Ed is a quick-thinking, big picture person. He warns Frank against involvement in the Resistance, due to the wider implications for his family and friends. He senses the importance of the films, once he knows about them, and how they could change the future. And, he is great at coming up with fantastical stories at the drop of a hat. When necessary, he can lie right to someone’s face and spin a deeply moving “yarn” about what inspired an object’s “wu.” He warns Robert about the consequence of cheating people, since once you do that, you cannot deal with them a second time. Ed feels torn between the responsibilities keeping him at home (his grandfather and his reliance on Ed’s income to survive) and his sensing of greater potential within the Neutral Zone – to be entirely himself, no longer hide his sexuality, and be with someone who appears to love him, or at least care about him. Ed has a sense of moral principle that Robert lacks; when a woman bemoans her impoverished situation and does not want to part with an iconic photograph that proves a belt buckle’s authenticity, Ed offers her fifteen marks for it, more than twice what she paid. He often complains about Robert’s selfishness and business tactics, reminding him to treat others with greater consideration and kindness. Ed has adapted to his life, but feels a need to be authentic to himself, and his sexuality—he wants to live in a world that allows him to be who he is. He refuses to give up his friends, and only confesses to a crime he did not commit, believing it will save Frank and his grandfather. When he first meets Juliana, he compassionately and sweetly enables her to feel safe confiding in him. He feels quite hurt when Robert accuses him of “forever living in Frank’s shadow,” because he’s a devoted friend. But he can also be a shrewd businessman, seeing the potential in being “partners” in the antiques business. He points out that they want to keep their contacts, and not cheat them, so as to use them as future resources. When forced into a corner, Ed will compromise for the greater good.

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Ed is loyal and cautious. He warns Frank against his reckless, counter-phobic behavior, reminding him that he could get killed. He tries to stop him from creating a gun and shooting the crown prince. Ed then does all he can to cover up for him, loyally allowing Frank to hide in his home even though it endangers himself and his grandfather. He is smart to let go of their things when stopped by bandits, but also shrewd enough to conceal their most priceless artifact in his pants. Ed admits that he has spent a lot of his life “feeling afraid.” It has stopped him from establishing himself, as separate from Frank. His 7 wing, however, wants to release his responsibilities at home, and make a new life in the Neutral Zone. It allows him to be optimistic and proactive in making decisions.