The Buried Giant

by

Kazuo Ishiguro

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Edwin is a young orphan being raised by his aunt in the Saxon village where Axl and Beatrice stay at on the first night of their journey. Edwin’s mother was kidnapped by a group of men when he was a young child, and he is determined to go and rescue her when he is grown-up enough. Although he is not popular with other children, Edwin becomes friends with a man named Steffa, who tells him that he has the spirit of a warrior and, with training, could become a great one in the future. When Edwin is kidnapped by ogres, Wistan volunteers to lead a group of men into the forest to save him, which he successfully does. Edwin, however, had been bitten by a mysterious creature and the village turns against him, so Ivor asks Axl, Beatrice, and Wistan to take Edwin with them when they leave. Wistan takes on Edwin as an apprentice and tells Edwin that he will teach him how to be a warrior. Edwin is excited to have found a warrior to train him, but is also still determined to find his mother. By the end of the book, it is made clear that because he has been bitten by a dragon, Edwin believes Querig is his mother and has developed a sort of sixth sense enabling him to find her. Wistan uses Edwin to find Querig so he can slay her and restore everyone’s memories. On the way, Wistan makes Edwin promise to hate the Britons and kill them when the time comes. Edwin agrees, but, in the end, chooses not to kill Axl and Beatrice even though they are Britons.

Edwin Quotes in The Buried Giant

The The Buried Giant quotes below are all either spoken by Edwin or refer to Edwin. 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 12 Quotes

“There are Britons who tempt our respect, even our love, I know this only too well. But there are now greater things press on us than what each may feel for another. It was Britons under Arthur slaughtered our kind. It was Britons took your mother and mine. We’ve a duty to hate every man, woman and child of their blood. So promise me this. Should I fall before I pass to you my skills, promise me you’ll tend well this hatred in your heart. And should it ever flicker or threaten to die, shield it with care till the flame takes hold again.”

Related Characters: Wistan (speaker), Edwin, King Arthur
Page Number: 242
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Buried Giant LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Buried Giant PDF

