The Hounds of Shadow were the servants of High House Shadow and some believed them to be more ancient than the Shadow Realm itself.[1]

"There was around each beast an aura of dreadful competence, wrought with vast antiquity like threads of iron."[2] The Hounds were described as being the size of a mule with broad, bunched shoulders[3] and dun brown or shaggy tan coats.[4] The massive Hounds had eyes variously described from glowing yellow[5] to red[6] although one of the Hounds was described as having one blue and one yellow eye.[7] They had dark tongues.[8] When travelling in secret they were capable of leaving behind no footprints, tufts of hair, or other trace of their passage.[9]

The ancient denizen of Shadow Edgewalker called them "kin" and "fellow slaves to Shadow." He insisted they would never hurt him, even if ordered by the ruler of Shadow.[10]

The Hounds were able to communicate with Shadowthrone in a way not detailed.[11]

The HoundsEdit

  • Baran – mate to Blind
  • Blind – mate to Baran and mother of Gear
  • Doan – largest, first born to Rood and its first mate Pallick, was taken by Dragnipur on the Rhivi Plain
  • Ganrod – was taken by Dragnipur on the Rhivi Plain
  • Gear – son of Blind, marked Seventh amongst Shadowthrone's servants[12]
  • Pallick – absent one
  • Rood – pack leader
  • Shan – long, black, and sleek

In Gardens of the MoonEdit

In 1161 BS, the Hounds were summoned by Shadowthrone to eliminate a regiment of the Itko Kanese 8th Cavalry to disguise his and Cotillion's abduction of Sorry. A comment by Cotillion indicated that the Hounds' action may have been planned by Shadowthrone only.[13] The Hounds killed 175 soldiers and 210 horses while suffering no casualties of their own.

Shadowthrone was accompanied by two Hounds when he confronted Ganoes Paran in front of Hood's Gate. Shadowthrone and the Hounds flinched when something crackled in the portalway of the gate. Paran recognized the Hounds as the perpetrators of the Itko Kan Massacre and made a silent promise that he would have them yet. The Hounds seemed to sense his animosity.[14]

When Quick Ben intruded in the Warren of Shadow, the Hounds were quick to confront him. He greeted each by name and they herded him to Shadowkeep for an audience with Shadowthrone.[15]

The Hounds tracked Hairlock after the soulshifted puppet trespassed within the Shadow Realm. Gear managed to follow him all the way to Tattersail's lodgings in Pale where he was held at bay by the sorceress and Hairlock. Gear was then wounded by Paran's sword Chance[16] which left him with a scar across the chest. They finally ran Hairlock to ground on the Rhivi Plain and tore him to pieces before confronting the Tiste Andii, Anomander Rake. Rake slew Doan and Ganrod with his soul stealing sword Dragnipur and drove off the others.[17]

Ganoes Paran thought of one of the Hounds killed by Anomander Rake as having been a beautiful beast.[18] Cotillion claimed the Hounds had lived for thousands of years and never before had any been killed.[19]

In Deadhouse GatesEdit

The five remaining Hounds (Rood, Baran, Blind, Gear, and Shan) accompanied Fiddler, Apsalar, Crokus Younghand, Icarium, Mappo, and Iskaral Pust through the maze surrounding Tremorlor.[20] The Hounds served as protection from the hordes of Soletaken and D'ivers following Shadowthrone's false Path of Hands to the Azath House. They also proved as a deterrent against the rage of Icarium. During the journey, the Hounds dispatched the Soletaken Messremb and killed a D'ivers of five Dhenrabi, but cringed in the presence of Moby, the Bhok'arala familiar.[21][22]

Cotillion discovered from Panek that the Hounds could see landmarks in Shadow that he could not. This explained his observation that they often did not travel in straight lines.[23]

In Memories of IceEdit

Toc the Younger was puzzled by Lady Envy's canine companion, Garath. At times, the dog could grow in size to dwarf Baaljagg, the Ay, and his coat became dark, mottled grey and black and his eyes appeared coal-lit. He was powerful enough to bring down the temple of Seerdomin Kahlt. Toc told Envy that Garath could be a Hound of Shadow, and she responded that indeed, Garath "could" be, but that he was reluctant.[24]

