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daisybrekker · 11 minutes ago
I just read acosf and get to the point where Nesta narrated that Gwyn is shimmering with light or radiating with light and that her voice is beckoning and summoning. And then we have that specific description of what a lightsinger is in the earlier chapter. I don't think it is a coincidence at all, that a new creature is introduced without we will ever see them. Before this, I was skeptical about Gwyn being a lightsinger but now I am 100% convinced she is a lightsinger. Also, don’t come at me for just finishing acosf, I put down the book for quite a while after Nesta intentionally hurt Feyre that she and her baby will die.
Cassian explained three monsters lived in the bog: witches (who we can already infer ourselves because it's pretty common), kelpies (who we do eventually see right after), and lightsinger (which we haven't seen, yet very much explained thoroughly what it can do to you). As a shadowsinger Azriel deals with shadows however those shadows can be gone from him when he doesn’t use them (without Azriel losing his shadowsinger ability ofc). With the same comparison, a lightsinger i believe will radiate light only when they use their power or to lure their victims. I have zero doubt that Gwyn appearance in his bonus chapter is to further hint her power or what she actually is (a lightsinger) not her and Azriel as romantic pairing. Gwyn is sus.
Hey anon!
You've got it spot on.
The thing that mostly convinces me is the description of the lightsinger itself and how it constantly relates to Gwyn:
“There are lightsingers: lovely, ethereal beings who will lure you, appearing as friendly faces when you are lost. Only when you’re in their arms will you see their true faces, and they aren’t fair at all. The horror of it is the last thing you see before they drown you in the bog. But they kill for sport, not food.”
Gwyn's Appearance:
“She was young—almost coltish, with her slender, elegant limbs. High Fae, and yet… Nesta couldn’t explain the way she sensed that there was something else mixed into her. Some secret beneath the pretty face.”
Hints towards something darker beneath her pretty appearance = true nature
Her involvement in Azriel's Bonus POV:
"Appearing [...] when you are lost."
After Azriel being upset ("lost") due to what Rhys said about him and Elain, the first person he sees is Gwyn. Coincidence? No.
Gwyn's Origins:
“My grandmother was a river-nymph who seduced a High Fae male from the Autumn Court. So I’m a quarter nymph [...]”
“Before they drown you in the bog [...]”
I'm not saying that Gwyn will drown Azriel, but once again, I doubt it's a coincidence that Gwyn is a quarter river-nymph when we then have Cassian saying how lightsingers drown people.
Gwyn's known abilities + her glow:
“Gwyn’s hair seemed to glow brighter with her song, skin radiating a beckoning light. Drawing any listener in.”
“Gwyn sang, chin high, a faint glow seeming to radiate from her.”
"Something beckoned in Gwyn’s song, in a way the others’ hadn’t. Like Gwyn was calling only to her, her voice full of sunshine and joy [...]"
The repetition of the words "glow" and "beckoning" when Gwyn sings puts emphasis on these words = foreshadowing
Keep in mind that Gwyn glows when she sings. It's literally in the name of the creature. Lightsinger.
Nesta always seems to be transfixed by Gwyn's singing ("ethereal beings who will lure you")
Azriel's Shadows reaction to Gwyn:
"Could have sworn his shadows sang in answer."
"Her breath curled in front of her mouth, and one of his shadows darted out to dance with it before twirling back to him."
The common mistake many Gwynriels have decided to make canon is that his shadows dance and sing around/with Gwyn. As you can see, it's a blatant lie. They dance and sing around her breath which once again I believe is foreshadowing.
Also remember the fact that Nesta's powers "grumbled in answer" to Gwyn too. I think we really need to focus on the "in answer" part of both quotes. When you do something 'in answer', what it generally means is that you're responding to someone's request, therefore emphasising how Gwyn's powers called out to THEIR powers.
Overall, the main point is that Gwyn's involvement in Azriel's chapter was not there to foreshadow a new romantic pairing, etc. It was there to foreshadow her powers (+ potentially her as a villain?)
Besides, keep in mind that Azriel's shadows are a seperate entity from him, so them being "curious" about her has nothing to do with his feelings.
If you ever have anything else to ask, feel free!
Have a lovely day🌹
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sylenciio · an hour ago
Honestly I just want the Lady of the Autumn Court to be happy...
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sylenciio · an hour ago
Rhys : yeah kids are extremely rare here in Prythian...
Beron : *has 7 children*
Rhys : I mean except for this motherf-
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sylenciio · an hour ago
Wait wait wait, there's a theory saying that gwyn is eris' granddaughter?? I'm sorry I just can't picture him as a grandpa 😭😭
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solar-lilith · 2 hours ago
"Az and Elain aren't going to work out becuase they will realise their relationship isn't genuine and move on from each other"
"Az only has sexual feelings for Elain, they can't be in a relationship becuase of that"
"Az's bonus scene sunk Elriel cuz it proved that they aren't right for each other"
I've seen variations of the above statements about the bonus chapter, here is why I disagree with them.
But tonight, here in the dark and quiet, with no one to see…He pulled the small velvet box from the shadows around him. Opened it for her.
Azriel let his shadows whisk away the box as she said softly, "Put it on me?" 
His head went quiet. But he took the necklace, opening the clasp as she exposed her back, sweeping her hair up in one hand to bare her long, creamy neck.
(from Azriel's bonus chapter in ACOSF)
my man Az offered Elain a seemingly simplistic but beautiful and meaningful gold piece of jewellery by opening the box for her, and when she accepts he puts it on her
this is such blatant proposal imagery I'm sorry
I always knew what this meant character wise, that Elain didn't meed Az to put the necklace on her but she did cuz she wanted a reason for him to touch her
but now I also get from a writing perspective how it's using proposal/marriage imagery to foreshadow a romantic relationship between the two
(you don't propose to people you only want to use for sex)
and the fact that the necklace gets given back becuase of an external force preventing their relationship (aka Rhysand) means that they are right for each other and its the external conflict that needs to be overcome for their relationship to be realised
“Yes" Elain breathed, like she read the decision. Just this taste in the dead of the longest night of the year, where only the Mother might witness them.
(from the same chapter, right as they are about to kiss)
also it jumps from proposal to marriage imagery, this is the moment Elain says "I do" and they are about to join in a union with the ACOTAR equivalent of God as a witness
I'll say it again, you don't envoke marriage related imagery for characters who aren't romantically interested in each other. The assumption that Az is only interested in sex with Elain is a surface level reading of the scene coupled with over stating Rhysand's words to Az during their conversation
Speaking of which...
Rhys growled, "Allow me to make one thing very clear. You are to stay away from her."  
"You can't order me to do that."  
“Oh, I can, and I will. If Lucien finds out you're pursuing her, he has every right to defend their bond as he sees fit. Including invoking the Blood Duel.”
"That's an Autumn Court tradition."...
...“Lucien, as Beron's son, has the right to demand it of you.
Rhys says this to Az in the ACOSF bonus chapter, when the part in bold is a bold faced lie becuase in ACOWAR, Feyre tells Rhysand that Helion is Lucien's son, and Rhysand states that Lucien would then be Helion's heir - not Beron's.
That alone indicates that Rhysand's words during this conversation shouldn't be trusted by the readers. We know he's lying about Lucien having the right to instigate the blood duel (I might talk about the ramifications of this separately) Why on earth then should we trust his assessment of Az's feelings for Elain?
Characters don't have to explicitly state their feelings for readers to pick up on it. And even though ACOTAR is a book series, visual imagery is still important in the written medium.
The explicit pieces of dialogue that downplay Az's feelings for Elain are spoken by someone who the audience should know is lying.
And finally, it would make no sense to have a confirmation of Az's romantic feelings for Elain being explicitly stated (either through dialogue or internal reflection) in a bonus chapter that not every reader will have access to.
SJM can't confirm a ship in a bonus chapter, but she can definitely foreshadow it
And I can't think of a more heavy handed way of foreshadowing a romantic relationship than invoking marriage related imagery.
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korol-lantsov · 3 hours ago
currently reading the acotar series (just started the 3rd book) and i desperately need someone to talk to about it 😭
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daisybrekker · 4 hours ago
Rhysand actually acts like a jealous older brother to Elain
Mainly, his biggest concern about Azriel's attraction to Elain was the political consequences it would cause, but I could totally imagine this!
Just think about it:
Feyre: Excluding Rhysand (her lover) the closest bat boy to her is Cassian
Nesta: Excluding Cassian (her lover) the closest bat boy to her is Azriel
Elain: Excluding Azriel (her soon-to-be lover) the bat boy closest to her could be Rhysand!
Additionally, as SJM said she'd love to return to Feysand's POVs before the ACOTAR series finishes, if Elain was to become close friends with Rhys, ACOTAR5 (with Elain being the MC) could perfectly start setting up links for SJM to make this possible!
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flyingtortillaswriting · 4 hours ago
Okay so I want to write this but, I’ve been busy. And also its very sad but the idea came into my mind during work and it wont leave so here you go
In the Upcoming War with Koschei During a fight Feyre and Tamlin gets Killed (Amren was able to figure out ‘turn off’ the death promise between Feyre and Rhys)
So Rhys is in pain but has to tough it out because of Nyx
All of Prythian has a memorial type thing for them, and Rhys doesn’t attended
‘Where’s Rhys’ asked Nesta slowing walking next to Cassian, while Someone gives a speech on Feyre Cursebreaker. 
Cassian looks around, ‘I don’t know, but can you blame him.’
Lucien who overhears conversation, 'I'll be right back’ he says to Azriel who is holding a Sleeping Nyx, grabs another candle, and walks towards the Sidra.
Rhysand is, as Lucien suspected, was leaning against the railing. 
Lucien walks up to him, and hands him a candle, ‘Here you go.’ 
Rhysand grabs' it without looking at him. Lucien lights it, while noting Rhys appearance.
He was sweating, his eyes red, tears streaming down his face. This was a broken man, it was a wonder that he was even standing.
