"Now, when you're in the middle of a fancy palace, it can be hard to know what war means. But war means losing everyone you care about at the end of a sword. War means seeing your fine things burned in front of you! War is agony, and you should be doing every last damned thing you can to stop it from coming to your door!"
—Leon to Annelyse about war (Book 1 Chapter 7).Leon Stirling is a character in The Crown & The Flame series. He is a knight and the former Captain of the Royal Guard of Stormholt. He served as the Crown Guardian, Protector of the Queen from Book 1 Chapter 16 until his anticlimactic death in Book 3. He is first seen in Book 1, Chapter 1.
Leon has tan skin, brown eyes, short brown hair, and stubble. He wears a special suit of Stormholt armor, different from the ordinary soldiers such as Jackson's, but still in its colors (blue and silver). He has a belt strapped across his chest and over his left shoulder.
Leon was a wise and faithful soldier. His first instinct was to protect the Crown, as seen when he attempted to let Kenna and Gabriel leave the mercenary camp quietly. Leon was also known for his vulgar speech, something Kenna has teased him for since he first started working for Kenna's mother.
Perhaps due to having fought in numerous battles, Leon was noted for his militant behavior, offering Kenna to let him tell Annelyse the blunt truth about war, as well as expressly telling Rowan Thorn to yield Thorngate to Kenna, and that Thorn could be anything she wants to be, so long as his queen is the sole ruler. In a flashback, he also recommended to Queen Adriana that he and his men go to Ramsforge and straight-out eliminate the traitors until the queen suggested a more passive way to victory. He was wary of enemies, discouraging Kenna from believing that Ducitora is a paradise and that Azura can create a better world.
To this end, Leon was a realist, basing decisions on their long-term impact as well as the current circumstances they were made in and hardly taking morals with them, seen as when he encouraged Kenna to decapitate Marco against Whitlock's wishes, or when he told Kenna not to regret Rowan's death (if the player chooses to kill her), brushing it off as a hard decision a queen must make. However, if Kenna saved Rowan, Leon showed humility by regretting his earlier treatment of the Thorngate Queen.
Leon was a brave and outspoken man, willing to speak out his realist mind regardless of to whom he is talking; such qualities were acknowledged by Sei and Raydan during his wake. He was also clever and resourceful in confrontation: he tricked Severin into getting drunk and passing out first so he would not fulfill his selfish contract with Nevrakis soldiers, then proceeded to clobber many of them with a broken chair leg, half drunk; as well as defeat multiple opponents in Azura's gladiator fight by exploiting their fury and letting them take out each other.
Queens Adriana and Kenna have mentioned that Leon is also very stubborn: he was persistent in preventing Kenna from fighting Severin, and his recalcitrance was also what brought him his demise. He preferred not to be around machines, as they made him nervous.
Queen Adriana Rys
Adriana and Leon had a discreet love affair when he became Captain of the Royal Guard. As a gift, she gave him the Ram's Head Mace.
Leon sees Kenna both as his queen and his junior in war, seen as when he gave her his military wisdom numerous times while at her side, at the same time giving her utmost respect. He served as Crown Guardian, Protector of the Queen for Kenna Rys upon Gabriel's death. She can give a final goodbye to him if she decided to visit the spirit world in Book 3, Chapter 17 (Diamond).
- He bears a resemblance to actor Laurence Fishburne.
- When Leon reveals to Kenna the incident of Ramsforge, he shows a bit of hesitance to Adriana's advances, even worrying about her becoming infamous for associating with a commoner. However, when telling Kenna where he got his mace, Leon had mutual affection for Adriana and didn't object to the affair.
- Leon is bad at talking to children and dancing.