Do'Urden Family Glyph
R.A. Salvatore reveals a fair bit about the Do'Urden family tree, as various relatives of Drizzt emerge throughout the Drizzt Book Series. Malice Do'Urden, Drizzt's mother and matron mother of House Do'Urden is quite an imposing figure. She is entwined in constant conflict with Zaknafein regarding Drizzt's upbringing. Matron Malice is striving to mold him into a heartless killer, while Zaknafein is silently struggling to help him embrace his unusual caring and altruistic nature. Zaknafein constantly struggles to avoid crossing the line, which female-dominated Drow society has come to be built around. Many times, Matron Malice fantasizes about Zak's demise, however his renown skill and role as House Weaponmaster for the Do'Urden family keep him safe. Since drow society has a well-defined hierarchy among its houses and the tolerance for various treacherous acts is widely accepted, his place as one of the finest weaponmasters in all of Menzoberranzan makes him a valuable asset for the Do'Urden family. The usefulness of Zaknafein Do'Urden, keeps him from being punished for his silent defiance.
House Do'Urden is also known as Daermon N'a'shezbaernon, and was formerly the 8th house of Menzoberranzan. After becoming the 8th house by destroying house DeVir (on the night of Drizzt's birth), they soon lose the favor of Lolth when Drizzt spares the life of an elven child named Illifain during a surface raid.
The Fall of House Do'Urden
Matron Malice must sacrafice the life of Drizzt in order to regain Lolth's favor. House Hun'ett (the Fifth House), which already considered House Do'Urden a threat, prepared to attack. The first part of the battle was supposed to occur with the killing of Drizzt, but he in turn killed Masoj Hun'ett and Gelroos Hun'ett (who was actually Alton DeVir, last survivor of the House DeVir) giving House Do'Urden an edge in the war.
Do'Urden Family Tree
Briza Do’Urden is the oldest of Drizzt’s three sisters. She is very cruel and unforgiving, killing her own mother, Matron Malice upon discovering Malice’s failure to complete Zin Carla. Upon the death of Matron Malice, Briza becomes the next and final Matron mother to house Do’Urden as House Baenre successfully executed a raid on House Do’Urden shortly after. Briza’s death comes at the hands of Jarlaxle.
Dinin is Drizzt’s second eldest brother, who murders Drizzt’s oldest brother Nalfein, which in effect saves infant Drizzt’s life. Matron Malice had promises her third living son to Lolth as a sacrifice which would have been Drizzt, however with the death of Nalfein coming before the sacrifice could be carried out, Drizzt’s life is spared as he is then the second living son. Jarlaxle spares Dinin’s life upon the destruction of House Do’Urden in exchange for joining Bregan D’aerthe. He is later turned into a Drider by his sister Vierna. Dinin is killed by Bruenor Battlehammer (while still in Drider form) during Vierna’s raid on Mithril Hall.
Drizzt’s mother and matron mother of House Do’Urden until her death at the hands of Briza, Malice Do’Urden was a very powerful high priestess of Lolth. Her demise begins when Drizzt shows actions of compassion and mercy during a raid on the surface elves which causes her to lose the favor of Lolth. She then sacrifices Drizzt’s mentor, Zaknafein in order to regain Lolth’s favor but quickly loses it again when Drizzt leaves Menzoberranzan. Malice was given a final chance to regain the favor of Lolth by destroying Drizzt. She is to use the power of Zin-carla, which she obtains by sacrificing her adopted son SiNafay, to carry out the destruction of Drizzt. She loses control of Zin-carla for a brief moment which allows Zaknafein to kill himself, which causes her to forever lose the favor of Lolth. In a final desperate attempt to regain the favor of Lolth for House Do’Urden, Briza murders Matron Malice.
Malice has six different children to three different males, with Zaknafein being the father of Drizzt and Vierna, Rizzen being the father of Dinin, Maya, and Nalfein, however the father of Briza is not known.
