I got into a discussion on Twitter with @Alecmazzar after my recent post about reading Time of the Twins. I admittedly didn’t discuss an unsung heroine much at all in that post, but upon reflection with this conversation, I’ve decided to remedy that with this blog post.
Let me say, first and foremost, that I dearly love Tika Waylan Majere. Out of all the Companions, I think she is the one that displays the most growth throughout the series. Think about it: she starts off a barmaid in a small town, eventually becomes one of the heroines of a major world-wide conflict, before settling back down in her hometown as a successful business owner. She comes into the story knowing more how to bash draconians with a frying pan than actual sword work, but by the end of it she’s a pretty hardened adventurer.
Beyond just that, Tika grows from a fearful girl with no real experience in intimacy (see: Dragonlance Chronicles, Dragons of Winter Night) to a woman whose love runs so deep she’s willing to send the man she loves off into the unknown, knowing he may not come back — if it means that he finally finds some peace for himself. She knows and understands what sacrifice is and what it means and it’s her quiet courage, even in the face of the greatest fear, that lends some of the other Companions strength when most they need it.
There’s just so much to love about Tika as a character. She humanizes the story in a way none of the other characters do, because they’re all so powerful and wise, well-suited to their archetype niches. Tika is awkward, shy, and uncertain but has plenty of opportunity to grow — which she does in exponential ways throughout her parts in the stories.
Most of where we follow Tika is through Chronicles and Legends, but her career in the books pretty much comes full-circle. There’s never really an opportunity to say, “Let’s hear more Tika stories!” because, once she retires to Solace after the War of the Lance, she settles into a life at the Inn of the Last Home. There’s no more room for adventures, but, perhaps that’s the most telling story out of all the Companions.
Even with all the adventure, intrigue, danger, and Greater Good all her travels brought to her life, the one thing she wants at the end of it all: a home of her own, nested in the vallenwoods, her love and a future with Caramon, and a place behind the bar at the Inn.
Others may move on to bigger and more grandiose things, but she reminds us that, at the end of all of our great adventures what really matters is life, love, and family.