Characters from The Seventh Tower
This is a detailed list of characters and their individual stories found in
Garth Nix's " The Seventh Tower" book series.
:"He could not believe how far he'd come, and how far he had to go... Could he possibly be the same boy who'd live all his days in the Castle — all his days not knowing what existed outside? No, he was not the same. He would never be the same again.":::— excerpt from "The Fall", p. 195:"With Tal, I knew he was rather naive, deeply committed to his family, and that he had more courage than he knew.":::— Garth Nix [http://www.writerswrite.com/journal/jul00/nix.htm]
Full name: Tal Graile-Rerem
Position: Emperor of the Chosen (by the end of the series)
Weapons shadowguard, Spiritshadow (Adras), Sunstone amulet, Violet Keystone
A thirteen-year-old Chosen boy residing in the Orange level of the castle, Tal is described as having scraggly hair and shorter than most boys his age. During the beginning of the series, he is said to form a curl when he smiles. Tal is bashful about this, believing it makes him look slow (which in truth, no one else believes so). His father is Rerem, guardian of the Orange Keystone; his mother is Graile; his little brother and sister are Gref and Kusi respectively. His aunts, Lallek and Korrek, both hate him rather exceptionally. He has an eccentric great-uncle named Ebbitt whom he is fond of and usually plays games of Beastmaker with.
At some point in time, Tal's mother is poisoned, presumably by Sharrakor, with water spider venom. At that time however, it was still believed by the family to be a mysterious illness, and they believe they would find a cure in the spirit world Aenir, where the Chosen all visit during an appointed time called the Day of Ascension. As they wait eagerly for this, Tal's father suddenly disappears. Tal at the time has yet no clue as to what nature his father's work was, but was told he was appointed a special mission from the Empress. With his father missing, Tal's family have no way of entering Aenir on the Day of Ascension. A primary Sunstone is required, and seeing the their mother's has weakened and faded as her illness grew worse, the family was relying much on their father's. Tal attempts several ways to obtain a new primary Sunstone. One of them was asking for one from his aunts, who carry multiple Sunstones on their person. They wickedly refuse, but it was upon asking them that Tal met a stranger who seemed to equal his aunts' dislike towards him. This puzzles Tal, making him wonder why a complete stranger would hate him. Tal would find out much later that that stranger was actually the evil Spiritshadow Sharakkor possessing Shadowmaster Sushin's body.
When he was left with no other way to hold possession of a new Sunstone, Ebbitt advises him to climb the Red Tower to steal one of the Sunstones hanging on the top reaches above the Veil. He is thrown off by the Keeper, and with the aid of his shadowguard, lands a far distance from the Castle to the Ice that envelopes the rest of the world. It is here he makes the acquaintance of Milla and the Icecarls. Having been taught all his life there was nothing living outside the Castle, he is bewildered at first. Eventually, the Icecarls allowed him to return to the Castle only if he would bring back a Sunstone for "them" (much to Tal's distress). Milla, a young Icecarl girl around his age, is forced to accompany him on his quest and to ensure his safety.
Tal forms a rocky yet (eventually) loyal friendship with Milla as their quest progresses. Their journeys would lead to them each acquiring half of the Violet Keystone and each of them getting a Storm Shepherd bound to them for Spiritshadows. They come across the Freefolk, whom they promised to help with their fight for freedom. Slowly too, they uncover the evil plan of Sharrakor to destroy the Veil. In the end, Tal was able to cure his mother and rescue his dad, who had been imprisoned in the Orange Keystone he protected by Sharrakor. Tal and Milla also succeeded in more or less affiliating the world of the Chosen and the Icecarls together. Mutual romantic feelings are hinted at between them.
Tal, having never had encountered grave danger in his life, has had to, time and again, call and rely upon hidden bravery. He's also much advanced in terms of Mastery of Light magic, more so even than some adults. His tendency to classify everyone he meets as either Chosen or Underfolk servants has led him on numerous occasions to trouble, especially with the Icecarls and the Freefolk. It is not entirely his fault however, as he, just like all Chosen, were raised this way. All his actions, however, only aim to help and protect his family and friends.
