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Whiskeyjack by Yapattack

Interpretation of Whiskeyjack by Yapattack

Whiskeyjack was Sergeant of the 9th squad of the Bridgeburners and had been a commander of the 2nd Army, one of the Old Guard, in the past.[2][3] He commanded utter loyalty from his soldiers and respect from his enemies. The Moranth for example, pledged that they would always assist 'Bird That Steals' as he 'treaded the enemy's shadow'.[1] Whiskeyjack and Dujek were close.[4]

Under the EmperorEdit

Amongst other, Whiskeyjack took part in the war of Seven Cities, was through the breach at Aren and saw action in the Holy Desert Raraku, Pan'potsun and Nathilog.[3]

During the Siege of Y'Ghatan, Dassem Ultor turned over the battle to the sub-commanders of the 3rd Army, Whiskeyjack amongst them[5].

At some point, Whiskeyjack's 7th Company, of either the 2nd or 3rd army (seeTalk:Whiskeyjack), chased down a cabal of mages across the Pan'potsun Waste and the Holy Desert, Raraku.[6]

Kalam Mekhar remembered that Korbolo Dom had replaced Whiskeyjack after Raraku and in turn was replaced by Dujek Onearm.[7]

Under the EmpressEdit

When the Empress took the Imperial Throne she inverted the command structure. Commander Whiskeyjack was demoted to the rank of Sergeant and placed in the ninth squad of the Bridgeburners. Although wounded by this dishonour, Whiskeyjack didn't talk about it, and soldiered on.

Whiskeyjack having been a commander was stripped from the Imperial annals - it never happened as far as Empire history was concerned.[6]

In Gardens of the MoonEdit

Whiskeyjack 01 by Toraneko

Whiskeyjack during the prologue of Gardens of the Moon, Interpretation (by Toraneko)


In the 1154th year of Burn's Sleep, the 12 year old Ganoes Paran met a Commander of the Malazan Army, later identified as Whiskeyjack, whom he recognized by his regimental acroutements as a Commander in the Third and a Bridgeburner.[8] Whiskeyjack was overseeing the deployment of troops to quell riots in the Mouse Quarter. His encounter with Surly indicated a certain amount of antagonism between them.[9]

Whiskeyjack was described as looking young for a Commander. He had a scarred face and grey eyes. He was wearing armour which included vambraced forearms and a scabbarded longsword. On his dark grey shoulder cloak was a Bridgeburner silver brooch: a bridge of stone, lit by ruby flames.[10]

After putting down the riots in the Mouse Quarter, Whiskeyjack and his new recruits left Malaz City on transports for an unspecified location.[11]

Main StoryEdit

Whiskeyjack by dejan delic

Interpretation of Whiskeyjack by dejan-delic

Whiskeyjack was Sergeant of the 9th Squad of the Bridgeburners.[2] When the tunnels which they were digging collapsed, during the final battle of the Siege of Pale, killing over 1350 Bridgeburners, eight of the fifteen members of Whiskeyjack's squad perished as well.[12] Kalam pulled some strings and through his sources discovered that some unknown persons high up in the Malazan Imperial order had marked the Bridgeburners for death.[13]

Whiskeyjack was present when Quick Ben transferred Hairlock's soul into a puppet.[14]

Toc the Younger remarked to Captain Paran that Whiskeyjack had a lot of followers (i.e. in the armies involved in the Genabackan Campaign) but that the Sergeant acted as if he was not aware of this.[6]

During a meeting with Tattersail, Whiskeyjack commented that he knew how it was when Gods got involved.[15] When Whiskeyjack was questioned by Dujek as to the whereabouts of the missing Captain Paran, he did not share his knowledge about Paran with the Commander.[16] Whiskeyjack and the remainder of his squad were sent to Darujhistan on a covert mission[17] which they viewed as a suicidal undertaking. Whiskeyjack did not pass on all the information about the assignment to his squad.[18]

Whiskeyjack and the squad were dropped by Quorl of the Black Moranth on the north side of Lake Azur. He was told by one of the Moranth that he was well known amongst them and that for 'Bird That Steals' assistance would never be scarce. Whiskeyjack arranged for a Moranth patrol to be in the area two weeks hence. He announced to his squad that he had changed the original plan of mining the city gates as that would have got them all killed.[19] He told them that they had two objectives and would divide into two teams, one led by Kalam and one by himself.[20] Once inside the city, Kalam and Quick Ben went off to make contact with the local Assassins' Guild whilst Whiskeyjack and his team proceeded to mine the city streets with explosives, enough to level large portions of the city.[21] The sergeant had been persuaded by Quick Ben and Kalam to keep Sorry on his own team. He was deeply troubled by the girls apparent youthfulness and her contrasting cold blooded killer behaviour.[22]

