Wolves of the beyond Wiki
"I have no choice but to die... NO! I have jumped for a tree, jumped for a raven, jumped for a cougar. I shall jump for the sun!"
— Faolan when he jumps over the wall of fire in Lone Wolf, page 211
Spoiler Warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.
Faolan MacDuncan
Frost Wolf Faolan.png




Dire Wolf

Eye Color


Fur Color

Gray and white

Family Members

Kinnaird (Birth father)

Morag MacNamara (Birth mother)

Thunderheart (Adoptive mother)

Brangwen MacNamara (Step father)

Mhairie MacNamara (Birth sister)

Dearlea MacNamara (Birth sister)

Akira MacHeath (Mother-in-law)

Edme MacHeath (Mate)

Myrrglosch (Adoptive son)

Maudie (Adoptive daughter)


The MacDuncan Clan


MacDuncan Pack of the Eastern Scree


Splayed paw

Current state [1]


Faolan MacDuncan is a male dire wolf and the main protagonist of the Wolves of the Beyond series, as the books follow his life. He is the son of Morag and Kinnaird, born as an outcast, (called a malcadh) because of his splayed paw. He was left on the remains of a previously-frozen river to drown, but was rescued by Thunderheart, a female grizzly. He soon joined the MacDuncan pack of the Eastern Scree to become a gnaw wolf, later becoming part of the Watch. He is also the one who "jumped for the sun".


Faolan has the luminous green eyes of the true wolves of the Beyond. As seen on the covers of the books, he has dark, silvery-gray fur running from the top of his head to his back and the top of his tail. The rest of his body is a light silver, almost white. He has a black nose and a bit of white fur above his eye. Faolan is very fast; faster than the she-wolves, who are said to be the fastest; very large, and strong.

One of his front paws is splayed, meaning that the toes are further apart from each other. However, when the Great Mending comes in Spirit Wolf, his paw is straightened. He has a spiral mark shaped like a swirled star on the pad of his left paw, making him a malcadh. Although the meaning of this spiral is unknown, Faolan believes it is part of a bigger destiny or a great harmony.

Being raised by a bear, Faolan has a deep voice, unlike the soft whispering of clan wolves.

It is stated by Morag in Shadow Wolf that she might have named him after a constellation like Skaarsgard, the star wolf who helps wolves up the star ladder, because it seemed to Morag as if the stars had fallen from the sky and been swirled through Faolan’s fur.


Morag- Birth Mother

Kinnaird- Birth Father

Thunderheart- Adoptive Mother

Mhairie- Birth Sister

Dearlea- Birth Sister

Brangwen- Step Father

Brecco- Half-brother

Unknown wolves from previous litter's siblings

Unnamed Pup- Half-sibling; Brecco's Sibling

Unnamed Pup- Half-sibling; Brecco's Sibling

Daraigh- Step Aunt

Edme- Mate

Maudie- Adoptive daughter

Myrrglosch- Adoptive son

Akira- Mother in-law

Unknown male - Father-in-law

Meaning of Name

Fao means both River and Wolf, and Lan means Gift. So his name means "Gift of the River", "River Gift", "Wolf Gift from the River", "Wolf Gift", etc. In actual reality, Faolan is an Irish name which means "Little Wolf".


Lone Wolf

A silver she-wolf called Morag is searching for a den to give birth to her third litter. Scared of birthing a malcadh, she went by-lang and attempted to cross the border. There are several shallow pits, but they would offer no shelter. Morag then finds a pregnant fox waiting to give birth and chases the fox away. After Morag gets rid of the vixen, she gives birth. She births three pups, two tawny females and a silver male born on the fifth moon. But the silver pup has a splayed paw, declaring it a malcadh. This is a small flaw, but will be serious in the clan. Morag tells herself the deformity would leave in a few days, but it remains.

