Cedric is both employed by Crispin, as both his familiar, servant, and companion to the ancient and powerful high wizard Crisinophur. He is the wizard's friend and aide-de-camp, and has lived with the wizard since both first withdrew from the Other World (Earth) several millennia before.
Some say his master lead the first withdrawal as well. Rumor's persist that Cedric is actually the famous owl Archimedes under an assumed alias, and that his master is the famous Merlin, though these have not be substantiated. If anything he is a wise advisor to his friend and master.
Many eons later, it was Cedric who was the first to witness the disappearance of Castle Daventry by the evil wizard Mordack. He just happened to be visiting with an old friend, when the event happened. Graham returned to overlook his missing castle with much surprise, and it was Cedric who explained what transpired to the saddened and scared monarch.
Cedric flew between Mordack and Graham stopping a spell intended for the king. The spell struck him sending him hurtling to the ground, turning him into stone, and killing him instantly. Graham later pointed out his condition to Crispin, and Cedric was given new life.
Personality and traits
His name is Cedric, with no surname. He is a short and stout owl, and clad in a vest and monocle, that's all. For an owl, that is overdressed. He is several thousand years old and predates the first withdrawal, when Crispin brought him and many other wizards, magical races and beings over to the world of Daventry.
Beyond being a wise bird, he is well-known for his cowardice. As he would refuse to enter the town of Serenia, the Bakehouse, the Country Inn, the Endless Desert, or the Dark Forest. Although some stories claimed he did follow Graham into danger at least in the desert and the forest (though these rumors have not been confirmed, and certainly do not appear in the main Court Chronicle of Daventry). Cedric keeps Crispin's house and thoughts in order.
He is also a tad clumsy, sometimes falling out of his perch. Cedric can also be a bit a snarky and sarcastic at times, teasing and making fun of those he has a conversation with. Graham could often toss back a bit of sarcasm in these instants as well. when they were on their adventure. But he is also kind bird, and apologetic when he makes a mistake .
Actually, Cedric accompanied Graham through most of his adventure; first as a pesky guide, later as a friend. Cedric is the owl companion of the wizard Crispin. Though he did provide SOME assistance to Graham, he usually managed to wind up in some sort of trouble ... and then needed Graham's help to get out of it.
Cedric is an educated owl. He became a guide, counsel, and friend to King Graham as he attempted to rescue his family from Mordack. Although Cedric describes himself as being in the employ of Crispin, it is more likely that he is more of a friend and aide-de-camp to the great wizard, much like Dr. Watson was to Sherlock Holmes.
In the Merlin legends legends it is said that the great wizard Merlin had an owl as a familiar. Merlin's Owl was named Archimedes. It is possible that Crispin and Cedric are Merlin and Archimedes, living in Serenia under assumed identities. But there is no evidence to support this supposition for sure. Cedric is a wise bird, if nothing else.
In the Greek myths, the owl is a symbol of the goddess Athena who was the goddess of wise counsel. She was also a protectress. Because Athena was considered wise, and the owl her symbol, the owl came to be looked upon as a wise bird. Cedric, is this, if nothing else.
In one version of the Perseus myth, Athena is told to give her owl to Perseus to help him in his quest for Medusa. Instead, Athena has a wise clockwork owl crafted, and it aids the hero, almost perishing in the process. This is quite similar to the relationship that developed between Graham and Cedric.
He doesn't like to go into town, since he had a nasty run in with a dog there once. He doesn't like to go into forest because there is a witch there that eats human stew and roast bird. He doesn't like to go into the desert because there are dangerous bandits there. He is concerned about poisonous snakes. He watches out for dangerous bears. He doesn't trust gypsies. He doesn't like to go into the bakehouse, probably because of the mangy cat. He is concerned about bees. He doesn't trust the Inn for good reason.
Titles and nicknames
- Cedric the Owl
- Dr. Watson
Behind the scenes
- Cedric is inspired by Archimedes, Merlin's owl familiar. He is also apparently inspired by the friendship between Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, as well as Merlin and Archimedes, and the clockwork Owl and Athena in Greek Myth.
- He is said to have no surname according to the King's Quest Companion. He is given the title, Cedric the Owl in several sources including King's Quest Companion, and Quest for Daventry pinball.
- Roberta Williams mentions in the KQ5 hintbook that Cedric isn't around to help much, but is more of a pesky sidekick. He offers a few hints, telling Graham which direction to go to get to different places around Serenia. At first, Cedric helps Graham become familiar with the local area; warning Graham about dangerous places. Once they enter the mountains, though Cedric becomes less useful in that particular way, but then becomes Graham's friend, from a "story" point of view.
- His main purpose in King's Quest V is three-fold. First he is the witness to the kidnapping of Castle Daventry, and explains to him what happened (otherwise Graham may have been clueless about what happened (exception wistanding?)), secondly he has access to 'fairy dust' in order to take Graham to Serenia, and introduce him to Crispin to get a few more clues and items useful for the trip, finally by far his most direct role is to save King Graham's life just before the final battle with Mordack by flying into the path of a spell.