Whiskeyjack by Grimhilde

Interpretation of Whiskeyjack by Grimhilde aka Tattersail

The Bridgeburners then began to await their cue. In the distance, a Jaghut Tyrant was unleashed by Adjunct Lorn and Tool. During the ensuing encounters, Whiskeyjack's leg got badly broken when part of a pillar fell on top of it.[23]

Dujek recalled him to be his second-in-command at the end of Gardens of the Moon.

In Memories of IceEdit

Whiskeyjack 04 by Toraneko

Whiskeyjack, Interpretation by Toraneko

Whiskeyjack was now Second-in-Command of Dujek Onearm's Rebel Army and reinstated as a Commander. Upon leaving Darujhistan, Quick Benn had been assigned to his staff.[24][25]

Whiskeyjack put off having his leg seen to by Mallet.[26] It continuously gave him pain and made riding awkward.[27]

Paran took up Whiskeyjack's offer of becoming Captain of the Bridgeburners.[28] Mallet commented that Paran was as stubborn as Whiskeyjack himself and that surly, the two of them must be related upon which Whiskeyjack told him that the average street dog's blood was purer than his own.[29]

Along with Onearm, Whiskeyjack managed to attain an alliance with Caladan Brood in the fight against the Pannion Dominion.[30]

Whiskeyjack recognised the table in Brood's command tent as one that had been made by Fiddler and Hedge in Mott Wood but declined the offer of having it returned.[31]

Whiskeyjack and Korlat by tsabo6

Interpretation of Whiskeyjack and Korlat by Tsabo6

Whiskeyjack struck up a good rapport with Anomander Rake and it was mentioned in passing how they both were more alike than different. He shared the story of the founding of the Bridgeburners with Rake.[32]

Korlat admired Whiskeyjack from their first meeting and the child Silverfox told her that he was someone to be trusted.[33] Whiskeyjack and Korlat eventually became lovers.[34][35]

Dujek explained to Whiskeyjack how the Empress had inverted the command structure to prepare for the eventual return of The Emperor and Dancer when competent men like Whiskeyjack would be needed in the front lines to counter them.[36]

Spoiler warning: The following section contains significant plot details about Whiskeyjack.

Near the end of Memories of Ice, Whiskeyjack defended Silverfox from a traitorous attack by Kallor. In the ensuing duel, the leg wound from Darujhistan, which Mallet had offered to heal time and again, caused Whiskeyjack's leg to buckle, giving Kallor the opportunity to kill him.[37]

Significant plot details end here.

In The BonehuntersEdit


Whiskeyjack, an interpretation by Corporal Nobbs

While travelling in the Jhag Odhan, Samar Dev along with Karsa Orlong, met Boatfinder, a tribal leader, who told them a legend of his people. A man the Anibar call the Iron Prophet, warned the Ugari and Anibar tibes of a time of great slaying, and told them that in that time of great peril, wielders of birth-stones would come to defend them. On being questioned by Samar Dev, he elaborated that "King" Iskar Jarak's kingdom was of the 'unfound time' meaning the future and that he was a Mezla. He also confirmed when questioned by her, that from the past to the present there was a bridge which they could not cross and that it was burning.[38]

The Queen of Dreams revealed that Hood had never forgiven Whiskeyjack for stealing his little sister from Hood's temple when she was a baby and that his death had been 'encouraged' by the Lord of Death in little ways, preventing healers seeing to Whiskeyjack's bad leg for example. She also made a point of saying that Hood now regretted his decision.[39]

In Toll the HoundsEdit

Whiskeyjack concept by slaine69

Interpretation of Whiskeyjack by slaine69

The Bridgeburners once slain, had ascended due to the Tanno Spiritwalker Kimloc's song combined with the Master of the Deck's blessing of the Bridgeburners' corpses interred in the ruins of Moon's Spawn. The ascended Bridgeburners were led to battle the growing chaos inside Dragnipur by Whiskeyjack, though he now went by the name Iskar Jarak.[40] Toc the Younger identified that name as being of Seven Cities origin.[41]

In Dust of DreamsEdit

Whiskeyjack and his Bridgeburners returned as guardians and arbiters of Hood's Gate.

