| Spoiler Alert!
Warning! This page contains spoilers for The Royal Ranger.
|“||The boy Will has the potential to be trained as a Ranger. I will accept him as my apprentice.||”|
Will Treaty is the main protagonist of the series (as well as the titular character). Will was an apprentice Ranger throughout the books The Ruins of Gorlan, The Burning Bridge, The Icebound Land, Oakleaf Bearers (aka The Battle For Skandia) and Erak's Ransom, and is a full Ranger from The Sorcerer In the North forward.
Will was the son of Daniel and his unnamed wife, born in Aspienne Fief shortly after the couple moved there, prior to the First Araluen Civil War. After the war broke out, Daniel, who was part of the Aspienne garrison, was deployed in the Araluen Army at the Battle of Hackham Heath. During the battle, he saved Halt's life fending off several Wargals, though he was mortally wounded in the process. With his final words, he told Halt to make sure his wife and child were safe, and Halt assured him he would. He tracked them down after being lead to Daniel's farm by following Kord and Jerrel, who then tried to rob Daniel's widow. Halt killed both of them, though he was too late to save the widow's life. She told him her newborn son's name was Will, and Halt took him to the Ward at Castle Redmont, where he lived until age fifteen.
The Ruins of Gorlan
Will was a ward at Castle Redmont, having been left there as a baby. Growing up, Alyss, Jenny, and George are his friends and fellow wards. He was frequently bullied by Horace--another ward--who makes fun of him for his size and his ambition to become a knight. They get into fights often, with Will winning the majority of their verbal arguments, and Horace the majority of physical fights.
During the Choosing Ceremony, Will applies to, and is turned down by, each of the present craftmasters. Upset, Will believes he will end up working on a farm, the fate for each ward not chosen. Halt, the ranger of Redmont Fief, steps forward and addresses Baron Arald, saying "There is something about this boy you should know"; he then hands Arald a slip of paper. Will is curious about the note, but Arald dismisses the wards without disclosing the contents.
Later that night, Will, determined to find out what was on that piece of paper, slips out of his dorm and scales he walls of Castle Redmont. He climbs into Baron Arald's office and starts to seach for the paper. Halt suddenly emerges from the shadows, grabbing Will. Will is shocked and surprised as the Ranger appeared to come from nowhere. Halt takes Will to Baron Arald and then it is revealed to Will that Halt wants to take him on as an apprentice.
The next morning Will leaves the ward where he grew up and goes to live in the cabin where he will train under Halt. He is a little reluctant about being apprenticed to Halt, as the Ranger Corps are a mysterious group few people understand and rumors of sorcery and a great deal of superstition surround them. However, Will quickly discovers these really are just rumors and starts to warm up to the idea of being a Ranger apprentice. He struggles with Halt's brusque and gruff attitude, all the same, a single nod from the Ranger fills him with pride, and he starts to wonder why praise from Halt means so much to him.
After being an apprentice for a few days, Halt introduces Will to both his own horse Abelard and to Will's new horse, Tug. With Tug, Will trains in the skills needed to pass his assessment at the annual Ranger gathering. However, the meeting is cancelled with the news that Morgarath is rising again. Will becomes an apprentice ranger and practices various skills, such as archery, unseen movement, and knife throwing.
During his early life as an apprentice, Will participated in a boar hunt. There, he and Horace are almost killed when a second boar charges them after the first is killed, taking everyone by surprise. Seeing Horace in danger, Will distracts the boar and entices it away from the battleschool trainee. Halt quickly shoots the boar with an arrow, killing it instantly. From then on, both Horace and Will become firm friends, as earlier on they were antagonistic to one another.
At the end of the book, Baron Arald offers Will the opportunity to become a knight as he wished to be at the beginning of the book, but Will chooses instead to continue on his path as a Ranger, much to Halt's pleasure. He later gives Wil a bronze oakleaf, an symbol of his apprenticeship. Halt then tells Will about his father for the first time. Will is initially disappointed that his father wasn't a knight, but a sergeant. He soon realizes that he is still proud of his father for being heroic and saving his mentor's life. Will also realizes his fondness for Alyss, his friend and fellow ward-mate.
