He is the Gamma of the Woolsey (later, London) werewolf pack, making him a werewolf. He holds the rank of Major in the British Army, and is Commander of the Coldsteam Guards. He also has an interest in numbers, and serves as bursar to the pack. His full name is Channing Hector Blyth Channing. There is no explanation for why his first and last names are the same.
Channing is blond, with ice-blue eyes and 'too many' teeth. His accent is described as being exceedingly posh and old-fashioned. Little is said of his build, other than that he is 'English-big', and well-aware of both his size and his handsome appearance. His wolf form is large, beautiful, and white; also with icy blue eyes. He is said to be polished at the change, despite the agony endured.
Channing can best be described as a cad, or perhaps a rakehell would be more appropriate, given his origin. He is a consummate aristocrat, though the narrative makes the point several times that this does not mean he is anything like a gentleman (though he does display characteristics of such in Heartless, by shadowing Alexia and protecting her at risk of his own life).
There are signs he takes a rather stern, perhaps even hard, tack with his troops; though there does not seem to be noticeable animosity between him and his men, he does nearly backhand Alexia when first meeting her (thinking, at the time, that she is a servant). This incident occurs when he is freshly home, and it could be argued that he was not yet out of "soldier mode" (anecdotal evidence among modern soldiers indicates that it is difficult for the human mind to cope with the immense shift in paradigm between civilian and military life; many modern soldiers use coping mechanisms such as only smoking while being a civilian, to associate a physical trigger with a need to shift mindsets). However, this does not explain his misogyny and racism, both of which are typical of the period, no more and no less.Channing's violence against Alexia when he first comes home could also be an indication of his attraction to her, possibly also that he likes to dominate women sexually. His sexual attraction to Alexia seems to be despite himself and shows up in Heartless and Timeless when he is forced to be Alexia's escort.
- Before being turned, Channing was a sculptor of some repute. Being one of the artistic types vampires prefer, they attempted to recruit him.
- Channing instead joined the military and was turned into a werewolf during the Napoleonic wars. He was metamorphosed between 1803-1815.
- Channing is reported to have engaged in multiple duels during his time in military service, as well as various werewolf challenges. His clearly likes to fight.
In the books Edit
Channing Channing of the Chesterfield Channings makes his first appearance in Changeless. He and several of the military arm of the pack had just returned to Woolsey Castle from military service and Channing gets into an altercation with Lady Maccon (through his own ignorance of her identity) over where the troops will set up camp on the estate. He later tells Alexia that the troops had all suffered the curse of mortality during their journey back across the Mediterranean.
Later, Channing accompanies Biffy and Lyall on a discreet mission to investigate the curious behaviour of the Westminster Hive where they learned the Hive was looking for Egyptian artifacts. He then accompanied the two on a mission to disrupt the Hive's involvement in the search for Egyptian artifacts and the mortality plague.
Channing is helping Professor Lyall take care of an inebriated Lord Maccon in the beginning of Blameless before he disappears (much to Lyall's chagrin). Professor Lyall didn't know Lord Maccon had ordered Channing to go and secretly protect Lady Maccon while she was traveling. He saves her on a number of occasions without her discovering his identity. Finally, he helped free her from the Templars.
With the pack split between Woolsey Castle and London, Channing is found still residing at the castle. He tries to discourage Lady Maccon's investigation into the Kingair Affair, presumably because he either knows or suspects Professor Lyall's involvement. He later walks in on Lady Maccon confronting Professor Lyall about the truth of the Kingair Affair and helps bring the matter to light.
Channing escorts Lady Maccon by train to visit the recently changed Woolsey Hive. On their way home, they were approached by Dubh (the missing Kingair Beta) who was subsequently shot. Channing helped rush Dubh back to the London Pack's home. When Lord and Lady Maccon depart to investigate what Dubh had found in Egypt, Professor Lyall and Major Channing are left in charge of the London Pack. He is one of the first to observe Professor Lyall and Biffy's shift in intimacy. He also disbelieves the claims that Biffy managed to acquire an Anubis form, and is the most vocal about his disbelief.
Major Channing first appears in Romancing the Inventor at a tavern where he tries to flirt with Imogene Hale. He immediately recognizes that she doesn't prefer men. He later reappears when the London Pack pay a visit to Woolsey Hive. After Imogene is forced to flee Woolsey castle and stays with the London Pack, she and Channing form a special friendship.
Major Channing is involved in the scuffle outside Claret's at the beginning of the novel. He is later given the duty of keeping an eye on Quesnel Lefoux after Lord Maccon learns of the young man's entanglement with is daughter - Prudence. Then, after the transfer of Alpha from Lord Maccon to Biffy, Channing challenges him before the matter is officially settled.
- Major Channing is a very skilled swordsman. He has a sword similar to a gothic hilted British infantry sword.
- Major Channing is the pack's bursar.
- Major Channing had once been a scultpor, and Lord Akeldama had tried to recruit him.