The Obea of the MacDuncan clan, Shibaan, then tries to track Morag down. Shibaan had learned to become suspicious when a she-wolf went by-lang. She is able to foil Morag's tricks, such as only urinating in ice-free parts of the river. She finds Morag and takes the silver pup to an icy river bank to be his tummfraw. Shibaan returns and both she-wolves carry each of the tawny pups and announce the birth of the malcadh to the clan. Then Morag had to leave the clan in order to preserve the blood-lines of the pack leaving her off to another clan. Shibaan abandoned Faolan on a piece of ice on the river that is about to crack. She is said to have no feeling for the pups she abandons and she "might as well be carrying a clod of dirt". The ice cracks and Faolan is thrown in the raging river. However, the pup opens his eyes and ears and grips on.

Then the point of view switches to that of a female grizzly bear, (his second Milk Giver) who is standing by the river moaning. Apparently, her only cub was taken by cougars, and she intended to commit suicide. After a while, Faolan is snagged in her paw. When she sees him, she sees the pup as her "gift from the river," she names him Faolan. According to her, "Fao" means river and wolf in both the languages of bears and wolves, and "Lan" means gift in bear language. Faolan soon calls the grizzly, Thunderheart, because of her large booming heart.

Faolan is taught the ways of a bear cub, like fishing and eating vegetation, which wolves don't eat. Soon the two seek a Winter Den and Thunderheart finds the "perfect" one. She picks a connection of tunnels under what is assumed to be a volcano, and goes to sleep. But before her hibernation, she explains to him that she must go to sleep for the winter, The Long Cold, as it is called, and she gives him permission to leave the den to prevent him from getting bored. He catches rabbits and hares and always brings some back for Thunderheart every time he goes hunting.

One day, an earthquake erupts and Thunderheart, confused by sleepiness and forgetting about giving permission to her pup, leaves the den thinking he is lost. Thunderheart is soon killed by a falling boulder in the earthquake. One day Morag, while searching for a new den, finds Thunderheart's dead body.

Faolan travels to the Outermost to terminate the cougar that killed Thunderheart's birth cub before she found him. He thought that if he did that she would come back. He finds one and tears open his veins and he dies. Just when Faolan was eating the mountain lion meat, two wolves appear, a gray one and a russet one with one eye. These wolves are known as Outclanners. Faolan leaps on top of them and breaks the grey wolf's spine.Faolan travels around, searching for his beloved grizzly milk giver, but doesn't find a trace of Thunderheart. Soon Faolan finds the Cave Before Time. He takes refuge in it and observes paintings on the wall. He then goes back to the Beyond. Later he finds the grizzly's bones and gnaws their story on her paw bone. He meets Gwynneth, a rogue smith owl and she tells him to go to the wolves. Gwynneth explains the ways of the wolves and why he was abandoned as a pup he was a malcadh.

After seeing his splayed paw print, some MacAngus wolves think he has the foaming-mouth disease, or rabies, and they ask the Sark of the Slough to create a fire so they could drive Faolan into it. However, Faolan is able to jump the wall of fire and survives. Duncan MacDuncan, the chieftain of the MacDuncan clan, remembers that he was the wolf pup that had the splayed paw. Faolan is then accepted into the clan as a gnaw wolf.

Shadow Wolf

The story begins with Faolan, who is being abused by the higher-ranking wolf, Flint, who had sent him sprawling. Now, Flint was coming back for a muzzle chop, one of the most painful and humiliating chops delivered to a gnaw wolf. The pack lord, Lord Bhreac, stops him.  Later, a byrrgis is about to begin and Faolan meets Heep, a "model" gnaw wolf. They meet Mhairie, a tawny female wolf from the Carreg Gaer of the MacDuncan clan. Heep explains how gnaw wolves are supposed to sniff for 'droppings'.

Faolan suddenly finds himself joining the hunt, but scares away the prey by standing on his hind legs, knocking Mhairie to the ground. Mhairie yells at him, complaining to Faolan that he made her lose her once-in-a-lifetime chance of becoming an outflanker. The Lords of Heep's pack and Faolan's pack then decide Faolan must see Duncan MacDuncan, the dying chieftain. Later, Faolan goes to the chieftain, and a wolf named Adair reads the bone that Heep had gnawed, telling about Faolan's illegal mishap on the hunt. He wrote the word "humble" so many times that Faolan was soon annoyed, as well as Duncan. There is a fire in the cave, in which Faolan looks into, causing Duncan to begin to wonder if Faolan has the firesight, a rare ability to see through the flames and see visions. The chieftain wonders if the young gnaw wolf sees the cold before the summer moons if the Long Cold would return. But all Faolan sees in the flames is the spiral mark shape on his paw.

