Darren Shan Wiki
Darren Shan Wiki
Gavner Purl
Gender Male
Species Vampire
Age 0 (Ocean of Blood)
1-19 (Palace of the Damned)
20-50 (Brothers to the Death)
90 (Tunnels of Blood-Trials of Death)
Relatives Yasmin (mother)
Alicia Dunyck (adoptive mother)
Sylva (adoptive sister)
Tanish Eul (sire)
Liz Carr (ex-girlfriend)
Status Deceased (Book series)
Deceased (Manga)
Alive (alternate timeline at the end of the series)
Alive (film)
Background Information
Book Universe The Saga of Larten Crepsley
The Saga of Darren Shan
First Book Appearance Ocean of Blood
First Movie Appearance Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant
Acted By Willem Dafoe

Gavner Purl (ガブナー・パール Gabuna Paaru) is a vampire and a friend of Larten Crepsley. In Ocean of Blood, it's revealed that Larten had massacred the crew of a ship, with baby Gavner being one of the sole survivors. The boy is raised as a human by Alicia Dunyck, but he's emotionally manipulated by Tanish Eul to become a vampire.

Over the years he later ascends to Vampire General. Gavner was killed by Kurda Smahlt in Trials of Death, after accidentally encountering a vampaneze gang that were trying to infiltrate the mountain.


Gavner is described as a medium-sized man with a strong build. His face has a mass of scars and dark patches, and the rims around his eyes were extremely black. He has short brown hair and wears contemporary clothes.


When he was young, Gavner was shy and quiet. This is because Larten was aloof and distant to him, blaming himself for killing his biological parents. After being adopted by Alicia, he becomes energetic, cheerful and self-assured. Because of not having a father, Gavner saw Larten as a surrogate father and wanted him to love him and be proud of him. This is why he's easily latches on Tanish, who showed him kindness.

After growing up, he becomes prideful, impulsive, hard-headed and obsessed with showing off (possibly to get some measure of praise and acknowledgment from the caring-but-emotionally-distant Larten). Eventually, he resigns himself that Larten will never see him as a son, but is happy with being friends with him nonetheless. He also becomes very protective towards Darren, possibly seeing him as a surrogate little brother.


The Saga of Larten Crepsley

Ocean of Blood

After his assistant Malora is murdered by the crew of the "Pearly Tornado", Larten massacres the crew, sparing three sailors and a baby Gavner. Larten feels inmense guilt for killing the passengers and decides to leave the baby with the sailors. However after realizing one of them became insane from the isolation and ate the surviving sailors, a disgusted Larten leaves the ship with the baby.

Palace of the Damned

« I'll kill you. If you don't deal with me tonight, I'll track you down and make you pay for what you did to Tanish. I don't care how long it takes. »

(Gavner upset that Larten killed Tanish)

Larten blames himself for the massacre in the "Pearly Tornado" and decides to commit suicide by jumping into a chasm, intending to leave the baby to die. He's saved by Desmond Tiny, who names the baby Gavner. Larten regains his will to live and decides to find a decent home for Gavner. As the boy grows up, Larten remains distant, blaming himself for the death of his parents. However he doesn't mind Larten's aloofness, and sees him as a surrogate father.

By 1902, Larten and Gavner make their way into France. Here he meets and falls in love with Alicia Dunyck, who adopts Gavner. After four years, Larten proposes to Alicia, who accepts. However, he's forced to leave them behind after Larten is outed as a vampire by Tanish Eul. Alicia marries someone else and has a daughter named Sylva, who sees Gavner as a big brother. Gavner doesn't know why Larten left and starts resenting Alicia, blaming her for his departure. He starts working as an assistant for Tanish, who makes him a vampire. Gavner then runs away from home to be with Tanish.

Larten finds them in Russia and confronts Tanish, angry that he was separated from Alicia and that he made Gavner a vampire. Having come to see Tanish as a father figure, Gavner defends Tanish, only for him to come clean about having framed Larten for murder. Larten allows Tanish to flee, but Vancha kills him on the exact words that Larten wouldn't kill Tanish. As Gavner mourns him, Larten tells the boy that he killed his biological parents in the past. Gavner vows to kill Larten, who encourages him and gives him a knife, telling him to pass judgement on him.

