Sean is the son of Sorcha and Red, and Liadan's twin. He and Liadan can communicate telepathically to each other across long distances. In Son of the Shadows he is the heir to Sevenwaters, but in later books he is Lord of Sevenwaters.
Sean grew up in Sevenwaters. As a child he played in the forest with Liadan, Niamh and Aisling. As he was expected to become Lord of Sevenwaters after his uncle Liam, he was taught the skills of leadership, husbandry and military strategy, and as a result he became close to his uncle Liam, viewing him as a father figure. Sean's own father Hugh of Harrowfield still had a role in Sean's upbringing, teaching his son husbandry and spending time with him.
In Son of the ShadowsEdit
Sean is sixteen years old at the beginning of the novel, and in love with Aisling, who he is expected to wed. He is the acknowledged heir to Sevenwaters, and he has a close relationship with his uncle Liam, the current Lord of Sevenwaters, who is his mentor. However, Sean's mother Sorcha is dying, and Sean dreads her death, along with the rest of the family except for Niamh, who has not noticed that Sorcha is ill. When Niamh is found having an affair with a druid, Ciaran, Sean is furious at her, as she is expected to wed Fionn of the Uill Neill to strengthen the alliance between the two holdings and her actions endanger that. He tells Liam immediately, despite Liadan's begging him to wait and let her talk to Niamh first. He along with the rest of the men in the household confront Niamh about her actions, and when Niamh demands to see her mother, Sean hits her, furious at her for being willing to subject Sorcha to this, as Sorcha is dying. He and the men decide to send Niamh away to wed Fionn, despite Niamh's unwillingness to wed him, to cement the alliance between Sevenwaters and the Uill Neill. Sean wants to go after Ciaran and make him pay for what he did with Niamh, but Liam and his father persuade him not to, saying that it was Niamh's doing as much as Ciaran's. Sean does not attend the meeting Liam and Conor have with Ciaran, as they believe that he is too rash and not level-headed enough for such a matter.
As Eamonn of the Marshes' holdings come under attack from a mysterious group of men, stories come to Sevenwaters of a man called the Painted Man, who leads a band of men with skills in covert intelligence, seafaring, and how to traverse terrain with silent footsteps. The Painted Man seems to be a feared, ferocious man with little moral values, who would kill innocent people, the way Eamonn tells of his encounter with him. However, Sean is intrigued by him, and considers buying his services, as he believes that the feud between Sevenwaters can only be won by stealth and trickery. Despite Liam's protests, Sean manages to convince some of the other chieftans to consider the idea, and secretly arranges a meeting with the Painted Man to offer him a mission. Sean tells only Liadan where he is going, just in case he does not return.
The Painted Man accepts Sean's offer, which is to gather intelligence on the movements and plans of Edwin of Northwoods. They agree that he will sneak into the Britons' camp and give them false information mixed with true information about Sevenwaters and their strategy and movements, to win their trust. The Painted Man agrees not to tell of Sevenwaters' involvement in the mission if he is captured by the Britons.
As he is returning to Sidhe Dubh, where Liadan and Niamh are visiting, Sean gets a message from Liadan telling him to come back straight away and bring men with him so that they can leave. Sean finds out that Niamh has been abducted by the Painted Man and one of his men, and died while crossing the Marshes. Sean is confused at this, and wonders why the Painted Man would abduct Niamh just after having agreed to go on the mission for Sean. Sean also begins to suspect that Liadan is keeping something from him, but is unable to find out what.
Sean is away from Sevenwaters again, for unknown reasons, but returns quickly when Liadan tells him that Sorcha wants him to come back as she will die at dusk the next day. Sean witnesses Sorcha's death with Aisling at his side, and afterwards they both comfort each other over it. Sean attends the funeral with the Sevenwaters family and with Aisling. Just days later, Sean's father Red leaves Sevenwaters for Harrowfield to fulfill a promise he made to Sorcha, and Liadan and Sean have a heartfelt farewell with him.
Sean waits for word from the Painted Man, who has gone on the mission, and plans with Liam a strategy to fight the Britons which involves the Uill Neill. Liam goes to attend a meeting with the Uill Neill. When comforting Liadan after she has a nightmare, Sean tells her about it, and Liadan tells him to stop him, as she has seen him shot by an arrow. Sean sends riders after him, but is too late; Liam has been felled by a Briton's arrow.
Liam's death means that Sean is now Lord of Sevenwaters. Grief stricken, Sean blames Liadan for not warning him in time, although Liadan tells him that Liam might have died anyway, even if he had taken a different route to the meeting. Sean also begins to believe that the Painted Man may have killed his uncle, for he was the only other person to know of the mission and meeting (or so Sean believed). Liadan tries to convince him that the Painted Man would never betray him like that, but Sean does not listen to her. Liadan then tells him of a terrible future she has seen for Aisling.
