The theme of the book, The Eyes of the Dragon, by Stephen King, is to stick to one’s beliefs no matter what happens and always do what one knows is right. Don’t give up on oneself; anything is possible.
King Roland was the noble king of Delain. He was known as Roland the Good. He was, by far, not a bad king, though he was really not a great king. He meant no harm and was successful, but whenever he meant to do great things, he seemed to be unsuccessful.
Roland, king of Delain, had two sons and had done his best to raise them without a wife. Peter, the oldest, was much like his father. He was successful at avoiding harm of the kingdom. In addition, he seemed to be more successful at the great things he attempted. Even as a little boy, Peter was loved by the kingdom, and many were looking forward to his reign as king.
When Peter was merely a boy, he stood up against grown men for what he believed in. This was why the kingdom loved and appreciated him. In one instance, Peter was passing through the stableyard when he saw a lame horse about to be killed. Peter commanded Yosef, the palace fixture, to stop. After arguing, Peter managed to convince Yosef to give Peter one hour to find a veterinarian. Peter was to prove to Yosef that this horse would not die if taken care of. Just short of an hour later, Peter and the veterinarian returned. The veterinarian listened closely and agreed with Peter. The horse would never be a working horse again, but it would certainly make a great pet for Peter. This was only the beginning of Peter’s wisdom and only a hint of the respect he would soon earn.
Thomas was a little different. He was very quiet, so no one was really sure of him. He did mysterious things. The citizens of Delain were glad Thomas was the younger son, for no one wanted Thomas as king. Anyone who attempted to, could befriend Thomas and earn his complete reliance. This great weakness caused the downfall of Delain.
Roland had become dependent on his magician, Flagg. Roland was a good man, but he wasn’t clever. It was not known, but Flagg had come and gone many times through out the years. He had come and gone with one uncompleted goal. It was fortunate for Delain that Flagg tended to be unsuccessful with his plans.
Roland the Good was getting old, and it was widely known that he would soon be leaving the crown to Peter. Disappointing news as it was, many strongly believed Peter was going to do great things throughout his reign.
Peter soon grew up, and though he knew what was coming to him upon his father’s death, Peter still wished his father many years to come. It had become tradition for Peter to take two glasses of wince to his father’s room before retiring. Each man, glass in hand, sat together simply enjoying the company.
This, among other things, made Thomas unhappy and extremely jealous. Thomas believed that he had no family to love. He had taken the blame for his mother’s death and believed his father and brother had also placed the blame on him. It was probably because of this that Thomas had no friends, no confidence, and barely a will to live.
Flagg, the brilliant magician that he was, used Thomas’ weakness to his advantage. Flagg had attempted many times to destroy Delain. He waited year after year and finally his chance arose. He hadn’t completely worked out the details, but he knew things would work out for him.
Thomas and Flagg became quite close. Flagg knew he would finally complete his life’s work, and Thomas would put his entire soul into getting what he had always wanted, a friend. Thomas confided his every though with Flagg, and Flagg showed great sincerity.
Flagg knew all the secrets of the castle because of his coming and going throughout the centuries. Through the eyes of Niner, a dragon Roland had killed, there were peeping holes. Through a back hallway, one could find the hidden passage way that led to the peep holes. Flagg told Thomas of this, and it had meant a lot to Thomas. This was to become Flagg’s big mistake.
One day, an ingenious plan came to Flagg. The magician used a special poison he had saved for centuries just for the occasion. This poison was no ordinary poison. It would burn a person from the inside out after simply inhaling it. While working with the poison, Flagg wore gloves and used tweezers. After going to the window to take a breath, Flagg would work for a few minutes, and take careful measures not to breathe in the fumes.
In a glass, he took a small amount of poison and mixed it with Roland’s favorite wine. Taking a bit more, Flagg opened up a cage and fed it to a mouse to observe the suffering. The remaining poison was placed in a little wooden box stolen from Peter years ago. The box had been a present from Peter’s mother with his name engraved in the top.
Flagg, knowing of Peter’s nightly tradition, went to Roland’s bed chamber with the glass of wine to do away with his king. Flagg waited until he was sure Peter had left and no one would see him enter. Since visitors were becoming few and far between in his old age, Roland was glad to see him. After drinking their wine, both men agreed to retire for the night. Though he knew it was for the better, Flagg wished he hadn’t had to leave what was to become a night remember. Flagg left that night thinking he would be the last to see Roland alive. He was wrong because someone else would see the suffering Flagg had inflicted. Someone else would be the last person to see Roland alive. Flagg’s big mistake had caught up with him; Thomas had witnessed everything. Thomas had seen it all through the eyes of Niner.
