|“||My life's work has been and will continue to be the restoration of the name Longtreader to its former place. A name synonymous with Kingsbuck.||”|
Wilfred was born the younger brother of Garten Longtreader, and he and his brother Whittle grew up to serve under Garten in the Council of Seven Ambassadors. Unfortunately, Wilfred and Whittle both failed to discern Garten's forthcoming treachery, to which Wilfred bore painful witness. Having accompanied Jupiter Goodson on a journey, Wilfred was sent to Lookout Point only to be mobbed and restrained by Garten's thugs. Bound and gagged, he was forced to watch and listen as Jupiter was set upon, captured, and ultimately murdered by the forces of Morbin Blackhawk and Garten.
Having escaped captivity, Wilfred regrouped with the king's faithful council in the aftermath of his death. He became the traveling companion, protector, and guardian of Smalden Joveson, the king's son and chosen heir. Unfortunately, Wilfred and other loyal members of the Longtreader family fell under suspicion due to their association with Garten.
As a result, Whittle and Sween Longtreader, with whom Wilfred was very close, were forced to take their daughter Heather into hiding at Nick Hollow. Wilfred, meanwhile, bore the burden of slander, and may have suffered even greater personal tragedy. When asked later if he had a wife and children by blood, he would lament:
|“||I don't have any family like that. Not anymore.||”|
— Wilfred to Picket Longtreader, The Green Ember, p. 110
|“||Be careful of resentment and pride, Picket. They've been the undoing of many a great rabbit.||”|
However, upon heading south again, they were alerted to a potential danger to Wilfred's family in Nick Hollow, and quickly traveled to reach them. Sadly, they arrived just in time to see Whittle, Sween, and baby Jacks taken away by wolves under the command of Redeye Garlackson.
Wilfred and Smalls managed to locate Heather and her brother Picket, saving them from Redeye and another wolf. Unable to accompany an unconscious Heather and the younger bucks into Seven Mounds, Wilfred made his way around the outside to a stream emerging from the Seventh Mound.
He was eventually contacted by Picket, who informed him of Heather's revival and Smalls falling unconscious and the close pursuit of Redeye Garlackson's allies. Having found an anchor with a chain, Picket passed it through to Wilfred so that it could be used to break down a dam preventing their escape.
Using a boat also found by Picket in the Seventh Mound, the four made their way down the Whitmer River, with Wilfred suggesting that all four of them travel to Cloud Mountain. Smalls was initially opposed to the idea, but the conversation was cut short by Picket waking up. Unaware that Heather had been listening in, Wilfred gave them some details of his history and that of Natalia in general, though he admitted he couldn't tell them everything. The group intended to stop at Decker's Landing, but upon finding it in flames with wolves nearby abandoned the boat and traveled to the Savory Den.
Wilfred's party received a mixed reception from the inhabitants, particularly at the news of Tommy Decker's death. However, they were welcomed into Cloud Mountain by Lord Rake, whom Wilfred spoke to with surprise at the presence of Helmer. Wilfred, Smalls, and Rake were later forced to come to the black rabbit's aid when the training devices of Helmer's tree threatened to kill him. They were able to rescue Helmer, but Wilfred was none too pleased with the other rabbit due to Smalls nearly dying in his place.
In communications with the various secret citadels, Wilfred attempted to unify them, but finds his relation and resemblance to Garten a great obstacle. Harbone Citadel in particular feels that doom is imminent, and Wilfred feels that their mistrust is understandable. Eventually he joins Lord Rake in initiating Heather and Picket at Lighthall, where Wilfred discloses the tragic history of their uncle's involvement in King Jupiter's death. He then reveals the reason for the hostility they have suffered from some other rabbits as well.
