So, I've been thinking quite a bit about Charlie Bone lately, mostly due to my current fanfiction-in-progress. And I started to wonder about some of the events that happen in the series, like why they happen and how. Here are some of my thoughts on these things.
I know that the books say that the Bloors hypnotised Lyell on purpose to punish him for attempting to stop Emma Tolly's abduction and to find out the whereabouts of Maybelle's will, but I don't think that's all there is to it. For one thing, why would the Bloors make Lyell forget everything when they need him to tell them about the box and where it is hidden? It doesn't make sense, if they did it on purpose, that is.
So, what if it were just an accident? Maybe Manfred didn't mean to totally erase all Lyell's memory, but it just happened in the heat of the moment. Remember, Manfred was only nine years old and at the peak of his power. Someone that young may not have been able to fully control a talent that big at times. Manfred may have been told to use his power to force Tolly to give them Emma if he gave them any trouble, as well as make sure Tolly doesn't follow them or have any tricks up his sleeve. But I don't think the Bloors planned Lyell's lifetime hypnosis, and they wouldn't have asked Manfred to do something that drastic to the only man who could tell them where the box was hidden. In my line of thinking, Manfred probably just wanted to subdue Lyell (that is, stop him from interfering with the abduction and hitting Ezekiel) and it got out of hand, maybe because of what Manfred was feeling at the time (most likely outrage at Ezekiel's injury).
Emma's hypnosis either was planned or not, I'm not sure which. Whether she was awake or not, the Bloors could use her on their side of the battle between the endowed, but it was more likely that she wouldn't return to her biological family and the good side if she didn't know who she really was. But I think Lyell's hypnosis was not planned but just something that happened.
So, after Lyell is awakened he gradually recovers his memories from before the hypnosis, and it's stated that even shortly after he goes 'whale-watching' he still hasn't gotten all of his memories back and that he may never be how he was before. In fact, the way he's described makes it seem as if he's still pretty weak from what the Bloors did to him. So it comes as a big surprise (to the characters) when Lyell is revealed to be the Red Knight that's been protecting the good endowed children for the past month.
It seems very far-fetched to me, for him to go and become the Red Knight when he's still so weak and missing half his memory. He obviously remembers about the box pretty soon after his awakening, given that he and Amy leave the city around two or three weeks later to fool the Bloors. Either Lyell was still that weakened and became the Red Knight anyway, or he lied about how much memory he had gotten back and how strong he was. Personally, I think he lied, just a tiny bit, to trick the Bloors into believing that he was too weak to stand up to them again.
Mr Pilgrim in Castle of Mirrors
Mr Pilgrim is absent for the entire novel. No reason is given as to why, but there are a few hints that I think I've picked up on. I'm not sure if anyone else has come to the same conclusion as I have, but this is what I think. Mr Pilgrim was taken from the Academy and imprisoned in Yewbeam Castle, where Yorath Yewbeam took on part of his personality and shape to pass as a teacher at Bloor's. There are a number of clues that lead me to this conclusion:
1. Tantalus Ebony is fantastic at piano and is calm and serious while playing, like Mr Pilgrim is.
2. Gabriel comments that T.E. is three different people at once, not just two.
3. Charlie sees a 'tender look' cross Tantalus Ebony's face briefly, which surprises him. Considering who Mr Pilgrim really is, it's really not surprising, to me anyway, after I'd read all the books, that T.E. would look at Charlie in such a way, because Mr Pilgrim (or rather, Lyell) once looked at Charlie in such a way.
4. When Gabriel tries on Mr Pilgrim's cape, he finds himself trapped in a terrifying darkness that he can't get out of. Since Gabriel can feel what others are feeling through their clothes, this could mean that Mr Pilgrim is trapped in that darkness and it is his feelings that Gabriel experiences when he puts on the cape. It fits with the canon knowledge that Yorath keeps his victims in stasis while he steals their personalities and shapes. It's been suggested in the book that Dorcas tampered with the cape, but I don't think that's true. I think that she simply took the cape up to the Music Tower, knowing that Gabriel wouldn't resist trying it on to see where Mr Pilgrim was.