Galen Drache is a shapeshifter prince, a member of the Drache Family (the First House of Shapeshifters), and a descendant of the Dragon Princess. According to a prophecy, in an effort to unite the witches and shapeshifter clans, Galen is destined to marry the Witch Child, a Harman and one of the four Wild Power. However, it is soon discovered that his soulmate is not his intended bride, but a fellow shapeshifter, Keller; their bond could serve as a serious danger to the shapeshifter and witch alliance.
AppearanceEditGalen is depicted as a young, handsome man with golden blond hair and green-gold eyes, which Keller once compared to those of a leopard, although she initially mistakes him for a human. However, when utilizing his draconian heritage, Galen's eyes become darker, changing to a deep shade of red. Keller often compares him in appearance to a fairy-tale prince, in compliment to Iliana Dominick's likeness to a fairy-tale princess.
As with any member of his household, he is able to select which animal form he wishes to take, although he must touch that given animal to absorb the form. However, like all Draches, he can only do this once, after which the effect is permanent. Galen ultimately chooses to become a leopard shapeshifter, with his fur matching his golden hair, marked all over with "black rosettes" and stated as being 160 pounds in weight.
Unique among his family, Galen has a gentle, pacifistic demeanor, preferring writing poetry to hunting and killing. He is also highly compassionate, feeling sorrow at the suffering of others, especially if he believes he is the cause of that pain, and often tries to alleviate such agonies. In spite of his care for others, Galen is not afraid to live up to his duty as a prince, and is even willing to become a warrior to protect those he loves most, demonstrating subtle but relevant bravery. He is also very able at soothing others and using basic diplomacy to calm tensions.
Until meeting Keller, he felt great shame at his heritage as not only a shapeshifter, but as a descendant of a dragon, and sought ways to avoid fighting. He is also adept at using pressure points on animals to stop them from attacking, and as a Drache can "connect with any animal mind".
Meeting Iliana and KellerEdit
Galen first appears in this story; learning of Iliana's identity as the possible Witch Child, Galen makes his way to North Carolina, seeking to meet his future bride personally in the hopes of "get[ting] to know her" better. However, Iliana has been found by Night World operatives first. A team sent by Circle Daybreak to find Iliana, led by the shapeshifter Keller, intervenes although they quickly learn, to their horror, that one of the people sent for Iliana is a dragon, Azhdeha.
In a sacrificial act, Keller changes into her panther form and leaps onto the dragon, biting down on his throat in an attempt to kill him quickly before he is able to cause more harm. Keller nearly dies from the waves of Power the weakening dragon flings at her, but she tenaciously holds on. However she suddenly feels someone expertly removing her with pressure points, and senses the mind behind it: Galen, who begs her to "let go". To Keller, Galen's mind is revealed as "a sunlit place, warm and open, without dark corners or shadowed crevasses".
Horrified that she is going to die trying to kill Azhdeha, despite Keller's protests and her blind attempt to gore him, Galen takes her off of the creature. Through the soulmate bond, Keller learns his name and that he is a shapeshifter, although she isn't able to tell what animal he is, and turns her attention back to the dragon. The vampires with Azhdeha attempt to move towards Iliana, but Galen stands to block them.
The vampires react with disdain, but they quickly depart with the dragon when Nissa Johnson shows up as well, outnumbering them 3 to 4. Approaching Iliana, Galen tries speaking to her, to convince her to go with them, but just as the girl, who is attracted to him, is about to agree, she faints, causing Keller and the others to reluctantly bring him along, carrying Iliana in his arms.
Getting Iliana into the waiting limousine, Galen apologizes for interrupting their mission; upon questioning from Winnie, he reveals he is from Circle Daybreak, though they did not send him, and had wanted to help. This earns Keller's fury, labeling him as "expendable" and how others will now suffer due to the dragon getting away, even though Galen had only done so to save her life, able to sense the immense pain Keller was in.
Although Keller notices that Galen takes the idea of more being hurt because he'd made her let go to heart, she pushes away any feelings of sorrow at his own sadness. She decides to ditch him once they are cleared of the police, despite Galen's insistence on staying with the group to make amends for his mistake with the dragon, feeling he could learn to be a fighter in the process. As he is about to identify himself, Iliana awakens, and having seen Keller nearly kill Azhdeha, refuses to accompany them to the safe house without Galen, whom she trusts after he tries to explain and comfort the girl. Unhappily, Keller allows him to come along, ignorant of Galen's own important role in this.
