How Old Are They? Part 2: Gilan, Crowley, and Halt
In the last post, we discussed the
ages of Will, Horace, Alyss, Jenny, and George, finding not only their age but
also a rough timeline of events for the series. This post will rely on this
timeline, as these characters’ ages are not as clear cut as the previous ones.
Because of this, the ages I put forth are going to be based more on logical conjecture
than concrete evidence, so if you have another reading of the text then please
P.S. As you can probably imagine,
this has spoilers for The Tournament at Gorlan. Thou hast been warned!
The only time we’re given a direct
age to start us off is in The Burning Bridge, when Gilan is talking to Will and
Horace about his apprenticeship. Gilan says that he was apprenticed to Halt at
the age of fourteen. We know that this occurred after the Battle at Hackham Heath
as Halt became friends with Sir David during it, some sixteen years before.
This would give Gilan a maximum age of thirty at The Burning Bridge.
His actual age, however, is a
little less than thirty, as Gilan says that Halt used to come visiting in the
time afterwards. As we know, Rangers have very little time for social engagements,
especially ones who are rebuilding the Ranger Corps. In the same way, Sir David
wouldn’t have been able to entertain a Ranger very often while the Kingdom got
back on its feet, and as a well-respected Battlemaster he would’ve had a handful
of paperwork to do. So it’s likely that Gilan didn’t start his apprenticeship
directly after Hackham Heath.
Another issue we have to take into
consideration is Will. He says in the first book that he’d never seen another
Ranger beside Halt. If Gilan had been in his apprenticeship while Will was growing
up, then he would’ve seen him. This means that Gilan was an apprentice when
Will was too young to either remember or wander around. If Gilan didn’t start
his apprenticeship until a year after Hackham Heath, then Will would’ve been
six when Gilan graduated - still young enough to be watched constantly and kept
from exploring too far across the castle and village.
So if we take fourteen, the age we
know he started his apprenticeship, and added fifteen instead of the sixteen
years, we get twenty-nine, an age that is supported in The Lost Stories. The
Inkwell and the Dagger takes place during Halt’s banishment in The Icebound
Land, a few months at most after the conversation in The Burning Bridge. There,
Gilan went to an Inn in Highcliffe Fief and talked to the Innkeeper, Maeve. She’s
described as attractive and being around thirty. For the sake of clarity, let’s
say she’s thirty. Upon meeting Gilan, she describes him as “probably a year or
two younger than she was” (p93), placing him in the range of twenty-eight or
If we accept this theory, then his
ages in the books would be placed in this order (based of the previous post’s
Ruins of Gorlan: 28
Burning Bridge: 29
Icebound Land/The Lost Stories/Oakleaf Bearers: 29
Erak’s Ransom: 32
Sorcerer of the North/Siege of Macindaw: 33
Kings of Clonmel/Halt’s Peril: 34
Emperor of Nihon-Ja: 35
End of Lost Stories: 40
Royal Ranger: 55 (commandant at 52)
Crowley did his training in the
same or at least similar fashion as Gilan and Will. In The Lost Stories: The
Hibernian, we are told that the previous Rangers “selected apprentices to join
the Corps, and submitted them to five years’ rigorous training” (p378/9).
Pritchard is the oldest of the old, so it makes sense that he would’ve stuck to
the old ways. In the same way, it makes sense for Crowley and Halt to base the revived
Ranger Corps apprenticeship off Pritchard’s teaching and their own experience. If
Crowley was apprenticed when he was fifteen and Pritchard had been gone three years
after his graduation, that makes Crowley twenty-three at the time of The Tournament
Between The Tournament at Gorlan
and the Battle at Hackham Heath, there is a gap of time. Morgarath is seen
reading about the Wargals when Teezal tells him about Crowley and Halt gathering
the Rangers together. He still has to refer to the book when Teezal asks him a
question though, so it hints that Morgarath has only just found about them.
When he is seen at the end of the book with the Wargal, he states that it took
him months to try and find them, and weeks to communicate and dominate the one
he found. All of this occurs after they escape from the castle at the end of
The Tournament at Gorlan. When Morgarath is looking down on his army in The
Ruins of Gorlan right at the beginning, he says that he waited until the King
had died and the Barons had left their fiefs. This only adds to the time. As I
personally like round, clean numbers, I’m going to say that it’s been a year
between The Tournament at Gorlan and the Battle at Hackham Heath.
On top of this, we know that “Crowley
had been in the business of seeing without being seen for thirty years or more…”
(p86) by the time The Sorcerer of the North comes around. This is counted from
his apprenticeship, and if we don’t put the year in between then we find
ourselves a year short according to this statement.
With this in mind, his age timeline
is like this:
at Gorlan: 23
Ruins of Gorlan: 39
Burning Bridge: 40
Icebound Land/Oakleaf Bearers: 41
Erak’s Ransom: 44
Sorcerer of the North/Siege of Macindaw: 45
Kings of Clonmel/Halt’s Peril: 46
Emperor of Nihon-Ja: 47
End of Lost Stories: 52
Finding Halt’s age was a bit of a
journey. We are given practically nothing to help us, so many of us assumed he
was the same age as Crowley, me being one of them. Until I reread The Kings of
Clonmel. When Halt is giving his background story to Will and Horace, he says
that “When we were [interesting how he doesn’t say when I was] sixteen, he tried to poison me” (p143). Halt continues by
saying that six months after that Ferris dropped roof tiles near him, and then
a year after the roof incident was the fishing incident. After that, he left.
This makes him seventeen and a half when he left Hibernia. Due to all the travelling
and events in Tournament at Gorlan (I’ll not bore you with the maths), it’s
almost been two years since the first assassination attempt, meaning that by
the end of Tournament at Gorlan Halt is eighteen.
We have the year gap which is
further supported by Halt’s statement in Ruins of Gorlan. When talking to Will,
he answers one of Will’s questions with: “Not too much if we’ve been an
apprentice for a few hours…Those of us who have been a Ranger for twenty years
or more tend to know what to do without asking” (p67). This includes the
fifteen years between then and Hackham Heath, the three years with Pritchard,
and the remaining two years between leaving Hibernia and the battle.
This means that in The Ruins of
Gorlan, Halt is only thirty-four.
Yep, you heard me. Thirty-four.
Halt is young!
In the same way as the others, this
makes Halt’s ages look like this:
at Gorlan: 18
Ruins of Gorlan: 34
Burning Bridge: 35
Icebound Land/Oakleaf Bearers: 36
Erak’s Ransom: 39
Sorcerer of the North/Siege of Macindaw: 40
Kings of Clonmel/Halt’s Peril: 41
Emperor of Nihon-Ja: 42
End of Lost Stories: 47
Royal Ranger: 62
Halt is five years younger than
Crowley, which supports Crowley’s statement in Tournament of Gorlan: “”I’m
younger than the rest of you - with the exception of you, of course,” he added,
looking at Halt” (p161). This age timeline also supports Sean’s statement in
Kings of Clonmel: “No…my Uncle Halt died over twenty years ago!” (p276), as it’s
been twenty-three years since he left.
Thanks for reading this guys! I
hope this made sense. There’s a lot of guesswork involved with these guys and I
may not have everything perfect. If you disagree with my analysis, please join
in on the conversation by rebloging this and tagging it #raanalysis with your
thoughts on this analysis and the topic of the next one. Are there any
characters you want me to find out the ages of that I missed? Please don’t
hesitate to send us an ask and I’ll try my best. Got any other questions? Please
send us an ask or submit it to us.
Next analysis: “How Old is Araluen?”,
the first analysis posted by Ranger Rose!