|SPOILER WARNING: This article has important plot information. Caution is advised!|
|“||You are my people. Whether my grandmother decrees it or not, you are my people, and always will be. But I will fly against you, if need be, to ensure that there is a future for those who cannot fight for it themselves. Too long have we preyed on the weak, relished doing so. It is time that we became better than our foremothers.||”|
–Manon Blackbeak in Kingdom of Ash
Manon Crochan-Blackbeak is a half Ironteeth, half Crochan witch, and one of the main protagonists of the series. She is the former heir of the Blackbeak Witch-Clan and the last surviving Crochan Queen, making her the Queen of Witches.
116 years before meeting Aelin Galathynius, Manon's mother Lothian Blackbeak, and Tristan Crochan fell in love with one another, and Lothian became pregnant with Manon. During labor, Lothian revealed Manon's parentage to Mother Blackbeak, saying that she believed that Manon's mixed blood could be the key to breaking the curse on the Ironteeth. Manon was told that her mother died birthing her; in reality, Mother Blackbeak killed her own daughter after Manon was born. Tristan never ceased loving Lothian and his daughter, and he continued to diligently search for them. Mother Blackbeak tracked him down; she taunted him, informing him that she had killed his lover and that she would turn Manon into a monster before slaughtering him. Rhiannon, Manon's paternal half-sister, assumed the search in her father's stead.
As eyes flecked with gold have been considered a lucky trait among the Blackbeak Clan, Mother Blackbeak, after seeing the child had eyes of pure gold, took Manon away from her mother's still-cooling corpse and proclaimed her the heir to the Clan.
Manon's first kill was a young Crochan whose red cape she took as a trophy. She wore this cape, which made her stand out from the rest because no other would risk enraging the Matron by wearing the cloak of their enemy.
Manon lives undercover as a Crochan witch in a village in Fenharrow in the hopes of flushing out the real Crochans. One night, three villagers enter her cottage uninvited. They rummage around her house, searching for valuables and calling for her to come out, though Manon knows they just wanted to steal from her and then kill her because the people of the village are afraid of her. When two of the men exit Manon's room, she slips out of the dresser in which she hid, sneaks up behind the lone man, and disembowels him. A second man walks in on Manon drinking the first man's blood and runs, but Manon quickly catches and kills him. When the third realizes that his friends are dead, he flees into the field by the cottage; Manon tracks him and murders him as well.
Manon then rejoins the other Blackbeaks and goes to the Ferian Gap, where they are to select the wyvern they will use in battle. All three tribes are there, and Manon develops a rivalry with the Yellowlegs heir, Iskra. She and Iskra both show interest in the best wyvern, Titus.
When the clans are to choose their mounts, Iskra shoves Manon into the training pit where the Wyverns are showing off their qualities. Manon is immediately attacked by the vicious bull, Titus. She senses that the bait wyvern being used for Titus to attack wants a shot at him, and, after slicing the smaller wyvern free and killing Titus with its help, Manon claims the bait beast as her mount, much to the annoyance of her grandmother who thinks that it is too weak to be the wyvern of a future Wing Leader. She names it Abraxos, after the Three Headed Goddess' pet whose coils were wrapped around the earth. Iskra ends up getting Fendir, whom she later uses to kill Petrah Blueblood's wyvern Keelie.
After winning the title of Wing Leader, Manon and the Thirteen are sent with half the Ironteeth witches to Morath to assist Duke Perrington. After four weeks in Morath, Manon and the Thirteen become suspicious of the strange goings-on and are grating against the duke's orders. On his order, Manon takes her Thirteen hunting for people living in areas nears Morath.
Duke Perrington orders Manon to choose a coven to be tested to determine if the witches are “compatible for breeding with the Valg.” The witches will be implanted with Valg stones. Manon does like this but knows her grandmother is expecting her to obey, any step out of line would earn them all a brutal and swift execution. When Asterin questions Manon's decision, she is demoted to Third.
Manon discovered a human servant named Elide Lochan cleaning her room. Manon can tell the girl is hiding something. Manon scratches Elide and tastes her blood as she’s leaving the room and can tell she has some amount of Ironteeth witch’s blood and becomes curious about the girl.
