Headcanon: After the events in Lady Knight, Kel continues to work alongside the Own for many of her assignments. Raoul brings her in often and consults her for opinions and strategies. When Raoul announces his retirement, Kel is the only one who doesn’t realize that she has clearly been groomed for the job of Knight Commander (the few daydreams of following in Raoul’s footsteps having been quickly squashed down knowing how much the conservatives would disapprove). Thus she is shocked when she is appointed commander. She accepts gracefully, however, and one of her first orders of business is allowing women to join the Own.

There is surprisingly little muttering that goes on in conservative circles, not unrelated to the fact that Lord Wyldon is heard actively endorsing the choice.

Protector of the Small Hunger Games AU

Kel volunteers for a trembling twelve year old who looks far younger. The look on the girl’s face when she sees Kel keeps her going through everything to come

Her family all comes to say goodbye, asking her why she did it. The odds were always in their favor, it didn’t have to be any of them, and she thinks maybe that’s the point. Her mother hugs her and Kel thinks she understands

Wyldon is their only mentor and has produced an impressive amount of Victor’s, but they’ve all been male. He immediately dismisses Kel as hopeless, deciding to focus his attention on the male tribute, Joren.  She protests, but he tells her that he’s just doing what has the best chance of producing a winner.  Joren sneers and tells her he’s looking forward to killing her in the arena

While Joren becomes the leader of the careers, Kel befriends young Tobe and timid, beaten down Lalasa.  Neal scoffs at the collection of strays she’s gathered, but sits with them at lunch, worrying Kel by constantly saying things about the Capitol she would hardly dare think.

In the interviews handsome Joren secures sponsors while Kel’s calm, smooth face is taken for blank and dull. She gets a good training score, but Joren gets higher and Wyldon’s looks say I told you so

When the games start Kel focuses on getting people, not items, making sure Tobe, Lalasa, and another younger competitor, Loesia, get away from the Cornucopia alive. Thankfully, Neal, Merric, and Owen join them, each bringing supplies and weapons

Alanna, one of Neal’s mentors, sees that Wyldon isn’t doing anything to help them so sends as much food, medicine, and weapons as she can afford. Their group is big enough to deter attackers, and Kel tries to teach the others to fight

Soon the killing machines show up, each with the voice of one of the dead tributes.  Every time someone dies a few days later another machine arrives.  They kill Loesia and Owen before Kel figures out they can stop them by puncturing a hole in the machine’s head.  Alanna sends armor piercing darts for their crossbow

Kel tries to warn the other tributes, but Joren and his pack just attack them, too stubborn to listen. Soon they’re all taken out by the machines.

It’s a brutal game, with Kel’s group quickly becoming the only survivors. More dead tributes mean more killing machines and Neal and Merric die when the group is attacked by three of them at once

Wyldon sends more armor piercing bolts, which Kel thinks might be an apology

No matter how hard Kel tries to keep Tobe out of danger he throws himself in it to help her and he’s the next to die, leaving Kel and Lalasa as the final two

Lalasa says Kel should just kill her and get it over with, but Kel came to the games to save an innocent life, she’s not going to leave by taking one. That only leaves one option, and Kel dies taking out the last of the machines

Lalasa, pretty and the underdog, is a popular Victor, but many were shocked by Kel’s death and thought the machines might have been too brutal. There was also a lot of talk about how nice it was to see the tributes banding together to fight a common enemy. The Gamemaker, Blayce, disappears soon after

Wyldon never again ignores his female tributes

Lalasa becomes a stylist, always requesting to work for the poorest districts.  She encourages those who everyone else writes off as good as dead and makes sure that Kel’s legacy as protector of the small lives on

Tortall Hunger Games AU (x)

Wyldon looked at Owen, then at Neal. “I would like a moment alone with the lady knight,” he said more formally. “Go with your friends.”
Slowly Neal withdrew his hand as Owen looked suspiciously at his knight-master. “You’re not going to yell at her, are you, sir?” he asked. “Because you can’t.”
Wyldon looked at the younger man, brows raised. “I beg your pardon?” he enquired. Kel expected frost to issue from his mouth with the words.
The Owen of a month ago might have ducked his head and fled. This Owen remained where he was, meeting Wyldon’s stare with resolve. “She doesn’t deserve to be yelled at, not after losing so many people and killing Blayce and being wounded and keeping us alive.”
Wyldon sighed, and fingered the raised scar on his temple. “I do not intend to yell at her. Now will you go away?”
—  Lady Knight by Tamora Pierce, chapter 18
30 days of Tamora Pierce, day 12: favorite passage

“Sir, you’re the kind of Knight I want to be.”
He regarded her for a moment with the strangest expression in his eyes. “I am not,” he said. “But the fact that you believe it is the greatest compliment I will ever receive.”

