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Hunter Redfern is a lamia and the patriarch of the Redfern family, a direct descendant of the first vampire Maya and her son Red Fern, as well as the official representative of the lamia in the Night World. In spite of his reputation as an upright, traditionalist leader, Hunter's true nature is that of a manipulative and ambitious predator, even resorting to bending and breaking Night World law himself to get his way.
His chief goal is to obtain a male heir, due to the male line of inheritance among vampires, and sought this by a blood-tie ceremony and marriage to the current leader of the Harman witches, Maeve, after the disappearance of his former heir and son, Chervil.
However, the marriage, to Hunter's constant aggravation, only produced four daughters: Garnet, Lily, and Dove (all lamia), while the youngest was Roseclear, a Harman witch. He additionally tried to maneuver around this issue by first converting the human John Quinn, and then the young human child Timmy into made vampires. At least 800 years old, he is destroyed in the seventh book Black Dawn.
Early Life Edit
As a Redfern, Hunter is a direct descendant of Maya Dragonslayer, the first made vampire, through her lamia son, Red Fern. Prior to the 16th century, by an unknown lover or wife, Hunter had a son, Chervil Redfern. However, Chervil and he got into a bitter argument, resulting in Chervil's flight and disappearance. Now without an heir and in order to end the Night Wars between Night World factions, Hunter entered into a truce and blood-tie ceremony with Maeve Harman, the leader of the witches at the time, ultimately marrying her in the hopes of siring a son, since vampires only counted firstborn sons as legitimate heirs. In retrospect, Hunter and Maeve did not appear to care for one another, and Hunter's ambition for a son failed; Maeve only bore Hunter four daughters.
The three eldest, Garnet, Lily and Dove, were all lamia, while the youngest, Roseclear, was born a witch (Maeve additionally separated Hunter from her, as noted by Quinn). Through Hunter's eldest daughter, Garnet, the Redfern line continued with her marriage to another lamia vampire, as Hunter allowed Garnet's children to keep the Redfern surname. The middle child, Lily, with lily-fair skin, dark hair and yellow eyes, shares her father's temperament as well as his venomous disgust for humans; she acts as his associate up to the present day and appears to be very close to him. Dove, the second youngest and the most amiable of Hunter's children, was tragically killed after Hunter, to make him a suitable mate for his daughter as well as his adopted heir, converted John Quinn into a made vampire when Quinn requested Dove's hand in marriage.
When Quinn, unknowing of what he was, convinced Dove to visit his own father, a Boston minister, the minister reacted by staking Dove, killing the girl. At the news of her death, Hunter only remarks that she was "too gentle" to live in a world of humans. Quinn becomes his official adopted heir and protége after this incident, until centuries later when Quinn finds his soulmate, Rashel Jordan, and rebels against Hunter's scheme for a blood feast that would result in the deaths of twenty-four innocent young girls.
An additional member of Hunter's family is the child-vampire Timmy, whom Hunter had lured to a tent during Rashel Jordan's birthday and bitten. For years Rashel had assumed Timmy dead, but to her horror learns that Hunter completely changed Timmy into a made vampire, trapping the boy in a four year old's body for over ten years. Presumably, Hunter had molded Timmy's personality to match his own way of thinking, in addition to the boy's added trauma of being unable to grow up. Rashel herself suspects Hunter of twisting Timmy's mind against her in particular, due to Rashel's promise to look after Timmy when they were children. During a fire set to the house hosting the blood feast, Timmy is forcibly removed by Quinn and Rashel, who intend to get him help from Circle Daybreak after his experience at Hunter's hands.
Black Dawn Edit
In Black Dawn Hunter finally discovers what became of his lost son Chervil; he and his friends had retreated to a mountain range above Washington state and established their own Night World kingdom, the Dark Kingdom, where Chervil ruled as king. Chervil himself had a son, Tormentil, who bore a strong resemblance to Hunter in both appearance and temperament. Upon Chervil's death, Tormentil ruled and himself had a son, Prince Delos Redfern, whom Tormentil learned was one of the prophesied Wild Powers. Unlike his ancestors, Delos was actually quiet and peaceable, but was dominated by his father and the nobles of the kingdom, being forced to become nothing more than a weapon for his father at a very young age due to his abilities. Hunter eventually comes to the kingdom and is able to meet Delos for the first time, joyous at the prospect of attaining one of the Wild Powers through Delos, whom he additionally knows cannot use his powers due to a magical brace around his arm.
