How to be a Werewolf Wiki

Malaya Dysangco Walters is the main character and protagonist of How to be a Werewolf.

Bitten as a young child and enthralled by her assailant, she managed to break free from the enthrallment when she heard her parents voices. Ever since the incident where she slashed her younger brother Vincent in anger, she has remained largely isolated and reclusive, especially during the full moon.

She is currently the de facto Alpha of the Walters Pack, and she is competing for the primary claim to the Crescent Lake Territory.



Malaya is a twenty-five year old woman turned a werewolf at a very young age. She has long black hair, brown skin and dark brown eyes. She stands roughly five feet two inches tall and has a slim build. Her Tagalog heritage on her mother's side explains her being bilingual in English and Tagalog.

Werewolf Form[]

When partially transformed, Malaya's eyes glow white, and she grows black fur over her hands and along the sides of her head. Her hands grow claws, and her ears lengthen and become noticeably lupine. Some of her teeth also become longer and sharper.[1]

When fully transformed, Malaya is completely covered in flowing black fur and grows in size and bulk, reaching eight feet tall[2]. She grows a tail and wolf snout, and the claws on her hands and feet lengthen. The structure of her feet changes to become more lupine, with her weight resting on her digits and not her heels.[3]


Malaya has a strong protective instinct and cares deeply for the people she is close to. She has spent most of her life bottling up her werewolf side in an attempt to protect her family and strangers from her wolf, a desire that stems partially from a childhood incident where she injured her brother Vincent.[4]

Since Malaya has spent most of her life avoiding contact with people outside her family, she has few hobbies or friends. She is most comfortable at home or at the coffee shop where she works.

With help from Elias Ross and others, Malaya is becoming more outgoing and confident in herself. As the alpha of her pack, she works hard to protect and help the members of her pack, her friends, and Connie's Wolves.


Malaya is the oldest child of two children born to Maria Walters and Elliot Walters. She has a younger brother named Vincent Dysangco Walters. She, along with her brother, currently lives with her parents in the town of Crescent Lake, Michigan USA.


When Malaya was five years old, her parents took her on a camping trip. When her parents weren't looking, she followed a squirrel into the woods where she encountered a giant black dog. That dog was actually the werewolf Ziva Ross who was under the control of the witch Connie Greensmith[5]. Ziva bit Malaya on the arm and tried to enthrall her, preventing her from running or calling out to her parents. Upon hearing her parents' voices calling for her, Malaya's love for her parents enabled her to break free of the enthrallment. She smacked Ziva in the face and the werewolf ran back into the woods.[6]

Malaya's parents found her and crowded into the car to drive her to the hospital. Upon arrival at the hospital, however, Malaya pointed out that her arm was healed, so her parents decided to take her home rather than continue into the hospital and face the staff.[7]

The first full moon after being bitten, Malaya began to transform. Checking on her daughter, her mother barely eluded Malaya's attack[8]. Unable to do much else, her parents barricaded her in her room until the next morning.


Malaya's parents decided to homeschool her, and as time went on she gained control over her transformation. She spent full moons with her parents, reading books and playing board games.[9]

Some time later, Vincent was born. At first, her parents kept Malaya and Vincent apart, but as Vincent grew, they became less cautious. When Vincent was a toddler, he threw a toy brick at Malaya. She quickly became angry and lost control, slashing him with her claws down his side.[4]

Vincent forgave Malaya, and the pair became close as they both grew up. Vincent took on the role of Malaya's protector despite being the younger sibling. Being her protector didn't mean he wasn't still her little brother, and he was a pain in the ass more than once[10].


When Malaya turned twenty, for her birthday her father gave her part ownership of the family business. Rather than attending college, Malaya runs the shop and spends most of her time either there or at home.[11]

Powers and Abilities[]

Malaya is a werewolf, giving her a myriad of abilities. Among these include enhanced sense of smell and hearing, superhuman strength, accelerated healing, increased resistance to injury, and drawing power from the moon. She is also capable of turning others into werewolves through bites, as well as immunizing humans from turning through clawing, as she unknowingly did to Vincent as a child.

As an alpha, Malaya is capable of enthralling those within her pack. She was also able to fully transform into a wolf, as seen at the end of the fight at Chapter 11.

Fighting Style[]

While half transformed, Malaya is a bit more agile than Elias or Marin due to her smaller size. However, when fully transformed as a werewolf, Malaya's build becomes bulkier and features a stouter build compared to other werewolves, slightly toning down the agility. Malaya is also specialized in jumping and uses that to her advantage when fighting.


  • Malaya's name is pronounced Ma-lai-a, emphasis on the second syllable.[12]
  • Mal likes to be the race car in monopoly. [13]
  • Malaya enjoys knitting and was taught by her mother. Growing up, knitting helped her manage her werewolf and made her feel like it was easier to control herself.[14]
  • Malaya's shoes on page 217 are based on Sketcher's slip-ons. [15]
  • Aubrey and Malaya are foils to each other.[16] This even goes down to their designs, where Aubrey was meant to look as opposite as possible, "so heavier build, sort of punk/utilitarian style, short hair, blond and pale."[17]
    • Malaya and Tom are also written to be foils of each other: "Tom dwells in the past and focuses on his emotional response to things, whereas Malaya tends to live in the present and focuses on the good of her pack."[18] Tom's preference to side with his wolf side and traditional werewolf solutions also contrasts with Malaya's preference to her human side and cooperation with the more "human-like" rules and legislations of the werewolf council.
  • Malaya gravitates toward their dad due to their connection with the coffee shop, while Vincent gravitate toward their mom due to their interests in biology. [19]
  • Malaya's werewolf personality is based off of Shawn's dog.[20]
  • In a comment it was asked if any of the HTBAW cast were fans of twilight, with the answer being: "Marin wouldn't have had access to them, Malaya wouldn't probably have known about them from mostly being around her family. I'd take a guess that Marisa read Twilight and thought it was hilarious, and Charlene probably read them but secretly kind of liked them despite knowing they were nonsense lol"[21]
  • One of Shawn's theories "is that Mal uses her superior sense of smell to help her make really good coffee. She knows exactly when it's done by the smell, which seems like a natural thing when you grow up making coffee your whole life. I don't know anything about coffee so I'm gonna assume that seems accurate enough. I know you can burn coffee, so there ya go." [22]
  • In an interview, Shawn mentions that Malaya, along with Marin, are her favorite characters. [23]
  • In an early height chart, Malaya's last name was Dysangco was originally spelled Dychingo.[24]
  • A speed draw of the Chapter 10 cover featuring Malaya can be found on Shawn's Youtube.
  • Shawn has created a spotify playlist for How to be a Werewolf. Malaya has her own section, as well as one song that captures her feelings towards saving Aubrey's pack.