- Beyond that, the only other useful thing he does is on certain screens he'll give simple directions on what lies on nearby screens, taking the place of the narrator in similar situations in previous games (although a player can discover this information on their own by simply exploring). He also exists as a simple warning system (akin to the warning in KQ6 if you try to reach the Catacombs without all the proper items) for dangerous locations (that may require items to explore safely). Although many of these warnings are rather obvious (such as his infamous 'poisonous snake' warning)...
- Cedric offers Graham advice on how to cross the stones trapped in the frozen waterfall. Later he saves Graham's life.
- Though Cedric offers some assistance to Graham early on within Serenia, once into the Mountains and beyond, he usually manages to wind up in some sort of trouble, and then needs help getting out of it (first being captured by the wolves, secondly hurt by the harpies, and lastly being struck by a spell in Graham's stead). This is actually used as part of the character development between the two characters to show them becoming friends in adversity (as Graham is shown to be worried about the owl).
- In the PC version of KQV, the description of the spell used on Cedric is not specific. Graham states that Mordack may have killed Cedric. According to the King's Quest Companion, and KQV on the NES, Cedric was turned to stone.
- Cedric warns of a 'poisonous snake' in the original script of KQ5, although Cedric had an falsetto pronunciation of poisonous in the CD-ROM version this did not correspond to any script change (other than the sentence begins with Graham), the updated script on the later released KQ5 on the NES maintains 'poisonous snake' from the original script. It's worth noting that the narrator accurately defines the snake as a 'venomous snake'.
- Interestingly, in The Royal Family: A Celebration, and A Summary of King's Quest, it is claimed that Cedric followed Graham into the Endless Desert of Serenia and the Dark Forest. However, this does not actually occur in the game. Instead he waits outside those places, waiting for Graham to return.
- Cedric promised to write the puzzle answers in the back of this book, but everyone knows that owls can't write, so there are no answers.
- Interestingly Cedric in NES version might have spectacles and not just a monocle based on the appearance of his talk sprite.
Cedric came to be unpopular with some fans. A reason for this is perhaps that he doesn't play any significant help for the riddles nor does he provide any hint when talked to; he even declines to follow Graham in a couple of places and even gets in his way by being captured or wounded, and requiring help. Perhaps because of his unpopularity he has been parodied in subsequent Sierra games.
- He was referenced in King's Quest 6, where one can buy "Owl Courage Potion" in the Pawn Shoppe
- He appears in Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist the first time you see him he's perched on the edge of the desert, the second time you enter the screen he is being eaten by vultures
- He was also parodied in Space Quest IV CD, as a target in Ms. Astro Chicken that is worth 50 points. It is the only 'enemy' you can hit without dying.
- In Space Quest VI his falsetto voice can be heard in the ship's intercom if you attempt to talk to the turbolifts in Deepship 86. Still claiming if you enter the turbolift he'll stay out, or if you go out, he'll stay in.
- In Quest for Glory: Shadows of Darkness, Cedric is one of the options for answering Leshy's riddle. It causes his bush to shudder violently.
- In the King's Quest Companion, there is a bit of sarcastic banter between Graham and Cedric. With Graham at times feeling annoyed by the owl's uselessness, and some of the characters poke fun at the owl's cowardliness. Though by the end of the journey they had become friends.
- The Official Book of King's Quest, takes the time to routinely mock Cedric, especially in the Third Edition.
- In King's Quest Chapter III: Once Upon A Climb of the new King's Quest (reboot universe), Cedric is killed repeatedly by a badger, and has to be saved. If the player chooses to let him die, Graham breaks down into an Angry 'Mad King" rendition about how he wanted Cedric dead, and even went as far to take the carcass form the badger and eat it himself. Push it even further, Gwendolyn mimics falsetto warning about as the script lists it "...a poisonous snake', which leads to a death scene, and Graham commenting that the snake was actually 'venomous snake'.
- In Chapter 4, Cedric is said to be a the model for a line of merchandise including a Cedric coffee mug.
- The VGA fan remake of King's Quest 3 by AGD Interactive also has a cameo of Cedric in the mountains. However, compared to all the animals Alexander can hear via a spell, Cedric does not talk at all..
- Cedric was also referenced in King's Quest II: Romancing the Stones (reimagining of KQ2). During the last Cloud Spirit challenge, if you get the first two answers correct, it will unlock an easter egg allowing you to choose "King Graham's Madness", which results in Graham chasing Cedric with a sword.
- He can randomly appear in Heroine's Quest, and tossing a dagger at him unlocks an achievement.
- His line "....a poisonous snake..." has became a popular meme on the internet.often butchered or mispelled in numerous ways; "A POIIISONOUS Snake!", "a POIsonous snake", etc.to emphasize Richard Aronson's pronunciaton of the phrase in KQ5CD.
- See also poison, venom, toxin and bane for some of the similarities and differences between terminology. This article is not the place to discuss pedantic online debates on terminology.
- TOBOKQ3E, pg 184
- KQ6 Hinbook, and kQ7 Hintbook
- KQC2E, pg
- KQC2E, pg 449
- The King's Quest Companion, 2nd Edition, 449
- KQC, 2nd Edition, 449
- KQC2E, pg 286
- KQ5 Hintbook, pg 15
- Cedric (KQ5CD:"5500.aud: "Graham, watch out! A poisonous snake!"")