Shannara Wiki - Exploring the Magical World of Shannara
Shannara Wiki - Exploring the Magical World of Shannara

Jair Ohmsford is a character in The Wishsong of Shannara and its epilogues, "Indomitable" and Dark Wraith of Shannara. He is the son of the legendary hero Wil Ohmsford and the Rover Eretria. Like his older sister Brin, he has the power of the wishsong.


Early Life

Jair grew up in Shady Vale with Brin and like Brin grew up being friends with Rone Leah, whose pet name for Jair was "Tiger."

While Brin had inherited their father's cooler, calmer temperament, Jair was brash, impulsive, and headstrong like their mother. Also, while Brin was able to use her wishsong to alter reality and make things actually happen, Jair's wishsong could only create illusions. Perhaps for these reasons, Jair used the wishsong far more often than his sister, as the lack of any real consequences to his magic encouraged regular practice and experimentation.

Quest to Heal the Silver River

When the Druid Allanon arrives in Shady Vale to recruit Brin and her magic on his quest to enter the Maelmord and destroy the Ildatch, Brin agrees, and it is agreed that Rone will accompany her. However, when Jair insists that he go with Brin as well, he is refused. Allanon points out that if the Mord Wraiths come looking for Wil Ohmsford and the Elfstones, it's important that Jair be around to warn them in advance and to perhaps even use the wishsong to protect them.

However, soon after Brin, Rone, and Allanon depart from Shady Vale, Jair sees a Gnome in Shady Vale. As Gnomes are a rare sight in the Southland and have been mostly enslaved by the Mord Wraiths, Jair is left uneasy by the chance sighting.

Sure enough, the Gnome confronts him soon after, addressing him by name and asking where the Druid has gone. He tries to capture Jair but Jair tricks him with the wishsong, knocks him out, and locks him in a storage bin. Jair rushes back to the Ohmsford home to retrieve the Elfstones from their hiding place and flees Shady Vale, heading for the highlands of Leah.

Jair makes it all the way to the Leah family's lodge on the outskirts of the highlands when he is captured by the Gnome, who is named Slanter. Slanter initially offers to do what he can to convince his boss, the Gnome chieftain Spilk, to release Jair once he has been questioned. However, after Spilk beats Jair and Jair uses the wishsong on him in retaliation, the Gnomes decide that Jair must be questioned by the Mord Wraiths.

On their way to meet the Mord Wraith, the Gnomes run across Garet Jax, the Weapons Master, who kills most of the Gnomes, rescues Jair, and spares Slanter, who had protected Jair from another Gnome and declared he would not stand against Garet Jax. Garet Jax agrees to take them both to Culhaven.

After his rescue, the King of the Silver River visits Jair in a dream, telling him that Brin and Allanon are in danger and that only Jair can save them. He also requests Jair's help in cleansing the Silver River, which has been poisoned by the Mord Wraiths and has since begun to sicken all the lands that depend on the river, most notably the lands belonging to Dwarves. Jair gives the King of the Silver River the Elfstones in exchange for three different forms of magic: Silver Dust to cleanse the Silver River at its source at Heaven's Well, a vision crystal so that Jair can track Brin and see where she is, and the ability to use his wishsong once just like Brin, to alter reality as opposed to creating illusions.

In Culhaven, Jair appeals for help from the city's Council of Elders and explains to them the quest given to Brin by Allanon as well as the one given to him by the King of the Silver River. Although the council is initially skeptical of Jair's story, their attitude changes when Jair uses the wishsong to conjure up an image of Allanon, thereby confirming that he had met the Druid personally. The council agrees to let volunteers accompany Jair to Heaven's Well on his quest, and six people end up going: Slanter, who by this point had formed a bond with Jair; Garet Jax; Elb Foraker, a hardened Dwarf veteran; Edain Elessedil, Prince of the Elves; and finally Helt, a Borderman with legendary night vision.

Despite many obstacles, including Gnomes and Jair's brief kidnapping at the hands of a Mwellret named Stythys, the company makes it to Graymark, home of the Mord Wraiths. However, it is there that all of the company except Jair and Slanter meet their ends: wounded and fatally poisoned, Helt lowers a gate to cut off the pursuing Gnomes and sacrifices himself by staying behind to destroy the machinery that operates the gate. Elb Foraker and Edain are badly injured and stay behind to fight another rush of Gnomes and give Garet Jax, Slanter, and Jair more time. Garet Jax dies battling a Jachyra.

Jair and Slanter reach Heaven's Well, where Jair purifies the river using the Silver Dust. He throws the vision crystal into the waters, which project to him a vision of Brin inside a tower deep in the Maelmord, caught under the influence of the Ildatch. Using the last of the King of the Silver River's three magics, he uses the wishsong to transport himself to Brin.

