Prince Terrien represents the tendency for love to perpetuate itself. As Christmas approaches, Jess struggles mightily with how to get his relatively new friend Leslie a gift that will accurately reflect how important she’s become to him in the few short months they’ve known each other. Though Leslie’s family has money, Jess’s family is poor—there’s not enough extra for him to use buying Leslie something that she’ll really love. On the way home from school one day, Jess spots a sign advertising free puppies—and instantly knows what to get for Leslie. He gives her the gift of a small black-and-brown puppy whom Leslie names Terrien and appoints the Prince of Terabithia, the stately but silly counterpart to her role as queen and Jess’s as king. Prince Terrien is rarely absent from Leslie’s side, and when Leslie isn’t free to play with him, Jess takes him on runs through the fields of their neighborhood. Prince Terrien, then, symbolizes the ways in which intense love for another person—even when that love is doomed to be cut short—begets even more love, creating connections and ripples that reflect the beauty and magnitude of what two kindred souls can share. In the wake of Leslie’s death, Jess spends more time than ever with Prince Terrien, but ultimately decides that the dog should belong to Leslie’s bereaved parents, Bill and Judy. Prince Terrien—a symbol of Leslie and Jess’s sweet, profound friendship—travels on with Leslie’s parents, further suggesting that the love two people create can live on in unexpected ways.
Prince Terrien Quotes in Bridge to Terabithia
All March it poured. For the first time in many years the creek bed held water, not just a trickle either, enough so that when they swung across, it was a little scary looking down at the rushing water below. Jess took Prince Terrien across inside his jacket, but the puppy was growing so fast he might pop the zipper any time and fall into the water and drown.