Mhairie is later seen sharing a den with her sister, Dearlea. Their mother, Caila, has borne a litter of six new pups. One of the sisters uses the den, while the other help with Caila with the new ones.Lael, the Obea, takes a malcadh out to a tummfraw and Faolan howls a prayer to Lupus about the pup that a sheet of snow will cover her, leaving her hidden from hungry predators. Gwynneth is flying over by. Soon she hears the pup being murdered, by a wolf. She can tell it's one because of the sound of when he tore apart the pup. Soon the mother of the malcadh goes to the Sark for the forgetting. Once the mother of the crippled pup falls asleep in the Sark's den, Gwynneth tells her about the murder and soon enough, the two animals go to investigate. They find that there are hardly any bones, and the Sark points out that Faolan had been there. But they doubt it was Faolan, so they keep looking, and the scent of yet another wolf becomes visible.

Meanwhile, when Faolan goes to the Sark of the Slough sometime the next day, he asks if his mother had ever been to her den. Sark says she has no clue who his mother was, so Faolan leaves.Throughout the month, Faolan goes back to the spot where the malcadh had been murdered. He was going to build a drumlyn for the dead pup, when Gwynneth tells him after the gaddergnaw byrrgis that the pup had been murdered. When he returns to the clan, Heep frames him and lies about Faolan killing the malcadh. The Sark comes and figures out the true murderer: Heep. As the Beyond law says, you must slowly tear the wolf if they kill a malcadh. But Heep escapes unharmed. After Faolan and Edme win the gaddergnaw, Heep comes and tries to take the bones of Thunderheart. Faolan stops him and lets him go, once again, not hurt.

Watch Wolf

Faolan and Edme are on the way to Watch. The Fengo tells them each where their tummfraws are, because before attending the Watch, a wolf must seek his or her tummfraw. They separate and Faolan finds his: a riverbank. Memories of him as a pup flood back to him, and he decides to build a memorial for his second Milk Giver: Thunderheart. Later he meets back with Edme, and she tells him what happened to her. The two find a den to sleep in. Both have strange dreams, Faolan's being about the Fengo. When they wake up, they find it snowing, in spring.

While on their way to the Hot Gates, they watch a byrrgis of the Watch sharing a kill with a grizzly and her cubs. Soon the mother falls asleep, and Faolan, feeling strangely full when he hadn't eaten, falls asleep too. When he wakes up he finds Edme playing with one of the cubs while it's mum is asleep. Faolan warns Edme never to play with grizzly cubs, because if their mum caught her, she'd kill Edme. They leave the cubs and continue on their journey. When they make it to the Ring of Sacred Volcanoes, they meet up with two other wolves who have similar deformities, Twist, or Twistling, whose paw is twisted, and Winks who has one eye. Faolan and Edme learn how to do acrobatic jumps called Scanning Jumps, and riding the She-Winds. Later on, Faolan sees an owl he thinks may be a bad owl, or a graymalkin. Faolan jumps up and catches the owl who proceeds to tell Faolan and Edme that a bear cub has been cubnapped. Faolan and Edme go to the Fengo and tell him where the cub is, and who had cubnapped him.

Faolan and Edme must go to the Pit and rescue the cub from Old Cags. When they get there, there is some trouble that leads to the death of Arthur, though Faolan and Edme manage to rescue Toby and start to head back to the Sacred Ring. A few moons later, the Sark takes Faolan to his dying mother, Morag. They nuzzle and say they love each other before Morag dies. Faolan creates a drumlyn for Morag at the end of the book. He sees both Thunderheart and Morag's spirits on the star ladder.

Frost Wolf

There is a great famine in the clans due to an unusual long-lasting cold weather. Liam MacDuncan, the new leader of his birth clan, was not changing the rotation of the Blood Watch. Thus, the Fengo send Faolan and Edme there with the task of finding out why.