When he reaches Brin he is shocked to find her subverted by the Ildatch and that she is more than willing to attack him with her magic. Using his magic to evade her attacks, he finally realizes that the way to get through to his sister is to use his magic to show her visions of her past, her family, her home, and her friends. He uses his magic to get close to his sister, holds her tight, and begins to sing.

Cleansed by the memories awakened in her by Jair, Brin is able to come back to herself and uses the wishsong to destroy Ildatch. With the destruction of the Ildatch, the tower and the Maelmord begins to fall apart, and Jair is transported back to Heaven's Well.

Brin flees the Maelmord with Whisper's help and climbs back up the Croagh, the stairway connecting the Maelmord to Heaven's Well, until she reaches the sewers of Graymark, where she had left Rone, Cogline, and Kimber Boh. Jair and Slanter descend the Croagh, heading towards the Maelmord, and when the pair reach the sewers Brin, Jair, and Rone are finally reunited.

The party goes to the Chard Rush so that Brin can talk to the shade of Allanon. Jair then says goodbye to Slanter, returning home with his sister and Rone Leah. Back home in the Vale, they find that their parents have returned and that an old man had told Wil and Eretria that Brin and Jair were away in Leah, visiting Rone. Jair realizes that the old man must have been the King of the Silver River, and when he goes to check, he finds the Elfstones returned to their original hiding place.


Nearly three years later, while working at the Ohmsfords' inn in Shady Vale, Jair is approached by Kimber Boh. She tells him that the shade of Allanon has been appearing to Cogline in dreams, telling him that a page of the Ildatch was not destroyed and that it is up to Jair destroy it. Jair is unconvinced but travels to Hearthstone, where the shade of Allanon tells him that he must go to Dun Fee Aran and destroy the last remnant of the Ildatch before its power grows. Despite his misgivings and his fear of the Mwellrets after his kidnapping by Stythys, Jair travels to Dun Fee Aran along with Cogline and Kimber Boh.

Once there Jair uses a sleeping potion on Cogline and Kimber Boh so that he can enter the fortress on his own, and he uses the wishsong to disguise himself and gain entry. He creates an illusion of Allanon to frighten the Mwellrets and follows one to a chamber where the last of the Ildatch is being kept guarded. Although he uses the wishsong to get close to the parchment without alerting the Mwellrets, Jair is discovered when the paper burns his hand and he screams. He uses the wishsong to create an illusion of the long-dead Garet Jax. In the heat of the battle he inhabits the illusion to take on Garet Jax's fighting abilities, and with them he is able slaughter the Mwellrets and destroy the final page of the Ildatch.

Later, Jair tells Brin that he can not only conjure up illusions with his wishsong but also inhabit those illusions and take on their powers. Worried that he might lose control of the magic or become stuck in an illusion he can't break free from, Brin has Jair promise to her that he won't use the wishsong again.

Character sketch of Jair. Artwork by Edwin David for the original edition of Dark Wraith of Shannara.

Dark Wraith of Shannara

Shortly afterwards, the shade of Allanon again appears to Jair, and tells him that Kimber and Cogline have been kidnapped by the Mwellrets and taken to the Croton Witch. The witch is trying to learn the secrets of the Druids from Cogline and Allanon requires Jair's help to rescue him. Jair travels to the Eastland once more, finding and partnering with Slanter first to save Kimber, and then to destroy the Mwellrets, where Jair again fights as Garet Jax. The witch forces Cogline to return Paranor to the Four Lands once more. Jair, Slanter, and Cogline manage to escape the mists that guard the Druid Keep, but the witch is destroyed by them and the Keep vanishes once more. Jair and Slanter take Cogline home before heading to their own homes once more.


While Brin's bloodline would end with the Druid Walker Boh, Jair's bloodline would continue for many more generations, giving rise to many heroes who had control of the wishsong to varying degrees such as Par Ohmsford, Bek Ohmsford, Grianne Ohmsford, Railing Ohmsford, Redden Ohmsford, Chrysallin Leah, and Reyn Frosch. Several generations before Par and Coll Ohmsford's time, Jair's descendants had traveled to the Westland to live with the Elves, and the Ohmsford and Elessedil bloodlines merged, producing heroes such as Wren Elessedil, Ahren Elessedil, Khyber Elessedil, and Aphenglow Elessedil.

Physical Appearance

Jair is described as looking just like his father, with the same blond hair, blue eyes, and athletic build. Like his father he has the narrow eyes, slanted eyebrows, and pointed ears that mark him as having Elven heritage. Still a teenager, he is shorter than both Brin and Rone Leah.