- "The kitchen cat was dead, and Morrigan was to blame."
- ―Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow, chapter 1 opening[src]
Click here to see quotes from Morrigan Crow
Morrigan Odelle Crow (b. Eventide, Winter of Twelve, Seventh Age of the Wintersea Republic) is the main protagonist in the Nevermoor series. She is first mentioned as being disliked, feared, and resented because of her curse which supposedly causes all local misfortunes, and is often used as a scapegoat. All cursed children, like Morrigan, are doomed to die on Eventide, the fifth and final phase of the Skyfaced Clock. However, on the eve of Eventide, Morrigan is rescued by a strange man named Jupiter North, who whisks her away in a giant spider-like vehicle just as her death ticks forward (she was destined to die at midnight, but Nevermoor is nine hours ahead of her home town of Jackalfax, so she cheats death). Their close escape brings Morrigan to the wonderful world of Nevermoor - and out of Jackalfax and the Wintersea Republic.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Physical Appearance
- 3 Personality and Traits
- 4 Abilities and Skills
- 5 Accomplishments
- 6 Possessions
- 7 Relationships
- 8 Etymology
- 9 Behind-the-Scenes
- 10 Trivia
- 11 Gallery
- 12 Appearances
- 13 Notes and References
Morrigan was born to her unnamed mother and her father, Corvus Crow, in Jackalfax, a town in the state of Great Wolfacre in the Wintersea Republic. Her mother died soon after, and Morrigan never knew her. Because she was born on Eventide, Morrigan was believed to be cursed; not only was she doomed to die at midnight at the end of the Age, cursed children are believed to bring bad luck with them everywhere they go.
The first eleven years of Morrigan's life were largely miserable. Her father and stepmother, Ivy, ignore her at the best of times and offer no consideration for her feelings on the few occasions they did bother to speak to her. Morrigan was blamed for everything that went wrong in town, and while she does believe in the curse, she strongly suspects at least some of it is people using her as a scapegoat. Nonetheless, she is forced to write letters of apology for these perceived wrongdoings, and is educated by a litany of tutors, who treat her with varying levels of disdain and fear.
Eighth Age of the Wintersea Republic, Eleven
Everyone expected Morrigan to die on her twelfth birthday, as most chronologists expected it to be a Twelve-Year Age, but the day before her eleventh birthday, it was discovered that this age would end a year early. Morrigan awaited her demise with dread, only to be rescued by Jupiter North, who was one of four people who bid on her at Bid Day. Jupiter then proceeded to fake her death and whisk her away to Nevermoor, bringing her over the border illegally. Everyone in the Republic, save for her grandmother and Maud Lowry, currently believes she is dead as a result of her curse.
Wundrous Society Trials
Third Age of the Aristocrats, One
|"He glowered at her—covered in flour, icing, and sticky caramel"
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In order to stay in Nevermoor, Morrigan would have to join the Wundrous Society in order to gain their legal protection. Throughout her first year in Nevermoor, she competed in four trials: the Book Trial, the Chase Trial, the Fright Trial, and the Show Trial. Although she quickly fell in love with Nevermoor and became fond of people there, she worried about the Show Trial, as she, to her knowledge, didn't have a knack. Jupiter repeatedly told her not to worry about it; so long as she made it to the Show Trial, it would be alright and he'd handle the rest.
When the day arrived, Morrigan was stunned to place first despite not doing anything. Soon after, thanks to intervention by Ezra Squall, she finds out that she is a Wundersmith. Despite the fear and distrust towards Wundersmiths in Nevermoor, she was admitted into the Wundrous Society - after Jupiter secured nine signatures on her safeguard pact.
Wundrous Society, Year One
Third Age of Aristocrats, Two
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Noted to be a rather boring year, as the Scholar Mistress of the School of Mundane Arts, Ms. Dearborn, tries to sabotage Morrigan's schedule and class list, during this time, Morrigan's only two classes were the heinous history of Wundersmiths, taught by Hemingway Onstald (a tortoisewun), and Decoding Nevermoor taught by Henry Mildmay, a Human. However at the end of the second book, Jupiter successfully transfers Morrigan to Mrs. Murgatroyd's tutelage in the School of Arcane Arts.
Loyalty test, Unit 919 undergoes the secret fifth trial, presented as blackmail at first, but shown to be a standard Wundrous society test to test loyalty to their unit and the Wundrous society.
