HA HA - Somebody who wants to strike a bargain!
~ Zamiel delights in seeing a foolish greedy human.

Zamiel the Demon Huntsman is the main antagonist, and the Bigger Bad, of the children's book Count Karlstein by author Philip Pullman.



Zamiel is the feared Demon Hunter who haunts the Swiss Alps on stormy nights. Every so often he will approach a greedy, power-hungry or cruel human who dares approach him, and grant their wishes. His main power is wish granting, and he can make a deal with them that they will keep their wish for at least ten years, after which they will have to repay him likewise.


It is unknown if anyone has actually succeeded in repayng Zamiel, but the most notable case was Count Karlstein, a cruel man who wanted respect, and he went to the haunted valley where Zamiel was meant to be seen and he blew a hunter's horn, summoning Zamiel, and asked for riches, wealth, power, a grand estate, and respect. Zamiel mockingly said "Is that ALL?" and Karlstein enquired if he could have more. Zamiel then laughed and said it was too late, but he could keep all he asked for for ten years, then Zamiel wanted a human sacrifice, live, in the hunting lodge. If Karlstein succeeded, he could keep his wish forever.


If he failed, then Zamiel would take Count Karlstein - which did indeed happen, Count Karlstein was thwarted in his sacrifice of his neices, and an angry Zamiel came to claim his soul, scaring Karlstein so much he ran forever to vainly try to escape the clutches of Zamiel.

Powers and Abilities

As a demon, (most likely a devil, given his vast legions of power over the Undead) Zamiel had vast supernatural powers - including the ability to strike fear into the hearts of any foolish or incompetent man who gazed upon him. Zamiel's gaze could strip one naked to their soul, and see their past misdeeds, and looking into the devil's eyes was like looking into the subterranean pits of a red hot volcano where hot coals burn.

Zamiel commanded respect above all else. It is ironic that Charlotte and Lucy, Karlstein's nieces, had never heard of Zamiel, but when hearing of the Demon Huntsman, their blood runs cold. This means that people do know of Zamiel, even if they claim they haven't. They just know him under another name. He strikes fear into even the hardest of hunters, who slam their doors whenever his demonic laughter and ghostly hunting horn bellows round the mountains.

However, the townsfolk have come to regard him as a necessary evil - he poses no real threat if left alone, and its a common sight to see the Wild Hunt galloping across the sky. Zamiel is only a danger to human society if one arrogant or powerful man wishes for even more power - such as Count Karlstein, because then anyone could be a potential sacrifice - like most Pagan devils, Zamiel demands power through human sacrifices.

Zamiel's hunting hounds could very well be the spirits of those humans he claimed when they could not keep their end of the bargain. Thus Count Karlstein may have gained himself such a fate. Because he flees forever from the Huntsman, which is a similar position the hunting hounds are in.