:"The girl slid back her mask to reveal a pale, oval-shaped face and striking green eyes. But there was a spark there of extreme anger, and her cheeks were flushed with emotion.":::— excerpt from "The Fall", p. 112:"I'd like Milla at my side if I walked into a dangerous place.":::— Garth Nix [http://www.scholastic.com/titles/seventhtower/qa.htm]
Full name: Milla Talon-Hand (since "
Above the Veil")
Ancestry: Daughter of Ylse, daughter of Emor, daughter of Rohen, daughter of Cylo, in the line of Danir since the Ruin of the Ship
Weapons Merwin sword, Dual Light Talons
Milla is a young Icecarl close to Tal's age belonging to the clan of the Far-Raiders. While out in the Ice driving her sleigh, she discovers Tal, who she believes is a thief. Her attempts to kill him was stopped by her Crone. She knocks Tal unconscious instead and she grudgingly helps bring him back to the Far-Raiders' ship. There, she makes many attempts to fight him, including provoking Tal numerous times. When the Crones hear Tal's story, they decide that he is not a thief, and they will allow him to return to his Castle. However, there is a condition. The Sunstone that illuminated the clan's ship was aged and close to burning out. They ask Tal to bring them back another Sunstone, and instruct Milla to accompany him in this journey. Milla protests, still unconvinced that Tal is to be trusted, not to mention her longing to engage in a battle with him. The Crone informs her that this could help Milla in her dream of becoming a Shield Maiden. She eventually agrees, and she and Tal set out towards the Castle.
Along the trip, Milla shows no signs of being any nicer to Tal, only concerned with what she has been told to do, and that is to keep Tal alive and bring back a Sunstone for her clan. They encounter a large horned creature called a Merwin. Milla shows reckless bravery as she viciously fights it. She manages to kill it, with some help from Tal, yet sustains a massive gash across her side. Tal's shadowguard heals the wound partially before a group of Shield Maidens discover and rescue the pair. They take them to the Ruin Ship, the central most important ship of the Icecarls, and heal her completely. After a few days, Milla and Tal set off again.
Overtime, Milla begins treating Tal a little kinder. The pair come across a skeleton with a Sunstone ring. To Tal's pleadings, she allows to let him keep the Sunstone first and help him a bit more with his journey. In the Castle, she gets captured by the guards and they send her to the Hall of Nightmares. Because all Icecarls were taught how to drive away nightmares, she becomes the first person to endure the nightmares of Fashnek and emerge unaffected (with Tal being the second). Later, Ebbitt splits the Sunstone ring Tal had so they now both have one.
Her relationship with Tal suffers significantly when Tal is forced to bind them both Spiritshadows in Aenir to save their lives. The Icecarls curse shadow creatures, and Milla would have rather she died than be bound to one, but as she was unconscious, she had no choice. She wakes up furious at Tal and the two separate, having their new Spiritshadows as companions. Milla eventually forgives (or at least partially) Tal when she realized Tal did what he had to do. They team up again to gain the Codex. She and Tal later on also uncovers a sinister plot to destroy the Veil. They make alliances with the Freefolk before she decides it is time for her to go back.
By this time, she assures herself that once she returns to her clan to give the Sunstone and to pass down what she has learned from her exploits in the Castle, she will commit suicide by giving herself to the Ice, not willing to bear the shame of having a shadow bound to her. However, when she does return, the Crones judge her differently and make her a War-Chief, assigned to lead the Icecarls' battle against the Castle to protect the Veil. Also, during her trip back, she discovers a weapon which has devastating effects against shadow creatures. It is a small talon that is fitted on the nail that extends like a whip during battle. After Milla was judged, she was given the name Milla Talon-Hand.