Manon and Sorrel visit the blacksmith at the war camp to examine the weapons he has been making for the witches. Manon explains that she needs the weapons to be lighter. Manon and Sorrel discuss the demotion of Asterin, and what the Blackbeak Matron is capable of. Sorrel tells Manon that more than anyone Asterin has never forgotten for a second what the Matron is capable of.
After Manon and Elide run into Lord Vernon, Manon asks Elide if her blood runs blue or red. Elide chooses blue, which places her under Manon’s protection.
Manon talks to Ghislaine about the Valg. Ghislaine explains how evil the Valg are and issues a warning about trying to ally with them. At breakfast the day after Manon talks to Ghislaine about the Valg, a coven of Yellowlegs under a witch named Ninya volunteer for implantation.
Sorrel attends the meeting with Duke Perrington and Lord Vernon to inform him about the Yellowlegs coven volunteers. Manon asks the duke why they are doing all of this, and he replies, “Because we can. And because this world has too long dwelled in ignorance and archaic tradition. It is time to see what might be improved.” Manon is concerned by the duke’s use of the words “the world” as opposed to “this land” or “this continent.”
Manon questions Duke Perrington about why the witches aren’t allowed to see the Yellowlegs coven that was implanted with the Valg stone. The duke tells her she doesn’t need to concern herself with them, all she needs to know is that it was successful. While there, she witnesses Kaltain Rompier being ordered to use her shadowfire on a soldier to torture him. Manon questions him about what else is going in the mountain caves. Perrington reveals that her grandmother is making weapons for him.
After Manon’s discussion with Duke Perrington at the war camp, she tells Sorrel and Asterin to ensure constant surveillance of the Blackbeak witches. Asterin wants to let the Yellowlegs and Bluebloods know about the danger, but Manon tells her they can only “tug so much at the leash.” Manon orders Elide to find out what’s happening to the Yellowlegs witches in exchange for protection.
Elide reports to Manon, Asterin, and Sorrel what is happening to the Yellowlegs. Elide tells them that the witches have already given birth once and are pregnant again. The creatures they gave birth to are not witchlings, they are demons with fangs of black stone and skin like black diamond. The witches are chained to tables and begging to be set free. The witches are horrified by what Elide has seen. Asterin attacks Manon for giving the duke the Yellowlegs witches. Manon demotes her to Fourth, making Vesta Third. Sorrel is unwillingly prepared to kill Asterin if Manon orders it. Asterin is furious that Manon won't stand up to the Matron.
The Thirteen take Kaltain, Duke Perrington, and his men to a tribe in the White Fang Mountains and Kaltain tortures them with her shadowfire. Duke Perrington then has the Thirteen slaughter the tribe.
The Thirteen are meeting when they’re interrupted by a man with a Valg inside him. He attacks them with darkness and mental pain. Manon kills him while the human trapped inside, Roland Havilliard, begs for death. Manon looks on in horror at the effect that the Valg powers have on those among the Thirteen without golden eyes.
The Thirteen meet the King of Adarlan, Dorian Havilliard, and the Blackbeak Matron in Oakwald Forest. Manon speaks with Dorian and he is able to remember his name, proving he is not completely gone. Manon learns about the witch mirror towers. Manon fights Aelin in retaliation for killing Baba Yellowlegs. Aelin feels a thread of compulsion to not kill Manon and Manon now owes Aelin a life debt. Both women are impressed with the other’s fighting prowess.
When the Thirteen return to Morath, Asterin asks for a private meeting Manon and tells her a secret from eighty years ago. She fell in love with a mortal man and got pregnant. She carried the baby full-term, which is rare for witches. But the baby was stillborn. Manon’s grandmother was furious and beat her, branded her with the words “unclean,” and cast her out of Blackbeak Keep. Asterin was heartbroken, but Sorrel and Vesta helped save her life and come back stronger than ever. Asterin begs Manon to disobey her grandmother and that Thirteen understand the risks of doing so. Manon is heartbroken at Asterin’s pain and furious at her grandmother’s lies. Manon feels a thread of compulsion pulling her to Rifthold. She and Asterin head there and leave a message for Aelin. They leave a coded message written in Valg blood informing Aelin that Dorian still has some human inside of him. On the way back to Morath, Manon and Asterin feel the return of magic. Morath is in chaos at magic’s return.