That acknowledgement for Kel from someone who did not want to even give her a chance at the beginning is a huge step.  For both of them.  It shows how much Wyldon has grown in the six years since Kel came on as a page, and how his views have changed.  He may not accept all women as warriors, but he has come such a long way since First Test.  It’s an important reminder that everyone can learn from their students.  Sometimes more than they learn from you, even though they might never know it.

Protector of the Small audition meme- part 2

“Hi I’m auditioning for the role of Peachblossom and I’ll be singing the Bad Horse Chorus from Dr. Horrible’s Sing-along Blog.”   -submitted                by trickywooesq 

I’m auditioning for the part of Keladry of Mindelan and I’ll be singing Titanium    -submitted by divi-s5

I’m auditioning for lovesick Neal and my song will be “Dulcinea” from man of la mancha   -submitted by jaz-fireforge

I’ll be auditioning for the role of Keladry of Mindelan and I will be singing “To dream the impossible dream” from Man of la Mancha.   -submitted by jaz-fireforge

Hi I’m Neal and I’ll be singing What’s Wrong With Love Songs   -submitted by      anon

Hi my name is Kel and I’ll be auditioning with “A Girl Worth Fighting For”                 -submitted by trivia-goddess

My name is Lord Wyldon, and I’ll be auditioning with the song “I’ll Make a Man Out of You”   -submitted by redatheneallforthebluelophofbread, and divi-s5  (and several anons)

Hello. I will be auditioning for Keladry with “So Beautiful” by Superchick                  -submitted by socialelessar

Hi, I’ll be auditioning for the role of Lalasa and I’ll be singing “I Kissed a Girl”         -submitted by trivia-goddess     

Why Roald is Going to be a Better King Than Jonathan

1. Roald is way more politically savvy than Jonathan.  Granted, he has the benefit of Jonathan and Thayet passing along their wisdom, and the lessons they learned while they were growing up and learning how to rule a country.  But comparing Roald’s behavior as a page and squire to Jonathan’s behavior during the same period in his life, Roald demonstrates a profound understanding of his position as crown prince and that his actions will be attributed to the position rather than him as a person.  This is why he never joined in Kel’s patrols to stop the practice of bullying and hazing under Wyldon’s tenure as training master.  It’s why he took care to divide his time among all of the pages, not spending all of his time with just one group of people.  

Compare that with Jonathan, who very much used his position as crown prince to direct his fellow pages’ behavior.  He and his close friends administered a beating to Ralon after he had broken “Alan’s” arm.  Roald never would have done such a thing.  Neither would Roald have disobeyed the direct orders of his commanding officer to conduct a risky rescue mission behind enemy lines as Jonathan did, banking on his identity as crown prince to keep him and his rescue party from punishment - which would have been death for any other person who had attempted it.  By contrast, Roald did his duty as a healer, far behind the front lines, during the Scanran War.

2. Roald is more progressive than Jonathan.  Is Jonathan a progressive king?  Yes, of course he is.  But he’s not perfect, and in some ways he has some serious blind spots.  Really what brought this entire post on was seeing parts of the Tortall fandom hating a little on Kel for acknowledging that she could never like Jonathan.  She is right not to like him.  He treated her differently for political reasons.  He allowed others to treat her differently for political and bigoted reasons.  Were his hands tied by political considerations?  Yeah, probably.  That doesn’t make Kel’s year as a probationary page right, and we have no reason to believe he would have intervened if Wyldon had been less honorable, and denied Kel her right to stay and train after that first year.  Lucky Jonathan.  He got to placate the conservatives and received one of the realm’s finest knights in return.  That was a win-win situation for him, that trampled all over Kel and made her experience more difficult than it should have been.

Roald was good friends with Kel during their time as pages.  He saw what she went through and how she dealt with it.  He saw what she went through specifically because she was training openly as a girl.  Jonathan heard second-hand what Alanna’s experience was like, but during his time as a page he never saw “Alan” as anything but a smaller-than-average boy.  And even Alanna’s experience was different than Kel’s, training as a boy and only revealing her true self after winning her shield.  Jonathan also hurt Alanna by not allowing her any contact with Kel during her page and squire years.  Pissing off the Lioness to the extent that she avoids Corus for years shows the depth of her anger there - but again, placating conservatives was more important than a lifetime of faithful service and friendship.

