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“I’ve wanted to leave for a little while now, but I just can’t do it. Despite Mark’s flaws, he saved my life.”
Darren to Xavier, Megan, Joe and Frank about his debt to Mark.
Darren is a main character in The Road To Idylland and a major protagonist throughout the series. He was introduced in the very first page of the book in Part 1: Downfall with the rest of the Duke of Edinburgh survivors.
Darren is a hard working individual who always strives to do what is best for the group. He always strives for what is right. Within the first few weeks of the virus spreading, he appears weaker than the rest; even breaking down in tears at one point when thinking about his family and even abandoning his friends. He lets this moment of weakness drive him forward and to never think about doing his friends wrong again, trying his absolute hardest to make the new world the best it can be for his friends. He loses his hand early on in the series due to an emergency amputation by Mark following him being bitten by a walker. He originally seems quite down about his hand but learns to deal with his disability and doesn't allow it to affect his personality.
Before the outbreak and the loss of his hand, Darren was a very capable cricketer, with this being one of his favourite sports. He won the Dorset County Cup with his under-15s and again with his under-16s team before trialing for England. Unfortunately, he did not make the cut due to a niggling injury to his shoulder which affected his game. He continued to pay cricket for his county team, winning player of the year in his pen-ultimate season for them before officially leaving a year before he would go to uni in Surrey to study Mechanical Engineering in order to make time to work a part time job and other extra curricular activities such as Duke of Edinburgh. He still planned on playing for his university team, however, as his love for the sport never died. He was on an expedition with his friends in Dartmoor when the outbreak occurred on a nationwide scale.
He was with his Duke of Edinburgh group when the virus broke out on a larger scale. He was able to learn about the weaknesses of the walkers due to broadcasts that were heard on the radio in Dartmoor, before electricity ceased to function. He stayed in Oak Barn cottage with the rest of his group until they were forced to flee due to a small herd, their first encounter of this many walkers. He fled with Mark, Ian, Oli and Tom. His group was lost when the two vans were separated.
Darren and Xavier are very good friends having met through their Duke of Edinburgh course. They share a good friendship and care very deeply for one another. This is shown when Xavier shows remorse when upsetting Darren when the latter wants to leave to see his family. When Georgina recognizes Darren from the photo as one of the people who drove her out of her living space, Xavier attempts to dissuade her as he believes Darren to be pure and cannot believe the idea that he would do such a thing, showing how highly he thinks of him.