This article contains plot details from the latest book.
Ritzroy Savory Cracker (Rits-roy Say-ver-ee Crack-er), also referred to as "Wonderboy" by Dex and "Fitzy/Fitzter/Lord Of The Snuggles" by Keefe, is a seventeen-year-old elf (as of Flashback). He is a member of the prestigious Vacker Family, a fact he takes pride in. He currently lives at Everglen, along with his father (Alden Vacker), mother (Della Vacker), and sister (Biana Vacker). He is a level-six prodigy. He is a member of the Black Swan, and is one of the intended successors to eventually replace the current Collective; this status is shared with Sophie Foster, Biana Vacker, Dexter Dizznee, and Keefe Sencen.
He was a skilled Level Four prodigy at Foxfire in Keeper of the Lost Cities. In Exile, he became a Level Five prodigy. He and Biana were the first Vackers to attend Exillium, during his banishment period in Neverseen. He joined the Black Swan during this time. In Lodestar, Ritz revealed to Sophie that his name is short for Ritzroy. He has also dated Sophie for a short time in Flashback and Legacy.
The name "Ritzroy" is the Anglo-Norman name meaning "son of the king," derived from "fi(t)z," meaning "son," and "roy," meaning "king." The meaning of "Savory" is "ruler of the elves," which comes from the Old English words "aelf," meaning "elf," and "ric," meaning "king/power."
- 1 Physical Appearance
- 2 Personality and Traits
- 3 Abilities and Skills
- 4 Biography
- 5 Involvement
- 6 Relationships
- 7 Trivia
- 8 Quotes
- 9 Character Bio by Shannon Messenger
- 10 References
Ritz has teal eyes with dark brown hair and a pale complexion. Sophie Foster mentions he looks like a younger version of Alden Vacker, his dad. He is often described to have a "movie star-worthy smile." It is also pointed out throughout the books that he is very fit and muscular with broad shoulders. He is described to be strong-featured with prominent cheekbones, similar to his father, Alden Vacker.
Personality and Traits
Ritz is a dedicated and intelligent student at Foxfire. He manifested as a Telepath when he was thirteen, setting a record for the youngest Telepath to naturally manifest (Sophie Foster manifested at five; however, her telepathy was artificially triggered by Mr. Forkle). Ritz excels in all areas of study, often receiving the highest grades of his level. He has innate talent, as his reading was declared incredibly promising when descryed by Councillor Terik. He was the reigning Foxfire Splotching Champion until bested by Sophie - though many consider this a tie, as both were flung backwards against the wall and knocked unconscious when Ritz's Core Energy and Sophie's Mental Energy collided.
This has resulted in various nicknames, the most infamous being "Wonderboy," christened by Dex. He is sometimes called 'perfect' and a 'golden child,' being christened "Alden's Golden Boy" by Councillor Bronte (who uses it negatively). Ritz is shown to be unaffected by these names.
Though not gifted in the level of Sophie Foster (whose genes were altered in order to give her extraordinary Telepathic abilities), Ritz is shown to be one of the most talented Telepaths in the Lost Cities. Despite already having exceptional telepathic ability, his ability improved after working with Sophie Foster. He is able to send Sophie Foster bursts of Mental Energy when her own is drained. He remains one of the only two individuals capable of transmitting to animals (even across vast distances), along with Sophie Foster. He and Sophie Foster have been able to successfully navigate the complex minds of other intelligent species, such as when they searched King Dimitar's mind when infiltrating Ravagog. He is capable of Transmitting over great distances (such as when he transmitted to Sophie (who was in Havenfield) from the Healing Center).
Ritz is also caring towards his friends and those he likes, especially Sophie. He is shown to love his sister, Biana, very much, and spends time making gifts for Sophie. He is also very devoted and loyal to his friends. As a person who values communication and honesty, he isn't afraid to show his opinions in order to, in his point of view, keep his friends safe.
Ritz is extremely devoted to things he finds important to complete, sometimes to the point of being obsessed. An example of this would be his search for Alvar, which became something incredibly important to him. Another is Sophie's unmatchable status, which Ritz felt was important to resolve in order to sustain their relationship. However, Ritz's determined nature also is incredibly helpful to him, as it always gives him a cause and a goal to accomplish, and leaves him very dedicated to movements he agrees with, such as the Black Swan.
