Eugenides (/ju'dʒɛnɪdiz/; Modern Greek: Ευγενίδης, Evgenídis /evʝen'idis/) is the king of Attolia, the former Thief of Eddis , and the main protagonist of the Queen's Thief series. His given name, Eugenides, means "the well-born" and is additionally his title, referring to his status as the Thief of Eddis, as it is also the name of the Eddisian god of thieves. Those close to him call him by the nickname Gen. After marrying Attolia Irene and becoming king of Attolia, he is also known by the title Attolis.
Eugenides was born in the mountain country of Eddis. His father is Eddis's minister of war, a younger brother of the previous king of Eddis, making Eugenidies a cousin to the current queen of Eddis and a member of the royal family. His mother was the daughter of the previous Thief of Eddis. Eugenides has two older brothers, Temenus and Stenides, as well as several sisters.
As a young boy, Eugenides was known to cause mischief, and frequently fought with his cousins. He was teased both for his name and for his maternal grandfather's interest in training him to be the next Thief of Eddis. Because of his grandfather's interest in developing Eugenides's potential skills as a thief, Eugenides traveled with him to various locations, including Attolia. While visiting the Attolian palace as a relatively young boy, he saw the future queen of Attolia dancing in the kitchen gardens while hiding in the orange trees above. He later continued to return secretly to Attolia to watch her, fascinated by her beauty and her loneliness.
When Eugenides was ten years old, his mother slipped and fell to her death after dancing on the palace roof. Shortly after this, he announced his intentions to become the next Thief of Eddis. This led to many arguments with his father, who had hoped that Eugenides would become a soldier and that the title of Thief would fall out of use. Eugenides refused to enter the Eddisian army, instead tearing up his enlistment papers, which led to further tensions with his cousin. Eddis eventually moved him out of the boys' dormitory and into a separate room in the library, where Eugenides soon developed a sense of scholarship not uncommon among the Thieves of Eddis.
After several rejected marriage offers to the queen of Eddis, the king of Sounis eventually claimed that when he next proposed he would be in possession of the legendary Hamiathes's Gift. Eddis's council agreed that she should accept. The minister of war then approached Eugenides, explaining the situation to him and providing him with money, which Eugenides used to travel to Sounis.
In Sounis, he posed as a common thief named Gen and bragged about stealing the king of Sounis's royal seal in a wine shop. He was then arrested, tried, and incarcerated in a Sounisian prison. He spent several months imprisoned there before being freed by the Magus of Sounis under the proposition that Eugenides steal a certain artifact for him, though the magus refused to disclose what the artifact was. Eugenides accepted and joined the magus, along with Ambiades, Sophos, and Pol on a journey to Attolia.
It was revealed that Ambiades had betrayed them to the Attolians, and the ensuing fight between Pol and Ambiades led to both of their deaths.
The rest of the group was then arrested and imprisoned. The queen of Attolia approached Gen with the offer to become her Thief, but Eugenides refused the offer with the reply that though Attolia was more beautiful, Eddis was more kind. Attolia, though offended by his refusal, said that she would give him an opportunity to change his mind.
Eugenides, the magus, and Sophos managed to escape the prison and barely make it past the Eddis-Attolia border. When the queen of Eddis met the travelers, Eugenides presented Hamiathes's Gift to the queen, revealing himself to be the Queen's Thief. After the magus and Sophos returned to Sounis, Eddis suggested that Eugenides write a book of his adventures on the journey for the Gift, which he did in the following months.
The Queen of AttoliaEdit
Following the events of The Thief, the magus offered to send Eugenides more current texts than the Eddisian library had, which Eugenides accepted and read carefully for more information on the queen of Attolia. He then visited Attolia several more times, sneaking into her palace and leaving things behind so that she would know he had been there. He also spent some time masquerading as an indentured servant in the royal kitchens, becoming acquainted with Kamet.
When Attolia's relationship with the Medean ambassador Nahuseresh grew closer, Eddis sent Eugenides to Attolia in order to gather intelligence on the nature of their alliance. However, Eugenides was found and captured during his attempt to infiltrate the palace. While Attolia initially intended to hang him, Nahuseresh subtly convinced her to opt for a different punishment. Attolia instead cut off Eugenides's right hand and returned him to Eddis, believing that he would no longer be a threat to her. For maiming her Thief, the queen of Eddis retaliated against Attolia, and within months the diplomatic situation escalated into a three-way war between Eddis, Attolia, and Sounis.
Eugenides, while recovering in Eddis, was initially kept ignorant of the war. He spent some time improving his handwriting with his left hand, with the eventual plan to become a scholar and study at a university on the Peninsula. However, after learning of the war, Eugenides managed to broker a temporary peace between Eddis and Sounis by secretly sabotaging Sounis's navy and implicating the magus, forcing the magus to flee to Eddis.
Eugenides then plotted to end the war by kidnapping the Attolian queen and proposing a political marriage to her. However, his plans were foiled by Nahuseresh, who landed a Medean army in Attolia and successfully liberated the queen. Despite this, Attolia ultimately decided to accept Eugenides's marriage proposal, united with Eddis against the Medean Empire.
