Midhir is the seeker of pleasure. He enjoys wine, food, dancing. He pursues mortal women, indulging in many affairs. He gambles and he drinks and he laughs. But do not be fooled by the simple wooden crown he wears. Though Midhir will choose laughter over any other reaction, he is still a king and demands the respect due to that title.
Melwas is the seeker of satisfaction. He enjoys duelling, hunting, combat. He leads the Wild Hunt, a pack of baying, flayed Faerie hounds, chasing down anything that takes his fancy, be it animal, man, woman or child. Melwas was also known as Malvis, the Black Knight that dogged King Emyr’s reign. Melwas had a particular obsession with Emyr’s wife, Eirwen, and once tricked him into losing her in a wager over a game of chess. The victory was short-lived as Emyr marched on Faerie and, with some help from the jealous Mab, took back his wife.
Thomas Rymour is very wary of the King of Faerie; because the fay share a mind, a thing known to a single fay is known to them all. And because Tom indulged in certain indiscretions with the Queen of Faerie, the King must know too. And he has yet to take his retribution.
Most people will think of Shakespeare’s Oberon and Titania when they think of fairy royalty. I wanted to distance The Fey Man from those mischievous fairies, though, and names were a big part of doing so.
Midhir and Melwas represent the two extremes of the stereotypical king, one surrounding himself with the joys and comforts of his position, the other obsessed with overtly masculine pursuits such as fighting and hunting. There’s no middle ground with the Faerie King, as Tom will find out to his cost.