|“I created this world, which means I control everything in it. And right now, you are here, which means I control you."|
|— Marethyu to Saint-Germain, Joan, Scathach, Palamedes, and Shakespeare, while in his Shadowrealm in The Necromancer|
Marethyu is a very influential character in the series and is arguably one of the primary protagonists. He and his friend Abraham the Mage masterminded a plan encompassing millennia that would result in the destruction of Danu Talis and the creation of the world of man; this plan would involve every character in the series and more. At the end of The Enchantress, it is discovered that Marethyu is Josh Newman after his left hand was fused to the Hook of Aether.
Prior to the Series
Marethyu was said to have gone by many different names prior to his appearances in the books -- however, all of these names meant Death. It is presumed that he helped bring about the downfall of Earthlords, Ancients, and Archons, respectively.
Marethyu was tasked by Abraham to find a group of magically empowered beings that would be able to assist him when he went back in time and caused Danu Talis to sink, lest the entire race of Humani would never exist. He chose beings such as Comte de Saint-Germain, who had stolen the secrets of Fire Magic from Prometheus, Joan of Arc, a powerful warrior maiden with a Silver Aura, Palamedes, a legendary, immortal warrior, Scathach the Shadow, an immortal vampire warrior who was nigh-undefeatable, and Shakespeare, a playwright who obtained great magical powers. Marethyu then committed several acts that would ensure their survival such as teaching Saint-Germain how to master Fire Magic, insuring Scathach's survival in many of her battles, even teaching Nicholas Flamel and his wife Pernelle how to translate and transcribe the Codex. Somewhere in-between all this, Marethyu found Dr. John Dee and told him his future, that his fate would be tied with Four Swords of Power. He also had protected Virginia Dare throughout her life to make sure she was alive in order for his plan to fulfill for her to rule and guide the humans of Danu Talis to safety and civilization.
Marethyu first appears in The Necromancer, although he has been mentioned in the previous books: St. Germain mentioned that Marethyu taught him to control the Fire he had stolen from Prometheun in The Magician, and Perenelle and Nicholas often recall that he was the one who sold them the Book of Abraham the Mage several times.
In The Necromancer, Scathach and Joan of Arc find themselves in a Pleistocene-like Shadowrealm after Niccolo Machiavelli sabotaged the leygate. Marethyu reveals himself in a clearing and uses his powers to "see through the Shadowrealms" to demand that Tammuz send St. Germain, Palamedes, and Shakespeare to him.
Marethyu tells each of these characters their destinies and how he helped them in the past. He then guides the group through a series of leygates sequenced by Chronos, which leads them to Danu Talis ten thousand years ago.
In The Warlock, Marethyu is quickly captured by a group of Anpu along with his companions; however, he is sent to the Palace to meet with the King of Danu Talis, Aten, while the others are locked in the volcano prison. In the palace, Marethyu reveals that he allowed himself to be captured, and he and Aten discuss his past exploits, which include the destruction of the Earthlords, Ancients, and Archons.
Aten believes Marethyu has come to Danu Talis to destroy the Elder civilization, which Marethyu confirms. After having conversed, Marethyu convinces Aten that the only way to save the world is to destroy Danu Talis and make way for the human race. Aten allows himself to be captured by his treacherous brother, Anubis, while Marethyu escapes in a highly powerful crystal vimana. He proceeds to use the vimana's power to destroy a fleet of Anpu that are chasing the group he led to Danu Talis. Once the fleet was destroyed, Marethyu is found crying inside the ship, proving he has retained his humanity.
Marethyu appears several times throughout The Enchantress. He first saves Dr. Dee after Osiris had removed the Doctor's immortality, and in the process, reveals that he been manipulating Dee for centuries and others for millennium. Dee and Marethyu meet Abraham the Mage in the Tor Ri, where Marethyu forces Dee to hand over the Codex. With the Codex complete, Marethyu entrusts Virginia Dare with her emerald tablet, persuading her to fight for the humans; interestingly, in this conversation, it is revealed that the Artifacts of Power, like the Dare's flute, have no effect on Marethyu since he is technically not living. He also visits Aten in the volcano prison to encourage the Elder to inspire the humans before his execution. Upon the completion of these tasks, Marethyu watches Josh and Sophie from a distance as they enter the Pyramid of the Sun, knowing this would be the last time they are happy together.