The next day, servants reported Roland’s death. It was also a servant who found Peter’s long wooden box. If circumstances had been different, Peter would’ve been overjoyed to see the memorable gift. Unfortunately, Peter was devastated to hear that the poison used to kill his father had been found in that box. Peter was arrested, tried, and sent to the Needle for life. Since Peter was royalty, he wouldn’t be sentenced to death but instead sentenced to live the rest of his life atop the tower through cold, heat, and loneliness. If Peter had been Thomas or any other man, he would’ve given up and died soon enough. Peter always had hope, and searched constantly for a way to escape. It didn’t take Peter long to earn the respect of the disgusting gentlemen in charge of him. Eventually, they would bring him almost anything he desired, for a price.
Peter had no money; therefore, he tried his luck with an old friend. He had a letter delivered to Penya, and he agreed to help in any way possible. Penya, after receiving Peter’s letter, chose to believe in Peter’s innocence. He vowed to do everything in his power to free Peter.
To keep Peter’s newly earned privilege, he used it sparingly. He asked for his mother’s dollhouse and a napkin with each meal.
As no one would’ve guess, Peter had a plan already in effect. From each napkin, Peter pulled five strands of fabric. This may seem like very little, but it began to add up. Using the working loom in his mother’s dollhouse, he began making a rope.
Things in Delain had become awful for the villagers. With Flagg ruling through Thomas, taxes had been raised, bankers had to become more strict with mortgages, and a great fear fell over the land. Because of this, many people began to leave their homes, farms, and life’s work to hide in the forest. Penya was included in the move. The forest provided a safe place of refuge and the grounds to plan for a revolt. In this newly formed community, the majority had decided that Peter was to be somehow rescued. This would be their next move. Upon his escape, they were to make their own decision concerning his guilt. (Though many already believed firmly in his innocence, there would still be a vote.)
The trip was already a difficult one, but to make matters worse, it was midwinter. Means of travel were simply by foot, unless one was fortunate enough to have a team of dogs and a sled.
Penya had sent two people, Ben and Naomi, to go to try to rescue Peter. The two travelers were fortunate enough to have Naomi’s sled team. This cut the long trip down to a day and a half. Once inside the village, there was no plan, but the two were determined. It was difficult to sneak into the kingdom and even trickier to get into the village square where the Needle was located.
Peter must have had the same type of feeling flowing that night as the rescue team did because he was preparing for his escape just as Naomi and Ben arrived. It would’ve worked out perfectly if Flagg hadn’t been watching from his crystal ball. Flagg had gone to the Needle to stop Peter’s escape. Peter began preparing his rope as Flagg began climbing the three hundred stairs to the top. Peter was half way down the rope when Flagg reached the top, but Flagg watched the rope break.
When Peter was about one hundred feet above the ground, his hands froze and he couldn’t move. He had lost feeling in his hands and moving would risk a fall. The rope was only made of napkin cotton and broke, just as Flagg had imagined. Peter fell and thought he had less of a second to live, but his friends were truly great. Not only did they risk their lives through the cold to get there, risk their heads for helping a criminal escape, and wait for Peter at the bottom of the needle, but they had also made him a huge bed of napkins in case of his fall. Each gave a different estimate at the size of the pile, but it was said to be twenty feet high. Peter landed squarely in the middle of the napkin and wasn’t quite sure if he was alive. His friends ecstatically rushed to him, knowing they had little time to make an escape.
There were tired guards just now arriving. This would be a big problem to most, but not Peter. With almost all the courage he had left, he simply told the guards that he was king, and he didn’t kill his father. The let him pass.
After spending all that time in the Needle, Peter had uncovered the truth about Flagg. On the way to the castle, Peter explained to his friends how Flagg had been trying to destroy Delain for centuries and he explained his plan. Peter had to reach his father’s bow and arrow used to kill Niner, because it was the only idea he had to destroy Flagg. The heroic trio reached Roland’s chambers and the bow and arrow were gone. Flagg, who had been fresh on their trail the entire way, reached the chamber almost immediately after them and was pounding on the door. Ben and Naomi had their weapons drawn and ready, though Peter knew these wouldn’t stand a chance against the wizard.
Flagg was never one to rush into things and make hasty decisions, so once inside the door, they all talked. Flagg expressed his guilt for the murder of Roland, vowing to kill all he had just confessed to. Peter told Flagg he would never get away with it, and Flagg’s reply was simply a smile. After a few moments of silence, Flagg told them that no one had seen him enter Roland’s room that night, only Peter was seen entering the room. At this, Thomas, who had been hiding in the shadows, spoke up. Thomas told everyone that he had been watching that night through the eyes of Niner and with his father’ bow, show Flagg in the left eye. After being hit, Flagg disappeared.
This was quite an ending to quite a book. Most of the villagers had believed strongly in Peter, but gave up on him too quickly when accused. Three characters persuade the truth and did what they knew was right. It was because of them, this book had a happy ending.