She meets up with Tal again and, together with the Freefolk leader Crow, the young Crone Malen, her Spiritshadow Odris and Tal's Spiritshadow Adras, they return to Aenir to finally defeat the evil Sharrakor, who nearly succeeds in destroying the Veil. Afterwards, Milla returns among the Icecarls to help them recover from the brief battle against the Chosen, as does Tal with his people. Milla also returns her half of the Sunstone to Tal and renews their friendship. The Sunstone had turned out to be the Violet Keystone. Possessing it would have made her Empress of the Chosen, which she had no intention of being. It is hinted that Milla's feelings for Tal have gone further then simple friendship.
Adras and Odris
Adras and Odris are two sibling Storm Shepherds, large magical beings made of cloud, who were bound to Hrigga Hill in Aenir. In accordance to this binding, the two, when called upon by blood, must give a gift to the summoner in exchange for a life. When Tal and Milla inadvertently summon them, they turn up and demand a life. They are however reluctant. They do not really wish to take anyone's life, but are forced to because of the binding. Tal, who refuses to offer any life, makes a deal with them to allow him to bind them as his and Milla's Spiritshadows so that they may be freed from the hill. Adras and Odris accepted. Milla didn't though, but as she was knocked unconscious at the time, she only managed to express rage afterwards.
Adras, the older brother, is powerful but not particularly clever. He was bound to Tal. Odris, the younger sister, the complete opposite of Adras, was bound to Milla. Milla storms off afterwards, furious that she lost her shadow, and Odris had no choice but to follow her. More than once Odris remarked that she wished she had picked Tal stating that Adras may not be clever but he is lucky. Odris becomes more welcoming however, as Milla cools down. With Tal and Adras however, it is the human who is furious at the Spiritshadow, as Adras's dimwittedness brought them close to death more than once.
The Violet Keystone", Odris and Adras were separated from Tal and Milla at their own request by Malen's Asteyr spell. They helped Tal, Milla, Malen, and Crow get to Sharrakor, but were taken out of the battle by him before they could strike.
:"Great-Uncle Ebbitt is a bit like an erratic comet that careers across the sky every now and then. Bright, fascinating and completely unpredictable." :::— Garth Nix [http://www.writerswrite.com/journal/jul00/nix.htm]
Tal's great-uncle Ebbitt is an eccentric (Tal described him as "not exactly normal" and Milla said he was "crazy". Tal also called him "wise" and the Icecarl Sayslen asked if they should kill him in case his madness was contagious) Chosen living in Red One, the lowest level of the Chosen. He was once from the high ranks of the Indigo Order, but something went terribly wrong and he was demoted all the way to Red. He lives at the end of a rough tunnel filled with his collection of furniture.
Ebbitt is seldom serious, and he often makes makes jokes with his strange humor. He helps the Freefolk with their fight for freedom. Ebbitt knows a great deal about Sunstone magic, and he is wise in several ways. His Spiritshadow was a large maned cat with ridges along its back. He set it free later on with the help of a Crone.
A creature from Aenir, known as a "Shifter", who can take the form of a large dragon, a humanoid, a tiny parasite called a mind-drill, and possibly others. Sharrakor plans to destroy the Veil to let the Aenirans enter the Dark World and resume the war between them. He is believed to be the Spiritshadow of the Empress, but is actually a free shadow. He takes over the body of Shadowmaster Sushin to help accomplish his plans. One of his first plans was to steal the Codex, a magical object that can answer any informational question, and to hide it under a mountain-like creature in Aenir.
In Sushin's body, he makes himself the Dark Vizier, a sort of right-hand man to the Empress, to be able to order the royal guards to help him in his plot.
His ultimate goal was to unseal all the Keystones to shut down the Veil, allowing a forming army of Aenirans to attack the Dark World. He was foiled by Tal, Milla and their band, and was ultimately killed by Crow at the climax of the story.
