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Roland Taggart
Biographical Information
Full name: Roland Taggart
Age: 17
Status: Deceased
Cause of Death: Unwound
Alias:

Shark Boy

Gender: Male
Affiliation
Unwind Standing:

Unwound

Allegiance:

Himself

Character Information
Appears in:

Unwind

Roland Taggart was a boy whom Connor, Risa, Mai, and Hayden met in Sonia's shop basement. He is troubled, like Connor but obviously a bit more, especially without someone like Risa to control his temper. Roland was unwound, and his right forearm was transplanted onto Connor.

History

When he was six, he had a beautiful babysitter who shook his sister too hard. It was originally not specified whether she was killed or just left in a very bad condition, but because his sister appears in UnBound: UnDevoured when Roland is eight, eleven, and thirteen, it can be assumed that she lived. When Roland was eight, his abusive stepfather coerced him into jumping off a pier, with the promise that if Roland did it, he would follow. When Roland's nerves for the best of him, his stepfather picked him up and three him off the pier. When Roland emerged and looked up to wait for his stepfather to join him, he saw his stepfather was too much of a coward and a liar to join him.

When Roland was ten, he broke his arm. The doctor told his mom he could have a new arm, or a cast. They took the latter because it was cheaper. He drew a tiger shark on it and, when the cast came off, he got a tattoo to make the shark permanent.

To prove he was nothing like his stepfather, Roland returned to the pier when he was eleven, this time with his sister. He tried to force her to jump off the pier, making the same promise to join her that his stepfather did. He eventually threw her off the pier, but unlike his stepfather, mustered up the courage to jump in after her.

Later, when he was thirteen, he was swimming in the water as his sister watched from the pier, when suddenly he was attacked by a shark. He got pulled further and further from the pier, until eventually no one could hear his cries for help. After many futile attempts to escape the shark's attention, Roland finally managed to kill the shark.

At age seventeen, Roland lost a wrestling match to Zane, an all state wrestler, thus not gaining a spot on the varsity wrestling team, and vowed to make Zane pay. To rule Zane up, he kissed Zane's girlfriend. When Zane found out, he punched Roland, and Roland suggested a rematch for the match Roland had lost. Zane accepted, but let his emotions get the best of him, and thus Roland won and took his varsity position.

Once, when his stepfather beat Roland's mother, Roland beat him up, too. The mother took her husband's side and he got off with a warning. Roland, on the other hand, was sent to be unwound.

In Unwind (novel), Roland is first seen as a hiding AWOL in Sonia's basement, along with Mai, Hayden, Connor, and Risa. Connor and Roland become rivals, and the latter constantly tries to get on the former's nerves, going to extremes such as attempting to rape Risa just to make Connor angry. This rivalry continues until Roland's unwinding.

At Happy Jack Harvest Camp, Roland nearly kills Connor but cannot bring himself to do it. This is when Connor realizes that he was all bark and no bite. Roland is unwound.

In UnDivided', the letter he wrote at Sonia's was delivered to his mother in Indianapolis. It arrived the day her divorce was finalized. It took her two years to realize she took the wrong side of the fight. The letter gave her hope that her son was still whole and if he was she would have welcomed him back in a heartbeat, shark tattoo and all.

Personality

Roland had dreams of being a military boeuf but apparently had too much testosterone, or steroids, or a combination of both, leaving him a little too scary even for the military. Like Connor, Roland got into fights at school— although Connor suspected Roland's fights were much, much worse.

Roland is not a killer, but a fighter. He is said to be strong and brave and a good leader. He's manipulative and uses people for his own personal gain. He is intimidating and has a short fuse, having shouted a lot in the book. According to his own mother, he is a lot like his father, who got sent to prison before he was born.

Despite his tough front, Roland is truly afraid of unwinding. He loves his mother, even though she had him unwound.

Roland may have gotten his tattoo because, during these days, kids tend to get tattoos when they're little.

Physical description

Roland is said to look intimidating. He is muscular and has parallel scratches on his face. He has the tattoo of a tiger shark on his right forearm, which Connor called a dolphin to annoy Roland.

Trivia

  • Roland's surname was only revealed when Neal Shusterman asked his Facebook fans for help in giving him a surname, which he needed for the film script. His surname was borrowed from Ryan Taggart.[1][2]

References

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