Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Ursula K. Le Guin's A Wizard of Earthsea. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
A Wizard of Earthsea: Introduction
A Wizard of Earthsea: Plot Summary
A Wizard of Earthsea: Detailed Summary & Analysis
A Wizard of Earthsea: Themes
A Wizard of Earthsea: Quotes
A Wizard of Earthsea: Characters
A Wizard of Earthsea: Symbols
A Wizard of Earthsea: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Ursula K. Le Guin
Historical Context of A Wizard of Earthsea
Other Books Related to A Wizard of Earthsea
- Full Title: A Wizard of Earthsea
- When Written: Mid-1960s
- Where Written: Portland, Oregon
- When Published: 1968
- Literary Period: Contemporary Speculative Children’s Literature
- Genre: Children’s Literature; Fantasy; Bildungsroman
- Setting: The fictional archipelago of Earthsea.
- Climax: Ged travels to the ends of the earth to face down the horrible shadow that has been haunting him since his youth and calls it by its true name, Ged, in order to tame it and return it to the depths of his soul.
- Antagonist: The Shadow; Jasper; The Dragon of Pendor; Serret; Benderesk
- Point of View: Third-Person Omniscient
Extra Credit for A Wizard of Earthsea
Adaptable? A Wizard of Earthsea, beloved by a generation of readers, has been adapted for radio, film, and television several times—and yet Ursula K. Le Guin disapproved of the majority of adaptations of her work. Of prestigious Japanese animation Studio Ghibli’s adaptation, Tales from Earthsea (2006), Le Guin said, “It is not my book. It is your movie. It is a good movie.” The film combined storytelling elements of the first four books of the sprawling Earthsea series rather than focusing on the first book alone. Legend of Earthsea, a 2005 Sci-Fi Channel adaptation of the first two novels in the Earthsea cycle, drew Le Guin’s ire after casting a “petulant white kid” as Ged, as well as making the majority of the main cast white as well. In the Earthsea novels, the protagonists are largely non-white—the TV adaptation thus ignored Le Guin’s central choice to focus on non-white stories.