The Burning Bridge
With war approaching, Gilan, Wil, and Horace, are sent to Celtica to ask for reinforcements. While there, Will learns the double knife defense from Gilan, and Will and Horace spar with wooden weapons to let Will practice it. However, when they arrive they realize Wargals, bear and dog-like like monsters working for Morgarath, have slaughtered a royal escort of the princess of Araluen and only one girl survived, a maid named Evanlyn.
Gilan moves on ahead of Will, Horace, and Evanlyn, to report to the King.
Meanwhile, the three ride about a day behind Gilan and encounter Wargals. They follow them to the Fissure; a deep gorge thought to be impassable. The Celtica miners were all captured to complete a bridge across the Fissure. Such a bridge could assault the King's army straight from behind and destroy the King's forces.
Will, Horace, and Evanlyn burn the bridge, but Evanlyn and Will are captured in the process by a group of Skandians.
Horace rides back with the horses and meets up with Gilan and a group of infantry trying to rescue Evanlyn, who revealed to be Princess Cassandra. Horace tells Gilan what happened and they ride back to the main army. The war goes well, with the bridge destroyed and Horace killing Morgarath in single combat.
Halt, hearing that Will has been captured by Skandians frantically rides with Abelard through the fens to get to the coast, where Will and Cassandra have been stowed on the ship. He fires several arrows, but none hit their main target, and the ship pulls away from the shore, taking Will and Cassandra with it.
Life in Skandia
Will and Cassandra are taken as slaves in Skandia, a neighboring country of Araluen. On the way to Skandia, the ship is caught in a series of violent storms, forcing the ship to make anchor at a small island called Skorghijl. There Cassandra reveals her true identity to Will after becoming exasperated with his plans for escape. She says that her father, King Duncan, will pay a ransom. Will, however, knows that he will have to find his own way home.
Once Will arrives in Skandia, he and Cassandra are sold on by Erak to Borsa, who is Ragnak's secretary, or hilfman, as they are called in Skandia. Cassandra is assigned to be a serving girl, but Will ends up as a yard slave, one of the worst jobs possible for a slave.
Will is forced to work outside in the bitter cold. After he defends another yard slave who was being beaten, he is assigned to the paddles, a dreadful job, he is tricked into becoming addicted to warmweed, a drug that gives a person warmth, but destroys their mind. Eventually, he becomes a husk of his former self, able to only think about one thing: warmweed.
Both Erak and Cassandra are horrified after seeing the Ranger working the yard whilst under the influence of warmweed. Erak admires Will for his fighting prowess and bravery as that is one of the things Skandians value most in a person. Together with Cassandra, he sets up a plot to rid Will of his addiction and help the two escape.
They succeed, and take refuge in a small log cabin for winter.
While there, Will overcomes his addiction. He wakes up in the cabin alone as Cassandra has gone to set traps. He cannot remember being addicted to the warmweed, causing him to panic, wondering where Cassandra is. Just as he remembers her, she returns to the cabin. Evanlyn begins to weep with joy, finally seeing Will being himself again, and the two embrace.
While living in the log cabin Cassandra is captured by the Temujai, a fierce, nomadic tribe of horse warriors from the east. Will tries to rescue her, and nearly fails until Horace and Halt come along. Will reunites with Halt, who is delighted to see Will again. When they exchange stories, Halt is angry to hear how Will became addicted to warmweed and tells him that he was sorry that he had to go through that.
Halt captures one Temujai alive and realizes the Temujai are back to try and take over the world again. He agrees to help Skandia drive off the Temujai, as Halt feels that Araluen will be next.
Will develops a technique that is used to help win the battle against the temujai. He trains the slaves in Halasholm in the basic use of a longbow and they develop a system where Will judges when and at what degree the arrows are to be fired. This system proves devastating for the opposition in the ensuing battle.
The Skandians win the battle, but Ragnak, the Oberjarl dies and Erak--much to his surprise--is chosen as the new Oberjarl.
After returning home, Horace is knighted and Will is offered the position as a lieutenant of the Royal Scouts, the country's archery trainers. Although pleased, Will rejects the offer, knowing that the Ranger life is his true calling. The crowd applauds as Will goes to sit down, but are a little puzzled why he chose becoming a ranger over the royal scouts. However, King Duncan whispers to Will that his superiors in the corps believe he will be the greatest ranger in years to come.
