The Night Circus

by

Erin Morgenstern

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Friedrick Thiessen Character Analysis

Clockmaker Herr Thiessen was commissioned by Ethan Burris to design a dreamlike clock to stand in the center of Le Cirque des Rêves. Thiessen designs the clock without knowing where it will be used, and only sees his creation four years later in France, when he attends the circus. Thiessen is so inspired by his visit that he writes a newspaper column about Le Cirque des Rêves, which is subsequently translated and published throughout Europe. He and other fans begin to follow the circus around the world, donning black and white clothes with a distinctive red scarf and calling themselves revêurs. At the same time, he begins a correspondence with a young woman, who he only finds out later is Celia Bowen, and the two become close friends. Thiessen dies tragically at Le Cirque des Rêves, when Chandresh Lefevre throws a knife through a crowd of circus-goers in an attempt to kill Mr. A.H. and misses, tragically killing the clockmaker instead.

Friedrick Thiessen Quotes in The Night Circus

The The Night Circus quotes below are all either spoken by Friedrick Thiessen or refer to Friedrick Thiessen. 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:
Rivalry and Competition Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Anchor edition of The Night Circus published in 2012.
Part 3: Intersections Quotes

“I tried. I thought I might be able to fix it. I’ve known him so long. That maybe it would be like setting a clock to make it tick again. I knew exactly what was wrong but I couldn’t make it right. He was so familiar but it… it didn’t work.”

Related Characters: Celia Bowen (speaker), Marco Alisdair, Friedrick Thiessen
Page Number: 385
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 4: Incendiary Quotes

“You said there was a rule about interference.”

“Interfering with you or your opponent. I can interfere with anyone else as much as I please.”

“Your interfering got Friedrick killed!”

“There are other clockmakers in the world.”

Related Characters: Celia Bowen (speaker), Hector Bowen / Prospero the Enchanter (speaker), Friedrick Thiessen
Page Number: 426
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Night Circus LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Night Circus PDF

