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Lord Drum

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It's something special AND I WANT IT!
~ Lord Drum about Dando
You WRETCH! You stupid lazy thing!
~ Lord Drum hitting Manon
Will he always hate me?
~ Lord Drum redeems himself

Lord Drum is one of the main antagonists of the fantasy book The Dragon's Child by Jenny Nimmo.


Lord Drum is the typical spoiled brat. Because he is the only surviving Welkin child, he is spoiled immensely by his father and because he is born into royalty, Lord Smould his father being the chieftain, Lord Drum considers himself superior to others. He absolutely despises Manon, just because she is a slave, despite the two being the only children.

Lord Drum is immediately introduced as a bully and a cruel prankster who hates Manon's cheerful singing. He tells her he doesn't like her singing and she says "Too bad", then says "Sorry," because Lord Drum doesn't fully understand her language, so she can say "Too bad" to herself and Lord Drum won't understand her.

True to his name, Lord Drum has an obsession with his prized drums, carrying them about his neck everywhere he goes and forever banging on them. He laughs at Manon's attempt to build his people their fortress.

When the fortress is finally built, Manon is at the beach when she meets Dando again. Knowing he is a mythical Dragon, which she believed extinct, she picks him up and embraces him. Lord Drum appears at that moment, rattling his drum, and Manon is fearful of him so she hides Dando in a cave, standing protectively over the entrance. Lord Drum, however isn't fooled and guesses Manon is shielding something special from him. Not one to miss an opportunity, Lord Drum rushes in, scaring out Dando, who flees in a panic. Lord Drum sees Dando and instantly wants him as a pet. He doesn't know, however, that Dando is a Dragon.

Lord Drum is denied Dando by Manon but he pushes her aside and runs back to Lord Smould and says to arrange a hunt for the fabulous beast he has found. When described, Dando sounds as if he is as big as a lion when actually he is the size of a small dog. When they fail to find Dando, Lord Drum goes nuts and takes his anger out on Manon, calling her stupid and lazy. However, he finally does have the Welkin people capture the Dragon, doing so only for fear of Lord Drum's wrath.

When captive, Dando goes into a deep depression and wants to be dead. Lord Drum gleefully tortures the Dragon every day by banging his drum under the cage so Dando snarls at him and chases his tail. Lord Drum, however, does begin to show redeeming features by saying he only wants to pet Dando. As a response, Dando snaps at him. Lord Drum threatens to never let him go and runs howling with rage into the woods and throws off the key to Dando's cage deep into the woods, alerting the fearsome Doggins.

Lord Drum is now more in despair than ever and he sulks. At his birthday he even tells his father he wishes he were Manon instead and his father is surprised he'd rather be a slave than be the prince. However, Lord Drum is eager to recapture Dando when he escapes, and he spends the next few days obsessively hunting Dando and Manon. He finds Manon coming out of her cave where Dando is hiding and Lord Drum correctly guesses they're living there. Lord Drum accuses Manon of stealing food for herself but he knows the food is really for Dando, Lord Drum says "Can't he catch his own food yet?" Lord Drum also threatens to find their hiding place and Manon threatens that if he does, Dando will burn him to a cinder. Lord Drum then softens and asks if Dando will always hate him, Manon says who knows.

During the next few days Manon checks to see if Lord Drum is indeed following her, taking different routes, and she believes herself safe. However he does follow her, taking exactly the same routes but staying several feet behind her.

Eventually a day comes when Manon is attacked by the Doggins in the forest. Lord Drum is the most unlikely saviour - coming in beating on his drum. Dando also rescues Manon, breathing fire at the stunned Doggins. Lord Drum now has the biggest drum in the world and its booming noise defeats the Doggins, who hate such noise. Lord Drum yells at Dando to flee and he does, but Manon tells Dando they can't leave Lord Drum, no matter how vile he was before, he has redeemed himself by saving them both. Dando agrees, and Manon tells Lord Drum to catch the Dragon's tail. Lord Drum is glad he finally knows of Dando's true identity and he jumps on Dando's back. Then he is taken to live happily in the Dragon's Homeland with Dando and Manon and her bird friend.

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