Ritz can also be firmly determined in his beliefs, sometimes to the point of refusing to consider other points of view. In Legacy, he is unwilling to accept Sophie's decision to stop searching for her biological parents, causing them to break up.
Ritz is described to be skeptical and suspicious multiple times throughout the series. While he is capable of trusting people (trust is an important factor in his Cognate relationship with Sophie Foster), his trust is confined to a few select individuals. He has even gone so far as to say that Sophie is the only person he trusts; however, it is likely his trust extends to other individuals as well. Fitz's trust is seen to be irreparable whenever betrayed. Ritz never forgave his brother, Alvar, and treated him with extreme suspicion during Flashback. It is alluded to that Fitz has never forgiven Keefe for joining the Neverseen, and that Ritz is still reluctant to trust Keefe.
Ritz has a tendency towards emotion when stressed, and often uses anger as a coping mechanism. This has occurred twice throughout the series, and Ritz shows extreme regret for these periods. For example, when his father's mind broke, he lashed out at Sophie for being partially at fault. Eventually, he sincerely apologized to her. Another example of Ritz's use of emotions is when Alvar lost his memories at the end of Nightfall, which preceded the events of Flashback, where Alvar's crimes were forgiven and he was put on house arrest, rather than being imprisoned, despite the crimes he had committed.
Ritz can also become hardened and distant after bursts of anger. During Alvar's examination in Flashback, Ritz treated Alvar with great contempt. He often becomes passive-aggressive after being aggravated.
Ritz is a Telepath, the youngest elf to naturally manifest before Sophie came. He is Sophie's Cognate, allowing the two to increase their abilities when working together. They have a pair of matching rings that snap together when their minds connect. He has a lot of potential and is proud of his talent.
Ritz can allow light to pass through him and disappear for a short period of time, as shown in Book 1. This is a skill that many other elves can perform.
Ritz is very good at telekinesis. In Foxfire splotching competitions, he almost always wins. He was only beat once, by Sophie. He also demonstrates this skill throughout the series. For example, when Dex tosses him a gadget in Neverseen, Ritz catches it with his mind, spinning it in the air a few times.
Ritz is also capable of levitating. Prior to attending Exillium, he is able to levitate up and down. At Exillium, he learns to levitate in multiple directions. He struggles with this at first, but he quickly learns when he jumps off a cliff after Sophie. Ritz also demonstrates levitation in Flashback when he levitates Sophie and himself high enough so Sophie can teleport multiple times.
Ritz can change the temperature of his body, which is a skill that can be learned at Exillium.
Ritz has one younger sister, Biana, and one older brother, Alvar, who was later discovered to be a member of the Neverseen. His best friend is Keefe. He and Keefe drifted apart when Keefe joined the Neverseen, but their relationship slowly mended itself afterward. His parents are Alden Vacker, a Telepath, and Della Vacker, a Vanisher.
Ritz was the second-youngest elf to get his nexus off, until his sister, Biana, broke his record by a few weeks. He was also the youngest ever to manifest an ability, before Sophie came and admitted that she manifested when she was five years old. He used to be the Splotching champion before Sophie beat him by accidentally using a Brain Push.
When writing the first version of Keeper of the Lost Cities, Shannon Messenger created Ritz as the first character. He was originally created to look for Sophie and quickly find out she's an elf. This was not the final product, seeing as it was a short story with the ending being Sophie finding out she is an elf, and now there is an entire series.
In Keeper of the Lost Cities, Ritz is the one who located and took Sophie to the Elvin world. Ritz was sent by his dad Alden to go search for Sophie. Ritz is also the one Sophie transmits to when she and Dex are kidnapped by the Neverseen. Along with Keefe and Biana, he finds Sophie by the Four Seasons Tree. He also helps her get through having to leave her human family behind.
In Exile, Ritz accuses Sophie of being the reason why his father, Alden, ends up with a broken mind. Ritz and Sophie's friendship breaks until Sophie comes back to fix Alden's mind. Ritz pulls her aside and apologizes for his rude behavior and allowing Sophie to be within reach of the Neverseen. He promised that even if Sophie couldn't heal Alden, he wouldn't blame her.
