Scythe

by

Neal Shusterman

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The High Blade of MidMerica. He's a huge and imposing scythe who wears heavy gold robes. Citra notes that Xenocrates is full of contradictions: while his robes and his home—a simple cabin set atop the tallest building in Fulcrum City—seem ostentatious for a scythe, he also wears threadbare slippers and doesn't keep servants at home. She also can't decide if Xenocrates is sincere or calculating, as he appears to be both at once. Rowan learns later that Xenocrates isn't truly sympathetic to Scythe Goddard's cause, while Volta is surprised to learn that Xenocrates took Goddard on as an apprentice many years ago. In the novel's present, Xenocrates is being blackmailed by Goddard, as Goddard keeps Esme, Xenocrates's illegitimate and illegal daughter, as collateral. To keep her existence from getting out—and to keep her safe—Xenocrates doesn't challenge any of Goddard's questionable behavior and accuses Citra of murdering Scythe Faraday, though he later revokes the charges. While he initially seems to discount both Citra and Rowan, his dealings with them after Goddard's death and at Winter Conclave show him that he should take them seriously, and that he should specifically look out for Rowan, foreshadowing Rowan’s later role as an unordained scythe who gleans corrupt scythes.

High Blade Xenocrates Quotes in Scythe

The Scythe quotes below are all either spoken by High Blade Xenocrates or refer to High Blade Xenocrates. 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:
Coming of Age Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Simon & Schuster edition of Scythe published in 2017.
Chapter 40 Quotes

"Had she lived, who knows what she might have done. Perhaps she could have changed the world and redeemed her family name. I choose to be Scythe Anastasia. I vow to become the change that might have been."

Related Characters: Citra Terranova (speaker), Rowan Damisch, High Blade Xenocrates
Related Symbols: Anastasia Romanov
Page Number: 428
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Scythe LitChart as a printable PDF.
Scythe PDF

