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Characters / The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara

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The only living member of the Druid Order, and the organizer of the voyage, the man once known as Walker Boh aims to recover information about the old sciences, and use them to aid the Four Lands. For tropes relating to him, see The Heritage of Shannara

Bek Rowe/Ohmsford

The cousin of Quentin Leah, Prince of Leah, Bek was orphaned at a young age and adopted by Quentin's family. Recruited by Walker for reasons unknown. It's eventually revealed that he's an Ohmsford, has the powers of the Wishsong, and, by the by, is the Ilse Witch's brother.
  • Guile Hero: He's not quite at Jair or Walker's level, but Bek, like most of Brooks's illusion casters, gets by on his brains.


Quentin Leah

I thought this would be our great adventure, our right of passage into manhood, a story we would remember all our lives, that we would tell to our friends and family. Now I don't ever want to talk about it again.

The current Prince of Leah, and Bek's best friend, cousin, and surrogate brother. Brought along by Walker so that they can have access to the Sword of Leah. Initially an enthusiastic, cheerful young man, the events of the series transform Quentin into shellshocked Failure Knight, obsessed with protecting those closest to him, no matter the cost.

  • Big Brother Instinct: Towards Bek; it gets worse as the trilogy progresses.
  • Blessed with Suck: He has the Sword of Leah. Its power is addictive and puts him at great risk from Antrax, and despite that, he still can't save most of the people he wants to protect.
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  • Break the Cutie: From Jumped at the Call to Failure Knight. It's painful to watch.
  • Cool Sword: The—wait for it—Sword of Leah.
    • Amulet of Dependency: Quentin is less addicted to the Sword's magic then Rone or Morgan were, but he still can't do much without it.
    • Ancestral Weapon: The Sword belongs to the House of Leah, which is why Quentin is the one who has to carry it.
    • Antimagic: Though he discovers that it works just as well on Antrax's superscience, and the Graak, being one of the few weapons that can penetrate the immense lizard's armour.
    • Black Swords Are Better: The hilt and sheath have been replaced dozens of times. That black blade with the liquid sheen, and the pools of murky green? Hasn't been altered in 450 years.
  • Failure Knight: His inability to save Tamis or Patrinell forms a huge part of his obsession with protecting Bek.
  • Heroic Wannabe: Initially. That doesn't survive landing at Castledown.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: When this is over Quentin is going home, settling down, and never talking about the Voyage again.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: How he feels about not being able to save Tamis. The fact this haunts him is a big part of why he considers himself a Failure Knight, ends up regretting that he Jumped at the Call, and refuses to ever go on another journey (or think or talk about this one).
  • Jumped at the Call: He thought going on this trip would be a big adventure. Now...
  • The Lancer: Naturally falls into this role no matter whom he is partnered up with. He's been The Lancer to Bek, Tamis, and Panax.
  • Made of Iron: Quentin survives battles with wronks and Mwellrets, falling off a cliff in an avalanche, and finally, having the Graak land on him during its death throes. That last one nearly does kill him, but the fact that he survived at all, means his stamina is ridiculous.
  • Older Sidekick: To Bek, whom he is obsessed with protecting.
  • Warrior Prince: Quentin's father is not a king (though he does rule Leah as part of the city council) but the trappings of the trope are still in full effect.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: Pulls this on the pursuing Mwellrets and caulls, luring them away from Panax, the Rindge, and the remaining Elven Hunters, and then halting them on a mountain pass where they can only approach a few at a time. He fully expects this to get him killed; an avalanche ends up saving his life.

Redden Alt Mer

A Rover mercenary serving on the Prekkandoran Hights, Walker hires him to captain the Jerle Shannara. Also known as Big Red, and "the man with the luck."
  • Born Lucky: Stated by many, and considering the reveal of his final survival in the series, it's quite true.