Unbeknownst to Will, Cassandra was behind the offer, as she has a crush on him and doesn't want him to leave.
The next day in the early morning, Halt and Will head back to Redmont Fief as Cassandra and Horace watch them depart from the battlements of Castle Araluen.
A few years later, Will is in his final year as an apprentice Ranger. He is acting as Halt's best man at his wedding to Lady Pauline. Their wedding is suddenly interrupted during the bridal dance by Svengal, one of Erak's crew, who brings news of his captain.
Erak has been captured by the Arridi, sand nomads who live in the eastern country of Arrida. The next day, Will gives a briefing to his friends and superiors, telling them how Erak was captured and held to ransom.
Cassandra goes along with Will, Gilan, Halt, Svengal, and the crew of the Oberjarl's former ship, Wolfwind. On the ship, Will wonders if he is ready to become a Ranger, not believing in his abilities. Gilan joins him and encourages the Ranger, saying that he too, felt unready. When they reach the country of Arridi, all the Skandians (apart from Svengal) stay in the harbor where they landed to pay the ransom.
After Cassandra has finalized the details of how much ransom is to be paid, the Wakir reveals that Erak isn't actually in the town as the group presumed him to be, but in a guarded fort in the desert. The group then travel with Selethen and his guards to the fort.
A sandstorm hits the group when they are out in the desert and Will looses Tug, unable to get his horse to safety in time. Will decides to go after Tug, riding on a horse named Arrow. In the desert, Will navigates using a northseeker. As Selethen didn't realize that the Rangers had them, he wasn't able to warn them that the desert contains deposits of iron, which interfere with the northseekers. Will ends up lost and dehydrated, and he soon collapses.
After, Will saving the life of Umar's and Cielema's grandson, Faisal, Will asks for provisions, as well as his horse. Umar, confused, reminds him that Arrow had been killed by lions when he found Will. However, Will says the pack pony that Umar had with him at the time was his horse, Tug. Although reluctant to disappoint him, Umar tells Will that Tug isn't his horse, but Hassan's. Angry, Will demands to speak with Hassan. Although initially refusing to return Tug, Hassan returns him after Will wins a race between against him and Sandstorm.
While Will is preparing to leave for Mararoc, Jamil, a Bedullin scout, returns with news that his friends have been captured by the Tualaghi. The Bedullins decide that they're going to rescue them, as the Wakir has always treated them well and it was Jamil's fault that they were captured. Umar adds that Will is welcome to come with them.
While travelling, they come across the Arridi troopers left being by the Tualaghi. Lieutenant Aloom told them the details of the attack and joins forces with the Bedullins. When they arrive at Maashava, the Bedullins and Arridi begin to infiltrate in pairs. Will and Aloom enter together. While staying in a coffeehouse, the two anger a man named Saoud. When the pair reach a broken down watchtower, they are attacked by three Tualaghi warriors, who were tipped off by Sauod. They successfully defeats them, but Aloom is mortally wounded.
Will climbs the tower and shoots down the executioner, saving Halt's life. His second shot, aimed at Yusal's heart, ends up taking him in the upper left arm when he turns at the last moment. He then begins to shoot down Tualaghi warriors, and a fight breaks out. Horace has Will shoot off his ropes before joining in. Dropping down from the tower, Will sends Saoud to fetch a surgeon. He returns quickly, but the surgeon is unable to help Aloom, except to give him a painless death. Meanwhile, the others are successful at taking down Toshak and Yusal.
Will rejoins the group, and the returning war party arrives at the Bedullin's oasis. That night, they have a feast and celebrate. In the epilogue, Will is given his Silver Oakleaf, symbolizing that he is fully fledged Ranger.
As a full Ranger at last, Will is assigned to a fief of his own at Seacliff. At his own fief, he finds the discipline lacking. Then one day, a group of Skanadians try and raid the village. Will manages to prevent a battle by giving the Skandians supplies in exchange for not attacking the village. This helps him to gain the Baron and battlemasters respect and also encouraged them both to step up the training of the knights which had become lax.
When he arrives at Seacliff he finds and injured dog and takes her in, patches her up and she becomes his pet. He also trains her well, though he fails to come up with a name for her and instead just refers to her as "dog". He doesn't realize that this dog actually belongs to the local thug: John Buttle, which later causes some problems. Near the castle Will sees Delia, who develops a crush on him.
