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Dryden is Escaflowne's resident scruffy, bookish intellectual, irreverent to extremes and a master of sarcasm and verbal wit. Though egotistical, cynical, and downright cocky, he is deeply selfless and romantic. He is social and likes to talk with anybody on just about anything intellectual. He is quite possibly the most laid back character in the entire cast, and one of the precious few with a good sense of humor. He has a knack for irritating just about anybody with reserves or reverence for anything arbitrary, whether it be propriety, society, or the proper role of a father. Needless to say, he manages to nettle almost every single member of the cast at least once, some multiple times. His idea of flirting is flat-out advertising his assets (i.e. more or less "My intellect is second-to-none, I'm freaking rich, and I'm good-looking."), if that gives a good idea of how brash he can be, but in his (very) few serious moments his courting methods turn to solemn vows. He takes a passionate interest in esoteric and arcane topics of study, such as Atlantis and Guymelefs, the latter of which he collects not for their military force, but for their integrity of construction. Not only is he a first-class nerd, but he is a first-class nerd with heaps of style. He is a noble-born rich boy, but he dresses as though he just stumbled out of bed, ties his hair back messily, and wears the coolest glasses I have ever seen, period. He is somebody who can make you laugh and who can still laugh at himself and life, no matter how desolate things may seem or how many people he will piss off.
Dryden is the son of a jerk of an Astorian noble, Meiden Fassa, and runs his own lucrative merchant airship convoy. His father arranged for him to marry the princess of Astoria, Millerna Aston, a headstrong and intelligent woman with whom he fell in love and spent a great deal of the show trying to win, unsuccessfully. After their rather eventful wedding day and after realizing that she was still in love with Allen Schezar, he allowed Millerna to leave, no strings attached, with the promise that he would become a man worthy of her love. The question of whether or not Dryden ends up winning Millerna is unanswered by the end of the show. Dryden becomes king of Astoria after their marriage, which is fortunate considering that at the end of the war a far more competent king than Aston is in the throne. He is willing to negotiate with and listen to Folken after he leaves Zaibach, and he displays pacifist tendencies; the core of his strategic response to the Zaibach threat is economic sanctions. In the first scene in which he appears, he is allowing his pet mermaid, Sylvie, to go free after a goodbye kiss, despite his manager's protests regarding her monetary cost, to which Dryden replies "Don't be so frugal." He sold his entire merchant convoy to the Ispano to pay for Escaflowne's repair job and, in effect, Van's life, much to the distress of the manager who keeps flitting around and freaking out every time Dryden does something so liberal. Dryden was the narrator of Leon Schezar's diary as the party searched for Atlantis, and in the process managed to get on Allen's bad side. No surprise. Dryden is the manifestation of Allen's petty annoyances: disorder, casualty, and irreverence.