Once at the safe house, Keller loses her temper with Iliana's superficiality and her refusal to accept her true identity as a lost Harman, the Witch Child, and the third Wild Power. Galen attempts to pacify Keller, but she reacts with anger, snapping at Galen and calling Iliana a "little idiot". When Grandma Harman arrives to meet Iliana, when told about the dragon, Galen reveals that its name is Persian in origin, meaning "man-eating serpent", surprising Keller.
Grandma Harman begins speaking to him about ancient shapeshifter scrolls, which further astonishes the panther, but this changes to rage when Grandma Harman not only wants the hysterical Iliana returned home, but Galen wants to go as well, stating that they should be equally fighting alongside Iliana. Grandma Harman praises Galen for this assessment, comparing him to his father, but Keller explodes, refusing to allow Galen to remain with the team unless under a direct order from Thierry Descouedres, Hannah Snow or the First House of Shapeshifters, insisting Galen is not "involved" in their mission.
Reluctantly, when asked by Grandma Harman, Galen tells them who he really is, and that he is the one intended to promise himself to Iliana. Humiliated and angry, Keller stiffly pledges herself to Galen's service, despite his misery at her being furious with him.
As Grandma Harman prepares to leave, the safe house is attacked by Night World warriors and the recovered Azhdeha, who begins crushing the house with Power. While evacuating, Galen rushes back in for Grandma Harman; as the ceiling collapses in, Keller shifts and flattens herself on top of Galen to protect him, although she ends up heavily injured in the process. She is healed by Winnie and Grandma Harman, but Galen is disturbed by how close to death she had become.
At breakfast at Iliana's home, Keller reveals that her first name is Raksha, and explains her abandonment as a child to satisfy Galen's curiosity. Upon Keller being called "Pwee!" (Pretty) by Iliana's brother, Alex, Galen agrees with the compliment, then asks to speak with the panther. Bringing her to the house library, the shapeshifter prince expresses gratitude for Keller trying to protect him, and attempts to confess his feelings for her, despite Keller's resistance to his sentiment.
Keller, disdainful of his constant optimism and mercy, angrily shows him the poem left for her by her mother when she was left in a cardboard box as a baby, insisting that reality is much harder and cruel than he might think. However, Galen adamantly tries to comfort her, insisting she doesn't believe her own assessment; he thinks of her as truly honorable and good. Cornered, Keller senses her emotional armor shatter and seeks Galen, reviving the soulmate connection. Galen admits that he loves her and the two kiss, but Keller remembers the poem and throws Galen out of her mind, furious with him and herself and insisting that "love[...]is weakness".
Galen remains quiet as the team brings Iliana to school and guards her. At lunch, when Keller mistakenly attacks Iliana's friend Jaime, Galen calms the girl, informing her that Keller had made an honest mistake and telling Jaime about how the Witch Child was in danger (Jaime's memories of this are later erased). Galen briefly touches Keller, but quickly withdraws his hand; Keller notes sorrowfully that he continues rubbing the hand against his pant leg most of the day, and suspects he is disgusted by her halfway form (in truth, Galen had to resist the urge to stroke her fur, feeling Keller would have killed him for it).
After school, Keller sends Nissa to get the car but, against her protests, Galen goes instead, trying to be useful. While outside, when Jaime is nearly killed by a car (driven by a member of the Night World), Galen rushes in and knocks her out of the car's path, saving her. Iliana rushes out to check on her friend, grateful to Galen for his help. Keller notes that the two of them look perfect together, and that Iliana was now in love with Galen herself. Only grazed by the car, the Drache son comes off with only bruises and scrapes although, for having tried to aid Jaime, Iliana needed stitches. She is carried home, asleep, by Galen, who has come to fully see the lost witch's own compassion and unconditional love for others.
After putting Iliana to sleep, Keller talks with Galen, expressing approval that Iliana has finally come to like him and advises him to keep the girl's affection going, in order to go through with the promise ceremony. However, when Keller states that their encounter in the library was a mistake, a moment of passion, Galen is upset that she would dismiss their bond as such, although he admits to caring for Iliana. Reluctantly, he agrees to help get Iliana to the solstice celebration.
The next day Galen and the others discuss the next move of the Nightpeople, with the prince observing that they haven't tried to cross the wards guarding the Dominick house; he manages to get Iliana to participate by telling her she has "a good mind". Having received the scrolls of the shapeshifters, Winnie undoes the protective wards, and the team pores over the images and text to find out how to destroy a dragon.