Contrary to the popular belief, the version of Marethyu who possesses thousands upon thousand of years of knowledge doesn't destroy Danu Talis; instead, Josh, who fuses his hand with all Four Swords of Power, transforming it into the Hook of Aether, becomes Marethyu and destroys Danu Talis. Meanwhile, in the present time, Marethyu visits the Flamels and takes them to their final resting place, Paris, using the hook to create a legate. (It is not clear whether this is the "Old Marethyu" or the newly transformed Josh).
Marethyu is highly intelligent and manipulative (in what appears to be a positive way). He was able to plan out the survival of seven different people over the course of 10,000 years, and he knew the secrets of all five of the Elemental magics . He knew how to read and translate the Codex. When asked by Scathach if he knew everything, he simply replied "I know enough"; in the Enchantress, Josh (a.k.a. Marethyu) describes the Hook of Aether as giving him knowledge about "everything". He seems very calm, calculating, collected, and cold all at once as he had no second thoughts apparently about sinking Danu Talis (the second time) and foiling the plans of Isis and Osiris to change the timeline. He also appears to be wiser than most Elders, respected and influential. This may be because he may be the oldest being in the entire series - among other things he said he remembers the Pleistocene Epoch (dating from 2,588,000 to 11,700 years ago). Most likely, he traveled back into time to this era. Marethyu also, despite his rather cunning and manipulative personality, has still retained humanity. One such example was when he was forced to kill an entire fleet of Anpu when they were attacking Prometheus, Scathach, Saint-Germain, Joan, Shakespeare, Palamedes, and Gilgamesh. When all the Anpu were either dead or had fled, Marethyu was seen weeping for the fallen creatures. Scathach stated that seeing this made her trust him more than ever. He is shown to be quite charismatic throughout The Enchantress, as he puts on a rather kind, helpful front when assisting Dee by allowing him to live and visiting Abraham, and seems to be very wise.
Powers & Abilities
While he didn't display most of his powers, they are said to be vast in nature. So far, they include:
- Chronokinesis: He could manipulate time itself. He said that Chronos, the Master of Time, owed him a favor and Chronos arranged for him thirteen gates that allowed travel back to Danu Talis. In addition, the Hook of Aether, comprising of all Four Swords of Power, can presumably create leygates to the past.
- Immortality: He is ageless, eternal and immortal.
- Clairvoyance: He could see almost everything, as displayed when he looked to his left and saw Tammuz, Shakespeare, Palamedes, and Saint-Germain a dimension away.
- Precognition: He can see the future, he's been to the future, and he's been told the future.
- Reality Manipulation: He could manipulate reality to create a massive Shadowrealm and fill it with creatures. He could also change, alter, and manipulate the very fabric of this Shadowrealm to fit any need and want he has, such as freezing a lake, then turning it into molten lava, then turning it back into crystal clear water all by waving his hooked hand.
- Elemental magic: As the Four Swords of Power are contained in the hook in place of his left hand, he is a master of all five Elemental Magics.
- Healing Powers: Marethyu was able to restore some of Dee's immortality, as well as mend his hearing and sight. He also had the ability to completely restore his youth and bestow immortality, but he chose not to.
- Omniscience: The Swords of Power made him all-knowing.
- Immunity: Since Marethyu was not technically alive, (the Four Swords constantly draining his aura), the Artifacts of Power, like Viriginia Dare's Flute, had no effect on him.
He usually appeared as a man who was not as tall as Palamedes, but taller than Saint-Germain, wearing a long, hooded robe with cloth covering the lower part of his face and glowing blue eyes. His most prominent feature is his left hand which is replaced by a curved, silver hook, or more like a sickle. In the Warlock he is first seen without the hood and it is revealed that he has somewhat overlong greasy, blonde hair.
- His name, in the language of Danu Talis, means "Death". Another translation of it also means "Man."
- Marethyu also met the Earthlords. When asked he said it was only a brief visit. Yet, the image of his hook appears on their list of kings, in the very center. It is later revealed that he met Isis and Osiris.
- Marethyu, on several occasions, mentioned that he has received offers to turn it into a proper silver hand or a golden glove. He would refuse and tell them that he has grown fond to his current hook. He possibly would have gone for the offer if his hook had not been the Sword of Aether.
- Marethyu's hook is a combination of the Four Swords of Power- Excalibur, Clarent, Durendal, and Joyeuse.