Digory Kirke is the protagonist and central character in The Magician's Nephew. At the beginning of the story, he is quite dismayed to have been brought to London to live "with an Aunt and an Uncle who's mad" because his father is "away in India" and his mother is dying. In the opening scene of the first chapter, Digory is portrayed as being sullen and weak, crying bitterly over the circumstances in which fate has placed him. To be fair, Digory really is in an undesirable situation. His Uncle Andrew is indeed a questionable character, a magician who considers himself better than the common individual in society, and so not accountable to the same rules. Uncle Andrew is experimenting with some magic rings which he has managed to secure, and thinks nothing of using children as guinea pigs in his procedures.
Digory himself is self-centered, impulsive, and immature in the beginning of the story. When he and his friend Polly are transported to the mysterious world of Charn by his Uncle Andrew's magic rings, he goes so far as to hurt Polly to satisfy his curiosity and ring the bell that releases the evil Jadis. As the narrative progresses, however, Digory begins to mature, learning to make better choices and to care more about the welfare of others. Digory's ability to discern the positive and negative aspects of the characters of others truthfully is shown when he admits that his Uncle Andrew is, in fact, "a wicked, cruel magician," and he eventually risks his own life when he purposefully follows Polly into the unknown in order to protect her.