One day, Joseph Hooper drives Edmund Hooper and Charles Kingshaw to a local tourist attraction, Leydell Castle. Children come from across the country to play at the ruins of this authentic medieval castle, and Joseph believes that he’s giving Edmund and Charles a fun way to spend the day. The reality, however, is much more disturbing. Charles and Edmund engage in a subtle battle of wills, in which both try to assert their superiority over the other by climbing to the top of the castle. Thus, Leydell Castle symbolizes the boys’ struggle for power, which is fundamentally rooted not only in Edmund’s abuse of Charles, but in the class-based hierarchy that exists between them. The two boys compete for everything—Warings, toys, their parents’ love, and, here, a castle. Unbeknownst to Joseph, the boys’ struggle is brutal, and ultimately even deadly.
Leydell Castle Quotes in I’m the King of the Castle
I am the King, I am the King, there is nothing I can't ask him for, nothing he won't promise me, nothing I can't do to him. Up here, I'm the King.
But he had learned enough, over the past few weeks, to know that any power he acquired would only be temporary. Like the thunderstorm in the wood, and the time when Hooper had fallen into the water and bashed his head, and then when he had had the nightmares. As soon as the situation had changed, everything went back to what Kingshaw had come to think of as normal.