“If you keep going like this, you’ll lose your reputation. Aren’t you meant to be just a wild and crazy guy?“
Name: Homer Yannos
Age: 16 years-old
Coming from a Greek background, Homer is forceful and domineering and has trouble dealing with other strong personalities. He’s Ellie’s best friend and her neighbour since early age and they have always had a very close brother/sister relationship. Homer’s parents became, in the Ellie Chronicles, Ellie’s guardians and from that moment on Homer turns her brother more than best friend and only neighbour.
At the beginning of the series he’s a trouble-maker, a larrikin, he laughs at things that aren’t always funny but as the story progresses Homer becomes a natural leader of the group, and then a competition starts between him and the resourceful Ellie. During the first months the group is able to see Homer changing, becaming the first one who acts like a real soldier. Besides that, no one can imagine – but Ellie – the lack of confidence he has in himself, he keeps comparing himself to Fi and then she becomes like a challenge for him.
Despite all this, Homer keeps being a brother, a best friend and the most reliable guerrilla. Loyal, instinctive, strong and brave, he often argues with Ellie and Robyn but most often with Kevin. He can’t sit there and do nothing and easily suffers the lack of action. Sometimes he’s quite like Lee but the thing about Homer is that he never loses control and that’s what make him so strong among the others.
In the end Homer keeps the reader entertained with his constant jokes and funny quotes, even in the Chronicles. It seems like Homer became the son of war and feels good about it. The war improved his trickery and his stratagems and most of it, war turns out to be his true element where he can be himself and what he’s meant to be.
Homer’s lack of confidence…
“‘Yeah, but you know, she lives in that big house and she talks like Mrs Hamilton, and me and my family, I mean we’re just Greek peasants to people like her.’
‘Fi’s not like that. You ought to give her a chance.’
‘Gee I’ll give her a chance. Trouble is I don’t know if she’ll give me one.’” (Tomorrow, When the War Began, Chapter 4)
“Homer was becoming more surprising with every passing hour. It was getting hard to remember that this fast-thinking guy, who’d just spent fifteen minutes getting us laughing and talking and feeling good again, wasn’t even trusted to hand out the books at school.” (Tomorrow, When the War Began, Chapter 8)
“And Homer, well, Homer was the surprise of my life. He even seemed better looking these days, probably because his head was up and he walked more confidently and carried himself differently. He had such imagination and sense that I could hardly believe it.” (Tomorrow, When the War Began, Chapter 21)
“‘Look at Homer. At school he was like Attila the Wog. I mean, honestly Homer, you have to admit, you were hopeless, just lounging around all day with your shirt out, making smart comments. The day this started, you changed. You’ve been a bit of a star you know. You’ve had all the good ideas and you’ve made us do things we wouldn’t have done without you. I think you’ve lost a bit of steam since the ambush of that convoy, but I don’t blame you for that. It was an ugly scene.’” (The Dead of the Night, Chapter 15)
Homer doesn’t deliver only funny jokes, Homer knows how to be serious…
“‘Well,’ he said, ‘do we want to check out the Showground more thoroughly? Can we do it with the stealth and finesse that Fi and I showed, or are we going to march in like a heavy metal band at a bowling club?’
‘We could tunnel in,’ I suggested.
‘Yeah, or pole-vault over the fence. Anyone got a serious suggestion? And how badly do we want to do it anyway?’ (Tomorrow, When the War Began, Chapter 13)
“The only thing Homer had left out was the way he’d wept when he’d found us both safe. I saw the sweetness of Homer then, that he’d had as a little guy, but which some people probably thought he’d lost as a teenager.” (Tomorrow, When the War Began, Chapter 22)
Homer gives hope…
“None of us had thought anything about it because it had seemed impossible. But Homer’s saying it had brought it within the realms of possibility, till suddenly it seemed like the only thing to do. In fact, his saying it made it seem so possible that it was almost as if it had happened already. That was the power of the spoken word. Homer had put us back on our feet and got us dancing again.” (The Dead of the Night, Chapter 1)
Homer on being brave…
“‘Maybe this stuff is obvious to everyone else. Maybe you all figured it out when you were knee-high to grasshoppers, and I’m just struggling along in the distance trying to catch up. But you know, it’s only occurred to me the last week or so how this courage business works. It’s all in your head. You’re not born with it, you don’t learn it in school, you don’t get it out of a book. It’s a way of thinking, that’s what it is. It’s something you train your mind to do. I’ve just started to realise that. When something happens, something that could be dangerous, your mind can go crazy with fear. It starts galloping into wild territory, into the bush. It sees snakes and crocodiles and men with machine guns. That’s your imagination. And your imagination’s not doing you any favours when it pulls those stunts. What you have to do is to put a bridle on it, rein it in. It’s a mind game. You’ve got to be strict with your own head. Being brave is a choice you make. You’ve got to say to yourself: I’m going to think brave. I refuse to think fear or panic.’” (The Dead of the Night, Chapter 1)
Whatever the situation is… there’s always time for a good Homer joke”
“Things were so desperate that Homer had taken to telling bad jokes to keep us awake and moving. He’d just told us one about three girls telling their mother where they are going that night, and the first one is going out with Pete to eat, and her sister’s going out with Vance to dance, and when the next sister says she want to go out with Chuck, the mother stops her.” (Incurable, Chapter 10)
Ellie and Homer share a great respect for each other…
“Homer was quite red in the face and looking over our heads. It was so rare for him to admit he was wrong about anything that I bit back the joke I was going to make. In fact he hadn’t been entirely wrong about the guns – he’d convinced me of that when we’d argued about it in Hell. But he had just proved how much wiser he was these days. I gave him a wink and felt for his hand, getting a good grip on it. I was now touching the two boys I loved most in the world, and I thought how lucky I was.” (The Dead of the Night, Chapter 15)
“But I was grateful to Homer. I found myself getting quite sentimental about him. Once again he’d proved himself a true friend.” (The Night is for Hunting, Chapter 8 )