Watchmen

Watchmen

by

Alan Moore

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Daniel Dreiberg is an inventor and the second Nite Owl, taking up the heroic identity after Hollis Mason, the original Nite Owl, retires. Although Daniel retires when the Keene Act of 1977 passes, outlawing masked vigilantes, he finds that he feels helpless—and sexually impotent—to face the chaos in the world and the looming threat of war until he resumes his role as Nite Owl, suggesting that his hero’s identity allows him to cope with uncertainty and world events. He takes up his role as Nite Owl again when he starts dating Laurie. Although he is hesitant to believe Rorschach’s “mask-killer conspiracy,” when Dr. Manhattan exiles himself to Mars and Rorschach is framed for murder, Daniel realizes that some sort of plot is indeed in motion. After helping Rorschach break out of jail, Daniel joins Rorschach’s investigation and discovers Adrian Veidt’s plot to avert World War III by faking an alien invasion, killing three million people in the process. When Veidt explains the logic of his plan, Daniel (unlike Rorschach) realizes that though it’s horrific, he must let it proceed so that humanity does not wipe itself out. At the end of the novel, Daniel begins a new life with Laurie under an alias.

Daniel Dreiberg (the second Nite Owl) Quotes in Watchmen

The Watchmen quotes below are all either spoken by Daniel Dreiberg (the second Nite Owl) or refer to Daniel Dreiberg (the second Nite Owl) . 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:
Heroes, Villains, and Vigilantes Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the DC Comics edition of Watchmen published in 1986.
Chapter 2: Absent Friends Quotes

Dreiberg: […] The country’s disintegrating. What’s happened to the American dream?

Blake: It came true. You’re lookin’ at it.

Page Number: 60
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 7: A Brother to Dragons Quotes

Looking back, it all seems so… well, childish, I guess. Just a schoolkid’s fantasy that got out of hand. That’s, y’know, with hindsight… on reflection.

Page Number: 216
Explanation and Analysis:

It’s this war, the feeling that it’s unavoidable. It makes me feel so powerless. So impotent.

Page Number: 231
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 11: Look on My Works, Ye Mighty… Quotes

Dreiberg: …And anyway, this is Adrian for God’s sake. We know him. He never killed anybody, ever. Why would he want to destroy the world?

Kovacs: Insanity, perhaps?

Dreiberg: Ha. Well that’s a tricky one… I mean, who’s qualified to judge someone like that? This is the world’s smartest man we’re talking about here, so how can you tell? How can anyone tell if he’s gone crazy?

Page Number: 349
Explanation and Analysis:

Teleported to New York, my creature’s death would trigger mechanisms within its massive brain, cloned from a human sensitive… the resultant psychic shockwave killing half the city.

Page Number: 374
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 12: A Stronger Loving World Quotes

Juspeczyk: Dan, all those people, they’re dead. They can’t disagree or eat Indian food, or love each other… Oh, it’s sweet. Being alive is so damn sweet.

Dreiberg: Laurie? Wh-what do you want me to do?

Juspeczyk: I want you to love me. I want you to love me because we’re not dead […] I want to see you and taste you and smell you, just because I can.

Page Number: 404
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Watchmen LitChart as a printable PDF.
Watchmen PDF