One day, Alyss, to Will's delight, turns up at Seacliff, bringing him news and information about a secret mission. She tells Will that he is to go to the Gathering Grounds and he will be given a mission there. Whilst Alyss is telling Will about the job Will suddenly becomes aware that the door is opening; there is someone listening to their conversation. Will realizes it's John Buttle, come to take his dog back. Alyss distracts him briefly, giving the young Ranger enough time to knock the thug out and tie him up.
Alyss says they may have to kill him in order to prevent him from relaying any details of Will's mission, but Will comes up with another solution. Give him to the Skandians. Or as he termed it "Give him into slavery". The crew of Skandian ship, in particular the captain, Gundar Hardstriker, are delighted to have him as a slave and take him willingly.
Will then heads off to the Gathering grounds with Tug and the dog to receive his briefing from Halt and Crowley. At the Gathering grounds the two older rangers give Will the details of his mission, saying that he is being sent to the Norgate Fief to investigate claims of sorcery. Will is surprised at this, and then equally surprised to discover that he is going undercover as a jongleur. He will be travelling part of the way with a former ranger called Berrigan, a former ranger and a musician. Berrigan teaches Will all he needs to know about pulling off his disguise as a jongleur before separating from the younger ranger and leaving him to find his way up to Macindaw.
The story continues, with Will arriving at a tavern, where he finds out more about the mysterious happenings up at the castle. The lord of the castle, Lord Syron, was struck down by an unknown illness. Many believe a sorcerer to be the cause of the illness, as one of Syron's ancestor was also once similarly killed by a sorcerer. Alyss is sent up to help Will, but is captured by the rogue knight Keren, also responsible for poisoning Syron. Will manages to escape with a poisoned Orman and his servant, Xander, and enlists the help of the sorcerer, who is actually a gifted healer called Malcolm. Horace is also sent up north by Halt when Will does not send a message for some time.
To rescue the castle and Alyss, Horace and Will devise a plan. They receive the help of the Skandians that Will gave supplies to and use them to assault the castle. Horace explains that to successfully capture a castle, a four to one ratio is needed. With only about twenty-five Skandians and thirty soldiers in the castle, this would seem impossible.
However, Will comes up with an ingenious plan. Malcolm sets up some conjurations that draw the attention of the soldiers in the castle to one side, allowing Will and Horace to enter the castle on the opposite side.
Soon, the Skandians also enter the castle using makeshift laders.
Will quickly climbs up to the keep where Alyss is being held. However, Alyss was hypnotized into believing Will is the enemy. Just as she is about to kill him with a sword, Will tells Alyss, " I love you, I always have." and the hypnosis is broken. Alyss kills Keren by throwing an extremely potent acid given to them by Malcolm on his face. Will had used the acid to try to free Alyss, but Keren stepped into the room before he could finish melting the bars. After that, the Skandians are able to take control of the castle. Will and Meralon meet, and addresses Will as Ranger 50 in attempt to show his superiority, despite their equal rank. Meralon tries to snub Will, but Horace steps in and gives him a piece of his mind. Due to his rank and affiliation with Cassandra and Castle Araluen, he is able to put Meralon back in his place.
Will returns to his fief with his first mission as a full Ranger a success. At his log cabin he receives a letter from Alyss stating Will told her he loves her in a dream. Horace tells her that although it seems like a dream, it might not be. She writes in the letter, "I love you." Will leaves his log cabin again with Tug, to deliver his own letter to Alyss.
The Outsiders offer to protect a village from bandits that are actually part of the cult in exchange for gold. When the village has been stripped dry, the cult runs off to the next village. In this fashion, they take over five of the six sections of Hibernia.
The book starts with Will traveling to the Ranger gathering where he will meet with his mentor and fellow Rangers. However, when he arrives he finds that, for the first time, Halt has missed a gathering because he was called away on an urgent mission to do with the religious cult the Outsiders. He is initially disappointed by this as he looked forward to seeing his mentor. Crowley, the Ranger commandant, assigns Will with the task of instructing three first-year apprentices, which he does well, unknowingly mirroring Halt's teaching style.
