83 pages 2 hours read

Ursula K. Le Guin

A Wizard of Earthsea

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 1968

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Character Analysis


Ged is the protagonist and titular wizard in A Wizard of Earthsea. He is born Duny and later given the true name “Ged” by Ogion. The children of his home village began calling him “Sparrowhawk” in reference to his childhood love of summoning the birds with his early magical skill, and he retains this name for those who do not have the privilege of knowing his real name. Ged is from a poor village on the island of Gont, and since “there was no one to bring the child up in tenderness […] he grew wild, a thriving weed, a tall, quick boy, loud and proud and full of temper” (2). As a naturally gifted wizard, Ged’s pride stays with him through his mentorship with Ogion and the beginning of his time at the wizarding school on Roke.

Ged excels over many of the other students on Roke. He seems to have some sort of preternatural talent for magic; Le Guin writes that “within a month he was bettering lads who had been a year at Roke before him. Especially the tricks of illusion came to him so easily that it seemed he had been born knowing them and needed only to be reminded” (50).