The King of AttoliaEdit
Following Eugenides's marriage to the queen of Attolia, he was regarded by the Attolians as a weak and ineffective sovereign. While Attolia hoped that Eugenides would rise up to the role of king, the Attolians viewed him as annoying and obnoxious. When Eugenides suggested that the Guard be reduced by half, Attolia agreed on the condition that he convince Teleus first. Eugenides then goaded a member of the Guard, Costis Ormentiedes, into attacking him, intending to use Costis as a pawn to convince Teleus.
Meanwhile, Baron Erondites attempted to expand his influence over the king by controlling his attendants and Lady Themis, whom he hoped the king would take as a mistress. However, Erondites's son Sejanus wanted the king dead, and conspired with the king of Sounis and assassins provided by Nahuseresh to kill him. Eugenides defeated the assassins, but was injured in the attempt. While the king was recovering, he poisoned his own lethium with quinalums, and then framed Sejanus's brother Dite for the crime. Sejanus confessed in order to protect his brother, and was arrested. The king then had Dite banished for writing the song "The King's Wedding Night," thus depriving Baron Erondites of an heir.
Following the attempted assassination, most of the Guard believed that it was Costis and Teleus, not Eugenides, who had been responsible for defeating the assassins. Costis, upset at being being branded a liar, challenged the king to a sparring match. After defeating Costis, Eugenides was then challenged to spar with Teleus. In order to ensure that Teleus would not throw the match, Eugenides made the offer that he would not reduce the Guard if Teleus could beat him. Eugenides won against Teleus and then sparred against Aristogiton and several members of his squad, offering them the same deal. His final opponent, Laecdomon was one of Baron Erondites's men and intended to use the sparring match as an opportunity to assassinate the king. However, despite being disarmed, Eugenides managed to win the match. Having won the respect and loyalty of the Guard, Eugenides was finally able to get Teleus to agree to his demand to reduce the Guard.
A Conspiracy of KingsEdit
Sophos, after escaping enslavement in Hanaktos, approached Eugenides for help quelling the rebellion in Sounis. Eugenides agreed to provide military assistance to Sophos, but required Sophos swear an oath of loyalty to him in exchange, making Sounis a vassal state of Attolia. Shortly after Sophos's departure, Eugenides sent additional reinforcements to Oneia, which proved critical for the fight between Sounis and an army of ten thousand Medes. Following Sophos's engagement to Eddis, Eugenides also asked for the same oath from Eddis, thus making him Annux of Sounis, Eddis, and Attolia.
Thick as Thieves Edit
After detaching Costis from the Guard, Eugenides sent him on a mission to Medea to free Kamet and bring him back to the Little Peninsula. He deceived Kamet into believing that Nahuserseh had been poisoned in order to convince Kamet to leave with Costis.
Following Kamet's arrival in Attolia, Eugenides learned from him that the Medes were stationing a large navy in Hemsha. He discreetly passed this information along to Braels and the Greater Powers, which eventually led to the destruction of the Medean navy.
Eugenides's age is never specified in the books, but based on a few facts his general age can be inferred. Eugendies was ten in the Thief! short-story printed in Disney Adventures magazine. In this story, Helen's brothers have just died; but her father is still alive, meaning Thief! takes place just a few short months before she becomes queen. It is specified in the Eddis short-story, published in The King of Attolia paperback, that Helen is five years older then Eugenides, (about fifteen years old in the story Thief!). That would make her fifteen or sixteen when she became queen. In The Thief it is stated that she has been ruling Eddis for five years thus making Eugenides 15-16 from the time he entered the prison in the first book till the time he completes his mission at 16. In The Queen of Attolia, it is mentioned that Helen has been queen for seven years. Therefore she is approximately twenty-two in the middle of The Queen of Attolia, and Eugenides is seventeen.
The following ages can be approximated:
The Thief: 15 or 16
The Queen of Attolia: 16 or 17 (beginning) - 17 or 18 (ending)
The King of Attolia: 18 or 19
Eugenides' skills as a thief are, of course, pivotal to all four books. He can, as he claims in book 1, "steal anything." Along with this are practical skills such as a working knowledge of the architecture of the palaces of Sounis and Attolia, the ability to pick locks with either hand, and incredible agility, as he climbs walls and runs (and jumps) across rooftops.
Eugenides' primary ability is his incredible intelligence, notably his excellent grasp of strategic planning. Throughout the series he plans and carries out plans that span months and rely on his continually acting a part. This is seen most notably in The Thief, in which he hides his Eddisian origin and his true skill level in order to steal Hamiathes' Gift for Eddis. He carries this still further in The King of Attolia in order to fool the Attolian Court into underestimating him, giving him the chance to destroy the House of Erondites, which is the greatest threat to the security of the Attolian throne. He is also a gifted people-reader, and though he didn't always pick his fights wisely in his youth, he matures over the series and grows significantly in his ability to manipulate those around him to further his plans, as well as in his ability to read situations and talk his way out of trouble. He is also considered to be something of a scholar, a rarity in Eddis (as noted in The Queen of Attolia).
