|ATTENTION! SPOILERS AHEAD!!|
This article contains information from later episodes of The Magnus Archives and may contain major spoilers for the setting and plot. Continue at your own risk.
Peter Lukas is described as something of a paradox. A scion of a powerful house and an avatar of the Lonely, he claims to have been reserved and quiet as a child, but in practice, he seems to enjoy the sound of his own voice, often making cruel and mean-spirited jokes concerning the fates of others when at all possible. More than anything, he enjoys the loneliness of being far away from others and avoiding people; his one wish was to die alone.
Though it is implied that followers of the Lonely show little to no emotion, he seems to feel genuine panic at the idea of being trapped or unable to get away from people. He also gets amusement out of sneaking up on people, as well as a certain amount of enjoyment at sending people 'away' into the Lonely.
Notably, he had a fondness (perhaps even a weakness) for gambling.
Peter Lukas is white and has been described as "weirdly pale for someone who lived their life on the sea." (MAG 33)
Prior to becoming temporary Head of the Magnus Institute, Peter was the captain of the Tundra.
Peter had four siblings: two sisters who abandoned the family and moved far away, and a brother and sister who didn’t have the ‘temperament’ for their family and were sent away. His mother, while not born a Lukas, slowly drove his father away with the distance she put between them. Peter can not picture his mother’s face, which he finds a blessing. He feels nothing for her. He acknowledges that the way he was raised wasn’t healthy but because of the family’s vast wealth, social workers wouldn’t dare interfere.
Peter grew up in a sprawling house, with bedrooms as far apart as possible. He and his siblings were cared for by a rotating cast of nannies and tutors, so as not to get attached. He calls himself an only child because all of his siblings left the family or were sent away. He was the only child to fully embrace the Lonely. Because he was quiet and reserved, Peter was the favoured son. He didn’t read books or watch TV, but explored the estate grounds alone as a childhood past time, trying to find places no one else would be.
When he was old enough, he frequently stole money from his mother’s purse and hitchhiked to the nearest cities. Peter thinks his mother let him do this on purpose. He would wander around the city at night, seeing the lit windows of families in their homes and revelling in the feeling of being so alone and distant from them. He got angry at the occasional lone traveller he passed on the street for upsetting his solitude. He wished they would disappear. One day, one of the strangers did disappear. This was the first time Peter accessed the Lonely. It’s unclear if Peter sent the stranger to the Lonely, or went there himself to escape.
One day he was taken below the estate and shown the truth of their family and the Entity they worshipped. Peter was amazed at how perfect the Lonely was for him.
After that, Peter took to the seas and became captain of the Tundra. The Tundra is a cargo ship operating for Solus Shipping PLC, a company founded and majority-owned by Nathaniel Lukas. Its autopilot system has a name, ostensibly given by the crew, which is apparently "Iron Mike." His crew was loyal to his money and had no problems with the sacrifices that went on. All shipping containers on the Tundra are continuously empty, and when Jonathan Sims looked into it, he couldn't find a single record of cargo being loaded or unloaded into it from any UK ports.
The Tundra is a cover for finding victims for the Lonely. Any new frightened crew members are weeded out and then sacrificed aboard the ship, presumably thrown into the Lonely through use of the first mate Tadeas Dahl's boatswain's call, while the rest of the crew are a safe distance away on lifeboats. John has also noted that official crew manifests have stayed the same for over ten years. Peter had all of his crew sign on under fake names to add another level of distance from them. (MAG 33)
Peter first meets Elias Bouchard when he is still James Wright, at some point between 1973 and 1996. He later helps Gertrude Robinson (who he was afraid of) stop the Spiral's ritual at some point between 2009 and 2011 by taking her and Michael Shelley to Sannikov Land.
Peter attempted a ritual for the Lonely in order to negate the coming of the Extinction. He commissioned a housing block to be built with features and specifications that would discourage interactions between the tenants and isolate them from the rest of the world, and for the culmination of the ritual intended to lock them inside of the building to die.
Gertrude Robinson stopped his ritual by tipping off a newspaper about the lonely state of the tenants, and the news media and public became concerned for them, starting community outreach programs. Peter comments the public only cared so much because everyone he picked was white and middle class.
Work with the Magnus Institute
Peter was asked by Elias Bouchard to step in as Head of the Magnus Institute in case he was ever removed, and so he took over after Elias' arrest in MAG 120.
At some point, Peter and Elias made a bet. If Peter could get one of Elias' staff to willingly pledge themselves to the Lonely, Peter won the Magnus Institute, the panopticon, and someone willing to use the panopticon. If Elias won then Peter would have to let John into the Lonely, giving John his last mark for the ritual. As Head of the Institute, Peter picked Martin Blackwood as his assistant to fulfil his end of the bet.
Peter spent all of season 4 convincing Martin to join the Lonely, sacrificing himself to protect the rest of the staff and stop the Extinction. Martin was convinced until he was confronted with the decision to kill Elias, which would have allowed him access to the panopticon. Martin's refusal granted Elias his victory, and Peter took Martin to the Lonely as bait to draw John in.
Peter tried to convince John to stay in the Lonely as a way of throwing off Elias' plans. Instead, John baited Peter out of hiding and compelled his statement. He ultimately refused to reveal Elias' full plan and was destroyed when he attempted to resist John's compulsion, thus being denied his one wish of dying alone. His last words were: "Leave me alone!"
When recorded, all powers of the Lonely are accompanied with a sharp, shrill static and popping sounds.
- The Lonely - The Lonely is a separate dimension that mirrors our own, but is cold and empty. Peter can access the Lonely at will, including disappearing into it and banishing people in it. The Lonely is implied to only be able to be opened by Peter Lukas or the Lukas family.
- Vanishing - Peter can disappear from sight and place. Unclear if this is a mode of teleportation, or if he goes into the Lonely. It might simply be disappearing from sight, as Martin has also been recorded doing this, but cannot access the Lonely on his own. Given the auditory distortion on tapes when he appears and interacts with people, it may be that Peter's default state of existence is being unseen and unheard by the rest of the world, and it takes effort for him to make himself available.
Bold marks episodes where Peter has given a statement.
- Alasdair Stuart, Peter's voice, included Peter, John, and Martin in his Halloween Parade special, a segment on his podcast PseudoPod.
- Alasdair Stuart and Ben Meredith, voice actor of Elias Bouchard, are both amused by the fandom shipping their characters together and have occasionally created non-canonical sound bites for the ship.
- Alasdair Stuart has also joked that Peter enjoys train documentaries.
- Alasdair Stuart has a TikTok Account where he does non-canon bits as Peter.