Wylan Van Eck is the son of Jan Van Eck and is one of the main protagonists of the series alongside Kaz, Inej, Nina, Matthias, and Jesper. He joins the team rescuing Bo Yul-Bayur from the Ice Court because of his knowledge of demolitions and his use as a hostage in negotiating the reward.
Wylan has ruddy gold curls, pale skin, and blue eyes and is the youngest of the group at age sixteen. His young age is only accentuated by his looks, which make him seem younger. Matthias Helvar believed his age to be twelve instead of sixteen.
Kaz Brekker described him as someone who "looked like a child - smooth-skinned, wide-eyed, like a silk-eared puppy in a room full of fighting dogs."
He greatly resembles his father, Jan Van Eck, but is said to have his mother's curls.
Due to Nina's Tailoring abilities, enhanced with the power of jurda parem, Wylan used to have the appearance of Kuwei Yul-Bo. Genya Safin later changes his appearance to his original one close to the end of Crooked Kingdom.
Wylan is rather considerate, nice, and innocent, despite the fact that he is a part of the Dregs. He is the kindest out of the Dregs, and is very caring but calculated. His privileged status makes him unused to violence; however, he is still willing to do damage - even saying at one point, after Jesper says he doesn't kill sleeping men, that they can wake up two men before killing them. Wylan is also reasonably shy, often speaking and commenting only if he is asked to, although his character development proves that this is due to his father's treatment of him with him becoming more confident as he becomes more assured of his worth.
Wylan also has a curious, contemplative mind, often questioning how things function such as on Jesper's pistols and the Ice Court's aqueduct system. He prefers music and numbers to words, as he cannot read because of his dyslexia. Wylan is quite insecure regarding his disability. This is also due to his father's rejection and hatred of him because of his inability to read or write.
He does not like being compared to a criminal yet takes pride in his knowledge of demolition. He is also a skilled chemist in addition to being very artistic and is skilled in playing musical instruments (specifically the flute and the piano) and drawing.
Although a gifted artist and musician, Wylan cannot read because he has dyslexia. Because of this, his father treated him very poorly and attempted to have Wylan killed in order to 'protect the Van Eck name'. After Wylan's escape, his father sends him letters in order to taunt him. Wylan changes his name to Wylan Hendriks, his mother's surname, and finds a job in a tannery, barely able to make enough to scrape by until Jesper is sent to find him and introduce him to the Dregs. Later, he becomes a part of the Ice Court job to be used against his father in case Jan Van Eck does not hold up his end of the bargain.
Wylan becomes an important part of the Ice Court job in Six of Crows as the crew's demolitionist and also the insurance that his father would hold up his end of their bargain, exchanging thirty million kruge in return for Bo Yul-Bayur. With the help of his bombs, he helps the crew escape out of the Ice Court with Kuwei Yul-Bo, Bo Yul-Bayur's son.
Later, Wylan becomes concerned that he cannot be proper insurance that his father will hold up his end of the bargain because he wants nothing to do with him due to his disability, and expresses these concerns to Kaz. Kaz decides that Nina, under the effects of jurda parem, will tailor him to look like Kuwei in case Jan Van Eck does not give them their money. Wylan agrees to this knowing he may never look like himself. It goes very well, so well that even Jesper was convinced, but as predicted, Jan Van Eck does not pay up. Wylan's father destroys a ship thought to have his son on it, proving to Wylan that Van Eck truly did want to kill him, and reveals to everyone there about Wylan's inability to read. Wylan reveals himself to his father and their plan falls apart when Kaz refuses to reveal the true whereabouts of the real Kuwei Yul-Bo, and Jan Van Eck takes Inej and flees. Jesper, angry that he was the only one left in the dark about Wylan's disguise, complains that he liked his "stupid face".
Wylan spends most of Crooked Kingdom looking like Kuwei Yul-Bo. His life under the treatment of his father is revealed through flashbacks, showing in detail how his father planned to kill him to protect his legacy and how Wylan escaped.
Wylan also cultivates a stronger relationship with Jesper Fahey. In the beginning, he goes with Jesper to meet his father, something that he was especially scared about. Later, in return, Jesper agrees to go with Wylan to visit his mother's grave at Saint Hilde. However, upon reaching Saint Hilde, they discover that Wylan's mother was not dead at all, but locked in an asylum by Jan Van Eck due to the fact that she had birthed a child that could not read. Wylan cannot reveal himself to her as her own son, but he talks to her and finds out that she is suffering. This horrifying discovery motivates him to go through with the job in order to get money from his father and free his mother, something they found out later that Kaz had planned all along.