However, during their investigation, they receive notice that Grandma Harman is dead, murdered by shapeshifters. Winnie, enraged, accuses the shapeshifters of being behind the attack, stating it could be seen as an open "declaration of war", and takes her fury out on Galen, who looks grim but does nothing to defend himself against the witch's tirade. The Witch Child however steps between them and comforts Winnie, insisting that Galen would never harm anyone.
Although Winnie is pacified, Galen insists on revealing the history of the dragons to them both, to be honest with his intended before the promise ceremony. He and Keller launch into a narrative of the shapeshifter history, the defeat of the dragons and their decision to obliterate the world, and their ultimate incapacitation at the hands of the witches. As a result, the shapeshifter class is treated quite poorly by other Night World citizens; because of this there has never been an alliance between themselves and the witches, making the coming promise ceremony highly vital.
While they speculate that Azhdeha's return is being supported by shapeshifters everywhere, Galen states that officially, the shapeshifters will remain neutral until the solstice celebration. Winnie apologizes to Galen; Keller notices however that Galen's eyes briefly turn red. Additionally, Iliana and Galen mutually agree to conduct the promise ceremony, satisfying Keller's agenda, though deep down both she and Galen are unhappy.
As only Keller and Galen can read the ancient shapeshifter texts, they are left by the others to decipher and continue searching for a way to destroy Azhdeha. The two simultaneously find the answer, the horns, and in celebrating, once again acknowledge their connection; Keller breaks down when he confirms they are soulmates. Galen states that he loves Iliana and will go through with marrying the Witch Child, but he is truly in love with Keller and is sorrowful at the thought of not being with her.
The two silently share thoughts and memories with one another through the silver cord, Keller softening and telling Galen to become "something gentle", like a bird, when he chooses an animal form. The two reluctantly draw apart, realizing this is the last time they can be together, although Keller is grateful for having found him when he regrets being born to marry the Witch Child.
The team brings Iliana to Jaime's party, the same day as the solstice celebration (one of Iliana's conditions for going through with marriage to Galen is to be allowed to this party as an apology to her friend). However, they all walk into an ambush; Jaime turns out to have been Azhdeha, and he single-handedly defeats Winnie, Galen and Nissa. Keller manages to get outside to intercept him, changing form and clawing off three of his horns. Reacting to Keller's cries as the dragon hits her with Power, Galen awakens from being knocked out and goes to her side.
Touching her, his eyes turn red again, and he takes on her form but, rather than a melanistic panther, Galen changes into a large leopard; "the same animal [but] different colors". He strikes Azhdeha and slices off another horn, leaving the dragon with one. At that moment, Iliana's powers are awakened and, calling upon her ancestress Hecate, she obliterates the dragon, then heals the others of their wounds.
They rush to the solstice ceremony, where the team is applauded for their work. However, as Galen is about to take his place with Iliana for the promise ceremony, Iliana calls Keller up. Using a small knife, on the Maiden Aradia's advice, Iliana makes Keller her blood sister to ensure the truce in another way, the Witch Child insisting on not marrying Galen since she realizes he doesn't love her. This act proves satisfactory, allowing Keller and Galen to be together; he later quips that, even though he'd wanted to be a bird, he could get used to running. His mother praises his animal choice, telling him his great-grandmother had also chosen to be a leopard
Two days afterwards, the team recovers at a Circle Daybreak safehouse. Galen approaches Keller, saying that he has rewritten the poem she carried with her. Touched by his kindness after reading the modified work, Keller declares she will burn the old one and that she loves him, commanding him to kiss her, which he gladly does.
Thicker than WaterEdit
Keller and Galen return in the short story Thicker than Water, which takes place during the beginning of the battle between Circle Daybreak and the Night World. The four Wild Powers, accompanied by Hannah, have set out to accomplish their mission to save the world from the end of days. Keller and Galen, now both 18 years old, are engaged and living in Harmony, a town established by Thierry as a sanctuary for Circle Daybreak. Keller had been nominated as Last Resort for Iliana, but Keller and Galen have no choice but to remain behind while the Witch Child fights.
Galen himself attempted to be named as Last Resort, but was denied due to his royal status; Keller believes he would have done so as she feels that, although he is her soulmate, he is still somewhat in love with Iliana, who is very similar to him in personality (although Keller is accepting of this, should it be true).
However, the Nightworld had managed to awaken every single dragon laid to rest since prehistoric times, the mass of which then proceeded to lay waste to the world (San Francisco and Paris are mentioned as being obliterated). Although not confirmed, because Iliana had been in Paris during the attack, she may have been killed.
