An honest man, Captain Drinian remained loyal to Caspian throughout the voyage, and in later years was his best friend and advisor during his old age.
Drinian's early life is unknown, but it can be assumed that he grew up as a noble under the reigns of Caspian VIII and Caspian IX. He learned the arts of sailing and navigation, an unusual skill for a Telmarine at that time, as they were supposed to fear the sea. He also must have lived through the War of Deliverance in 2303, though his actions during the war are unknown. After the war, he was one of the Telmarines who chose to remain in Narnia.
An able seaman, he later commanded the Caspian X's royal expedition into the Great Eastern Ocean. He appeared to be very fond of the young King, as Captain was of the Dawn Treader. He showed great courage and ability on more than one occasion, though he was a little superstitious concerning Sea People, believing them to be dangerous. He believed the females made men fall in love with them, or in love with the under-sea kingdom itself, and made them jump overboard.
In later years, Drinian became a trusted councilor to the king, and gained great influence over his son Prince Rilian. After the death of Rilian's mother, who had been killed by a serpent, Rilian had spent ages trying to track the beast down, to kill it. When Drinian went to offer counsel, it turned out that the prince hadn't been bothering with the creature anymore, as he had become smitten with an unknown maiden.
Rilian trusted Drinian, and had brought him with him to see the strange girl. Although she had indeed been a great beauty, there had been something about her that Drinian had just instinctually known was evil, but for Rilian's sake he said nothing.
After the young prince disappeared, Drinian blamed himself, and went to break the news to Caspian X personally. The aging king attempted to kill him at first, but then threw away his weapon, refusing to hurt his best friend.
Drinian died sometime after 2330.
Drinian's character can best be summed up as a tough cynic, capable of seeing the heart of a matter almost immediately, and practical almost to a fault. He was an expert seaman, well able to command his men aboard the Dawn Treader. Unlike some of the other sailors, he did not sail to find glory or honour for himself.
Drinian showed a tendency to distrust animals, probably a result of his Telmarine upbringing (in Narnia, such a distrust would border on racism). When Eustace went missing, Drinian thought he was probably killed by wild animals; and when the dragon-Eustace landed on the shore, Drinian warned Lucy not to feel sorry for it. However, he was very fond of Reepicheep, and became badly frightened and therefore short-tempered when the mouse jumped overboard to challenge a Seaman.
- In the BBC version of Prince Caspian and the Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Drinian was portrayed by John Hallam.
- In the Disney/Walden version of Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Drinian is played by Gary Sweet.
- The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (book, appearance)
- The Silver Chair (book, mentioned)
- Prince Caspian and the Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1989 BBC, appearance)
- The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010 film, appearance)