Manon, Sorrel, Asterin, Vesta, Fallon, and Faline rescue Elide. The Thirteen barely escape the explosion caused by Kaltain that destroys one-third of Morath, which includes the destruction of the evidence of the Thirteen’s actions. The Thirteen drop Elide off in the Oakwald Forest and send her on way before returning to Morath. The Thirteen decide to stay at Morath until the Matron arrives and then they will decide what to do.
Manon and the Thirteen tensely greet the Blackbeak Matron and her coven at Morath. When Manon, the Blackbeak Matron, and their respective Seconds go to meet with Lord Vernon and Duke Perrington they learn that Duke Perrington has revealed himself to be Erawan, the Valg king.
The Thirteen are sent on a mission to take control of Rifthold and bring Dorian Havilliard, now king, to Erawan if he survives. Manon convinces Erawan not to destroy Rifthold, but to instead sack the city enough to show their might and establish themselves as liberators, not conquerors. Erawan also tells Manon to destroy the glass wall Aelin Galathynius made surrounding the Glass Palace.
By the time the Thirteen arrive in Rifthold, Iskra Yellowlegs and her covens are already sacking the city. Zelta Yellowlegs, who is a member of Iskra's coven, is about to kill Dorian and Manon kills her. She quickly tells Dorian what is happening in Morath and that he needs to flee. Four more Yellowlegs arrive, but they are killed by Rowan Whitethorn who has come to rescue Dorian. He tries to suffocate Manon, but Dorian stops him and they escape.
Iskra is furious about the five Yellowlegs witches that have been killed because of Manon’s actions. Before returning to Morath, Manon tells Asterin and Sorrel that if things go wrong to escape with the Thirteen. Upon returning to Morath, Manon immediately stands trial for the deaths of the five Yellowlegs witches. Petrah Blueblood stands in support of Manon as payment for the life debt owed after saving her during the War Games. Manon’s grandmother announces that Manon will not lose her life as punishment, but that Asterin will.
Sorrel comes to get Manon for Asterin’s execution. She tells Manon that Asterin is going to her death “to keep your secrets.” It’s the closest she’s ever come to outright challenge or resentment.
At sunrise, the witch killing ceremony starts. Manon is enraged when she discovered that her grandmother allowed Iskra to beat and whip Asterin in the dungeons all night. The Blackbeak Matron claims Iskra delivered twelve blows, three for each dead Yellowlegs witch, but it is clear to everyone that is had been many more than that. Manon’s grandmother is going to allow more beatings from the other clans before the execution. But Manon calls for the Words of Request to save her from a slow and torturous death by killing Asterin herself. The Blueblood Matron grants the request in return for saving Petrah’s life. Asterin whispers to Manon to bury her body at the cabin where the hunter she loved lived. As she reluctantly steps up to behead her cousin, the Thirteen give her the gesture to honor a Witch Queen. Muttering ripples through the crowd and Manon knows that she can’t allow this death to happen. She screams at the Thirteen to run and whirls to kill her grandmother instead.
Manon and her grandmother begin fighting viciously. Manon knows she will probably lose and just needs to keep her grandmother fighting long enough for the Thirteen to escape. The Matron reveals Manon’s parentage and that Manon is the Last Crochan Queen and that the Matron purposely made sure Manon grew up as a “child of war, not peace.” She also claims to have killed Manon’s parents. Her grandmother rips open Manon’s stomach with her rusted, jagged iron nails. Manon hears Abraxosand jumps over the cliff edge onto him. Abraxos flies her away from Morath.
As they are escaping, six Yellowlegs witches are coming after them when Briar and Edda arrive to help. They split up, each drawing two Yellowlegs witches with them. Manon and Abraxos end up killing the two Yellowlegs pursing them by flying through a narrow rocky pass that they had practiced in but that the Yellowlegs didn’t. Manon and Abraxos flee to Oakwald Forest.