‘I can’t say I understand—’
Before Lucien could Finish Rhys cut him off, ‘No you can’t so please, Don’t try to’
Lucien continued, ‘I do understand the pain, and the longing for death. I sometimes wonder why I didn’t kill myself after what happened to Jesminda.’ Lucien took a breath and glanced at Rhys
‘But, Rhys, you have Nyx.’ Rhysand took a shaky breath in, and looked down silently crying
‘Feyres,’ Lucien stopped, He maybe wasn’t her Mate, but he consider her his best friend, ‘Feyres last words were ‘Take Care of my baby’ 
‘Rhys you are the only on who can do that, who can fulfil her last wish.’
Rhysand shoulders folded in, his knee bent, Lucien wrapped him arms around him, holding him. 
Rhysand returned the hug and cried, ‘I want her back’ 
Lucien said nothing, He let the Rhysand cry, He let him mourn. 
He would help him, He would stay in the Night Court. Because there is one vow that Feyre wished that only he could do
‘Hold Them for me.’ She said
[Is this shit, maybe, but the actual writing will be better I promise]
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naturallystupidforyou · 4 hours ago
hello! i was wondering if i could request a poly! feyre x reader x rhysand smut if you don't mind?😊
✧・゚: *✧・゚:*  demon!feyre archeron x human!reader x demon!rhysand
*:・゚✧*:・゚✧ after summoning two demons, they use your body the way they want. sm//ut
"This is stupid," Penelope insisted. Her fingers never left the planchette nor did the tension leave her shoulders. Athena only rolled her eyes, "You're not believing this garbage, are you? Ghosts. Don't. Exist. And if they did, why would they bother with the four of us?"
"To steal our souls. God, Athena, you act as you've never seen a horror movie before," Myra snapped. She glanced over at the candles circling the ouija board on the rounded kitchen table. You removed one hand from where four fingers rested, heading Myra's warnings not to take both fingers off. "And, why, exactly do we want our souls stolen? Why are we doing this at my house?"
"What?" Athena's brow raised. "Are you scared?" There had been a pause before you answered her. "No. If ghosts exist — the very small chance that they do, I don't want to have my soul consumed and shit out,"
"Let's just start over," Penelope says. "And light some more candles," Athena's frown deepens. "Can we eat first? I'm starving and no ghosts want to talk to us. It might work better if we come back later. At, like, three or something?" Each of you muttered agreements. Myra forcing you all to swirl the planchette before resting it at goodbye. Myra puts it in the box, placing it on the small table in the living room.
Only once the clock turned three, that annoying ding, ding, ding that went off every hour telling you it was time to start did each of you find your places in a circle. Myra sat across from you, Athena to your left, and Penelope to your right.
"Ready to start? Summon a ghost or some shit," Athena drawls. Penelope nudged her with an elbow, "Don't taunt them. We don't want them to hate us. They'll try to kill us for sure," You rolled your eyes at them. "Hurry up, I'm tired," Athena smirked slightly. You cut her a sharp glare. "If I wake up with a dick drawn on my face, so help me—"
"Come on," Myra says, taking this far more seriously than the rest of you. You lit the candles, some nearly to the bottom of the glass. You cursed as the flame burned your fingers. You waved it slightly, blowing on them until the pain eased. You let out a pleased smile when it lit, raising your brows once at Athena. You let out a short chuckle, "Okay. Candles are lit. The Bible is over there. Penelope tried blessing a cup of water in the kitchen. So, should any demons come through, we'll be safe,"
"We don't want demons," Myra states. "We want nice ghosts," You wondered if she had another reason for wanting to do this. It was her idea. One that she insisted on doing. "Yeah," Penelope nodded in agreement. "A nice, hot ghost,"
"Don't try to fuck anything tonight," Athena laughed. "We'll all suffer for it,"
Myra's mouth pinched into a frown. "Let's get started,"
And so each of you placed two fingers on the planchette, circling it around the board several times. You were the first to speak, breaking the silence. "Is anyone here with us?"
Athena snorted from beside you. "That was the most cliche question ever, Y/n," You narrowed your eyes, throwing her a sharp look with your mouth pinched. "Well, Thea, what exactly should I have asked? How their day was?"
"Well, yes,"
You shook your head. Myra rolls her shoulders before she takes over, "We're here to talk to you. Anyone? It—It doesn't matter who," You and Penelope shared a look at the desperation in her voice. Myra continued, "Anyone at all," Myra's voice quivered.
Your stomach dropped when it began to move.
H - E - L - L - O
Myra let out a small sigh. "Hi. Hey. We're here. Do you want to talk?"
Quietly, Athena hissed, "Who fucking moved it?" Both you and Penelope let out your denials.
You hadn't moved it. You hadn't even believed it was a real thing. Your throat bobbed, blood rushing to your face. "It wasn't me. It has to be you or Penelope," The relief on Myra's face was too real for it to be her. Whoever she was trying to contact, she thought she reached them.
The planchette circled over to YES.
"Good, good. Are you here with us? Can you show us a sign? I want to feel you," Myra says. Each of you sat frozen, looking at her. The board had moved twice. "Myra," Penelope whispered. "That's not a good idea,"
Even the skeptic Athena didn't seem unnerved.
The candles flickered, the one in front of you blowing out. You cursed. "How many people are here?" Athena asked. She shivered, noticing how cold the room had gotten.
Why did you have to be a fucking idiot and do this at your house? If you got it haunted, you were sure to get murdered.
It went down to the number 2.
"Mom and dad?" Myra's voice was thick with tears. "Is that you?"
"This isn't funny," You hissed. "Who is it, then?" Athena questioned.
It hadn't moved.
"I think we should stop," Penelope, ever the voice of reason, says. "End this," Myra's eyes don't move from the board. "No. Not until we're done. You wanted to talk to a ghost and we are,"
"What do you want?" Athena asked.
In quick movements, the board spelled out your name. Each of them looked up at you. Your fingers refused to leave. "Athena, cut it out. This isn't funny,"
Myra slumped in disappointment. "Goodbye,"
The board moved to NO.
Myra ended the game. When she did, every candle burned to nothing. You felt fear. Unrelenting fear gripped your heart and refused to let go.
"I'll take the board," Myra says when she returned home the next day. It hadn't stopped there. You weren't attacked or your things are thrown across the room. There hadn't been possessions or your head turning around, green slime leaving your throat.
Yet, there had been other things.
Marks had begun to appear on your body. On your thighs and your hips. Your throat and collarbone. Athena had begun to ask who you were spending your nights with.
No one, you always told her. She hadn't believed you.
And three months after that, you woke in the middle of the night to quiet talking. "She's so soft," A female voice cooed. You felt your thighs spread, a finger grazing your clothed core. "You say this every time," A male replied. "It doesn't make it any less true,"
You opened your eyes after several moments, groggy and relaxed. Your body sunk into the mattress. "Hello, darling," The male responded.
The shirt you slept in was bunched at your hips. You didn't feel fear looking at them. You knew they were other. They were beautiful — they looked otherly.
"Who are you?" You forced yourself to ask. The male leaned on his arm, his finger making swirl patterns on your stomach. The fabric moved with his finger. You hadn't realized until then that your wrists were bound to your headboard. The metal frame refused to budge when you halfheartedly tugged on it.
The girl laughed softly, resting between your legs. Her nails ran over your soft skin, shivering at her touch. The violet-eyed one leaned over you. "I'm Rhysand and this is my ravishing wife, Feyre," He grinned. Your throat closed. His finger ran over your lips.
"We're not going to hurt you," Feyre says softly. "But you already know that, don't you? You know that we would never," Feyre paused, turning her head to the side. "Well, not permanently — not in ways you don't want,"
"I've seen the bruises you left," You said sharply. "I've felt the—the soreness," Rhysand chuckled. "I promise that you took pleasure in that. Feyre hadn't wanted to frighten you. She insisted we take away the memories. We're done with that,"
When Rhysand titled your chin back, baring your throat, your breath caught when he nipped at your throat. Your stomach ached and burned, arching in him. You didn't dare ask what he meant. Not as your thoughts clouded with want and need.
"Please," You whispered. Rhysand's breath was warm against your throat. "Please, what?"
What did you want? Your body responded eagerly to their touch as if it had been trained to do so. Feyre slipped your panties down your legs, discarding them in quick movements. "You have to tell us," Feyre taunts. "Or else we won't,"
Your body was rigid with tension. Your teeth ground down. "Maybe we should gag her," Rhysand muttered. Feyre snickered. "You like the sounds she makes far too much for that,"
Feyre's fingers slipped between your soaking wet folds, her index finger circling your entrance. "You've always taken me so well," A deep-rooted moan left your throat.
Feyre added a second finger, a third, and a fourth. Rhysand kept sucking and biting at your throat. He bit down until you bled, a sharp cry escaping you, soothing you afterward by licking the wound. You felt drunk and dizzy, your body weighed down by pleasure.
There wasn't anything you wanted to be but used by them in any way they liked. Rhysand's hand palms your breast, twirling your nipple between two fingers. "We should pierce them," Rhysand hummed. Feyre curled her fingers, hitting the nerves inside you. "What do you think, Feyre darling?"
Feyre scissored her fingers twice, stretching you as far as her fingers would allow. "Her clit would look wonderful with one, too,"
Rhysand kissed your lips softly, Feyre pulling out of you entirely. "Do you want that?" He asked, kissing the tip of your nose.
You gasped for the words. You bucked your hips slightly, begging for Feyre to return where she was. "Whatever you want. The both of you,"
Feyre and Rhysand shared a sly look. "Anything we want?" You nodded. Feyre clicked her tongue. "You have to say the words, sweetling. What do you want from us?"
Your eyes darted between the two of them, soaking in their beauty. Their features were too beautiful, too striking and strong. They—they looked like they were fallen angels.
What had you brought upon yourself?
What did you summon into your home?
You couldn't care. You couldn't feel fear. Not as the only thing you felt was overwhelming lust and the burning pain they left you starving for.
"I want you to use me anyway you'd like. I'm yours," You tugged at the restraints once again. You longed to touch Feyre's soft, round breasts or the hard length still tucked inside his trousers.
Feyre slowly rose your shirt until it revealed your once clothed body. "What if I wanted to use your pretty little mouth? To use you as my own personal toy? What if I told you Rhysand wants to fuck you until you can't walk or talk? Until you've forgotten your own name and you're nothing more than a plaything?"