Friedrick Thiessen Character Timeline in The Night Circus

The timeline below shows where the character Friedrick Thiessen appears in The Night Circus. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1: Primordium
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
In Munich, Ethan Barris meets with a clockmaker, Friedrick Thiessen, to commission a special clock for the circus. He explains that he wants something beyond... (full context)
Part 2: Illumination
Family, Community, and Belonging Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
Herr Thiessen, the clockmaker, is on holiday in France, visiting vineyards, strolling the countryside, and buying wines... (full context)
Family, Community, and Belonging Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
As Thiessen nears the circus, he recognizes his clock immediately as it looms over the ticket booth.... (full context)
Family, Community, and Belonging Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
Thiessen writes a letter to Chandresh on his return to thank him for giving the clock... (full context)
Family, Community, and Belonging Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
Herr Thiessen is in Germany when he receives a card informing him that the circus will be... (full context)
Family, Community, and Belonging Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
Thanks to these articles, Thiessen becomes the unofficial leader of a large group of circus fans, who begin to call... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Family, Community, and Belonging Theme Icon
Thiessen receives dozens of letters from rêveurs. He responds to all of them, and some evolve... (full context)
Family, Community, and Belonging Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
In Munich, Herr Thiessen is awaiting the arrival of the circus, as well as a visit from Celia Bowen,... (full context)
Family, Community, and Belonging Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
The two examine the clocks in Thiessen’s workshop, and Celia is particularly interested in one that reminds her of the bonfire. It... (full context)
Part 3: Intersections
Family, Community, and Belonging Theme Icon
Time and Mortality Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
...in the ballroom, and Mr. A.H. stays along the sidelines, except when he meets Herr Thiessen and speaks with him briefly, and when Tsukiko forces him to dance. (full context)
Time and Mortality Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
...the entire conversation, and into the ballroom to find Celia. She is dancing with Herr Thiessen, and Marco pulls her away, kisses her on the lips in front of all of... (full context)
Time and Mortality Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
Freedom and Agency Theme Icon
...the last second, almost imperceptibly. The knife lodges itself in the chest of Herr Friedrick Thiessen, whom Mr. A.H. has been talking to, piercing his heart. Mr. A.H. catches Thiessen while... (full context)
Time and Mortality Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
Freedom and Agency Theme Icon
Mr. A.H. lowers Thiessen to the ground, whispering in his ear the whole time and then closing his eyes.... (full context)
Rivalry and Competition Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
Freedom and Agency Theme Icon
...a stronger player” than Marco is. But Mr. A.H. amplifies the sounds coming from near Thiessen, so that Hector can hear Celia sobbing over the man’s corpse. He asks if that... (full context)
Family, Community, and Belonging Theme Icon
...so many books that there is nowhere to hold all of them. There is a Thiessen clock on the mantel, with tiny books whose pages actually turn. Marco is at his... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Family, Community, and Belonging Theme Icon
Time and Mortality Theme Icon
...shatter and spray all over him. She tells him that she tried to heal Herr Thiessen, that she hoped because she had known him so well, it would be like putting... (full context)
Rivalry and Competition Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Family, Community, and Belonging Theme Icon
Time and Mortality Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
Freedom and Agency Theme Icon
...to the one on his desk. He says that he wishes he had included Herr Thiessen in his notebook, though he never considered it before. Celia assures him that if it... (full context)
Rivalry and Competition Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
Freedom and Agency Theme Icon
Marco tells her he is sorry for her loss, that he didn’t know Thiessen as well as she did, but he admired his work. Celia tells him that Thiessen... (full context)
Rivalry and Competition Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
Freedom and Agency Theme Icon
...to see if he can provide a verdict, or maybe consider the death of Herr Thiessen a disqualification. (full context)
Part 4: Incendiary
Rivalry and Competition Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
Freedom and Agency Theme Icon
...Marco’s notebook away among her own. Wearing a gown that she knows was one of Thiessen’s favorites, she walks over to Tsukiko’s train compartment and knocks. Tsukiko invites her in, and... (full context)
Rivalry and Competition Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Family, Community, and Belonging Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
Freedom and Agency Theme Icon
...challenge has ended, and Tsukiko notes that it would be a good tribute to Herr Thiessen, but it would be complicated to make it completely independent of Celia and Marco. She... (full context)
Family, Community, and Belonging Theme Icon
Freedom and Agency Theme Icon
...with the circus, and Victor responds that it is not quite the same since Herr Thiessen died. Bailey asks who he is and they explain that he is one of the... (full context)
Family, Community, and Belonging Theme Icon
Freedom and Agency Theme Icon
Lorena tells him that Thiessen made her a clock that looks like the Carousel that she absolutely loves. Bailey asks... (full context)
Rivalry and Competition Theme Icon
Time and Mortality Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
Freedom and Agency Theme Icon
...was Hector who told him that Mr. A.H. would be at the circus the night Thiessen died. He sent Chandresh there. Hector defends himself by noting that he simply made a... (full context)
Family, Community, and Belonging Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
Freedom and Agency Theme Icon
...such an interest in a new rêveur, and he replies that Bailey reminds him of Thiessen. Elizabeth comes and sits next to Bailey when they are close to New York, and... (full context)
Love Theme Icon
Family, Community, and Belonging Theme Icon
Time and Mortality Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
Isobel knew Celia was in love with someone, but she thought it was Thiessen, and didn’t realize until that night that it was Marco. Celia loved Thiessen, as well,... (full context)
Part 5: Divination
Family, Community, and Belonging Theme Icon
Time and Mortality Theme Icon
Magic and Illusion Theme Icon
...they notice beneath it there is a memorial plaque, with the names of Friederick Stefan Thiessen and Chandresh Christophe Lefevre. Someone is watching from the ticket booth, and she hands the... (full context)