|“||Hello darkness... my old friend.||„|
|~ Dodge summoning her comrades.|
The Children of Leng are a demonic, semi-sentient species of evil spirits and major antagonists in the Locke & Key graphic novels. They reside in a mysterious dimension and can manifest as Whispering Iron, whizzing out of a portal called the Black Door to embed themselves in anyone they can, successfully possessing Lucas Caravaggio, Jackie Veda, Scot Kavanaugh, and Brinker Martin.
The Children of Leng dwell in another dimension, yet when the Black Door is open, they become free to enter the Earthly Plane. Their presence came to the Minutemen in 1775 when they possessed two men and a goat. Benjamin Locke created a relic to control and use these demons, the Crown of Shadows, accessed by the Shadow Key.
In the early twentieth century, the Children of Leng were humiliated by the family of Chamberlin Locke, who used the Crown of Shadows to forcibly enlist Children of Leng as household servants, carrying out tasks such as serving dinner. Wanting to humiliate the demons further still, Harland Locke used the shadows to act out the story of Peter Pan as he read the book as a bedtime story.
After a descendant named John Locke took the Crown of Shadows against his father's wishes, he went to Belgium at the war's frontlines, summoning an entire army of demons to massacre an entire German camp. Upon taking critical battle damage to his body, John dropped the Crown, which remained active as he fled back to Keyhouse Manor and would much later come to Rendell Locke, one of the Keepers of the Keys. A demon successfully possessed another keeper named Lucas Caravaggio in 1988. Using Caravaggio as a vessel, it ruthlessly attacked his friends until he was crushed under falling debris in a cave.
The most ruthless of their kind, Dodge, plotted to reclaim the Omega key and unlock the Black Door for them. He was dealt countless setbacks by the increasingly united Locke family and thus decided there would be a change of plan consisting of him conquering the world for himself and any demons who swore allegiance to him. Upon finally procuring the Omega Key, Dodge unlocked the Black Door to lure multiple Children of Leng through, transmuting them into a cache of Whispering Iron to forge more magical keys out of. Dodge's siblings successfully possessed some of the Lockes' own classmates, including Jackie Veda, Scot Kavanaugh, and Brinker Martin. Tyler Locke came to the rescue, unleashing the power of the Alpha Key, a weapon made solely to contest the Children of Leng. He freed his friends from their demonic hosts at the cost of compromising their lives, proceeding to kill Dodge as well, removing the presence of the Children of Leng from Earth for good.
As demonic beings, the Children of Leng are at best semi-sentient creatures, being solely defined by mindlessly seeking blood, spoilation, and grief for its own sake, being intrinsic to their very natures. Dodge has stated that the Children of Leng are completely devoid of morality. She also states that their world is unpleasant, a realm of pure chaos with the Children of Leng constantly engaging in acts of megalomania and even cannibalism. Dodge goes on to say that its own mother cannibalized half of her own brood the day they were born. She was later eaten by her own mate, whom in turn was later eaten by Dodge itself. This indicates an ability for demons to reproduce. Appearance-wise, they are black and ornate liquid-metallic creatures with yellow eyes and slits for pupils. Their overall physiology, size, and the number of eyes varies from individual.
- While it is very likely they are brought to the screen as shadow monsters, this is never confirmed. In the show, they have no sentience whatsoever, communicating solely through screeches and roars, akin to predatory beasts.
- Although Dodge is a member, her Netflix counterpart has several traits that indicate the idea of her being a demon is impossible. All seven reasons are available on her synopsis article. This makes sense, given that the Netflix demons are not sentient at all, and Dodge in the Netflix show is an antihero who has never expressed any desire for world dominance.