The concept of a lead or a singular protagonist doesn’t get that much prominence in adventure-based high fantasy narratives, which tend to include characters from different fictional sects, species, and walks of life. Also, as a tabletop role-playing game, “Dungeons & Dragons” encourages the idea of companionship by forming adventure groups among characters chosen by the players. Therefore, quite obviously, the live-action movie adaptation “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor among Thieves” stresses the importance of companionship by introducing Simon, Doric, and Xenk, who assist Edgin in his quest by utilizing their individual expertise. We will take a look at their backgrounds and the character arcs to better understand what they bring to the table.
Simon is a part-human, part-elf sorcerer belonging to Triboar, Savage Frontier. Despite Simon’s great-great-grandfather being the legendary sorcerer Elminster Aumar, Simon has very little grasp of the art of magic, something that is a result of his extremely low self-esteem. His insecurity regarding people’s perception of him led him to look down upon himself to the point he no longer believed in having a higher purpose in life and felt incapable of doing anything exceptional. His lack of self-confidence ruined his chances of courting the Tiefling Druid, Doric, for whom he had feelings. According to the prequel comics, the trio of thieves Forge, Holga, and Edgin saved Simon’s life, and since then, Simon has joined their group. Later, the team takes on a mission from a mysterious wizard named Sofina to infiltrate one of the Harpers’ Holds. During the mission, Edgin triggers an alarm while stealing the Tablet of Reawakening, and Sofina betrays the team and uses a time-stop spell to trap them. Simon tried to counter the spell but failed, and he had to leave Holga and Edgin to their fates and flee.
A couple of years later, as Holga and Edgin look for Simon to recruit him into their team in their quest to retrieve Kira and the talisman from Forge Fitzwilliam, they see Simon sticking to the team’s old habits by pickpocketing people under the guise of hosting magic shows in town. Simon suggests that they recruit Doric, the Tiefling Druid, into their ranks, and later her wild shape ability indeed makes her a powerhouse of the group. Simon later uses his reanimating corpse ability to talk with the fallen Elk barbarians to learn the whereabouts of the Helmet of Disjunction, an ability he learned from the cleric of the god of death, Kelemvor. After getting the Helmet of Disjunction, Simon fails to attune to it even after trying it on repeatedly. As he puts on the helmet, Simon is visited by a vision of his great-great-grandfather, who continuously discourages him and throws him out of the mystical, causing him to fail. A discouraged Simon almost quits and decides to leave the group, but Edgin’s honest confession makes him rethink otherwise.
Magic can not solve everything; in fact, being adept at using it requires much more than the practice of reciting spells, wielding artifacts, or making gestures. Simon says this to Edgin, but he is unsure what it actually requires. He finally realizes his biggest hindrance is himself, his own lack of confidence, when, after getting cornered by Forge’s soldiers, he puts on the helmet, goes back to the mystical plane, and stands up to the vision of his great-great-grandfather, a projection of his unsure mind. After that, Simon not only uses the artifact proficiently, but he also manages to go toe-to-toe with Sofina, who has been revealed to be a powerful Red wizard, and finally beats her using his counterspell. Later, seeing the newfound confidence of Simon, Doric even allows him a chance to court her once again. The journey of Simon in realizing his true potential and self-worth was an important aspect highlighted in the narrative.
Doric can be considered the powerhouse of the group; as a Tiefling Druid, she has the ability of wild shape, which allows her to shapeshift into a large variety of animals, even a giant owlbear. Tiefling ancestry led to her having a different appearance from her birth parents, having horns, pointed ears, and a tail. Her human parents and relatives shunned her from their society, fearing her demonic heritage, and left her in the Neverwinter woods to starve and die. Doric’s affinity for nature allowed her to survive on her own for a brief period of time, and she met the Wood Elves, who welcomed her into their organization, Emerald Enclave. Being raised by the Wood Elves and her own inclination to preserve everything natural allowed her to adopt an environmentalist mindset at a young age, and when Forge’s troops decimated forests for their selfish reasons, she stood by her comrades and utilized her powers to proper effect. The only reason she agreed to join the group of Edgin, Holga, and Simon was to strengthen their force against Forge.
Doric is a confident, strong, and resolved individual who likes to keep an emotional barrier around herself resulting from past trauma. Even though she rejects Simon’s attempt to court her, she observes his efforts toward self-betterment and appreciates him for them. Due to her past experiences, Doric isn’t too fond of humans and doesn’t trust them, but by the end of the journey, as the members bond with each other and she sees Edgin and Holga, two humans, ready to sacrifice everything for the sake of friendship, she loosens her stance against humans.
The charming, charismatic Paladin Xenk Yendar is a jack of many trades, adept in both physical and magical combat. In terms of sheer skills, Xenk is perhaps more resourceful than the group, although he doesn’t participate in their quest till the end and takes his leave after entrusting them with the Helmet of Disjunction, as he wants them to succeed in their journey on their own. As a Paladin, a holy knight, Xendar has a cleansing charm and aura of his own that soothes others in his presence and allows mental peace. Xenk was a Thane, a resident of Thay, and during his childhood, he witnessed the death of his family and associates, who later turned into undead monstrosities – after one of the Zulkirs of Thay, Szass Tam, cast the spell of beckoning death. Xenk managed to get to safety, although not before having a close encounter with the magical cloud created by the spell—which cursed him with longevity. Xenk is a kind, charitable person who puts his trust in others and likes to see the good side of people; as we see, even though Edgin acted dismissively towards him, Xenk trusted the humanity of the former and agreed to aid him in his quest by locating the artifact the team needed. Xenk displayed his skills and bravery when he fought and slayed the assassins of Thane and saved the group almost single-handedly. An honorable hero, Xenk asked the group to distribute the riches of Forge to the townsfolk of Neverwinter in exchange for his help.