Personality summaryEleanor is waiting for the man she dreams of, not for herself but for Ximene. She can see him clearly, handsome, brave, honourable, and with magical powers. Eleanor enjoyed a privileged and protected childhood. Unfortunately from her late teens onwards she has experienced a series of traumatic experiences. He strength is that she has emerged from this with her faith, hope and charity intact.Her weakness is that she has achieved this through a retreat into mysticism. She has become a perpetual innocent. She has come to regard her grand-daughter Ximene as an important part of the good god’s plan, in christian terms a “second coming”. However she is acutely conscious that a good spirit needs practical support. In her own time of need, her former lover reappeared to reintroduce joy and fulfillment into her life. She now believes that a strong honourable man will appear who can deliver protection and love to Ximene.
This belief has become obsessive to the point where she is delaying all decisions concerning Ximene’s future welfare until the anticipated hero arrives.
There is no escape for the perpetual innocent who has come to believe some external force , or heroic person, will deliver all her ambitions and desires.
Application of the character arc
Lady Eleanor De Pedilla suffered trauma in her late teenage years. Because of her privileged, protected child hood, the impact on her was rather more severe than it might have been. When he father Garcia Lopez de Pedilla was appointed constable of the Château de Prades on the very edge of Aragonese territory, she found herself in a world which delighted her She wandered freely through the Plateau de Sault, delighting in the sunshine and mountains, feeling close to the Good God. When it rained she hid in the shedherd’s huts which were scattered acrros the landscape if you knew how to find them. She was taught about the mountains by Guillam de Clermont Dessou who’s family had been dispossesed of their heritage during the Albigensian Crusade and now was reduced to a life as a shepherd. Before long she had fallen in love with Guillam.
She knew that her father’s appointment was important because from Prades he was able to monitor Frankish encroachment across the border, which ran between Prades and Montaillou, the next village to the north. Eleanor and Guillam wandered freely on both sides of the border. He eventually took her to meet his mother who lived in Montaillou, in Frankish territory. Whilst she was there the forces of the inquistion surrounded the village and emprisoned the whole population in the church. Guillam helped Eleanor eascape but failed to rescue his own mother who after two years of questioning was burned at the stake as a heretic. Guillame left to join the Cathar resistance organisation ‘Les Etoiles de Mer and urged Eleanor to find another partner as he did not expect to return or indeed to survive.
Eleanor then married Roger Trencavel, who although he had estates in Sicily had returned home to live in his beloved Pyrenees. Raimon was also the heir to a large portion of Occitan ( Viscomptes of Albi, Carcassonne, Razes and Beziers). Again the lands had been stolen from his family during the Albigensian Crusade but he had no intention of claiming them. His family had wasted a fortune fighting torepell the fanks and had failed. This was not so much an arranged marriage but a forced marriage. Garcia encouraged his daughter to marry Raimon to ensure that if the lands of Occitan were freed from the Frankish rule the eventual heir would be educated as a Cathar and therefore would be inclined to re-establish Occitan as a Cathar haven.
Eleanor complied. She grew to love and respect Raimon but never forgot her love for Guillam. Her Son Raimond was educated in a cathar cell in the Moorish state of Grenada where the Cathar faith was tolerated by the Moors. Her husband then died in a riding accident and Eleanor herself went to live in Grenada.
Maria de Pedilla
Her younger sister, Maria Juana and the children of Gaston of Foix were educated in the same cell in Grenada. Maria Juana at a very young age engaged in a love affair with Pedro I of Castille who had developed an admiration for the Moorish culture. When Pedro acceeded to the throne of Castille he moved south to Seville and commissioned the building of the Alcazar by Moorish archietects and craftsmen. Inevitably, deliberately, the finished result showed its Moorish inspiration. The good relationship between Castile and Aragon which had been forged during the wars against the Moors gradually evaporated, as Aragon still had ambitions to sieze the remaining Moorish territories and saw the increasing contact between Castile and Grenada as a threat to that ambition. Eleanors father had risen to a rank of govenor of the Frankish marches but was abruptly dismissed and then used Maria’s influence to join Pedro’s court in Seville.
Raimon formed an affection for Jeanne de Foix and she almost immediately fell pregnant. Her brother Gaston Phoebus offered them sanctuary at the Château de Foix, his isolated fortress in the northern pyrenees. It was there that Ximene was born.
For Eleanor tragedy was never far away. In 1347 both Raimon and Jeanne died under mysterious circumstances. It was the year of the black death but the death did not penetrate the Pyrenees. Some said that Raimon and Jeanne were the only two victims. Gaston Phoebus immediately declared himself to be Ximene’s guardian and Eleanor hurried north to see that Ximene was brought up in the cathar faith and was fully aware of her heritage. On the latter point she need no concern. Gaston was soon promoting Ximene as the rightful heiress to Occitan and offering her hand in marriage to every crowned house in Europe.
Eleanor made one attempt to remove Ximene to what she regarded as a better environment in Grenada but Gaston claimed his rights as guardian, which the Emir of Grenada respected. He sent Eleanor and Ximene back to Foix under guard but with a gift of two pure bred arabian foals as a measure of his regard.
Guillame then re-appeared. The english had restored his family lands and Eleanor readily accepted him as her lover.
It was at this point that Eleanor’s mystical beliefs came to the fore. she saw visions of another, younger man who would care for an love Ximene. All decisions should be delayed until he arrived, because he wold be capable of everything Ximene could possibly wish for.