The Buried Giant

by

Kazuo Ishiguro

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Buried Giant can help.
Axl is an elderly Briton and Beatrice’s husband. They live alone together in the back room of a warren in which they are regularly mistreated, especially after the pastor decides to take away their right to keep a candle to light their room. Axl loves Beatrice and always calls her “princess,” but the couple can’t remember their lives together because of a mist that has descended over England and taken away people’s memories. Axl seems to be able to retain more short-term memories than those around him, which unsettles him and contributes to his decision to take Beatrice on a journey to find their son. On the road, Beatrice becomes more and more enthusiastic about the idea of finding out what causes the mist, why, and how they can stop it so that she and Axl can remember their lives together and pass the boatman’s test to travel to the island together. Axl agrees, but is less excited than Beatrice because he senses that he wronged her in the past and is afraid she’ll hate him once their memories are restored. They meet Wistan, a Saxon warrior who seems to remember Axl from the past, although neither of them remembers the details. Sir Gawain, too, remembers Axl, but pretends he doesn’t until near end of the story when he reminds Axl that he had also been a knight of King Arthur and was the one who brokered the treaty with the Saxons that King Arthur broke. It’s also revealed that Wistan had seen Axl when he was a knight and knew he was the one who made the treaty, which is why he lets Axl go in peace. Axl remembers some of the details from his time in King Arthur’s army, namely that he had been a diplomat and hated the violence of his companion, Harvey. When Axl and Beatrice finally make it to the boatman to take the test to go to the island, Axl reveals the anger he harbored against Beatrice for having an affair and chooses to let her go to the island alone even though he still loves her.

Axl Quotes in The Buried Giant

The The Buried Giant quotes below are all either spoken by Axl or refer to Axl. 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:
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of The Buried Giant published in 2015.
Chapter 2 Quotes

“But Axl, we can’t remember those days. Or any of the years between. We don’t remember our fierce quarrels or the small moments we enjoyed and treasured. We don’t remember our son or why he’s away from us.”

“We can make all those memories come back, princess. Besides, the feeling in my heart for you will be there just the same, no matter what I remember or forget. Don’t you feel the same, princess?”

“I do, Axl. But then again I wonder if what we feel in our hearts today isn’t like these raindrops still falling on us from the soaked leaves above, even though the sky itself long stopped raining. I’m wondering if without our memories, there’s nothing for it but for our love to fade and die.”

Related Characters: Axl (speaker), Beatrice (speaker), Axl and Beatrice’s Son, The Narrator / The Boatman
Related Symbols: The Island
Page Number: 45
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 3 Quotes

“It was just a thought. That perhaps God is angry about something we’ve done. Or maybe he’s not angry, but ashamed.”

“A curious thought, princess. But if it’s as you say, why doesn’t he punish us? Why make us forget like fools even things that happened the hour before?”

“Perhaps God’s so deeply ashamed of us, of something we did, that he’s wishing himself to forget. And as the stranger told Ivor, when God won’t remember, it’s no wonder we’re unable to do so.”

Related Characters: Axl (speaker), Beatrice (speaker), Ivor
Related Symbols: The Mist
Page Number: 76
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 6 Quotes

What had brought the pair of them to that village that morning? Axl remembered the cries of outrage, children crying, the looks of hatred, and his own fury, not so much at Harvey himself, but at those who had handicapped him with such a companion. Their mission, if accomplished, would surely be an achievement unique and new, one so supreme God himself would judge it a moment when men came a step closer to him. Yet how could Axl hope to do anything tethered to such a brute?

Related Characters: The Narrator / The Boatman (speaker), Axl, Harvey
Page Number: 136
Explanation and Analysis:

“I speak of people at the end of a brutal road, having seen their children and kin mutilated and ravished. They’ve reached this, their sanctuary, only after long torment, death chasing at their heels. And now comes an invading army of overwhelming size. The fort may hold several days, perhaps even a week or two. But they know in the end they will face their own slaughter. They know the infants they circle in their in their arms will before long be bloodied toys kicked about these cobbles. They know because they’ve seen it already, from whence they fled. They’ve seen the enemy burn and cut, take turns to rape young girls even as they lie dying of their wounds. They know this is to come, and so must cherish the earlier days of the siege, when the enemy must first pay the price for what they will later do.”

Related Characters: Wistan (speaker), Axl
Page Number: 141-142
Explanation and Analysis:

“Yet are you so certain, good mistress, you wish to be free of this mist? Is it not better some things remain hidden from our minds?”