Wundrous Society, Year Two
Third Age of Aristocrats, Three
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While continuing her studies in the Wundrous Arts through the Sub-Nine Academic Group's record of Ghostly Hours, Morrigan is met by Ezra Squall who has arrived through the Gossamer Line. Squall offers Morrigan the cure to the Hollowpox virus in exchange for her apprenticeship, to which Morrigan refuses.
Tensions rose as a mob made up of the Concerned Citizens of Nevermoor political party gathered at the gates of WunSoc Campus in protest to the handling of the Hollowpox epidemic. In fear that the hostile convergence of society members and citizens would become a clash, Morrigan uses Inferno to ignite the fireblossoms on the path and distract the converging groups. In awe, the groups stop to view the spectacle. After over a hundred years, Morrigan Crow had brought the fireblossoms back from extinction. Meanwhile, the tabloids caught wind that there was a new Wundersmith within Nevermoor.
Morrigan made her way to Sub-Nine and then to a certain Liminal Hall of the school of Wundrous Arts. There she meets the Kindling, a Wundrous Divinity, who grants Morrigan their seal after viewing her ignition of the fireblossoms, marking her mastery of the Art of Inferno.
In order to obtain a cure for the Hollowpox virus, Morrigan initiates a dialogue between the leaders of the Free State and the Wintersea Republic. However, desperate to stop President Wintersea from encroaching on Nevermoor, Squall intervenes and offers to help Morrigan destroy the virus without any agreement. Morrigan destroys the virus but soon realizes that she herself can't truly heal the victims of the Hollowpox. Morrigan decides that in order to save the victims of the Hollowpox she would take Squall's apprenticeship offer from the Proudfoot House rooftop. Giving Squall an opportunity to use Wunder through her, Morrigan allows Squall to reverse the effects of the Hollowpox. Then with regard to the decency of an agreement, but more importantly a cavernous hunger, Morrigan signs a contract to apprentice under Ezra Squall.
She is described as small and pale with button-black eyes. Morrigan has coal-black hair and a crooked nose, both of which she inherited from her father. She is most often described as wearing black dresses. She is 11 years old in Nevermoor, turns 12 at the beginning of Wundersmith, and 13 partway through Hollowpox.
Personality and Traits
Morrigan is a great role model; combining spirit, kindness, loyalty, wit, bravery, and quite often, a disregard for the rules (that she likely picked up from Jupiter North and Hawthorne Swift). Her moral strength is shown throughout many moments in the story, at times where she is shown portraying acts of goodwill. One notable example is in the Chase Trial, where she persuades Fenestra to go back and rescue Cadence Blackburn (a girl who has bullied her in the past) from a stampede, even though it meant risking her place in the next Trial. She is a level-headed and patient person, but with a fiery temper, as shown in the chase of Brutilius Brown and the events in the Museum of Stolen Moments. She demonstrated a level of aptitude and familiarity with the city of Nevermoor and in the class 'Decoding Nevermoor.'
She often displays fierce determination and is extremely brave, as demonstrated when she stood up to the Wundersmith Ezra Squall. However, Morrigan can be impatient, anxious, and finds it difficult to trust others, seemingly because of the way she was mistreated before living with Jupiter North. This is shown when she constantly questions Jupiter's assurances that she would make it through the trials, suspecting he is lying when he says she has an ability powerful enough to pass the Show Trial. She is also a practical person who abstains from excessive things as seen when she pondered about the appearance of the door in her room after guessing it had no use whatsoever.
In the events of Hollowpox, a sense of entitlement and hunger for power started to appear, going as far as to be willing to steal a book from the Gobleian Library.
Additionally, Morrigan has shown herself to be rather pessimistic at times, describing herself as someone who assumes the worst and worries. This is a result of her history as a 'cursed child' and being blamed for various events.
Abilities and Skills
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Morrigan Crow originally believes her knack has something to do with her 'curse', due to the constant blame put on her shoulders for all bad events taking place in Jackalfax and her being used as a scapegoat. The residents believe her to be the cause of all unfortunate incidents, since she was born on Eventide, meaning she is considered a "cursed child". Some incidents she was accused of causing are:
- The heart attack of the Crow's gardener because Morrigan said; ‘the flowers looked nice’ to him.
- The loss of a spelling bee because Morrigan said ‘good luck’ to the boy who was participating.
- The death of the Crow Manor kitchen cat.
