Galian Helmuth, prince, doctor, naive optimist, is one of my favorite characters. He’s a perfect foil to the hard and jaded Theo, but at the same time, has some of the best character growth of any that I’ve written. And he’s pretty darn cute, too.
Galian is this weird cross between Prince Harry and JD from Scrubs. He’s a ridiculous optimist (many times to the point of real naïveté) and he’s really the one who gets the ball rolling on the whole “trust” thing between him and Theo.
The third prince of Kylae is in an odd position. His oldest brother Rhys is the heir to the throne, and his second oldest brother, Digory, joined the military to squash the 50 year Raven rebellion. Which left Galian to do kind of whatever he wanted. For a while, he partied, which made the front page of the tabloids. But his mother, Queen Korina, intervened and he decided to turn his life around and attend medical school so he could be “of use” to the country. He’s taken under the wing of his mentor, Dr. Maitland, who teaches him the value of human life–regardless of country of origin.
When Digory was killed in action during Galian’s first year of residency, Galian suddenly became the focus of his father’s attention and was forced to hang up his stethoscope. He’s quite pissed off about the whole thing but he’s too afraid of his father to do anything about it.
Galian arrives on the island thanks to Theo shooting him down, but by parachuting out, he’s fine. Dr. Maitland had given him a symbolic bag of medical supplies, which Galian puts to use on a heavily-injured Theo.
“Oh, go to hell,” she hissed at me. “I’d rather drink my own piss than accept anything from you.”
She pulled herself upright again and limped into the forest. I sat against the tree, watching until she disappeared into the foliage.
I sat there for a moment, angrily chewing on the peanuts and trying to keep myself seated. I owed her nothing, and she was being a real jackass about everything. Besides, it was her fault we were stuck there in the first place.
Still, I could hear Dr. Maitland in my ear, telling me it was my duty to get up and go after her. I was a doctor, she was my patient, and she was probably very scared right now. Not to mention concussed.
“Guh.” I rolled my eyes and tossed the empty bag away. Pulling myself to my feet, I headed into the forest the way she went.
It didn’t take me long to find her, curled up in a ball on the ground and crying in pain. A red stain was leaking through the binding around her thigh. She didn’t even acknowledge my presence, but I kneeled down next to her anyway.
“So,” I said gently, “you probably should stay put for a while, let that leg heal a little bit before you start walking on it.”
“I’m as good as dead anyway,” she whispered back. “I can’t walk. I can’t run. I have no food, no water, no shelter. And if the Kylaens find me first…”
“I’m not giving up, and neither should you.” I grabbed her hand to pull her upright. It was small and cold, but mine was just as frigid. “I promise you, Theo of Raven, I am not going to let you die.”
Disbelief was plain on her face, so I grasped her other hand.
“I give you my word, as Galian Neoptolemos Helmuth, third prince of the Kylaen nation, son of Grieg, that I will not let you die. All right?”
Galian’s the comic relief on the island, but my favorite scenes are when he thinks he’s getting somewhere with Theo, and then she’s like, “fuck off.” Eventually, she begins to warm up to him, even going so far as to tell him her real name. Galian slowly starts to learn how to take care of himself, and, by extension, her, and realizes his full potential.
Looking forward to The Chasm, Galian has to learn how to quit talking and start acting. He’s given a great opportunity and spends a good deal of time fearing the consequences of standing up to his father. But once he does, he realizes that he’s got a lot more power than he thought, and that could make the difference between war and peace.
Want to know more about The Madion War Trilogy? Check out the books below.