“It may be so for some, father, but not for us. Axl and I wish to have again the happy moments we shared together. To be robbed of them is as if a thief came in the night and took what’s most precious from us.”

“Yet the mist covers all memories, the bad as well as the good. Isn’t that so, mistress?”

“We’ll have the bad ones come back too, even if they make us weep or shake with anger. For isn’t it the life we’ve shared?”

Related Characters: Beatrice (speaker), Father Jonus (speaker), Axl
Related Symbols: The Mist
Page Number: 157
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 7 Quotes

“What are you suggesting, sir? Skulls? I saw no skulls! And what if there are a few old bones here? What of it, is that anything extraordinary? Aren’t we underground? But I saw no bed of bones, I don’t know what you suggest, Master Axl. Were you there, sir? Did you stand beside the great Arthur? I’m proud to say I did, sir, and he was a commander as merciful as he was gallant. Yes, indeed, it was I who came to the abbot to warn of Master Wistan’s identity and intentions, what choice had I? Was I to guess how dark the hearts of holy men could turn? Your suggestions are unwarranted, sir! An insult to all who ever stood alongside the great Arthur! There are no beds of bones here!”

Related Characters: Sir Gawain (speaker), Axl, King Arthur
Page Number: 169
Explanation and Analysis:

“We need not quarrel, Master Axl. Here are the skulls of men, I won’t deny it. There an arm, there a leg, but just bones now. An old burial ground. And so it may be. I dare say, sir, our whole country is this way. A fine green valley. A pleasant copse in the springtime. Dig its soil, and not far beneath the daisies and buttercups come the dead. And I don’t talk, sir, only of those who received Christian burial. Beneath our soil lie the remains of old slaughter. Horace and I, we’ve grown weary of it. Weary and we no longer young.”

Related Characters: Sir Gawain (speaker), Axl, Horace
Page Number: 171
Explanation and Analysis:

“So many skulls we trod on before coming out to this sweet dawn! So many. No need to look down, one hears their cackle with each tread. How many dead, sir? A hundred? A thousand? Did you count, Master Axl? Or were you not there, sir?”

Related Characters: Sir Gawain (speaker), Axl
Page Number: 180
Explanation and Analysis:
Gawain’s First Reverie Quotes

“These cursed Saxons. Why fight on this way with only Death to thank them for it?”

“I believe they do so for sheer anger and hatred of us,” he says. “For it must be by now word has reached their ears of what’s been done to their innocents left in their villages. I’m myself just come from them, so why would the news not reach also the Saxon ranks?”

“What news do you speak of, Master Axl?”

“News of their women, children and elderly, left unprotected after our solemn agreement not to harm them, now all slaughtered by our hands, even the smallest babes. If this were lately done to us, would our hatred exhaust itself? Would we not also fight to the last as they do, each fresh wound given a balm?”

Related Characters: Axl (speaker), Sir Gawain (speaker)
Page Number: 212
Explanation and Analysis:

“Master Axl, what was done in these Saxon towns today my uncle would have commanded only with a heavy heart, knowing of no other way for peace to prevail. Think, sir. Those small Saxon boys you lament would soon have become warriors burning to avenge their fathers fallen today. The small girls soon bearing more in their wombs, and this circle of slaughter would never be broken. Look how deep runs the lust for vengeance! […] Yet with today’s great victory a rare chance comes. We may once and for all sever this evil circle, and a great king must act boldly on it. May this be a famous day, Master Axl, from which our land can be in peace for years to come.”

“I fail to understand you, sir. […] This circle of hate is hardly broken, sir, but forged instead in iron by what’s done today.”

Related Characters: Axl (speaker), Sir Gawain (speaker), King Arthur
Page Number: 213-214
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 13 Quotes

“Axl, tell me. If the she-dragon’s really slain, and the mist starts to clear, Axl, do you ever fear what will then be revealed to us?”

“Didn’t you say it yourself, princess? Our life together’s like a tale with a happy end, no matter what turns it took on the way.”

“I said so before, Axl. Yet now it may even be we’ll slay Querig with our own hands, there’s a part of me fears the mist’s fading.”

Related Characters: Axl (speaker), Beatrice (speaker), Querig
Related Symbols: The Mist
Page Number: 249
Explanation and Analysis:

“Should Querig really die and the mist begin to clear. Should memories return, and among them of times I disappointed you. Or yet of dark deeds I may once have done to make you look at me and see no longer the man you do now. Promise me this at least. Promise, princess, you’ll not forget what you feel in your heart for me at this moment. For what good’s a memory’s returning from the mist if it’s only to push away another? Will you promise me, princess? Promise to keep what you feel for me this moment always in your heart, no matter what you see once the mist’s gone.”

