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Menolly from "The People of Pern" © 1988 Robin Wood. Used with Permission.
Vital statistics
Gender Female
Rank Master Harper
Era Ninth Pass
Affiliation Harper Hall
Half-Circle Sea Hold
Spouse Sebell
Parent(s) Yanus
Siblings Alemi, Sella, 5 other siblings (names not mentioned)
Children Robse, Olos, Lemsia
Fire-lizard(s) Gold: Beauty
Bronze: Rocky, Diver, Poll
Brown: Lazybones, Mimic, Brownie
Blue: Uncle
Green: Auntie One, Auntie Two
First Appearance Dragonsong


Menolly is the central character in Anne McCaffrey's Harper Hall trilogy. Menolly grew up in Half-Circle Sea Hold, where she helped the Hold harper, Petiron (Robinton's father), wrote songs, and dreamed of becoming a harper. Her parents, Yanus and Mavi, grudgingly allowed her to continue teaching the local children music after Petiron died as their community had no other harper, but refused to permit her to sing once the replacement harper came, much less become a harper in her own right as they believed it was not right for mere girls to do such things. Menolly ran away from home and found refuge in a cave, where she Impressed nine fire-lizards: gold Beauty, bronzes Rocky and Diver, browns Mimic, Lazybones, and Brownie, blue Uncle, and greens Auntie One and Auntie Two. Menolly was rescued from Threadfall by brown dragonrider T'gran and brought to Benden Weyr. After the Hatching feast, she was finally discovered by Masterharper Robinton as the apprentice Petiron mentioned in messages to the Harper Hall and was allowed to fulfill her dream of becoming a harper (Dragonsong).

At the Harper Hall, Menolly made friends with Camo, Piemur, Audiva, Silvina, and Sebell. Not everyone approved of a girl becoming a harper and she was victim of envy (among the female students especially) because of her fire lizards, but she proved her talent and abilities and became a Journeyman. She wrote many popular songs, such as 'the fire lizard song' and 'Brekke's song -- songs that helped transmit news and current events throughout Pern. She married Sebell and became a Master Harper, helping with the movement to banish Thread from Pern forever.

Menolly has been described as being very tall with long and lanky legs. Artwork in the People of Pern and the Dragonlovers' Guide to Pern depicts her with dark hair, long and thick, in which Beauty hides, with her tail wrapped around Menolly's neck like a necklace.


Personality and traitsEdit

Menolly is not very proud of herself as a girl and is often shy, probably a result of being forced not to play at her Hold. Menolly has a great ear for music and is exceptionally talented at writing, reading and playing songs. She is also very talented at handling and training fire-lizards.

Menolly is often targeted by jealousy because she has bonded with so many fire-lizards, and is herself very outspoken against her bullies.


Menolly meets the young boy Piemur very early in the Harper Hall, and he quickly becomes one of her best friends, helping her and Camo with feeding her nine fire lizards. He teaches her about the daily runnings of the Hall and guides her at the Market Days where he shows her how to haggle.

Menolly does not get along with the other girls in her dormitory, who are mostly displeased as she is considered an actual Harper student unlike them. She is targeted in particular by Dunca, the cotholder, who points out the poor conditions of her clothes and deliberately keeps from giving her important messages from the Masters. The only girl who harbors no ill feelings towards her is Audiva, who tries to help Menolly against the other girls.

Menolly spends a lot of time in the Hall with Sebell, Robinton's journeyman, who asks her to teach him to sail and otherwise supports her talents as a harper. In Dragondrums, Sebell realizes his feelings for Menolly, and the two become romantically involved after Menolly's Diver flies Sebell's Kimi.

Even though she is with Sebell, it is hinted in "The White Dragon" that she retains some romantic feelings for Master Robinton, claiming that she "loved him first". Though the Master Harper reciprocates the feelings he tells her she is "a dear child" to him.

Menolly is also close to Lord Jaxom, whom she helps in his struggles between being a Lord Holder and a Dragon Rider. She guesses about his involvement in bringing back Ramoth's egg after the Southern dragon riders steal it, but keeps the secret to Jaxom's relief.


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