The Tale of Despereaux

The Tale of Despereaux

by

Kate DiCamillo

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Tale of Despereaux can help.

The Threadmaster/Hovis Character Analysis

The threadmaster, a mouse named Hovis, is the castle mouse with the ceremonial role of protecting the supposedly sacred spool of red thread and fastening red thread around condemned mice’s necks before they’re sent to the dungeon. Hovis acts like he takes his job seriously, but he’s the only mouse who gives Despereaux any hope that things might turn out okay when Despereaux is banished to the dungeon. He tells Despereaux to be brave for the Princess Pea, and later, he agrees to help Despereaux in his quest to return to the dungeon and rescue the princess.

The Threadmaster/Hovis Quotes in The Tale of Despereaux

The The Tale of Despereaux quotes below are all either spoken by The Threadmaster/Hovis or refer to The Threadmaster/Hovis. 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:
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
).
Chapter 11 Quotes

How, he wondered, had things gone so terribly wrong? Wasn’t it a good thing to love? In the story in the book, love was a very good thing. Because the knight loved the fair maiden, he was able to rescue her. They lived happily ever after. It said so. In the book. They were the last words on the page. Happily ever after. Despereaux was certain that he had read exactly those words time and time again.

Lying on the floor with the drum beating and the mice shouting and the threadmaster calling out, “Make way, make way,” Despereaux had a sudden, chilling thought: Had some other mouse eaten the words that spoke the truth? Did the knight and the fair maiden really not live happily ever after?

Related Symbols: The Knight in Shining Armor
Page Number: 57-58
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Tale of Despereaux LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Tale of Despereaux PDF

The Threadmaster/Hovis Character Timeline in The Tale of Despereaux

The timeline below shows where the character The Threadmaster/Hovis appears in The Tale of Despereaux. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 10
Conformity Theme Icon
...The Head Mouse says that in this case, Despereaux will die. He calls for the threadmaster just as Despereaux faints. (full context)
Chapter 11
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Principles, Courage, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Despereaux whispers “happily ever after” to himself as the threadmaster and his spool of red thread reach him. The threadmaster asks Despereaux to stand, and... (full context)
Chapter 12
Conformity Theme Icon
The beat that Lester beats on the drum becomes even more ominous as the threadmaster leaves the gathered mice. Everyone falls silent as two big mice with cloth covering their... (full context)
Chapter 14
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Principles, Courage, and Growing Up Theme Icon
...his tail, just for something to hold onto. He considers fainting, but he remembers the threadmaster’s advice to be brave. (full context)
Chapter 41
Principles, Courage, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Conformity Theme Icon
...tells himself he’ll be the knight in shining armor, and he leaves to find the threadmaster. (full context)
Chapter 42
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Principles, Courage, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Conformity Theme Icon
Despereaux finds the threadmaster sitting on his spool of thread, eating celery. When he notices Despereaux, he says the... (full context)
Principles, Courage, and Growing Up Theme Icon
The threadmaster asks what Despereaux is going to do with the thread. Despereaux says he needs it... (full context)
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Principles, Courage, and Growing Up Theme Icon
Conformity Theme Icon
Despereaux thanks the threadmaster, touches the spool, and then asks the threadmaster for his name. The threadmaster introduces himself... (full context)
Chapter 43
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Conformity Theme Icon
Despereaux rests his head against the spool of thread, smelling Hovis’s celery smell. Hovis believes in him, so Despereaux continues on and notices too late that... (full context)
Chapter 52
Good vs. Evil Theme Icon
Love, Forgiveness, and Absurdity Theme Icon
Conformity Theme Icon
...Despereaux looks happy. Lester whispers that he’s been forgiven, and Furlough says it’s unbelievable. But Hovis smiles and says, “just so.” (full context)