|George of Pirate's Swoop|
|Aliases||The Whisper Man|
|Born||400 H.E. or 413 H.E.|
|Title||Baron of Pirate's Swoop|
|Ancestors||Fern Cooper, Ilony Cooper, Rebakah Cooper|
|Parents||Eleni Cooper, Myles of Olau (adoptive)|
|Wife||Alanna of Pirate's Swoop and Olau|
|Children||Thom, Alan and Alianne|
|Descendants||Ochobai, Ulasu and Junim Crow (grandchildren)|
|Other||Rispah Cooper (cousin), Coram Smythesson (cousin-in-law)|
|Rank|| Commoner (former)|
|Occupation|| Rogue (former)|
Second in command spymaster
|First appeared||Alanna: The First Adventure|
George Cooper gained the position of king of thieves early in life, to be precise at the age of seventeen. Later he married Alanna of Trebond and Olau—with whom he subsequently had three children—and was granted estates by the Crown, becoming Baron George of Pirate's Swoop. He then put his talents learned among the thieves to use by helping his father-in-law and stepfather, Myles of Olau, as his second-in-command as the realm's spymaster and became respectable. He was also known as The Whisper Man by his contacts.
George was the son of Eleni Cooper, a former priestess in the Temple of the Mother, and an unknown temple worshipper. George grew up on Spindle Lane in the rough Lower City, where he learned to steal and speak slang. He was taken up by the Provost's Guard for stealing at least once. Afterwards his mother told him the story of their famous ancestor, Rebakah Cooper. Despite Eleni's attempts to lead George on a honest path George still became crooked and involved himself with the Court of the Rogue.
- George: "I--buy, and I sell."
- Gary: "You're a thief."
- George: "'Thief' is a harsh word, Master Gareth."
- — George and Gary on their first meeting[src]
By the time he was seventeen, George had become the Rogue, or The King of Thieves, in the capital city of Corus, defeating the former Rogue in a fight. Like his predecessors since the time of Rosto the Piper two hundred years earlier he held court in the Dancing Dove. His Gift allowed George to keep an eye on his rogues, which lead him to the assumption that his situation as the Rogue was better than that of the former Rogue and that it helped him to stay longer in the position.
As the Rogue George kept a special collection. When one of his thieves made one mistake, he was warned. After the second mistake George took an ear for his collection. A third mistake caused the thief in question to loose the second ear along with "all that's attached." Stefan, one of George's followers and also hostler at the palace stables, commented on this practice that "George like[d] things done right."
Three months after he became the Rogue George first saw Alanna riding into Corus. His Gift told him that he needed to make Alanna's acquaintance and in the following months he "kept a close eye on [her]", until they met on Alanna's first Market Day in the city nearly three months later. On that occassion George invited the boy "Alan" and his friend Gary to a drink in the Dancing Dove. He later became a good friend of Alanna, claiming he trusted his intuition in befriending her. He taught her to fight barehanded or with a dagger, in order to give her the upper hand in her feud with Ralon of Malven. He also sold to Alanna her first horse, Moonlight, and Jonathan of Conté his horse Darkness. He gave Moonlight to Alanna at a significantly lower price than he should have gotten, telling Jonathan he would "give [Moonlight] to the boy outright, if he'd take her". George was the first of Alanna's associates in Corus she trusted with the truth about her sex and after he learned that she was secretly a girl, he began passing letters between Alanna and her brother Thom.
By the time of Alanna's term as a squire George was already in love with her, although this love should remain unrequited. He repeatedly told and showed her how deep he was in love with her, but at the time Alanna was still afraid of loving anyone and later Jonathan was her lover. It was only after her Ordeal of Knighthood and estrangement with Jonathan in the Great Southern Desert, at the tribe of the Bloody Hawk, when Alanna came to live at George's house in Port Caynn that they became lovers. George had been in Port Caynn because some local members of the Court of the Rogue there had been misbehaving and proven to need the direct control of their Rogue. After an attempt on his life from a maid sent by a new member of the Rogue called "Claw"--who was later found out to be really Ralon of Malven--,George felt that he had to return to Corus. Alanna didn't want to face Jonathan so soon after their estrangement and returned to the desert, thus temporarily ending her relationship with George. In the following weeks and months George was busy with keeping his throne and fight back Claw and the members of the Rouge Claw had won for his cause, because Claw wanted George's position but wasn't ready to fight for it in single combat as was tradition. He eventually won over Claw by killing him in a fair fight.