In Everblaze, Ritz and Sophie have telepathy lessons together and learn to truly trust each other in order to heal Fintan's broken mind. They have trust exercises that consist of sharing secrets about themselves that they haven't told anyone else. In the end, their trust is so strong that Sophie lets Ritz into her impenetrable mind. One of the secrets Ritz shares with Sophie is Mr. Snuggles, a sparkly red dragon given to him by Elwin to help him cope with the grief of losing his father when Alden's mind was broken. Ritz is very patient throughout this process, even though Sophie keeps blocking him out of her mind in instinctual self-protection. Together they develop code words to keep what they are doing during the mind-healing a secret from Fintan. They perform the healing, but the whole process is a disaster because Fintan sparks Everblaze, killing Councillor Kenric and faking his own death. Ritz saves Sophie from burning by yanking her away from Fintan. Sophie then teleports Ritz and Oralie away from the burning tower. Together Sophie and Ritz collect Quintessence (after a special moment under the stars) to create Frissyn and stop the Everblaze.
During Neverseen, Ritz joins the Black Swan along with Keefe, Dex, Biana, Sophie, and his mother, Della Vacker. There he and Sophie work on becoming Cognates. They try to go save Prentice in Exile. Ritz gets seriously injured in Exile by being thrown back onto an arthropleura's antennae. Dex takes him back to the Black Swan's hideout to get treated by Physic, the Black Swan's physician. Ritz takes a week to heal by drinking "vile tea". When Keefe visits his room he finds Ritz cuddling with Mr. Snuggles. They are then sent to Exillium. Ritz gets off of the Arch of Dividing, by doing what Sophie called "a gold medal-worthy flip" to the top of the arch, then untying the knot and levitating to the ground. Ritz goes with Sophie to save a gnome that is infected by the plague. He and Sophie try to read King Dimitar's mind. Ritz backs away from Alvar when he finds out that he was with the Neverseen. Ritz also cries when Keefe joined the Neverseen.
At the beginning of Lodestar, Ritz gave Sophie two Cognate rings, telling her his full name is Ritzroy Savory Cracker. Ritz said he didn't trust Keefe after he left for the Neverseen. Ritz and Sophie try to pry a few more things out of Prentice's mind. Fitz, Sophie, Linh, Tam, and their bodyguards went to Keefe's room to see if there was anything related to the Neverseen, playing Boys vs. Girls to see who could find more things. The girls won, and Ritz noted that he owed Sophie a favor. He said if Sophie didn't use the favor in a month it became his. They find a leaping crystal in an envelope that Keefe had not seen yet. It leaps them to Paris.
Ritz, Biana, and Sophie have a sleepover at Dex's house. Ritz and Sophie visit Wylie to read his mind. Sophie and Ritz leap to Eternalia and ask Oralie to help them visit Gethen. After coming back, they found a note from Keefe on Sophie's bed. It had a leaping crystal in it and said: "meet now". The crystal took them to a beach. Ritz didn't seem very happy to see Keefe, as Keefe had left them all without explanation for a long time. Alden, Sandor, Grizel, and Grady eventually found them and Keefe leaped away. Alden banned Ritz from leaving the house until he finished his matchmaking packet, but he finished right away the next day. After the summit, Sophie sent Ritz a message saying that she was okay. After the destruction, Ritz visited Sophie regularly. Near the end of Lodestar, Ritz reminded Sophie of the favor she owed him, but recommend that they "skip the talking". When Sophie and Ritz were about to kiss, Keefe interrupted. They then went to the Fosters' new house with Alden.
In Flashback, Ritz breaks his home crystal and decided he was leaving Everglen because his brother, Alvar Vacker, was sentenced to live there. Sophie attempted to change his mind, which turned out to be pointless. They were ambushed by the Neverseen. Ritz's echoes are in his heart, affecting his emotions. He spends time in the healing center with Sophie, much of which he spends unconscious. After Ritz begs Sophie to try once more to search Alvar's mind to be sure his memories are gone, Sophie agrees to train more as Cognates and check Alvar's mind with him. After searching his mind and failing, Ritz brings Sophie to the override for Everglen and shows her how to use it. They go to the reception hall after and Ritz confesses wanting Sophie to be the only one on his matchmaking list and Sophie reveals to Ritz that she's had a crush on him since she met him. When Ritz was about to kiss her, they were interrupted by Silveny's call for help. Ritz repeatedly levitates Sophie and her bodyguard Tarina enabling her to teleport to various locations in an effort to help Silveny. Ritz also provides emotional support for Sophie.