Crowley later assigns a Ranger to a different Fief; Will was secretly hoping that he'd be assigned this job because he found life a little tedious at Seacliff Fief, as it's a bit of a backwater area and nothing much happens there. Crowley then calls Will aside to speak with him in private and tells Will that he and Halt are forming a Special Task Group, a small group of individuals which will specialize in overseas missions. He invites Will to become a member of this group. Will jumps at this, particularly as it means he will be re-assigned to Redmont Fief.
Later on, Halt, Will and Horace are sent to Clonmel, to try and prevent the cult from expanding into Araluen. Halt tries to persuade his twin brother, King Ferris, to use his troops to drive the cult out. In the end, the cult loses power in Clonmel, but the leader, Tennyson, runs away to try to reach the other five kingdoms that he controls. Before leaving, Tennyson has King Ferris killed. Will, Halt and Horace leave Clonmel to chase after the false prophet.
However, in the next book, Halt's Peril, the outsiders realized they are being chased, and the remaining two Genovesans set up an ambush. Will and Halt kill one of them, but the other escapes after shooting a poisonous crossbow bolt at Halt, scraping his arm. While Will and Horace are occupied trying to save Halt, Tennyson gathers new followers and preaches to them in caves.
After curing Halt and killing the last Genovesan, Halt, Will, Horace, and Malcolm come to the caves and reveals to the villagers that they have been tricked. The bandits then attack Halt and Horace, with Malcolm throwing smoke bombs at them. Will sees Tennyson escaping and throws all of the smoke bombs at Tennyson, making him lose his balance and fall to death to the rocks below. The four then escape the exploding cave which starts to collapse around their ears and go back to their respective homes.
In book ten Will, Halt and Alyss are with Selethen in Toscano finalizing the details of a treaty between them and Arrida. Halt and Will are watching a demonstration of the fighting techniques of the armies there and are confusing the General Saprassti due to the fact they are cheerfully exchanging insults, which would normally cause bloodshed among the war-like people of Toscano.
Cassandra turns up at the place where the four are staying one day, traveling incognito as Lady Evanlyn instead of using her title Princess Cassandra. Alyss is initially prickly around her, worried she is in love with Will.
Evanlyn tells them that Horace is in Nihon-Ja where he was residing at the Emperor Shigeru's summer palace, but after an uprising led against him by Lord Arisaka, he, the Emperor, and the Emperor's cousin Shukin, along with a group of warriors, have fled to the mountains where they plan to wait out the winter.
Cassandra then tells them that she is going to find Horace. Immediately, Will says he is going to, Halt agrees to the plan and says he will also go with them. Alyss, not wanting to be left out this time, says she wants to go as well, pointing out that she knows some of the language which would naturally prove useful. On board the ship there is tension between the two girls, Will is unaware that it is, in a way, because of him. Later on, they are "attacked" by pirates. The Skandians board them, seeing them off whilst Halt and Will send a few arrows at them. The pirates quickly make a run for it.
The ship makes landfall at Iwanai, and Alyss, Will, and Halt go ashore. They check into the Shokaku inn and make contact with Atsu. Together they sail up the western coast of Nihon-Ja, landing close to Ran-Koshi. Atsu goes to make contact with the local Kikori, but doesn't come back. Instead, a group of hostile Kikori return. The Kikori bring them to Horace, believing they're spies. However, they are quickly accepted as Horace's friends.
Will appears as a baby in Death of a Hero after his mother is killed by the soldiers. He is described as already having brown hair and eyes.
In Purple Prose, Will is trying to write a speech for Horace and Evanlyn as their wedding is approaching and he has been chosen to be the best man. Halt is skeptical about his ex-apprentice's speech due to its excessively flowery wording but doesn't want to offend Will and therefore refrains from saying what he feels about it.
The two are asked to chase down Moondarkers, a group of people who light false beacons along a coast line to drive ships onto rocks so they can scavenge it for goods. Once they tracked the groups down Will is handed a block of dye which should be thrown in the false beacon to warn the ship off as it changes the fire's colour. Halt goes off to round up the local village's soldiers and Watch to fight off the Moondarkers. Though Hatl's part of the plan goes well enough Will runs into problems with an axeman and ends up having to throw his whole satchel into the fire. The fire turns a bright purple and the ship turns about.
