|"I have no choice but to die... NO! I have jumped for a tree, jumped for a raven, jumped for a cougar. I shall jump for the sun!"|
|— Faolan when he jumps over the wall of fire in Lone Wolf, page 211|
Gray and white
Kinnaird (Birth father)
Morag MacNamara (Birth mother)
Thunderheart (Adoptive mother)
Brangwen MacNamara (Step father)
Mhairie MacNamara (Birth sister)
Dearlea MacNamara (Birth sister)
Akira MacHeath (Mother-in-law)
Edme MacHeath (Mate)
Myrrglosch (Adoptive son)
Maudie (Adoptive daughter)
MacDuncan Pack of the Eastern Scree
Faolan MacDuncan is a young male dire wolf (Canis dirus) and is the main protagonist of the Wolves of the Beyond series, as the books follow his life. He is the son of Morag and Kinnaird. Faolan was born as a outcast, malcadh because of his splayed paw and left out on a frozen to drown, but was rescued by Thunderheart, a female grizzly. He soon joins the MacDuncan pack of the Eastern Scree and becomes a gnaw wolf, and later becomes part of the Watch. He is also the one who "jumped for the sun".
Later, he along with Edme are sent by the Watch to help the Blood Watch and stop the Skaars Dancing. Faolan leads the pack of survivors to the Distant Blue. Faolan is the third incarnation of the first Fengo.
Faolan has the luminous green eyes of the true wolves of the Beyond. As seen on the covers of the books, he has dark, silvery-gray fur running from the top of his head to his back and the top of his tail. The rest of his body is a light silver, almost white. He has a black nose and a bit of white fur above his eye. Faolan is very fast; faster than the she-wolves, who are said to be the fastest, and very large and strong.
One of his front paws is splayed, meaning that the toes are further apart from each other. However, when the Great Mending comes in Spirit Wolf, his paw is straightened. He has a spiral mark shaped like a swirled star on the pad of his left paw, making him a malcadh. Although the meaning of this spiral is unknown, Faolan believes it is part of a bigger destiny or a great harmony.
He, being raised by a bear, has a deep voice, unlike the soft whispering of clan wolves.
It is stated by Morag in Shadow Wolf that she might have named him after a constellation like Skaarsgard, the star wolf who helps wolves up the star ladder, because it seemed to her as if the stars had fallen from the sky and been swirled through his fur.
Morag- Birth Mother
Kinnaird- Birth Father
Thunderheart- Adoptive Mother
Mhairie- Birth Sister
Dearlea- Birth Sister
Brangwen- Step Father
Unknown wolves from previous litter's siblings
Unnamed Pup- Half-sibling; Brecco's Sibling
Unnamed Pup- Half-sibling; Brecco's Sibling
Daraigh- Step Aunt
Maudie- Adoptive daughter
Myrrglosch- Adoptive son
Akira- Mother in-law
Unknown male - Father-in-law
Meaning of Name
Fao means both River and Wolf, and Lan means Gift. So his name means "Gift of the River", "River Gift", "Wolf Gift from the River", "Wolf Gift", etc. In actual reality, Faolan is an Irish name which means "Little Wolf".
A silver she-wolf called Morag, is searching for a den to give birth to her third litter. Scared of birthing a malcadh, she went by-lang and attempted to cross the border. There are several shallow pits, but they would offer no shelter. Morag then finds a pregnant fox waiting to give birth and chases the fox away. After Morag gets rid of the vixen, she gives birth. She births three pups, two tawny females and a silver male. But the silver pup has a splayed paw, declaring it a malcadh. This is a small flaw, but will be serious in the clan. Morag tells herself the deformity would leave in a few days, but it remains.
