out of his rooms into other parts of the palace where he could not be followed. On the day of the July full moon in 439 HE, Alex's squire, Henrim, let Tirragen men-at-arms into the corridors behind the Hall of Crowns (Alex had them smuggled into the city prior to Coronation Day). While the other conspirators planned their own attacks against Jonathan and his friends, Alex prepared for his final meeting with Alanna in the catacombs under the palace. On her way down into the catacombs to confront Duke Roger, Alanna was stopped by Alex on the stairs and drawn into a side room. Alanna and Alex fought long and hard with their swords until Alex used a complex move to disarm her, throwing Alanna's sword into a corner of the room behind him. As he moved toward her, thinking to spear her through, Alanna used a kick and punches she had learned from Liam Ironarm, the Shang Dragon, to fight back without her weapon. When she hit Alex a final time, crushing his windpipe and shattering the bones in his face, they were pressed so close together that Alanna "felt the life flee his body."
Skills and Abilities
Alex was a skilled swordsman and a brilliant mathematician (not much was made of his math genius, and it was only briefly mentioned in Alanna: The First Adventure). As a swordsman, he was privately taught by Duke Gareth, and like the duke, he fought without signals. Alex was deadly with a blade, and was the last fencer to best Alanna at swordplay in single combat. Alex's main weakness was his overconfidence and reliance on his skill at fencing, to the point that he neglected hand-to-hand combat techniques and training. Alanna was able to defeat Alex using Shang hand-to-hand kicks and punches that the Dragon taught her on their journey from Sarain.
Alex was often described as being dark or swarthy and slim or slender. It was also said that he had a "cat-like grace". Alex was half a head taller than Alanna, making him approximately 5'-8" tall.
Personality and traits
Alex was described as secretive and closed, ambitious, overconfident, and obsessed with winning. He was distant from his friends after he became Roger's squire and his reliance on his skill with a blade caused him to neglect training himself in other forms of combat. It was Alanna's training in Shang kicks and punches that eventually led to his downfall.
As a page, Alex was close to Gary, Raoul, Jonathan, Francis, and Alanna. As a squire, he grew apart from his friends and closer to Duke Roger. As a knight, he formed an alliance with Lady Delia, Princess Josiane, and Claw. He had two squires during his years as a knight, Geoffrey of Meron, and Henrim of Tirrsmont. It is not known what became of Squire Henrim following Alex's death in 439 HE.
- The Song of the Lioness
Notes and references
- Tortallan timeline
- Alanna: The First Adventure, Ch. 4
- Alanna: The First Adventure, Ch. 2
- Alanna: The First Adventure, Ch. 6
- Lioness Rampant, Ch. 4
- Alanna: The First Adventure, Ch. 7
- In the Hand of the Goddess, Ch. 1
- In the Hand of the Goddess, Ch. 2
- In the Hand of the Goddess, Ch. 3
- In the Hand of the Goddess, Ch. 4
- In the Hand of the Goddess, Ch. 8
- Lioness Rampant, Ch. 5
- Lioness Rampant, Ch. 6
- Lioness Rampant, Ch. 7
- Lioness Rampant, Ch. 8