In The Crippled GodEdit

Whiskeyjack led his fellow Bridgeburners to aid the forces of the Bonehunters against the Assail armies. After the battle Whiskeyjack was granted one final moment with Korlat. It was remarked that he had eternity to wait for her, and that he would.

Family and early yearsEdit

Whiskeyjack by luztheren

Whiskeyjack by Luztheren

Whiskeyjack had been a stone-cutter before becoming a soldier.[42] He had still had the chalk of his father's quarry on his boots during his first battle. It was there amidst the dead that he found the plain longsword he carried for his entire life.[43]

Whiskeyjack had a sister, Dunsparrow, who was last seen escaping from Y'Ghatan with Leoman of the Flails in The Bonehunters. In a conversation about siblings, Whiskeyjack made the observation that a scar on his forearm was caused by having been bitten by a five year old girl when he was sixteen. He described it as the first fight he ever lost.[44] The context seemed to infer that he was referring to a sister, possibly Dunsparrow.


There is a debate as to whether Iskar Jarak was Whiskeyjack's original birth-name name or not. There is no conclusive evidence for either argument.

For speculations about the name 'Iskar Jarak', see the following forum thread: Does Whiskeyjack have an alter ego

Whiskeyjack Sculpt by Corporal Nobbs

Whiskeyjack by Corporal Nobbs

Author's commentsEdit

Steven Erikson named Whiskeyjack after the Grey Jay, a bird native to Canada that is often called a whiskey jack. See his comments in a Tor Q&A session[45])


The Native American god Wisakedjak may also have influenced the name.


Ganoes Paran: "I want to be a soldier. A hero."
Whiskeyjack: "You'll grow out of it."
―Whiskeyjack's first meeting with a 12 year old Ganoes Paran[src]

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 8, UK MMPB p.256
  2. 2.0 2.1 Gardens of the Moon, Dramatis Personae, UK MMPB p.xii
  3. 3.0 3.1 Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 3, UK MMPB p.95
  4. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.151
  5. Night of Knives, Chapter 4, UK HB p.152
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 3, UK MMPB p.114
  7. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 9, UK MMPB p.371/372
  8. Gardens of the Moon, Prologue, Uk MM PB p.4
  9. Gardens of the Moon, Prologue, UK MMPB p.6-8
  10. Gardens of the Moon, Prologue, UK MMPB p4/5
  11. Gardens of the Moon, Prologue, UK MMPB p.8
  12. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.56-59
  13. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 3, UK MMPB p.103
  14. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.79-82
  15. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.133
  16. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.148/149/158
  17. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.129
  18. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 3, UK MMPB p.107
  19. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 8, UK MMPB p.256-259
  20. Gardens of the Moon,Chapter 8, UK MMPB p.258
  21. Gardens of the Moon,Chapter 11, UK MMPB p.360-365
  22. Gardens of the Moon,Chapter 11, UK MMPB p.363
  23. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 22, UK MMPB p.653
  24. Memories of Ice, Dramatis Personae, UK MMPB
  25. Memories of Ice, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.86
  26. Memories of Ice, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.97
  27. Memories of Ice, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.101, Chapter 3 UK MMPB p.110
  28. Memories of Ice, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.97-100
  29. Memories of Ice, Chapter 2, UK MMPB p.102
  30. Memories of Ice, Chapter 3
  31. Memories of Ice, Chapter 3, UK MMPB p.118
  32. Memories of Ice, Chapter 8, UK MMPB p.355-362
  33. Memories of Ice, Chapter 3, UK MMPB p.110/111
  34. Memories of Ice, Chapter 5, UK MMPB p.201
  35. Memories of Ice, Chapter 13, UK MMPB p.522-525
  36. Memories of Ice, Chapter 21, UK MMPB p.910
  37. Memories of Ice, Chapter 24, UK MMPB p. 1058
  38. The Bonehunters, Chapter 12, UK HB p. 590-595
  39. The Bonehunters, Chapter 14, UK HB p.684
  40. Toll the Hounds, Chapter 22, UK HB p.837
  41. Toll the Hounds, Chapter 24, UK HB p.876
  42. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 4, UK MMPB p.147
  43. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 13, US HC p.302
  44. Memories of Ice, Chapter 13, UK MMPB p.514
  45. 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 50
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