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Finn is a main character throughout The Books of Bayern and is the best swordsman in Bayern's Own. He is Gilsa's son and is good friends with Ani, Geric, and Razo and becomes Enna's husband at the end of Forest Born.

BiographyEdit

Finn lives in the Forest with his mother Gilsa. Occasionally on market days he goes to the capital city to sell the brightly-colored woolen pullovers his mother knits.

The Goose Girl Edit

One day, an obviously foreign girl with blonde hair stumbles into Gilsa's garden and collapses. Finn helps carry the girl into the house and lays her down on his mother's bed until she awakens. Finn quietly rests in the corner as the girl, Ani, tries to explain the trouble she's in, but Gilsa doesn't want to become tangled in her problems and -not unkindly- just wants to send her on her way. After some thought, Ani agrees to accompany Finn to the capital city for marketweek.

Finn is a kind but quiet boy and asks no questions when Ani begs for a board to lock herself in from the inside of the shed she sleeps in, nor does he ask questions when she dresses in the Bayern fashion, hiding her exotic yellow locks under a headscarf on the morning of their departure.

After some time walking through the Forest, they meet up with three other Forest kids on a wagon making their way to the city for marketweek. The trio curiously ask about the new girl, and she surprises Finn by replying in a near-perfect Bayern accent and a new name, calling herself Isi. The wagon driver and his companions are suspicious that she sounds like she's from "around Darkpond", yet they've never seen her before. They refuse to take a stranger along in the wagon, but still offer Finn a ride. However, he doesn't say a word and merely walks down the path on foot until the wagon riders change their minds and allow Ani to join them.

Once inside the city, Finn tells Ani that the king sees supplicants on marketday and shows her where to go before he displays his merchandise to potential buyers. A while later, Ani comes back and lets Finn know that she's just got a job as a goose girl to the king's geese. She asks Finn to keep her existence a secret, saying that anyone who comes to look for her is most likely not her friend. He agrees and wishes her luck before he returns to selling pullovers.

Some months later during another marketweek, Finn is sent to the capital with another load of pullovers to sell, including a special one his mother knit just for Ani. He takes care in keeping it dry from the autumn rain and doesn't have to wait long before Ani finds him in the marketplace. She pulls him aside and drops her Bayern accent, quietly saying that she just needs to tell someone that she's scared, confused, in trouble, and completely alone now that she's just recently discovered that her enemies killed her friend, or near enough. Finn gently holds her a moment to comfort her, letting her sob onto his shoulder until she pulls herself together. Finn then reports that two fair-haired men came to his home in the Forest looking for a yellow-haired girl, but Gilsa told them that she's never seen anyone of the like. He then tells her exactly how to get to his mother's house, making her repeat the way several times until she's got it memorized. She gives Finn a silver coin as part of the payment she owes his mother for her kindness, but he surprises her with the pullover Gilsa knit. Ani marvels at their generosity before she leaves, and Finn returns to the crowd of buyers.

Two months after the Wintermoon festival, Gilsa once again finds Ani stumbling into her garden and catches her just as the girl faints. She and Finn carry Ani into the house where they discover that she has been stabbed deeply in the back with a knife. Finn had warned his mother that some people may try to kill Ani, but she didn't quite believe him until she sees the injury with her own eyes. Gilsa cleans and wraps up the wound and she and her son care for Ani as she recovers from her fever. Once Ani wakes after a day and a night, Gilsa admits that it may be for the best if she and Finn hear Ani's story. Ani tells them everything, explaining that she's truly the princess of the neighboring country of Kildenree who has been sent to wed the prince of Bayern. On the long journey, half of her escort mutinied and killed the other half so that Ani's lady-in-waiting, Selia, could steal her identity and replace her as princess.

Ani's deep injury forces her to stay in Gilsa's home and heal. One day, Gilsa's closest neighbor and friend Frigart comes to visit and Ani spots one of her very own gold rings on Frigart's finger. She had given that ring to the loyal captain of her guard, Talone, whom she thought was killed in the mutiny along with the rest of her loyal guards, and demands to know where Frigart got it. The affronted older woman says that the man she's been taking care of for months gave it to her as payment, and, filled with hope, Ani insists on accompanying Frigart home. Finn supports her with his strong arms to help her walk, but even so, they're forced to go slowly for fear of opening up her wound.

After joyfully reuniting with Talone, the former captain of the guard visits Gilsa's house every day to help Finn with the chores and plan with Ani on how to best convince the king of Bayern that she, not Selia, is the real princess of Kildenree. As the others voice their opinions on the best course of action, Finn silently nods in agreement with everyone. Since there is safety in numbers, they ultimately decide to ask Ani's fellow animal workers for help in convincing the king. Despite the danger, Finn wants to help his friend reclaim her name and does not hesitate to accompany them to the city, leaving an anxious Gilsa to remind him that until he sends word, she'll be alone and in ignorance.

The trio carefully head straight for Ideca's dining hall and are surprised to find the room full. As soon as the room catches sight of Ani, Enna runs to embrace her friend as the workers congratulate her on being alive. They've all been worried sick since the night Ani escaped Ungolad; the squawking of the geese woke half the settlement just in time to see her running for her life. Enna had lead a large section of the workers in chase, but lost sight of them in the woods. Soon faced with everyone's questions, Enna felt that she had no choice but to tell everyone of Ani's true identity as Princess of Kildenree. The workers are determined to help their friend on her quest and volunteer to join her before she even has a chance to ask them.

Leading her group to the palace, Ani gains an audience with the previous prime minister Odaccar, who is now retired. He writes a very official note for the stable-master so Enna and Finn can get horses as Ani and Talone get her a fancy gown fit for royalty. They manage to acquire about a dozen horses, but not many animal-workers can ride. Those who can are chosen to accompany Isi all the way to Lake Meginhard, where the wedding is to take place. Even Finn volunteers, although he is terribly uneasy when it comes to horseback riding. At the manor, they are stopped by the king's guards. They insist that the princess see the king alone, forcing Ani's escort to remain outside. Nevertheless, they eventually gain access to the manor just as Selia and Ungolad's treachery is revealed to the king of Bayern. Ungolad attempts to kill Ani, but Talone bursts in the nick of time, distracting Ungolad by challenging him to a duel. Talone fights the vicious, maddened Ungolad as the workers rush into the room to help the king's guard fight the Kildenrean traitors.

As the Kildenreans lose their lives one by one, soon the only fight left is the one between Ungolad and Prince Geric. Knowing that if anyone tries to help the prince win his very first real battle it would be a great dishonor, the Bayern soldiers and animal-workers watch helplessly from the sidelines as their prince struggles against the vicious, maddened Ungolad. Ungolad manages to stab Geric in the side, but the pain seems to give Geric strength until he manages to give Ungolad a deathblow, ending the battle between the traitors and the Bayern as a whole.

The king symbolically declares Geric a man and decides to charge Selia with treason, making everyone notice that Selia is, in fact, nowhere in sight. As they look around the ghastly, body-strewn room, everyone suddenly realizes that Conrad, too, is nowhere to be found. Finn and the others grimly look through the bodies of the dead for their friend when they hear screaming coming from the hidden passageway. They look inside to see a proud Conrad dragging a furious Selia along by her hair, having caught her just as she was trying to escape through a window. The king's soldiers swiftly carry her away screaming to the dungeons to await her punishment for treason: to be dragged through the streets in a barrel full of nails, a punishment she herself devised for Isi.

The next day, Finn is summoned to the dining hall where he is officially given a javelin and shield. As Finn takes his place among the newly formed hundred-band made up of the Forest folk, he smiles more widely than he ever has before. Some days after the celebration, Finn sends word to his mother about their victory and soon both are present at the marriage between Isi and Geric in the Thumbprint of the Gods, a public square that allows anyone, noble or commoner, to attend the wedding.

Physical Description Edit

Finn has shaggy dark hair and brown eyes that are speckled with gold at the edges. He is tall and broad, a good build for a swordsman.

Trivia Edit

  • Shannon Hale used elements of her own relationship with her husband when writing Enna and Finn's relationship.
  • Finn worries that his mother knits in too little light.
  • The reason Finn is so quiet and straightforward is likely due to being raised by Gilsa. She believes in keeping to herself and sees no point in making life unduly complicated, and raised her son to think the same way.
  • In the Bayern Justice League, a tactic Shannon Hale used for character development, Finn is considered to be Batman.

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