In Where is Ce'Nedra's tree?, one of the answers depends on a concept of Ce'Nedra being "half dryad" with other disputing that. This is apparently a common debate in the fandom. The quotes I've found so far don't seem definitive, with the best one from this answer kind of suggesting either direction:

"Ce'Nedra's background makes her peculiarly sensitive to trees," Polgara explained. "I didn't know that Tolnedrans were that interested in the out-of-doors." "She's only half Tolnedran, Liselle. Her love of trees comes from the other side of her heritage." "I'm a Dryad," Ce'Nedra said simply, her eyes still dreamy. - "I didn't know that." "We didn't exactly make an issue of it," Belgarath told her. "We were having trouble enough getting the Alorns to accept a Tolnedran as the Rivan Queen without complicating matters by telling them that she was a nonhuman as well." - King of the Murgos

The Eddings wiki entry on Ce'Nedra states her as being "a dryad" and "a monster" or "non-human", and the entry on Dryads states that the "Dryad trait bred true in Borune females for countless generations".

Now it could be that the confusion is the usual one of race, genetics versus culture and "one-drop" biases where having even some blood from one branch qualifies you as that race, but is Ce'Nedra intended to be a pure-blooded dryad?


All Dryads are born to human fathers:

"Where are the boy Dryads?" he asked. "All I see are girls."

"There aren't any boy Dryads, dear," she explained, returning to her cooking.

"Then how - ? I mean - " He faltered and felt his ears growing hot.

"They catch human males for that," she said. "Travelers and the like."

--- Chapter 21, Queen of Sorcery

We can conclude from this that ordinary genetics aren't in play here.

As for Ce'Nedra in particular:

"I'm a Dryad," Ce'Nedra said rather proudly.

Garion stared at her.

"Technically she's right, " Wolf said. "The Dryad line seems to breed true on the female side of the House of Borune."

--- Chapter 20

The Gorim also refers to her as a Dryad when she visits the Ulgo in Magician's Gambit.

Ce'Nedra is as much a Dryad as any of the others, except for the fact that she was raised as a human.

But the question may be moot:

"The Dryads are so closely related to humans that the differences are hardly significant."

--- Chapter 21

There really doesn't seem to be any difference between "full Dryad" and "half Dryad" in the first place.


I never took the books to mean that she was full dryad, just that the blood was very strong in her, so as to have a fondness for trees and other dryad things. I think if they call her a non-human, it's more like saying that she isn't fully human and has dryad blood, than saying she isn't human at all. I think that growing up in the human world also tamps down on the dryadness as well.

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