Related Characters: Axl (speaker), Beatrice, Querig
Related Symbols: The Mist
Page Number: 258
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 15 Quotes

“I accuse you of nothing. That great law you brokered torn down in blood! Yet it held well for a time. Torn down in blood! Who blames us for it now? Do I fear youth? Is it youth alone can defeat an opponent? Let him come, let him come.”

Related Characters: Sir Gawain (speaker), Axl, Wistan
Page Number: 271
Explanation and Analysis:

“Will you not understand the acts of a great king, sir? We can only watch and wonder. A great king, like God himself, must perform deeds mortals flinch from! […] Who calls me a coward, sir? Or a slaughterer of babes? Where were you that day? Were you with us?”

Related Characters: Sir Gawain (speaker), Axl, King Arthur
Page Number: 275
Explanation and Analysis:

“You and I longed for Querig’s end, thinking only of our own dear memories. Yet who knows what old hatreds will loosen across the land now? We must hope God yet finds a way to preserve the bonds between our peoples, yet custom and suspicion have always divided us. Who knows what will come when quick-tongued men make ancient grievances rhyme with fresh desire for land and conquest?”

“How right to fear it, sir,” Wistan said. “The giant, once well buried, now stirs."

Related Characters: Axl (speaker), Wistan (speaker), Beatrice, Querig
Page Number: 297
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 17 Quotes

“What did you hope to gain, sir, preventing not just your wife but even yourself grieving at your son’s resting place?”

“Gain? There was nothing to gain, boatman. It was just foolishness and pride. And whatever else lurks in the depths of a man’s heart. Perhaps it was a craving to punish, sir. I spoke and acted forgiveness, yet kept locked through long years some small chamber in my heart that yearned for vengeance. A petty and black thing I did her, and my son also.”

Related Characters: Axl (speaker), The Narrator / The Boatman (speaker), Beatrice, Axl and Beatrice’s Son
Page Number: 312-313
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Buried Giant LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Buried Giant PDF

