Crispin – The Cross of Lead deals with different topics: religion, trust, loyalty, sacrifice, freedom, friendship, courage, nobility, social hierarchy, and fate. The most important ones are friendship and fate.
Crispin and Bear both fight against their fate. Up until Crispin is forced to run for his life, he has simply accepted his place in the world and the social, political, economic and intellectual restrictions that came with it. His decision to escape is the catalyst that allows him to see that he can think for himself and determine his own destiny. Certainly, Bear is a role model for him in this sense. Bear’s career choice offers a freedom known to very few during the , and Middle Ages certainly unknown to all peasants. Bear shows Crispin what it means to be free. And with this newly found freedom, Crispin is able to reject his noble blood, his familial fate, his name. He chooses his friendship with Bear and his autonomy instead.
Connected to the theme of fate is that of friendship. These two incredibly different individuals form a very unlikely friendship – one which deepens through their various adventures. They rely on one another, trust and respect one another, and even risk their lives for one another. We see how trust can be built over time and how everyone, regardless of their circumstances, needs someone they can rely on.