Noctus is pretty tight lipped about himself for most of the series, so today I’m excited to share more of his character with you. Important: character profile posts do contain spoilers! If you haven’t read King’s Captive or King’s Shadow, I suggest you wait to read all Gate of Myth and Power character profiles until you finish!
Noctus was a unique challenge to me because 1) He was an elf, a supernatural race I had established previously as being Bad 2) I didn’t set out to make him the overly doting pet parent, but holy moly did he go for it. Seriously, King’s Captive is me reigning in his character in that area. Thank goodness for Aristide, that’s all I can say!
I’m joking! (Sort of.) No, the other challenge to Noctus is that I needed to make him a good king, and make it reasonable that other elves are willing to follow him despite knowing that he fought and killed his own family, bringing an end to the era of the elves.
Noctus also needed to inspire fear because of his power and vast abilities. That’s how I set up elves in Magiford, and he needed to follow it. But Chloe is, frankly, a scaredy cat. If Noctus was as icy as Rigel, or as in-your-business as Greyson and Killian tend to be, she would have run, collar or not. So I had to walk the line of letting Chloe see a more gentle side to him underneath all the power and duty. (Gentle because there is nothing soft about Noctus, but he chooses to be gentle with those he trusts.)
This worked out well, because I wanted a Hades and Persephone retelling that didn’t smack of Stockholm syndrome–something that was particularly important to me after I did more research and essentially learned that Hades was probably the best king and husband out of the Greek list of gods as he was somewhat loyal and dutiful. (That is a pretty dubious distinction, though, as most of the Greek gods and goddesses could be source material for soap operas.)
Noctus’s softness towards his pet cat–and eventually Chloe–was a great way to round his character out, too. Without it, he was consumed with what he thought of as his reason for existing: to be the perfect king. He’s dutiful, concerned about his subjects well-being, and is very in tuned to their overall struggles, but because of his background of kingslayer—much less his notoriety from when he was the Crown Prince—Noctus automatically stands back and separates himself from others. Not because he’s paranoid, but because he believes it’s best given his reputation. Additionally, he’s willing to sacrifice anything–including what little shreds of personal happiness he has–for his people.
Ama—Chloe’s cat form—is the first being he’s willing to be selfish with, from expecting her to love him to his stubbornness in trying to pet her belly. Discovering Ama was Chloe was a mind-bender for him as there’s suddenly this person walking around that he previously had an expectation of affection for. Even more shocking for Noctus, Chloe didn’t shy away from him. That position makes Chloe able to teach Noctus that it’s fine to approach others besides Charon, Aristide, and Ker. Despite everything Chloe knows from being Ama, she still reaches out to Noctus, which goes against everything he’s experienced and assumed.
So that’s Noctus: the perfect king, a take on Hades that reflects his dutiful character, and the crazy pet parent. Thanks for reading, Champions, and have a great day!