The Choice is the seventeenth chapter of The Black Cauldron. Here the hero is asked to relinquish his claim on the object of the story, won through noble self-sacrifice, to the benefit of his arrogant rival. The themes of keeping one's word, of loyalty to a cause, and of pride clouding honor strengthen the potent flow of the narrative.
PlotEllidyr, feverish and wounded, demanded food from the Companions; Taran ordered a grumbling Gurgi to feed him. Eilonwy offered to give the Prince directions straight to Morva, which he had been seeking before being barred by Huntsmen and attacked by gwythaints. He assumed the companions too had failed, but Taran pointed out the Black Crochan, wedged in the shallows of the Tevvyn. Islimach would help -- on condition that the companions would all swear before Gwydion that he, Ellidyr, had won the Crochan from Morva, and that the group were under his orders. Eilonwy refused, but Fflewddur put the matter in Taran's hands, and Eilonwy begrudgingly followed suit. Taran consented to the proud prince's demands.
|The Black Cauldron|
|1. The Council at Caer Dallben | 2. The Naming of the Tasks | 3. Adaon | 4. In the Shadow of Dark Gate | 5. The Huntsmen of Annuvin | 6. Gwystyl | 7. Kaw | 8. A Stone in the Shoe | 9. The Brooch | 10. The Marshes of Morva | 11. The Cottage | 12. Little Dallben | 13. The Plan | 14. The Price | 15. The Black Crochan | 16. The River | 17. The Choice | 18. The Loss | 19. The War Lord | 20. The Final Price|