The Minotaur, Barbican

Statue of the Minotaur in London

The Minotaur is a character in the Stoneheart Trilogy. It is a taint recruited by the Walker to hunt for George.


The Minotaur was made by Michael Ayrton, the same sculptor who made the Icarus. It was presented to the city in 1973 and originally placed in Postman's Park, and it is currently in Barbican, London.


The Minotaur is described as looking powerful and muscular. It stands hunched over when on his plinth, but he looks ready to take off running at any moment. It has the body of a man, with heavy muscles in his legs and chest, and two cloven feet. It has the head of a bull with two pointed horns and large, hunched shoulders. Its body is hairy, and its hair moves even though it is made of metal. In its mouth are sharp predator's teeth. Its breath smells of fresh meat.


The Minotaur is half-man and half-bull. Being a taint, it hates its human half. It is said to want to rid itself of its human qualities; the Gunner states that one of the ways it does this is by eating humans. It is very animal-like in behavior, but it may have a slight sense of humor; this is shown when it seemingly smiles after Edie realizes that the people around her cannot see her and the Minotaur. It angers easily, and it has a deep, powerful roar that far outmatches any screams that Edie can produce.


The Minotaur is said to be able to run extremely fast; so fast that it can hardly be seen when charging at full speed. It is also able to sniff for its prey similar to the way a hound would. It is shown to be strong and damage-resistant.

It has some human capabilities as well, but this is rarely shown; one example is when it beckons for George to come, showing that it understands the Walker's need for the boy and proving that it does have some control over its animalistic behavior.

Role In PlotEdit


The Minotaur is an antagonist in Stoneheart. After the Grid Man is defeated, the Walker sends for the Minotaur to track George. The Minotaur is delivered a scrap of George's shirt via the Raven that it can use to find the boy; however, the taint instead finds Edie, who is wearing George's coat at the time. George gave her the coat when she was cold and decided to wait for him to return from the Monument. Since the coat also has George's scent, the Minotaur takes Edie away instead of his intended target.

The Walker tells the Gunner to make an exchange with the Minotaur; George for Edie. This is part of his plan to use George to escape his from bondage to the Stone. The Walker says that if the Gunner does not do this, then he will have the Minotaur kill Edie.

When the Gunner and George go to find Edie, the Minotaur finds them and strikes the Gunner by surprise. The taint holds Edie in its arms, but it drops the girl as it prepares to charge at the George and the Gunner. The Gunner takes a shot at the Minotaur with his last bullet with his revolver, the rest having been taken by the Walker, but he misses the taint. The Mintaur charges just as George begins to make a bullet out of his plasticine.

The Minotaur and the Gunner then begin a violent brawl. The Minotaur charges the Gunner, who ducks and avoids most of the impact. The spit is then pushed to the edge of the railing, but before he is gored or pushed over the side, he kicks the Minotaur in the groin, stunning the taint.

The two statues continue their battle, crashing across the walkway. As soon as George says he is finished with the bullet, the Minotaur takes the chance to stab the Gunner in the gut with its horn. The two are gridlocked together for a moment, with George ready to shoot the gun at the Minotaur's eye, until the Minotaur manages to push the Gunner over the railing. The two statues fall onto a double-decker bus on the street below, which begins to pull away.

The battle between the statues continues on the top of the bus. The Minotaur tries to ram into the Gunner, but the spit dodges and thrusts the taint into the air just as the bus crosses an intersection. As a result, the Minotaur's horns strike the metal pole that holds up traffic lights, and the taint is trapped in midair.

The Minotaur drops down from the traffic light pole when George and Edie arrive. The taint grabs both children, now very angry. George draws the Gunner's revolver, and before the Minotaur can do anything to him or Edie, he fires his plasticine bullet into the taint's eye. This shot kills the Minotaur, turning the taint into bronze scraps.


Although the Minotaur does not return in later books, its death enrages its brother, the Icarus, after the Walker informs the latter of the Minotaur's death. This drives the Icarus to join the Walker.


  • In the traditional Greek myth, the hero Theseus slew the Minotaur in Daedalus' maze. However, sculptor Michael Ayrton did not like this ending to the story; instead he believed that the Minotaur lived on, and the monster achieved its destiny and became human. Contradictory to Ayrton's version of the myth, the Minotaur in the trilogy ironically wishes to rid itself of its human side.
  • "Oxo" is the nickname that the Gunner gives to the Minotaur as the two statues battle.