Henton is the third son, and “a second spare” as he likes to refer to himself. While he does not hate his family, he has kept only a distant relationship with them stemming from events around his fifteenth birthday.
In Cothel, the oldest male child of a family is required to serve in the army for at least one year. If a family is willing to provide their son for a two-year commitment, instead of serving in the army, they can serve in the Navy. To compensate for the extra year, the family will receive a reduction in their taxes. Any additional sons enlisted in military service result in tax reductions for the family for either one or two years of commitment.