gilan talks

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 tell us!

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 -nine.

If we accept this theory, then his ages in the books would be placed in this order (based of the previous post’s timeline):

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 at Gorlan.

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:

Tournament 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

Died:                                                                                         64


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:

Tournament 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!

May your coffee be hot and your arrows sharp!