Later, it is discovered Will threw his speech accidentally into the fire along with the dye. Halt is secretly pleased at this a soon tactfully points out that the speech wasn't that brilliant which Will whole-heartedly agrees to.
Eighteen months after losing his wife, Alyss, to a fire, Will is given an apprentice to cheer him up. That apprentice was the daughter of his closest friends; Horace and Cassandra. Their daughter, Madelyn (Maddie), had been a torment for the minds of her parents. Her grandfather, King Duncan, is bedridden and ill, and Cassandra has, for all intents and purposes, been acting as regent in his stead. Cassanda's rebellious daughter had to be taught a lesson, and this was accomplished by being assigned to Will, as the first female ranger.
Generally speaking Will is a good-natured person, with a friendly attitude. However, he teases both Halt and Horace and gets annoyed by Horace while they are hiding under a cart in the sixth book. He becomes very sharp towards his best friend at that point due to nerves and frustration at the knight's inability to sit still and shut up.
Will has an open-faced friendly look and attitude which makes people find it easy to talk with him. He is a quick-thinker and a good strategist. Despite his young age he copes well with the responsibility of being a Ranger. Initially though, just before he becomes a Ranger in Erak's Ransom he is unsure whether he is ready for the responsibility and Gilan talks him through his troubles until Will realises that even if he doesn't feel ready he is prepared to begin his life as a fully-fledged Ranger.
Will is described as being shorter than average. He has a semi muscular build and he is noted from time to time on his cheeky brown eyes and his brown curly hair which gives him a harmless appearance. His hair and (later) beard turn brown-gray. He is known to like pickles and generously lace coffee with honey, a trait Horace soon picked up in Celtica, and is to much of the dismay of Malcolm (supplies of coffee and honey are short when the two are around).
Though he is not as big as Horace, Will is very strong and can draw back the massive string on the infamous longbow of the Ranger corps. Will is not only a fast runner, but a fast fighter as noted in the first book, where he is able to sneak in a quick punch before running from Horace. One of Will's greatest weapons is his mind and it is often noted how his mind is quick to jump from one conclusion to another faster than other people, thus giving him the name chocho in book ten meaning "butterfly".
He is also an excellent climber as shown in book five when he scales the tower of Macindaw Castle.
He has surpassed Halt's ability as Halt mentions, "Oh, Will's better than I ever was," he said, smiling.
Will has many of the skills necessary to be a Ranger, and he is exceptionally skilled at the job. He is one of their best operatives, if a bit inexperienced, but his skills rival those of even the most experienced and talented Rangers, such as Halt, his former master, Crowley, the Commandant of the Ranger Corps and Gilan, Halt's former Apprentice and a master in unseen movement. Notably, King Duncan has told Will that both Halt and Crowley believe that he will become one of the greatest of Rangers'. By the time he took on Maddie as his apprentice, even Halt claimed that he was the greatest Ranger in the history of Araluen. One skill he is lacking in is the ability to draw. In The Siege of Macindaw, he is shown to understand perspective in drawing but cannot make a circle freehandedly.
- Archery: Will is an excellent archer, able to shoot several arrows in rapid succession. For the first four books Will carries a Recurve Bow, not being strong enough to pull the full weight of a Longbow. From the fifth book forward he has upgraded to the Longbow and puts it to effective use. Will is, as noted by Halt, a better shot than both Crowley and Gilan, two highly skilled archers and Rangers. Will rarely misses his mark, whether it be an unmoving stand or a far off horseman or even a striking snake, as in the seventh book where he saves Umar's grandson. It has been implied that Will is second only to Halt in the Corps. By the events of The Royal Ranger it is implied he has even surpassed Halt in his prime. In "The Emperor of Nihon-Ja" he was able to stop an arrow in mid-flight on reaction alone.
- Hidden and Unseen Movement: Will is highly skilled in moving silently, even before he underwent his Ranger training. His small build and light feet make him a very good silent mover. Will, after some training and discipline, could stay completely still for a large period of time, rendering him almost completely unnoticeable.
- Saxe and Throwing Knife Skills: Will is very proficient with both the saxe knife and the smaller throwing knife. When he combines them together he can do something called the double knife defense. This was taught to him by Gilan (Halt's former apprentice) when they go to Celtica. During the battle with the Temujai Will defeated numerous Temujai with his knives, in spite of the fact that they weren't his preferred weapons. He later fought well against Keren using his knives in the Siege of Macindaw. Though skilled in knife fighting, it isn't his expertise, as he had to resort to underhand trickery to defeat Bacari.