Through manipulation and with the aid of the witch Sylvia Weald, Hunter becomes the true force of power in the Dark Kingdom, and attempts to persuade Delos to close down the kingdom and come back to the outside world with him. However, Delos learns to his eventual horror that this would result in the mass murder of every human slave in the kingdom, including his own soulmate, Maggie, being especially disturbed that some of the slaves had in fact also been tortured for years. Delos attempts to defy Hunter, but it is far too late, and Hunter sentences him to death via a blood hunt. Fortunately, through the Maiden of the Witches, Aradia, Sylvia is convinced to remove Delos's brace, allowing him access to his power and allowing him to obliterate Hunter and the nobles of the kingdom, incinerating them with the blue fire.
Physical Appearance Edit
Hunter is depicted in the novels as having blood red hair (a significant trait shared with his ancestor, Red Fern and many other Redferns) and tawny yellow eyes, which appear to be exclusive for Redferns of Hunter's direct descent. Like all vampires, he is described as good looking, even by vampire hunter Rashel Jordan, and when utilizing his powers, his fangs grow long enough to indent his lower lip, and his eyes taken on a more golden sheen, similar to a cat's.
Hunter is renown among the Night People as being an honorable and highly charismatic leader, though he is greatly feared due to his power and influence. Maggie Neely notes he has a talent for manipulating the emotions of others, saying the right thing to get them to react as he wishes. The Night World regards him as being very traditional and a stickler for Night World laws, keeping the Night People out of human affairs as much as possible. However, this is a facade for Hunter's nature as an opportunistic, manipulative and cunning vampire, who in truth can and will resort to illegal and even disturbing measures to realize his ambitions.
His darkest acts are shown particularly in The Chosen; he is the unnamed vampire who lured a five year old Rashel Jordan's friend, Timmy, into a tent and drank his blood, taking Timmy with him to finish changing him into a made vampire. Additionally, years later and with the aid of his daughter Lily and his current heir Quinn, Hunter revived the human slave trade for a blood feast, intending to have 24 girls slaughtered at the hands of a group of the most powerful made vampires in the Night World.
He is also not above betraying members of his own family to further his ends. In The Chosen, upon discovering his involvement in trying to stop the blood feast, Hunter told Quinn to stand aside, but when Quinn refused and sided instead with his soulmate, it is heavily implied that Hunter would have allowed Quinn and Rashel to be killed by the made vampires due to the couple's interference with the blood feast. Later in Black Dawn, he is shown to manipulate, and ultimately usurp the throne of a lost Night World kingdom from his own great-grandson, Prince Delos Redfern, one of the Wild Powers. Furthermore, as Delos refused to cooperate with Hunter and the nobles in their intent to close down the kingdom and mass-slaughter all the human slaves, Hunter proceeded to order Delos's death.
Night World: The Ultimate Fan Guide DescriptionEdit
"Descendant of Red Fern, Hunter creates an enclave of vampires near Maine during colonial times. Crediting his daughter Dove's staking as the impetus, Hunter presides over the island, which still operates like it is the sixteenth century and has very strict rules about dress, entertainment, and marriage. Hunter is a vicious vampire, willing to forge a blood feast with made vampires to ensure that the conservative traditions of the Night World are preserved."
- Barring his son Chervil and his descendants through him, Hunter could be considered the last "pure" Redfern before the blood-tie ceremony with Maeve Harman.
- The identity of Hunter's first wife or lover, Chervil's mother, is never disclosed. However, it is possible, inferring from the family tree posted by L.J. Smith, that she was meant to be the vampire Modesty Brant (though Modesty is mistakenly given as the mother of Garnet and Lily, and Chervil himself is not mentioned as Hunter's son on this same tree).
- With Hunter's death, it is unclear where the Redfern Family currently stands in Night World politics, as Hunter had been the main patriarch of the family and the oldest member. Additionally, any heirs or descendants of his left (Lily, Quinn and Delos) are either dead or defected to Circle Daybreak.
- There is a very slim possibility, though unlikely, that Hunter was the "witch who isn't a witch" mentioned by the dragon Azhdeha as the one who resurrected him (Hunter was technically part witch due to his blood-tie with Maeve Harman).