Afraid for Aisling, Sean asks her to bring Aisling to Sevenwaters, as he needs her support and she is not answering the messages Sean has sent to her. Liadan agrees, though angry at Sean for doubting her and accusing her of Liam's death. She rides out with a retinue of guards to Sidhe Dubh. Days later, Aisling arrives with the escort, but Liadan is not with her. Shortly after, Red returns to Sevenwaters, with news that Liadan will not be returning to Sevenwaters; she is going to stay with the Painted Man and his band, and will live at Harrowfield, eventually.
The Painted Man approaches Sean with the information he gathered for him, and Sean pays him as they agreed. Sean hears of a plan the Painted Man's band has of starting a school in Inis Eala where men can learn prized skills in covert operations and other areas. Sean agrees to endorse the project.
In the spring, Aisling and Sean wed.
In Child of the ProphecyEdit
Sean has been Lord of Sevenwaters for sixteen years now, and he has married Aisling and has six daughters: Muirrin, Clodagh, Deirdre, Maeve, Sibeal and Eilis. Fainne, the daughter of Ciaran and Niamh, comes to stay at Sevenwaters, and despite knowing that she is a sorceress Sean doesn't think she is a threat. Sean participates in the final battle for the Islands, and returns to Sevenwaters afterwards.
In Heir to SevenwatersEdit
Aisling is pregnant with a seventh child, and everyone has high hopes that it will be a boy. Sean fears for her life, as Aisling is beyond the safe age for childbearing. However, the babe is born safely, and Aisling lives. Sean names the babe Finbar in memory of his mother's brother, the man with the swan' swing, who died during the final battle for the Islands. As Aisling rests, Clodagh looks after the babe and takes over Aisling's duties in the household, and Sean is proud of her.
However, Finbar disappears from his crib while Clodagh is looking after him, and in his place is left a doll (it is really a changeling, but only Clodagh can see that). Clodagh tries to convince Sean that it is a changeling and that the Fair Folk had a hand in Finbar's abduction, but he refuses to believe her, for it seems ludicrous. After all, the Fair Folk have always supported Sevenwaters and have never sought to harm them. Sean believes that Finbar was abducted by another chieftain, and that it is political. He becomes furious at Clodagh for losing the babe and telling him and Aisling such stories, and will not speak to her. He also blames Cathal, one of Johnny's men, because Cathal was with Clodagh when Finbar disappeared.
Clodagh disappears from Sevenwaters, in search of the Otherworld, and during this time Aisling convinces Sean to believe Clodagh, as she believes her. Sean also has to deal with conflicts rising between the chieftains meeting at Sevenwaters, as Illan, Deirdre's husband, is accused of attacking Glencarnagh and burning it to the ground. Days later, Sean receives a message that Finbar has been found and that he can come collect him from the nemetons. Sean does so, and later Clodagh also returns with Cathal. They explain all that has happened, that they have been to the Otherworld and have brought Finbar back. They explain the danger Mac Dara, prince of the Fair Folk, presents. They also say that Mac Dara attacked Glencarnagh, and not Illan. Sean, relieved and overjoyed at Finbar and Clodagh's safe return, apologises to Clodagh for doubting her, and blesses her marriage to Cathal. The chieftains' meeting is concluded peacefully, and Sean resolves the problem of who will be the heir of Sevenwaters by announcing that Finbar will be Lord of Sevenwaters after Johnny.
Sean has dark hair and fey-green eyes like his mother, Sorcha, and his twin Liadan.
In Son of the Shadows, Sean is rash and impulsive, prone to acting before thinking things through. He believes that the prophecy should be disregarded, and believes that the way to win the feud between Sevenwaters and Northwoods is to outwit the enemy, namely using methods that others would consider dishonourable, such as using spies to gain covert intelligence on the Britons' plans. After Liam and Sorcha's deaths, Sean is grief stricken and Lord of Sevenwaters at a young age. This ages him and molds him into a true leader and Lord of Sevenwaters, and he becomes less impulsive. In later novels, Sean is older, and proves to be a fair and balanced leader. He loves his family deeply.
Sean is married to Aisling, and is the father of Muirrin, Clodagh, Deirdre, Maeve, Sibeal, Eilis, and Finbar. He is father-in-law to Evan, Cathal, and Illan, and is the grandfather of four children. Sorcha and Red are his parents. His siblings are Liadan and Niamh.
- Father: Hugh of Harrowfield
- Mother: Sorcha
- Siblings: Liadan, Niamh
- Spouse: Aisling
- Mother-in-law: Eilis Redbeard
- Father-in-law: Eamon of the Marshes (I)
- Siblings-in-law: Eamon of the Marshes (II)
- Unnamed granddaughter
- Unnamed granddaughter
- Unnamed grandson