High Blade Xenocrates Character Timeline in Scythe

The timeline below shows where the character High Blade Xenocrates appears in Scythe. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 13
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Mortality and Life Theme Icon
Surveillance, Corruption, and Justice Theme Icon
...Citra and Rowan to the Capitol Building. Citra is concerned when she realizes that the High Blade doesn't know that Faraday took two apprentices. Citra notices the public lined up to see... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Surveillance, Corruption, and Justice Theme Icon
...to a large man wearing a gold robe, whom Faraday says is the High Blade Xenocrates of MidMerica. Xenocrates introduces himself to Citra and Rowan, and Citra privately thinks he seems... (full context)
Surveillance, Corruption, and Justice Theme Icon
Morality, Compassion, and Choices Theme Icon
...continues to bore Citra, but the disciplining that takes place after that holds her interest. Xenocrates reprimands several scythes for gleaning too many rich people or people with too much Spanic... (full context)
Surveillance, Corruption, and Justice Theme Icon
...oversight committee to tackle questions of granting immunity. The matter runs out of time, so Xenocrates announces that they'll deal with it first thing at the next conclave. Faraday quietly deems... (full context)
Chapter 14
Surveillance, Corruption, and Justice Theme Icon
...competition and proposes that the winning apprentice glean the loser. Faraday tries to protest, but Xenocrates allows the motion to pass. (full context)
Chapter 17
Surveillance, Corruption, and Justice Theme Icon
...Citra and Rowan to come with them, but Citra says they won't go. High Blade Xenocrates steps out of the shadows, asks Rowan and Citra to follow him, and says that... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Surveillance, Corruption, and Justice Theme Icon
Morality, Compassion, and Choices Theme Icon
Rowan, Citra, and Xenocrates take a private hypertrain to Xenocrates's home in Fulcrum City. He lives in a cabin... (full context)
Chapter 27
Surveillance, Corruption, and Justice Theme Icon
...one did. Someone again anonymously accuses Goddard of being too generous with granting immunity, but Xenocrates waves this away. Curie tries to object but can't. She murmurs that Goddard is untouchable.... (full context)
Chapter 28
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Mortality and Life Theme Icon
...as he knows, Goddard hasn't done anything illegal. On the third day of the party, Xenocrates shows up. He seems uncomfortable. Rowan is even more shocked to see Tyger, who is... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Morality, Compassion, and Choices Theme Icon
Volta is the first one to see Xenocrates arrive at the party, and he can tell that Xenocrates doesn't want to be there.... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Morality, Compassion, and Choices Theme Icon
Xenocrates looks terrified as Esme sits on Goddard's lap. Volta wonders why Xenocrates is so uncomfortable... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Surveillance, Corruption, and Justice Theme Icon
Rowan sees Xenocrates jump into the deep end, but the High Blade doesn't come back up. Rowan and... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Surveillance, Corruption, and Justice Theme Icon
Morality, Compassion, and Choices Theme Icon
...life. Goddard notices Rowan, and the two discuss Tyger and the fact that Rowan saw Xenocrates jump into the pool. Rowan notes that people are saying that a scythe killed Faraday,... (full context)
Surveillance, Corruption, and Justice Theme Icon
...with him to help her weight. Volta gives him a look and Rowan realizes that Xenocrates is Esme's father. Volta points out that Xenocrates's life would crumble if Esme were gleaned... (full context)
Chapter 29
Surveillance, Corruption, and Justice Theme Icon
Morality, Compassion, and Choices Theme Icon
...Because Citra is a member of the Scythedom, her fate is in the hands of Xenocrates. At his residence, she sits in a chair and refutes the changes. Scythe Mandela accuses... (full context)
Mortality and Life Theme Icon
Morality, Compassion, and Choices Theme Icon
...says that whoever killed Faraday used Faraday's ring to bribe witnesses with immunity. Mandela leaves. Xenocrates says that he's been studying "tor-turé" from the Age of Mortality, which is inflicting physical... (full context)
Mortality and Life Theme Icon
Surveillance, Corruption, and Justice Theme Icon
Morality, Compassion, and Choices Theme Icon
Xenocrates isn't concerned until he sees that Nimbus agents—people who work for the Thunderhead—are the ones... (full context)
Chapter 31
Surveillance, Corruption, and Justice Theme Icon
...outside, and Curie explains that they're in the Chileargentine Region—the Thunderhead moved Citra away from Xenocrates. Curie says it's time to go so that Xenocrates can't find her, and helps her... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Morality, Compassion, and Choices Theme Icon
...purportedly heal a cold. Citra eats and then tells Curie about the journal entry that Xenocrates showed her. Curie sighs and says that the journal entry was about her, not Citra.... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Surveillance, Corruption, and Justice Theme Icon
Morality, Compassion, and Choices Theme Icon
...High Blade found out. After 70 years of punishment, they became friends. Citra asks if Xenocrates truly thought the journal entry was about her, and Curie says he probably knows it... (full context)
Chapter 34
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Mortality and Life Theme Icon
...knows little about what happened to Citra, and nobody seems to know where she is. Xenocrates drops the charges, which sends Goddard into a fit of rage. He takes his followers... (full context)
Surveillance, Corruption, and Justice Theme Icon
...to Curie. She arrives to an apology note from Scythe Mandela, and Curie explains that Xenocrates will pretend the fiasco never happened. Citra says she won't forget, but Curie suggests that... (full context)
Chapter 37
Surveillance, Corruption, and Justice Theme Icon
Two days after Goddard's death, Xenocrates sits with Rowan and promises to ban fire in conclave. He marvels that Rowan made... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Surveillance, Corruption, and Justice Theme Icon
Xenocrates mentions that there are rumors that a scythe addressed a group of firefighters. Rowan says... (full context)
Chapter 39
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Citra tunes out most of the morning's business until Xenocrates begins a debate on banning fire as a method of gleaning. Curie murmurs to Citra... (full context)
Chapter 40
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Mortality and Life Theme Icon
Citra and Rowan greet each other and then face Xenocrates. Mandela makes a speech and then says that Citra will receive the ring. The scythes... (full context)
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Surveillance, Corruption, and Justice Theme Icon
Morality, Compassion, and Choices Theme Icon
...has immunity. Rowan looks at Citra's bloody fist and ring and says she's a genius. Xenocrates accuses Citra of doing this on purpose and laughs when she denies it. Citra leans... (full context)