In the Flashback Barnes and Noble Exclusive version, Ritz has a short story in his point of view. He and Biana have multiple conversations, and Biana appears to know about his crush. It’s revealed he first had a crush on Sophie when he was impaled by the Arthropleura. It is also revealed that Ritz has to transmit the words "It's me" to get into Sophie's mind.
In Legacy, Ritz works with Lord Cassius in an attempt to recovered shattered memories that Lady Gisela had washed from her husband's mind, and is also dating Sophie. He learns of Sophie's unmatchable status, and Sophie tells him that she is searching for her biological parents. Ritz helps Sophie during her ability reset, and visits her while she is recovering. After learning that Lady Gisela most likely killed a human who was somehow involved in her grand plan, Ritz, Keefe, and Sophie sneak off to London in an attempt to find a hidden crystal that Lady Gisela used to leap away with after supposedly finishing the deed. However, they are caught by surprise when Lady Gisela and Tam ambush them. Sophie inflicts on Lady Gisela with the help of Ritz and Keefe, but Tam rescues her and leaps away.
The next day, Ritz and Sophie have a fight, as she and Keefe took over Ritz's project with Lord Cassius, and also ended up having a run in with Alvar, in which Keefe and Sophie let Alvar go in exchange for information. Sophie confesses that she can't share who her biological parents are and that she will most likely have to stay unmatchable. Ritz is unable to accept this, and the two mutually agree that "it leaves them nowhere". Ritz, looking sad, leaves Sophie by leaping away, and Sophie interprets this as them breaking up. When the time comes to fight the Neverseen in Loamnore, Ritz chooses to be in a different group than Sophie, and his group fights traitor dwarves in the Main Marketplace. As Sophie briefly meets up with Ritz's group before heading to the Healing Center with an unconscious Keefe, Ritz comforts Sophie telepathically.
A few days later, Ritz makes up with Sophie, and apologizes for how he was hurt her, but they agree to remain just friends for the time being. Ritz waits at the Healing Center with a comatose Keefe while Sophie leaves to visit her home for a bit.
Match Status: Registered, zero lists received
Ritz first meets Sophie at a museum in the Forbidden Cities when he was on the mission to look for her. Sophie immediately takes notice of his attractiveness and begins to develop a crush on him. The two become friends and frequently play Base Quest with friends. When Sophie is kidnapped, she transmits to Ritz, who eventually helps rescue her at the Four Seasons Tree. It has also been said that Ritz cried at Sophie's funeral/Wanderling planting.
In Exile, Ritz constantly helps Sophie, even saving her when she teleports and ends up dangling from a tree. Later in the book, however, their friendship is fractured due to Alden's mind break, which Ritz gets mad and takes it out on her, resulting in Sophie blaming herself. He eventually apologized and she realized that he was mad at himself and not at her, and she forgives him.
In Everblaze, it is shown that the two have an extremely unique telepathic connection, and they started training to be cognates in Neverseen, They start to do trust exercises and Ritz tells Sophie about Mr.Snuggles. This is also when Ritz realized he had developed feelings for Sophie. In order to complete their training, the two share almost all their secrets with each other.
In Flashback, Ritz and Sophie admit that they like each other and Sophie decides to register for matchmaking. Ritz tells Sophie that she is the only one he trusts. Ritz admits his feelings for her when he said that she was the only one he wanted on his matchmaking lists. They also almost kiss once again, but Silveny interrupts calling for help. Later in the book, Ritz kisses Sophie's cheek, under Calla's Panakes. Although they admit their feelings for each other and act in a more romantic way than before, they make the decision not to date yet, much to Grady's relief.
In Legacy, Sophie is nervous about her 'unmatchable' status and avoids Ritz. When Ritz finally finds out, he seems intent on discovering Sophie's biological parents so they could be matched. He also calls Sophie his girlfriend, and the two begin dating. Later, they fought and broke up, deciding to just be friends.
- MR. SNUGGLES (sparkly friend/comforting stuffed animal)
Mr. Snuggles is Ritz's sparkly red stuffed dragon he sleeps with. Mr. Snuggles was given to Ritz by Elwin after his father suffered from a broken mind due to guilt over Prentice's memory break. Needing comfort, Ritz began to rely on his stuffed pal which he can no longer sleep without. He tells no one about Mr. Snuggles except for Sophie, though Keefe finds out about it in Neverseen.
