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Thant Yeyla Carrion
Artwork by Clive Barker


Mater Motley

The Hag of Gorgossium

The Old Mother

The Visage

Empress of the Abarat









Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War

Abarat: Absolute Midnight

Mater Motley is a character in the Abarat series by Clive Barker. She is one of the series' main antagonists.

Appearance and Character[]

Mater Motley is one of the main antagonists along with her grandson Christopher Carrion. Her real name is Thant Yeyla Carrion. She has a similar look as painted by the author to her grandson, with  dry, greyish, corpse-like skin. Her hair is long and white, Her dress is made of many fabrics and dolls sewn together. This look may lend itself to the name Mater Motley from the Latin word for mother mater, and the word motley may refer to the assortment, or motley, of dolls sewn to her dress. 

Mater Motley sews constantly in the Thirteeth Tower on Gorgossium, creating stitchlings to raise an army. She has help with this task from members of her group of seamstresses. She is a very cruel and monstrous woman, having killed many members of her family and mutilating her grandson's face.

In Abarat[]

In the first novel, her full name is revealed as Thant Yeyla Carrion. She is initially shown as a seamstress. She acts as more of a domineering follower of her grandson Christopher Carrion, the Lord of Midnight. Together they strive to create an absolute midnight where all the islands of the Abarat will be plunged into eternal darkness. When Carrion was younger, she sewed his lips shut for saying the word "love." She lives on Gorgossium and makes her way around the castle on a large animate zombie-like hand. 

In Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War[]

In Abarat: Absolute Midnight[]


Mater Motley is the oldest surviving member on the Carrion family as they were all killed in a raging fire. She was only able to save Christopher Carrion and at many points throughout the book she regrets it. It is also revealed that she started the fire in the first place to keep her only surviving grandson's loyalty by saving him. 


Mater Motley is the commander of her stitchling army and has some power over the elements. In Days of Magic Nights of War, she creates a gigantic wave into the Hereafter pulling the Wormwood in pursuit of the Lud Limbo. She also conceals the Wormwood from view using a mist-summoning technique. Mater Motley battles Christopher Carrion aboard the Wormwood and throws great blasts of energy at him. These blasts eventualy weaken him and she throws him into the sea to drown. In Abarat: Absolute Midnight it is revealed that she gained these powers by making a deal with the Nephauree, Those Who Walk Behind The Stars, who are evil, cosmic beings.