Hile Troy
Earth (birthplace)

Hile Troy is a character who appears in The Illearth War, the second book of The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever.

History Edit

The Illearth War Edit

Like Thomas Covenant, Troy comes from Covenant's world and is a stranger to the Land. Due to a birth defect, Troy was born without eyes and thus is blind. Because of this, he has a better grasp of spatial relationships than most people and becomes a strategist involved with a military program.

One day, while in his apartment, a fire breaks out and Troy is forced to cling to the ledge outside his window. As the fire scorches his knuckles, he is summoned to the Land by Atiaran Trell-mate, who, in her grief, had actually intended to summon Covenant.

Hurtloam is applied to Troy's knuckles and eye sockets, and soon he is forced to come to terms with his ability to see (however, Troy can only see in the day, or when there is a sufficiently strong source of light); High Lord Elena helps him adapt to the Land and he soon falls in love with her.

Unlike Covenant, Troy is moved by the Land and decides it is something he wants to fight for; he uses his strategic knowledge to best everyone in the Land and rises to the rank of Warmark of the Warward, succeeding Quaan. He has two main strategies in the upcoming war against Lord Foul's army, but he must first await news from the Ramen, who are to inform the Lords of Foul's movements; Troy cannot move his army to intercept Foul until he knows in which direction the latter will travel. Until then, Troy can do nothing by wait.

Eventually, Troy convinces Elena to summon Thomas Covenant to the Land; Troy believes that this will force Foul, who knows that Covenant wields White Gold, to make his move before he is ready. Hence, five years after Troy was summoned to the Land, Covenant is also summoned. Soon after, Manethrall Rue arrives to inform the Lords that Foul moves south, and so the Illearth War begins.

Troy has Quaan, a few Eowards, several groups of Bloodguard, and Lord Verement and Lord Callindrill move via rafts southwards across the rivers to hold Foul's army at the Mithil Valley. Troy himself leads his 16,000-strong Warward south on a forced march towards Doom's Retreat; Rue took longer to inform the Lords than he had hoped, and has already lost a few days. His plan is to use Doom's Retreat to throttle and ambush Foul's army, but Quaan must hold them at Mithil Valley for 8 days until the main force can reach the Retreat first.

After a quick sojourn in Revelwood, Mhoram and Troy head to Kevin's Watch so Troy can use his advanced vision to see Foul's army. Troy realizes that Foul's army is far greater than he could have anticipated, and after learning of the Giants' demise by Kinslaughterer at Seareach from Tull, he knows that Doom's Retreat will not stop them. He decides that his only choice is to flee westward to the ruins of Doriendor Corishev, and then into Garroting Deep, the last remains of the One Forest; however, all who have entered the Deep before, regardless of their intentions, have never returned.

At Cravenhaw, the entrance to Garroting Deep, Mhoram summons the Forestal Caerroil Wildwood. As the battle rages around them, the immortal Wildwood, who despises humans for the cutting down of the One Forest, is reluctant to allow the Warward access through the forest. Troy reveals that Raver Flashharrower leads the enemy and Wildwood, who also despises the Ravers, accepts them entrance. He notes that this bargain comes at a price, however, and Troy accepts this before learning of what it is.

The month-long forced marching and constant retreating has decimated Troy's Warward, and by the time they retreat into the Deep, only 4,000 of the original 16,000 have survived. As the enemy follow Troy's army into the Deep, they are killed by the trees. Troy breaks down when he meets Covenant at Gallows Howe inside the Deep and learns that Elena is his daughter and that he failed to save her. Troy almost kills Covenant and attempts to use his White Gold to save Elena; Wildwood stops him and reminds the "eyeless one" that the price of the bargain must be paid. Wildwood renames Troy Caer-Caveral and promises to turn him into an apprentice Forestal. Troy is then transformed into a tree stump, much to the horror of Quaan and Amorine.

Character analysis Edit

Similar to Covenant, Hile Troy is a man who has suffered heavily in the "real" world, and is summoned to the Land. Unlike Covenant, however, Troy chooses to fight for the Land after it heals him of his blindness. He despises Covenant for his lack of action, calling his Unbelief a "bluff", and believes him to be a coward. Covenant deduces early on in the book that Troy is in love with Elena.

The Illearth War is split into three parts, and the second part of the book follows Hile Troy's perspective rather than Thomas Covenant's.

Hile Troy is lead by his emotions and, at several points in the novel, he falls to despair quite easily:

  1. Upon seeing Lord Foul's army from atop Kevin's Watch, Troy cannot see a way to defeat it and, believing that he will be responsible for the death of his Warward and the failure of the defense of the Land. He almost topples from the structure and is saved by the two nearby Bloodguard. The book explicitly mentions that he had jumped from the structure, and this act causes him to lose his sunglasses.
  2. After Fleshharrower draws the vortex of trepidation outside of the ruins of Doriendor Corishev, Troy strikes his Bloodguard Ruel in the back of the head with a stone and flees; this ultimately leads to Ruel's death (it is unknown if Ruel actually dies as a consequence of the strike - Troy later sees Ruel's "crumpled form" being carried by a winged creature atop the vortex) and Troy being blinded.
  3. At Gallows Howe, when he learns that High Lord Elena is Covenant's daughter, and that Covenant had failed to save her, he takes Mhoram's staff and attempts to strike down Covenant in grief. Bannor quickly unbalances Troy, causing the heel of the staff to cut across Covenant's forehead. Mhoram and Quaan attempt to remind Troy of the Oath of Peace. After being reminded by Mhoram that Elena still lives (as evidenced by the fact that Covenant still remains in the Land), Troy briefly wields the White Gold successfully, but he is stopped by the Forestal Caerroil Wildwood before he can act further.