Tavore Paran was the second child of House Paran and sister to Ganoes and Felisin. She was a year younger than her brother,[1] so most likely born in the 1143rd year of Burn's Sleep, presumably in Unta where the family was based.

In 1161 BS, Tavore was described as being almost as tall as Ganoes, plain with pale eyes, a slash of bloodless lines comprising her features, with reddish hair trimmed shorter than was the style.[1]

A later description had her as thin but with wide hips, breasts which were a bit large for her frame, plain facial features and reddish hair streaked with grey, which she wore cropped short.

Ganoes implied that Tavore had been in the habit of making up for him, assuming the burdens of his failures.[1] He thought her cold and canny as a child, unable to accept defeat, and somehow able to avoid the habit of self-pity that he had inherited from their parents. He also noted that she had no care for her standing amongst the nobility, but highly valued her professional reputation in the eyes of the Empress and her court. Paran described her as cold-eyed, pragmatic, free of sentimentality, and brutally rational.[2][3]

Tavore was regarded as being 'cold iron'.[4]

In Gardens of the MoonEdit

When Ganoes came to Unta to report to Adjunct Lorn he visited the family estate and met Tavore there. She indicated that due to their father's failing health, she had taken over managing the family's affairs.[5]

In Deadhouse GatesEdit

Tavore had become Adjunct to Empress Laseen in the 1163rd year of Burn's Sleep after the death of Adjunct Lorn. In her new position, she assisted Laseen in her cull of Unta's noble families. To prove her loyalty to the Empress, she renounced her house and included her family in the cull. She sent her younger sister Felisin with the other nobles to work in the Otataral mines.[6] According to Gamet, she had ordered the arrests of her parents prior to their deaths by natural causes.[7]

Tavore's renunciation of her house had not been as absolute as it seemed. It transpired that she had arranged for Baudin, who seemed to be a Talon, to be sent to the Skullcup mine alongside Felisin. He was to protect her and arrange for her escape, but Felisin succumbed to fatalism and Baudin could not rescue a person who did not want to be rescued.[8]

Her personal aide T'amber was assumed to also be her lover.[9]

After the success of the Whirlwind uprising on Seven Cities, Tavore was sent to Aren with the Malazan 14th Army to lead the punitive response.[10]

In Memories of IceEdit

When High Fist Dujek Onearm informed Ganoes Paran of his family's fate back in Unta, he also noted that Tavore had managed to save the Paran holdings in the city, their outlying estates, and most of their trade agreements. He further pointed out that noble children too young to marry had all been slain by unofficial order and that Tavore's actions had likely spared her sister's life. He thought her well suited to the role of Adjunct.[11]

Ganoes knew in his heart that Tavore would find a way to rescue Felisin from the otataral mine and likely had sent a guardian or two to protect her. But he was sure that the Felisin she rescued would no longer be the child they knew. He wished she had found another way, and thought that the new Adjunct would someday pay dearly for her decisions.[3]

In House of ChainsEdit

Adjunct Tavore by Sam Burley

Tavore by Sam Burley (official artwork)

Tavore arrived in Aren to lead the Malazan 14th Army to Raraku to crush the Seven Cities rebellion.

Tavore personally killed Sha'ik Reborn in a duel, all the while unaware that "Sha'ik" was in fact her own sister, Felisin.[12]

In The BonehuntersEdit

Tavore found herself at odds with the Empress, due to Laseen's betrayal of the Wickans and the 14th Army. She chose to leave the Empire and, along with Kalam and T'amber, cut through the Claw ambushes set up for them throughout Malaz City to reach the harbour where her now loyal army was waiting.

It was at this point that the first hints of her plans were revealed in a speech she gave to her troops. At the time she mentioned a long "unwitnessed" journey ahead.

Tavore T'amber Kalam fight by Corporal Nobbs

'Flight from Malaz City' by Corporal Nobbs

In Reaper's GaleEdit

Tavore paran by dejan delic

Interpretation of Tavore Paran by dejan-delic

Arriving on the continent of Lether, the 14th Army (by then established as the Bonehunters) under Tavore's command assisted in the 'liberation' of the Letherii from the Tiste Edur.

In Dust of DreamsEdit

Leading the Bonehunters and accompanied by the Army of Lether, Tavore guided the troops to the Wastes which would ultimately lead them to Kolanse.

As they proceeded through the Wastes, Tavore's army inadvertently crossed the path of an army of the K'Chain Nah'ruk who attacked them. The ranks of the Bonehunters were decimated. Tavore eventually fell unconscious but survived the battle, due in part to the efforts of Lostara Yil, among others.