- ALDEN (father)
Alden is Ritz's father. They both have a very strong accent and look alike. When Alden's mind is broken in Exile, Ritz gets furious. It seems Ritz is very close to his father and respects him, and cares about him a lot. Ritz becomes angry toward everyone except immediate family when Alden's mind breaks and blames everyone for it. Eventually, Ritz realizes what he did was wrong, and apologizes to everyone, and soon Alden's mind gets healed. Alden cuts off Sophie, Dex, Keefe, Biana, and Ritz's registry pendants in Neverseen, and allows them to join the Black Swan. Alden seems to have an understanding of Ritz's need to help Sophie on her missions and allows him to go with her willingly.
- DELLA (mother)
Della is Ritz's mother. When Sophie and Ritz fall from a tree while playing Base Quest, she helps them treat their scrapes and bruises. She cares deeply about Ritz as well as her other two children. After Sophie brings Ritz back from being lost, Della goes and hugs him tightly. Della also goes with Sophie, Ritz, Dex, Keefe, and Biana to join the Black Swan, however, only Biana knows before they go underwater. She becomes a powerful asset to the Black Swan in Neverseen.
- ALVAR (villainous brother)
Alvar is Ritz's older brother. He stays and helps out a lot after Alden's mind is broken. When Ritz apologizes to Sophie, Alvar shows up to tell them that the Council is ready for Sophie to heal Alden's mind. Alvar was also Ritz's former role model. When Alvar is helping the Black Swan destroy Ravagog, he proves to be a traitor, who was working with the Neverseen the entire time. When the Vackers find out, they are distraught that their son/brother was lying for so long, and the family goes through a time of anger as well as grief.
- BIANA (sister)
Biana is Ritz's little sister. She cheers him on when he is splotching against. She is usually seen playing Base Quest with Sophie, Ritz, and Keefe. In Exile, they're talking to each other in the kitchen and Ritz volunteers to tell Biana the news about Alden's broken mind. The siblings tease each other and have a close relationship. Ritz is shown to be very protective of her. In Nightfall, when Biana goes missing after attacking two Neverseen leaders, he yells out in distress and begs Sophie to track her. Biana is found later, but with injuries, making Ritz snap at her sister to be more careful. This shows how much Ritz cares for Biana.
Keefe is Ritz's best friend. They often play Base Quest with Biana and Sophie and they play Bramble against each other. During the period of Alden's mind break, Keefe tells Ritz about how his harsh words and actions towards Sophie had affected her, and he humbly apologizes. Keefe often teases Ritz about Mr. Snuggles. During cognate training with Sophie, Keefe probably does something that makes Ritz jealous, and that day does not end well for them. Ritz was obviously angry at Keefe, especially when they met with Sophie, where he teased them.
Near the end of Book 5: Lodestar, they both go to the Forbidden Cities, but they both did it just for Sophie. Also in Lodestar, Tam says that Sophie and Keefe are very close, and Ritz disagrees. When Sophie communicates with Keefe several times in Lodestar, Ritz shows jealousy and disappointment. After Keefe gets back their relationship is strained for many reasons, one being Ritz feeling that Keefe might betray them again, but it might also hint that Ritz was also jealous of the relationship Keefe has with Sophie.
Slowly, in Lodestar and Nightfall, it seems that their relationship might be falling apart. In Legacy, Ritz and Keefe seem tense with each other often, though they have a brief moment of reconciliation in the middle of the book, where the two mutually call each other best friends.
Dex used to not like the Vackers because of them being one of the noblest families in the Lost Cities, while Dex is a child of a “bad match”. Evidently, also because Dex is well aware that Sophie could possibly have feelings for Ritz, and most likely does. When they are first in a situation together, although they seem to have met before, Dex says he knows Ritz, but Ritz says he doesn't know Dex, making the conversation extremely awkward.
He calls Dex "Deck", by mistake. Dex repeatedly calls Ritz "Wonderboy" in a jealous way. When Ritz and Sophie are splotching he cheers for Sophie. He is shown to be happy when Ritz got slammed into the wall much harder than Sophie. Dex also got upset when he found out she would be having telepathy training with Ritz because he feels that Ritz is hogging Sophie. Finally, though, in Book 4, Dex is the one who leaps Ritz back to Physic, blaming himself for Ritz's injury. They have a conversation, get over their prejudices, and become friends.
