Now that I finally get to it, here are some notes and thoughts on Arturiel Valyr, one of my most favorite and rather creepy villains in Light. Those are just a couple of facts and thoughts on him, but as he’s a rather complex villain I don’t want to give too much away just yet. I’ll quote Robert Jordan here saying, if you want to know more: Read And Find Out 😉
About 6″ tall, Arturiel Valyr is definitely on the lean side when he shows up first in the Prologue of Shadows.
The only thing remarkable about him is the intensity of his blue eyes, turning cold as ice when angry or upset. Valyr is in his twenties at the time of the Prologue and early fifties during the main plotline, showing distinct streaks of gray in his dark hair.
This one’s a tough one, since Valyr doesn’t really give away a lot about himself and his past. There’s only speculation about what happened to his parents, but as an only-child Valyr was all but adopted into the family of his best friend Ged, who eventually becomes more than just an almost-brother to him and all the family he’s ever known.
Arturiel marries Eva Merone, but their matrimony won’t last long when Eva is taken by the Watch as she shows signs of the Curse and consequently is Cleansed. Valyr never sees her again and blames himself for not having protected her from the Empire. As more and more people around them disappear, Arturiel and Ged decide to infiltrate the Watch to try and find out what is going on.
All the time, Ged has no idea that Arturiel has been used by the Eye himself all along as a spy on the streets, baited with the promise of getting back what the Empire took from him as long as he played along. However the situation escalates and Arturiel ends up having to kill Ged by the Eye’s order; a thing he never forgives himself or Nymeron.
Gods, he’s completely fucking bugnuts.
~Ares referring to Valyr in Twenty-One~
Arturiel Valyr is a creepy guy and utterly insane, but for a reason. He’s the perfect example for the abused person become the abuser theory and there’s a parallel between how his wife and Ged were used by Nymeron to make him his instrument, when he later on uses Damian to manipulate Ares.
“I sometimes wonder what your father would say if he could see you like that. At least he had enough backbone to stand up to who he was.”
He shook his head slowly, but I barely registered that as my heart skipped a beat at his words.
“My father? You knew my father?” Call me a fool, but right at this moment all my caution slipped. I was about to blow my cover and was fully aware of that, but what did it matter anyway? Valyr knew who I was and Laras too. I had been a fool all along.
For some reason Valyr started to laugh, starting out as a low chuckle, until he threw back his head and laughed out loud. It was then that I started to recognize that glimmer that had been in his eyes from the first time he looked at me for what it really was: madness. The man had lost it. Gods help me. It took every little bit of restraint not to jerk against my bonds. No need to tell me it would be futile, but right now I wanted nothing more but to get the fuck away from him.
“I should have figured that Ged would pass his foolishness on to you along with his looks,” Valyr said, his eyes suddenly distant, almost dreamy even though they never left me. “It’s a shame really. We could have done so much, been so much, if he only hadn’t been that stupid.”
His fingers tightened as he grasped my head again, forcing his lips down on mine hard. They tasted of sweat, grease and alcohol. I wanted to back away from him, but he closed in on me, pressing me against the wall. His hand caressed my face, careful to avoid the bruises Laras had inflicted on me. I tried to turn my head, but that only seemed to encourage him as his hand went inside my pants.
“No,” I gasped, jerking away from him, helpless against my bonds. “Get the fuck away from me.”
That only made him laugh again and his grip tighten. “You din’t complain about it last time. Come on, just for old times’ sake.”
I closed my eyes, trying to get my frantic heartbeat under control, stifling a groan.
Gods, he’s completely fucking bugnuts.
“I’m not my father,” I said panting, trying to bring a knee up between the two of us, but Valyr held me down easily. Despite everything, he still had the strength to overpower me.
I tried to clear my mind, to stop the images from crashing in. Him and my father. I shook my head. That was definitely too much information on my side.
~Ares and Valyr in Twenty-One~
To say that Valyr occasionally loses his grip on reality would be an understatement. Since he looks just like Ged at the time when he killed him, Ares triggers those creepy relapses paired with a mixture of hatred and self-loathing.
Arturiel Valyr is a realist when he says “You have no idea what they can make you do, boy,” but he knows well enough that he can’t justify himself for what he’s done. Still, he’s ambitious enough to make use of whatever opportunity there is to openly work against everything that might threaten the reign of the Empire from the streets, but all along he also hungers for revenge on Nymeron and uses whatever – and whoever – he can while outwardly being absolutely loyal to the Eye.
In the end, nobody can be completely assured of his allegiances and Valyr plays a greater role in events to come as he has ties not only to the Watch and the Eye, but also to his prodigal son Raeyn. As long as it pertains to his purposes, Valyr is rather flexible in his loyalties as ends justify the means.