Pale Fire


Vladimir Nabokov

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A Zemblan actor and filmmaker, Odon is King Charles’s most loyal ally in the palace. After the Zemblan revolution, he pretends to be a revolutionary so that he can stay close to King Charles and help relay messages between the King and his followers. Odon is instrumental to helping King Charles to flee Zembla; he plans various aspects of the King’s escape, transports him across the border, and even impersonates him to help throw the police off his trail. According to the novel’s index, Odon is an alias for Donald O’Donnell; indeed, Odon is Sylvia O’Donnell’s son, and he puts Charles in touch with his mother, who eases his transition to America by finding him a job at Wordsmith. After Odon and Charles flee Zembla, Odon moves to Paris to direct movies.
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Odon Character Timeline in Pale Fire

The timeline below shows where the character Odon appears in Pale Fire. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Commentary: Lines 101-143
Identity, Delusion, and Loneliness Theme Icon
...guarded palace. Among the soldiers was one “royalist” (an ally of the monarchy) in disguise: Odon, who has since escaped to Europe, and who was a star actor in the Zemblan... (full context)
Identity, Delusion, and Loneliness Theme Icon
...the guard that he wanted to play piano—in the music room, he explained quietly to Odon that there was a secret passage that could help him escape. Odon, who had to... (full context)
Patterns, Fate, and Coincidence Theme Icon
Charles wandered into the hall where he found a costumed Odon. Startled, Odon pushed the king under a costume cloak and towards an exit to the... (full context)
Commentary: Lines 149-214
Identity, Delusion, and Loneliness Theme Icon
Loss and Longing Theme Icon
...foot upon a mountain. The Bera Range divides Zembla in half, and after Charles and Odon escaped, they planned to drive to a mountain castle to hide. However, the stuttering man... (full context)
Identity, Delusion, and Loneliness Theme Icon
...He saw a disfigured man reading the paper, and on the front page he saw Odon’s picture with a reward for his capture. The disfigured man began to speak, and Charles... (full context)
Identity, Delusion, and Loneliness Theme Icon
...conspiracy. After the King escaped, the extremists believed for almost a year that he and Odon were still in Zembla. As the extremists were obsessed with planes, the government shut down... (full context)
Commentary: Lines 367-434
Identity, Delusion, and Loneliness Theme Icon
...was driving to the villa of Joseph Lavender, an art enthusiast who was possibly harboring Odon. Gradus would pretend to be an art dealer and try to casually gain information about... (full context)
Commentary: Lines 873-1000
Identity, Delusion, and Loneliness Theme Icon
Death, Mystery, and the Afterlife Theme Icon
The Nature of Art Theme Icon exile who has nothing—no fame, future, or audience—except his art. He might work with Odon on a movie about escaping Zembla, or pander to middlebrow theater critics by writing a... (full context)