In The Crippled GodEdit

Tavore mucha EDIT 24-9-14 small

Interpretation of Tavore by Corporal Nobbs

Tavore was healed of her battle wounds by Deadsmell.[13]

Tavore finally revealed that her goal was to free the Crippled God. In this endeavour, her Bonehunters rendezvoused with the Khundryl Burned Tears, the Letherii, the Perish Grey Helms and the Bolkando, led by Queen Abrastal. While the Perish, Letherii and Bolkando marched south along the coast, Tavore ordered the Bonehunters to march through the Glass Desert — a reportedly uncrossable wasteland, according to Queen Abrastal.

The march was conducted mostly at night with rationed water, but even so, hundreds, perhaps thousands, died. Their pack animals dead, the Heavies were forced to pull the supply wagons while Tavore would not answer any question as to why they had to make such a crossing. After water ran out, the soldiers were forced to drink blood and urine, though their morale held up after uniting with the children of The Snake. Finally, when it was absolutely clear that the army would not make another march and Fist Blistig prepared to mutiny, Tavore used an enchanted dagger given to her by Mael to cut her hand open, raising a freshwater lake in the wasteland.

The army was then able to march into Kolanse and prepared a last stand against the northern Assail army while Tavore ordered the Heavies and Marines, barely a hundred strong, to defend against a legion of Kolansii where the Crippled God's body healed. Just before the battle, Tavore asked Lostara Yil to help her don her armor. After opening an ornate box with the Paran family seal on it Lostara removed a necklace with a lone ornament in the shape of an eagle's talon confirming that Tavore was involved with, likely a member of, the Talon.

The Bonehunters were cut down in their thousands while the Khundryl Tears launched their final charge with Warleader Gall. Tavore launched a desperate charge accompanied by Ruthan Gudd, Lostara Yil and Henar Vygulf. A band of regulars diverted from the main force to support them.[14]

Tavore's army was eventually relieved by the forces of her brother Ganoes Paran from the east. As Tavore was reunited with her brother, she blamed herself for the loss of Felisin, though she was still ignorant to the full extent of her role in the former's death.[15]

She was present at the barrow raising outside the Spire for the fallen.

Author's commentsEdit


Interpretation of Tavore by Yapattack

Asked by a reader if Tavore's father had been a Talon, if Throatslitter had possibly acted on her orders and shielded Blistig from assassination attempts and if Tavore, and her father before her, had been the Head of the Talon Steven Erikson answered that it all sounded very plausible and "let's go with it". For the full question and answer see his answer to question 6 of the Tor Q&A session[16]

He also confirmed that Tavore does not know that she killed her own sister. For his full response read his answer to question 11 of the Tor Q&A session[17]

Steven Erikson wrote at length about why he portrayed Tavore the way he did. He deliberately created the leader of the Bonehunters to be a female. It was intentional that Tavore was a lesbian, that she was plain and that there was very little hint of her internal life. For his full comments read his answer to questions 43 and 53 of the Tor Q&A session[18]

Asked to name his favourite story arc in the Malazan Book of the Fallen series, Erikson said he was most proud of Tavore's arc.[19]


Quick Ben: "Ganoes, tell me something."
Ganoes Paran: "What?"
Quick Ben: "Tavore. Can we trust her?"
Ganoes Paran: "Tavore will do, wizard, what needs to be done."
Quick Ben: "To suit her or her soldiers?"
Ganoes Paran: "For her, friend, there is no distinction."
―Ganoes Paran on his sister, Tavore[src]

"I am a child of the Emperor – what more is there for you to understand, Lostara Yil?"
―Tavore to Lostara Yil[src]

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.49
  2. Memories of Ice, Chapter 4, US SFBC p.131-134
  3. 3.0 3.1 Memories of Ice, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.657-658
  4. House of Chains, Chapter 11, UK MMPB p.512
  5. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 1, UK MMPB p.48-50
  6. Deadhouse Gates, Prologue
  7. House of Chains, Chapter 5
  8. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 11, US HC p.287
  9. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 24, US HC p.589
  10. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 24, US HC p.589
  11. Memories of Ice, Chapter 4, US SFBC p.133
  12. House of Chains, Chapter 26, UK MMPB p.985
  13. The Crippled God, Chapter 4, UK HB p.111
  14. The Crippled God, Chapter 24, UK HB p.860
  15. The Crippled God, Chapter 24, UK HB p.871
  16. Steven Erikson (2014) Ask Steven Erikson Your Crippled God Questions!, Tor Blogs, Macmillan, Accessed: 16-12-2014, Available: <>, see Steven Erikson's answer to question 6
  17. Steven Erikson (2014) Ask Steven Erikson Your Crippled God Questions!, Tor Blogs, Macmillan, Accessed: 16-12-2014, Available: <>, see Steven Erikson's answer to question 11
  18. Steven Erikson (2014) Ask Steven Erikson Your Crippled God Questions!, Tor Blogs, Macmillan, Accessed: 16-12-2014, Available: <>, see Steven Erikson's answer to question 43 and 53
  19. [1]
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