Edwin Character Timeline in The Buried Giant

The timeline below shows where the character Edwin appears in The Buried Giant. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...found a small wound that looked like a bite on the boy, whose  name is Edwin, and wanted to have him killed. Ivor locked the boy in a barn to keep... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...Wistan says stirs up strange feelings and memories in him. Wistan then tells Axl about Edwin’s plight, saying that he wants to bring the boy to a village of Britons where... (full context)
Chapter 4
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Edwin sits at the top of a tree, admiring the view of his village. The old... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Edwin thinks back to the events leading up to his departure from the village. His aunt,... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Edwin momentarily forgot how he received the wound, but after leaving the village he remembers being... (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 large river. However, the... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...and will be trained to help them on the farm. The grey-haired soldier watches as Edwin holds their horse and Wistan giggles manically to himself. Axl notes that the grey-haired soldier... (full context)
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...accept the invitation and Wistan says they should, so they go forward after establishing that Edwin will keep the horse nearby, Wistan will resume acting like a mute, and Wistan’s sword... (full context)
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Denial and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...share some fresh bread. Axl and Beatrice sit next to the knight, but Wistan and Edwin stay at a distance with the horse. The knight asks where they are going, so... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Just then the group notices Edwin calling to them from the road and then they hear hooves approaching. The grey-haired soldier... (full context)
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...a mute. Sir Gawain grows angry at the soldier, but the soldier insists on inspecting Edwin to see if he is the same boy he’s looking for. The soldier is distracted... (full context)
Chapter 6
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...the strange sounds in the monastery, although Beatrice fell asleep quickly in spite of them. Edwin, too, is asleep, but Wistan waited until the monks retired to bed and then snuck... (full context)
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...Father Brian, brought up a tray of food for Axl and Beatrice while Wistan and Edwin were out exploring the monastery. While Axl and Beatrice eat, Father Brian talks about other... (full context)
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...arrive, and Wistan agrees that this may be the explanation but says that he sent Edwin to explore some more just in case. (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 a man... (full context)
Denial and Rewriting History Theme Icon
Edwin comes back from his exploring and speaks to Wistan for a moment. Axl walks over... (full context)
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...says he wants to return to Beatrice, and Wistan agrees. As they start walking back, Edwin abruptly stops, and they notice a monk watching them silently. Wistan leads them over to... (full context)
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Jonus asks Edwin to come forward, but Wistan doesn’t let him even though Beatrice says he should let... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...Jonus urge him to hurry on his way. Wistan doesn’t agree, but steps out with Edwin so Beatrice can ask Jonus about her pain. (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 getting out of bed while Father Brian urges them to hurry. Axl hears voices... (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 refuses and insists on going to help Wistan. Axl tells Beatrice to tell Edwin... (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 little bit. Edwin... (full context)
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Denial and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...asks if the monks want them dead, and Sir Gawain says that they certainly want Edwin dead because he is a danger and they would have Beatrice and Axl killed to... (full context)
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...how the monks stay safe while they feed the monster. Sir Gawain also notices that Edwin has begun to sing what sounds like a lullaby while facing the wall and rocking... (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
...as soon as he found out what was in store for Axl, Beatrice, Wistan, and Edwin, he had asked Ninian to put him in the tunnel to protect them. (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... (full context)
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
...a plan for Axl and Beatrice to pull the rope that opens the gate while Edwin stands and back with Sir Gawain so that when the monster charges at Edwin, Sir... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Denial and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...tunnel and find themselves in the forest. Axl and Beatrice sit down, but soon notice Edwin is gone. Sir Gawain tells them the boy immediately ran off—he believes Edwin is going... (full context)
Chapter 8
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
A young monk leads Edwin through a forest. Edwin asks him if his “brother’s wounds seemed not to be mortal.”... (full context)
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
On the previous day, Edwin asked Wistan how he knew the soldiers would come. Wistan said he didn’t know for... (full context)
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Edwin regrets having let Wistan down by falling asleep and then going into the tunnel. As... (full context)
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Denial and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...to look at it and took trips around it to examine it. Eventually, Wistan told Edwin they were going to go inside the tower and examine it. As they walked in,... (full context)
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
The young monk leads Edwin across a stream and Edwin thinks back to when he met the monk, who cheerfully... (full context)
Chapter 10
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Edwin doesn’t mean to “deceive the warrior,” but does so before he realizes what’s happening. He... (full context)
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Edwin apologizes again and Wistan asks him if he thinks he was chosen merely for his... (full context)
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Edwin asks Wistan if there’s “some special feud” between him and Lord Brennus. Wistan says that... (full context)
Chapter 12
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Edwin can hear Wistan calling to him to slow down but he ignores him because Wistan... (full context)
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Edwin and Wistan enter the forest and walk on until they come to a clearing. Edwin... (full context)
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Denial and Rewriting History Theme Icon
Wistan then tells Edwin that he’ll forgive Edwin’s deception if Edwin makes a promise to him. Edwin asks what... (full context)
Chapter 15
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
Denial and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...them.” Axl asks who Sir Gawain is talking about and learns that it’s Wistan and Edwin. Beatrice is excited that they are coming to help, but Sir Gawain becomes uneasy and... (full context)
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
Denial and Rewriting History Theme Icon
...Wistan, too, asks a favor: that if he is slain, Axl and Beatrice will take Edwin to a safe village. Axl agrees to this, as well. As the two men draw... (full context)
Memory, Truth and Justice Theme Icon
War, Peace, Vengeance, and Forgiveness Theme Icon
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
...them to “ride fast from these parts” to escape the coming violence, and to untie Edwin and send him over. (full context)
Chapter 16
Love and Hatred Theme Icon
The goat chews on grass near Edwin’s head, which annoys him, but he’s too tired to chase it away. Edwin is surprised... (full context)