Sushin is a high-ranking, obese Chosen of the Orange Order. He is taken over by the Aeniran Sharrakor, making him invincible. Throughout the series, he is under the control of Sharrakor, and only appears as his real self towards the end when Sharrakor leaves his wounded body. He is healed to some extent by Ebbitt, and he mutters that his last memory was having breakfast with someone in Aenir thirty years ago. Due to the seriousness of his wounds, it is unclear whether Sushin lives or dies at the end of the series.
An Underfolk leading the renegade Freefolk. He is a few years older than Tal, and is experienced in fighting. Although an Underfolk, he possesses a Sunstone which he stole. Crow bitterly resents Chosen for the abuses to his people. He first meets Tal and Milla when he and his group of Freefolk discovers their unconscious bodies in the heatways. As the leader, he commanded that the bodies be brought up to the Castle, much to the disappointment of the group, who wanted very much to kill them.
Crow becomes properly acquainted to Tal and Milla when he, again along with some Freefolk, meets them one of the underground lakes. Tal and Milla asked him if he could take them to Ebbitt, and he agreed. He led first though through a trap used to screen out suspicious strangers. Once Crow is somewhat convinced they're on his side, he agrees to help Tal obtain the Red Keystone (he also lusts after Milla). Once he and Tal had been successful though, he betrays Tal and makes off with the Red Keystone for himself, hoping it could help him and his fellow Underfolk fight for their freedom. Tal attacked him, resulting in a serious injury on Crow's head.
He was healed later by Malen. Having a complete change of heart, he decides after that to help Tal, Milla and the others faithfully and truthfully. He ultimately proves this when he sacrifices his life to kill Sharrakor.
Underfolk who rebel against the Chosen and who wish to end the abuses brought upon them call themselves the Freefolk. This group, headed by Crow, only contains a few members. Gill is a tall skinny girl who urged the group to kill Tal and Milla when they first found the two in the heatway.Clovil is a boy with long hair held at the back by a comb made of bone. Though he wishes to be the leader of the group, he still, albeit reluctantly, follows Crow. Ferek is a small boy who has been sent to the Hall of Nightmares. Due to this, he is taciturn and twitches uncontrollably. Lastly, Inkie is a stout girl who rarely speaks.
A Chosen with long hair tied at the back and a prominent nose. Sharrakor severely disfigured him by biting off a great portion of the left side of his torso from shoulder to hip. Sharrakor offered him life, and Fashnek readily took it. His Spiritshadow then conjoined with his body to fill up the missing flesh. Unfortunately, his Spiritshadow resembles anything but a human: it is a hideous insectoid with six limbs, dark pincers and a head with a leech-like tube for a mouth.
With this monstrous appearance, Fashnek may never attend any public affairs or celebration of any kind. He has found his place however in the Hall of Nightmares, where he can enter the dreams of a victim Chosen and turn it into a nightmare — a nightmare out of which he or she cannot wake. Once Fashnek lets them go, many are never the same again. They would twitch uncontrollably, or they would find it difficult to smile or laugh again. This easily makes Fashnek one of the most feared Chosen in the Castle.
He is later killed when Adras destroys his spiritshadow.
Arla is a Shield Mother who led the group of Shield Maidens that discovered Tal and Milla after they had killed the Merwin. The Shield Maidens take them to the Ruin Ship where Milla recovered.
When Milla returns from the Castle with her Spiritshadow Odris, Arla attacks her. Milla, who was not in a proper state of mind, kills Arla using the talon she found. This leads to Milla feeling guiltyas she workes with Malen, who, as it turns out, was Arla's daughter.
Malen is a young Crone, not much older than Milla. She is the daughter of the Shield Mother Arla. She served as the Crones' avatar to watch and guide Milla during the Icecarl invasion of the Castle. Upon being brought into the Castle by Milla, she healed Crow, who at that time was suffering severe head injuries. Malen also unbound Tal, Milla and Ebbitt from their Spiritshadows in Aenir. Twice she tried to recite the Prayer of Asteyr as a means to fight Sharrakor. Though not thoroughly successful, she helped in slowing him down and forcing him into his less grand shape.
