Noble Elijah is a deeply troubled soul.
Elli sees this in him, the first time they meet, as a sadness that borders on anger at all the things he has done, and she mistakes it (very often) for arrogance or intolerance, as though he believes he is above her, which infuriates her, because she admires him and knows that in many ways he is above her. She begins to see past his demons as the story carries on, but this could be a grave mistake.
Aidan describes Elijah best:
“No, hear me out,” he said quite seriously. “Elijah may be many things, but conceited isn’t one of them. He cares more and does more for others than anyone else, than anyone should ever have to, but he feels a constant, profound responsibility to do so. I know you can’t know that about him, because we’ve been stuck here all this time, but please trust me. I know Elijah better than anyone. I admire him for his strength, for his faith. He’s not proud; he’s humble. And to tell you the truth, I’ve never known anyone quite as honorable, so honorable that he would say he doesn’t do enough. If he sometimes seems smug and short, it’s only because he’s always thinking on a thousand things, always considering what else he might be doing, how else he might make a difference. He’s incredibly selfless, Elli. At times he’s so selfless he winds up hurt because of it, but that never stops him, because he’s determined to act as often as he can, because he believes that’s what he’s meant to do. He’s the closest friend I’ve got and the nearest thing I’ve ever known to true family, and he’s probably the only person in the world I’d actually die for, besides you, if he asked me to, but the fact of the matter is he’d die for me or you or anyone of us or a million other people at any given moment if he thought it would help. And he’s been close to it more than his fair share. So to hear you talk of him in such a way, to paint him as some mighty ego, is disheartening. It’s just not him,Elli. Elijah’s a good man. Not just a good man, he’s a better man, and I know I’m a better man for having known him.”