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Warning! This page contains spoilers for The Royal Ranger.
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Gilan is the former apprentice of Halt and son to the kingdom's finest Battlemaster, David. He becomes the Ranger Commandant in The Royal Ranger after Crowly's death. He is considered to be the best at stealth according to Halt and Crowly.
Gilan is different than most Rangers, because he was born into knighthood, therefore used to formal drills and swordsmanship. He trained with the legendary MacNeil, who was one of Araluen's most renowned swordsman. Therefore, Gilan also uses the sword, which is not a common Ranger's weapon. Gilan is an expert with the blade, being one of best swordsmen in Araluen, he can wield his sword with both his left and right hand. Gilan is described as a young, junior Ranger and is most likely between the ages of 21 and 23 during The Ruins of Gorlan. He is also described as dashing, handsome, humorous, slightly unworrying, and unusually tall for a member of the typically short Ranger Corps. Gilan rides a bay mare named Blaze, who is very similar to himself, being longer in the leg than most ranger horses. He is also accounted as the best in the Corps at concealed movement.
Gilan is a very good friend to Will, and gives him advice and guidance, as he proved in Erak's Ransom when he told Will all about his own apprenticeship to Halt. The first fief he was posted to was Meric Fief, later he was appointed Ranger of Norgate Fief, then eventually to Whitby, one of the most important fiefs in all of Araluen.
He appears to have a a love interest with Jenny, as during The Kings of Clonmel, through Will's recollection, he is shown to quiz Will about Jenny on their way to rescue Erak in Erak's Ransom. He also dances with her at Halt's and Lady Pauline's wedding. Will and Halt often use the nickname "Gil" to refer to Gilan.
Halt has noted that Will is slightly more instinctive in his adaptation to a situation than Gilan.Ranger Gathering. Like all young Rangers, he takes delight in trying to sneak up on his former mentor, Halt, in the hope of someday catching him out. This time, he thinks he has won, but forgets that Halt now has another apprentice. He realizes this too late, however, and Will catches Gilan out by firing an arrow and striking a tree near him.
Soon he and Will become close friends, Will instantly warming to the tall, lanky ranger.
He journeys with Halt and Will to track down the Kalkara but doesn't initially like the idea of Will coming along because he is so young but Halt points out that Will is a good thinker and a good shot with his bow already and Gilan drops the point realising his mentor is right.
The two quickly become firm friends and enjoy spending time around one another.
When Halt needs to send one of them for help, Gilan reluctantly agrees to lend Blaze to Will who is the lightest and can therefore travel the fastest to Redmont for help. Gilan continues on foot whilst Halt and Will ride off. He later turns up on the back of an old plow horse, but then was to immediately leave for his own fief in preparation for the war.
In The Burning Bridge he arrives at Halt's cabin in the middle of the night, Gilan is a little irritated that the two aren't surprised to see him as they both managed to keep calm and unsurprised when he turns up. After a coffee, Gilan gets down to business, saying that he is being sent on a mission to Celtica but has to take two others due to the old Celtic superstition that three people must make up a team when on diplomatic missions. Will and Horace are choosen to travel with him as they can be spared.
Initially, Horace is shy and uncomfortable around Gilan but the lanky Ranger quickly makes him feel at ease and they become friends. GilanEven more so when he starts to teach Horace some swordplay. Gilan breaks the slight tension by poking fun at Will and teachign Horace new swordsmanship techniques.
At first, he accompanies the two apprentices but when they encounter Evanlyn and learns about Morgarath's plan, he returns to Araulen to warn King Duncan. Upon hearing of Will and Evanlyn's capture at the bridge from Horace, he initially blames himself for leaving them alone in Celtica, and asks for permission to find them. Halt denies Gilan's request, saying that Gilan's help is needed with the army. He then helps Halt to vanquish he Skandians who were going to launch a surprise attack.
Gilan briefly appears in this book. He is present at Halt's trial after he insults the King. When Halt is declared to be banished for the period of one year Gilan tries to join him as he travels to Gallica and then Skandia in search of Will. He wants to join his mentor, believing that it was his fault Will was captured in the first place and feels extremely guilty about this.
However, Halt disuades him and tells him to stay, saying that he must track down and stop Foldar. Gilan accepts this and then watches as Halt disapears into the rain.
In Erak's Ransom Gilan attends Halt and Pauline's wedding, there he and Jenny meet, Jenny prompty falling head-over-heels in love with the tall, handsome Ranger. He then goes on the mission to rescue Erak in Arridi with Cassandra (Evanlyn), Halt, Will, and Horace along with Svengal.
On the ship journey to Arridi, Gilan is surprised to discover his mentor is pone to seasickness, something he had never realised before.
He and rthe other rangers ride their horses on a beach half-way to Arridi, as the horses' need to be exercised or they will not be fit when they arrive.
Once in Arrida, the group are greeted by the man who captured Erak and the other Arridi who is called Selethen. The group are escorted to house near the palace there they stay for the night. Gilan and the other two Rangers, along with Horace, are delighted to discover that there is excellent coffee.
