“We were all someone before we were chosen.” ~ Toothiana, Rise of the Guardians (2012)
Kozmotis Pitchiner, Lord High General of the Galaxies was the golden hero of the Golden Age. He was married and had a child named Emily Jane. His sailors often referred to him as Lord Pitch. He’s a man of his word, very fair and noble before the death of his family which was everything to him. The keyword to remember with Kozmotis is family, he’s all about family.
To protect his wife, Kozmotis housed his family away on a small moon protected by asteroids in the Constellation Orion. He left to follow a lead on a group of dream pirates, leaving his family behind in trusting his home to be protected. It wasn’t.
This is a key point in Kozmotis’ and Pitch’s past. Emily made a silver locket to give to her father before he left. Kozmotis made a promise that was never kept. It’s the wording that’s important along with the locket containing her picture. This moment must have played itself over and over in Kozmotis’ mind in the future and tortured himself over it.
“I’ll be back soon,” he told her.
“Promise?” she said.
“On my soul,” he replied. ~ Book Four The Sandman and the War of Dreams by William Joyce
The family’s dreams acted like a homing beacon to the Dream Pirates. Lady Pitchiner jumped out a window hugging a doll pretending it was her daughter to trick the Dream Pirates. She died. Emily had snuck out that night and watched from afar, being taken away on her sail boat with the school of star fish.
When Kozmotis comes back he believes his wife and child are dead. This was the catalyst pushing the General to become colder and methodical. He slaughtered every dream pirate by beheading them one by one. Kozmotis was no longer merciful at this point. Consider it the first touch of darkness staining our golden hero.
It’s well known Kozmotis was the guard for the Fearling prison. You have to realize, he volunteered for this duty. Kozmotis has nothing left to live for. His reason for living was for his family, the reason for him to even stay good. His family was taken from him and now he’s left with a war that has ended and his enemies trapped behind a door. Kozmotis would damn well make sure they stayed that way and he only trusted himself with this duty at this point.
Kozmotis may have been hailed a hero but you have to keep in mind, he’s just one man and a broken one at that. This Golden Age may have been prosperous and happy for others but for him? It was a Golden TrAGEdy.
Another thing to keep in mind, the Fearlings. It had to have been pretty well known in the military just what they are capable of and willing to do. Kozmotis volunteered to subject himself to the mental torture of the Fearlings to keep everyone safe. He lasted a year of this.
The Dream Pirates listened to his dreams, to wheedle out his weakness which was his daughter. They learned to imitate his daughter’s voice which caused Kozmotis’ downfall. Kozmotis knew his daughter was dead and buried when they called out with her voice but he let himself hope. He had to have known that he was being tricked but again it was that hope that maybe she was inside the prison. Maybe he was wrong?
Kozmotis didn’t care because he let himself believe.
In the end, the General let himself fall and embraced the darkness after putting up a fight. Kozmotis couldn’t fight anymore for his belief and let go. His locket falling away upon him opening the door as he was overcome by Fearlings is very symbolic of his hope dying, his belief.
Kozmotis’ heart died and withered up inside. He became cold, numb, and utterly empty as his soul was devoured from within. Kozmotis let himself succumb to his weakness and came out as the leader, their king, their warlord. Kozmotis Pitchiner became the Nightmare King Pitch Black.
‘Throw me to the wolves and I’ll return leading the pack.’