User:Thimbleguy/List of castaways of the Flying Dutchman characters

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List of Castaways of the Flying Dutchman characters

This article is about the characters in Brian Jacques' Castaways of the Flying Dutchman trilogy.

Ben and Ned[edit]

The main protagonists, Ben and Ned are a thirteen- to fourteen-year-old boy and a black Labrador, respectively.

Ben is an apparently Danish boy who at the beginning of the series is a mute.[1] He is described as having blond hair and "clouded blue eyes". At the beginning of the first novel, he is shown running away from his abusive stepfather's three sons, who are chasing him. They catch up with him at the wharf. One punches the boy, knocking him into the water. He does not resurface; deciding he must have drowned, they shrug it off and head home.[2]

However, the lad is not dead. Half conscious, he grabs a rope hanging from the Flying Dutchman, and pulls himself onto a ledge on the hull. The ship leaves on its journey. Later, the crew spot the boy, and the cook, Petros, who needs a boy to help him, is given permission by Captain Vanderdecken to keep the youngster. At the suggestion of a crew member, Petros names the boy Nebuchadnezzar, Neb for short. Petros is a cruel man, and Neb does not have it easy.

On the ship's last stop before the main voyage begins, Neb sees an emaciated black Labrador heading for the ship. He lures the dog onboard with some salt pork rind,[3] and hides him under the table. The boy decides to name the dog Denmark (Den for short), after the country in which he was found.

Later, when the angel descends from heaven and curses Vanderdecken and his crew, Den and Neb are blessed instead. Neb and Den are given immortality, as well as the abilities to communicate with each other mentally and to understand any language. Neb is also now able to speak. The dog and boy are then washed overboard, and the faithful Labrador saves the boy by pulling him onto a broken spar, on which they make it safely to Tierra del Fuego.

They meet a kind old shepherd named Luis, with whom they stay for three years, never growing older. However, Luis is eventually killed trying to save a sheep in a storm, and Den and Neb are told by the angel to move on.

The first novel then skips over many centuries. Neb and Den, the reader is told, have now reversed their names, becoming Ben and Ned. They are shown in the late 1800's, getting off a train and finding themselves in Chapelvale, a quiet little village in England. However, the village will soon be demolished by a man who wants to turn the place into a limestone quarry and cement factory. A kind old lady, Mrs. Winn, knows that her family owns the deeds to the town; however, they haven't been seen for centuries. If they are found, the town can be saved. Ben, Ned, Mrs. Winn, and several new friends follow a series of clues written by Mrs. Winn's ancestor, who was believed to have been given the deeds to the town. Each clue leads to another, and they eventually find the deeds. Unfortunately, the boy and dog must now move on, always obeying the angel's command.

The next novel, The Angel's Command, goes back in time to eight years after Ben and his Labrador were blessed by the angel. Ned and Ben are still in South America, but in the far north of the continent. One day they encounter a French buccaneer named Raphael Thuron (who is a kind man, surprisingly, considering he is a pirate). The Labrador and the boy travel with Thuron, who is heading back to France, planning on abandoning the life of a buccaneer. Meanwhile, the lad and the dog are both haunted by the ghostly Vanderdecken, who is apparently following them, seeking vengeance.

Thuron is killed and his ship sunk by another ship off the coast of France, but Ned and Ben make it ashore. They then meet a teenage girl named Karay who is a thief, and Dominic, a very talented young artist about fourteen years old. The three young people, along with Ned, find themselves helping an old count. His nephew Adamo had been taken eighteen years before by an evil tribe called the Razan, who live high in the Pyrenees. Ben, Karay, Dominic, and Ned manage to rescue Adamo, and in the process eradicate the Razan. When they get back to the count's residence, Adamo proposes to Karay, who accepts. Dominic is adopted by the old count, who would have adopted Ben too, but the immortal boy and his dog must move on.

About eighty years after The Angel's Command, Ben and Ned are adrift in a boat in the Mediterranean. However, they are seen by a slave trader in his own vessel. Ned is tossed overboard, and Ben is knocked out and captured. He is sold to the evil slave lord Al Misurata. After several events, Ned is rescued. Ben meets and falls in love with the beautiful African girl Serafina; after many events, she is unfortunately killed, and so is Misurata and his henchmen. Ben and Ned sail off with a Greek captain, always roving, always following the angel's command.


  1. ^ Castaways of the Flying Dutchman, page 4.
  2. ^ Castaways of the Flying Dutchman, page 6.
  3. ^ Castaways of the Flying Dutchman, page 16.