The Obea of the MacDuncan clan, Shibaan, then tries to track Morag down. Shibaan had learned to become suspicious when a she-wolf went by-lang. She is able to foil Morag's tricks, such as only urinating in ice-free parts of the river. She finds Morag and takes the silver pup to an icy river bank to be his tummfraw. Shibaan returns and both she-wolves carry each of the tawny pups and announce the birth of the malcadh to the clan. Then Morag had to leave the clan in order of the blood-lines of the pack leaving her of to another clan. Shibaan abandoned Faolan on a piece of ice on the river that is about to crack. She is said to have no feeling for the pups she abandons and she "might as well be carrying a clod of dirt". The ice cracks and Faolan is thrown in the raging river. However, the pup opens his eyes and ears and grips.Then the point of view switches to that of a female Grizzly Bear, (his second Milk Giver) who is standing by the river moaning. Apparently, her only cub was taken by cougars, and she intended to commit suicide. After a while, Faolan is snagged in her paw. When she sees him, she sees the pup as her "gift from the river," she names him Faolan. According to her, "Fao" means river and wolf in both the languages of bears and wolves, and "Lan" means gift in bear language.Faolan soon calls the grizzly, Thunderheart, because of her large booming heart.
Faolan is taught the ways of a bear cub, like fishing and eating vegetation, which wolves don't eat. Soon the two seek a Winter Den and Thunderheart finds the "perfect" one. She picks a connection of tunnels under what is assumed to be a volcano, and goes to sleep. But before her hibernation she explains to him that she must go to sleep for the winter, The Long Cold, as it is called, and she gives him permission to leave the den to prevent him from getting bored. He catches rabbits and hares and always brings some back for Thunderheart every time he goes hunting.
One day, an earthquake erupts and Thunderheart, confused by sleepiness and forgetting about giving permission to her pup, leaves the den thinking he is lost. Thunderheart is soon killed by a falling boulder in the earthquake. One day Morag, while searching for a new den, finds Thunderheart's dead body.Faolan travels to the Outermost to terminate the cougar that killed Thunderheart's birth cub before she found him. He thought that if he did that she would come back. He finds one and tears open his veins and he dies. Just when Faolan was eating the mountain lion meat, two wolves appear, a gray one and a russet one with one eye. These wolves are known as Outclanners. Faolan leaps on top of them and breaks the grey wolf's spine.Faolan travels around, searching for his beloved grizzly milk giver, but doesn't find a trace of Thunderheart. Soon Faolan finds the Cave Before Time. He takes refuge in it and observes paintings on the wall. He then goes back to the Beyond. Later he finds the grizzly's bones and gnaws their story on her paw bone. He meets Gwynneth, a rogue smith owl and she tells him to go to the wolves. Gwynneth explains the ways of the wolves and why he was abandoned as a pup he was a malcadh.
After seeing his splayed paw print, some MacAngus wolves from the MacAngus clan think he has the foaming mouth disease, or rabies, and they ask the Sark of the Slough to create a fire so they could drive Faolan into it. However, Faolan is able to jump the wall of fire and survives. Duncan MacDuncan, the chieftain of the MacDuncan clan, remembers that he was the wolf pup that had the splayed paw. Faolan is then accepted into the clan as a gnaw wolf.Heep, a "model" gnaw wolf. They meet Mhairie, a tawny female wolf from the Carreg Gaer of the MacDuncan clan. Heep explains how gnaw wolves are supposed to sniff for 'droppings'.
Faolan suddenly finds himself joining the hunt, but scares away the prey by standing on his hind legs, knocking Mhairie to the ground. Mhairie 'yells' at him, complaining to Faolan that he made her lose her once-in-a-lifetime chance of becoming an outflanker. The Lords of Heep's pack and Faolan's pack then decide Faolan must see Duncan MacDuncan, the dying chieftain. Later, Faolan goes to the chieftain, and a wolf named Adair reads the bone that Heep had gnawed, telling about Faolan's illegal mishap on the hunt. He wrote the word "humble" so many times that Faolan was soon annoyed, as well as Duncan. There is a fire in the cave, in which Faolan looks into, causing Duncan to begin to wonder if Faolan has the firesight, a rare ability to see through the flames and see visions. The chieftain wonders if the young gnaw wolf sees the cold before the summer moons, if the Long Cold would return. But all Faolan sees in the flames is the spiral mark shape on his paw.Mhairie is later seen in the chapter "Mhairie's Den". She shares this den with her sister, Dearlea. Their mother, Caila, has borne a litter of