Baron and Second-in-command Spymaster
When Jonathan was crowned king, George was given a pardon. He gave up his life of crime and became the Baron of Pirate's Swoop. Only a few months after the Coronation Day Battle George proposed to Alanna and she accepted. He and Alanna married not long afterwards, still in 439 HE. Eventually, George used the skills of his past to assist Tortall's spymaster, Myles of Olau, who was also his father-in-law and stepfather.
George and Alanna settled down at Pirate's Swoop and had three children: Thom and the twins, Alan and Alianne, or Aly. When the oldest son Thom was born Alanna and George were on a mission together, forcing George to deliver the child himself. In the summer of 449 HE George helped to defend Pirate's Swoop and Queen Thayet as well as her two oldest children Prince Roald and Princess Kalasin during the siege of his home. Through Alanna he also got to know her squire, Nealan of Queenscove and he met Keladry of Mindelan on the Royal Progress.
Because Alanna was often called away due to her being the King's Champion, George was the dominating parent in his children's life, especially Aly's. His daughter was the only one of his children showing an interest in his work and George appreciated it, because he needed someone like that at that time. Thus he taught her what he knew and even took her with him when he met with spies. This went on until she was twelve and he realized that he was putting his daughter in danger, when they were meeting with a contact and it turned into violence. Although Aly handled herself well George wouldn't take her along to meetings afterwards.
When Aly was asking for a real spy's work at sixteen George wouldn't put her to work. When Aly simply vanished one day George was worried for her but didn't tell his wife because he didn't want to make her anxious too, because she needed to be focused in the Scanran War. Once Alanna learned of Aly's vanishing she got angry with George. In the meantime he put all efforts into finding her again, following Aly's trail to the Copper Isles and the Balitang family. At Tanair he tried to buy Aly, whom he thought to be a household-slave. However, his daughter told him that she wanted to stay in the Isles with the Balitangs and explained about her wager with Kyprioth. George in turn revealed that he knew the Trickster God. At that occasion he also met Aly's future husband Nawat Crow. He saw his daughter again the following year when Dovasary Balitang had become Queen of the Copper Isles, when George was part of the Tortallan delegation.
George is a tall, lean young man with white teeth and tan skin. Like his mother, he has bright hazel eyes and brown hair, which he cuts short like most commoners. He is also described as having a beaky nose, inherited from his father, that is too large for good looks, but he looks handsome when he smiles. He is supposed to be around six feet 4 inches. He is heavily muscled and has eyes that are full of mischief. He carries a number of knives and daggers as to be always ready for an attack, legacy of his time as the Rogue, or the King of Thieves in Tortall. His daughter Alianne, the main character of Trickster's Queen, is also always armed, and has George's hazel eyes.
According to Alanna's first impression of George he has "something powerful about him, something almost royal."
Personality and traits
George always trusted his instincts when making decisions, which he learned quickly through his "line of work". Thus he knew that he should make Alanna's acquaintance. While being part of the Court of the Rogue George didn't really like nobles, but when his friendship with Alanna and Jon became closer he found himself more and more helping them and once even betrayed the Law of the Rogue, giving the Lord Provost word on Claw's plans on regicide. Eventually George even became a Baron himself when Jon gave him the estates around Pirate's Swoop. Still George kept friends in the lower classes, especially the people living near the swoop and his contacts.
Skills and abilities
He had the Gift, to be more precise the Sight, which enabled him to see more clearly. This in combination with his instinct told him to make Alanna's acquaintance. However, she and other people with the Gift were shielded from his Sight.
George was skilled in hand-to-hand combat, being able to fight with knives and daggers, an ability nearly every member of the Court of the Rogue needed. Someone trying to overthrow the old Rogue usually did so by defeating him in a fight. He taught fighting hand-to-hand and with knives to Alanna and Jon.
Alanna of Trebond
From the first time he saw her, George took a liking to Alanna of Trebond. He approached her on her first visit to the Corus market and befriended her, still thinking like everyone else that she was the page Alan.
Before he met Alanna he knew several nobles who had only been his "friends" to have a "kept thief". That lead him to thinking Alanna had similar motives and wanted his thugs to take care of Ralon of Malven, when she came to him one evening. After Alanna's indignant reaction he realized that she didn't want to use him like other nobles but really respected him as a friend. He subsequently taught her a few tricks in fighting he knew to enable her to defeat Ralon in a fair fight.
George was the first of her friends to know that "Alan" was a girl. Alanna revealed herself to him when she was desperately searching for a female city healer and George was the only one she could trust to find her such a healer.
