Honor Harrington

Honor Harrington

Honor Stephanie Alexander-Harrington (née Honor Stephanie Harrington) is a fictional character invented in 1992 by writer David Weber as the heroine of the eponymous "Honorverse", a universe described in a series of best-selling military science fiction books set between 4002 and 4022 AD, in which mankind has spread through the galaxy for 1920 years since the first slow ships left Earth.

The protagonist Honor Harrington is an officer in the Royal Manticoran Navy (RMN), the space navy of the Star Kingdom of Manticore. Harrington bears a striking professional resemblance to both the real-life British naval officers Admiral Lord Nelson and Captain Thomas Cochrane, as well as the fictional character Horatio Hornblower, including both escaping a captivity in dramatic fashion, being sentenced to death and losing lifelong sidekick characters. Like Nelson, she loses her left eye and left arm in combat (her eye in Honor of the Queen and her arm in In Enemy Hands); her initials are the same as Hornblower's, and like all three officers, she has a genius for tactical command throughout the series. Like Nelson, the model for both Hornblower and Harrington by admission of both authors, she becomes a living legend by using those skills in several major engagements—battles for which the press nicknames her "The Salamander" for always seeming to be "where the fire is hottest." Unlike any of these, she is also a martial artist of note and a well liked popular officer among both crew and ships' officers.

In each of the first three books, Honor is a critically central figure in three vastly outgunned military encounters and emerges as the focal heroine of each pitched battle—despite the heroics and sacrifices of others, as a commander she gets the credit from the 'newsies'. After the first action she is decorated and promoted, but not knighted due to politics, both foreign and domestic. In the second, The Honor of the Queen, she takes severely outgunned units to defend a planet she has no political allegiance to but with which her government is attempting to negotiate treaties, and subsequently takes on the duty of upholding the honor of the Star Kingdom of Manticore and its queen. One consequence of her decision, is like Nelson, she is knighted and ennobled for success in battle. But in her case, vested with honors, titles, decorations and lands by both political powers, and by accepting the second set of awards by the Star Protectorate of Grayson, becomes a woman with roots in two kingdoms (and three, later four planets when enlarged to Duchess Harrington). But fortunately for her sense of duty and political needs, the two kingdoms soon become inseparable 'close-allies' against the threat of expansionist Republic of Haven.

Her position on Grayson and its feudal-like organization and constitution makes Countess Harrington of Manticore a head of state, in her own right as Steadholder Harrington with direct powers of life and death not enjoyed by even the most powerful Manticorian noble. Her position, 'being of both planets' is germane and central within the next handful of novels in particular, but then again returns as a causal backstory of renewed importance in the aftermath of the change of government in the five universe years after the Ashes of Victory finale. This is because the new government of the Star Kingdom is venial and corrupt and eventually through a succession of systematic slights, disgusts an alliance of small powers Manticore had built up to oppose the Haven Behemoth threatening each member state of the alliance—which that government also further antagonizes leading to much further and greater loss of life.

By the ninth main-line novel (Ashes of Victory) Honor has emerged also as a strategist of note as well as key political figure, and has been rapidly promoted to differing high general officer (Admiral) ranks in both the Manticoran and Grayson space navies, holding higher ranks in her persona as a Grayson, but most often accepting demotion to appear in Manticore commands. In a preface to Storm from the Shadows author David Weber confirms both the comparison of Honor to Lord Nelson and widespread reports that he had originally planned on having Honor die in the Battle of Manticore, as "like Nelson, Honor had been supposed to fall in battle at the moment of victory in the climactic battle which saved the Star Kingdom of Manticore and ratified her as the Royal Manticoran Navy's greatest heroine". However both fan interest and changes in the timeline of the series introduced by Eric Flint and the wages of sin (Slaves) sub-series have prompted Weber to keep Honor alive for the immediate future, although he also noted that this decision is not necessarily permanent. In the same note, he anoints the young officers and political figures of the first two books of each subseries as central characters in those more local geopolitical aimed surrounds. They are in his revelation, taking on the roles he'd originally plotted for the children of Honor Harrington (or family's children, if he meant her young five year old sister too) in his greater scheme of the in-universe history to unfold in future works. The two subseries and the last three novels all share interlocking events and descriptions of the same events from alternative points of view, deliberately synchronizing and locking the timelines of the three broad fronts as the series twists to include the conflict with the massive Solarian League as engineered by a malevolent and hidden power pledged to destroy both Haven and Manticore by conquest. In his reset of the plotline, the same inimical foes had engineered and caused the war with Haven as well.

Read more about Honor Harrington:  Early Life, Posts, Character Trademarks, Honor Harrington in Other Media, Concept and Creation, Parallels To Real World History

Other articles related to "honor harrington, honor, harrington":

List Of Honorverse Characters - C - Caparelli To Castellaño
... HMS Nike, executive officer of HMAMS Wayfarer, all under Honor Harrington ... commander of superdreadnought Imperator as Honor Harrington's flag captain with the rank of Captain (Senior Grade), personally saved from assassination by HH ... and the red and white ribbon of the Saganami Cross, and, like Honor herself, the blood-red stripe of the Monarch's Thanks marked his right sleeve ...
List Of Planets In The Honorverse - G
... of the novels, largely due to the influences of Honor Harrington and Manticore, this changes ... Grayson have maintained traditions, customs and attire which were millenary by Honor Harrington's time ... Honor Harrington, after her defense of the planet from Masadan attack and of protector Benjamin Mayhew IX personally, was made the first female Steadholder shortly before the first Haven-Manticore War began ...
Ad Astra Games
... Ad Astra's licenses include the universe of David Weber's Honor Harrington books (the "Honorverse") and the Traveller-based space combat game Power Projection Fleets ... in support of the Attack Vector, Honor Harrington and Traveller lines, as well as full color source books on the militaries of the Honor Harrington ...
Honor Harrington - Parallels To Real World History
... The Honor Harrington universe shares other parallels with our real history including religious strife, bigotry of many kinds, ignorance and malfeasance and the political ... During much of Harrington's career, her native Star Kingdom of Manticore is at war with the neighboring People's Republic of Haven (PRH), a conflict that has some ... scaled similar to those of the Age of Sail, some of the battles described in the Honor Harrington series resemble real-life sea battles in our historical record ...
List Of Honorverse Characters - C - Chet To Clairdon
... seconded by Hauptmann to do work for Honor Harrington ... worked to establish ski resorts on the new Duchy of Harrington, etc ... force during Operation Thunderbolt HH10 Jacques Chou - Honor Harrington's maternal uncle ...

Famous quotes containing the words harrington and/or honor:

    If there is technological advance without social advance, there is, almost automatically, an increase in human misery, in impoverishment.
    —Michael Harrington (1928–1989)

    ‘Tis on the living Envy feeds. She silent grows
    When, after death, man’s honor is his guard.
    So I, when on the pyre consumed I lie,
    Shall live, for all that’s noblest will survive.
    Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso)