"The water hears and understands. The ice does not forgive."
— Matthias, Six of Crows

Matthias Helvar was a former Drüskelle from Fjerda. He was imprisoned in Hellgate on charges of being a slave trader until Kaz Brekker, Inej Ghafa, and Nina Zenik rescued him in order to force him to join their quest to rescue Bo Yul-Bayur.

Appearance and Personality

"His hair was long and burnished gold, and his pale blue eyes glinted like ice beneath a winter sun. He looks like a painting, she thought, a Saint wrought in gold leaf on the walls of a church, born to wield a sword of fire."
— Nina (p.167)

Matthias is described to be very muscular, tall, with the distinctive blonde hair and ice-blue eyes of the Fjerdan people. Before he was thrown into Hellgate, Matthias had worn his hair long and had golden skin. However, due to his year in prison, Matthias was pale, his hair short, and covered in wounds and scars. His appearance was also changed before the Six Crows breached the Ice Court to avoid identification from the other Drüskelle; where his hair was tinted black and his eyes darkened temporarily by Nina Zenik's Tailor abilities.

"Matthias Helvar was a soldier and a hero. He saved me from drowning. He kept us both alive on the ice. He endured a year in the worst prison in the world for a crime he didn't commit. He forgave me for betraying him. He fought beside me, and when he could have abandoned me, he turned his back on the only country he'd ever known instead. For that, he was branded a traitor. But he wasn't. He believed his country could be more than it had been. He lived with honor and died with it too. He wasn't always a good man, but he had a good heart. A great, strong heart that should have kept beating for years and years."
— Nina

Matthias was originally a prisoner at Hellgate, an inhumane penitentiary where he was thrown after Nina claimed he was a slave trader. A year in confinement had made him cold, brutal, hateful, and unforgiving, all needed for him to survive in the brutal atmosphere of Hellgate. Matthias had spent his year in prison dreaming about the girl he had begun to love, imagining being with her lovingly and taking his revenge all the same. Even after escaping, Matthias was angrier and colder than he was originally with Nina. Time spent with the Dregs had made him looser and more genuine, though he was still standoffish and hot-tempered, especially with those he doesn't know well, and to protect the friends he'd made among the Dregs. However, the soft spot he had always harbored for Nina grew throughout the duration of the Crows' journey to the point of affection and love.



When Matthias was young, he lived in a Fjerdan village with his mother, father, and younger sister. They were all killed when a group of Inferni soldiers attacked the village.

Matthias was originally a Drüskelle of Fjerda, and the best in his ranks after being taken under the wing of Drüskelle commander, Jarl Brum. He had a wolf companion named Trassel, meaning "troublemaker" in Fjerdan. He hunted Grisha as the Drüskelle claimed their religion demanded it so and was on the ship that Nina had been imprisoned on. He survived the shipwreck with Nina, and they traveled together until Nina got him put in Hellgate for being a slaver during their stay in Ketterdam.

Six of Crows

Matthias is first seen in Six of Crows fighting in the Hellshow at Hellgate, where he defeats three wolves in battle. Wolves are sacred to Fjerdans, so Matthias is especially distraught at killing the wolves. Later, Kaz Brekker, Inej Ghafa, Jesper Fahey, and Nina Zenik rescue him from the prison by replacing him with Muzzen, a member of the Dregs who was tailored to look like Matthias. When Matthias first sees Nina, he starts strangling her.

After escaping Hellgate, Kaz asks Matthias to help them break into the Ice Court. Jan Van Eck, a wealthy merchant in Ketterdam, had hired Kaz to kidnap Bo Yul-Bayur from the Ice Court for 30 million kruge. Bo-Yul Bayur had developed a drug called jurda parem, which can enhance a Grisha's powers. Jan Van Eck wanted the secret of the drug for himself. Matthias at first refuses to help Kaz, as he doesn't want to be traitorous to his country. But when Kaz tempts him with a pardon so he can become a Drüskelle again, he agrees. Matthias knew the Ice Court very well and was able to help by explaining maps, protocols, and guard stations. The group still doesn't trust Matthias, especially after he strangles Nina, so he must wear shackles. When the group is ambushed while boarding the Ferolind, Nina unshackles him, and Matthias fights alongside them. While aboard the Ferolind, he and Nina fight and argue at every opportunity.

When Shu Han attacks the group in Fjerda using Grisha under the influence of jurda parem, Matthias agrees to help Nina bury Nestor, one of the Grisha involved in the attack. While digging in the snow, Matthias and Nina agree to kill Bo Yul-Bayur before the group can take him to Ketterdam. They both want to keep jurda parem a secret.

The group enters the Ice Court as prisoners. After escaping their cells, the group makes their way to the basement, where Inej climbs the incinerator shaft. The group uses a rope to climb to the roof of the prison sector of the Ice Court. From here, the group splits up. Kaz and Matthias go to the White Island in the middle of the Ice Court by using a secret bridge only known to the Drüskelle. They enter through a gate and encounter some guards. Matthias and Kaz easily disable the guards and are able to use two of their uniforms.

