Tamora Pierce Wiki
Duke Gareth
Duke of Naxen
Style His Grace
Heir Apparent Sir Gareth of Naxen
Heir Presumptive
Bequeathed by
Date Bequeathed
Style '
Prime Minister of Tortall
King's Champion, Training Master
Reigning Monarch King Roald V (422 HE — 438 HE)
King Jasson III (? — 422 HE)
Years of Service
Successor Gareth II of Naxen (PM)
Alanna the Lioness (Champion)
Wyldon of Cavall (training master)
Biographical Information
Birth Name
Mage Name
Maiden Name
Nickname The Elder
Honorific '
Born c. 370s HE [1]
Nationality Tortallan
Gift Dark Rose
Physical Description
Gender Male
Height Tall
Hair Brown (greying)
Eyes Brown
Family Information
Noble House Naxen family
Adoptive Parents
Siblings Queen Lianne
Wife Roanna of Irimor [2]
Children Gareth II of Naxen
Adoptive Children
Grandchildren Gilmyn of Naxen
Zenoby haMinch
Jaquetta of Naxen
Geoffrey of Naxen [3]
Other Family King Roald V(brother-in-law)
King Jonathan IV (nephew)
Cythera of Elden (daughter-in-law)
Patron God
Rank Nobility
Estates Fief Naxen
Residence Tortallan Royal Palace
Bazhir Tribe
Sponsored by
Sponsor to
Training Master
Knight Master
Year Knighted
Affiliation Coram Smythesson
Military Affiliation
Military Branch
Squad Leader Sergeant
Combat Battle of Joyous Forest
Provost's Guard
Guard District
Guard Watch
Bibliographical Information
Tortallan Universe character
First Mentioned '
Only Mentioned '
First Appeared Alanna: The First Adventure
Last Appeared '
Latest Appearance Emperor Mage
Only Appearance '
Last Mentioned '
"A wizard with a sword, he is, and a better leader ye'll never meet."
Coram Smythesson to Alanna of Trebond before she met Duke Gareth for the first time[src]

Gareth of Naxen (pronounced GAHR-eth of NAKS-enn), also referred to as Gareth the Elder, is a Tortallan nobleman who was the head of the powerful Naxen family, a ducal house. He held the title Duke of Naxen. He was a close adviser to King Roald V while Roald was king, and served as Prime Minister and King's Champion. His sister, Lianne of Naxen married into the Conté family, becoming Queen of Tortall, so Duke Gareth was also the King's brother-in-law. He served as the pages' training master while Alanna of Trebond went through her training years. Duke Gareth is the husband of Roanna of Irimor and the father of Sir Gareth the Younger. He has four grandchildren through Gary and his wife, Lady Cythera. He is the uncle of King Jonathan IV and great-uncle to the King's six children.

By 458 HE, he is still believed to be alive, as his son is still referred to as "Sir Gareth" as opposed to "Duke Gareth".


Gareth went through the training of a page and squire to become a Knight of Tortall.[4] He spent most of his early adulthood with "soldiering" and only settled down in his forties. Around 410 HE he served in the Battle of Joyous Forest, where Coram Smythesson saved his life. He also lost his finger during this time.[4] Upon settling down he married Roanna of Irimor and they had a son, Gareth of Naxen.[2]

Duke Gareth was among those palace inhabitants who caught the Sweating Sickness in March, 431 HE.[5]

During Alanna's time as a page and squire Duke Gareth was the Training Master. By 442 HE, Wyldon of Cavall held this position. Duke Gareth was also the Prime Minister and King's Champion during the reign of King Roald. When King Roald died in 439 HE, his son Jonathan, Duke Gareth's nephew, became king. He offered Duke Gareth both positions again, but he declined. However he remained an important figure in Tortallan politics, leading the Council of Lords[6] and heading the peace delegation sent to Carthak for negotiations in autumn of 451 HE[7].

He had heart problems, suffering his first heart attack during the day of Jonathan's coronation in 439 HE, but was still alive during the war with Scanra in the early 460s.

Physical description

Around 430 HE Gareth was described as being "tall and thin, with dull brown hair that fell into his muddy brown eyes." He had a thin and nasal voice. Despite his plain looks he had something commanding about him.[4] As he aged, his coloring started to yellow and gray. A finger from his left hand was missing since his Ordeal of Knighthood.[4]

Skills and abilities

Duke Gareth was a master swordsman, at one time regarded as the best in Tortall. He did special training with some of the more gifted squires, including Alexander of Tirragen and Alanna of Trebond. He was also Gifted, and Tamora Pierce has stated on Sheroes that she sees his magic as being a dark rose in color. However, she also states that Duke Gareth no longer uses his Gift because it would put too much strain on him. In Alanna: The First Adventure it is mentioned that he taught the pages a spell to start fires.


                       │                                         │
Roanna of IrimorGareth I of Naxen                    Lianne of NaxenRoald V of Conté
                 │                                                      │
             Gareth II of NaxenCythera of Elden                    Conté
         │                            │                                   │                          │
Gilmyn of Naxen - Dolsa of Rosemark  Zenoby of Naxen - Beltair haMinch  Jaquetta of Naxen  Geoffrey of Naxen

His sister was Roald's wife, Queen Lianne, making him the uncle of Jonathan.


Notes and references

  1. This date is estimated taking into account that Tammy revealed at Random Buzzers that he married in his forties and that Gary was probably born in 415; pressuming he married in his very early forties and Roanna had Gary very soon it would be around 375, but there is no confirmation for that; it could as well be 365 or earlier when he married in his late forties and Roanna only had Gary a while later; however, this seems to be unlikely for the fact that Duke Gareth is still alive in Lady Knight, which would make him about a hundred years old.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Random Buzz;"Champion's Duties, Scanran War, King Roald/DukeG, Bazhir"; April 22, 2009
  3. Random Buzz; "Famous Women"; April 23, 2009
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Alanna: The First Adventure, Chapter 2
  5. Alanna: The First Adventure, Chapter 4
  6. Emperor Mage, Cp. 2
  7. Emperor Mage

See also