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Dan is the main antagonist of Princess Academy. He is a cruel bandit leader who mistreats his henchmen and proves himself a threat to the book's heroine, Miri.
Dan is first introduced when Miri is ambushed by bandits who threaten her village in the mountains. The bandits menace Olana and capture Miri and her classmates at the Princess Academy designed to train the girls to be princesses.
Dan's plot is to capture the academy princess so he can bag a ransom. He and his thugs tie up Gerti, one of the girls, to a beam in the ceiling, to torture her so he can force the girls to reveal who the princess is to be. Dan and the bandits capture the girls and back them up against the wall. When Miri tells Dan that the prince is to marry her, he believes she is lying but lets Gerti go. Dan locks up Olana in a room and demands the girls' obedience.
The girls begin to run away, but Dan and his gang nab them once again and demands them to be silent. He binds and gags Miri and warns her that he'll slit her throat if she causes any trouble. Dan leaves the bandits to watch the girls, but Britta, Miri's friend, unties her and helps the girls escape again.
The girls return to their village, reuniting with their families, but Dan catches up to Miri. Her father rushes to save her, and as he does, the wicked bandit prepares to kill Miri by breaking her neck. Miri tries to fight off Dan, but he is too strong for her. The rest of the bandits capture the girls. Dan orders one of the girls' fathers to give them to him after four of the bandits are caught. The villagers drive away the bandits, but Dan doesn't stop there. Just as he's about to finish off Miri, the two of them tumble over the edge of a cliff, with Miri holding onto its face and the evil man clutching her leg. Miri's father tosses his mallet at Dan, causing him to fall to his death.
- According to the book, Dan is named after one of the first kings of Miri's kingdom.