I’ll be doing a ‘proper’ post about this later, but basically:
The Nightingale, and the Mouse-Lad (name still elusive), are original characters that will be completely replacing any back-story concerning Pitch, the Nightmare King, and Jack Frost.
The back-stories are quite different now (in a very clear attempt to not make the Nightingale and the Mouse-Lad carbon copies of characters that went before), although they end up at the same point, and several key things still happen - Augus is still taken hostage for about a year, and he still assaults the Mouse-Lad (though for slightly different reasons). But the Nightingale’s motives were different (and clearer - he wanted to create a third Court in the human world, in order to control the humans), and the Mouse-Lad’s involvement was different. There are no ‘Guardians’ at all.
The Nightingale is a malevolent, ancient Unseelie fae who is classless, and who the Nain Rouge calls ‘my younger brother.’ (Or, knowing the Nain Rouge actually, ‘my little broski’ or something like that). He can still manipulate the fears of others, but primarily so he can feed his Unseelie appetite of surviving on grief, misery, anguish and mourning. He is a true shape-shifter, versus regular animal shifts who can only change into a single animal (i.e. Gulvi turns into her swan form) - he can become thousands of a few different species - the Mourner nightingale (when the Mourner exists in the fae world again, people know that he’s back), the night herons of Oswick, and a few others. He can only change into night-birds. And only unique species.
The Mouse-Lad is an apprentice Seelie healer, and animal shifter. He has no affinity with ice. He is not a particularly fun creature - he’s more nervous and sweet-tempered, and while mischievous as all mouse-lads can be, is also timid and twitchy.
The outcomes are also quite different for the Nightingale and the Mouse-Lad - the Mouse-Lad has no happy ending, and is living on his own under the protection of Gwyn ap Nudd, should Gwyn have need of him again. And the Nightingale is not dead, though is captured and imprisoned, and could potentially come back again. The Nightingale does not have a dual personality. And the Nightingale and the Mouse-Lad did not have a healthy relationship.
I’ll be writing all of this up in kind of fairytale format, but it’s not actually something you’ll need to know in advance, because I’ll be inserting a lot of this stuff as exposition into The Court of Five Thrones.
Because: The Court of Five Thrones will no longer refer to Jack, the Nightmare King or any of the Guardian’s storyline. Thus making the story entirely original.
I am not touching FtDWR or ISWF. My attitude towards that series now is that it is a crossover between RotG and the Fae Tales Verse. Combining my original characters, with pre-existing characters.
Eventually, Game Theory will be rewritten to make room for the new storyline. It will alter a few small things, although like I said, the new events in the back-story still lead to the very same introduction re: Game Theory, and the same issues around Augus and what he did as a failed King.
I’m actually really happy with these characters and I can’t wait for you to ‘meet’ them. I spent a lot of time on the Nightingale in particular - like the Raven Prince, he doesn’t reveal his true name and comes from a generation of fae like the Nain Rouge that don’t believe in revealing true names. It anchors everything firmly in fairytale, and the back-story now has a fairytale ‘feel’ to it, which is why I’m thinking of writing a summary in fairytale format, just to familiarise those who want to know more.
I know it will be jarring for some people to make that transition. My apologies. One of the biggest downsides of putting stories up in a serialised format in the way I’ve been doing it, is that they don’t have the years of editing and restructuring that many original novels get - so you’re getting some massive changes while they’re occurring. But for the sake of turning everything original, and anchoring everything firmly in fairytale / Fae Tales, there are some changes coming. Since it all happens in reference to past events, I’m hoping this change will be relatively unobtrusive.
But yeah, that’s the situation with that! Hope this helps. :) There’ll be a more formal ‘introduction to the characters’ post later.