:"I wouldn't mind Tal’s shadowguard... I have always liked the idea of useful magical companions.":::— Garth Nix [http://www.scholastic.com/titles/seventhtower/qa.htm]
Before Tal bound Adras the Storm Shepherd as his Spiritshadow, he lived for thirteen years with his shadowguard. Once a mouse-like Dattu in Aenir, it was bound to Tal when he was born and it has since then helped him in numerous occasions, from shielding his eyes from the sun to literally saving his life by turning into a parachute when Tal falls off the Red Tower.
Tal's shadowguard shifts shape to suit the particular mood Tal is in. Most prominent from its shapes may be the form of its original body, a Dattu. It shift-shapes into this whenever it is in a situation which it does not like yet can do nothing to change it. Upon entering Aenir, Tal's shadowguard back to its homeland, where it said farewell to Tal by tackling him and licking his face before it runs away.
A terrible Spiritshadow that guards the Red Tower, and can be found just above the Veil. It is a very large creature with a grotesque head bearing multiple eyes and a wide sharp-toothed mouth, attached to a long snake-like body. Unlike normal Spiritshadows, it speaks openly to any Chosen.
Tal encounters the Keeper twice. The first was when he was climbing the Red Tower alone to steal a Sunstone. It demanded of the Tal the Words to allow him to enter. Not knowing what Words to say, Tal was attacked by the Keeper, and this eventually led to Tal falling off the Red Tower. The second time, Tal was with Crow, and they were climbing to get to the Red Keystone. Crow had with him a certain magical bag that traps shadows inside. Using it, Tal and Crow were able to get rid of the Keeper.
Ethar is a guard of the Empress and a Shadowmaster of the Violet Order. When Tal tries to see the Empress to ask for help in obtaining a Sunstone, Ethar decides to place a wager with him in a game of Beastmaker. If Tal wins, she lets him in. If he loses, he must give up his Sunstone to Ethar. Tal agrees. As they play the game, Tal tries to hide his skill, wishing Ethar to underestimate him. Ethar isn't fooled much, though. As their game progresses, Tal shifts as the winning player. However, just as Tal was about to win, Sharrakor appears and destroys the Beastmaker game. It frightens Ethar and the other guards, and she urges Tal to leave, saying she shouldn't have played with him.
Ethar later became one of the guards working for the Sharrakor-possessed Sushin. She was the only one of the guards who survived Sharrakor's attack when they tried to prevent Sushin from climbing the Seventh Tower. Ethar and the other guards were never exactly following the path of Sharrakor's evil, but were most likely tricked like all the others to doing what Sharrakor wished. Ethar was dying when Tal and Crow found her, and Tal mercifully ended her pain by killing her.
An Icecarl berserker (called a Wilder). He is huge and muscular and has blue skin, except for a circle around his face, from soaking in the blood of a Norrworm, a creature of the Ice. This makes him resistant to heat, cold, and light-based attacks from Sunstones. He wields a chain made of the golden metal known as ethren. He is killed defending Tal and his friends as they climb the Violet Tower.
Jarek is accompanied by an Icecarl woman named Kirr, who is said to be the only one capable of calming him when he enters one of his berserk rages. She dies during the assault of the Icecarls on the Castle.
Rerem is Tal's father, who never actually appears in the series. He is the guardian of the Orange Keystone. Tal was told earlier on that Rerem disappeared while on a mission for the Empress. He was said to have been last seen in the caves under the Castle.
Upon Tal's return to the Castle from the Icecarls, he is taken by the Imperial Guards to a prison called the Pit. In here, Tal discovers the previous prisoners had scratched their names on the wall, and shockingly, Tal finds his father's name on the very bottom. It seems Rerem was actually taken captive by Sharrakor as part of Sharrakor's plot to destroy the Veil. Unsealing all Keystones would shut it down. When the Orange Keystone was unsealed, Rerem, as guardian of that Keystone, went into a state of neither living nor dying. He became trapped in the Orange Keystone, but he was freed later on by Tal using the Violet Keystone.