But later in the book, it is discovered that Morrigan's knack is being a Wundersmith, the ability to gather and control Wunder. Wunder, a kind of magical energy, is attracted to her like a moth to a flame. She is able to wield Wunder to change the world around her. This is a very rare knack shared by the Wundersmiths of Nevermoor's history and the only other presently living Wundersmith, Ezra Squall.
- shows mastery over inferno.
- degree of proficiency in weaving and nocturne.
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Morrigan has been shown to have a logical way of thinking. This was seen when she became exasperated with the riddle-like questions of the Wundrous Society Council. This idea of logicalness or practicality can also be seen in some of her interactions with Jupiter. However, she has been shown to be willing to put together clues or information to try to solve things like riddles. For example, although she was somewhat annoyed at the illogical form of testing during the Book Trial, she was eventually able to modify her answers so they were more intuitive. During the Fright Trial, she figured out some clues by thinking back to things that had been mentioned to her earlier. In this way, Morrigan perhaps has a tendency to be observant, because she seems to pays attention to what people say to her.
Morrigan has been shown to be studious at times, particularly in relation to the Book Trial. During this, she memorized several facts concerning Nevermoor. This was despite not living in Nevermoor until recently earlier.
- Came first in the Wundrous Society Show Trial for Unit 919.
- Passed all 5 trials of the Wundrous Society and became a permanent member of the society.
- Shut down the Ghastly Market.
- Destroyed (and responsible for curing) the Hollowpox.
- Acquired the Inferno seal.
- Brolly: Morrigan receives a black oilskin umbrella with a bird on the handle from Jupiter on her eleventh birthday. Not only is this one of her most prized possessions, as it is the first birthday gift she has ever received, but it is practical for taking the Brolly Rail transportation system around Nevermoor.
- W pin: Morrigan receives this as she enters the Wundrous Society.
- Knitted Scarf: Looks like a fox. Present from Saint Nicholas
- Finnegan's Faerie Tales: Small, clothbound book. Present from Saint Nicholas
- Sled: Shiny and green. A Christmas present from Jupiter.
- Ice skates: Red leather. A Christmas present from Jupiter; Jack also received a pair. They do all the skating for the wearer, meaning Morrigan doesn't need a day of practice to skate like an expert.
- Emmett: A stuffed toy rabbit that Morrigan has had ever since she was a baby. Emmett is the only thing about Crow Manor she really misses, and she's extremely upset when she finds out her baby half-brothers haven't appreciated him. At the end of Hollowpox, Jupiter sneaks into Crow Manor and steals Emmett back for her. Using his abilities as a Witness, he realizes Emmett once belonged to Morrigan's late mother, who loved him just as much as she does.
Jupiter is Morrigan's patron, mentor, and caretaker. He bids on her at the Jackalfax Bid Day ceremony, offering her a place as his candidate for the Wundrous Society. Morrigan accepts the night before Eventide, her death date. The next day, Jupiter crashes the Crow's solemn family dinner and uses magic to convince her family that a crumpled up curtain on the ground was her body. He then whisks her away in his Arachnipod, Octavia, to escape the Hunt of Smoke and Shadow who have come to kill Morrigan. They escape to the Free State, Nevermoor, where he gives Morrigan her first-ever birthday present, a beautiful black oilskin umbrella. He enters her into the Wundrous trials and supports her through each trial. Jupiter gives her a room in his hotel, Hotel Deucalion, to live in, and deeply cares for her general well-being. He calls Morrigan "Mog", much to her annoyance. They have a very unique and close relationship, Jupiter being the first person to ever treat Morrigan like she isn't a curse. Morrigan is often irritated by his constant avoiding of questions through the books, but generally cares for him and is grateful for what he has done for her.
At the start of the book, Morrigan and Jack were sworn rivals, mainly because their first encounter was when Jack was sitting on a chair she believed was her chair. When the wolf shadow Morrigan had created escaped into the hotel, Jack tricked her into spending hours chasing it, when he knew it had already vanished. Morrigan was furious with him when she found out. However, they did eventually become friends, growing especially closer at Christmas when they see Saint Nick and the Yule Queen perform. Jack is one of the only characters who know about her ability to attract Wunder because of his knack (Jack is a Witness, which allows the wielder to know more about others without the target ever knowing).
Throughout Wundersmith and Hollowpox, it is evident that Jack and Morrigan become closer. They are shown playing a game together in the Hotel Deucalion where they use Jack's knack to decipher the current circumstances of strangers entering the lobby. Furthermore, Jack is playful and sarcastic towards Morrigan, and it is apparent that their relationship is still continuing to evolve.