- Speed: Will is very fast. He can outrun most people. This is shown all the way back from when he was a ward, when he had to escape Horace.
- Climbing: Will is a very good climber. When he was a ward he climbed up the cook’s tower and stole some pies which was the first time Halt considered him to be a possibility for a Ranger. Will later climbs the tower to Baron Arald's study. He has never been daunted by heights, shown when he climbs Castle Macindaw. His climbing skills have proven useful on many occasions.
- Mandola Playing: Will teaches himself to play the Mandola sometime during his apprenticeship, and uses it do great effect while disguised as a jongleur in the North. He continues to use a jongleur for a way of going undercover on a few other missions. (He particularly enjoys the song Greybeard Halt)
- Intelligence: Will is a highly intelligent person, possessing a crafty and devious mind. He is proficient at creating elaborate schemes to accomplish his goals, and is a skillfull tactician. Will also has a fast wit, often beating Horace in their many banters, and occasionally getting the best of Halt as well. Halt also comments on this when they were in the dead woods in Halt's Peril that his greatest mental attribute is his ability to think of a way out of a situation and to plan on impulse, especially in dangerous circumstances.
- Tactical Thinking: Will is a clever tactician, as shown in the Siege of Macindaw where he manages to take the castle of Macindaw with only thirty men. He also shows this several other times, coming up with a plan to defeat Arisaka's army in the Emperor of Nihon-Ja, saving his friends in Erak's Ransom for their execution and devising a way to help defeat the Temuajai in the Battle for Skandia.
Like almost everyone in Araluen, Will found Rangers strange and unnerving, and as a result was at first wary of Halt. Although skeptical about becoming his apprentice, Will has little choice but to accept his offer, and enters into a mentor/student relationship which develops into more of a father/son relationship. Because of Halt's gruff and grim attitude Will didn't always know how he was feeling, and at first mistook his raised eyebrow as a sign of displeasure. Halt in return was annoyed by Will's never-ending questions, and his hastiness during lessons.
Nevertheless the two began to grow closer to each other, and Will developed an admiring respect for his teacher. Over time their relationship turned from mentor/student to something deeper, more like father and son. Will would often (unconsciously) act like his mentor, speaking in the same dry tone and constantly asking himself what Halt would do in certain situations. He, like many of the younger characters, sought Halt's approval and held his opinion highly.
Halt in turn became very protective of Will, and was extremely proud of his accomplishments. In The Icebound Land he insulted King Duncan (to whom he was very loyal) and accepted banishment so that he could go and rescue Will, who had been captured by the Skandians. However Halt could be a little overbearing at times to, such as when he began to smother and be overprotective of Will near the end of his student’s apprenticeship.
Will had everlasting respect and faith in Halt, believing he could do nothing wrong and would always be the one standing in the end. When Lady Pauline was worried about Halt's late return in The Kings of Clonmel, Will himself wasn't and he believed that there wasn't anyone or anything that Halt couldn't handle. Will was also very loyal to his mentor, and would go to great length to protect him. In Halt's Peril he relentlessly hunted down and captured the Genovesan Assassin Bacari, who had poisoned Halt. When Bacari refused to give over the antidote Will flew into a rage and attacked, and probably would have killed the assassin if Horace and Malcolm hadn't restrained him.
Horace was one of Will's wardmates. Before they were apprenticed, and for a little time afterward, Will and Horace had a deep feeling of enmity between them. Horace often bullied Will, and Will irritated Horace with his agility and wit. However, after their possibly fatal experience with a wild boar, Will befriends Horace and they have begin a deep bond of mutual assistance and friendship.
Throughout Will's adventures, Horace accompanies him for most, such as in Nihon-Ja and the Siege of Macindaw. Horace cares deeply for his friend and often endangers his own life for his friend, as in Oakleaf Bearers. The two often tease and play practical jokes on one another; Will in particular likes to wind up his friend so Horace, in turn, has years worth of practical jokes to make up for.