Eugenides, despite his pacifistic nature, is also one of the most skilled swordsmen in the series. He was trained by his father, both during his childhood and again after his hand is cut off. In The Queen of Attolia, his father notes that Eugenides could have been a truly great swordsman and soldier if he had wanted to, as he has the concentration for it. Until his loses his hand, however, he lacks the motivation to truly perfect the art. Once he has begun recovering, however, he takes up sword-fighting again, and continues this after he becomes the king of Attolia by practicing with the Eddisian ambassador to Attolia, Ornon. At the age of 15, he defeats multiple Attolian soldiers before being stabbed himself, and at 18, once he is king of Attolia, he defeats Teleus, the captain of the Queen's Guard, two squad leaders (Costis and Aris), Aris' entire squad, and Laecdomon, a soldier who challenges him, despite being sleep-deprived and hungover. Most impressive, however, is that he performs this feat with one hand.
However, it is a recurring joke that Eugenides is a poor horseman; while he is capable of riding, he dislikes horses and riding and tends to avoid it.
Eugenides has been proved to be stubborn about wanting his breakfast. That has been a quote of his in the first three books of the series.
Unless otherwise noted, all page numbers are from the Greenwillow paperback editions of the books.
- I smiled. "Do you want the king's seal? I can get that for you." p10
- "I can steal anything." p11
- (narration) "...with coaching he could probably chop up a straw man, but the younger one looked completely useless." p28
- (narration) "I could be a convenient sort of milemarker, I thought. Get to the thief and you know you are halfway to Methana." p30
- "A cart - you know, a large wooden box on wheels, pulled by a horse." p50
- (narration) "It had been a profesional risk, but there was no point in saying so." p58 & 59
- "Do you mean," I squawked, "that we are out here in the dark looking for something from a fairy tale?" p71
- "Things," I hissed, "don't make noise." p209
- "They had a cart." p220
- "I think," I said stiffly, "that I am more of an asset than a liability." p237
- "Would you shut up?" p239
- "I cannot tell you how sick I have been of... being surrounded by people who think Archimedes was the man at the circus last year who could balance four olives on his nose." pg 276
- "Stop biting your lip, and say it." p280
The Queen of AttoliaEdit
- "What earrings?" p50
- "It's the queen's library. I just live here." p58
- "I ate the ceremonial bread in the temple." p80
- "I'll stop shouting. I won't sit down. I might need to throw more inkpots." p87
- "All right, what do you want a useless one-handed Thief for?" p88
- "You sound like the chorus in a play." p104
- "I can steal anything." Eugenides corrected. "Even with one hand."
- "...I don't want the clouds to part and Moira to arrive on a band of sunlight to tell me to shut up..." p170
- "I love stupid plans." p219
- "Calf love doesn't usually survive amputation, Your Majesty." p248
- "Nothing is going to save my skin." p267
- "I told her I'd alread been hunted in Attolia, thank you very much." p337
- "Have I offended the gods?... and if I have offended the gods, then why didn't I fall?" p394
- " Did you start a war in my name without telling me!?"
The King of AttoliaEdit
- "Is this some Attolian ritual that I am unaware of? Was I supposed to defend myself?" p6
- "Lilies, I rule heads, you do." p74
- "Oh, the trip would be quicker than you think. Most of my male cousins are dead." p94
- "You didn't startle me. You scared the hell out of me." p177
- "It is... too... deep!" p181 (referring to a near-fatal wound from an assassination attempt)
- The king, the master of the fates of men, before their eyes was reduced to a man, very young himself, and in love. Picking again at the coverlet, he answered, with his eyes cast down, "Wildly." p239/240
- "I CAN DO ANYTHING I WANT!" p250
- "Ornon says, Ornon-who-always-had-something-to-say says, the Thieves of Eddis don't have breaking points. We have flash points instead, like gunpowder. That's what makes us dangerous." p288
- "I promised to bark like a sheepdog instead." p297
- "Give me back my wine." p339
- "...what may look completely stupid to you is merely a demonstration of my faith." p339
- "I am omniscient, I know everything." p341
- "If I tried now, I'd probably eviscerate myself when I landed." p343
- "Do you know, it's the first time I've been caught in something I can't get out of?" p344
- "I am beginning to sense a certain amount of fraud in the reports of poets..." p346
- "No 'Glory will be your reward' for me. Oh no, for me, it is, 'Stop Whining' and 'Go To Bed' ". p347
- "Safety is an illusion." p349
- "Don't...lower...the...point...in...third!" p358
- "You forgot that it's a wooden sword." p374
- "I want my breakfast." p374
The Conspiracy of KingsEdit
- "To a nice tavern where they have no idea who I am, so pull that cloak tighter over your fine clothes. I don't want then asking awkward questions. I just want a chance to have a moment without my dear companions or, gods forbid, any physicians." p186, to Sophos