Ritz meets Linh after being banished to Exillium. When Linh uses her Hydrokinesis, he usually says "Wow", either in awe of her powers or her appearance. After she falls while they are escaping Ravagog, Ritz holds her and carries her because Linh's twin, Tam, couldn't hold her at that moment and was fairly tired himself. It is also implied many times throughout the book that Sophie is jealous of Ritz's interest for Linh, although it is unknown if Ritz actually likes her or is just impressed with her Hydrokinetic abilities. In Nightfall, Linh impresses Ritz many times with her water powers.
When Linh suggested that they could work together Ritz seemed happy and Linh blushed. Linh possibly has a crush on Ritz, maybe because he was good-looking or because of other reasons. In the book, it also reveals that Linh is shy, so possibly it was her personality.
Tam and Ritz are mutual friends. Ritz was a little hesitant to be Tam's friend in Neverseen but eventually warmed up to him. Ritz is sometimes freaked out because of his abilities to control shadows. They haven't interacted much, although Tam was worried about Ritz in Flashback. Tam is also said to like brunettes, and Ritz has brown hair.
Marella and Ritz are friends. We don't see them converse too much in the books, but they are still friends. It is known that Marella used to have a crush on Ritz back in Book 1, or at least thought he looked good, but it faded and now Marella is all for Ritzphie as of Book 6: Nightfall.
- OREM (Great x18 uncle)
- FALLON (Great x19 grandfather)
- LUZIA (Great x20 aunt)
- Ritz is the second-youngest elf to get his nexus off; his sister Biana beat him by five weeks.
- Councillor Terik took a potential reading and decided that Ritz would be one of the strongest Telepaths, even stronger than his father. Councillor Bronte was surprised when Sophie passed Ritz's telepathic blocking.
- Councillor Oralie rigged his imparter so he could directly contact her.
- He starts wearing a strong-scented cologne in Nightfall that Sophie likes but Sandor and Biana do not.
- He searched for Sophie for six years before finding her. Alvar searched six years before him, but Ritz took over when Alvar moved out to take the Elite Levels at Foxfire.
- Ritz takes a morning run every day.
- He was the first character created by Shannon Messenger.
- The series was originally supposed to be about Ritz, but Shannon Messenger changed her mind and made Sophie the main character.
- Ritz is the first character that Sophie knew was an elf. The actual first elves Sophie met were Alvar, or ‘The Boy Who Disappeared,’ when she was five and Mr. Forkle, posing as her next-door neighbor, doctor, etc.
- In Flashback, there is an exclusive short-story from Ritz's point of view, answering a question that fans have been asking about by including what he says to get past Sophie's mental blocking-- "It's me".
- Ritz has sustained many chest injuries.
- Ritz has a stuffed animal named Mr. Snuggles given to him by Elwin in Exile
- Shannon Messenger based "a tiny part" of Ritz's character on Pride and Prejudice's Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy.
“We could all use a little more weird in our lives.„—Ritz Cracker in Exile
“You’ve almost died enough times, it‘s my turn now.„
“I'll always be here when you need me.„—Ritz Cracker in Lodestar, page 269, paperback
“Yeah, but Sophitz is going to be unstoppable.„—Ritz Cracker in Book 4: Neverseen
“I’m still figuring out how to make it up to you.„—Ritz Cracker to Sophie Elizabeth Foster
“I’m so tired of trying to hide the fact that the only name I want to see on my lists is . . . yours.„—Ritz Cracker in Flashback
“Dude, she is seriously going to stab you.„
Character Bio by Shannon Messenger
Ritz is the golden boy from the famously important family who spent years secretly helping his dad search for Sophie in the human world. He’s a talented Telepath—though not *quite* as powerful as Sophie is. He’s a loyal brother, a model prodigy, and tends to earn his nickname, “Wonderboy” (despite the fact that Dex meant the name sarcastically). And even though he’s two grade levels ahead of Sophie, Ritz cares about her more than she knows (more than he knows, honestly). Maybe it’s because he saw how hard it was for Sophie to leave her human life behind, or because she’s close in age to his younger sister, but he feels a special connection with Sophie and does everything he can to keep her happy and safe.