Axl Character Timeline in The Buried Giant

The timeline below shows where the character Axl appears in The Buried Giant. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Denial and Rewriting History Theme Icon
On the edge of a bog, an elderly couple, Axl and Beatrice, live together in one of many communal warrens in the area, a lot... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Axl and Beatrice live “on the outer fringes” of their warren, far from the large fire... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Back in their room, Axl sees that Beatrice is still sleeping and is careful not to make too much noise... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
The narrator notes that the reader may wonder why Axl doesn’t ask someone in the warren for answers as to whether he and Beatrice had... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Recalling the incident of the red-haired woman and how everyone, even Beatrice, had forgotten her, Axl wonders if he’s mistaken about her existing. However, “this instance […] had been merely one... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
The sun is rising higher and lighting up Axl and Beatrice’s room. Watching her sleep, Axl notes that she looks peaceful and he experiences... (full context)
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
...the stranger at a tree called “the old thorn,” but she ran down to meet Axl before he could come up and talk to the stranger himself. Axl agreed with Beatrice... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Suddenly, Beatrice told Axl that she was beginning to agree with his belief that it’s “queer the way the... (full context)
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Despite their promise to talk about the trip, Beatrice and Axl have rarely brought it up again. They become “oddly uncomfortable” whenever it is brought up,... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Denial and Rewriting History Theme Icon
Walking away from the scene of the incident, Beatrice told Axl that all she could think about was their son and how Axl had refused to... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
As more people wake up around the warren, Axl notices Beatrice starting to move. He leaves his stool to go sit on the edge... (full context)
Chapter 2
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Before taking off, Axl and Beatrice must get permission to take certain things with them, like communally owned blankets... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
After reaching the end of the Great Plain, Axl and Beatrice rest in a safe corner and talk about meeting their son again. Beatrice... (full context)
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
After resting, Axl and Beatrice prepare to continue walking. Beatrice gives Axl some smooth stones to carry as... (full context)
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
It starts to rain shortly before Axl and Beatrice reach the villa, which “must have been splendid enough in Roman days,” but... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Once the rain “settle[s] to a steady fall,” the old woman greets Axl and Beatrice and asks where they’re going. Axl tells her they’re going to their son’s... (full context)
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Denial and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...the rabbit, Beatrice asks her not to cut open the animal and to instead let Axl help her kill it cleanly. Beatrice scolds the woman for harassing the boatman, but Axl... (full context)
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Although the old woman is invited to argue against this point, she remains silent. Axl tells the woman she can walk with him and Beatrice for part of the way... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...standing and that it has survived past wars. As the boatman talks about these wars, Axl suddenly grabs Beatrice’s arm and tells her that hearing these descriptions makes it seem like... (full context)
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
The boatman wishes Axl and Beatrice a safe journey as they walk away, but suddenly Beatrice stops and asks... (full context)
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
...according to the boatman, is rare. Beatrice thanks him for the answer and she and Axl leave. (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
As Axl and Beatrice make their way back to the road, Beatrice tells him that she’s afraid.... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Again, Axl comforts Beatrice and assures her that their love is very strong, but Beatrice is worried... (full context)
Chapter 3
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...a traditional village: it’s made of houses and buildings, not dug into a hillside like Axl and Beatrice’s warren. Around the town is a large fence with sharpened poles to keep... (full context)
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Axl worries that they won’t be welcome here, but Beatrice assures him that they know her... (full context)
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...gate, the Saxon guards look “panicked,” so Beatrice insists that she go up alone and Axl wait for her at a distance. After checking both Beatrice and Axl out, the guards... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Beatrice finds the medicine woman and they talk together in the Saxon language (which Axl can’t understand) for a while before the woman leads Beatrice toward her hut. Beatrice tells... (full context)
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Suddenly Beatrice is next to Axl and tells him that the warrior arrived shortly before they did, and that he is... (full context)
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
The medicine woman tells Beatrice that she and Axl need to go straight to the longhouse (an inn) and stay inside until morning because... (full context)
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
The elderly man, addressing Axl and Beatrice in the Briton language, wonders how the guards could so soon forget their... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Ivor’s house is large, comfortable, and warmed by a big fire. Axl unpacks his and Beatrice’s blankets as they find comfortable spots to sit. Ivor apologizes for... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
With Ivor gone, Axl and Beatrice wonder what he would have said about the mist. Axl asks Beatrice if... (full context)
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Axl asks Beatrice if she received an answer from the medicine woman about her pains. Beatrice... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...out to be just a dream—the man had fallen asleep at his post. Ivor tells Axl and Beatrice that they’ll have to sleep in the main room while he sleeps in... (full context)
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Denial and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...old fool” has ever given Querig “a single moment of anxiety.” Ivor tells Beatrice and Axl to press on to the monastery, but to be careful. (full context)
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Axl is suddenly shaken awake by Beatrice in the middle of the night. There are noises... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Looking at the boy, Axl feels not happiness, but a “vague unease” that he attributes to the “odd manner of... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Denial and Rewriting History Theme Icon
Axl wakes up the next morning just as the sun starts lighting up the room. He... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Axl and Beatrice quickly get dressed and pack up their belongings before heading outside to find... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Axl tells Wistan that he speaks “our language” very well. Wistan, catching himself staring, tells Axl... (full context)