Daniel Dreiberg (the second Nite Owl) Character Timeline in Watchmen

The timeline below shows where the character Daniel Dreiberg (the second Nite Owl) appears in Watchmen. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: At Midnight, All the Agents…
Heroes, Villains, and Vigilantes Theme Icon
Identity and Empowerment Theme Icon
Daniel Dreiberg, a middle-aged man, talks with Hollis Mason, an older man, in Hollis’s home. They... (full context)
Heroes, Villains, and Vigilantes Theme Icon
American Corruption and Patriotism Theme Icon
Daniel seems shocked and nervous to find Rorschach there. Rorschach tosses him Blake’s blood-smeared smiley-face badge... (full context)
Heroes, Villains, and Vigilantes Theme Icon
American Corruption and Patriotism Theme Icon
...He mentions that Hollis said some critical things about the Comedian in his book, but Daniel says he’s wrong to think Hollis could be involved. Having warned Daniel, Rorschach starts to... (full context)
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...that she needs a night out and asks him if he’d mind if she asked Daniel Dreiberg out for a drink. Jon says he doesn’t mind, since he is too preoccupied... (full context)
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Laurie and Daniel have dinner and drinks together. Laurie insists on paying for the meal, stating that if... (full context)
Chapter 2: Absent Friends
Heroes, Villains, and Vigilantes Theme Icon
American Corruption and Patriotism Theme Icon
Daniel Dreiberg stands at Blake’s funeral. He recalls a day when he and Blake, in their... (full context)
Chapter 3: The Judge of All the Earth
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Laurie goes to Daniel’s house. A handyman is installing a new lock on Daniel’s door. Laurie tells Daniel about... (full context)
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American Corruption and Patriotism Theme Icon
On their walk through the streets, muggers with knives approach Laurie and Daniel. Laurie and Daniel beat them up. They catch their breath and laugh it off, then... (full context)
American Corruption and Patriotism Theme Icon
...won’t support her financially any longer. The man thinks they’re all in “big trouble.” In Daniel’s house, Rorschach breaks in to tell Daniel that Dr. Manhattan’s gone too, and all the... (full context)
Heroes, Villains, and Vigilantes Theme Icon
Identity and Empowerment Theme Icon
Nihilism and Meaning Theme Icon
American Corruption and Patriotism Theme Icon
...auto shop to be a mechanic like his father and feels content. A young man (Daniel Dreiberg) writes to him, asking if he can become the next Nite Owl, and Hollis... (full context)
Chapter 5: Fearful Symmetry
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Laurie meets with Daniel at a café. Now that Jon is gone and she can’t live at the military... (full context)
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Moralist vs. Utilitarian Ethics Theme Icon
...of every small crime, like vandalism, and every suspicious thing he sees, like Laurie and Daniel Dreiberg leaving a café together, and makes mental notes to investigate them later. Rorschach sits... (full context)
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...hours before his meeting with Moloch, Rorschach finds a rapist and mugger to hunt. In Daniel’s house, Laurie moves in and settles in a spare room. Daniel looks longingly at her... (full context)
Chapter 7: A Brother to Dragons
Heroes, Villains, and Vigilantes Theme Icon
Identity and Empowerment Theme Icon
Laurie explores Daniel’s basement and finds the airship he flew as Nite Owl; its interior lights are turned... (full context)
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Nihilism and Meaning Theme Icon
They look at all of the technological vigilante equipment in Dan’s basement together. He thinks it all seems like childhood “fantasy” now. Laurie thinks that she... (full context)
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Nihilism and Meaning Theme Icon
...killed her, but it’s hard to give up an addiction when she feels so restless. Dan states he had to give up his own addictive habit of running around in a... (full context)
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Dan and Laurie keep looking through his old stuff, since she seems interested and eager. He... (full context)
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...the Soviet incursion into Pakistan. Laurie wishes she could just run away like Jon did. Dan takes his glasses off to clean them and Laurie tells him he looks “ravishing” without... (full context)
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Dan dreams that he and Laurie stand naked outside, kissing each other, while a nuclear explosion... (full context)
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Laurie tells Dan they should go out tonight and be heroes again. They both get dressed in their... (full context)
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After they leave the survivors safely on the ground, Dan and Laurie fly back into the clouds, laughing about what they’ve just done. They start... (full context)
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“Blood from the Shoulder of Pallas” by Daniel Dreiberg: In an article written for an ornithological journal, Daniel says that owl enthusiasts can... (full context)
Chapter 8: Old Ghosts
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...tells her that he saw Nite Owl and Silk Spectre on the news together, so Daniel and Laurie must be together now. Sally and Hollis reminisce about the old days for... (full context)
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In Dan’s basement, Laurie frets about actually breaking Rorschach out of jail; she thinks it’s an insane... (full context)
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At Dan’s house, one of the detectives who arrested Rorschach visits while Laurie is taking a shower.... (full context)
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...man references some sort of creature being refrigerated and hauled away on a ship. In Dan’s basement, he and Laurie climb aboard Archie, dressed in their costumes. (full context)
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Dan and Laurie fly their airship over the prison and see that a riot has started... (full context)
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Laurie, Daniel, and Rorschach return to Daniel’s house. Laurie seems rattled. She goes into the living room... (full context)
Chapter 9: The Darkness of Mere Being
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A globe-shaped perfume bottle falls through the air. Laurie and Jon teleport from Daniel’s living room to a hillside on Mars. Laurie can’t breathe its atmosphere and collapses, nearly... (full context)
Chapter 10: Two Riders Were Approaching
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After hiding underwater in the airship, Daniel (dressed as Nite Owl) and Rorschach decide what to do next, beginning with obtaining Rorschach’s... (full context)
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Rorschach and Daniel spend the day underwater in the airship, waiting for dark. Daniel runs computer scans, looking... (full context)
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Rorschach and Daniel visit Happy Harry’s bar and find a man, Roy Chess, who delivered the envelope with... (full context)
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Rorschach and Daniel visit Pyramid Delivery Company’s office, since the company seems tied to the attempt on Veidt’s... (full context)
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“Rorschach’s journal. November 1st, 1985.” Rorschach and Daniel are going to try to track down Veidt in his lair. Veidt is the most... (full context)
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Rorschach and Daniel fly the airship to Antarctica, where Veidt’s fortress lies. They try to come in low,... (full context)
Chapter 11: Look on My Works, Ye Mighty…
Heroes, Villains, and Vigilantes Theme Icon
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...Veidt voice-records a complex observation about changing perceptions and technological development. He watches Rorschach and Daniel ride toward him on his wall of screens. Daniel wonders why someone like Veidt—who never... (full context)
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Rorschach and Daniel find the entrance to Veidt’s vivarium and use it to enter his fortress. Daniel expresses... (full context)
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...New York City, it will trigger a “psychic shockwave” that will kill half the city. Daniel tells Veidt that they will stop his plan, but Veidt tells him it already happened,... (full context)
Chapter 12: A Stronger Loving World
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In Veidt’s base, Daniel says he doesn’t believe that Veidt actually carried out his plan. Veidt insists that he... (full context)
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...else to accept the “compromise” for the good of humanity. This horrifies Jon, Laurie, and Daniel, but they accept that Veidt is right. However, Rorschach refuses to compromise, “even in the... (full context)
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Daniel and Laurie walk to a quiet, luxurious indoor pool in Veidt’s fortress. Laurie feels confused... (full context)
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Jon walks back into the fortress, past Laurie and Dan sleeping naked together by the pool, and up to where Adrian sits, meditating. Veidt justifies... (full context)
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At Christmas, Dan and Laurie visit Sally in California. They’ve both changed their appearances and taken the aliases... (full context)