Pin-Up Hetan Interpretation by Corporal Nobbs

Hetan was the daughter of Humbrall Taur,[1] of the Senan clan and warchief of the White Face Barghast. She had nine siblings.[2] Two of her brothers were Cafal and Netok. Her father was fiercely intelligent, a trait said to be passed on to his daughter.[2] Like Cafal, she was also a shaman.[3]

The dark-eyed and muscled Hetan smeared her face with white paint, giving it a skull-like appearance. Her shoulder length hair was braided, stained red with ochre, and knotted with bone fetishes. She wore a hauberk and gauntlets threaded with holed copper and silver coins of unfamiliar mintage. She and her brothers carried a mix of weapons, including lances, throwing axes, fighting axes, hook-bladed swords, and assorted knives and daggers.[4]

When Hetan was first introduced, she had not chosen a mate and seemed to have no interest in settling with any one man. Her sexual appetite was described as quite voracious and her habits, quite ferocious.

In Memories of IceEdit

Hetan and her two brothers traveled to the Vision Plain to investigate rumours of demons stalking the wildlands. On the trader road between Saltoan and Capustan they met Gruntle, Stonny Menackis, and Harllo as they escorted the merchant Keruli. The trio joined the caravan and the lusty Hetan bedded Gruntle and Harllo on successive nights.[5] Along the road they discovered Bauchelain and Korbal Broach had broken into a Barghast barrow and enslaved a Rhivi spirit. Gruntle had to restrain an enraged Hetan and her brothers by pointing out that attacking the necromancers at that time would be a fatal mistake.[5]

Before the caravan reached Capustan, the demons struck. In actuality, they were six undead K'Chain Che'Malle K'ell Hunters. Hetan, Cafal, and Netok roped themselves together with a cord festooned with fetishes. As the hunters attacked, the trio invoked the sorcery granted by the Barghast bone circle.[5] Hetan and Cafal survived the attack, but Netok did not.[6]


Hetan faces the Mask Council by Ray Lopez

Once at Capustan, Hetan and Cafal revealed the primary reason their father had sent them out of the mountains. They petitioned the Mask Council to demand the return of the bones of their ancestors. The barrows of the Founding Families, whose spirits were now worshiped by the Barghast, had been destroyed by the city's founders. Whoever freed the mortal remains of the Barghast spirit-gods could potentially unite the fractious clans under one rule, a role sought by their father. Facing certain extinction at the hands of the Pannion Domin, the Mask Council finally relented.[7]

Upon meeting the Grey Sword Shield Anvil, Itkovian, she announced her intention to bed him despite his vow of celibacy.[8] After the Siege of Capustan was lifted, she engaged in a muscle bruising affair with Gruntle, now the Mortal Sword of Trake.[9]

Hetan by Dejan Delic

Hetan by Dejan Delic

The representatives of the alliance of Malazan High Fist Dujek Onearm, Caladan Brood, and Humbrall Taur met to decide on their next steps with Hetan and Cafal attending.[10] Hetan, Cafal, and Humbrall Taur accompanied Dujek's forces south towards Maurik. Along the way, Hetan began a vigorous affair with Kruppe, stealing his voice for two days. But eventually the besotted Kruppe turned the tables, outpacing even Hetan's appetite. By the time they arrived at Maurik by raft, Humbrall Taur suspected that Hetan's seasickness was actually a sign of pregnancy.[11]

The Barghast stayed with Whiskeyjack when he delivered the news to Brood that Dujek and the bulk of the Malazan army had gone ahead on their own to battle the Pannion Seer at Coral. While an angered Brood and his troops lingered behind, Hetan continued on with Whiskeyjack to Coral.[12][13]

After the Battle of Black Coral was won, Humbrall Taur and his children turned for home with their clan. Along the way they encountered Kilava Onass and her brother, Onos Toolan. Hetan turned her attentions to the newly mortal Imass, Tool, who responded with obvious interest.[14]

In Reaper's GaleEdit

(Information needed)

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

In Dust of Dreams Edit

Toolan family by Dejan Delic

Toolan Family by Dejan Delic

Hetan eventually found a mate in Onos Toolan. She had three children. Identical twin girls, Stavi and Storii, whose father was Kruppe, and one son, Absi, with Tool.

After Tool committed suicide in order to spare his people, Hetan, as his wife, experienced the greatest indignity a White Face Barghast woman could suffer and was hobbled.[15] She later died during an escape attempt arranged by Bakal and Estaral.[16]

In The Crippled God Edit

Toc the Younger found her body, resurrected her and reunited her with her husband and children though she remarked she had "someone else's toes."[17]

Significant plot details end here.

Author's commentsEdit

See the first post of this part of the Tor re-read, written by Steven Erikson, for insights into his motivations in writing the controversial 'hobble/rape' scenes.

In answer to a reader's question, Steven Erikson explained why he resurrected Hetan and that ultimately it boiled down to "because she, Toc, Tool, and all of you deserved it". For his full response read his answer to question 1 in the Tor Q&A session[18]


Hetan: "I enjoy killing and riding men and little else."
Harllo: "I am named Harllo and I am delighted to make your acquaintance, Hetan."
Stonny: "You can kill him any time you like."
―Hetan meets Harllo and Stonny[src]
"Man of Lard, when I bed you -- soon -- this mule will need a travois to carry what's left of you. Dragging everyone along in your dance of words is a fine talent, but come tonight, I will pump the breath from your lungs. I will leave you speechless for days to come. And I will do all this to prove who is the master between us [...] Ah, I see by your bulging eyes that you understand."
―Hetan meets Kruppe[src]

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. Memories of Ice, Dramatis Personae
  2. 2.0 2.1 Memories of Ice, Chapter 10, US SFBC p.374
  3. Memories of Ice, Chapter 14, US SFBC p.456
  4. Memories of Ice, Chapter 6, US SFBC p.218
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Memories of Ice, Chapter 6
  6. Memories of Ice, Chapter 7
  7. Memories of Ice, Chapter
  8. Memories of Ice, Chapter 10, US SFBC p.353-354
  9. Memories of Ice, Chapter 18, US SFBC p.642/658
  10. Memories of Ice, Chapter 20, US SFBC p.702
  11. Memories of Ice, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.810/825-826/836-839
  12. Memories of Ice, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.842-847/851
  13. Memories of Ice, Chapter 24, US SFBC p.902
  14. Memories of Ice, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.995-996
  15. Dust of Dreams, Chapter 15
  16. Dust of Dreams, Chapter 17
  17. The Crippled God, Chapter 23
  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 1
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