Floating in and out of consciousness and close to death, Manon is in Oakwald Forest with Abraxos anxiously watching over her. Manon is attacked by a shape-shifting creature called The Dark King’s (Erawan’s) Bloodhound. The creature says it has been sent to bring Manon to Erawan. Manon and Abraxos barely manage to escape, and as she slips into unconsciousness again, Manon tells him to fly to the coast and find somewhere safe.
Some unknown amount of time later, Manon wakes up chained to a bed in a ship cabin. She sees Aelin who tells her that Abraxos had taken her here. Aelin and Rowan have healed her wounds and removed shards of iron from them. As she’s healing, Dorian enters her cabin and Manon asks about Elide and the Thirteen, but Dorian knows nothing. Manon continues to recover but struggles with feelings of depression at the loss of her Thirteen and with her exile from the Ironteeth. In an effort to try and pull her from the depression, Dorian flirts with her and tempts her, and then leaves, enraging her.
Dorian convinces Aelin that Manon is not a threat and should be unchained. Aelin, Dorian, Rowan, and Fenrys go to unchain her when Manon smells Fenrys and says he is not who they think. Fenrys lunges for her and Rowan and Aelin block him. Aedion unlocks her chains. It’s revealed that it wasn’t Fenrys, but the Bloodhound. They discover that the creature used to be a shapeshifter until Erawan changed it. Just as Manon goes to kill the Bloodhound, it claims that Erawan has captured the Thirteen and reveals that Manon is the Last Crochan Queen and Manon freezes, Dorian kills the creature.
Suddenly, Abraxos can be heard roaring and everyone runs to the deck. There are six ilken attacking the ship. Once they’re killed, the group trusts that since Manon didn’t attack or flee and helped kill the ilken, she doesn’t need to be locked up again.
As Manon heals the wounds on Abraxos, Dorian and Manon continue their flirtation. Manon tells him that he’s not becoming a monster “like the rest of us,” and Dorian tells her that he has no interest in human women because they’re “too breakable.” Aelin asks for any details that Manon has about the ilken. Manon gets Aelin out of her feelings of being overwhelmed. Manon then tells the group about her parentage.
Manon and Aelin develop an irritable but understanding relationship with each other. They don’t particularly get along, and they aren’t scared to challenge one another. They respect each other as queens and fighters.
Manon sends Abraxos to find safety while she accompanies Aelin and her companions as they search for the Lock in the Stone Marshes. On the journey, Manon explains how the Eye of Elena is also The Eye of the Goddess for Ironteeth witches. She also tells the group about Rhiannon’s curse on the Ironteeth. Gavriel and Fenrys talk to Rowan about how Aelin and Manon’s lives are entwined. When the group discovered the Lock is a witch mirror, Manon explains what they are and how they can be used. She is there when Aelin kills the five hundred ilken that attack. Afterward, Manon is emotional after being reunited with Elide.
Upon returning to the ships with the witch mirror, Manon is furious to discover that Ansel of Briarcliff, also known as the Queen of the Wastes, is waiting for them after being summoned to help fight in the war by Aelin. Manon informs Aelin that Ansel does not speak for the Wastes, she does, as the Wastes are also the Witch Kingdom.
Aelin asks Manon to go and find the Crochan witches and unite them under her leadership to fight against the Ironteeth witches. In return, she and Ansel will give the witches part of the Wastes back. Manon refuses.
Dorian realizes that the witch mirror is a memory mirror and that Manon and Aelin must go together to use it. Once inside the witch mirror, Manon and Aelin discover that it holds memories. They learn the truth about what happened last time Erawan came to power and that Aelin will have to sacrifice herself to stop him. Manon offers comfort the only way she knows how by moving close to her in a show of solidarity.
