Symbols in I’m the King of the Castle – Chapter 1

Chapter One has a lot of references to death with the death of Edmund’s grandmother, grandfather and his mother mentioned. There are also more subtle references to death through symbols:


Yews – seen as sacred, a protector, a sign of immortality BUT also a sign of death as it’s poisonous, sometimes called the Forbidden tree, churchyards: usually planted in twos, one at the lych-gate—the funeral entrance to the churchyard—and the other near the church door.

Read more about Yew symbolism here.


Rhododendron – meaning ‘beware’ or ‘caution’ as they are toxic.

Read more about the meaning behind rhododendrons.

The following description of Warings from Chapter 1 makes reference to both of these plants:

‘Up the drive, and at the back of the house, bunched between the yew trees, were the great bushes of rhododendron.’


Moths, particularly the Death’s Head Hawk Moth – skull-like mark on its thorax; considered a bad omen; intruders – raid the hives of honey bees


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