Maya was the youngest of Drizzt's sister and a priestess of Lolth. She was slain alongside many of her kin during House Baenre's attack on House Do'Urden.
Nalfein was the eldest of Drizzt’s three brothers, as well as being an accomplished wizard. During House Do’Urden’s raid on House DeVir he was murdered by his younger brother Dinin in order to take his place as elderboy of the house. This act of betrayal occurred at the exact moment of Drizzt’s birth, and in effect spared Drizzt the fate of being sacrificed to satisfy a promise to Lolth of the life the third living son Malice had made.
The patron of Matron Malice, Rizzen was father to Maya, Dinin, and Nalfein. His death comes at the hands of the spirit-wraith of Zaknafein. Malice was indifferent regarding his death as she had already chosen a patron to take his place.
Shi'Nayne Do'Urden / SiNafay Hun'ett
SiNafay was matron to House Hun’ett. Fearing that they were a threat, she initiated a raid upon House Do’Urden, calling upon the mercenary band Bregan D’aerthe to assist. However Jarlaxle betrayed her and as a result House Hun’ett was defeated, invoking punishment by Menzoberranzan’s ruling council. In order to escape punishment, she assumed a new identify and joined House Do’Urden. Malice Do’Urden tricked her and offered her as a sacrifice to Lolth in order to summon Zaknafein in the form of a spirit-wraith using the power of Zin-carla.
Vartha was Matron Malice’s mother and former matron mother of House Do’Urden. Her death comes about 400 years before the Dark Elf Trilogy takes place, coming unexpectedly. It was suspected that Malice was likely to have played a part in her demise which in effect made Malice the new Matron Mother of House Do’Urden.
Zaknafein fathered two children to Malice, Drizzt and Vierna. She was Drizzt’s primary caretaker as a child and second eldest sister, the only one of which he felt any affection for. Like Drizzt, Verina seemed to inherit some of the goodness of character Zaknafein possessed. Drizzt’s other sisters were very cruel and particularly brutal towards him, never showing any shred of kindness to Drizzt, however Vierna was the exception.
After falling into a Lolth-induced psychosis, Vierna turned Dinin into a drider and allied with Jarlaxle in order to seek out and destroy Drizzt. Drizzt was eventually forced to take her life in an act of self-defense.
Zaknafein was Drizzt’s father and mentor as well as being the renowned Weapon Master of House Do’Urden. His skill as a warrior allowed his rebellious spirit to be tolerated among the female-dominated drow society. He stood up to the cruel nature of the female Drow as much as he could get away with. Drizzt’s personality was nurtured by Zaknafein a great deal, preventing his selfless and merciful nature from being snuffed out by the cruelty of Menzoberranzan. At one point, when Drizzt was preparing to leave for the academy, he contemplated and half-heartedly attempted to kill Drizzt, thinking that it was a better fate than to be transformed into a cold-blooded killer like his kin. Zaknafein couldn’t stand the thought of the innocent and loving boy he knew being destroyed by the Drow way, being transformed into a brutal and merciless killer like the rest of the Dark Elves. In the end, he helped encourage Drizzt to leave Menzoberranzan.
Malice sacrifices Zaknafein, after House Do’Urden falls out of Lolth’s favor. Afterwards, Drizzt leaves Menzoberranzan for the Underdark. Malice later brings back Zaknafein back through the use of Zin-carla in order to hunt down and kill Drizzt. After finding Drizzt, Zaknafein manages to fight through his mental barriers in order to prevent himself from killing Drizzt, hurling himself into a pit of acid.
Some years later, Drizzt learns that someone he thought close to him was prisoner of the demon Errtu. He set out to rescue who he thought was Zaknafein, however it turns out to be Wulfgar. The priest Cadderly Bonaduce summons the spirit of Zaknafein for Drizzt, at which point Zaknafein tells Drizzt what had happened to him and expresses the love and pride he feels for his son before disappearing. With Zaknafein, vanishes the only member of the Do'Urden Family that Drizzt was able to feel any kinship to.