- “Major Channing was too pretty for war, except that his skin was also too clear and his ice blue eyes too bright. Pretty or not, werewolves were made for battle.” (Poison or Protect, Chapter Two)
- “Even for a werewolf, Major Channing’s proclivities were questionable, his manners grating, and his personality trying. But he’d died fighting Napoleon, and his soldiers respected him for that, if nothing else. Not many werewolves were forged in battle; most started out as some species of theatrical.” (Poison or Protect, Chapter Two)
- “The gentleman in question was both tall and broad, although not quite to her husband's scale. Lord Maccon was Scottish-big; this gentleman was only English-big—there was a distinct difference. Also unlike the earl, who periodically bumped into things as though his form were larger than his perception of it, this man seemed entirely comfortable with his size. He wore full officer formals and knew he looked good in them. His boots were spit-shined, his blond hair coiffed high, and he boasted an accent that very carefully was no accent at all. Alexia knew the type: education, money, and blue blood.” (Changeless, Chapter One)
- "Channing Channing of the Chesterfield Channings smiled his perfect smile and twinkled his blue eyes in a way Alexia was certain he believed to be alluring." (Changeless, Chapter One)
- "Are you philandering with me, sir?' She was imprudently startled into asking. 'Would you like me to be?' he replied, grin widening. Well, that certainly settled that. This was no gentleman." (Changeless, Chapter One)
- "Everyone in the courtyard stopped what they were about and turned to look at the statuesque lady currently engaged in whacking their third in command, Woolsey Pack Gamma, commander of the Coldsteam Guards abroad, with a parasol." (Changeless, Chapter One)
- "Major Channing was all muscle, longer and leaner than her husband but, honesty compelled her to admit, not at all unsightly." (Changeless, Chapter One)
- "The blond man looked nervous. His face lost most of its arrogance. Alexia thought he was considerably more attractive that way." (Changeless, Chapter One)
- "He was a splendid sculptor before he turned. Did you know? We all knew he had a good chance of having excess soul; vampires and werewolves were vying for his patron. Such a sweet young talented thing." (Changeless, Chapter Five)
- "Channing all too often thought of his soldiers as pack." (Changeless, Chapter Ten)
- "A tall, striking blond, with a perennially curled lip and hair in a military queue, rounded a corner of the hall and halted upon seeing them. 'Is he soused again?" (Blameless, Chapter Two)
- "Channing's accent was that of the privileged elite. It irritated Professor Lyall that the Gamma had never bothered to modify it over the decades. In the modern age, only elderly dowagers with too many teeth still spoke English that way." (Blameless, Chapter Two)
- "Major Channing gave both Lord Maccon and Professor Lyall disgusted looks and then strode from the room, the tail of his long, blond hair swaying in annoyance." (Blameless, Chapter Two)
- "Major Channing might be a pain in the proverbial posterior as a pack mate, but he was an excellent officer with a reputation as a fire-eater, and he had the respect of both soldiers and fellow officers." (Blameless, Chapter Seven)
- "The unexpected champion was a big man - not so big as Conall, Alexia noticed, but then few were - and clearly quite strong. He carried a long sword in one hand, British military issue, and had a mean left bunch, which was also, Alexia guessed, British military issue. The masked man certainly was liberal and enthusiastic with his use of both sword and fist." (Blameless, Chapter Eleven)
- "There was something awfully familiar about those icy-blue eyes. With a start, she realized that the werewolf, the white beast, and the man in the mask at the customs station in Boboli Gardens were all the same person and that she knew him. Knew him and was, at the best of times, not particularly fond of him: her husband's arrogant third in command, Woolsey Pack's Gamma, Major Channing Channing of the Chesterfield Channings." (Blameless, Chapter Thirteen)
- "No werewolf with half a brain would voluntarily enter the stronghold of antisupernatural sentiment. Then again, there was some question, so far as Alexia was concerned, as to the extent of Channing's brains. There was really only one good explanation: Channing would be guarding her only if Lord Conall Maccon had ordered it." (Blameless, Chapter Thirteen)
- "Channing came dashing up. The werewolf was looking a tad worse for wear. His beautiful white fur was streaked with blood, many of his wounds still bleeding, for they were slower to heal when administered by a silver blade. Luckily, none of the injuries appeared to be fatal." (Blameless, Chapter Fifteen)
- "Before anyone had a chance to react to the weapon, Poche, seized with a sudden bout of unwarranted bravery, charged at Channing. Without breaking stride, the werewolf swiveled his head down and around, opened his prodigious jaws, and swallowed the little dog whole." (Blameless, Chapter Fifteen)
- “'Really, Channing,' remonstrated Alexia, 'did you have to eat the man’s dog? I am convinced you will experience terrible indigestion.'” (Blameless, Chapter Fifteen)