Will has been childhood friends with Alyss since their time as wards and has developed deep bond with her. In The Ruins of Gorlan Will starts to think of Alyss as more than a friend and at the end of the book Alyss states how proud she is of Will after he defeats one of the Kalkara and kisses him on the lips. In The Burning Bridge she gives Halt and kiss on the cheek and tells him to give it to Will to which he sarcastically responds that he hopes she understands if he doesn't deliver it in person.
Alyss has always supported Will throughout his various adventures and throughout the later books, the romantic side to their relationship develops more deeply (encouraged partly by Horace and Pauline). Their relationship is known to develop even more after the events of Oakleaf Bearers after Will returns to Redmont and finally in the Siege of Macindaw the two reveal that they love one another after some confusion as they are unsure of each other's feelings. In The Emperor of Nihon-Ja, Will proposes to her, albeit clumsly which she pretends to be angry at but is in actual fact delighted. In The Lost Stories they marry after a long engagement period at a small, quiet ceremony with their closest friends in Redmont.
Will never knew his father, but what Halt told him of his father he liked. He is convinced that his father was a man to be proud of, courageous and loyal. Daniel after all, had died to save a man he never met. Though he doesn't remember his father, or his mother, Will does his best to make his father proud and often tries to imagine what his father would want him to do.
Like all Rangers he has a strong bond with his little shaggy horse and talks to him often though is disinclined to do so in the presence of others. Will is devastated after loosing his pony during the sandstorm during Erak's Ransom and shows his affection and loyalty to the horse by going after him into the desert and then racing to save Tug from being taken by the Arridi who are allowed to do that under the unwritten law of the desert.
Will is devastated when Tug is injured in The Wolf and under emotional pressure threatens to resign his position as a Ranger if he is not allowed to continue using Tug after his pony develops muscle damage. Will soon recovers his composure after Tug tells him off in the way Ranger horses do; and Will is introduced to his new mount, a horse by the name of Tug practically identical to the old Tug, the only difference being that this new Tug is young and doesn't have the greying muzzle that the old Tug had.
Gilan and Will first met in the first book and the two instantly became good friends. Throughout the books Gilan has taught and helped Will along through his apprenticeship, encouraging the younger boy and giving him advice. In The Icebound Land, Gilan wants to go into exile with Halt because he feels that it is his fault that Will was captured by the Skandians in the Burning Bridge. Halt reassures his former apprentice that it wasn't his fault. In Erak's Ransom, Gilan gives Will some advice when the apprentice is feeling apprehensive about becoming a fully-fledged Ranger and moving away from Redmont Fief, being able to relate to Will as he is a former apprentice of Halt's himself.
Because she and Halt will probably never have children Pauline thinks of Will as a son, as does Halt. In The Kings of Clonmel she asks Will to look after Halt as he isn't getting any younger, a task Will takes to heart. He is angry and upset at himself and feels that he let Pauline down after Halt is poisoned and comes close to dying in Halt's Peril. Pauline reassures him saying "you have never let Halt down, and you never will...".
When Will first gets his dog in the Sorcerer of the North he quickly becomes attached to her and the two form a close bond. Will trains her well, and gets to know Shadow, teaching her some code words, and being able to tell what she wants by the way she looks at him. When he sees the bond between her and Trobar he becomes a little jealous but his good-nature overcomes this at the end of the Siege of Macindaw and he gives Shadow to Trobar.
Will is delighted when he receives the puppy from Trobar in Halt's Peril as he missed not having a dog around after giving up Shadow. He trains her and she is devoted to both him and Alyss.
- Will is said to be short for his age but also very handsome.
- Will gets his last last name "Treaty" from the part he played in the forging of the Skandian Treaty.
- He is also very humble and does not like to be the center of attention.
- He trains the first female Ranger in The Royal Ranger.
- Will is based on John Flanagan's son Michael.
- Originally he was supposed to have fair hair but as the model for the cover of the book had dark hair John Flanagan had to change Will's hair color to brown.
- Butterfly or Chocho (given by Shigeru in book ten)
- Will Barton (While undercover)
- Will No-name (Insult by Horace before the two became friends.)
- Will Boar Killer (A suggested last name to commemorate a daring childhood event.)
- Will o' the Bridge (Another name request/suggestion to commemorate the destruction of Morgarath's bridge. One of the reasons it was declined was because it sounded too much like Will o' the Wisp)
- He was placed as Ranger 50