Jonathan also talked Roald’s sister Kalasin out of being the first openly-female page, which so enraged Thayet that there was significant tension between them for an entire year.  Now, there would have been political issues with Kalasin training for knighthood, but Jonathan’s particular grievance was that it would ruin her marriageability and she needed to marry in order to strengthen Tortall’s alliances.  This is a different kind of duty than knighthood, and one that Kalasin took on - but again, it was due to Jonathan placating conservatives for political reasons.

3. Roald is in a better position to be both a good person and a good ruler.  When Kel was trying to process her feelings about Jonathan, she recalled something her father said during their time in the Yamani Isles.  The Yamani Emperor ordered a mass execution of not only a group of criminals, but their families as well.  "Rulers are seldom nice people, Kel.  Even good ones make choices that will hurt somebody.“  Jonathan, Thayet and all of the others of their generation (Alanna, Raoul, Buri, Gary, etc.) have done difficult, slow work getting Tortall into a position to make great progress.  This is why Jonathan has done some of the things he has, although arguments can still be made as to whether those decisions were the best ones he could have made.  Roald and Shinko are now able to take that work and build on it, when Roald eventually takes the throne.  He has done his own work, demonstrating his political awareness and public temperament that will enable him to work with nobles and commoners alike.  


Kel is not wrong to feel the way she does about Jonathan.  She doesn’t have the benefit of having read Alanna and Daine’s stories, like we have.  But Jonathan has wronged her - that’s beyond dispute.  And he is lucky to have her, because she’ll do her duty by him in spite of it all.

I was listening to First Test today, and I got to the part where Kel is rushing out to serve Lord Wyldon, but she trips and falls on oil that someone put there, so she has to change and is late. Kel merely changes her clothes and starts leaving out her window, but I started thinking about how Alanna would have reacted.

And now I’ve spent all day thinking about how the series’ would be different if they were switched; what if Kel had disguised herself as a boy and Alanna was the first female page?

I can’t think about anything else.

Kel goes to court as Kal and meets George and Jon and Gary and everybody else, but is completely uninterested romantically, so there isn’t a love triangle. But everybody loves her for her completely straight faced reactions to everything accompanied by sardonic remarks. Kel fights Ralon because bullies. Kel playing chess and making fun of Myles. Kel going with Jon to fight the Ysandir because she knows he can’t do it by himself. Duke Roger not knowing what to do because he can’t tell what she thinks of him. Kel becoming the Woman Who Ride Like a Man, but making the changes easier because she knows about the complications in cultures clashing. Kel confusing Wyldon with her level-headedness as he tries to pick fights.

Alanna responding to sexist comments with witty comebacks. Alanna making friends with Eda Bell. Alanna getting into fights with Peachblossom and shouting at her stubborn horse in the stables. Alanna and Neal bickering constantly. Kel taking Neal as her squire. Neal mouthing off but then being cowed by Kel’s stone face and constant vegetables. Alanna fighting all the conservatives in tournaments. Alanna raising the griffin. Alanna having to deal with all th epeople and babies in Haven. Alanna hunting down Blayce with incoherent fury.

I realize many of the circumstances would not actually occur, as Kel is not a mage and other differences, but I am just so amused.

Tortall headcanon

In Corus, in the Palace gardens, there is a row of statues. Defenders of the Realm. The most influential Knights, the Heroes, the greatest Kings. The statues are smaller than life sized, and the names on some have been erased by time. There is one of a young woman with a braid, a dog at her side, a cat against her leg, a baton in her hand. Her eyes were once blue glass, faded by two hundred years in the sunlight.

There are a few other women in the row, some newer than others.

Lady Knight Keladry of Mindalen is surprised when her new squire tells her that one such statue is of her.  Raoul tells her that it’s technically because of her defeat of Blayce the Gallan. Kel privately wonders if it might have something to do with her Knight Master’s old joke, and her result of her recent jousting victory over Lord Wyldon. She went to see it once, to look at the stone version of herself, so much more assured of victory. I am stone, Kel tells herself now, and smiles privately.

Sir Alanna also has a statue, beside one of the last of the great female Knights, whose holdings have since been deeded to the public and whose name is not mentioned in history. Alanna was furious when Jon told her, and refused to see the statue that depicted her in her men’s garb, her chest bound flat, purple glass embedded in to stone for her Gift–she did not want the fame. people flocked to the statue, since the Lady had fled south. Then, Later, when she returned to Corus, she could not bring herself even to enter the gardens, afraid she might wander down the path, might see the statue again–one glimpse was enough. It was lifelike, but not lifelike to her. It was too stone and too much like Thom.