six new pups. One of the sisters uses the den, while the other help with Caila with the new ones.Lael, the Obea, takes a malcadh out to a tummfraw and Faolan howls a prayer to Lupus about the pup that a sheet a snow will cover her, leaving her hidden from hungry predadors. Gwynneth is flying over by. Soon she hears the pup being murdered, by a wolf. She can tell it's one because of the the sound of when he tore apart the pup. Soon the mother of the malcadh goes to the Sark for the forgetting. Once the mother of the crippled pup falls asleep in the Sark's den, Gwynneth tells her about the murder and soon enough, the two animals go to investigate. They find that there are hardly any bones, and the Sark points out that Faolan had been there. But they doubt it was Faolan, so they keep looking, and the scent of yet another wolf becomes visible. Meanwhile, when Faolan goes to the Sark of the Slough sometime the next day, he asks if his mother had ever been to her den. Sark says she has no clue who his mother was, so Faolan leaves.Throughout the month, Faolan goes back to the spot where the malcadh had been murdered. He was going to build a drumlyn for the dead pup, when Gwynneth tells him after the gaddergnaw byrrgis that the pup had been murdered. When he returns to the clan, Heep frames him and lies about Faolan killing the malcadh. The Sark comes and figures out the true murderer: Heep. As the Beyond law says, you must slowly tear the wolf if they kill a malcadh. But Heep escapes unharmed. After Faolan and Edme win the gaddergnaw, Heep comes and tries to take the bones of Thunderheart. Faolan stops him and lets him go, once again, not hurt. Fengo tells them each where their tummfraws are, because before attending the Watch, a wolf must seek his or her tummfraw. They separate and Faolan finds his: a riverbank. Memories of him as a pup flood back to him, and he decides to build a memorial for his second milkgiver: Thunderheart. Later he meets back with Edme, and she tells him what happened to her. The two find a den to sleep in. Both have strange dreams, Faolan's being about the Fengo. When they wake up, they find it snowing, in spring. While on their way to the Hot Gates, they watch a byrrgis of the Watch sharing a kill with a grizzly and her cubs. Soon the mother falls asleep, and Faolan, feeling strangely full when he hadn't eaten, falls asleep too. When he wakes up he finds Edme playing with one of the cubs while it's mum is asleep. Faolan warns Edme never to play with grizzly cubs, because if their mum caught her, she'd kill Edme. They leave the cubs and continue on their journey. When they make it to the Ring of Sacred Volcanoes, they meet up with two other wolves who have similar deformities, Twist, or Twistling, whose paw is twisted, and Winks who has one eye. Faolan an Edme learn how to do acrobatic jumps called Scanning Jumps, and riding the She-Winds. Later on, Faolan sees an owl he thinks may be a bad owl, or a graymalkin. Faolan jumps up and catches the owl who proceeds to tell Faolan and Edme that a bear cub has been cubnapped. Faolan and Edme go to the Fengo and tell him where the cub is, and who had cubnapped him. Faolan and Edme must go to the Pit and rescue the cub from Old Cags. When they get there, there is some trouble that leads to the death of Arthur, though Faolan and Edme manage to rescue Toby and start to head back to the Sacred Ring. A few moons later, the Sark takes Faolan to his dying mother, Morag. They nuzzle and say they love each other before Morag dies. Faolan creates a drumlyn for Morag at the end of the book. He sees both Thunderheart and Morag's spirits on the star ladder. Edme and the Sark.
In Spirit Wolf, Faolan is first seen trying to recolect the dream he had the previous night. Soon, he starts to walk out of the cave when the earthquake starts to happen. Faolan is thrown on to his back and so are his sisters because of the force. As they scramble to their feet the three wolves turn around to see the H'rathghar glacier racing towards them. Again, the earth shakes, and they are tossed on their backs. From where he was Faolan saw the Great Bear constellation, Lupus and Skaarsgard. The last thing Faolan saw before presumably blacking out was Dearlea's eyes roll back into her head.
Later, Faolan gripped an ice raft as hard as he could while calling Mhairie and Dearlea's names. He becomes worried, but then hears Dearlea talking to Mhairie. Soon he catches sight of them floating in the musk ox they had found like a boat, however it was sinking. He helped them climb on to his ice raft after they jumped from the carcass. As soon as Dearlea and Mhairie got their grip Mhairie noticed that Faolan's paw was now longer splayed, but straight. He was hesitant to look at it and thought himself to be incomplete. He was so shocked by the fact that his paw was no longer splayed that he nearly fell off the ice floe.
