Thursday, May 26, 2011

Will Scott of Buccleuch

Simon Woods 
Role as Charles Bingley from 'Pride and Prejudice' 2005

Another one of my favorite characters we find in Game of Kings is Lymond's side-kick, one-time betrayer and ultimate savior (by the end of Kings at the very least), Will Scott of Buccleuch. He is young, brash, bold, very intelligent and hell bent on joining Lymond's misfits to prove something to himself and others. As the eldest, legitimate son of Sir Walter Scott, Will Scott certainly would have had much of the same education and warrior's background as Lymond but where they match each other in those arenas, I think from the outset Dunnett wanted these two men to have something ultimately dividing the two.

They are both young men, though for all of Lymond's handful of extra years there are eons of experience and hardship giving Lymond the rough edges, unappealing vices but the lightning quick mind Will Scott (and even the reader) have a hard time keeping up with. I feel Will Scott's role in Kings was a mirror of our, the reader's role: that of a confused interloper just trying to fight our way through.

From the beginning of their relationship, Lymond is dismissive, vindictive and derisive to Will Scott, constantly testing his loyalties and fortitude to live on the other side of the law and his father's displeasure just as the reader is struggling to find where we should fit Lymond into our own hearts. It is through their relationship that much of the story is eventually explained as time after time Will fumbles his way beside Lymond, constantly demanding an explanation for the Master's actions.

I always felt a kind of sorrow for Will Scott because I think he hungered to be the kind of master of men Lymond was, but he lacked the sometimes heart of steel needed. Maybe it was through some of Will's more temperate personality that helped guide Lymond through the worst of his moments, thereby making him one of those heroes that fade into the background but are no less important.

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