Your stomach ached, cunt throbbing with need as you tried to grind your thighs together as Feyre was going. You watched as Feyre slipped a finger between her thighs, pulling her lips apart as she put herself on view for both of you. Rhysand groaned as Feyre rubbed her clit with an expert move. "Darling—" Feyre cut him off. "Trade me spots,"
He complied, his eyes blown wide as Feyre strips out of the robe she was wearing. She slips it over her shoulders, throwing it to rest on your desk chair. Rhysand positions himself between your thighs, hands resting on your knees. Feyre looks back, "I already got her ready for you," She winks at him. "Have fun,"
You swallowed thickly when you finally pried your eyes away from Feyre. Rhysand had stripped himself fully. His aching cock was in his hand, precum leaking from the tip. His thumb brushed over the top.
Feyre grinned down at you, curling her fingers around your jaw. You could smell yourself on her. "You make the both of us happier than you could ever know," Warmth and something akin to pride bloomed in your chest.
She pushes her thumb into your mouth just as Rhysand enters you. You feel full, clenching around him as he pauses at the hilt to let you adjust. You tightened your legs around his waist, keeping him locked in place.
Feyre kisses you once more before she kneels with one leg on either side of you. Her dripping core rests over your mouth, lowering herself down slowly. She starts to move the same time Rhysand does, rocking slowly as Rhysand pulls out only to slide back in.
You licked and sucked at her, tongue sliding easily between her folds, slipping into her wet hole before pulling back briefly. Her hand fisted your hair, pulling you back where she wanted you. You lapped at her, tongue swirling her clit. Rhysand's thrust was becoming increasingly faster, both saying your name as you brought them pleasure. You arched into her when Rhysand gave one particularly hard thrust.
Your moans are drowned out by her. You ached to touch her. To taste her fully. You wanted to beg for release as they had their way with you. Rhysand stroked your clit, the other hand tightening painfully. You felt his talons release, the threat of harm only making you tighten around his length. His pace didn't lessen or soften. Fast, hard strokes kept your head spinning. That and the taste of Feyre, nearly addicting, made you come with a small scream.
Neither of them stopped.
Rhysand came inside you, making a mess of yourself, with a small shout. Feyre let out a string of curses in a different language.
And then they kept going. Her grip on your hair didn't lessen as she continued to ride you. Rhysand was as insatiable as he was the first time.
They used you as you wanted them to. They marked your body as their own — marking you as their property.
Hours later, when the sun began to rise, they settled on either side of you. Rhysand released your hands from whatever magic held them. Feyre kissed one of them, rubbing your wrist and hands as they tingled with blood. Rhysand mirrored her.
"Why did you take my memories this time?" You asked. Since you and your friends summoned them for the first time and they visited you the night you were alone, they had usually left by the time the sun rose, returning to their demonic dimension.
"We're tired of these little visits," Feyre says, chuckling softly as she kisses you. Her hand slips between your thighs once again. "We want you with us — ready, waiting, and wanting at all times,"
You left a trail of kisses down her throat, taking a peaked nipple into your mouth and sucking as a babe would. You pulled back after a few seconds, leaving her chest heaving with want. "I can't go with you. I have a life here,"
Rhysand kisses the back of your neck, tucking your hair over your shoulder. "Who says we're giving you a choice, darling?"
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duskandstarlight · 5 hours ago
When will be the next chapter posted?? (I just cannot wait lol, your writing is addictive) :D
On Sunday 20th June ❤️ In finishing and tweaking bits this week, so I aim to post for you guys then. I can’t wait for you to read it. There’s a lot of plot in this chapter which is why it has taken me so long to write! Thank you for sticking with me and being so patient.
I can’t wait for you guys to read it!
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alifletcher2012 · 6 hours ago
The Trouble with Meddling Wizards: Interlude Two
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Read on AO3 // Fic Masterlist // Masterlist
Lyla Thomas loved Halloween. One would think, with her predilection to be constantly in the know and her ability to guess who would hook up with who before the couple even knew they had feelings for each other, that her preferred holiday would be Valentine’s Day. But no, it was Halloween.
There was something just so alluring about the spooky night that had people putting aside their inhibitions and doing things in the dark they wouldn’t otherwise. Of course the multiple parties that happened with the ever so helpful social lubricant alcohol had a little to do with that too.
In fact, there were few things Lyla loved more than Halloween and they were, in no particular order, Sophie Warren, knowing something before everyone else did, and love. And if you asked Lyla, she’d tell you, no matter what anyone said, that her Professors were in love. Or at least very much on their way to it. They had chemistry, real actual chemistry. Even if she was the only one to see it, it was there. Now she just had to convince everyone else. She waited until their DADA class settled, or as settled as they would get on a Friday Halloween, before whipping out their group's magic parchment.
Lyla: Guys, guys, guys, guess what?
Reggie: No.
Mal: no
Sophie: No
Lyla: You guys are no fun.
I’m just going to say it.
Reggie: We’re highly aware.
Lyla: Annnnnd, Professor Archeron and Professor Knight are stuck on patrols tonight. This is going to be amazing.
Sophie: How the hell do you know that?
Mal: yeah, spill your secrets heathen
Lyla: I just do ok. I have so many ideas on what we can do.
Reggie: I don’t know Ly…
Sophie: Yeah, I felt so bad after the club. That was…intense. I don’t want anyone to loose their jobs or anything like that
Mal: yeah, i think that proves that there’s not anything going on or will happen between them
Lyla: No! What happened just proves it. They obviously have history. And the chemistry, Merlins beard, the chemistry was nearly palpable!
Reggie: I still don’t know Ly. They seem so angry.
Lyla: Anger isn’t the opposite of love Reggie dear, it’s just love that woke up on the wrong side of the bed. We just need to force them to talk to each other.
Sophie: Lyla…are you thinking what I think you are thinking…
Reggie: No, absolutely not. We’re not doing that.
Mal: someone please clue me in, what is lyla thinking
Reggie: You know that thing that happened to those two six years last year?
Mal: yeah?
Reggie: That.
Mal: lyla, NO
I’m doing it without or without you guys, so you better just get on board with it folks.
Reggie: Fine.
Sophie: Finnnnne
Mal:…i regret so much being your friend, but fine
I smell trouble
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cinearia · 7 hours ago
Bad Omen - Prologue
Summary: On a certain day, some people begin to find "evidence" of a different kind of creature, long time unseen. The same ones that once haunted humans and the courts closest to the Wall.
Aware that they are the first and, perhaps the only ones to witness one of them, Lucien Vanserra, Vassa, Jurian and, as their temporary companion, Nesta Archeron, decide to comply with the requests of a High Lord to give their testimony of what they saw. A task that could be simple, that could only be theirs, if they, and more people they meet on this path, saw themselves more and more involved with these monsters that were once just legends.
English is not my first language, so i'm sorry for any grammatical mistakes. Hope you like <3
There was an unofficial rule that everyone who entered the forest followed without needing to repeat. Anyone knew how far the acceptable limit was for the danger to come from natural causes and not from the people on the other side of the Wall. As there was also a limit to how far a fae could step on human lands without being noticed.
Before the Wall disappeared, of course.
And it wasn't just a warning. From the contrast of the forest closing in and leaving undergrowth behind, as well the dark red streaks on the trunks and the signs describing in detail what could be expected beyond the limits. It was most useful for outsiders or someone who didn't live close to the Wall.
In this specific situation, where precaution is always welcomed, the mercenary had to admit that was useful. Still, it was useless in every sense of logic and basic self preservation that was born in the circumstances and the truth hidden in tales, growing up hearing the real moral lesson of what in that world has stayed in secret for their own good.
That when some can discover and pass people for people until the whole continent knows what the kind of Prythian has keeped. What they could do. What exactly the humans had to do to keep their memories and their souls so that the next generations had a chance to live. Humans also do a lot of things, so that the other kind can see the equality between them. But just for a second, a mere and forgettable time. But, at the end of days, it was them who had the magic that the earth gave to their favorites.
Even needing a warning to keep someone from getting close to the other side, after 500 years. She thought so, in a second that she forgot the fools who braved beyond where they should, spitting and going over those stories. For the most example of pure stupidity.
Even so, part of those warnings she helped to make, so she couldn't complain. Since she saw with her own eyes that really, there were people too dumb and self-centered to make a danger warning with the whole story alive in their minds necessary. For that other kind , those stories didn't count, the past was behind them, but despair could well be greater than pride. No Children of the Blessed dared go near her, and on no occasion did Evana need to interact with them for more than five minutes.
They knew, deep down, the effect it had on people, or what it would do if they annoyed a mercenary — they didn't want to hear answers to their nostalgic speeches from people like her.
They knew, too, that she could tell every kind of story she'd ever had with faes, such as how they managed to give lectures about the blessings the immortal light can bestow on a human. Evana was clearly the type of person, the mercenary who stopped by that village from time to time, almost no one knew her but everyone recognized, that wouldn't need that kind of speech.
But she had to listen to traded wolf pelts, strips of meat and prices to sharpen an ax blade. Early in the morning of the beginning of the week or in the midday sun, until they get tired or someone scare them away. She listened when they spoke of the three sisters who got that immortal blessing. Evana never saw the trio again, like the one who bought her, the scrawny proud one who hunted, and the other two who roamed around, one who lived with a scowl at anyone who pestered her, another who seemed to walk through an amusement park, while the oldest negotiating a lower price for some piece and only sometimes for a loaf of bread.
The youngest never showed up at her tent again, perhaps having paid for her arrogance and unbridled stubbornness in getting so close to the Wall and ignoring the warnings. It was when it disappeared that one day the oldest gave the first word to take her as far into the forest as she could, immediately. Evana never told anyone about it for over a year, until the whole family disappeared.
It had been a while since Evana went to that part of the forest that guarded the line where the Wall once stood. People there already knew her from other seasons, and were waiting for her turn to volunteer at the fact-finding to the nearest area where a wounded and drunk colleague along with fellows too nervous to speak accurately saw the thing. A kind of animal.
Others looked at her with a look that could have been friendly, seemed to be curious, conveyed pity, or the worst kind of obsessive envy. Seeing someone with such an obscure goal with beautiful and emotional creatures.