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Ivor, Axl, and Beatrice reach the longhouse and Ivor shows them in. Beatrice asks Ivor what happened... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
As they eat, Beatrice asks Axl if he thinks there was anything to what Ivor said about the mist the night... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Walking back to Ivor’s house, Beatrice and Axl spot Wistan sitting on a lookout platform. All three are leaving shortly, but Wistan asks... (full context)
Chapter 5
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
After a long hike upwards, Axl, Beatrice, Wistan, and Edwin realized they would have to find a bridge to cross a... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...and one of them, the grey-haired soldier, is apparently in charge. Walking up to them, Axl bids them good day and asks if they can cross the bridge, assuring them that... (full context)
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Axl comments that the soldiers must be busy and again tells them that he and his... (full context)
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
...take a shortcut to avoid the main road. As they hike, Beatrice calls back to Axl from time to time to make sure he’s still there. They wonder if the people... (full context)
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...man calls out and demands that the group tell him who they are. Wistan tells Axl to do the talking, so Axl calls back that they’re “simple wayfarers” who “wish only... (full context)
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Denial and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...“out of duty” to King Arthur, who died many years before. As they get closer, Axl notes that the knight is, in fact, very old and that his armor is rusted... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Denial and Rewriting History Theme Icon
Having become friendly with each other, Wistan asks Sir Gawain to look at Axl, who is about as old as Sir Gawain, and tell him if he’s seen Axl... (full context)
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Axl asks Wistan why he insists on using a disguise even though the country has been... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Denial and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...he had been so generous even after defeating the Saxons. As they talk about Arthur, Axl discovers a “fragment of a memory” of himself being in a tent near and battlefield... (full context)
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Denial and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...children. Still, Wistan says that the peace there is “remarkable” and wants to know if Axl agrees. (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...soldier tells him not to come any closer, telling Sir Gawain he wants to question Axl and the others. Axl watches the soldier adjust his position, which makes it impossible for... (full context)
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Axl explains to the grey-haired soldier that he doesn’t think the Saxons he’s traveling with are... (full context)
Chapter 6
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Although he’s exhausted, Axl has a difficult time sleeping because their bed is in an upper story and he’s... (full context)
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Earlier that day, Axl looked out at the monks and noticed “a furtive mood among them” as they whispered... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Listening to Wistan chop wood, Axl thinks back to their parting from Sir Gawain, who had attempted up until the last... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Lying in the dark in the monastery, Axl feels sorry for the grey-haired soldier and suddenly remembers being on horseback behind a man... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Axl also remembers talking with Beatrice, who was much younger then, about whether or not a... (full context)
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Axl hears Wistan resume cutting wood and wonders why the warrior is so intent on working... (full context)
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Axl leaves Beatrice dozing in their room to talk to Wistan in the courtyard while the... (full context)
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Denial and Rewriting History Theme Icon
Wistan tells Axl that Edwin came to him earlier to report that he had heard moans “as of... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Axl shudders at Wistan’s description but realizes it’s the truth. Wistan goes on to say that,... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
To end the argument, Axl says he’s glad that the idea will never be put to the test. Wistan looks... (full context)
Denial and Rewriting History Theme Icon
Edwin comes back from his exploring and speaks to Wistan for a moment. Axl walks over to them and Wistan tells him that Edwin found something that they should... (full context)
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Axl says he wants to return to Beatrice, and Wistan agrees. As they start walking back,... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...if either he or Wistan knows where the mist comes from and how she and Axl “might be free of it” and get their memories back. Wistan tells her that Querig... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Axl struggles to identify the emotions he felt when he and Beatrice were told the cause... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
A bird flying across the room startles Axl and he realizes he had fallen asleep. He notices the sound of Wistan’s woodcutting has... (full context)
Chapter 7
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Axl is woken up by Father Brian shaking him. Beatrice is already awake, and Edwin is... (full context)
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Axl helps Father Brian lift the heavy door so they can go down, but Edwin initially... (full context)
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
As they walk, Axl, Beatrice, and Edwin notice a “feeble light” that allows them to see each other a... (full context)
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Denial and Rewriting History Theme Icon
Axl asks about the monster in the tunnel and Sir Gawain explains that the monks, and... (full context)
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Denial and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...against what she thinks is a child. Although Sir Gawain tries to keep them moving, Axl uses the candle to look around and sees a dead bat for a moment before... (full context)
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Denial and Rewriting History Theme Icon
Sir Gawain continues talking loudly despite Axl’s warning until they hear a sudden noise down the tunnel. For “several moments” the group... (full context)
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Sir Gawain and Axl realize that there is a portcullis that can be raised or lowered with a pulley,... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Denial and Rewriting History Theme Icon
Referring to the skeletons, Beatrice asks Axl if “this beast” really killed so many people. Sir Gawain turns to them and asks... (full context)
Denial and Rewriting History Theme Icon
Edwin starts singing again and Axl says it’s because the boy is overwhelmed before asking Sir Gawain why the monks want... (full context)
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
They form a plan for Axl and Beatrice to pull the rope that opens the gate while Edwin stands and back... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Denial and Rewriting History Theme Icon