After a fight with his father leaving him upset, Jesper stumbles upon Kuwei in front of a piano, thinking he was Wylan and kisses him. Wylan walks in on them doing this and is obviously hurt, but he pretends he doesn't care. Later, Jesper tells him that it was just a mistake; he couldn't tell between the two of them, though usually, he could.
Near the end of the book, the crows work with the Grisha Triumvirate in order to get their money back, and Wylan meets Genya Safin, the most talented tailor in the world. She agrees to make him look like himself again, with the help of a painting of himself done by his mother that Jesper took from Saint Hilde. He reveals to her that he can't read, later confessing to Jesper that telling more people makes him feel better about himself. After several hours of tailoring, Wylan looks just as he did before, and he and Jesper spend some time alone. Wylan tries to get Jesper to embrace his power as a Fabrikator, something that he has always been taught to hate about himself. They've both had a similar experience. Wylan points out that maybe the reason why Jesper shoots so well is due to him using his powers, something that Jesper dismisses at first, but it turns out to be important at the end when Jesper blindly shoots Kuwei. Wylan kisses him.
In the epilogue, Wylan inherits his father's entire fortune when Jan Van Eck is imprisoned. He lives with Jesper and Inej in the mansion until Inej later leaves and eventually brings his mother home as well.
Wylan is approached by Kaz Brekker, Nikolai Lantsov, and Zoya Nazyalensky for a job during Rule of Wolves. He is shown to be living still at the Van Eck estate with his boyfriend, Jesper Fahey. Wylan has kept up his music studies and Jesper has been practicing his Grisha abilities privately. Wylan wants Jesper to study with an actual Grisha, but Jesper is reluctant to do so. Wylan is still hesitant to commit any crimes, but upon learning the job would help Inej, all reluctancy is gone.
In Six of Crows, Wylan appeared to have a crush on Jesper, but their relationship was pretty much identical to Wylan's relationship with the rest of the Dregs. However, their relationship received lots of development in Crooked Kingdom, and they became romantically involved after they kissed towards the end of the book. They bond over similar experiences and try to teach each other to love themselves for their issues. But before they kiss, Jesper accidentally kisses Kuwei Yul-Bo, because at the time Wylan and Kuwei looked identical. The reason for this was because Nina used her powers to turn Wylan's appearance to trick Jan Van Eck. Jesper ends up helping run the Van Eck business after Wylan's father gets sent to prison. Jesper reads papers for Wylan since Wylan is dyslexic. They live together in the Van Eck residence.
- "Maybe. Not all poisons have an antidote.”
- "I’m not a criminal."
- "What am I doing here?"
- "Isn't that how things are done around here? We all tell Kaz we're fine and then do something stupid?"
- "Music. Numbers. Equations. They're not like words. They... they don't get mixed up."
- “How about I push you in the canal and we see if you know how to swim?”
Six of Crows
- "Just girls?"
- "I'd like to make a down payment."
- "He has a soothing baritone."
- “If I spill a single drop of this, it will burn straight through the floor onto my father’s dinner guests.”
- "I've spent my whole life running from the things I can't do. Why run from the things you can do?"
Rule of Wolves
|Main Characters||Kaz Brekker • Inej Ghafa • Jesper Fahey • Nina Zenik • Matthias Helvar • Wylan Van Eck • Kuwei Yul-Bo • Jan Van Eck • Pekka Rollins|
|Minor Characters||Joost • Per Haskell • Jarl Brum • Tante Heleen • Bo Yul-Bayur • Jordie Rietveld • Councilman Hoede • Geels • Specht • Emil Retvenko • Anya • Cornelis Smeet • Zoya Nazyalensky • Sturmhond • Dunyasha Lazareva • Onkle Felix • Raske • Genya Safin|
|Locations||Ketterdam • Hellgate • Ice Court • Djerholm • Kerch • Ravka • Novyi Zem • Shu Han • Fjerda • Wandering Isle|
|Groups||The Dregs • Grisha • Drüskelle • The Menagerie • Black Tips • Merchant Council • House of the White Rose|
|Events||Hringkälla • Hellshow • Queen's Lady Plague • Komedie Brute|
|Miscellaneous||Jurda • Jurda Parem • Kefta • Indenture • Djel • Ghezen|