All they were dreaming about is just leaves, and earth, and more leaves. There wasn't much difference for some Blessed to say a prayer every time she walked armed. Evana has heard so much from afar that she thought that 'indescribable beauty' was too much idealism.
Of course she had that fear inside her. She's witnessed horrible things, she's done grotesque things, that seeing something beautiful could be like learning another language or trying a craft beer like the ones she got through secret contacts in Navatta -- she wouldn't stop at less than 4 glasses, nor would she listen to his well-being the next day, or to the crazy things could do with alcohol in her head. Those devoted people could be so persuasive with their words and so irritating repeating the same things that they get into people's heads. Congratulations, half a step away from becoming what all of you admired.
Her face had become familiar in the surroundings a long time ago and it had become hateful to them. People like her once killed a fae -- 'impossible as it may be to kill beings bestowed with such invincibility against the forces of nature that it took on the devastating beauty that blessed every inch of the body' and some other nonsense shit she didn't makes effort to remembering -- and has already killed things like a Naga. Most of the time it was pure luck, having more help than just her and her dagger. Otherwise, the bite on her shin would have been another one on her neck until there was no head to transmite pain.
Was this occasion the first time that her vision had darkened with such pain. Her bones stiffened along with the tension of her shin bone, trembling at the sound of the Naga's roar. The next few times, Evana lost the strength to hold an ax, a dagger or a sword when she got one.
It could be that time she wouldn't survive to tell that story. She was slapped on the back and her drink paid, still with the fresh bandages. The prose she was putting together rose throughout the tavern jute of the cheap beer, where some would not remember in the next day's hangover. Where they can tell things that do not always need coherence. No grammatical and storyline rules are applied.
They laughed, half at her stupidity and half at imagining the scene happening. When she took another five sips, her voice steadied as she detailed what her opponent was doing. Nights outside the tavern spread the stories that such people told. As long as she could have her wounds fresh and a bunch of drunks giving her attention, Evana took that focus to herself, even from those who saw idiocy in her work. It became as common as the knife in her boot, but it was still an opportunity she didn't pass up when she was among men, some stronger than she was, with more stories to tell.
Her physical appearance was compared to theirs since they didn't see women with muscles with that size, so she spoke with the same conviction as some of them spoke about that time she nearly lost her pinky while fetching water from the stream. The good thing was, no one would talk to her face.
She could handle that animal. If that stocky, bearded woodsman had the courage to accompany her, then it was up to him. If their friends or colleagues would do it too, they are up with them. If that redhead had the strength to lift that machete and the skinny pull an arrow, Evana preferred to trust that they did. But she wouldn't leave there without seeing it with her own eyes.
If it's one of them who crossed the border to the human territory, Evana could turn around too. It had better be them instead of Graysen's family. Anyway, the brat was going to get out of bed for the first time in weeks and would touch a gun again at the first news of a thing coming from the faes near the humans. More scandalous about what they are plotting against them.
A warning emerged from a log, beneath a large red streak. Evana continued on her way without stopping to read, but drew the ax from her back. Her companions were armed to the teeth, with machetes, ax and dagger. Only that skinny one who walked upright had a bow and arrow mounted with ash trees. The redhead beside him looked confident with the machete in his hand and Dreisen, the bearded one, asked that just this once she could go with that group and stop mumbling to go alone.
Evana paid no attention to the two young men, who should not have been more than 20 years old. Evana put a lot of her trust in strength, she could crush someone's head if she was in the throes of adrenaline. A muscle in her arm was the size of her head, under a dark green coat, in case she hid before an attack. It would be just good to leave with no more scars on your arms. Already had some very good stories to tell wherever went with the ones she had.That guys flinched in any sound, their skin was nothing but acne and freckles.
A movement in the woods sounded, which didn't come from anyone in the group.
"I'll cover" Dreisen muttered as he positioned himself three feet behind the redhead. He looked at the others. Evana stayed between the other two, one crouching with the arrow read in his bow and the redhead with his machete in hand.
The pair walked between two bushes. Evana looked around them. Other non-group sounds came from the swaying leaves and their footsteps that left footprints behind them. The trees twisted on all sides, crossing with other branches in loops and curves that a vein ran through the body, tangling itself in the leaves at the top, four meters away from the nearest head, in this case, hers. There were plenty of chances that a rustle of leaves sounded like a branch snapping as if someone was walking around them.
It was just the sound of the forest. She was more and more certain that this man was not sober to warn of some beast in the woods. A treacherous beast or fae came out in time startled by the prayers of the Blessed Ones, leaving five foolish humans wandering around, startled by every noise they heard. Although Evana felt in need of some adrenaline, she shouldn't put her desire above the relief she should feel at a false warning.
The village didn't need this. The war was two years ago and it has barely reached them. Then the curfews returned, few traveled to the Red Area and many got out. If it hadn't ended in such a short time, Evana would have believed the rumors that many would evacuate the villages closest to the Wall.
Until, suddenly, everything was fine. All they knew were accounts of who Hybern was, what Amarantha was, and what she did to Clare Beddor.
Clare was the only part of all this that they knew most about and unfortunately came too late. There was no body to bury, the Beddor wasn't rich enough to get a proper grave. But also there was no family to mourn her, just bodies left for a wake.
On normal occasions, the bodies would be together in the cemetery and a headstone for Clare. What resulted was a memorial in the center of the village, which received so many flowers and candles that the Beddor appeared to be a noble family. Even some Blessed opened their mouths to offer their condolences and leave another flower in the mound around Clare's carved cursive name. It was around the same time that the first sister Archeron disappeared.
It wasn't an animal that did that to the Beddors and unexpectedly took one of them. What came from the other side was as lethal as to whoever was from there. An alarm was a false alarm, it won't be the first time. It may be someday in the future that another beast overtakes, another family gets caught, no certainty that they were still alive or whether it was better to bury empty coffins. Thinking about that helped Evana the first time she killed a fae.
Self-defense, but... Was it really necessary to use an excuse when, at times, it didn't feel like self-defense?
"Was just a bird," the redhead with the machete said, almost at the same time that a jay sounded.
They resumed their starting position near the group, walking backwards, when another group of birds took flight. Evana would say, and so the others, something could be there. Something was around them. Better to split up to check around and return to the same spot, examine some animal footprints. The creature leapt toward them before anyone could think of it.
Was after them, leaping onto the crouch and sinking his teeth around the face of the hunter. She screamed, far more than the redhead when shot the arrow at the beast, digging into the prickly back, looking darker from a distance, when up close it was a shade of wine red.
Animal. That wasn't what they called that thing.
The redhead, Arsyn, his family name, was preparing another, trembling with each movement after another scream of pain amid a gush of blood coming out of the hunter, splashing onto the surrounding grass. Wouldn't get out much more if the hunter didn't force a shove down the animal's throat with the machete. The damage was almost nil, but it gave Evana minuscule time to run in and sink the ax into her head.
Up close, the thorns were thick. Not like a porcupine, but more like fur armor than a jab. The growl echoed in her throat, vibrating through the skin as it came into contact with Evana's axe.
"Get out of the way" A second arrow passed close to her. His tipped ash sank into his head more than a normal arrow would have. Evana muttered something between 'not now' and a swear. She would have started an argument if the situation had been different.
Dreisen managed to drive the machete into her throat as another arrow flew close to where her eye should have been. Finally the creature recoiled, finally uncomfortable. The hunter only got out from under her, dragged by the Arsyn guy in the shoulders and thrown to another corner, still holding the machete.
Evana heard, in some hidden memory when that day ended, Dreisen running and lowering the ax. The head was big, maybe four or five times their size. The ax buried a few inches and came out a paler red than his skin. Her ax was driven much deeper than Dreisen's had arrived. It wasn't worth the time to pull it while it all happened, so she pulled the dagger from her belt.
The blood from the arrow buried below the mouth began to escape. Another arrow like that hit close, and the third, fired in a short period, passed through the lips and bounced off the lower teeth. At some point, the hunter forced herself to slice her right paw, missing most of the blows as stumbled to the side. Through the thorns Evana saw the bite mark across her shoulders and on one side of her face, her eyes unfocused where to hit the machete. She heard the skinny one pull the string for another arrow and Dreisen scream in her ear. "Evana, dammit," and jumped back as the creature snarled at her.
Evana yelled too, in response to that bearded man distracting her, to stab her foreleg. She stuck in and out, in and out, slow with the weight he was pushing into her. Dropped to her knees behind the creature and threw the blade between his leg, and pulled. The growl might have been for her as well as the arrow that had landed near her head, interrupted when the Arsyn guy let out an angry sound and ran straight, starting to stab the animal, in the small space that must have been the neck.
His face, pale from being locked in the comfort of the library or in the big house his family owned, carried drops of blood falling to the chin. Much more came when the creature's mouth flew to him in an attempt to turn her face away. For a second that seemed to last longer in his vision, the Arsyn guy stared at her.
Dreisen was so insistent on the machete that ended up cutting off one of the thorns. At some point, he got a scratch near his eye and another in the abdomen. Evana dodged a kick as it happened. The archer caught something that decided it was a good idea to slide down the creature's rib, the Arsyn you came and went, exchanging slices in her face and others barely reaching. The animal lunged at her when realized she couldn't jump while there was a weight behind her, stinging one of her paws.
Using her arm as a shield wasn't the best, but it was the most practical defense in the situation when the mouth came down. The archer with the ash arrows suddenly started kicking.
Evana would love to say that it might not do any good, however spoiled the creature looked with the ground below it covered in blood, but she was too busy punching the creature in the face with her hand free to where she believed were the eyes.
Blood poured out of her in different parts of her body, in trickles and liters falling to the ground like waterfalls. When she took the bite, the force wasn't the same as what she did on the lumberjack. His front paw was barely on the ground. That would be why her body kept swaying and the breath coming out of the two slits that were her nostrils came out frequently. One more ax, two more arrows, more sound of the blade cutting through the air, one more of everything that was all that playing.
Just a little more.
This bug won't last long. Let's kill that thing. Then Evana could ponder in the darkest corner of her room what the fuck that thing was.