Upon their return, Manon and Aelin are confronted by Queen Maeve who is on the beach and holding Elide hostage. Aelin secretly slips Manon the Wyrdkeys and signals her to escape to safety with Elide. Manon manages to convince Maeve that she is not allied with Aelin and she escapes with Elide to safety. The two watch as Aelin is brutally whipped by Cain and locked into the iron coffin.
After Maeve disappears with Aelin, Manon and Elide explain what happened to everyone else. Manon apologizes for not saving Aelin but reveals that Aelin had given her the Wyrdkeys to keep them away from Maeve.
Manon is finally reunited with Thirteen and Abraxos, who finds them and brings them to her. Manon asks them if they heard the truth about her parentage and if they will still follow her. Asterin tells her that they will, and once again, the Thirteen give her the gesture honoring a Witch Queen. Manon declares that they must become better than their foremothers. Manon, the Thirteen, and Dorian promise the group that they will find the third Wyrdkey and the Crochan witches to unite them to fight with Aelin.
For the past two months Manon, the Thirteen, and Dorian Havilliard have been hunting for the Crochan witches. They are currently in the White Fang Mountains. Manon is worried that Dorian might have to be the sacrifice to forge a new Lock.
The next day the group is preparing to move on when Manon is attacked by a mighty, white bear. Dorian freezes the creature with his magic and it shape-shifts into a Stygian spider. The spider is Cyrene, the spider who Manon encountered to get spidersilk for Abraxos’ wings. She tells Manon that she tracked her scent using her belongings left at Morath. She says that there are Crochan witches nearby.
Cyrene leads the group to the Crochan witches who greet them with mistrust. Glennis Crochan introduces herself as Manon’s great-grandmother. When two Yellowlegs covens attack, Manon, the Thirteen, and Dorian help the Crochans kill them, which gains them some trust. Dorian realizes that Manon deliberately attracted the Yellowlegs to try and gain the Crochans’ trust. Manon and Dorian explain that they are there to ask the Crochans to fight against the Ironteeth witches and Erawan’s army.
Glennis tells her that only a Crochan Queen can summon them to war, and Manon has not been accepted. She says that they are on their way to Eyllwe to answer a call for aid by the southern hearths. The group and the Crochans are delayed for a week while they heal from the Yellowlegs attack. Manon and Asterin talk to Karsyn Crochan about the wyverns. Karsyn tells them that their wyverns are mates, shocking them.
Manon sees Dorian shapeshift into a raven and discovers that he is planning on going to Morath to retrieve the third Wyrdkey. They fight about it and Manon challenges him to prove he is ready by scouting the Ferian Gap for the Thirteen so they can ask Petrah Blueblood and the three hundred witches under her command to go to war for Terrasen. Manon and the Thirteen meet with the Ironteeth witches, and she reveals that the Blackbeak Matron plans to rule all the Ironteeth and disband the separate clans. Asterin works to sway them to their side by sharing her story about what happened to her stillborn witchling. Manon implores them to choose a different future than one of war. The leave for the Crochan camp.
Back at the Crochan camp, the Thirteen and Manon are not sure what to do as the Crochans aren’t convinced to join with her. Suddenly, the three Ironteeth Matrons show up on their wyverns, alone. The Blackbeak Matron tries to taunt Manon. Manon engages the Matrons in a fight. The Blueblood Matron quickly stands down, Manon kills the Yellowlegs Matron, and Manon’s grandmother flies away after the Blueblood Matron. Manon claims the Crown of Stars that had. Been worn by the Yellowlegs Matron as an insult to the Crochan witches. The Crochans claim Manon as their queen. Manon is now Queen of the Witches.
In a last attempt to keep Dorian from going to Morath for the last Wyrdkey, Manon proposes an alliance through marriage. Dorian, knowing marriage would only be a cage for Manon, turns it down. They make love and fall asleep in each other’s arms. In the morning, Dorian is gone.
A Crochan scout reports that Terrasen has sent out a call for aid. As the Queen of the Crochans, Manon spreads the Flame of War to call all Crochan witches to aid Terrasen in the fight against Morath.
