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The Gunner

The Gunner
is a main character in the Stoneheart Trilogy. He is a statue of a World War I soldier from the Royal Artillery Memorial in Hyde Park, London. The Gunner, as part of the Royal Artillery Memorial, was made by Charles Sargeant Jagger, a British sculptor who served during the First World War.

The Gunner plays an important role in the trilogy, acting as a sort of guardian for George  and Edie.

AppearanceEdit

A bronze statue, the Gunner's appearance is based off the image of a World War I soldier. He wears a pair of army boots, a large waterproof cape on his back, and a tin hat over his head. His eyes are gray like a drawing from a pencil. The Gunner's preferred weapon is a large revolver, which he always carries with him. There is also a horse bridle that he carries; he says that soldiers in the Great War used them. He is often seen with a cigarette in his mouth, and his voice is deep and gravelly.

PersonalityEdit

The Gunner is usually cool-headed and hard-working, and he does not allow his anger to get the better of him. He has a fatherly side as well; although he at first finds it difficult to feel attached to the children (especially Edie), he eventually comes to care for them.

He holds acts of bravery, valor and sacrifice in high regard, and he puts others before himself, as a soldier is meant to do. In contrast, acts of cruelty, such as the many crimes that the Walker has committed against glints, disgust and anger the Gunner.

Role In PlotEdit

(Warning: contains spoilers)

StoneheartEdit

The Gunner comes to life at the Royal Artillery Memorial, where the boy named George ran to in order to escape the taints that were chasing him: a stone pterodactyl and three stone salamanders. The Gunner destroys the taints using his revolver. Then, not knowing how to help the boy, he decides to personally take him to meet with the Sphinxes.

The two of them make their way to Cleopatra's Needle, briefly hiding out in a parking garage to avoid a cat gargoyle. Here they meet Edie, who the Gunner identifies as a glint. For this reason, the spit refuses to allow Edie to accompany them. They leave her behind, but she follows them anyways.

At Cleopatra's Needle, the Gunner warns George of the Sphinxes' sensitivity, their cryptic ways, and the possible danger that they posed. They meet with the two statues, who give George an answer to his problem after he answers their riddle. Edie appears, and the Gunner expresses his frustration. Not wanting to drive the Sphinxes into violence due to her presence, he orders Edie to wait back across the street, but she refuses.

After Edie glints one of the Sphinxes, and the two statues explain to her what she is, the Gunner takes George to Dictionary Johnson, so that the two of them can learn what a "shaveling" is. (The word was mentioned by the Sphinxes, but neither of them know its meaning) Edie continues to follow them, which annoys the Gunner. Once they find Dictionary, the Gunner tells the new spit what has happened to George. He then asks for Dictionary's help in deciphering the Sphinxes' advice.

The Gunner is then forced to battle the Temple Bar Dragon, a taint that appears before the group. In order to save George, the spit leaps onto the Dragon's back and uses his horse bridle to wrestle it away from the boy. This gives George and Edie time to escape. However, the Gunner is hit with the Dragon's white-hot flames, leaving him mortally wounded.

The violent fight ends in a stalemate, with the Dragon leaving the wounded Gunner to crawl back to its plinth. The Gunner tells Dictionary to send a pigeon messenger out to the other Jaggers so that the children can have some help on their journey. He then begins to struggle back to his own plinth.

The Gunner makes it as far as a riverbank, where he collapses. The statue assumes that he will not be able to return to his plinth before midnight. However, he is saved by his friend the Officer, who had noticed the Gunner's absence. Thanks to the Officer's finding him, the Gunner is able to recover overnight and set out in the morning to find the children.

The next morning, the Gunner finds Edie at the base of the Monument to the Great Fire of London. George is on top of the monument, trying to fight off both the Raven and the cat gargoyle. The Gunner shoots both of the attackers with his revolver, saving George. Now reunited, and with the whereabouts of the Stone Heart, (George having learned them from the Clocker) the three of them set out to the London Stone. On their way, however, Edie realizes that she does not have her heart stone. She takes off back to the Monument on her own to retrieve it.

The Gunner expresses his concern, and his disappointment, at George. The statue explains that a heart stone is like a glint's life force, and because he left it at the top of the Monument, he put Edie in danger. When they do not find Edie, George volunteers to climb the tower to find her. While waiting at the base, the Gunner is approached by the Walker, who tells the spit that Edie has been captured by the Minotaur. The Walker offers to make an exchange: George for Edie. He forces the Gunner to swear that he will not bring a gun against the Minotaur, as it would be an unfair advantage. Not having another option, the Gunner grudgingly agrees to it.

The Gunner and George then go to rescue Edie. They find the Minotaur with the girl, who is unconscious. The Gunner reveals that he lied to the Walker, as that he had kept one bullet with him. However, due to his breaking an oath, his luck faltered, and his aim was off; he tried to shoot the Minotaur but missed with his only bullet.

(Awaiting completion)

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