Until the creature turned to the archer. The hunter remained on her knees. Two hands grabbed the fabric of the Evana coat and pulled her back. Evana threw herself forward against the redhead's strength "Not now"
"Get away from her" he yelled "Let's run away"
Evana turned face to face with the brat who really thought he could take her weight to get her away, if hadn't heard stories about her. It won't be the first, and far from the last, that she's going to kill one of those monstrosities that live on the other side, which they might very well purposely pass up to torment the nearest village. Just a peek, to see the panic growing, at the end of the day no drop of blood comes out, sometimes, and others go the opposite.
Whether or not there were faes watching everything or were in their luxurious homes. They loved to make fools of them, or they should fear that freak. Evana couldn't connect that thing to anything she's already seen.
Nothing like that thing.
Her eyes stopped at the blood running down his forehead and a scratch on his lower lip. It made her taste the same in her mouth. When was she hit in the face? How long was that fight? How hurt are others?
"Stop, stop" Dreisen mumbled "Back off. If..."
One of the front thorns flew towards the archer as the creature staggered towards her and tried to bite the area between her belly and her thighs. She also used her arm like a shield, but it was a slender arm, against a thorn bigger and sharper than her claws, which even Evana could not stand, passing from flesh to bone and more flesh until appeared on the other side, plunged into blood in the same gooseberry color the stuffing of a strawberry pie overflowed when cut a piece, sinking the blade into a smooth surface compared to hardness. Her arm no longer moved.
Dreisen grabbed her bony shoulders and pulled her back, even though she had no strength left. Her eyes widened, the scream was already coming out of her mouth, which made many birds take flight, and the bow was no longer in her hand. Suddenly, the hunter was heading upstairs, before Evana and the redhead followed.
Maybe it was just bad luck, being the last one to attack, being pissed off by so much blood and so much blow and the last the hunter left, or the fact that Evana sticks the dagger in her paw and rips a piece of it off, which the creature snapped up and completely covered the redhead's arm up to the elbow. Evana was closest to hear the squeezing blood and crack of bone.
The creature did not do more than that, there was no way in that state. His chest rose and fell from one second to the next, his spine twisted with a bloody hole in his right rib. The other was intact, but up close Evana could see the rib marks popping out of the skin. Followed by the entire rib cage, under a flabby and excess skin. From the paw that Evana had driven into with the dagger, the skin also demarcated the bones. No wonder she managed to pull it out.
No wonder the creature, with so much anger to just take something, completely bit down on the Arsyn guy's forearm.
The bite came out murky, ravenous to the point that blood spattered all around, and the forearm came loose like a rag doll losing its arm when two children fought over it, one grabbing each arm. Dreisen stared at the scene, his arm falling hard followed by blood pouring out in yet another waterfall.
On instinct alone, Evana drew her dagger and stabbed it into the creature's stomach, and only got out of there because the creature jumped. The only reason she didn't pick up the ax and go down on her neck was because she backed away, leaping up towards the north.
The dark red shape vanished into the woods where she would have come, echoing her footsteps while crawling, hitting logs and the breath hitched. They were alone again. The forest silenced the birds and the leaves swayed again, louder, and her whole organism returned to function in the stillness that the deepest part of the forest possessed. Evana, precisely, stayed still until she couldn't hear her anymore. She couldn't tell at the time, but she didn't know where the eyes were.
Evana remembered, in some place in her mind, while telling what they saw, seeing two holes. She didn't know where they were looking. Evana could get closer than the creature came to her, and she wouldn't find any pupils.
A wail started behind her, a choke the redhead had on his own saliva, the trembling and low murmuring voice no longer enough. The hunter threw herself, now propped up with her elbow. The archer was in tears, blocking the bleeding for as long as he could. Dreisen improvised a bandage around the end of Arsyn guy arm, telling Evana not to waste time and go ahead. Evana carried him throughout the trip. Just that one time, Evana didn't reply.
Dreisen and the Ranger were too far away to try to distract him. Evana started muttering. She guessed that he read a lot and asked what kind of book he read, in the nicest tone she could manage. The boy grunted in pain, responded poorly by completing the sentence and asked if he would survive every minute. She said yes, even though the boy wouldn't be the same after that, after he started to close his eyes and the breathing slowed.
Evana felt she would know what that thing was if they were surrounded by doctors. But when they least realized it, a mass of questions would come at them.
That the creature went the other way, that's what she and Dreisen would say, went back where she came. Now, it would be their problem. If she didn't get any victims, or the food she needed, she couldn't resist starvation, if didn't count the damage that was left.
The next few days, more people would search the area. Evana was offered to go. Almost .
She preferred to think it shouldn't be her problem.
As long as this is just a problem for the kind on the other side of the Wall.
I took some creative liberties to do worldbuilding and characters, since in the canon things are disjointed and confusing and are more Prythian centric. We've seen very little of the history of Vassa, Emerie and Archeron's past and the class system, though that won't be the focus. Even how the High Fae age works.
so... This can be very different and a little fix-it. It's human and band of exiles-centric. They deserve more.
And I warn you, ignores a good part of what happens in ACOSF. As it is in the tags, this is not a good place for stan feysand, ic and nessian. It ignores much of what Nesta did after leaving Velaris. That was just a delusion, okay? That wasn't a healing arc ever
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silver-flames · 8 hours ago
Playlists Elriel.
Intuition by Dan Ly.
Paris by Else.
U're Mine by Kina.
Drivers License by Olivia Rodrigo.
Eu Te Amo by Chico Buarque.
Eyes on You by SWIM.
Ne me quitte pas by Edith Piaf.
Fear in the water by SYML.
Forgive me by Ramin Djawadi.
Gimme all your love by Alabama Shakes.
I Am hers, she is mine by Ramin Djawadi.
I Am heathcliff by movie Whuthering Heights.
Without you by Lana del Rey.
Wheres my love by SYML.
War of Hearts by Ruelle.
The night we meet by Lord Huron.
OHHHHH I love this, going to make a lil list and have a listen! Thank you ♥ I know a few if these songs but a lot of these will be new listens to me which is exciting!!
For me the songs that give me Elriel vibes, off the top of my head are;
Can I Be Him by James Arthur
Secret Love Song by Little Mix
Rewrite the Stars by James Arthur & Anne-Marie
I Found by Amber Run
Mirrors by Justin Timberlake
Never Let Me Go by Florence & The Machine
Us by James Bay
Only Love Can Hurt Like This by Paloma Faith
I am sure there are so many moreeeeeee but yes!
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offtorivendell · 8 hours ago
The Dusk Court, The Hewn City, and Hybern - Part I, The Theory
Please don’t screenshot this post without permission.
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Disclaimer: These thoughts are based on my own interpretations of the text, and are obviously not intending to say with any certainty what may or may not happen in future ACOTAR books.
This post was inspired by the amazing Eighth Court theory, which was first posted on Tumblr by @shadow-singing. While my thoughts took me in a slightly different direction than Shadow Singing, this post does not mean to denigrate her original post, which connected so many dots, and has become a widely accepted headcanon. In fact, this post likely would not exist without it, so I give much of the credit for this post to her.
TW: for mentions of canon abuse, torture and child birth related trauma.
This series contains mild spoilers from SJM’s Throne of Glass series, with regards to Celaena’s past - so reader beware.
Like many who read the ACOTAR series, on learning of the existence of the seven Courts of Prythian - Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, Dawn, Day and Night - my first thought was, what about Dusk? It bugged me, but nothing in the text jumped out at me… until ACOSF.
One of the more popular theories making the rounds of the ACOTAR fandom after the release of ACOSF is Shadow Singing’s mind blowing Eighth Court/Dusk Court/The Prison theory. Like most people who read it, I was instantly hooked, and it’s been a headcanon of mine ever since - do yourselves a favour and make sure you check it out. Once again, the following post is not intended to belittle Shadow Singing’s original theory at all, it just came to me when I was thinking about Merrill, her remarkable twilight eyes, and her ancestor, Rabath of the Western Wind, and grew from there. While the link between twilight and dusk is obvious, Rabbath Ammon was an ancient city that was conquered by an Egyptian king in the third century BCE, and was renamed after him, and the Western Wind title made me - eventually - think, look west.
So! What if the Dusk Court used to exist as what is now Hybern? Did the fae who currently live in the Court of Nightmares - in the Hewn City - originally hail from the Dusk Court, and were they escapees from its fall? When Elain killed the King of Hybern in ACOWAR, did she reclaim the Dusk Court throne for its rightful High Lord or Lady? Who would that even be? Merrill, Azriel, Mor… or even Elain herself? Read on for Part I, The Theory.
A HUGE thank you goes out to both @wingedblooms and @nikethestatue for all of the time that they spent discussing ideas with me, their valuable thoughts, and giving this a once (or twice) over when it was done.
PS. This is almost 10,000 words... I'm sorry.
Where in the World Was the Dusk Court?
TL,DR: I suspect that the Dusk Court historically existed as what is now known as Hybern, and that the Prison island, while not the Dusk Court itself, contains a group of trapped fae that hail from there.
While the Prison island will almost certainly play a role in Elain’s personal story (so far Feyre and Nesta have both visited it, in addition to each of them conquering their own "sister peak"), as well as the overarching plot of the second ACOTAR trilogy, I think that the island that holds the prison mountain itself is too small to be an entire court - though I do still think it could be significant.
When I tried to split the map of the Night Court into two, thinking that it had perhaps annexed the Dusk Court at some point so long ago that even the fae cannot remember - perhaps when Rhys’ line of High Lords took power from Mor’s line - I could not make it work neatly… initially, at least.
I went through the following iterations of potential Dusk Court territories:
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Image source: ACOTAR ebook
Option 1 - Southern Night Court
One would assume that the Dusk Court would have been the southern half of the Night Court, given the logical progression from Dawn to Day to Dusk to Night, but while that region would comprise the Court of Nightmares (more on this later), it is isolated from the Prison island, which I assumed was crucial at the time - while they were collecting the Harp from the Prison, Cassian mentioned to Nesta, that Rhys had told him that “this island might have even been an eighth court” (ACOSF, chapter 53). This area could also potentially include Velaris, depending on how far north you drew the boundary line in an attempt to claim the Prison island, which would then create an oversized Dusk Court, and an incredibly undersized Night Court.