Rue Meridian

The younger half-sister of Redden Alt Mer, Rue is an accomplished mercenary in her own right, and along with Spanner Frew, is her brother's second-in-command. Also known as Little Red.
  • Action Girl: She stole Black Moclips by herself and survives battles with Mwellrets. She definitely counts.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Or at least Bek wants her, anyway. No one else in the books shows romantic interest in her, and Bek shows interest in no one else.
  • Love Interest: By the end of the series, she's become one to Bek.
  • Number Two: She and Spanner split this role with regards to Big Red.
  • Red Baron: Her nickname is Little Red; unlike her half-brother, this is something of a misnomer (since she's only "little" in comparison to him, she's actually mentioned as being rather tall for a woman), a wry bit of mockery, and a form of affectionate teasing.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: After spending most of her life among Rovers and soldiers, this is the reason she's interested in Bek.

Ahren Elessedil

The younger son of the Elven King, he is sent on the Voyage by his older brother, Kylen. Goes through more trauma than the rest of the cast combined, especially after attracting the attention of The Morgawr's Dragon, Cree Bega. He puts in another appearance in High Druid as a member of the Druid Order, and a mentor to his neice, Khyber.
  • Antihero: Type I. Ahren's in way over his head and knows it.
    • Classical Antihero: Plagued by self-doubts, unaware about what's really going on, and frequently victimised by those who are more powerful than he is, Ahren is really not cut out for this hero gig, but tries anyway.
  • Archenemy: How he sees the relationship between himself and Cree Bega by the end.
    "He hated all of the rets, but their leader most of all. Cree Bega was a weight about his neck that would drag him to his death if it wasn't cut off now."
  • Break the Cutie: No character goes through quite the level of torture that Ahren does. By the end he's a fundamentally broken person with no self-respect left.
  • Cain and Abel: His brother wants him dead, or at least out of the way, for fear that when he dies, Ahren will take the throne from his children. Ahren wouldn't dream of it, but that doesn't do anything to allay his brother's paranoia.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Just manages to man up and defeat Cree Bega, who's spent most of the third book psychologically torturing him.
  • Face Your Fears/Tired of Running: With regards to Cree Bega. When the big lizard climbs onto the ship and kills one of the crew, Ahren's first instinct is to run. He has an injured Quentin Leah to defend however, and realises that if he runs now, he'll never retain a single shred of his own self-respect. An awesome Knife Fight ensues.
  • Forced to Watch: Cree Bega forces Ahren to watch The Morgawr feed on the minds of the entirety of Black Moclips crew.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Did we mention that this kid hates himself?
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: How he feels about not being able to save Ryer Ord Star from Cree Bega. Unlike Quentin Leah, who arguably might have been able to save Tamis, there was very little he could have done, yet he blames himself anyway...and this informs his character development into the next series.
  • It's Personal: With Cree Bega, for a whole host of reasons.
  • Jumped at the Call: Like Quentin and Bek, he thought travelling to Castledown would be a great adventure. It leaves him broken, dead inside, and wanting to die.
  • Knife Fight: With Cree Bega. Absolutely awesome, and ending with the latter's death.
  • The Mentor: Eventually becomes this to his niece, Khyber, in High Druid, to the point she takes over his role as Druid and eventually Ard Rhys.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Just in time for his fight with Cree Bega.

Ryer Ord Star

The protege of the Addershag, Ryer is an empath and a seer recruited by Walker to help them on their journey. She doubles as The Mole for the Ilse Witch, and is eventually captured and tortured by Cree Bega and The Morgawr, resulting in her suicide. Has a very complex relationship with Walker.

Truls Rohk

The son of a Borderman and a Shapeshifter, Truls Rohk is badly disfigured, and extremely bitter. He's known Walker for years, and is recruited by him to help the crew of The Jerle Shannara. Along the way he strikes up a friendship with Bek. Killed in battle with the Ilse Witch's caull, he is reborn as a true Shapeshifter.
  • Odd Friendship: With Bek. He's a mysterious, disturbing, half-human shapeshifter, Bek is an ordinary human (apart from his wishsong). They bond over their magic, and Walker having placed Truls Rohk as Bek's guardian.
  • Shapeshifting: Both the voluntary, and involuntary kinds.