Devastated by the prospect of Iliana's possible death, rather than stay with Galen for comfort, whom she states as healing her mind slowly but surely, always opening his mind fully to her, she gives in to her urge to go hunting, changing into a panther and going to stalk in the attached park, although Galen is worried for her. Both being predators, the two have been said to sometimes go running together, but inevitably separate, thus Keller wishes to run alone this time. Having completed a sprint without killing, Keller decides to return to her soulmate, but she runs into a lamia in the park.
Although recognizing him as Whitcombe, one of Thierry's men, Keller impulsively dislikes him. Returning to her clothes, Keller sees they have been destroyed, and finally realizes she is alone with Whitcombe, who has killed the keeper and guards, and reveals himself as a tri-horned dragon. Keller fights against him, sending a message to Galen along the silver cord as a warning to the residents of Harmony; she adds that she loved him, at the end of her brief relay.
Whitcombe throws her twice but, despite the agony generated by Power being thrown down her throat repeatedly, Keller is able to chomp down and take off two of the dragon's horns. The next toss removes Keller, who impacts with a tree, breaking her leg. She again uses the silver cord, and Galen responds, telling her they're "here", while a second telepathic voice tells Keller to remain still.
Blearily, Keller sees what she believes is her human self (Rashel Jordan) throwing shuriken stars at the dragon's eye. At the same time, she sees a "compact" male vampire, Quinn, attack the dragon, insisting that Keller run as he bites the third horn, taking out the dragon's eye in the process. The dragon, now in too much pain to care for subtlety, tries to incinerate them. Keller, gathering her strength, climbs the dragon a final time and goes for the last horn; Thierry also arrives and insists the other allow her the "honor" of killing Whitcombe. She is successful, and, supported by Galen, she resumes human form and is taken to the infirmary.
Keller awakens in the infirmary with Galen beside her; he informs her that she fought the dragon despite Quinn's report that she was "almost dead". He also tells her that a few other dragons had been found, but there is no word on the status of Iliana. Rashel admits to being the first one to respond to Keller's summons, who in turn reported it to Quinn, insisting on going to Keller's aid. This surprises Keller, as Rashel is human, and had been ruled out as a lost witch, her being able to telepathically hear Keller a mystery.
Here, Galen and Quinn ask basic information from Rashel and Keller; it is clear they have a suspicion regarding their soulmates. Galen tells the others about how Keller was abandoned as a baby, and Quinn draws forth a letter Rashel had found a little before joining Circle Daybreak, addressed from her father to her mother, Melisande Jordan; Rashel had always assumed her father had been a Marine who had died overseas. The letter describes Rashel's father as leaving the family, with their "darling little misfit" (a possible second child), and how he feels conflicted regarding how Melisande truly sees him. As such, he decides to leave her and return to his "own people".
To be certain, Galen hands Keller the poem left to her when she was abandoned as a baby to match it to the letter; he guiltily reveals he had taken it from her so she wouldn't destroy it, hoping it would one day lead her back to her family. It is deduced that in fact, Keller's father, a shapeshifter and Melisande Jordan's husband, had taken Keller, born in a half-and-half form, and abandoned her, unable to cope with being unable to shapeshift for his family's safety, as well as the shame having a shapehshifter husband and daughter might have brought upon his wife. Rashel and Keller are in fact fraternal twin sisters, explaining how Rashel could hear Keller's mental call.
Galen and Quinn seem to form a brotherly bond over their soulmates being sisters; Keller notes their own similarities and that Galen is the only person aside from Rashel who called Quinn "John", his first name. Upon studying Galen further, the panther realizes that he in fact doesn't love Iliana in the slightest beyond friendship, and that he loves only Keller completely.
The descendant of dragons and other demonic creatures, Galen tries to reject his powers in favor of a more positive life. He wants to choose an animal that demonstrates peace, not enacts violence, when deciding his shifting shape. But he can't escape his role in the First House of the Shapeshifters. Promised to the Witch Child, Galen is called to unify the witches and the 'shifters in Witchlight.
- Galen reveals in Witchlight that his name means "Calm". Coupled with his surname, his name translates to mean "Calm Dragon", fitting for his personality.
- Galen's green-gold eyes are described as being similar to a leopard's by Keller - ironically foreshadowing his decision to choose a leopard as his animal form.
- According to Galen's mother, his great-grandmother also chose to be a leopard.
- Galen is indeed the same species as Keller when he chooses to be a leopard; in nature panthers are a color mutation of leopards, similar to albinism, but all black rather than white, with nearly invisible fur rosettes.