If the border was, in fact, much further north than I drew above, further even than the line for option 2, it’s plausible that a previous High Lord or Lady of the Night Court could have been envious enough to attempt an invasion of an overpowered Dusk Court to their south, which could have explained Rhys and Mor’s family history - remember that the line apparently swapped from Mor/Keir’s line to Rhys’ line so long ago that no one really remembers why - but it doesn’t explain why Velaris, the City of Starlight, would have originally fallen inside the Dusk Court.
Option 2 - Northern Night Court
Thinking, then, that if the Prison island was simply part of the Dusk Court, and not the Dusk Court in its entirety, it could have meant that the Dusk Court was actually the northernmost half of the current Night Court; however, that region currently houses the Illyrian Steppes and the Illyrian Mountains, which includes Ramiel. It seems a little unbalanced, at least in my mind, for the original Dusk Court to hold two of the “sister peaks,” - Ramiel and the Prison, with the third being the mountain in “the Middle,” under which Feyre was trapped in ACOTAR - if it is less than half the size of the current Night Court, but it still could have been the case.
However, the reason why I don’t see this happening is that reinstating the Dusk Court, and reclaiming its land from the Night Court, would involve even more angst for the Inner Circle, both politically and emotionally, than I believe SJM currently has planned for this trilogy; it would probably require an entire trilogy on its own to do it justice, instead of having it as a subplot to a book in the Koschei trilogy, as well as a majority cast of Illyrian characters, assuming they were the original stewards of the land. Not to mention that Elain (or anyone else who isn't an Illyrian) wouldn’t be a suitable main character, given she is High Fae, so has not experienced the prejudice that the “lesser faeries'' often do, in particular the prejudice that is unique to Illyrians, and she does not know their culture.
I believe that, if SJM chooses to delve further into an Illyrian-centric storyline, it will be in a future trilogy, and would centre around Emerie, with Cassian and Rhys, and potentially Balthazar, for support. The Valkyries and their respective partners would probably play a secondary role, but in a way that both honours and centres the experiences of the Illyrians, especially the females. This would also be a great way to learn more about Cassian's past, and perhaps see a teenaged or young adult Nyx embracing the Illyrian half of his father's heritage.
Option 3.1 and 3.2 - Eastern Night Court, plus or minus the Prison
In an attempt to catch both the Court of Nightmares and the Prison island, either the purple or magenta lines could have allowed for an appropriately sized Dusk Court (and Night Court); however, these lands would again involve a potential “high fae saviour” plotline for Elain, as they include Illyria. They also lie to the east of Prythian, and not the west - westerly winds come from the west.
Thinking of Rabath of the Western Wind led me to what I think is where the Dusk Court may have been located.
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Image source: ACOTAR ebook
Option 4 - Hybern (but currently under the Court of Nightmares)
Hybern lies to the west - the direction from which we'd see a westerly wind, and the direction in which the sun sets; Hybern is an “island” approximately the size of a Prythian Court, and has a king, not a High Lord - though we don't know what happened after the end of ACOWAR. What if Hybern was the Dusk Court and, at some long-forgotten point in time, conquerors came from another court, in search of land, power or riches, and overthrew the ruling High Family?
As for the Prison Island, I don't think that it was necessarily a part of the Dusk Court, though I do think it could still contain trapped faeries; it's too close to the Night Court to have belonged solely to Dusk. My crack theory is that it was the seat of the High King, and the eight-pointed star was the symbol of a unified, whole Prythian - but that is purely conjecture at this point. The Prison theory and the Hewn City/Hybern theory aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive - some form of both could be correct, and I can’t wait to see what will actually happen.
How Did the Sun Set on the Dusk Court?
It is well-known that SJM draws inspiration from myth and legend when writing her books, combining different aspects of multiple tales into a new, cohesive, whole. Given that a single glance at a map of Hybern, Prythian and the Continent is enough to demonstrate the region’s more than passing resemblance to our real-world Ireland, Northern Ireland, Great Britain and the European continent, it - plausibly, at least - stands to reason that the stories specific to real world locations could influence the history of their Prythian counterparts.
The Tuatha de Danann and the Daoine Sidhe
This is, of course, purely hypothetical, but I see some potential parallels between the Dusk Court as I’ve hypothesised it, and the Tuatha de Danann and Aos Si/Daoine Sidhe from Irish mythology. Tuatha de Danann translates to Tribe of the Gods, or People of the Goddess Danu, and The Daoine Sidhe, People of the Mounds, are said to be their descendents, a supernatural race who live underground, in a world that is said to coexist with our own. Some stories call this world an alternate universe, and it is known as the Otherworld - the realm of both the gods and the dead.
Rhys said, “We will walk onto that field and only accept Death when it comes to haul us away to the Otherworld. - ACOWAR, chapter 69
We learnt in ACOSF that the priestess Merrill was researching parallel universes, and apparently there were up to twenty six of them; does that mean that there are twenty six possible “mounds” of faeries from the Dusk Court, trapped in one way or another, and scattered around Prythian, or their world? Where could they be?
“Merrill’s brilliant. Horrible, but brilliant. When she first came here, she was obsessed with theories regarding the existence of different realms -- different worlds. Living on top of each other without even knowing it.” - Gwyn, ACOSF, chapter 13
The Ireland of the Tuatha de Danann was invaded by the Milesians, and the Tuatha de, said to be either elves or faeries, escaped into their burrows underground. I suspect that this could parallel the faeries of the Dusk Court, or at least their High Family and other important figures, who would have been more likely and able to flee the invasion that toppled their court. However, given what the Harp showed Nesta when she was under the Prison mountain, I believe that some are more trapped than others.
The Invasion
Warning: minor Throne of Glass spoiler.
While the fae of the Hewn City - and potentially others like them - are metaphorically trapped, they are free to leave their mountain to watch Starfall, and go off to war etc.; other fae may well be fully trapped, since either during the initial invasion, or at some point later on. Whatever was used to trap the faeries underground must have been extremely powerful, and I agree with Shadow Singing that the Harp could have been used in the assault.
I do wonder if the ruling class of the Dusk Court was somehow lured and trapped before the main invasion, as Nesta was shown by the Harp, either on mainland Prythian, or in Hybern, which would make the rest of their court easier to conquer. If you have read SJM’s Throne of Glass series, I could imagine it as having happened similarly to how the King of Adarlan overthrew Terrasen’s royal family.
“I don’t know. He’s been smart about keeping the extent of his power hidden. But he had to resort to trickery and threats to beat us that day in Hybern. He has thousands of years of knowledge and training. If he and I fought … I doubt he will let it come to that. - Rhys, ACOWAR, chapter 20
While the above quote was referring to the Inner Circle’s disastrous attempt to steal the Cauldron from the King of Hybern, to prevent him from taking out the Wall that protected the Human Realm from the faeries, I think it could also potentially hint at how exactly the Dusk Court was overthrown to begin with. Rhys may have also provided us with some more context when he showed Feyre parts of Azriel's interrogation of the Attor.
It didn’t even know I’d slipped inside, but—there: images of the army that had been built, the twin to the one I’d fought against five centuries ago; of Hybern’s shores full of ships, readying for an assault; of the king, lounging on his throne in his crumbling castle. No sign of Jurian sulking about or the Cauldron. Not a whisper of the Book being on their minds. Everything the Attor had confessed was true. - Rhys, ACOMAF, chapter 28
Did the Attor unwittingly show Rhys the Dusk Court just after it had fallen to Hybern? There was no sign of the Cauldron or Jurian, no thoughts of the Book of Breathings; everything the Attor had confessed was true. The King of Hybern appeared to be a man in his forties, which means that, for a High Fae, he is old.
Amren said, “The King of Hybern is old, Rhys—very old. Do not linger.” A voice near my chest whispered, Hello lovely, wicked liar. - ACOMAF, chapter 61
Could he be the same King who took control of Dusk, all those centuries - millennia - ago? Perhaps, but where did he come from?
The Spell-Cleaver Connection
This section is, like this entire post, simply ‘speculation with quotes,’ so I could definitely be on the wrong track, but I suspect that the Day Court, and more specifically a branch of Helion’s family, may have had something to do with it. Could the person who was responsible for conquering the Dusk Court have been either the King of Hybern himself, or his ancestor if he wasn’t alive at the time, and could they have hailed from the Day Court? The imagery of the Day (Court) flowing into Dusk, then the Dusk turning (in)to Night for help, as well as combining history and mythology from multiple origins, is something I can see SJM having done.
Now, as a life-long atheist who purely studied science-based courses, please forgive the following section if I have misunderstood anything but, given Merrill’s ancestor was Rabath of the Western Wind, I think that the history of the city of Rabbath Ammon could have inspired what I suspect happened to the Dusk Court. Initially, I thought that it was purely because both lands had fallen to an invading force, but when I was reading a little further, I thought it could be something more.
Rabbath Ammon was conquered multiple times over its extensive history, including by the biblical King David, then by Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Alexander the Great, and then an Egyptian king in 322 BCE - Ptolemy II Philadelphus, who renamed it after himself… so maybe the King of Hybern was called Hybern, after all. Further, the Day Court is assumed by many to be inspired by either ancient Egypt or Persia; if this is true, could this be another hint to the events of Prythian history?
In addition to both Helion and Hybern sounding like names that could come from the same family (that’s purely subjective on my behalf, I know), both are known for their abilities with spells, and spell cleaving. Helion is even known as “Helion Spell-Cleaver,” though it isn’t apparent as to whether that’s just a nickname, or a family name. But I digress, if the ability to break spells and bargains runs in the Day Court line - Lucien appears to have inherited something like this from Helion, and Feyre has, too - then it is plausible to suggest that the King of Hybern and Helion could have been related, even if only distantly. After all, Tamlin asked Helion for help in breaking Feyre’s bargain with Rhys before he went to Hybern, at Ianthe’s insistence, after Helion refused.
Why, though, would a faerie from a branch of the Day Court’s High Family invade the Dusk Court, if he hailed purely from Day? Given that the High Lord’s magic chooses for itself, I suppose he could have been hoping that the power would leave the bloodline altogether - as Cassian mentioned it could in ACOSF - but it would make more sense if someone from the Dusk Court’s ruling family had married into the Day Court. If the King of Hybern had both Day and Dusk heritage - if he was a “cousin” to Dusk - he could have thought he had a higher chance of being chosen by the High Family’s magic, and becoming High Lord himself after he’d deposed the previous High Lord. The fact that he called himself a King, and not a High Lord, would appear to suggest that this was not the case.