A Dwarven Tracker recruited by Walker to help serve as their guide. He develops a close friendship with Quentin Leah, and Obat, the leader of the Rindge.
  • Expy: Of Hendel, from Sword.
  • Going Native: Opts to stay with the Rindge because there's nothing new to discover at home.


An Elven Hunter and protege of Ard Patrinell, upon whom she has a fairly serious crush. She teams up with Quentin in Antrax to Mercy Kill the Patrinell wronk, and dies in the process.
  • The Gwen Stacy: To Quentin, since being unable to save her is a big part of why he ends up shell-shocked and refuses to ever go on an adventure again.
  • Ineffectual Loner: Initially, due to lingering bitterness over being forced to become an Elven Hunter instead of a member of the vaunted Home Guard. She gets over it by partway through Antrax.
  • Love Martyr: Goes through Hell just to put the man she loved out of his misery.
  • Mentor Ship: With Patrinell, who taught her how to fight.
  • Together in Death: With Ard Patrinell, dying even as the wronk is finally destroyed.

The Ilse Witch/Grianne Ohmsford

A broken, deadly young woman who can kill with her voice, the Ilse Witch makes her home off the coast, where she plots revenge against Walker for imagined wrongs. Hearing of his quest to obtain the books of what she believes to be old magic, she gathers her own airship crew and sets off in pursuit of him. She is eventually revealed to be Bek's sister, Grianne, and reforms, turning against her mentor, The Morgawr.

She reappears in High Druid of Shannara as the High Druid of the new Druid Order and in Dark Legacy of Shannara as a Witch-Wraith. See High Druid of Shannara and The Dark Legacy Of Shannara for tropes relating to her in those series.

  • Archenemies: She thinks she and Walker are.
  • The Atoner: Post-Heel–Face Turn. After all she did, she has every right to believe she Must Make Amends for the rest of her life.
  • Bad Boss: Crushes any servant who questions her authority.
  • Bastard Understudy: To The Morgawr. They're both very aware of it too, and it's a major theme in their interactions with one another.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: Forms one with The Morgawr, though as his former pupil, she is the junior partner, a fact she very much resents, despite all her bluster about them being equals.
    • Big Bad Wannabe: She's effectively sidelined during Antrax and is just not evil enough to compete with The Morgawr on an even footing, a fact that both he and Cree Bega have taken into account.
  • Broken Bird: Comes off like this post-Heel–Face Turn.
  • Dark Magical Girl: A rare Western example.
  • Easily Forgiven: Only by Bek. It's the fact she isn't by anyone else that keeps her from being truly successful in leading the Druid Council and contributes greatly to her sacrificing herself in exchange for Cinnaminson in High Druid.
  • Empty Shell: Post Villainous BSoD. It's to the point that for most of the third book she literally has to be moved around by the other characters (mostly Bek), made to eat, etc. because she can't function on her own.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: She finds Cree Bega utterly repulsive and has similar opinions regarding The Morgawr's method of feeding.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Inverted. Bek spends most of book 2 trying to convince her that she is his sister.
  • Moral Myopia: Walker's supposedly killing her family? Unforgivable. Her own random murders, Bad Bossings, and all around bitchiness? Totally justified by her own suffering.
  • Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: She's about twenty. Walker's 150.
  • Raised by Orcs: Raised by The Morgawr, a cruel and twisted villain who naturally causes her to turn out much like himself.
  • Redemption Earns Life: Although by the end of High Druid she no longer believes she deserves life because nothing can truly redeem her.
  • Revenge: Wants it on Walker for supposedly killing her family.
  • Tyke-Bomb: Though far more independent than most.
  • Villainous BSoD: After being shown the truth about her past and herself by the Sword of Shannara, Grianne pretty much shuts down, and goes into a waking coma. Snapping her out of it becomes a big part of the plot in Morgawr.
  • Villain Protagonist: Gets at least as much attention as the heroic part of the cast.
  • Wangst: Deliberately invoked. That she's a selfish bitch blinded by her own perceived suffering is the entire point of her character.
  • Wizard Duel: Against The Morgawr in the last book. Although she needs Bek's help to win, it's still pretty awesome.