Tal's mother, who for most of the series is ill with a mysterious disease (turning out to be water spider venom). She is healed by Tal before he was captured by Sushin. At that time, Graile pretended to still be ill so that she later on was able to follow Tal's instructions of finding Milla and the Icecarls.
Her Spiritshadow is an owl about the size of Tal.
Gref and Kusi
Upon the disappearance of their father amidst the illness (Water spider venom) of their mother, Tal finds the situation worsened by his little brother and sister. Gref, a nine-year-old who not only caused trouble, but was just as good at evading responsibility for it, constantly bugs his older brother if he can do anything to help. Meanwhile, a much younger Kusi would often cry for her mom or dad, turning her back on Tal's attempts to cheer her up. When Tal climbs the Red Tower, Gref secretly follows him, but gets himself caught by one of Sharrakor's men. As his mother, Gref was poisoned with water spider venom and kept hidden, most likely to use as bait for Tal. With the disappearance of her two older brothers (Tal having fell off the tower at this point), Kusi is sent to live with her dreadful aunts.
Lallek and Korrek
Lallek and Korrek are Tal's mother's cruel cousins. They rank pretty high within the Orange Order, and many believe they would be ascending to Yellow soon. Each of them has acquired multiple Sunstones, and their love of gambling might be to thank. They do not care much for their cousin Graile, and they hold a particularly great dislike for Tal, possible due to a prank he pulled at them when he was young.
Lallek and Korrek both have the same Spiritshadow, which is a Dretch. Dretches, seven-foot spider-like creatures, are common inhabitants of Aenir.
Thrower is an Underfolk likes to throw molten crystals on anyone who interrupts his job (hence his nickname). As Tal and Milla, led by the Freefolk, pass by his working area, he starts throwing crystals at them. He is a Fatalist, meaning he is a dedicated Underfolk who willingly serves the Chosen. However, his vision was obstructed and therefore failed to realize that Tal and Milla have Spiritshadows, an obvious mark of a Chosen. They send their Spiritshadows to him hoping to make him stop, but unfortunately, all it did was shock him. Thrower lost his balance and fell into the molten crystals that surrounded him.
The death of Thrower gave Tal a completely different view to the lives of the Underfolk. He knows that Underfolk die everyday, but as he saw Thrower die in just one moment, he begins to realize that the Underfolk aren't mere servants, but humans too.
A list of characters that have been mentioned in the series but have in no significant way contributed to the plot. This is arranged in the order than their names are mentioned.
*Lector Roum — one of Tal's teachers; the one who informed Tal of his father's disappearance
*Hudren — an Underfolk serving Tal's family
*Forkbeard— Icecarl who reluctantly offers to adopt Tal as his son
*Jorntil — an Icecarl hunter
*Breg — a Shield Maiden
*Libbe — a Shield Maiden
*Umen — a Shield Maiden
*Lector Jannem — retired lecturer who taught the basics of light
*Talgrim One-Arm — Icecarl warrior
*Vilske — Icecarl warrior
*Harl — Imperial Guard
*Japen — Imperial Guard
*Ranil — Imperial Guard
*Brightstar Parl of the Blue — a Chosen poet
*Ulla Strong-Arm — Icecarl hero who had to cut her way out of a Merwin's stomach
*Neril — former Deputy of the Orange Order
*Lector Norval — a lecturer who taught Tal about storms in Aenir
*Jarnil — Once a Lector, he was demoted to the ranks of the Underfolk for committing two errors, namely: asking the Dark Vizier, Shadowmaster Sushin, for permission to test Underfolk to help them rise to the Ranks of the Chosen, and accidentally finding out the identity of the Dark Vizier (Shadowmaster Sushin)
*Zicka — A Kurshken (lizardlike Aeniran) who aids Tal and Milla
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