The Role of General Naga in A Darkling Plain

24 April 2023
In "A Darkling Plain,", the final novel in the Mortal Engines series by Philip Reeve,  General Naga plays a pivotal role as the primary antagonist.

 His role is critical in driving the conflict between the Traction Cities and the Anti-Traction League, as well as showcasing the moral complexities of any conflict. Throughout the story, Naga becomes increasingly desperate in his desire to avenge the deaths of his family and fellow soldiers at the hands of the Traction Cities. His methods become more brutal and ruthless, ultimately leading to his tragic end.

Naga is first introduced as the commander of the Green Storm, an army that opposes the Traction Cities and seeks to stop them from destroying the Earth's remaining resources. The Green Storm is convinced that the Traction Cities are the cause of the world's problems, and Naga is fiercely committed to their cause. His conviction and determination make him a formidable adversary to the Anti-Traction League and the Traction Cities, which Naga sees as his mortal enemies.

As the story progresses, Naga's actions become increasingly ruthless. He is willing to use any means necessary to achieve his goals, including kidnapping and torture. 

darkling plain mortal engines

When he captures Hester and Tom, he accuses them of being spies and throws them into a cell. He also orders Zero's detainment and has her beaten. Naga's methods become more violent and desperate, culminating in his decision to use ODIN on New London, a weapon that would cause devastating environmental damage.

However, Naga's ultimate decision to sacrifice himself in a kamikaze attack on Harrowbarrow showcases the tragic nature of his character. As the battle rages on, Naga realizes his error when he sees Harrowbarrow approaching the wreckage of London. He decides to defend New London and sacrifices himself in a kamikaze attack on the pursuing city, piloting his airship directly into Harrowbarrow. His death represents the loss of a passionate, if misguided, leader who believed in the cause of the Green Storm and was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for it.

Furthermore, Naga's death marks a significant turning point in the story, highlighting the toll that the conflict has taken on all involved. It marks the end of the conflict between the Traction Cities and the Anti-Traction League and allows the characters to move forward and begin the process of rebuilding their world. Naga's death is a poignant moment in the story, representing the loss of a passionate, if misguided, leader and a reminder of the moral complexities of any conflict.


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My name is Jimmy Jangles, the founder of The Astromech. I have always been fascinated by the world of science fiction, especially the Star Wars universe, and I created this website to share my love for it with fellow fans.

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