Later, Faolan discovered that his birth sisters are Mhairie and Dearlea. He also realizes during his time in the Cave Before Time that he once had a 'thunderous heart', hinting that he was a bear in one of his past lives. Faolan captures the Prophet in the end, with the help of Edme and the Sark.

Spirit Wolf

Faolan is first seen trying to recollect the dream he had the previous night. Soon, he starts to walk out of the cave when the earthquake starts to happen. Faolan is thrown on to his back and so are his sisters because of the force. As they scramble to their feet the three wolves turn around to see the H'rathghar glacier racing towards them. Again, the earth shakes, and they are tossed on their backs. From where he was Faolan saw the Great Bear constellation, Lupus and Skaarsgard. The last thing Faolan saw before presumably blacking out was  Dearlea's eyes roll back into her head.

Later, Faolan gripped an ice raft as hard as he could while calling Mhairie and Dearlea's names. He becomes worried, but then hears Dearlea talking to Mhairie. Soon he catches sight of them floating in the musk ox they had found like a boat, however, it was sinking. He helped them climb on to his ice raft after they jumped from the carcass. As soon as Dearlea and Mhairie got their grip Mhairie noticed that Faolan's paw was no longer splayed, but straight. He was hesitant to look at it and thought himself to be incomplete. He was so shocked by the fact that his paw was no longer splayed that he nearly fell off the ice floe.

Afterwards, Faolan attempted to get them back to shore by steering the ice raft with a gnawed branch that would work like an owl's wing. With his new paw, Faolan had trouble attaching the "water wing" to the back of the raft. After a few tries, with Mhairie and Dearlea's help, they manage to steer back to shore. The whole time he thought about Edme. He was horrified when he found Malachy's body. So, he was relieved when he saw Edme and Myrr walking up to them. In Edme's makeshift den they all ate lemmings and Edme told him that every Watch wolf, besides them was dead. Upon hearing the news, Faolan states that they should put Finbar's bones on the cairn of the Fengos, which was surprisingly still there. They all did a ceremony for the placing of the bones. When they were done Faolan stayed and guarded the cairn and soon fell asleep.

In Faolan's dream he witnesses the first conversation between Grank and the first Fengo. He also heard Fengo's glaffling for Grank later. Then, Faolan became the Snowy Owl, Fionula, a gadfeather talking to Brunwella Plonk. When Brunwella commented that the codes and ways of the wolves were silly, Fionula was angered and defended them. In the morning, Edme woke him up and Faolan told them all that they must go to the Distant Blue.

They set off, and were somewhere close to the Slough when they heard Gwynneth screeching. Faolan was frightened that it had something to do with the Sark. They all raced towards the Sark's den, to find her dying. There, Faolan told her about the plans for traveling. When they discuss if they should take the Sark to the Distant Blue, The Sark objects. She told them that she had all she needed and that the shattered remains of her memory jugs was her heaven. Then the Sark died .They were all quiet and it was Faolan who broke the silence and said they should leave.

Later, they come across the rest of the H'rathghar glacier on their route to the Cave Before Time. Once they get up there Gwynneth tells them that Banja has a pup and goes to get them. To Faolan, the idea that Banja had a pup was shocking. Then, Edme plays tag with Myrr and falls down a crevasse. Faolan was frantic that Edme fell and he and sisters began to argue on how to get her out of there. Soon after that the Whistler arrives, and they tell him the news. Gwynneth then returns with Maudie in her talons. Then Faolan devises a plan to get Edme out that they would execute when Banja arrives; a Great Chain of wolves. Faolan was the first "link" in the chain and would be the one to grab Edme. They carefully lowered him down, but soon Dearlea slipped and Faolan fell into Edme. Gwynneth quickly grabbed Edme by the head and raised her up and they all got out of there safely.

They find an abandoned whelping den on the glacier where they all (except for Edme, Myrr, and Gwynneth) sleep there for the night. They continue traveling for the next three days until they came upon the Spirit Woods. Faolan insists that they make camp there. That night, he dreams of meeting Fionula and Eo, and in that dream he learns what a gyre soul is and that they need to go west. Edme, however, dreams of an owl, a bear, and an ancient wolf who looks like Faolan. 

