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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 burned and replaced by the Hook of Aether. So that means that Marethyu is in every book as Josh.
Marethyu's most commonly appears as a tallish man, wearing a long, hooded robe with cloth covering the lower part of his face. He has bright blue eyes and overlong greasy, blonde hair, but his most prominent feature is his silver hook in place of where his left hand once was.
Powers & Abilities
The Hook of Aether grants Marethyu near-omnipotence and he is likely the most powerful character in the series. Its known powers include:
- Reality Manipulation: Marethyu can manipulate reality, such as creating entire Shadowrealms with relative ease. To prove his power to Scathach and Joan, he effortlessly freezes a lake before turning it into molten lava, and then back into crystal-clear water.
- Chronokinesis: He has a limited degree of control over time itself. After doing a favour for Chronos, the Elder arranged a series of thirteen permanent portals which allowed him to travel to Danu Talis. His Hook of Aether may be able to manipulate time or create leygates to the past.
- 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: Due to extensive time-travel, he is familiar with many versions of the future and the events that lead up to them.
- Invulnerability: Marethyu is virtually invulnerable. He is immune to the artifacts of power, and cannot be killed. He will heal instantly unless he is decapitated or his spine shattered, though this will not kill him, and eventually he will heal even from this.
- Immortality: Marethyu gained Immortality from the Hook of Aether, and therefore does not age (though he is vulnerable to injury and poison). Unless the hook is destroyed, Marethyu may live for thousands or millions of years.
Master of Time
- Stop Time: The masters of time can freeze time around them.
- Slow Down Time: The masters of time can slow time down to incredibly slow speeds.
- Rewind Time: The masters of time can rewind time back to past events.
- Speed-Up Time: The masters of time can speed up time to future events.
- Foresight: The masters of time can see the future.
- Clairvoyance: The masters of time can see present events.
- Time Travel: The masters of time can travel to any moment in the past, present, and future. He can even open portals to other time lines and leave them open indefinitely.
Master of Air
- Aeromancy: Masters of air can greatly compress and decompress air. Air can be manipulated to form tornadoes, walls, and shields. Highly pressurized air can be shaped into blades, orbs, blasts, and explosions.
- Exnomophis: Masters of air can alter the balance of the components that make up air.
- Flight: Masters of air can fly by manipulating air currents.
- Manipulation of Weather: Masters of air can create powerful tornadoes, hurricanes, twisters, whirlwinds etc.
- Thermokinesis: Masters of air can change the temperature of air, either freezing it or heating it to extreme temperatures.
- Typhokinesis: Masters of air can manipulate air particulates, such as smoke, mist, and clouds.
Master of Earth
- Lithomancy: Masters of earth can create, form, and move earth at will.
- Phytokinesis: Masters of earth can create and manipulate earth-based life, such as plants.
- Thermokinesis: Masters of earth can manipulate the temperature of earth, causing it to boil and turn into a molten state.
- Transmutation: Masters of earth can alter the composition of earth.
Master of Fire
- Healing: Masters of fire can heal certain types of wounds with fire by fusing and reforming tissue.
- Pyromancy: Masters of fire can create, extinguish, manipulate, move, and throw fire. Fire can be formed into shapes.
- Thermokinesis: Masters of fire can greatly heat an object or enemy with a touch.
- Welding: Masters of fire can melt and fuse stone, metal, and many other substances.
Master of Water
- Hydromancy: Masters of water can create, move, and shape water into nearly any shape or form imaginable.
- Manipulation of Bodies of Water: Masters of water can manipulate rivers and oceans, such as impacting tidal currents, causing floods, and creating waves.
- Thermokinesis: Masters of water can manipulate the temperature of water, causing it to boil or freeze.
- Weather Manipulation: Masters of water can create rain, clouds, and storms.
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, and is responsible for the destruction of Danu Talis.
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 (even though according to the series, there are actually humani in Danu Talis). 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, ensuring 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 fulfil 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 Prometheus 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 had been manipulating Dee for centuries and others for millennia. 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 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 thousands 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 right after. Meanwhile, in the present time, Marethyu visits the Flamels and takes them to their final resting place, Paris, using the hook to create a leygate. (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 travelled 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. Marethyu, having been Josh Newman, who Dee had established an almost master-student bond with, seems to show some empathy for his agonizing plight, granting him back all his senses and a bit of his strength even though he could just have used Leygates as he later did, although he still seemed to resent Dee a little, as he refused to give Dee his youth back. Marethyu also retained his sibling love for Sophie, as he sent a message to her and chose the one moment where she and his past self smiled as he knew it would be the last.
- His name, in the language of Danu Talis, means "Death". Another translation of it also means "Man."
- The name Marethyu comes from the Avesta and Sanskrit words for Death.
- 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 while he was still Josh.
- 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 of his current hook. He possibly would have gone for the offer if his hook had not been the Hook of Aether.
- Marethyu's hook is a combination of the Four Swords of Power- Excalibur, Clarent, Durendal, and Joyeuse. This grants him complete control over all five elements and he is among the very few with power over time. However, he never shows his mastery of time magic and as he did a favor for Chronos to have him open 13 permanent portals to the past rather than creating them himself, it is safe to assume he is not as powerful, or skilled, as Chronos in that field.
- Marethyu has no heartbeat, and does not breathe.