Soon they reach the end of the tunnel and find themselves in the forest. Axl and Beatrice sit down, but soon notice Edwin is gone. Sir Gawain tells them the... (full context)
Chapter 8
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
...too foolish and honest.” Wistan said he didn’t think they’d do it but warned that Axl isn’t foolish and is actually “a deep fellow.” Edwin asked why they’re traveling with them... (full context)
Gawain’s First Reverie
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Denial and Rewriting History Theme Icon
As Sir Gawain watched Edra kill the Saxon, Axl appeared on the battlefield. Axl was without a shield and showed no interest in defending... (full context)
Chapter 11
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Axl wishes the sun would come out and warm Beatrice, whose shivering has grown progressively worse.... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
As Axl reassures Beatrice that they won’t get separated, the man helps them into the baskets and... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Up ahead, Axl spots a small rowboat that he and Beatrice might be able to float in together,... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
The woman tells Axl to “Show them a fierce face” as he reaches out to help her. Axl spots... (full context)
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Axl hears a voice telling him to “Leave her.” Fearfully, he turns around and sees pixies... (full context)
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
When Axl reaches Beatrice, he discovers that she is fast asleep even with pixies all over her.... (full context)
Chapter 13
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Denial and Rewriting History Theme Icon
Axl watches the goat munching on the grass while he and Beatrice rest. Looking down at... (full context)
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
In a flashback to that morning, Beatrice points out to Axl a cottage against the hillside that Axl initially mistakes for an entrance to a warren... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Back in the present on the hillside, Axl urges Beatrice to sit and rest instead of looking at the figures in the valley.... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Back in the flashback, Beatrice is sleeping in the cottage while Axl dries their clothes and stokes the fire until it roars. Beatrice shoots awake and is... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Axl wakes up and sees Beatrice looking through a window. Axl recalls their previous conversation, but... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
...make it poisonous in the hope of using it to kill Querig. The children ask Axl and Beatrice if they will take their remaining goat up to the giant’s cairn and... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Axl refuses to help bring the goat to the giant’s cairn, saying they are too old... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
As they climb the mountain with the goat, Axl wonders if “he had been foolish to give in.” Axl tells Beatrice that, in case... (full context)
Gawain’s Second Reverie
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Denial and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...on him. Sir Gawain reminds Horace that it’s just an old woman but wonders at Axl for bringing Beatrice up the mountain when she’s clearly ill. Sir Gawain sees figures below... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Denial and Rewriting History Theme Icon
Sir Gawain presses on with Beatrice astride Horace and Axl tugging the goat. Sir Gawain knows the others are coming. When Sir Gawain had first... (full context)
Chapter 15
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Denial and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...of innocent lives—there aren’t many other reasons for it to exist. The narrator is sure Axl is baffled by the sudden view of the giant’s cairn. The goat begins struggling to... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Denial and Rewriting History Theme Icon
Sir Gawain looks out at the landscape while Axl and Beatrice struggle to tie up the goat. Sir Gawain turns around and says, “I... (full context)
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Sir Gawain asks if it’s not possible that Axl’s decision “wasn’t the more godly,” leaving Arthur and investing himself in his marriage to Beatrice.... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Axl goes to Beatrice and says that the goat is secure and that he is ready... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
...we now fought to avenge fallen comrades,” and children were growing up only knowing war. Axl remembers “God himself betrayed” by Arthur’s betrayal of a treaty that Axl had brokered. Sir... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Denial and Rewriting History Theme Icon
Axl continues trying to get Sir Gawain to let him borrow the horse while Beatrice questions... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Wistan walks forward, laughing at the sight of Axl and Beatrice, and asks why they are on the mountain instead of with their son.... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Denial and Rewriting History Theme Icon
Axl asks that there be “no more disguises between us” and asks Sir Gawain if he... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
As they walk on, Beatrice tells Axl she’s beginning to think she’s “the one to fear most the mist’s clearing” and is... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Denial and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...Gawain agrees but says that as “long as she’s breath left, she does her duty.” Axl says he remembers Merlin’s work and calls it “dark.” Sir Gawain rejects this idea and... (full context)
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Denial and Rewriting History Theme Icon
Sir Gawain asks Axl to use his “fine eloquence” to help him and Wistan leave the place as friends,... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Denial and Rewriting History Theme Icon
Wistan stands over Sir Gawain’s body until Axl calls down, “Bravo, sir,” and tells him that nothing stands between him and killing the... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
...Querig and only examines her for a few moments before cutting off the dragon’s head. Axl and Beatrice note that it’s over, but Axl wants to stay and ask Wistan something.... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Axl tells Beatrice that Wistan is right and observes that while they had longed for the... (full context)
Chapter 17
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
The narrator listens as the old woman tells Axl that she remembers their son lives on an island and it is nearby. Axl wonders... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Axl asks if there is shelter with a fire nearby to warm Beatrice. The narrator says... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
...want to go across the water. Beatrice asks if the narrator could bring her and Axl there together so they won’t have to part, and the narrator assures her that they... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
...be questioned. The narrator says he nearly forgot about that, but that they will be. Axl is sent away while the woman talks about her memories of Axl. After a while,... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
...the way, the narrator asks if there are any memories that cause “particular pain,” assuring Axl he is no longer being formally questioned. Axl shares the story of the abrupt departure... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
When they return to Beatrice, Axl wants to carry her to the boat but the narrator insists on doing it, which... (full context)