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I am a knight of the Old Code. My word is my bond.
~ Bowen to Draco

Bowen is one of the 2 main protagonists of the 1996 movie "Dragonheart", being a knight who turned to slaying dragons after falsely believing that a dragon's heart had corrupted his pupils, Einon. However, he eventually learns the truth that Einon was always evil and stands against him.

He is played by Dennis Quaid. 

History

Bowen first appears as a noble knight dedicated to chivalry and the old ways of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table known as the Old Code. He teaches Prince Einon how to fight and does his best to get him to embrace the noble path of the knights and not be like his father King Freyne. After Freyne is killed in battle against peasant rebels, Einon is accidentally mortally wounded by a girl named Kara who causes him to fall on a spike and pierce his heart. Bowen retrieves Einon and takes him home, where he is tended to by Royal physicians, who are unable to heal Einon's heart. Bowen goes with Einon's mother Queen Aislinn to a dragon and ask him to save Einon. The dragon saves Einon by giving him half of his heart on the promise that Einon will rule his kingdom with justice and virtue.

Unfortunately, Einon proves to be just as cruel and evil as his father and has the rebels rebuild his castle. Bowen reminds Einon of the Old Code. Einon replies that the King is above the code, shattering Bowen's illusions of having trained a just and true leader. Bowen later returns to the dragon's cave and accuses the dragon of corrupting Einon. As a result, Bowen swore revenge on the dragon and became a cynical, bitter, mercenary and dragon-slayer. 

After 12 years, Bowen ran out of dragons to slay, but by then also at last discovered the last dragon. Coming to form a partnership with this dragon (who he also named Draco) Bowen became a con-man, having Draco attack villages and then pretend to be slain by the knight. Unbeknownst to Bowen, Draco was the dragon who gave half of his heart to Einon, meaning he and Einon would feel each others pain after running into Kara, Bowen is confronted even more with how far he's fallen from the noble knight he once was. He later battles Einon, who reveals that he never truly believed in the Old Code and only pretended to in order to earn Bowen's trust and learn how to fight. Einon nearly kills his former mentor, but is prevented by Draco.

Kara tries to convince Bowen to help her overthrow Einon, but he refused. Draco later admits to Bowen that he was the dragon who gave Einon half of his heart, believing that it would have redeemed him. Bowen admits that he, too, believed that Einon could make his life worthwhile, and is heartbroken that his heroic ideal now seems lost forever.

After an encounter with the ghost of King Arthur, Bowen rediscovers himself and resolves to help Kara and Draco lead a rebellion against Einon. Tragically though, it eventually becomes clear that due to Draco and Einon sharing a heart, Einon can only die if Draco does.  As a result, Bowen is forced to kill his friend, but in doing so, saves the kingdom from Einon's tyranny. Bowen and Kara then herald in a newer, better age.

In the film's sequel Dragonheart: A New Beginning, Bowen appears in a flashback where he visits Draco's old cave and finds an egg, which he takes to his friend Brother Gilbert at the kingdom's monastery. The monks pledge to hide the egg, which later hatches into Draco's son Drake. Bowen dies a year later.

Trivia

  • In the film's novelisation, it is revealed that Bowen duelled with another knight named Brok over who would become Einon's mentor. King Freyne backed Brok whilst Queen Aislinn backed Bowen. After Bowen's victory, Brok remained bitter about it, which explains his behaviour towards Bowen in the film.

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