In the palace on the White Island, Matthias and Kaz see Nina with Jarl Brum, Matthias's old commander. While Nina is distracted, Matthias approaches Brum, pretending he wants to become a Drüskelle again. Brum is very happy to see Matthias, as he believed he had died on the shipwreck. Brum eventually locks Nina in a cell, prepared to use jurda parem on her. Nina, who is oblivious to Kaz and Matthias's plan, believes Matthias is with Jarl Brum to make her suffer for what she did to Matthias. After talking with Jarl Brum and learning about Fjerda's plans for Grisha, Matthias knocks Brum unconscious with a sleeper hold and steals the key to Yul-Bayur's locked lab.

When Matthias goes back to free Nina, he tells her he doesn’t ever want to see her that way again. He takes her face in his hands and recites an oath which is supposed to be the drüskelle’s oath to Fjerda, only that now it is his promise to her: “I have been made to protect you, only in death will I be kept from this oath.”

After taking the key from Brum, the two find the lab Yul-Bayur is locked in. However, the two find that the boy in the lab is actually Kuwei Yul-Bo, who says his father, Bo Yul-Bayur, died in a battle between Fjerda and Kerch. He was in the lab, attempting to recreate jurda parem under Fjerda's order. Nina and Matthias don't want to kill an innocent boy, so they ask him to destroy the lab instead. They flee as the lab explodes.

Outside, Kaz had uprooted the sacred ash in the middle of the White Island. Under the tree was a spring that he hoped led out of Ice Court. Kaz, Matthias, Nina, and Kuwei jump into the spring, using their baleen so they can breathe. When they emerge from the water, Kaz is unconscious, so Nina and Matthias revive him. Soon, Inej, Jesper, and Wylan come out of the Ice Court in a tank. Nina, Matthias, Kaz, and Kuwei grab onto the tank, and the group speeds towards the harbor, firing at the Fjerdans behind them. At the harbor, they are surrounded by Fjerdans. Nina decides to use jurda parem so she can save the group. Matthias objects at first, but Nina takes it anyway. When Nina’s magnified power takes over, Matthias asks her not to kill the Drüskelle soldiers and to give them another chance to be taught to be something better, the way Matthias had been taught by Nina.

After defeating the Fjerdans, they make their way onto the boat. Nina is able to tailor Wylan to look like Kuwei. Soon after, the withdrawal from the jurda parem sets in. Matthias stays by Nina's side as she grows weak, and he stays with her during the entire journey back to Ketterdam.

Matthias, Kaz, Wylan, disguised as Kuwei, and Jesper, meet with Jan Van Eck when they get back to Ketterdam. Jan Van Eck was never planning on giving the group the money for the job. By the end of the exchange, Inej has been captured and it is revealed that Nina and Kuwei had been hiding in the cages at Hellgate. Matthias, Jesper, and Wylan agree to help Kaz get back Inej and their money.

In the last chapter, the crew is seen making a deal with Pekka Rollins, the leader of a rival gang in Ketterdam. Kaz sells the Crow Club and Fifth Harbor in exchange for 200,000 kruge.

Crooked Kingdom

To be added

Memorable Quotes

Six of Crows

  • "Wanden olstrum end kendesorum. Isen ne bejstrum. The water hears and understands. The ice does not forgive."
  • "The life you live, the hate you feel – it's poison. I can drink it no longer."
  • "I have been made to protect you. Only in death will I be kept from this oath."
  • "They fear you as I once feared you," he said. "As you once feared me. We are all someone's monster, Nina."
  • "My ghost won't associate with your ghost."
  • "Nina. Little red bird. Don't go."
  • "Trickery is not my native tongue, but I may learn to speak it yet."
  • "You're all horrible,"

Crooked Kingdom

  • "Do not be afraid. Fear is how they control you. There's so much in the world you don't have to be afraid of, if you would only open your eyes."
  • (About Nina)"I always want to kiss you"
  • "Nina, I am home."
  • "Nina, I am with you because you let me be with you. There is no greater honor than to stand by your side."
  • (To Kaz) "Leave my grandmother out of this."
  • (About Nina) "They were twin souls, soldiers destined to fight for different sides, to find each other and lose each other too quickly."
  • "I have been made to protect you. Even in death, I will find a way.

King of Scars

  • "Little red bird, let me go."


Official art



  • Matthias is pronounced Matt-EYE-us.[1]



v  d  e
Main Characters Kaz BrekkerInej GhafaJesper FaheyNina ZenikMatthias HelvarWylan Van EckKuwei Yul-BoJan Van EckPekka Rollins
Minor Characters JoostPer HaskellJarl BrumTante HeleenBo Yul-BayurJordie RietveldCouncilman HoedeGeelsSpechtEmil RetvenkoAnyaCornelis SmeetZoya NazyalenskySturmhondDunyasha LazarevaOnkle FelixRaskeGenya Safin
Locations KetterdamHellgateIce CourtDjerholmKerchRavkaNovyi ZemShu HanFjerdaWandering Isle
Groups The DregsGrishaDrüskelleThe MenagerieBlack TipsMerchant CouncilHouse of the White Rose
Events HringkällaHellshowQueen's Lady PlagueKomedie Brute
Miscellaneous JurdaJurda ParemKeftaIndentureDjelGhezen
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