Faolan continues to lead the group until Toby and Burney are brought to them, then he leads the search for Bronka, which results in Gwynneth finding her body. Back at camp, the search party breaks the devastating news to the cubs, but Faolan and Edme promise to take care of them.

Faolan guides them the rest of the way to the Cave Before Time, but becomes reluctant to go there once he realizes the twisted femur he carved in a dream was like how Edme's femur is now. However, a second earthquake leaves them with no choice. Inside the cave, they find Katria and Airmead, who tell them Heep is still alive. But once Faolan goes off on his own, he finds his third gyre soul: Fengo. With the help of all three, he leads the others to the edge of the Distant Blue.

Star Wolf

In the opening scene Faolan is standing on the edge of the ice bridge, ready to lead the others to the Distant Blue. Faolan worries about the dangers the bridge offers, but despite the danger, Faolan howls "Ahhoooooo garrooo!" to summon his companions.

Edme, Faolan's soon to be mate, is also worried about crossing the bridge when they decide to go off the bridge to try to make it across the Frozen Sea to the Distant Blue. As they try it they have to go back to the bridge and Edme and Faolan split off from the rest to investigate a fork in the bridge, and as soon as Edme makes it somewhat across it she collapses into a deep sleep where she finds out who she was in her past life: Stormfast, Fengo's mate. Once Faolan finds her sleeping, they both recognize the old souls in each other and become paw fast in their present lives.

However, Heep is still alive and a leader of an outclanner rout, causing more trouble that makes it hard for Faolan and his friends to travel over the bridge. Eventually, a great battle takes place between the survivors of the wolves of the beyond and the outclanners, which leads to the death of Banja.

The Keepers of the Keys

In this story, Faolan is long dead and known as a hero who saved the wolves. When Alasdair mentioned his name, she did a posture. He is mentioned to have led the wolves to the Distant Blue.

Evidence of being a reincarnation of Fengo

Faolan is a reincarnation of the first Fengo and examples are in every book.

Lone Wolf:

"The song of the wolves stirred something deep and mysterious within Faolan. he understood the words of the song, but there was something beyond the simple meaning that eluded him."

This song comes after the story about Fengo coming back after dying so he could lead the wolves out of the Long Cold into the Beyond.

-pages 187-188

Shadow Wolf:

Watch Wolf:

  • The thought gave Faolan pause. Had he seen this sparseness before? There was a haunting familiarity in the scarcity. But how could this be? It was only the third summer he had ever known-only the third moon of the Shedding Antlers he had ever experience. Once again something rustled in Faolan like a distant wind blowing tatters of memory from an ancient place- Page 50
  • Dying was a private act and yet...it all looked so familiar.-Page 52
  • "Tine Smyorfin," he whispered.

"Huh?" Edme looked at Faolan, whose eyes were trained on the river. "What's that you said? Sounds like Old wolf."

"What are you talking about?" Faolan asked.

"That expression, tine something."

"I said by my marrow," Faolan answered.

"No you didn't," Edme answered. "You whispered something that sounded very much like Old Wolf. I may have one eye but I do have two ears, Faolan."-Page 58

  • "I'm sorry but I was scared. If that mother grizzly woke up we would both be dead. You can never ever touch or even near a grizzly's cubs like that. They go crazy, cag mag, cag maglosc."

Edme blinked. Faolan was speaking Old Wolf again. And she could have sworn she'd heard him muttering strange phrases in his sleep that sounded like Old Wolf.-Page 62

  • Faolan shrugged.He was truly confounded and could not figure out where these wisps of knowledge came from. It was as if they were borne on a maverick river that course through his mind.-Page 65
  • "Rotten duck eggs?" Faolan repeated and then muttered, "tine smyorfin."

"There, you said it again! " Edme blurted.

"Said what?"

"That old wolf thing you said back by the river."

"I didn't say any old wolf thing. I just muttered, 'by my marrow.'"

Edme tipped her head to one side and regarded her friend. How odd, she thought. Faolan really doesn't know when he's saying these things. His mouth speaks in something that sounds like old wolf, but his ears hear it another way.-Page 66

  • "I know," Faolan said quietly.

