Bridge to Terabithia

by

Katherine Paterson

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Prince Terrien Symbol Icon

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

The Bridge to Terabithia quotes below all refer to the symbol of Prince Terrien. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Friendship, Grief, and Loss Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the HarperCollins edition of Bridge to Terabithia published in 2017.
Chapter 8 Quotes

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.

Related Characters: Jess Aarons, Leslie Burke
Related Symbols: Prince Terrien
Page Number: 100
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation long mobile
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Prince Terrien Symbol Timeline in Bridge to Terabithia

The timeline below shows where the symbol Prince Terrien appears in Bridge to Terabithia. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 6
Friendship, Grief, and Loss Theme Icon
Individuality vs. Conformity Theme Icon
Fantasy and Escapism Theme Icon
...would be bad luck. Leslie is delighted by the gift—she decides to name the dog Prince Terrien and appoint him guardian of Terabithia. Leslie gives Jess his gift next—it is a large,... (full context)
Friendship, Grief, and Loss Theme Icon
Individuality vs. Conformity Theme Icon
Gender Roles Theme Icon
That night, the “glow” of the magical afternoon with Leslie and Prince Terrien remains with Jess even as his family bickers and squabbles. The next morning, May Belle... (full context)
Chapter 7
Friendship, Grief, and Loss Theme Icon
Individuality vs. Conformity Theme Icon
Fantasy and Escapism Theme Icon
The next afternoon, after more than a month away from Terabithia, Jess and Leslie grab Prince Terrien and cross the creek bed. Leslie wonders how the kingdom has fared in their absence... (full context)
Chapter 8
Friendship, Grief, and Loss Theme Icon
Individuality vs. Conformity Theme Icon
Fantasy and Escapism Theme Icon
...in the bad weather, but Jess becomes increasingly nervous about navigating the rope swing—especially when Prince Terrien comes along, as he is getting bigger and harder to take across on the swing. (full context)
Chapter 9
Friendship, Grief, and Loss Theme Icon
Individuality vs. Conformity Theme Icon
Appearances vs. Reality Theme Icon
...stomach and suggests they turn back. Leslie, though, is determined to get across. She cradles Prince Terrien in her left arm, grabs the rope with her right, and takes a running start.... (full context)
Chapter 12
Friendship, Grief, and Loss Theme Icon
...Aarons walk Jess over the Burkes’. They knock at the front door—Jess can immediately hear Prince Terrien begin to bark. A man Jess doesn’t know lets them inside, and they proceed into... (full context)
Friendship, Grief, and Loss Theme Icon
...apologize to his sister. Later that afternoon, Bill comes by and asks Jess to watch Prince Terrien for a couple days while the Burkes go to Pennsylvania to scatter Leslie’s ashes. Jess... (full context)
Chapter 13
Friendship, Grief, and Loss Theme Icon
...still the only one awake—so he decides to go back down to the creek with Prince Terrien and see if he can retrieve any of his paints. Spring has sprung, and on... (full context)
Friendship, Grief, and Loss Theme Icon
Fantasy and Escapism Theme Icon
...isn’t far from Terabithia, but he isn’t sure if it’s even Terabithia anymore without Leslie. Prince Terrien swims across the creek and joins Jess on the other side, and together, they walk... (full context)
Friendship, Grief, and Loss Theme Icon
Bill, growing teary, says that he envisioned leaving Prince Terrien with Jess—but after some time away from him, he’s realized he can’t give the dog... (full context)