Brothers to the Death

« Goodbye...father.... »

(Gavner to Larten before the latter goes to kill Wester)

Despite everything, Gavner is unable to kill Larten, and instead becomes his assistant. The two then return to France to reunite with Alicia and Sylva. In the onset of World War II, Larten and Gavner meet with Mika ver Leth and Arra Sails in order to undergo negotiations with the Nazis - who seek to ally themselves with vampires in order to pursue their own political goals, even though the vampires have no interest in the Nazis' plans.

Larten and Gavner go to Paris to visit Alicia again, only to find out the vampaneze Randel Chayne has murdered her. Fortunately, Sylva had survived, but she blames Larten for her mother's death. She doesn't hold any ill will towards Gavner though. Gavner makes a promise with Larten that they will kill Chayne together and avenge Alicia. Larten goes in a wild goose chase for years trying to find Chayne while Gavner joins Vancha March in his journeys. He wants to become Vancha's assistant, but the older vampire isn't interested.

After 20 years, Gavner is ascended to the rank of Vampire General. He's still friends with Sylva and arranges a meeting between her and Larten, wanting them to resolve their differences. Sylva decides to forgive Larten and tells him that the one who killed her mother wasn't Chayne, but Wester Flack, who framed Chayne in an attempt to push Larten to his cause to eliminate all vampanezes. Larten decides to ignore his promise with Gavner and kills Wester.

The Saga of Darren Shan

Tunnels of Blood

« Larten's a pain in the butt sometimes. He plays his cards too close to his chest, and getting information out of him can be like prying teeth from a shark. But he's a good vampire, one of the best. You couldn't hope for a better teacher. Trust him, Darren, and you won't go wrong. »

(Gavner telling Darren to trust Larten)

Seventeen years after they last saw each other, Gavner visits Larten in order to tell him that the vampaneze Murlough has been causing havoc in his old hometown. He befriends Darren Shan and reveals many details about him, encouraging the boy to trust Larten.

Vampire Mountain

« He doesn't understand! We should have explained it fully before we let him agree. »

(Gavner, realizing that Darren isn't aware of the dangers of the Vampire Trials)

Gavner, Larten and Darren go to the Vampire Mountain for the upcoming vampire council. He also helps Darren with several challenges, including the Trials of Initiation.

Trials of Death

« Suh-sorry if muh-muh-my snoring... kuh-kept you... awake. »

(Gavner's last words to Darren)

Darren fails the trial of the Blooded Boars after Harkat Mulds saves his life. Since failure to complete the trials must be punished with death, Kurda Smahlt convinces Darren to abandon the Vampire Mountain and leave the vampires and Larten behind. Just as they're escaping, they're found by Gavner, who decides to help them. Gavner insists on taking a path that suspisciously Kurda doesn't want them to go. They take said path, only to find out it's filled with vampanezes.

Gavner and Kurda order Darren to flee and are about to fight the vampanezes, but to his surprise, Kurda kills him, saying that he knows too much. Gavner succumbs to the wounds, using his last breath to apologize for his loud snoring. Darren notices he's distant as he dies, as if he were saying his last words to someone else.

The Vampire's Assistant Film

Gavner in the 2009 film, played by Willem Dafoe

« Yes! Just last week he was at the Council Library, messing with the Book of Souls. He's trying to destroy us all! Megalomaniac! That man's a megalomaniac! »

(Gavner warning Larten about Mr. Tiny)

In the film, Gavner is an uptight vampire who looks down on humans and hates vampanezes. He visits Larten to tell him that the vampanezes killed a fellow vampire named Vincent and tries to encourage him to help him kill all vampanezes. They're interrupted by Steve Leonard, who asks Larten to make him a vampire.


  • Gavner has a pair of yellow boxers with pink elephants, that Larten found very funny. The short story An Affair of the Night reveals they were a present from his then girlfriend Liz Carr.
  • The Saga of Larten Crepsley reveals he snored loudly ever since he was a baby.
  • His personality in the 2009 film is a composite character of the Gavner from the novels and Wester Flack. Ironically, the movie was released one year before Wester's first appearance in Birth of a Killer.