Afterwards, Faolan attempted to get them back to shore by steering the ice raft with a gnawed branch that would work like an owl's wing. With his new paw, Faolan had trouble attaching the "water wing" to the back of the raft. After a few tries, with Mhairie and Dearlea's help they manage to steer back to shore. The whole time he thought about Edme. He was horrified when he found Malachy's body. So, he was relieved when he saw Edme and Myrr walking up to them. In Edme's makeshift den they all ate lemmings and Edme told him that every Watch wolf, besides them was dead. Upon hearing the news, Faolan states that they should put Finbar's bones on the cairn of the Fengos, which was surprisingly still there. They all did a ceremony for the placing of the bones. When they were done Faolan stayed and guarded the cairn and soon fell asleep.
In Faolan's dream he witness the first conversation between Grank and the first Fengo. He also heard Fengo's glaffling for Grank later. Then, Faolan became the Snowy Owl, Fionula, a gadfeather talking to Brunwella Plonk. When Brunwella commented that the codes and ways of the wolves were silly, Fionula was angered and defended them. In the morning, Edme woke him up and Faolan told them all that they must go to the Distant Blue.
They set off, and were somewhere close to the Slough when they heard Gwynneth screeching. Faolan was frightened that it had something to do with the Sark. They all raced towards the Sark's den, to find her dying. There, Faolan told her about the plans for traveling. When they discuss if they should take the Sark to the Distant Blue, The Sark objects. She told them that she had all she needed and that the shattered remains of her memory jugs was her heaven. Then the Sark died.They were all quiet and it was Faolan who broke the silence and said they should leave.
Later, they come across the rest of the H'rathghar glacier on their route to the Cave Before Time. Once they get up there Gwynneth tells them that Banja has a pup and goes to get them. To Faolan, the idea that Banja had a pup was shocking. Then, Edme plays tag with Myrr and falls down a crevasse. Faolan was frantic that Edme fell and he and sisters began to argue on how to get her out of there. Soon after that the Whistler arrives, and they tell him the news. Gwynneth then returns with Maudie in her talons.Then Faolan devises a plan to get Edme out that they would execute when Banja arrives; a Great Chain of wolves. Faolan was the first "link" in the chain and would be the one to grab Edme. They carefully lowered him down, but soon Dearlea slipped and Faolan fell into Edme. Gwynneth quickly grabbed Edme by the head and raised her up and they all got out of there safely.
They found an abandoned whelping den on the glacier where they all (except for Edme, Myrr, and Gwynneth) slept there for the night. They continued traveling for the next three days until they came upon the Spirit Woods. Faolan insisted that they make camp there.
Star Wolf takes place right after Spirit Wolf ends. In the opening scene Faolan is standing on the edge of the ice bridge, ready to lead the others to the Distant Blue. Faolan worries about the dangers the bridge offers, despite the danger Faolan howls "Ahhoooooo garrooo!" To summon his companion.
- Many fans misspell his name as "Foalan" or "Faulan".
- His splayed paw has been mentioned as 'twisted' many times, including on the back of the books.
- Faolan is a reincarnation of the first Fengo. According to legend, when Fengo went to die and started to climb the Star Ladder to the Cave of Souls, he fell and lived again. There is much evidence. In Watch Wolf, Faolan kept muttering cag maglosc, which means "crazy", and tine smyorfin, which supposedly means "by my marrow", and has sudden knowledge of the owls of Ga'Hoole and the owl world. In Shadow Wolf, he has a dream, as if he is walking in the stars, and it seems familiar to him. When he and Edme win the gaddergnaw, the weight of the bone and the ceremony feels as if it happened before.
- Faolan is an Irish name, that means "Little Wolf".
- The first part of his name, 'Fao' means 'wolf' and 'river', and the second part, 'Lan', means 'Gift.'
- Most wolves of the Beyond have green eyes, however on some book covers Faolan looks like he has yellow eyes.
- His name is pronounced as "Fay-lan".
- Faolan is known to be one of the best bone carvers in the Beyond. Some wolves believe he is from the dim world beca of his abilities.