Diana Wynne Jones Wiki
The Crown of Dalemark
Author Diana Wynne Jones
Cover Artist
Publication information
UK Release Date 1993
US Release Date
Series The Dalemark Quartet
Preceded by The Spellcoats
Followed by '


The book weaves back and forth between two parallel times; Dalemark in present times, and the medieval times in which Mitt (of Drowned Ammet) and Moril ( of Cart and Cwidder) lived, some 200 years in the past.

Moril is calmly leading his life in the North, while Mitt has managed to escape from the South. They meet in their own time in North Dalemark, and both of them get involved in the attempt to find the person who should be sitting on the empty throne of Dalemark. In the search for a rightful ruler, the two of them get mixed up in the plotting and plans of various malicious forces, as well as forces that mean them no harm and seek what's good for Dalemark.

Maewen, a girl living in current times in the country that developed out of medieval Dalemark, is somehow transported back in time by these forces so that she can help with the restoration of the royal line. Maewen's full name is Mayelbridwen Singer.

It seems that Maewen is physically a twin to a young woman named Noreth Onesdaughter, who is apparently descended directly from the ancient kings of Dalemark. Noreth has announced a quest to become the rightful queen, and asks for questors to accompany her and support this quest, but just before she goes to meet these followers, she disappears.

Maewen is constrained to replace her, and she has to lead Noreth's followers, collect four tokens that will prove her right to the throne, and convince everyone that she is Noreth, all while strange events and voices keep haunting her.


Main characters[]

Modern Dalemark[]

Past Dalemark[]




My brother and I finished reading the Crown of Dalemark and were completely intrigued and puzzled by the final reveal that ...

... Kankredin was working through ...

... Wend Orilson. We compiled this timeline to help follow the path of Wend through the events described in Crown of Dalemark, and included our own ideas about what Wend's motives (if any) might have been. Thought we'd post it somewhere because we couldn't find any kind of discussion of the ending anywhere else!

Noreth’s childhood – Kank speaks to her as 1

Kank lies to Wend as 1 about North riding green roads

Noreth is killed by Hestefan (independent interest)

Maewen takes Noreth’s place – Wend doesn’t know difference, nor does Kank

Maewen hears Kank, thinks it might be the 1 but is suspicious.

Maewen fates her own arrival in Cennoreth’s house – Wend leaves, angry (what happened to Noreth? Is she dead?) Maewen also tells him how long Noreth has been gone – since the waystone

Kank wants Maewen to kill the Southerner, Mitt. Mitt and Moril help Maewen realize that Kank is not the 1 speaking to her.

Noreth’s body is found, dead (does Wend know at the time? Does Kank know at the time? Wend knows by the end but not the killer)

Kank reveals himself as the horse – split into 3 by Old Ammett: 1 is killed, 2 is scattered/lives on, 3 is sent forward in time (Wend knows this by the end)

Maewen is sent back to her own time

Kank pockets are destroyed or live on

Wend takes job to wait for the girl he’s been fated to send back

Wend sees picture of Maewen (this is assumed)

Maewen encounters Kank and Wend on train

Kank: “I’ll be with you from now on” – referring to the past version of himself as her horse?

Wend scares Kank off? To gain Maewen’s trust?

Wend reveals himself to be Tanamoril – tells her these things:

1.    The Kank on the train was a type 3 Kank (he’s wrong)

2.    He had sent Kank away. (eh)

3.    Noreth was gotten to by Kank while along the green road – she disappeared under Wend’s watchful eye. (a good lie, to warn her of Kank).

4.    The 1 would send her back to the exact moment of Noreth’s disappearance

5.    Makes her believe her mission is to find out what happened to Noreth, then come back and tell him. (white lie)

6.    He is fated to send Maewen back (true)

7.    Tricks her into taking the statue (eh lie)

Maewen returns – Perceives Wend as surprised, he thought he was sending her to her death

Wend reveals that he thought one of the others (not Hestefan) had killed Noreth. Obviously, he was lying earlier about Kank making her disappear. He knew she was murdered, and not by Kank’s hand. But he was under oath of fate to tell her Noreth had disappeared.

Maewen considers Wend “in league with Kank.” She thinks when he saw the photo of her, he “knew she was like Noreth” and that was how Kank would “know to look.” Is she talking about train Kank? Future Kank? Is she wrong?

Maewen realized that the 1 had turned EVERYBODY’S schemes around on them, including hers, Kank’s, and Wend’s. Kank and Wend are listed separately.

Future Kank is inside tomb as a horse – Wend seems unaware but is part of group freeing it. Maewen takes bath while Kank gathers himself, and she prepares for battle.

Kank creates bomb threat: he is either after Maewen, Mr. Singer, or blowing up the palace as revenge against Mitt.

Mitt arrives as bomb man. Wend seems frightened, but Wend was the one to call Mitt. Maewen can tell Kank hates her.

Wend seems really guilty now after the demise of Kank and the appearance of Mitt:

“I deserve to drown”

“I was working with Kank” is this a confession or an epiphany?

Kank persuaded Wend through Noreth. To Mitt: “All these years, I thought you killed her.” Motive? Does this imply revenge?

Maewen helps Wend realize that the 1 had never prophesied Noreth’s rule, it was all Kank. Wend had just assumed the 1 had lied, not that Kank was the 1. Was Wend tricked his whole life the same way Noreth had been?

Maewen’s thoughts: “He thought he was sending me to be killed. He knew he was sending me to Kank.” Thought vs. knew. How much of this is Maewen assuming?

Wend passed half of his power on through the cwidder – without the cwidder he is weaker and more susceptible to Kank

Kank’s motives: Conquer the land. Then what was the purpose of Noreth? To divide? To unite but under Kank? To incite many civil wars and many deaths?

His plans would be foiled by a true king: Mitt. Also assassins.

Our conclusion: that Wend was under the influence of Kankredin (disguised as the One), and believed he was doing the One’s will. Pathetic, but not entirely guilty. Maewen assumes he is “in league” with Kankredin before she knows that he had no idea Kankredin was pretending to be the One. Wend is easier to trick when he’s separated from his cwidder (in which he put half his power). Maewen feels bad for him by the end because she “knows the way he feels.” She’s been through the same Kankredin/One deception.