Orynth readies for battle as the Ironteeth aerial force approaches, 1,000 strong. Fortunately, Manon arrives at the same time with the Thirteen and 5,000 Crochan witches. The surprise buys them a day. The next day during the battle, Manon discovers that some Valg are trying to infiltrate Orynth through the secret water passages underneath the castle. She gathers her Thirteen to stop them only to be attacked by Iskra Yellowlegs. Iskra’s bull, Fendir, attacks Abraxos. Petrah intervenes and battles Iskra. In an amazing act of aerial fighting, Petrah sends Iskra and Fendir plummeting to their death. Manon and Abraxos retreat to the castle. She is unable to stop the Thirteen as they sacrifice themselves by performing the Yielding in order to bring down the final witch tower before it can destroy the castle. Before she leaves, Asterin tells Manon to live.
After the Thirteen die, Manon is shattered and silent. After the fighting stops for the day, she and Abraxos walk to the place where the witch tower was standing. All those who are able follow behind. On the field, small white flowers have sprouted. All the people, witches, and Fae lay flowers, rocks, or personal effects in honor of the Thirteen. Glennis tells Manon that she and the Thirteen have broken the curse.
Manon is often cruel and ruthless, yet cunning and resourceful. She can be cold, heartless, uncaring, and icy, but after she meets Elide Lochan she begins to question her beliefs, wondering if she has to be a monster. When she is forced to kill Rhiannon Crochan, Rhiannon tells her that she, and the other Ironteeth witches, were made wicked, not born that way. She begins to see hope and love in the world and begins to see that she was not born heartless and cruel but with a heart and emotions. She is slowly growing into a witch with emotions to challenge the others who think that they do not.
She is loyal to the Thirteen and shares an affectionate relationship with Elide.
|“||He’d never seen anyone so beautiful.||”|
Manon is an extremely beautiful witch with alabaster skin, long, moon-white hair, and eyes the color of burnt gold. She has the distinct traits for the Ironteeth—a set of retractable iron fangs and nails. After meeting her, both Dorian and Aelin say she is the most beautiful woman they have ever seen.
Skills and Abilities
- Immortality: Through magic, Manon can maintain a youthful appearance and prevent physical aging.
- Ironteeth Physiology: As an Ironteeth witch Manon possesses sharp, retractable iron teeth and claws.
- Magic: Manon has inherent magical power that could be released in the form of the Yielding.
- Flight: Manon is capable of flight through riding her wyvern, Abraxos, or her broomstick.
- Combat: Manon is proficient in combat using her Ironteeth weapons and traditional weaponry.
Manon is the rider of Abraxos, a wyvern. They became allies when Manon was thrown into the pit and, seeing a warrior in him, she chose him as hers as he had chosen her as his. They become fond of each other and form a strong bond.
Asterin is Manon's second cousin and closest friend, who has been protecting her for around a century. After angering Mother Blackbeak, Asterin is to be punished by death but Manon allows her to run instead by attacking her grandmother. It's revealed there is a bond/connection between Asterin and Manon.
Manon, not knowing why she cares, visits Dorian after asking Asterin about love, hinting at a future romance between the two. The two meet again in Empire of Storms and continue to tease each other, leading to a romance between the two. After a few weeks of teasing, romance, and kissing, Dorian walks into Manon's room and the two begin a physical relationship. During Kingdom of Ash the two have sex often but don't admit their true feelings towards each other. Yrene Towers suggests they marry so they can stop pretending. To this Manon only says: 'We'll see.' They went their separate ways at the end of the book, but with the promise of visits.
Manon develops some affection for Elide and ultimately rescues her, with help from Kaltain Rompier, from being implanted with a Valg child. Manon actually smiles at Elide before they set off to different places.
- Heir of Fire (first appearance)
- Queen of Shadows
- Empire of Storms
- Tower of Dawn (mentioned only)
- Kingdom of Ash
- See more here
- Manon enjoys the sound of the wind and the groans of men dying.
- Manon owns a sword named Wind-Cleaver.
- She once thought about renaming it Iron-Cleaver.
- She once bedded a young Fae warrior, then she fought with him until he was left in pieces.
- She has the "eyes of the Valg Kings," which are shown to terrify ordinary Valg.