The Morgawr

"To feed on another's life. You cannot imagine the ecstasy!"

An ancient warlock who hides within the Wilderun, The Morgawr claims to have been the brother of The Witch Sisters, Morag and Mallenroh. A grotesque, disfigured monster who feeds on human lives and souls, The Morgawr is the Ilse Witch's mentor and the true Big Bad of the Voyage trilogy. Appearing in the background throughout the first two books, he emerges in Morgawr to finish the main cast and take the books of magic for himself. He is eventually slain by Bek, Grianne, and the spirit of Mephitic castle. Probably the single evilest character to appear in the entire franchise.

  • Bad Powers, Bad People: He devours peoples' souls and minds in order to extend his own life and power. Moreoever, all his other magics stem from this leeching of life. Unsurprisingly, he's one of Brooks's most evil villains.
  • Big Bad: There are several contenders for this title in the series, but The Morgawr is the one who ultimately wins out.
  • Brain Food: Worse. He reaches through the back of your head, absorbs your brain (and soul), and leaves you a mindless puppet.
  • Dark Is Evil
    • Dark Is Not Evil: Invokes and then subverts this trope, assuring a younger Ilse Witch that despite his frightening appearance he is her friend. He's not. He's not anyone's friend.
  • Determinator: Shows some aspects of this in his Wizard Duel against Grianne, when he temporarily holds off an attack by her and the spirit of Mephitic castle through sheer force of will. The Morgawr may be a monster, but he does not go out like a bitch.
  • Energy Absorption: Feeds on the Life Energy of his victims, then channels that into magic. He's basically a magical leech.
  • Evil Mentor: To the Ilse Witch; he not only poisons her mind against Walker, keeps her separated from humanity, and instills in her disdain and contempt for all other life (though not to the same extent as him, thankfully), he trains her wishsong to heights of power (and depths of wickedness) to levels not seen since Brin.
  • Full-Contact Magic: Typically uses his magic to shield himself before grappling with his adversaries.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: He may be part man, part Mwellret. He may also just be a human who has mutated to resemble one. Either way, he has some definite characteristics of this.
  • The Man Behind the Man: He's been manipulating the Ilse Witch (who thinks she's his equal partner) since she was five or six.
  • Mysterious Past: Very little is ever made clear about The Morgawr's past, including what he is, what his real name is, if he really is Morag and Mallenroh's brother, and if not, how old he really is.
  • No Name Given: Note that he's The Morgawr. Is that a title? The name of his species? His job description? Whatever the case may be, we're never told if he has a real name.
    • It's both title and species. It means "Warlock."
  • The Nondescript: One of the forms he takes in front of Sen Dunsidan. He implies that it might be his real face.
  • Not So Different: From The Ilse Witch, which he points out to her in their final confrontation. The Ilse Witch herself sees him as Not So Different from Walker prior to her Heel–Face Turn.
  • Puppet Master: With a fondness for People Puppets, who he creates after magically destroying their free will and devouring their minds.
  • Slave Mooks: His victims are transformed into this after he drains their minds and souls. See Puppet Master above.
  • Vampiric Draining: Of Life Energy, magic and mental stamina.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Can alter his features to resemble almost anyone, although he doesn't do it very often, preferring the shock value of his actual appearance.
  • Witch Species: He claims to be the brother of the Witch Sisters, Morag and Mallenroh, from Elfstones.
  • Wizard Duel: Against Grianne and the spirit of Mephitic castle.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: Consumes it along with your mind.

Cree Bega

"She took ssso long to die, little Elvesss. So long it ssseemed that it would take forever."

The Morgawr's right hand Mwellret, and the commander of the 'rets among the Ilse Witch's crew. A slimy, obsequious psycho, and one of the few members of the cast who isn't afraid of the Witch. Killed in a Knife Fight against Ahren Elessedil during the climax of Morgawr.