"You know." Twist cocked his head and looked at Faolan with curiosity. "You've already read that part of the bone."

"No. Not yet."

"Then how do you know?"

Faolan looked at Twist. There was confusion in his eyes. "I'm not sure. I just know." -Page 94

  • When Twist had said that name-Grank-there was a shiver deep in Faolan's marrow. The kind of shiver that wolves felt when another wolf walked over the place where they would take their last breath.-Page 95
  • Faolan cocked his head to one side and stared at the cairn. The voice of Twist ebbed away, and the baying of the wolves faded as well, and it was as if he had been transported to a moment outside of time. He felt as though he were standing next to his own pelt, looking at himself. I know the code.-Page 99
  • "Cag maglosc," Faolan muttered, and then launched into what sounded to Edme like a string on old wolf curse words.-Page 124
  • "They sing!" Faolan said.

"Now, how ever did you know that, Faolan? I'm surprised."

"I think I heard one of the Watch wolves talking about it."

Gwynnneth looked at him with curiosity but continued. " They've become somewhat of a novelty. During ancient times in the northern kingdoms, there were countless gadfeathers. Recently they've begun to come back. But very few have come into the beyond, and that's why I was surprised when you said you heard of them."

Faolan said nothing. For the truth was that he was as puzzled as Gwynneth that he knew about gadfeathers and their singing.-Page 128

  • As so often happened when Faolan stood close to owls or watched them take off into the sky, he seemed to feel stirrings deep within him, whispers from another time or another world. But it wasn't just when he watched owls. These whispers had stared coming to him during his slaan leat, his journey toward truth. There was a truth out there still waiting for him, and every once in a while, he caught a glimpse of it. Sometimes when he did his leaps, especially the high ones, he felt as though he was coming close to catching mists or wraiths of the past.-Page 165
  • These mists from an unreachable past seemed to seep through his mind. He felt sometimes as if he were trespassing on someone else's memories and dreams. But it was not his fault. He could never quite figure out what prompted these moments. And whenever they occurred, he felt as if he were a wolf out of time.- Page 165

Frost Wolf:

A wisp of fog passed though his mind, stirring his marrow and then dissolving like mist in the noonday sun. Faolan shivered and he shook his head almost violently.

"What is it, Faolan?" Edme asked.

"Nothing-nothing really," Faolan said lightly. "Just the edge of an old dream that came back to me. Can't quite remember it really."-Page 69

Faolan felt a shiver run through his marrow. He shook his head slightly and the guard hairs on his ruff stood rigid.

"Lochin crossed your bones again?" the Whistler asked.

"No, nothing. Nothing at all. But this is really valuable!" -Page 91


  • Many fans misspell his name as "Foalan" or "Faulan".
  • His splayed paw has been mentioned as 'twisted' many times, including on the back of the books.
  • Faolan is a reincarnation of the first Fengo. According to legend, when Fengo went to die and started to climb the Star Ladder to the Cave of Souls, he fell and lived again. There is much evidence. In Watch Wolf, Faolan kept muttering cag maglosc, which means "crazy", and tine smyorfin, which supposedly means "by my marrow", and has sudden knowledge of the owls of Ga'Hoole and the owl world. In Shadow Wolf, he has a dream, as if he is walking in the stars, and it seems familiar to him. When he and Edme win the gaddergnaw, the weight of the bone and the ceremony feels as if it happened before.
    • Faolan is also revealed to be a gyre soul of Fionula and Eo.
  • Faolan is an Irish name that means "Little Wolf".
  • The first part of his name, 'Fao' means 'wolf' and 'river', and the second part, 'Lan', means 'Gift.'
  • Most wolves of the Beyond have green eyes, however on some book covers Faolan looks like he has yellow eyes.
  • His name is pronounced as "Fay-lin".
  • Faolan is known to be one of the best bone carvers in the Beyond. Some wolves believe he is from the Dim World because of his abilities.


Official Art

Please do not edit this gallery.


  1. Bears of the Ice Book 3 The Keepers of the Keys