It also sounded like Helion has a family history with the Mask, or perhaps another object from the Dread Trove. This, again, is leaning heavily into crack theory territory, but if either the Mask or the Harp were used to invade the Dusk Court - I assume by a branch of Helion’s family that didn’t get along with the ruling line - then perhaps that is why Helion appeared to be affected more by the Mask than any of the others.
Helion whirled to Nesta, all sensuality vanished. “You truly wore this and lived?” It wasn’t a question meant to be answered. “Cover it again, please. I can’t stand it.” Rhys tucked in his wings. “It affects you that much?” … Helion shuddered, and Nesta threw the cloth over the Mask. As if the cloth somehow blinded it to their presence. “Perhaps an ancestor of mine once used it, and the warning of its cost is imprinted upon my blood.” - ACOSF, chapter 41
If an ancient member of Helion’s family had died while using an object from the Dread Trove, perhaps it could have imprinted some sort of warning into the rest of the family. Once again, this is likely incorrect, but this is ACOTAR, and stranger things have happened.
Why the Hewn City?
But Rhys only said to Mor, “Send word to your father. We’re going to pay him and my other court a visit.” My blood iced over. The Court of Nightmares. - ACOMAF, chapter 41
The Hewn City, home to both the Court of Nightmares and Mor’s delightful family, who act as stewards, has long stood out to many as being odd, for lack of a better term. Why is it called the “Court" of Nightmares, when it is located inside the Night Court? If Keir’s line is related to Rhys’ ancestors, why is he called the “steward,” and not a Prince of the Hewn City, as Varian and Cresseida are the Prince and Princess of Adriata in the Summer Court, to Tarquin’s High Lord? Why does Rhys need Keir’s permission to assemble the Hewn City’s Darkbringer legion for war, when Rhys himself can call the Illyrian army to battle?
I believe that this is because the Hewn City is an offshoot from the Dusk Court, from the time it was located in what is now known as Hybern; When Dusk fell, a cohort from their ruling class/family must have managed to escape, as Aelin escaped Adarlan’s invasion of Orynth and Terrasen. Someone from the then High Family’s line must have escaped with them, and the line chosen by the Dusk Court’s magic has been slumbering ever since. Mirroring Aragorn as the King of Gondor, with Denethor as the Steward, Keir appears to be the caretaker of the remaining Dusk Court, until the High Lord Lady of the Dusk Court returns.
Keir himself gave us hints, with his comment that he had found himself “... sympathetic to Hybern’s cause,” (ACOWAR, chapter 25). Given that Feyre noted that “the Steward clung to power, it seemed,” it appears that Keir may have been considering allying himself with Hybern. Does he know, or suspect, the true origins of the Court of Nightmares? Keir is “older, far older” than Rhys; it is feasible that he has heard rumours of the true origins of the Court of Nightmares, and was seeking to reunite the Dusk Court, most likely hoping to gain more power for himself as a result.
Before Rhys, Keir was nothing more than a sullen child. Yet I knew Mor’s father was older. Far older. The Steward clung to power, it seemed. … And no doubt Keir would inform his almost-allies in the Autumn Court. Or one of these other monsters would. - ACOMAF, chapter 42
Later on, in ACOWAR, Nesta Archeron asked all the important questions; under the guise of informing Nesta about the Court of Nightmares, and discussing the politics behind the Night Court using Keir’s Darkbringer legion, Rhys and the rest of the Inner Circle surreptitiously give us a lot of hints about the Hewn City’s relationship to the Night Court, and - potential - future revelations. Of course, they don't know that what they're saying holds more than one possible interpretation.
“What is the Court of Nightmares?” Nesta demanded. Lucien answered for us. “The place where the rest of the world believes the majority of the Night Court to be.” He jerked his chin at Rhys. “The seat of his power. Or it was.” “Oh, it still is,” Rhys said. “To everyone outside Velaris.” … “And yes. Keir’s Darkbringer legion is considerable enough that a meeting is warranted.” … Nesta’s brows narrowed. “Why not just order them? Don’t they answer to you?” Cassian set down his fork, food forgotten. “Unfortunately, there are protocols in place between our two subcourts regarding this sort of thing. They mostly govern themselves -- with Mor’s father their steward.” … “The steward of the Hewn City is legally entitled to refuse to aid my armies,” Rhys explained to Nesta, to me. “It was part of the agreement my ancestor made with the Court of Nightmares all those thousands of years ago. They would remain within that mountain, would not challenge or disturb us beyond its borders… and would retain the right to decide not to assist in war.” “And have they -- refused?” I asked. Mor nodded gravely. “Twice. Not my father.” She nearly choked on the word. “But… there were two wars. Long, long ago. They chose not to fight. We won, but… barely. At great cost.” - ACOWAR, chapter 18
Why would a High Lord need to “negotiate” with members of their own court? From all that we’ve read, the courts weren’t historically democratic - they were far from it - so this, to me, is a hint that the Court of Nightmares was not originally part of the Night Court. Perhaps the Dusk Court refugees arrived at the Palace above the Hewn City, and negotiated terms of sanctuary from the then High Lord or Lady of the Night Court. I assume that the Night Court was chosen because the two courts had a pre-existing relationship, potentially with alliances by marriage, which could explain Rhys and Mor’s distant relationship, and Rhys calling the Court of Nightmares his "other court" in ACOMAF. If that was the case, the High Lord or Lady of the Night Court would understandably want to reduce the likelihood of a Dusk Court family member making a move for power in the Night Court, hence the agreement to not “challenge or disturb” beyond the borders of the Hewn City.
If this negotiation happened "all those thousands of years ago," it's possible that this was what triggered Rhys' ancestor - the "ancient High Lord with a different vision" - to sacrifice himself to protect Velaris, which had been kept secret for five thousand years before the attack in ACOMAF (chapter 14, 57); some time after the arrival of the Dusk Court, that High Lord may have used the associated disruption to hide a coup that worked in favour for both his personal plans, and keeping the hidden Dusk Court secret, safe.
“There was a time when the Night Court was a Court of Nightmares and was ruled from the Hewn City. Long ago. But an ancient High Lord had a different vision, and rather than allowing the world to see his territory vulnerable at a time of change, he sealed the borders and staged a coup, eliminating the worst of the courtiers and predators, building Velaris for the dreamers, establishing trade and peace.” … “To preserve it,” Rhys continued, “he kept it a secret, and so did his offspring, and their offspring. … Rumor has it that ancient High Lord cast his very life’s blood upon the stones and river to keep that spell eternal. … “But along the way, despite his best intentions, darkness grew again—not as bad as it had once been … But bad enough that there is a permanent divide within my court. … And we allow the Court of Nightmares to continue, blind to Velaris’s existence, because we know that without them, there are some courts and kingdoms that might strike us." - ACOMAF, chapter 29
For all that ancient High Lord’s efforts, though, it appears that "darkness grew again" - language that screams dusk symbolism to me - and that a "permanent divide" remains within the Night Court. Might this be because they are actually two separate courts?
Whether the Hewn City existed then, in any capacity, or whether the Dusk Court escapees built it into what it is today, we'll have to wait to see; though, given the embellishments, they must have had some input into its design, as they appear to be significant - but more on that later. The Hewn City being located under a mountain is significant in that it could potentially symbolise their trapped counterparts of the Court of Nightmares, whether they are still in Hybern, at the Prison, under Ramiel, or elsewhere altogether. As Keir mentioned in ACOWAR, both peoples are "trapped -- stagnant," and he recognises Hybern’s people as "kindred spirits."
Keir frowned up at the obsidian chandelier, fashioned after a wreath of night-blooming flowers -- the center of each a twinkling silver faelight. “There are many similarities between Hybern’s people and my own. Both of us trapped -- stagnant.” “Last I checked,” Mor cut in, “you have been free to do as you wish for centuries. Longer.” Keir didn’t so much as look at her … “Ah, but are we free here? Not even the entirety of this mountain belongs to us -- not with your palace atop it.” “All of this belongs to me, I’ll remind you,” Rhys said wryly. “It’s that mentality that allows me to find Hybern’s stifled people to be… kindred spirits.” - ACOWAR, chapter 25
The word "stagnant" is an interesting choice. We know that SJM is very particular about her wording - creating puzzles out of sentences, spread over an entire series - so the fact that it has only been used to describe three things so far in the series leads me to think that they are connected. The water-wraith from the Spring Court had wholly black eyes, like a "stagnant" pond; wraiths are associated with death, so the word stagnant here makes sense. The Hewn City, Hybern and the Spring Court, however, should not be stagnant - unless something is wrong.
She wore no clothes. Her long, dark hair hung limp over her high, firm breasts—and her massive eyes were wholly black. Like a stagnant pond. And as she moved, the afternoon light shimmered on her iridescent skin. - ACOMAF, chapter 8
The Spring Court had felt stagnant. Hollow. Empty despite its growing life. - ACOSF, chapter 43
We know that Tamlin has all but abandoned his post as the High Lord of Spring, and that given he refused to participate in Calanmai the year Feyre left for the Night Court - having a reluctant Lucien stand in for him - and that he has only gone further downhill since, he probably didn't participate in the most recent Great Rite, either. Has Spring begun to stagnate because it has no functioning, or worthy, High Lord? Or is Spring languishing because it's High Lord hasn't participated in the Great Rite for, presumably, two years now? Did Lucien taking over for Tamlin at Calanmai two years ago even work, given he is not of the Spring Court - and if it did, did anyone complete it for Tamlin the following year? If my interpretation is correct, then ACOSF ended not long before the third Calanmai since Feyre left the Spring Court… what will happen this year?
Lucien mentioned in chapter 21 of ACOTAR that minor dalliances on Fire Night "will help the land, too," and that "here, our crops depend upon the magic that we regenerate on Calanmai" - if no one is regenerating the magic at the High Lord’s level, no wonder the Spring Court is suffering.