  • All Trolls Are Different: The Mwellrets are a species of lizardlike Troll who survived the Great Wars by hiding out in swamplands and marshes.
  • Archenemy: Ahren sees him as this by the end.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Very fond of it, as evidenced by his horrific torture of Ryer Ord Star, and his psychological torment of Ahren.
  • Compelling Voice: Like most Mwellrets, Cree Bega can do this. His isn't as powerful as that of Stythys from Wishsong, but it's still a very threatening ability.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Slain by Ahren, one of his favourite victims.
  • The Dragon: To The Morgawr; whenever the warlock needs anything done (particularly after the Ilse Witch has gone to Castledown), it's always Cree Bega who carries it out, and the vast majority of his tasks involve fighting, torture and slaughter, and other extremely physical roles.
  • Fantastic Racism: Towards all non-Mwellrets.
  • Full-Name Basis: Always "Cree Bega", never just one or the other.
  • Hypnotic Eyes: A Mwellret's eyes will freeze you if you look into them for too long.
  • Just Between You and Me: Shares numerous gruesome details with Ahren, including how long it took his crush to die.
  • Karmic Death: Throughout Morgawr, Ahren is undoubtedly Cree Bega's favourite victim. That it's Ahren who finally kills him, is very sweet.
  • Kick the Dog: Loves it. Notable examples include the above-mentioned Just Between You and Me, forcing Ahren to watch The Morgawr feed, and of course, his torture of Ryer Ord Star which Drives Her To Suicide. A lot of what he does is basically Kick The Woobie.
  • Knife Nut: Both the throwing and the stabbing variety. Unlike many of Brooks' other examples, he does play up the psychotic aspects of this weapon choice.
  • Licking the Blade: Licks the blood off of his knife after killing one of the Elven Hunters with it.
  • The Resenter: Towards the Ilse Witch, who he believes is less than worthy of The Morgawr's attention.
  • Smug Snake: He's arrogant, vicious, and contemptuous of all the "Little peoplessss"; even his undeniable bravery (he's one of the few people in series who isn't scared of the Ilse Witch) stems more from arrogance than anything else. Just reading any of his conversations with the Ilse Witch or Ahren should make his inherent Smug Snakeness apparent.
  • Sssssnake Talk: Little Elvessss...
  • The Starscream: To The Ilse Witch. He makes it very clear that he believes that he, rather than her, should be the one in charge of the Voyage. The only reason he doesn't try and stick a knife in her is because The Morgawr told him not to, unless she tries to betray him.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Would torture and violate a girl in every way possible.
  • Would You Like to Hear How They Died?: See the character quote above; he very clearly relished what he did to Ryer Ord Star and telling Ahren about it.


An Old World supercomputer, Antrax was created to protect the world's knowledge during the Great Wars. Told that it must survive at all costs, Antrax lures magic-users to its home in Castledown where it imprisons them and drains off their magic to fuel itself. The main cast's lack of knowledge about what it is makes it truly dangerous.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Subverted. Antrax is doing exactly what it was hardwired for.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Antrax isn't genuinely evil, and its mounting confusion as its systems shut down is genuinely sad.
  • Booby Trap: Its fortress is loaded with them.
  • The Chessmaster: Antrax set the entire plot in motion in order to gather more victims with which to feed its hungry power cells.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Serves as the Big Bad of the book with its name, and is responsible for dozens of deaths, despite not being the main antagonist.
  • Eviler Than Thou: With the Ilse Witch, though it barely acknowledges her presence.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: As part of its automated defence grid.
  • Genius Loci: Because of the main cast's unfamiliarity with Old World machinery, Antrax certainly looks like one to them, as it brings the entirety of Castledown to bear against them.
  • Humans Are Bastards: The Knight Templar dicks who programmed Antrax will hopefully burn in the deepest pit in Hell.
  • Knight Templar: Antrax will kill anyone who tries to access the books without the codes. Moreover, it has expanded its practises to luring in people with magical abilities and enslaving them. Why? So that it can drain their magics in order to fuel its own existence, and thus fullfill its Obstructive Code of Conduct of protecting said books. The best part: it doesn't even know what it's protecting.
    • Likewise, Antrax's original creators. Though their identities are lost to time, their legacy is felt through the programmed orders they put in Antrax.
  • Magitek: Antrax has evolved past the point of using solar radiation; it now feeds on raw magic, drained from its victims.
  • Master Computer: Antrax's systems extend throughout the entire fortress.
  • Mecha-Mooks: Has a wide variety of them.
    • Hollywood Cyborg: Its wronks, half-human, half-machine abominations controlled by Antrax's will.
    • Killer Robot: The proto-Creepers and the wronks are both hardwired to massacre any and all intruders.
    • Slave Mooks: The wronks have no free will, their minds being utterly dominated by Antrax's programming.
  • Obstructive Code of Conduct: Protect the books.
  • Robotic Psychopath: Antrax is supposed to act the way it does.

