“Honestly, Lee. You’re incurable.”
Lee is perhaps the most complex character in the series. He’s described as a tall, handsome and intelligent guy with deep brown eyes.
Ellie first invites Lee to the camping trip to find out more about the shy, quiet, introverted boy she saw at school. Unlike most of the series’ characters, he’s not a farmer, he comes from the town and lives on the top of his parents’ Thai restaurant. He’s an outcast: he loves music, playing piano and spends more time watching horror films than hanging out with his peers.
Lee could do everything by himself if the others would let him. If Homer is a true soldier, Lee is a real warrior. Once the invasion happened, he burns for revenge, his dark side is revealed after a major event in The Dead Of The Night.
Besides his dark soul, Lee is described by Ellie as a sweet, convincing and genuine person. A shoulder to rely on, a strong man who challenges her views on life.
When Lee learns about his parents’ death, he loses his rationality and goes through the most radical change: Ellie can barely recognize him after what happened and sometimes she is scared by his reactions. Lee grows darker and darker throughout the books, he destroys himself day after day, forgetting all life’s greatest virtues and beauty.
In The Ellie Chronicles he fills the role of a boyfriend, a man, a big brother and a father – all at the same time.
Fortunately at the very end Lee is able to start a new life and leaves his past behind him.
“He had a black crewcut and deep brown intelligent eyes, and a nice soft voice which clips the ends off some of his words.” (Tomorrow, When The War Began, Chapter 1)
“I was a little afraid of the depth of feeling in those beautiful eyes.” (Tomorrow, When The War Began, Chapter 13)
“‘He’s so different to anyone I’ve ever known. It’s like he’s coming out of my dreams sometimes. He seems so much more mature than most of those guys at school. I don’t know how he stands them. I guess that’s why he keeps to himself so much. But you know, I get the feeling that he’ll do something great in life; I don’t know what, be famous or be Prime Minister or something. I can’t see him staying in Wirrawee all his life. I just think there’s so much to him.’” (Tomorrow, When The War Began, Chapter 21)
Lee is passionate…
“Originally what drew me to Lee was his mind, his intelligent, sensitive face, and the security that I felt with him. Homer didn’t exactly radiate security. But beneath Lee’s calm exterior I’d found someone deeply passionate.” (Tomorrow, When The War Began, Chapter 18)
Lee on the future…
‘Well what else can I say? The future is … I don’t know, what’s the future? It’s a blank sheet of paper and we draw lines on it, but sometimes our hand is held and the lines we draw aren’t the lines we wanted.’ (The Dead Of The Night, Chapter 6)
“I looked at Lee. He stood there with the bush behind him, gazing calmly back at me. Like a lot of tall people he usually stood with his head down a bit, so you could see the back of his neck, the way it arched.
Despite all that, he was so graceful, so dignified, that I fell in love with him completely at that moment, in a way I never had before.” (The Dead Of The Night, Chapter 11)
Lee has changed…
“‘Then there’s Lee,’ I continued. ‘Before, you seemed so bound up in your own life. Violin and schoolwork and the restaurant and not much else. Now, well, you’re still a very complicated guy Lee, but you’re much more outgoing, and you’re very determined and strong.’” (The Dead Of The Night, Chapter 15)
Lee can be scary…
“‘Where do we go from here?’ I asked. ‘If we’re going to attack these houses in some way, then what do we want? Do we want to destroy the houses and all the stuff they’ve got in them? Do we want to destroy Fi’s house? Do we want to kill people? Do we want to kill Major Harvey?’
‘Yes,’ said Lee, without turning round. ‘All of the above.’ He’d plunged straight back into his psycho state, like when he’d stabbed the soldier. He scared me when he was like that.” (The Dead Of The Night, Chapter 16)
“The other one who was pretty up was Lee. The night we wrecked the bridge he was happy, but he hadn’t been able to do much because of his wounded leg. This time we’d done a lot of damage – we knew that – and Lee had been in the thick of it. Lee always moved like a thoroughbred racehorse when we were out in the open or walking a big distance, and now he moved along eagerly, head pointing forward, long legs covering k after k. Occasionally he looked across and smiled at me, or winked. I didn’t know whether to be pleased that he was feeling so proud, or worried that he was enjoying killing people and wrecking things. At least it made life less complicated for him.” (The Dead Of The Night, Chapter 5)
Things fall apart for Lee…
“I found his shoulder and made him turn a little towards me. He kind of fell against me. He started shaking so severely I could hear his teeth rattle. I got my arms around him and held him tightly. I had the feeling that this was the most important thing I had ever done in my life, that if I didn’t hold him with enough love he would fall apart, or he would slip away and never return, not just to me, but to anyone, to life itself.” (Darkness Be My Friend, Chapter 16)
“Now that the end was vaguely in sight it started to dawn on me just how it was going to be for Lee. When the war was over, he would have an awfully big gig, coping not just with the stuff the rest of us would have to confront, but more, with the fact that he didn’t have parents any more. Of course we all might have to deal with the deaths of close relatives – we didn’t know yet – but with Lee it was a certainty. We could still look forward to reunions with mothers and fathers; he couldn’t. Hope wasn’t part of the equation of his life.” (The Other Side Of Dawn, Chapter 6)
Lee burns for revenge…
“Lee was the worst. Since he found out about the death of his parents he was burning for action. When I say action I don’t necessarily mean revenge, although he sure was keen on that. But I think he could have been distracted from thoughts of revenge if there’d been other things to think about, other things to do.” (Burning For Revenge, Chapter 1)
Lee is brave…
“As I did, it struck me that Lee was in many ways our true hero. Lee was the one who did the dirtiest jobs, quietly, without fuss, without going into big emotional scenes. He was so efficient, so reliable, so brave. Wherever we fell short, he made up the gap. I’m not just talking about the red-hot moments, when enemy soldiers were shooting at us, when we were within a moment of death. I’m talking about the sourer times too, when we were so tired we could hardly remember to breathe, or we were so bored we’d pick at each other just for something to do, or so distressed we’d wish a soldier would come along and blow us into oblivion with an Ml6. At all those times Lee stood strong. He was like the Wirrawee grain silo. You could see the grain silo from miles away, tall and reliable. It stood for Wirrawee, and it gave you a safe comfortable feeling to know it was there. That was how I’d felt about Lee during the war.” (The Other Side Of Dawn, Chapter 17)
“Lee had done more than his fair share of killing during this war, but it was hardly what he wanted.” (The Other Side Of Dawn, Chapter 17)