She was still a squire when George discovered that his feelings for her were deeper than mere friendship and he loved her. Alanna refused all his advances at that time, claiming their differences in age and standing made a love relationship impossible between them. George waited for Alanna for eight years, weathering her relationships with both Jonathan and Liam Ironarm, although they had a short love affair after Alanna's first stay with the Bloody Hawk and her quarrel with Jonathan. His patience paid off, as eventually he "finally tamed himself a Lioness", and Alanna accepted his proposal in autumn of 439 HE. They married and had three children: Thom, Alianne and Alan of Pirate's Swoop.
Their marriage included many periods in which they were separated, Alanna having to fight for her king and kingdom and George being off on spy-business or taking care of their home and children. In such times George usually missed his wife and was worried for her. When their daughter Aly vanished and George kept the truth from Alanna she was furious with him, but George managed to soothe his wife.
Fern Cooper ┬ unnamed man │ ┌—————┴————————————————————————┐ │ │ Ilony Cooper ┬ unnamed man ? ┬ ? │ │ ┌—————————————————————┬——————————————————┴┬———————————————┬———————————————┐ Philben Cooper ┬ Delene Cooper │ │ │ │ │ │ Rebakah Cooper Diona Cooper Lorine Cooper Willes Cooper Nilo Cooper 4 children │ 6 generations │ ┌┴——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————┐ │ │ Myles of Olau — Eleni Cooper ┬ unnamed man Trebond unnamed │ │ │ George Cooper ┬ Alanna of Pirate's Swoop and Olau Rispah Cooper ┬ Coram Smythesson │ │ Trebond ┌———————┬———————┬——————┬—————┬—————┬————┬—————┴┬—————┬—————┐ │ │ │ │ │ │ │ │ │ │ Jonthair Alinna Thomsen Mylec Daran Liam Thayine Rose Elenna Buran
In addition to his mother, Eleni, George also has a stepfather/father-in-law, Myles of Olau. One of his known ancestors is Beka Cooper. George marries Alanna, and together they have three children: Thom (named for Alanna's deceased brother), and twins, Alianne and Alan. Alianne grows up to marry a man called Nawat, and they give George his first grandchildren: triplets Ulasu, Junim, and Ochabai.
Gary of Naxen
George and Gary first met when Gary accompanied Alanna to her first Market Day into Corus. Gary was at first suspicious of George's interest in them, suspecting him of trying to take advantage of their status as nobility. However, George quickly made clear to him that he didn't have any particular interest in Gary and only acquainted himself with Alanna because his Gift told him so. At the end of their first conversation Gary and George had decided that they liked each other and become friends.
- Terrier (prologue)
- Alanna: The First Adventure
- In the Hand of the Goddess
- The Woman Who Rides Like a Man
- Lioness Rampant
- Wild Magic
- Squire (minor character)
- Lady Knight (only mentioned)
- Trickster's Choice (minor character)
- Trickster's Queen (minor character)
- Mastiff (Epilogue)
In the Danish editions George's name has been changed to "Gergi Gatto". Gatto is Italian and means "cat". "Gergi" is probably derived from the Italian "gergo", meaning "jargon" or "slang". Gergi seems to be Turkish and relates to a kind of fabric.
Notes and references
- ↑ Tortallan timeline: Although we are given the year 400 HE in the prologue of Terrier, 413 is probably more accurate and goes with George's own claim of being seventeen when Alanna first met him. Although according to Alanna's estimation of his age at the beginning of Alanna: The First Adventure, George could also have been a bit older then.
- ↑ Terrier, Prologue, From the journal of Eleni Cooper
- ↑ Trickster's Queen, Cp. 1 (p. 9; Random House paperback)
- ↑ Alanna: The First Adventure, Cp. 2 (p. 51; Random House paperback)
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Alanna: The First Adventure, Cp. 3
- ↑ Alanna: The First Adventure, Cp. 2 (p. 50; Random House paperback)
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Alanna: The First Adventure, Cp. 2 (p. 49; Random House paperback)
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 Alanna: The First Adventure, Cp. 2 (p. 48; Random House paperback)
- ↑ Alanna: The First Adventure, Cp. 5 (p. 122; Random House paperback)
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 In the Hand of the Goddess
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 The Woman Who Rides Like a Man
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Lioness Rampant
- ↑ Trickster's Choice, Cp. 1 (p. 7; Random House paperback)
- ↑ Random Buzz; "Yuki and 'labor and delivery' in Tortall."; April 20, 2009
- ↑ Wild Magic
- ↑ Readergirlz; "December: In the shadow of fame"; December 5, 2009
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 Trickster's Choice
- ↑ Trickster's Queen
- ↑ Alanna: The First Adventure, Cp. 2
- ↑ I only got a German translation for the word and even that isn't really well known, so I judged the "meaning" from the context given.