Ard Patrinell

Ahren and Quentin's mentor, ex-Captain of the Home Guard, and the leader of the company of Elven Hunters aboard the Jerle Shannara. He is captured by Antrax, turned into a wronk and sent to hunt his friends down. Quentin and Tamis spend most of Antrax trying to Mercy Kill him.
  • Implacable Man: The Patrinell wronk is the most powerful of its kind, and all but unstoppable.
  • The Mentor: To Ahren, Quentin and Tamis; although this all occurs in Backstory for Tamis, there's more than enough interaction and dialogue between them to show the respect and caring they have for one another. On the journey to Castledown it's easy to see how quickly Ard takes Ahren and Quentin under his wing, teaching them how to be better fighters and part of a group whose members can depend on each other.
  • Mercy Kill: Via Quentin and Tamis, since it is the only way to free him from the wronk Antrax has transformed him into.
  • Together in Death: Implied with Tamis—much of the dialogue Tamis has with Quentin before they kill the wronk implies the mentor relationship they once had has developed into something much deeper, at least on her part, and when she goes to her death with the wronk it's very clear she believes she is joining him.

The Graak

A huge, saurian predator that inhabits the Crake rainforest, the Graak makes short work of the first patrols to enter its territory. After witnessing its slaughter of his men, Redden Alt Mer develops a paranoid fear of the monster, which he realises he will have to overcome in order to retain his self-respect, leading a team in to slay it, and take the floatation crystals it is guarding.
  • Animal Nemesis: To Redden Alt Mer; not only he is the one who most exemplifies Primal Fear in response to it, his determination to overcome this and recover his courage drives him to track down and kill the beast even beyond recovering the crystals they need.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: The Graak's description implies it is some sort of lost dinosaur.
  • Giant Equals Invincible: Going off of the description, the Graak is one of the largest monsters featured in the series.
  • MacGuffin Guardian: The crystals they need to power the Jerle Shannara are in the Graak's territory.
  • Monster Is a Mommy: Monster is part of a mated pair anyway.
  • Mutual Kill: The second Graak manages to mortally wound Quentin, crushing him, even as he kills it. Grianne saves his life with magic, but it was this close.
  • The Reveal: There are two Graaks in the Crake
  • Threshold Guardian: Serves as one for Redden Alt Mer, forcing him to confront fear for the first time in his life.

Sen Dunsidan

Minister of War for The Federation, Sen Dunsidan is a consumate politician who aspires to be his nation's leader. He as long maintained a mutually beneficial alliance with the Ilse Witch; later he begins to aid The Morgawr.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Played with. He's horrified by what The Morgawr has done, yet does nothing whatsoever to stop him.
  • Full-Name Basis: Always addressed by his full name (or his title).
  • Honest John's Dealership: He's willing to offer you anything...all while planning to stab you in the back.
  • Karma Houdini: Subverted. Sure he makes it out of the series with his possessions and power intact, but after witnessing what The Morgawr did to those sailors, he'll never sleep again. And then The Moric eats him in the sequel.

The Turnkey

"Everyone called him turnkey, as though that were more than name enough for a man who did what he did."

The keeper of the Federation prisons' keys, the turnkey serves as warden and torturer as well. He aids Sen Dunsidan when the Minister makes his deal with The Morgawr, and kills himself shortly afterwards.

Alternative Title(s): The Voyage Of Jerle Shannara


Example of: