- This page is written in the in-universe perspective of the "Garion" series' of novels.
Full name and title(s)
Her Royal Majesty Queen Ce'Nedra of Riva, Imperial Princess of the Tolnedran Empire, Commander of the Armies of the West
Queen of the World
Ce'Nedra, or X'Nedra (following the Dryad naming tradition where all names begin with an "X"; the spelling was changed due to the Tolnedran dialect), was an Imperial Princess of Tolnedra and eventually the Rivan Queen. She was the wife of Belgarion and the daughter of Ran Borune XXIII, Emperor of Tolnedra, and the Dryad Ce'Vanne. She bore the titles of Queen of Riva, Imperial Princess of the Tolnedran Empire, and Jewel of the House of Borune. She is also known in the Mrin Codex as the "Queen of the World". Wilful and stubborn, she ran away at 15 to avoid being sent to Riva in accordance with the Accords of Vo Mimbre. However, this resulted in her travelling with Garion and his companions in their quest for the Orb of Aldur and, although she was left behind at Prolgu while they went to Rak Cthol, she was forced to go to Riva where she found out that she was actually betrothed to Garion.
Born as an Imperial Princess of Tolnedra, Ce'Nedra was spoiled beyond belief, taught to be skeptical of sorcery, and obsessed with money, like most of her people. She was a Dryad, a non-human species composed entirely of short females who had a special connection with trees, flaming red hair and a delight in human male visitors, and for some reason, sweets, which gave dryads an almost orgasmic experience and it was by liberal use of this that Belgarath was able to convince a dryad to leave her forest and marry a Borune, thus forming the line which ultimately led to Ce'Nedra's birth. Being from southerly lands Ce'Nedra had a significant aversion to fur.
As a non-human being, among those that dwelt near and were among the creatures of UL, she, as well as the rest of her race, was dubbed a monster. She disliked being addressed as such, despite the word itself simply being a translation of the Ulgo word used for non-humans. At times arrogant, stubborn, and flighty, Ce'Nedra was forced to mature throughout her's and Garion's quest. She was often preyed upon by enemies such as Zandramas because her mind was least able to repel the domination of a foreign mind. Her unique, almost childish way of percieving the world led many to think of her as such, but her perceptions were often startlingly accurate.
Ce'Nedra raised an army comprising Arendish and Tolnedran soldiers to join the Alorn campaign intended to distract the Angaraks while Belgarion, Belgarath and Silk (Prince Kheldar) journeyed to Cthol Mishrak. She succeeded in persuading the Arends (both Mimbrate and Asturian) to join her through a series of speeches over several weeks and she 'stole' the Tolnedran Legions from her father with the promise of red Angarak gold. Throughout the campaign, Ce'Nedra was wracked with guilt, as she knew she was leading many men to their deaths, although in the end her campaign was highly successful.
Written about Ce'Nedra in the Mrin Codex:
"And the voice of the Bride of Light shall be heard in the kingdoms of the world, and her words shall be as a fire in dry grass, that the multitudes shall rise up to go forth under the blaze of her banner".
Ce'nedra was flighty and erratic. She lost her temper often over very small things, and had a talent for making Garion feel guilty and unsure of himself. She was originally seen by Garion as shallow and spoilt, often ordering Garion about. She also had a tendency to dress in revealing clothing and was unashamed of her body, in particular a dryad tunic that exposed her legs, seemingly to Garion to deliberately make him feel uncomfortable.
Later on, however, Garion's opinion about her changed as he fell in love with her in return, and she showed a deep, caring nature, although she still retained her mischieviousness and pride, sometimes resenting just how much her husband transcended her in rank. She often worried about Garion and his well-being, though she trusted him implicitly, and was often awed by his magical feats. She loved her husband and her child more than anything, being willing to die to save them.
As the sun fell full upon her, her armor gleamed and her hair seemed to leap into flame. "Belgarion, King of Riva calls you to war!" she declared to them. "I am Ce'Nedra, his queen, and I stand before you as a living banner. Who among you will answer Belgarion's call and follow me?" -Castle Of Wizardry