As a Citadel Congress was called at Cloud Mountain, the situation grew to the point where he feared he would have to evacuate Smalls and his brother's children. At Halfwind Citadel, Lund mentions to Jo Shanks that Wilfred is at Cloud Mountain, prompting shock that he hasn't been arrested. Searching for Smalls, Wilfred later comes out onto Cloud Mountain's plateau while Captain Frye was drilling his force of soldiers from Halfwind Citadel. Frye is quick to accuse Wilfred of being in league with Garten and aiding in his treachery, which Wilfred denies while admitting he feels he should have discovered his brother's duplicity.
He implores Frye to turn his anger towards the true enemy, only to find himself surrounded by Halfwind soldiers. Fortunately, Smalls arrives and leads Wilfred away to a meeting of the citadel lords before things became violent. After talking with Lord Ramnor of Halfwind, Wilfred agrees to be put on trial in hopes of helping the Cause move past its divisions; however, both Lord Rake and Helmer refuse to allow it. Wilfred and his family later attend the assembly of Cloud Mountain's inhabitants and the visiting citadel forces, after talking over their unfair treatment.
After the energizing gathering, Wilfred and Picket practice some swordplay before being interrupted by Heather, who has learned Smalls' true identity. The Battle for Cloud Mountain then takes place, and Wilfred quickly sets off in search of Smalls. He is angered to learn that his ward might have departed with the untrustworthy Kyle, who collaborated with the wolves in arranging the attack. Wilfred joins Helmer in leading a countercharge against the retreating wolves, only for Heather to arrive with word of Smalls' journey to Jupiter's Crossing.
Wilfred quickly begins traveling there and gathering reinforcements, trusting Heather to do the same and Helmer to reach Lord Rake for support. The large force arrives just in time to witness Picket saving Smalls and killing Redeye Garlackson, and then charge in to chase off the wolves seeking to avenge their captain. Smalls, now revealed as heir to the throne, quickly acknowledges Wilfred's role in keeping him safe through the years after his father's death. Wilfred later joins Smalls and the other lords and captains in counsel, expressing great happiness with his niece and nephew.
Wilfred is present during a council meeting at Cloud Mountain, where Lord Rake notes that recent revelations regarding Wilfred's loyalty have allowed the various citadels to begin consolidating their intelligence networks. As the mission to get Smalls and various others to Halfwind is discussed, Wilfred speaks to calm Emma's anxieties about her delayed mission to Harbone. He later travels as part of Smalls' escort, which is saved from the attacking Preylord Solus by the timely action of Helmer's advance team.
|“||To bear the flame means more than only holding on to the fire kindled in the Green Ember's rising. It means to bear the fatal flames of the enemy, to bear up under the scorching heat of these hateful days.||”|
— Wilfred to Picket, Ember Falls, p. 211
Having been healed through the ministrations of Jone Wissel with the last of the True Blue to be found at Halfwind, Wilfred leads the remaining inhabitants of Halfwind to First Warren. Along the way they meet Jo Shanks, who has just come from infiltrating the Terralain camp. The entire party then travels to First Warren, where Wilfred breaks in on Emma's council. After a happy reunion with Picket, Wilfred delivers dire news: the Terralains intend to attack First Warren at dawn, their force having swelled to twice its already massive size with Naylen's reinforcements.
While Emma leads an envoy to the Terralain camp, Wilfred takes charge of a party of rabbits heading to Harbone for safety. Unfortunately, he arrives to find the citadel in ruins, having been attacked by the Preylords, the Wild Wolf Pack, and members of Akolan's Longtreader Command in advance of the planned assault on First Warren. Wilfred aids the arriving Fowlers in wiping out the remains of the Wild Wolf Pack, along with all but one of the attendant "Wrongtreaders". He and Picket reveal themselves to the captive, who then delivers crushing news: that Heather has supposedly been killed by Garten.
Wilfred leads the refugees of Harbone and Halfwind back to First Warren, where Emma expresses surprise at his vitality. The source is soon discovered to be June Wissel's use of True Blue, but unfortunately no more of the planet can be found for use on other rabbits. He later speaks with Helmer, and the two remark about a bet they made back at Cloud Mountain concerning Picket. Wilfred also notes, with some distress, that Helmer is pained by a wound suffered due to Garten's treachery.
