Study Guide

The Morrigan in The Alchemyst

By Michael Scott

The Morrigan

From the corner of his eye, Dr. John Dee watched as pointy-toed, stiletto-heeled black boots came into view. And he knew then the answer to his question. The day was about to get worse: much worse. Fixing a smile on his lips, he rose stiffly to his feet and turned to face one of the few of the Dark Elders who genuinely terrified him. (11.24)

Ladies and Gentlemen, meet the Morrigan.

Goddess in Stilettos

We have to admit, the stylish Crow Goddess definitely knows how to make an entrance. From the moment her stiletto-heeled boots step on the scene, we know she is something to be feared. All of her physical characteristics fit her status as the Irish Goddess of death and destruction to a tee.

She stands taller than Dee, is dressed head to foot in black leather, and wears a cloak made entirely of raven's feathers. She wears enough armor to look like a Goth warrior: "Her jerkin was studded with shining silver bolts, giving it the appearance of a medieval breastplate, and her leather gloves had rectangular silver studs sewn onto the back of the fingers. The gloves had no fingertips, allowing the Morrigan's long, spear like black nails to show" (11.25-26).

Everything about the Morrigan is sharp and cruel, from her "long, spear like black nails" to the sound of her voice, "a harsh whisper […] ragged and torn, like a bird's caw" (11.28).

Sister Killer

Of course she's no angel, but nowhere is the Morrigan's cruel nature more evident than the scene where Dr. John Dee accuses her of killing her sisters. When Dee questions her about killing her sisters, the Morrigan will have none of it. But still, the nature of their deaths remains a mystery, and hey, how exactly did the Morrigan end up with her sisters' powers?

In any case, the Morrigan's not talking. She merely says, "But I did not kill them. They died willingly, and live inside me still" (32.28). We're still a little confused, and definitely suspicious. One thing's for sure, the Morrigan's relationship with her siblings contrasts with the loving relationship between Sophie and Josh, don't you think?

Dee's Nightmare

Dr. John Dee is scared stiff of the Morrigan; she's "one of the few of the Dark Elders who genuinely terrified him" (11.24). But Dee also resents her, because he can't stand the way she treats him like a child. That means that Dee genuinely loves to watch the Morrigan squirm. Quite literally, "he took pleasure in her discomfiture" (31.6). It's almost as if he wants to give her a taste of her own medicine, because she's been treating him so poorly for so long. Still, as bad as the Morrigan is, we feel a little sympathy for her when we learn that even goddesses of death can get scared, and we feel more than a little disgusted at Dee for taking pleasure at another person's pain.