- "Monsieur Trouve took off his frock coat. It was far too wide for the werewolf, but he handed it over for modesty's sake. With a nod of thanks, Channing put it on. It covered the necessaries, but was far too short and, coupled with his long, loose hair, made him look disturbingly like an oversized French schoolgirl." (Blameless, Chapter Fifteen)
- "Shouldn't you be off somewhere killing things?' 'My lady, I rather thought that was what I just did." (Blameless, Chapter Fifteen)
- “'Ah, no, deployment was delayed after you left. Technical difficulties.' 'Oh?' 'Yes, it was technically difficult to leave a heartbroken Alpha.'” (Blameless, Chapter Fifteen)
- "Major Channing, Woolsey's Gamma, strode down from his sanctum and out the front door to greet them, still knotting his cravat and looking as though he had only just arisen, despite the lateness of the hour." (Heartless, Chapter Seven)
- "As far as Alexia was concerned, Major Channing was uncomfortably good-looking - a strapping blond with icy-blue eyes, marked cheekbones, and imperiously arched brows. He was a true soldier to the bone, which might not have been so bad a thing had not his nobility of profession been augmented by an arrogance of manner and toothiness of accent so extreme only the bluest of the blue-blooded individuals out to foist such upon others." (Heartless, Chapter Seven)
- "No good can come of meddling in the past, my lady.' Only Channing could put on such an air of dismissive disgust." (Heartless, Chapter Seven)
- “The Gamma paused. 'You have a crazed werewolf in your wine cellar?' 'You can think of a better place to stash him?' 'What about the wine?'" (Heartless, Chapter Ten)
- "Me? Know what?' Channing's beautiful ice-blue eyes were the picture of innocence." (Heartless, Chapter Ten)
- "Ah, but that is what I love about immortality. The decades may pass for me, but the ladies, well, they will keep coming along all young and beautiful, now, won't they?' 'Channing, someone should lock you away." (Heartless, Chapter Ten)
- "Major Channing Channing of the Chesterfield Channings was a man who spoke the Queen's English with that unctuous precision instilled only by generations of the best schools, the best society, and an overabundance of teeth." (Timeless, Chapter Three)
- "Major Channing, Alexia had discovered much to her shock, was interested in figures, and as such was bursar to the pack. It seemed odd for a man of breeding and snobbery to dally with mathematics, but immortality did strange things to people's hobbies." (Timeless, Chapter Three)
- “Oh, Major, you do so love to annoy, don't you?" "It is the stuff of living, my lady.” (Timeless, Chapter Three)
- “He was awfully good at being aristocratic. Alexia, on the other hand, was only good at being autocratic. Not quite the same thing.” (Timeless, Chapter Three)
- "But never before had anyone described Major Channing Channing of the Chesterfield Channings as a decent fellow." (Timeless, Chapter Seven)
- "Channing turned back to Biffy, his shapely lip curled in disgust. His face, though handsome, was disagreeably set and his blue eyes icy. 'Go on, then. Can't show me the head? Fight me for dominance.' The Gamma really looked as though he might strip right there in the dining room and change into a wolf, simply to prove Biffy was lying." (Timeless, Chapter Seventeen)
- "Such an unpleasant fellow, and so attractive; it makes it that much worse." (Timeless, Chapter Seventeen)
- “Sometimes, one must take him out into polite company for an airing. If only to see whether he’s grown any manners in the interim.” (Romancing the Inventor, Chapter Four)
- “Grab the ruff like so. Don’t worry, pull as hard as you like, you can’t hurt him. And in Channing’s case, even if you could, he likely deserves it.” (Romancing the Inventor, Chapter Nine)
- “Major Channing was nothing if not arrogant.” (Romancing the Inventor, Chapter Nine)
- “As if I know anything about women. Nigh on a century and they still confuse me.’ He seemed to remember that he was supposed to be a cad. ‘Of course, I know a great deal about one aspect of women, should you ever wish to switch sides.’ He leered.” (Romancing the Inventor, Chapter Nine)
- "She could also see the Nordic beauty in her troublesome Uncle Channing for all his objectionable arrogance and uncertain temper, a chilly combination of ice and ivory." (Prudence, Chapter Six)
- "Even Uncle Channing, who didn't really like anyone but himself, hadn't a bad word to say about Professor Lyall." (Prudence, Chapter Eight)
- “Channing was not the kind of wolf to resist a challenge.” (Imprudence, Chapter One)
- “Duels were illegal and had to be stuffed under carpets at great expense to avoid scandal. Channing had a vast collection of lumpy carpets.” (Imprudence, Chapter One)
- “She’d somehow understood from her littlest girl state that Uncle Channing wasn’t intentionally mean; he was simply wounded in a way that made him scared of being prey. He hunted others as a great white wolf, vicious and bloody. And he hunted with words as a great blond man, equally vicious and bloody. Uncle Channing would do anything not to be vulnerable.” (Imprudence, Chapter Four)
- ↑ https://twitter.com/gailcarriger/status/710120939556446212 Gail Carriger's twitter.