Wilfred soon joins the defense forces of First Warren, and bears witness as Picket kills King Farlock, noting that the miraculous move seems familiar. Wilfred later takes charge of a force fighting back against a force of wolves, and is saved by the timely arrival of reinforcements under Picket and Helmer. After the end of the War for All Natalia, Wilfred joins Picket's family and closest friends-including a very much alive Heather-at the first Feast of the Mending. At some point, he marries Helmer's widowed sister Airen, and the pair-according to Heather and Smalls' daughter Maggie-have fifteen adopted children, all of them war orphans.
Personality and traits
|“||It is an evil age when old friends aren't welcomed quickly.||”|
Regrettably, though Wilfred recognized he was not directly responsible for the death of King Jupiter, he did blame himself for failing to detect Garten's treachery. As such, he felt that he deserved the scorn of other rabbits, though he did not believe the same of his niece and nephew. He also took no comfort from Rake's attempts to alleviate his sense of guilt. Despite the shame upon his family name and hostility of others, Wilfred worked diligently to unify the Cause against Morbin Blackhawk. He was also determined to see the name of Longtreader rid of the stain Garten's treason had placed upon it in the eyes of many.
Though patient, Wilfred would contend with aggressive opponents when needed, refuting Captain Frye's slanderous comments and making his own remarks on the captain's oral hygiene. He was also grateful for Heather's compliments for his efforts, and impressed by her youthful wisdom.
Wilfred is a capable fighter, fearlessly facing off with the likes of Redeye Garlackson despite suffering injury. He possesses great strength and endurance, seen by his ability to carry the nearly full-grown Picket on his back with little apparent effort. Wilfred was also one of the few to survive and escape the ambush in the Shade Hills, a testament to his fortitude, though he was left badly wounded. He is skilled in both fighting with and throwing a sword, demonstrating the latter in executing what Heather termed "a perfect throw" to save Smalls. Wilfred is also a capable medic, and can imitate the call of a whippoorwill, though he admits that his is slightly too fast.
|Unnamed father||Unnamed mother|
|Brindle Cove||Unnamed wife|
(including Helmer's great-grandfather and father)
|Helmer||Wilfred Longtreader||Airen||Snoden (deceased)|
|15 unnamed adopted children||Jo Longtreader||Unnamed children|
Garten was Wilfred's oldest brother and his superior in the Council of Seven Ambassadors; Wilfred has described himself as Garten's "right hand". In hindsight, Wilfred felt that he let his relationship with Garten blind him to his brother's treachery. In his view, Garten's actions should have aroused his suspicions and, had he not been so trusting, he might have prevented King Jupiter's death. His belief was that Garten turned against Jupiter when his focus shifted from serving the cause of the Thirty Warrens to his own position.
Whittle is Wilfred's brother, and the two served together as Garten's lieutenants in King Jupiter's Council of Seven Ambassadors. Wilfred is close to both his brother and Whittle's wife Sween, though after the death of King Jupiter he was separated from the pair for many years.
Wilfred first met Heather when she was an infant, shortly before her parents fled First Warren for Nick Hollow. They didn't meet again until many years later during Redeye Garlackson's attempt to capture the Longtreader family in Nick Hollow.
After the end of the War for All Natalia, Wilfred sat with Airen, Helmer's widowed sister, at the first Feast of the Mending. The pair later married, and subsequently adopted fifteen war orphans.
- The name "Wilfred" is of Old English origin and means "desiring peace."
- According to S.D. Smith, Wilfred and Helmer's bet-mentioned in Ember's End-regarded whether or not Picket would perform well as a result of Helmer's training. He also indicated that Wilfred actually doubted Picket's potential, and thus lost the bet to Helmer.
Take a look at our gallery for Wilfred Longtreader by clicking here.