One minor disagreement that still persists is Jack and Morrigan's views on Christmas, with Jack favoring the Yule Queen and Morrigan favoring Saint nick, they will quite often trade insults about each others' selection and clothing style.
Morrigan is best friends with Hawthorne and has spent a great deal of time with him. They played a prank together on the Wundrous garden party, emptying a barrel of frogs into the party before fleeing together. They are often together and have told many secrets to each other. They spent a lot of time together in Hotel Deucalion throughout the books, studying for the Wundrous trial exams, exploring and playing board games. He loyally keeps Morrigan's secret that she is an illegal immigrant, and is unfazed when she confesses that she does not know her knack earlier in the book. Morrigan usually tells him everything. Unlike most other people, when Hawthorne discovered that Morrigan was a Wundersmith, Hawthorne remained loyal and didn't panic, or start treating her any differently than before; apart from occasional teasing and bringing up the topic in general.
Morrigan had mixed feelings towards Cadence at first. When Morrigan and Fenestra saved her from being stampeded during the Chase Trials, she then stole her win. Afterward, however, she did stop Morrigan from being kicked out of Nevermoor, and also stopped Jupiter from being prosecuted. Because of that, she also (to her delight) got Noelle Devereaux removed from Unit 919.
Throughout the second book, Morrigan grows closer to Cadence, being the only person immune to her mesmerism and therefore does not constantly forget about her. When Morrigan first invites Unit 919 over to the Hotel Deucalion, Cadence is the only person besides Hawthorne that shows up and is also the only person besides him to never shun her or blame her for the blackmail letters they receive. By the time of the third book, the two have become close (Morrigan considering Cadence one of her best friends) with Cadence being willing to use her abilities to cover for Morrigan and 'borrowing' a puppy to bring her on her birthday.
Other Unit 919 Members
Morrigan has a mostly positive relationship with her fellow unit members. She has had some rough patches, for example, the blackmail which was thought to be protecting her secret but it was later revealed that she was really protecting Lamya's. They later stick up for each other and become the loyal members of their unit as they were meant to be.
Morrigan has a harsh relationship with most of her family, besides her grandmother. Her family neglect her because of her being born on Eventide, and being a "cursed child". Her father and stepmother are seemingly relieved when she is presumed dead. Morrigan, in turn, doesn't miss them at all, though she does envy Hawthorne for having the loving, normal family she was deprived of.
During her visits on the Gossamer line, Morrigan discovers that her family has moved on, and aren't grieving her much; beside her grandmother. They have a rule to not speak Morrigan's name inside their household. Morrigan has two stepbrothers, who are twins. One of them briefly met Morrigan.
Odelle may be a form of the name Odilia which is derived from either the Germanic element odal meaning "fatherland" or aud, "fortune, wealth." Saint Odilia was a nun who was supposedly born blind but gained sight when she was baptized. Similar names include the English Odelia and French Odile and Odette. This middle name could also refer to the Morrigan's ability to call Wunder through song (the Wundrous Art of Nocturne), as, according to other sources, Odelle could also mean "song". It is likely that she was given this middle name, at least in part, after her grandmother Ornella.
Crow comes from the Middle English crow, itself from the Old English crawa. It was applied as a nickname for someone with dark hair or complexion, or for someone thought to resemble the bird in some other way.
- Morrigan had four bids, an unheard-of number, on Bid Day:
- Always wears black
- Her door to the Unit 919 Station is black
- Morrigan memorized many of the geographical oddities of Nevermoor
- Morrigan's favourite kind of cake is lemon butter raspberry ripple layer cake with crumbled meringue pieces and raspberry cream filling.
- Morrigan is noted to have an octopus armchair, which seems to have some semblance of sentience.
- In a Q&A on Instagram stories (before the release of Hollowpox), Jessica Townsend revealed that Morrigan will not be 19 years old by the last book in the series as "some books will take place over a shorter period of time."
- Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow (First appearance)
- Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow
- Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow
- Silverborn: The Mystery of Morrigan Crow
Notes and References
- Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow, Chapter 1 (The Cursed Crow)
- Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow, Chapter 3 (The Not-Tattoo and the Not-Door); "Don't forget who finished the Show Trial in the number one spot on the leaderboard . . . It was you [Morrigan]."
- @digressica Instagram Stories, June 30, 2020 "Hmmmm not quite. Some books will take place over a shorter period of time. She certainly won't be 19 in the last book." (In reply to the question "Is morrigan going to grow up a year in each book?")