Author: Leora Oldessroth
Prior to the start of the series, Darkhounds had not been seen south of the Mountains of Dhoom since the Trolloc Wars (TDR, Ch. 43).
Wolves call Darkhounds "Shadowbrothers"; Darkhounds were made out of the souls of wolves, caught and twisted by the Shadow. Wolves avoid Darkhounds and don't like talking about them; hundreds of wolves could die trying to kill one Darkhound (CoT, Ch. 8).
Darkhounds can eat the souls of dying wolves and create new packs of Darkhounds. Perrin and Elyas don't know whether a Darkhound could eat the soul of a Wolfbrother (CoT, Ch. 8).
Darkhounds will not cross running water (CoT, Ch. 6). They do not like rain or thunderstorms either, but if they are already on the trail the rain usually fails to stop them (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 7).
Darkhounds can run faster and longer than horses (CoT, Ch. 6).
Darkhounds leave no footprints in the ground but they will leave prints on stone or paving (CoT, Ch. 6). It has been suggested that this is because they were shifted slightly out of reality in their creation (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 7).
Folk tales say you can defeat a Darkhound by turning around and facing it but this is not true (CoT, Ch. 6). Folk tales also say salt harms Darkhounds but this is also untrue (CoT, Ch. 7). Other fables say it is particularly dangerous to meet a pack at a crossroads or just after sunset or just before sunrise (TFoH, Ch. 6).
Darkhounds may have given rise to the legends of Grim/Old Grim and the Wild Hunt (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 7).
Each Darkhound pack has a unique flavor or sense that identifies it. Darkhound packs are usually made up of ten-twelve hounds (CoT, Ch. 7).
Only one pack is used to hunt at a time; Darkhound packs are as likely to turn on each other as the intended prey (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 7).
A Darkhound's trail can be "read"; there is always a sense of urgency about them but the feel can vary based on a number of factors (CoT, Ch. 7).
Darkhounds never hunt at random although they will kill if the opportunity comes up and doesn't interfere with the hunt. The hunt is always paramount and the target is always important to the Shadow, sometimes for unknown reasons (CoT, Ch. 7).
The total number of Darkhound packs is unknown; more modern writers say seven or nine or thirteen packs total. Writers during the Trolloc Wars wrote of hundreds of packs of Darkhounds. We know that there are at least more than eight Darkhound packs currently in existence (CoT, Ch. 7).
There are only two ways to end a Darkhound hunt against you: kill the pack or put enough running water between you that they give up (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 7). Darkhounds are harder to kill than Myrddraal (TDR, Ch. 43).
They resemble hounds only in their basic shape. They are darker than night and as large as ponies (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 7).
They make sounds like a wolf but it has an eerie wailing tone "echoing of blood and death that could never have come from the born creature's throat" (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 7).
They weight two hundred-three hundred pounds each (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 7).
They have silver eyes and teeth like burnished steel; they smell of sulfur (TDR, Ch. 44).
Uses, Purposes and Talents
They were created as guard-beasts during the War of Power but were later used to hunt down the enemies of the Dark One (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 7).
The blood and saliva of Darkhounds is poisonous; one drop to the skin can kill a person (TWoRJTWoT, Ch. 7).
Appearances in the Series
- Darkhounds hunt Rand as he makes his way to Tear; he kills them with balefire (TDR, Ch. 9).
- Darkhounds are also following Moiraine, Lan, Perrin and Faile as they try to catch up to Rand (TDR, Ch. 33; Ch. 43).
- Sammael sends Darkhounds to kill Moiraine, Lan, Perrin and Faile; Moiraine uses balefire to kill them (TDR, Ch. 44).
- Darkhounds are sent to attack Rand in Rhuidean (Lanfear says it is Rahvin's work). Rand tries to hack the Darkhounds apart with a sword but the severed pieces just reform into a Darkhound. During the attack, some of their saliva gets on Mat but he is saved when Rand balefires the Darkhounds, incidentally reversing the injuries Mat sustains (TFoH, Ch. 6).
- Darkhounds make a circuit around Perrin's camp; the pack is larger than the pack of ten he saw in Illian (CoT, Ch. 6). Masuri later tells Perrin that there were at least fifty Darkhounds in this pack (CoT, Ch. 7).