|Start of Reign|
|End of Reign|
|Born||c. 1018 KF (she was 15 when she was kidnapped)|
|Husband||Halmar Iarun (1033 KF until 1043 KF)|
|Other Family||Wenoura (cousin)|
|Occupation||Maid to Sandrilene fa Toren|
|Law Enforcement of|
|Circle Universe character|
|Only Appearance||The Will of the Empress|
Gudruny Iarun is a Namornese woman. She was born on Clehamat Landreg and was a tenant there. She was a victim of the bride kidnapping custom of Namorn when Halmar Iarun, a miller, kidnapped her when she was fifteen years old and forced her to sign a marriage contract. She became his wife, with no rights. She was freed by Clehame Sandrilene and was added to the young woman's entourage.
She was born a member of a poorer class. She was quite beautiful in her teens and flirted relentlessly with many young men of her town. Her family was extremely poor, and she did not have a copper of dowry for marriage. When Halmar Iarun approached her and informed her that he was searching for a wife and that "she'll do", she was angered and refused him. Her mother sent her out to pick mushrooms one day and that was when she was taken. Halmar rode her down on horseback and took her to a secluded cottage in the mountains, where he kept her tied up until she agreed to sign her rights away and be married to him.
Victim of domestic abuse
Once she did so, she had no rights. She had two children with him, but he hit her and her children if they did something to upset him. She tried to approached Amiliane fa Landreg, the clehame at the time and ask her for her freedom and to split the marriage. Clehame Amiliane ignored her and rode by her twice. When the beating got worse, she asked Saghad Ambros, the steward of Landreg for help. As a steward, he did not have the power to free her from Halmar, but he forbade the miller from beating his wife, but there were still ways for Halmar to abuse her, such as lecture her hours into the night until she agreed to anything he would ask for in order to sleep.
Petition for freedom, new occupation
In the year 1043 KF, the new clehame after Amiliane, Sandrilene fa Toren came to Namorn to see Landreg. She was the daughter of Countess Amiliane, so Gudruny didn't think she had much of a chance, but decided to petition the young countess anyway. She sneaked in on a cargo wagon and hid in Sandry's closet. She fell asleep and only awoke when it was late at night. This was one she woke Sandry, and accidentally blocked out the young noble's nightlight. She gave an account of her life history and abuse. This was the first time Sandry heard of the Namornese custom of bride kidnapping. Sandry vowed to free Gudruny from Halmar.
After Sandry officially broke the marriage between Halmar and Gudruny, Sandry appointed her to be her lady's maid. She also offered a home for Gudruny's two children and ordered that Halmar pay support for them. Gudruny accompanied Sandry to Sablaliz Palace and to Dancruan and the Imperial Palace and waited on Sandry.
When Sandry made up her mind to return to Emelan after Finlach fer Hurich tried to kidnap her, Gudruny and her children accompanied her. At the border, after Pershan fer Roth tried the same thing, Sandry sent the Iaruns on their way because she didn't want them to get caught up in a mage fight between them and Ishabal Ladyhammer. Gudruny remained positive, even after the young noble admitted it might not work and that she might remain a prisoner of her imperial cousin.
Once Sandry and her foster-siblings made it through the border, Sandry brings Gudruny and her children to Summersea. Gudruny was present when Sandry signed her Namornese lands and title over to Lord Ambros.
Gudruny is a blonde woman in her late twenties, as she was in her teens when Halmar forced her into the marriage ten years hence. Because of the many beatings and the stress of being in an abusive marriage, Gudruny had lost her former beauty. A bit of it still existed, however.
Personality and traits
Although seemingly docile at first, Gudruny is a determined woman. She seeks out help on three occasions. Once she is free, she regains a sense of power, and asserts herself when necessary. She is also a very good mother to her two children, and even mothers Zhegorz Fiavrus.
So far Gudruny only appears in The Will of the Empress. If Tamora Pierce gets around to another novel featuring Sandry, Gudruny will probably be in it, as she remains with Sandry when the young woman returns to Emelan.
Notes and references
- The Will of the Empress, Ch. 8 (pp. 211—219; Scholastic Press hardcover)
- Ch. 9
- Ch. 12
- Ch. 13
- Ch. 14
- Later chapters