In House of ChainsEdit

The Hounds were troubled by unspecified trembles and agitation, which suggested Shadowthrone and Cotillion's claim to Shadow was threatened. Cotillion desired to know more about their potential enemy and brought his favourite Hounds, Blind and Rood, with him as he assigned tasks to sympathetic allies, Kalam Mekhar and Cutter.[25]

In a discussion between Onrack T'emlava and Trull Sengar, the T'lan Imass revealed that the Logros had only ever encountered the Hounds once during the time of the T'lan Imass First Empire. Onrack said they had appeared seven in number serving an unknown master and had been bent on destruction. He called them untethered, wild and deadly, and unworthy of worship. To truly command them, one needed to first reunite the fragments of Kurald Emurlahn and then sit on the Throne of Shadow as the Warren's master.[26]

When the Throne of Shadow on Drift Avalii was attacked by Tiste Edur warriors, Cutter called on Blind's aid. But the Hound cowered when it recognised the nature of its opponents, forcing Cotillion to intervene and angrily send the Hound away.[27]

In Dust of DreamsEdit

It was stated by Mappo Runt that the Ay were used in breeding the Hounds of Shadow.[28] Though whether or not this was true and how Mappo would have known is as yet unknown.

In Night of KnivesEdit

Several of the Hounds, including Rood, were in Malaz City on the night of the Shadow Moon in 1154 BS. One Hound (with one brown and one pale grey eye) tracked Kiska through the city and killed a group of Bridgeburners and mercenaries at the Southern Crescent Inn. Only the use of a Moranth munition drove it away.[29] Rood fought former Dassem's First Sword Temper and nearly killed him before the Shadow cult intervened.[30][31] A third Hound with green eyes pursued Kiska near the Deadhouse.[32]

In StonewielderEdit

Some of the Hounds tracked Kiska and Jheval through Shadow before trapping them within a crevasse in the rocks. The canny hounds laid in wait for their prey to exit, but ultimately gave up, possibly after being stung once too often by their quarry's attacks.[33]

While in Shadow, Kiska and Jheval also found a K'ell Hunter that had been crippled and left to die by the beasts.[34]


Tulas Shorn, a Tiste Edur, was the original master[35] of the Hounds of Shadow, though they were following Shadowthrone[36] at the time of the events in the Malazan Book of the Fallen. Their prior servitude to the Tiste Edur was reflected by Blind's unwillingness to assist Andarist, Cotillion, and Apsalar in the defence of the Throne of Shadow from invading Tiste Edur warriors.[37]

It was hinted that they were, in some fashion, shadows of the Deragoth.[citation needed]


"Cuddly mutts, one and all."
―Cotillion describing the Hounds to the child Panek[src]

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.153
  2. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 16
  3. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.161
  4. Stonewielder, Chapter 4, UK TPB p.185
  5. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.17
  6. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK HB p.140
  7. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 15, UK MMPB p.472
  8. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK HB p.139
  9. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 1
  10. Night of Knives, Epilogue, US TPB p.278
  11. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 12, US HC p.180
  12. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.161
  13. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.17
  14. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.139/140
  15. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 12, US HC p.279-281
  16. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.161-167
  17. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 15, US HC p.330-332
  18. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 15, UK MMPB p.476
  19. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 23, US HC p.461
  20. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 16, US HC p.442
  21. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 18, US HC p.475/482
  22. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 19, US HC p.498/500
  23. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 20, US HC p.535
  24. Memories of Ice, Chapter 9, UK MMPB p.399-401/404
  25. House of Chains, Chapter 6, US SFBC p.262-268
  26. House of Chains, Chapter 9, US SFBC p.370-371
  27. House of Chains, Chapter 20, US SFBC p.652
  28. Dust of Dreams, Chapter 20
  29. Night of Knives, Chapter 3, US TPB p.117-120
  30. Night of Knives, Chapter 3, US TPB p.128-131
  31. Night of Knives, Chapter 4, US TPB p.158
  32. Night of Knives, Chapter 5, UK HB p.234
  33. Stonewielder, Chapter 5, UK HC p.223-226
  34. Stonewielder, Chapter 3, UK HC p.144
  35. Toll the Hounds, Chapter 16, UK HB p.600
  36. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.17
  37. House of Chains, Chapter 20, US SFBC p.652
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