Fantasy hero Drizzt Do’Urden inspired me before I knew I was an indigo child or why I felt so different to everyone I’d ever known. While he does not appear to be an indigo child himself and much less does his author, Drizzt Do’Urden’s story is eerily allegorical for my life and I think for many of those indigo children and adults I’ve known.
“This is my legacy; by the grace of the gods, I am not alone.”
In Homeland, the first story in the chronology of the Drizzt Do’Urden books by R.A. Salvatore, Drizzt is born into a society with a spirit wholly unlike his own. Drizzt is a dark elf of Menzoberranzan, a city in a cavern world far underground, where creatures live their entire lives without seeing the sun’s rays and have become twisted and evil.
(Picture taken from the cover art for “Homeland” by Todd Lockwood. If someone had a problem with my use of it I’d plead Fair Usage?)
In Menzoberranzan, the drow (as dark elves are also called) worship a deity that holds chaos and ruthlessness as sacred principles. Drow children are taught to hate all other races, while simultaneously being inculcated with a sense of their own society’s supremacy. At the same time as they learn this, they are being constantly whipped and beaten to ensure they remember their place in the rigid hierarchy. Most drow find humour only in twisted vengeance, and believe they will find happiness only in reaching a higher station in life. They do so by killing those above them.
Drizzt is different. Even as a newborn child he showed strange signs of this, lavender blue eyes where normal drow eyes are red. (Lavender… or should I say indigo? The coincidence here seems huge).
His father, Zaknafein, observes him as his personality develops. Unlike other drow, Drizzt seems completely content with his station in life. He also laughs and plays for the mere thrill of it. He is innocent, and doesn’t realise – can’t comprehend – that the drow by his side are evil. He simply assumes that they are as he is, and swallows the lies of his society because it is more comfortable to do so, rather than face a reality too harsh to be true.
As well as this, Drizzt is a born master at his chosen art – the way of the sword. He is intelligent, artful and sensitive far beyond anyone around — with the possible exception of his father.
Zaknafein sees hope in this boy, for he himself is – shall we say, an indigo drow. (The author, R.A. Salvatore, does not use the word “indigo” once in all of his 20 or so books, by the way). He tries to shelter Drizzt to the best of his ability and to influence him as much as he can as he grows up, but eventually Drizzt must leave home and go to the fighter’s school, where, besides receiving a training in the way of the blade which Drizzt does not really need, he will learn to be a drow.
Drizzt Do’Urden chooses to believe the lies of his society, until one day he is put to the test. He must show his cold bloodedness and prove himself one of his fellows by assisting in a massacre of innocents. Drizzt in this moment realises that he is not what his companions are.
From this awakening, it is not long before Drizzt decides to throw off the shackles of his society. Leaving an almighty splash in his wake, he leaves Menzoberranzan and makes for the surface world to start a new life.
Drizzt Do’Urden, indigo child
When I first read the Drizzt Do’Urden novels, I was not awakened as an indigo child at all, though I felt a strong resonance with the main character. Both he and I were a level above his companions in talent, and capable of developing new talents very easily, as well. Both he and I were idealists, and both of us were rebels. One day, like him, I would be a renegade.
I don’t know if I identified as particularly moral at the time. I was brought up in an atheist family, and didn’t particularly need to make a show of selflessness – in fact mild selfishness was probably encouraged or at least expected. I didn’t have principles, I definitely didn’t have a God or any other authority to tell me what to do, yet I dreamt of a better world. Like laughing Drizzt, I couldn’t suffer through the deadly serious rituals of class and assembly – I made light of things at every opportunity. Authority might have scared me like anyone else, but just like with Drizzt it didn’t own me in the same way. First I tried to follow society’s lies as if they were truth, but the conflicting nature of these principles made it impossible to do without some form of doublethink. Eventually, in my teen years, I grew to see these lies – in their totality – for what they were and came to terms with the action that was called for by this. After a long time searching for the courage, I threw off my shackles quite violently.
I got myself intentionally thrown out of school, on the border of insanity from the stress of feeling that the entire world was against me, and I retreated from society in search of my own path.
Drizzt Do’Urden’s world, and our own
Do we live in Menzoberranzan, city of evil? Is that what I’m saying?
Well, I’ll go so far as to say that Drizzt Do’Urden’s story is a good allegory for what I went through.
Earth society’s lies paint a picture of a world that is squeaky clean. There are enemies, such as global warming, racism, or sexism, but society as it is does not need changing; it is just as it must be. Thanks to Darwin we all know that everything humans are, is just what we were born to be. Daily cruelty, constant dissatisfaction, hierarchy, humiliation, waste and suffering are just facts of life. (Except that they aren’t, because if you go to school, get a good job, and buy a lot of Big Macs and Nike shoes, you are happy).
I, like Drizzt, realised I was not part of the society I was born in, and sought to find a new place I could call my own. I was aided by my skills and ingenuity, and by my fiery determination not to go against the dictates of my heart.
Like Drizzt, I chose to live life as myself and no-one else. The backlash against this act was massive. It required me, literally, to decide that it was better to die as myself than to live as someone else before I could have the strength to break free. And break free I did.
I would recommend these books for indigo children and adults, lightworkers and other souls who feel the desire to feel some support and know that they are not alone.
You can buy these books from Amazon and tip me a small affiliate commission at the same time, at no cost to you. I list the books you may want to buy, depending on your level of interest:
Homeland: the first book in the Drizzt Do’Urden chronology, and easily the most interesting. The story of Drizzt’s life from his birth to his escape from Menzoberranzan.
The Dark Elf Trilogy: the first three books in the Drizzt Do’Urden chronology, including Homeland. In the second book, Exile, Drizzt wanders the Underdark, struggling with himself and searching for a better life. In Sojourn, the third in the trilogy, Drizzt comes to the surface world, with a multitude of new challenges to overcome as he tries to find himself.
The Icewind Dale trilogy is the first trilogy which R.A. Salvatore wrote and possibly a better starting point if you feel you may end up reading all of the Drizzt Do’Urden novels. (The Dark Elf Trilogy is the second trilogy Salvatore wrote). It’s a fun adventure series, not stunningly deep, but made good by the richness of the main character Drizzt and his nemesis and shadow self, Artemis Entreri.
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