Okay, I’ll admit it. The Knight of Wands scares me! Fire, passion, ambition—all rolled into one determined, headstrong, take-charge type of character.
All right, all right. I’ll take a step back. No one card can sum up a well-developed character (much less a flesh and blood person). Still, one card can exemplify certain character traits.
To me, knights represent movement, vigor and adventure—and a head that’s not mature enough to handle all that. The suit of Wands (in most decks) represents the element of fire. Fire suggests courage and passion and leadership and a bad habit of rushing straight into danger. It also suggests anger. The kind of anger that boils up and spills over, scorching everyone in its path. In a word: rage.
That potential for rage is why I want to back away slowly. I have a little bit of that in me. We all do, right? (Um, right??)
Because I’m so uneasy with this card, I force myself to write characters that have at least a touch of the Knight of Wands in them. Jake from The Horned Gate, for example: headstrong and determined—and we glimpsed his rage more than once. And, to a lesser extent, Shocha from Crevlock Tower. (He’s better at hiding his affinity for the Knight of Wands. Most of the time.)
But neither Jake nor Shocha are hard core examples—ultimately, Jake is too grounded and Shocha is too cautious. The best example I can think of? Scarlett O’Hara.
Yes, Scarlett is a problematic character from a deeply problematic book. But she works as an example here.
In the face of starvation, she doesn’t fold. No, she is going to feed her family, and she is going to come out on top. So she channels her fear, desperation and anger and then blazes forward, running roughshod over convention and anyone in her path.
She pays a steep price for that, though. She’s too busy charging ahead to stop and count the cost. I think that’s a common issue for characters with this knight’s traits.
How about you? Have you ever written a character with a lot of the Knight of Wands in them? Or can you think of another fictional example?
Meanwhile, don’t forget to leave a link to your meta, story or other creative endeavor about the Knight of Wands in the comments.
Oh yeah! We need a new card for next week: the Five of Cups. Feel free to join the fun. Check out the original post here.