Todd Hewitt is one of the main characters in the Chaos Walking novels. He is a boy one month shy of turning thirteen when the trilogy begins,[1] brought up by guardians Ben Moore and Cillian Boyd.

Todd was kept unaware of Prentisstown's history until late in the first book. Todd is illiterate at the start of the series, which gives the unique writing due to the first person perspective of the book. He is the sole narrator in the first book, and remains the lead through the second and third. Interestingly, in the three short stories he is only ever mentioned.

Little is known about his parents, who both died when he was an infant; Todd only knows about his mother through Ben and Cillian and her diary, and his father is rarely even mentioned.

Todd Hewitt is portrayed by Tom Holland in the 2021 film Chaos Walking.

In the series[edit | edit source]

The Knife of Never Letting Go[edit | edit source]

In the first book, Mayor Prentiss - who is the Mayor of Prentisstown, the town in which Todd currently lives - prevents Todd from gaining an education. He cannot read or write, a problem that has prevented him from reading his mother's diary and communicating with Viola from the scout ship in book three (Monsters of Men).

The narrative starts out with Todd being attacked by a rabid crokodile on his way to the swamp near Prentisstown. Todd Hewitt has a dog called Manchee, who unfortunately is murdered by Aaron later on in the first book. After the death of Manchee, Todd starts to realize how much Manchee meant to him and appreciates Manchee's help to him more.

The Ask and the Answer[edit | edit source]

In The Ask and the Answer, Todd commits horrible acts of cruelty against Spackle, women, and becomes colder without Viola to help. He is at first forced to do so because Viola is under the Mayor's control, but as the novel progresses, Todd starts to lose who he really is. It is only until Mayor Prentiss reveals his plans that Todd sees he must fight him to save Viola, and New Prentisstown.

Throughout the novels, Todd is repeatedly pressured to murder another human being in order to fulfil Mayor Prentiss' plans. However, his character is labelled unable to kill, until the end of The Ask and the Answer, where his noise reveals that he would kill for Viola. This then leads him to participate in war, and he has since killed many Spackle in self defence, though has not killed any men.

Monsters of Men[edit | edit source]

In Monsters of Men, Todd's character is further challenged. When spending time with the Mayor, the two develop a link (denoted by a small humming in their Noise), and begins to both influence and be influenced by him. Todd also learns to refine his ability to control his Noise, thus allowing him to silence it, use it as a weapon, learn with it, and use it to control other people, despite not wanting to. However, in the end, it is revealed that by silencing one's Noise, the attack power of the Noise is decreased. Todd does, however, inevitably end up trusting the Mayor again, and saves him unconsciously from death several times. However, when Ben shows up, this filial bond breaks. The skills taught to him ultimately help Todd defeat the Mayor in a battle using only his Noise. 

by chaoswalks on deviantart.

The Return, 1017, mortally wounds Todd near the end of Monsters of Men, mistaking Todd for the Mayor, though he admits that he wasn't sure and didn't care when he fired his weapon. Todd's Noise leaves, returning in small bursts, and he remains in a coma-like state of death at the end of book three. However, the final chapter hints that he will wake so long as Viola keeps ‘calling' him. At the end of the Snowscape short-story, which takes place after Monsters of Men, it is revealed by Viola that Todd has awoken.

Relationships[edit | edit source]

Viola Eade[edit | edit source]

Todd and Viola first properly meet when Todd has been forced out of his home by the men of Prentisstown. At first, they are wary of each other and Todd hates her silence, as Viola and the rest of the women don't have noise. Viola does not talk for much of the start of the first book, and this also unnerves Todd. However, it is shown that he deeply cares for her and realises his harshness towards her after they blow up the bridge. Todd punches himself in the face to vent his frustration, rather than unduly on her. After this, Viola begins speaking.

From then, Viola and Todd have an intense relationship. Todd drives himself to near insanity rescuing her from Aaron in the first book, and both are obsessed with seeing the other in The Ask and the Answer. Viola and Todd prove that they will do anything for each other, which leads Viola to worry that they've become too dependent on each other to the extent that they would let everyone in the world die if it meant saving each other.

Though the relationship remains generally platonic in the first and second books, in Monsters of Men they kiss and begin a romantic relationship, which seemed to have a promising future for both of them. Todd and Viola, in the limited time they had as an established couple, discussed moving away together. However, the plans were put on hold when it seemed that Todd had been killed by 1017. Viola had been heartbroken, and she and Ben tended over Todd while he recovered. Viola stayed by his side for the months that he was comatose and read from his mother's diary every day. During his time recovering, Todd recalled many fond memories between him and Viola, which made her slightly embarrassed but also deepened their caring towards each other. In his dream state, Todd begs Viola to keep reading, using her voice as an anchor to come back to reality.

Ben Moore[edit | edit source]

Ben and Cillian adopted Todd when he was very young after Todd's mother was killed by Mayor Prentiss and his father months before he was born. Todd loves them both, but is closest with Ben, who he calls his 'Pa', and with whom he has a very deep, nurturing relationship with. Todd grumbles about being told to do chores by his fathers, but he forgives them, and more specifically Ben, readily. It is revealed that Ben cared for Todd while he had been very sick when he was younger and hallucinating.

Todd is devastated when he believes that Ben is dead, but is angry at him as well for sending him off from his home. When he later sees Ben, he is ecstatic, and incredibly disappointed when Ben reveals that he can't go on with them to Haven. From there we later learn that Ben was shot and left to die by Davy Prentiss Jr.. Proof of Todd's love for Ben is in how deeply Todd despises Davy after learning the news, and how angry he is over his father figure's death.

In Monsters and Men, when Ben is revealed to be alive and well, Todd is the happiest that we'd seen him all book. From Todd's point of view, Ben coming back is the greatest thing that could have happened. The two share time together catching up and reconnecting.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Fan art[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Note that New World follows a thirteen month calendar.
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