In the fight at the end of the book Gilan is quick to pick up a sword and leap into the battle. He is delighted to discover Will is safe along with his friends.
The Inkwell and the Dagger begins directly after Halt is banished from Araluen for the period of one year. Gilan is put in charge of tracking down Foldar, one of the Morgarath's main supporters.
In this story Gilan goes over to Redmont Fief to stand in for Halt and Will who are away on a mission. He first reports to Baron Arald who invites Gilan for a meal with him and his wife Lady Sandra, but Gilan akwardly declines, as he is going to have a meal with Jenny in her cottage. As the two are talking, one of the senior members of the village watch bursts in with some other members of the group in tow. Ambrose, the silversmith has been robbed. When they learn that a posse is already after the robbers, Gilan realises everything is under control and starts to walk over to Jenny's house.
Unbeknownst to him the theives have broken into Jenny's house and are hiding out there, keeping the young woman captive. When Gilan walks in they intend to kill him.
As Gilan walks up the path to her house one of the bandits, a man named Nuttal, bursts out of the cottage and crashes into him. Gilan, with his sharp reflexes, swiftly knocks him unconscious and then runs into the house. He finds Jenny sobbing on a chair with the two other thieves lying on the ground unconscious surrounded by the remenants of the meal Jenny had cooked for herself and Gilan.
Gilan goes to comfort her, wrapping her up in the hug. Jenny then explains how furious she is that their meal has been ruined and Gilan looks at her quizzically as he realizes that the theives have had their meal (beaten into their heads via lamb leg) and then he smiles and says "Well, I don't think they enjoyed it."
Gilan and Jenny are both present at Will and Alyss' wedding and are seen holding hands when the two are getting married. It is hinted that Jenny and Gilan will be married at a later date which Gilan is pleased about and the prospect doesn't worry him at all.
After Crowley's peaceful death Gilan becomes the new Ranger Commandant. He is stationed at Castle Araluen and, every once in a while, "borrows" Ranger apprentices from their masters to train them for a few months. He brings together the meeting that appoints Madelyn as Will's apprentice. Later, he assigns Will the mission to investigate Liam's death.
Gilan is described as being very tall and handsome, remaining clean-shaven which gives him a very youthful look. He is very skilled in swordsmanship and unseen movement. Halt makes a joke of saying how lanky he is and in turn Gilan cheerfully teases his former mentor.
- Swordsmanship - Gilan is said to be one of the best swordsmen in the whole of Araluen. He trained under a legendary swordmaster named MacNeil and is proficent with his left hand and an expert with his right hand which is very useful in a fight. Gilan was given permission to carry on using a sword when he became a Ranger apprentice due to potential to become very adept with the weapon. In The Burning Bridge he passes on some of his knowledge to Horace, teaching him swordplay and giving him various tips, recognizing his natural talent with sword fighting.
- Unseen Movement - He is the best Ranger in the Corps at unseen movement, except possibly for Halt, and teaches Will a thing or two about the skills involved during The Ruins of Gorlan.
- Archery - Though not as good as Will or Halt, he is still a foe to be wary of when armed with a bow.
HaltHalt has become a fatherlike figure to Gilan and in turn, the grizzled Ranger is fond of his first apprentice. Halt taught Gilan well, Gilan being one of the top experts in the Ranger Corps at unseen movement.
Though very different from his mentor, Gilan is like him in quite a few ways, imitating his teaching style and dry tone of voice as well as the trademark habit of raising one eyebrow.
WillGilan is quite close to Will and teaches him some things about being a Ranger, also encouraging Will when he feels down, particularly in Erak's Ransom when Will is reconsidering his readiness to become a full Ranger. The two work well as a team. Gilan gives Will a number of tips about things such as fighting in close-combat and unseen movement, a large part of Ranger training. This include the double knife sword defense.
Gilan and Jenny are very close, Jenny being in love with Gilan. In the Kings of Clonmel it is known that Gilan spent quite a bit of time quizzing Will about his ward-mate during one of their missions together. They first met in Erak's Ransom, Jenny promptly falling for the tall, handsome Ranger particularly as the two were to dance together at Halt and Pauline's wedding. In The Lost Stories it is hinted that the two will be married. However, in The Royal Ranger it's revealed that Jenny decides not to marry Gilan due to her having to give up her restaurant if they married; Gilan accepts this but still asks her to marry him whenever he sees her.
Blaze is Gilan's horse and the two get along well, sharing the same bond that all rangers have with their horses. Blaze is a bay coloured female horse. Her code word is "brown eyes" which Gilan gives to Will in the Ruins of Gorlan.
- In an interview where numerous questions were sent in by fans John Flanagan stated that he would be placing Gilan in the world of the Brotherband Chronicles in books 4 and 5 of that series.
- In the same interview with regard to his physical characteristics, John Flanagan also stated that, in his mind, Gilan was tall and clean-shaven.