Unpacking Candidates

Well there was an unexpected plot-twist. Let’s unpack.

In Charge

The moment Will offered to select the next Sovereign he did, indeed, become the de facto executive of The Realm. His position was ceremonial, as Isme was still making many of the practical decisions and the Governors were organizing the coronation, but he had an implied veto power which he didn’t realize he had.

This is why most of Will’s friends were not with him once he returned to The Empty Throne, and why only Grimby and Fineflin were with him during the interviews themselves. The Governors wanted Will as isolated as possible, and it was only Isme’s quick-thinking which placed two people with whom the teen was familiar as his bodyguards. In particular, Will had not seen Sindy since just after they’d arrived back in The Empty Throne. The gnome was openly hostile toward the Governors and they didn’t want her giving Will any ideas.

Will’s friends still managed to convey his autonomy to the teen, but they were unable to help him form a strategy for the selection. Before the scene in this chapter, for example, Bug was called away any time he broached the issue 1.

The Interviews

There is a scene in the Bible in which Samuel meets all of Jesse’s sons, with the intention of selecting one as the next King of Israel. None of the offered candidates were selected by God, until the one you’d least expect received the call 2.

The interview process, along with the interaction with the Narrator, is an homage to this scene.

The orange-haired centaur is an obvious nod toward some American political players. I’m sure you can figure out which ones.

I wanted the elven candidate to make the proud declaration, “I make a poo” to Will. But then I realized he was only eight months old and it would be unlikely to happen. His parents did change the candidate’s diaper three time before Will got to the podium, though.

Unexpected Selection

In my original story map, Will was going to select Bug as Sovereign. This is one of the reasons he was given a leadership role as the story progressed. It’s also why I named him as I did. Bug, after all, is a nickname he subverted by embracing it as his own 3. Bug got the nickname because he asked inconvenient questions, and enjoyed outing posers as gilded images. I thought that might be a good personality for a King.

But as the story continued it became more and more clear Sindy would be the better choice. She’s uncompromising, holds strong convictions, and has practical smarts her husband lacks. Bug is a good tactical thinker, but he’s terrible at strategy 4. And The Realm needs a strategic thinker on the throne.

I’ve been hinting the choice for a leader might prove a bit surprising for a few months. If you go back over the story, even since I made this decision to place Sindy on the throne I’ve only referred to the ruler of The Realm as Sovereign — not “king.”

I think Sindy will make an excellent Sovereign.


  1. The Governors had Will’s suite bugged. 
  2. King David, in case you were wondering. 
  3. A long way back I explained how the gnome’s name was a mixture of an English colloquialism and a bad rendering of koine Greek. His name means, “Don’t bother me.” His real name is Bob. 
  4. Remember how he drug Will into The Realm without considering he’d need a change of clothes? 

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  1. Isn’t it neat when the characters reveal traits you weren’t expecting and give whole new possibilities to the story? Love this twist of yours! 🙂

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