“We do this by conducting the Great Rite. Each of the seven High Lords of Prythian performs this every year, since their magic comes from the earth and returns to it at the end—it’s a give-and-take.” - ACOTAR, chapter 21
Similarly, and assuming that Lucien is correct - that each High Lord participates in the Great Rite in some form, even if it's not identical to the Spring Court - if the Dusk Court has not had a High Lord or Lady for, presumably, five thousand years, to participate in this "give-and-take" of magic between the High Lord and the earth, then it stands to reason that it, and its people, would also stagnate.
The final piece to the Hewn City puzzle - one that I struggled to make fit for a while… reader, I started this in early April, send help! - was, why was a transplanted Dusk Court called the Court of Nightmares? I understand that they potentially kept the name of the old Night Court seat of power to help with their ruse, but I couldn't think of how "Nightmares" could have also been linked to the Dusk Court until I read the following quote again, but this time paying more attention to the sentence before the mention of the "bridge" that appears to foreshadow a mating bond between Azriel and Elain Archeron, whom many suspect could inherit the Dusk Court:
I saw the painting in my mind: the lovely fawn, blooming spring vibrant behind her. Standing before Death, shadows and terrors lurking over his shoulder. Light and dark, the space between their bodies a blend of the two. The only bridge of connection … that knife. - ACOWAR, chapter 69
Azriel is a Shadowsinger, and with what magic does Keir’s Darkbringer legion fight? Shadows.
What is an alternative term for nightmares? Night terrors.
And, finally, what time of day is a blend of light and dark? When light blends into dark, and not the other way around? Dusk.
Etymological Evidence
SJM is well known for being intentional with her word choice; because of this, it is reasonable to make deductions based on the names of places (and people) that are used in her works. The following is a - most likely incomplete - list of words whose etymology and definitions could suggest a link to the Dusk Court.
The Darkbringer legion fights with shadows, so their name appears to make sense, and not require much additional thought. However, if we think about the Court of Nightmares in the context of dusk, then the sun setting brings the dark of night; the imagery of Darkbringers as the Dusk Court’s potential army, then, is appropriate.
Dusk is the time of day when the sun sets, twilight, the "state between light and darkness." Which two characters are strongly associated with the darkness and the light? Azriel and Elain Archeron.
Hewn City, The
To hew something is to chop or cut it out of something else. The parallel here is simple; the Hewn City was carved from the stone of the mountain under which it sits, but its people were hewn from a different court altogether.
It cannot be a coincidence that Hybern, whose shape and location, in context with the rest of Prythian, so closely resembles that of the island of Ireland, was so named when the Roman name for Ireland was Hibernia, The Land of Winter. Hibernia is derived from hibernus, which means "wintry."
Another word that stems from hibernus is hibernate, and so, by extension, hibernation. To "pass the winter in torpidity and seclusion" sounds very similar to what the Court of Nightmares has been doing in the Hewn City. For those unaware, "torpid" describes a state of being "numb, lethargic, or dormant," and historically also meant "without feeling or power." Not only has the Dusk Court lost its power, but the two characters who many suspect will end up responsible for its rebirth are also known to keep their feelings close; after his argument with Rhys at solstice, Azriel was described as feeling "nothing at all," and Elain, and Azriel, to a lesser extent, also had their agency - their power - removed from them during their bonus scene in ACOSF.
The name Keir is often said to mean dark haired, dark skinned, or swarthy, but a lesser known term that is attributed to it is dusky.
Morrigan, The
The Morrigan is a goddess from Irish mythology, who is associated with both war and fate; she is said to foretell death, doom, or victory in battle, and is the guardian of the dead. The Mor we know from ACOTAR has the power of Truth, which could be paralleled to The Morrigan’s ability to observe fate, although we are yet to know its full extent. Given that Azriel, the person whom I suspect is the heir to the Dusk Court, is strongly associated with Death throughout the series, this all fits. For an interesting theory on ACOTAR-Mor’s potential powers, look at what @silverlinedeyes had to say here and here.
If the people of the Hewn City are truly descendents from the Dusk Court, and the symbology of a hibernating court holds true, then it must all seem like a bad dream to them. Hopefully, they will soon be woken up.
Merrill was researching the theories behind the existence of different realms - other worlds. Many of us initially thought of the worlds that contain SJM’s Throne of Glass and Crescent City characters, but “realm” can also refer to any land, such as a kingdom, country, domain, or duchy etc. What about a court? The use of the word “realm” in that instance could have potentially have had a double meaning; the Dusk Court, and an alternate plain, in which members of the Dusk Court could have been trapped.
The People of the Mounds
The Daoine Sidhe, who I mentioned above in 'How Did the Sun Set on the Dusk Court?' are thought to be descended from the Tuatha de Danann, which translates to either Tribe of the Gods, or People of the Goddess Danu. It is likely significant, then, that the Hebrew version of Azriel and Elain’s names mean the following:
Azriel - God is my help.
Elain - my God has answered me.
As I mentioned earlier, I do think that the Prison will play a role in the rest of the story going forward, but I suspect that it could be one of the ‘mounds’ that contain trapped faeries - perhaps a group of escapees from the Dusk Court, rather than being the Dusk Court in its entirety. Alternatively, if the Prison was significant to a unified Prythian, could the fae have been trapped when then High King Fionn was overthrown by his queen and general? Both? While I do like the idea of the eight pointed star being the symbol of the eight courts of the Prythian of old, I am leaning towards the fae trapped in the wall having belonged to the Dusk Court, as Shadow Singing suggested.
The information that the Archeron sisters combined have gleaned has to be significant:
The Harp showed Nesta a group of faeries being trapped in stone, when she was collecting it from deep inside the Prison.
Fae screamed, pounding on stone that hadn’t been there a moment before, pleading for their children’s sakes, begging to be let out let out let out -- … It was a trap, and our people were too blind to see it… The Fae clawed at stone, tearing their nails on rock where there had once been a door. But the way back was now forever sealed… - Nesta’s vision, ACOSF, chapter 53
Elain could hear both a heart beating through the stone, and the sea, while sleeping in the House of Wind, at least back in ACOWAR - many suspect that it was not Lucien's heart that she was hearing. In addition to Elain hearing “the crashing sea” in her sleep, when she was too far away from the coast for even a fae to hear them, Feyre heard “the crashing sea” when she was at Hybern.
She said, “I can hear the sea. Even at night. Even in my dreams. The crashing sea -- and the screams of a bird made of fire.” - Elain, ACOWAR, chapter 24
Faelights slithered along the bone-white walls, the windows looking out to the crashing sea far below. - Feyre, ACOMAF, chapter 63
Feyre suggested that the jagged stone walls inside the prison appeared to have faces hewn into them.
With the small lights floating ahead, I tried not to look too long at the gray walls. Especially when they were so rough-hewn that the jagged bits could have been a nose, or a craggy brow, or a set of sneering lips. - Feyre, ACOMAF, chapter 18
The use of the word “hewn” could be significant, especially if the Hewn City does hold (some of the) remnants of the Dusk Court. The fact that the fae that the Harp showed to Nesta were “too blind to see” the trap also sounds incredibly familiar:
The King of Hybern said, “The trap was so easy, I’m honestly a bit disappointed you didn’t see it coming.” Faster than any of us could see, Jurian fired a hidden ash bolt through Azriel’s chest. Mor screamed. - ACOMAF, chapter 63
Like Koschei in chapter 71 of ACOSF - “I spend so many months preparing for you, and you don’t even wish to speak to me?” - I believe that the King of Hybern could have been talking directly to Azriel, and that the reason that Jurian shot him with the ash bolt was linked to Az being - unbeknownst to him, but not to others - a potential heir to the Dusk Court line. I think that he may have also recognised Mor. If the Prison does contain fae from the Dusk Court, then the following statement from Azriel gains extra importance.
Azriel just shook his head. “I’ll go. The Prison sentries know me -- what I am.” - ACOMAF, chapter 16
If Azriel is a contender for heir to the Dusk Court, then this line was not just referring to him being a spymaster, or a shadowsinger, but something more.
Further evidence that the Prison contains at least a portion of the fallen Dusk Court was provided by Rhys, when he first took Feyre to the Prison island in ACOMAF. While he mentioned that the Prison was made “before High Lords existed,” and that some inmates remember “those days,” it is significant that the line regarding Mor’s family is in a completely separate sentence, almost as if it was a new thought. Perhaps one to which we should pay attention.
“Where are we?” I said… “On an island in the heart of the Western Isles,” Rhysand said, staring up at the mammoth mountain. “And that,” he said, pointing to it, “is the Prison.” … “This place,” he said, “was made before High Lords existed. Before Prythian was Prythian. Some of the inmates remember those days. Remember a time when it was Mor’s family, not mine, that ruled in the North.” - ACOMAF, chapter 17
The Prison would have been strongly warded before the Dusk Court fell, which was after “Prythian was Prythian,” but what if the “sentries” to which Azriel referred were the more recently trapped fae, some of whom were potentially sacrificed by Hybern in the name of stronger wards - perhaps not unlike Rhys’ ancestor sacrificing himself to protect Velaris? As Amren said - and in keeping with the tradition of Nesta asking the important questions in ACOWAR - we have the following:
“What’s the Prison?” Nesta asked at last. “A hell entombed in stone,” Amren said. - ACOWAR, chapter 21
As I suggested, I suspect that Merrill’s search for different realms is important, not necessarily because she will help Azriel and Elain search for and free those fae in their book - however interesting that would be, there likely isn’t time; Koschei waits for no one - but because it informs us of the possibility of up to twenty six different caches of faeries, who could be trapped in one way or another.
Where could they be?
The Prison island, and potentially others in the Western Isles
The Northern Isles
Under the Mountain - Amarantha literally trapped fae there during her reign
Ramiel - means ‘the thunder of God’
The Sleeping Mountains
The mountains in which Neve’s people live and run their mines
The Library under the House of Wind
I’m sure there have been other hints dropped throughout the series that I have missed so far, so please let me know if you have any other ideas!
The Imagery Employed Throughout the ACOTAR Series that Symbolises the Dusk Court
I plan to delve further into this topic, as it pertains to individual characters, in a separate post, but I will include the basics here. Many readers have picked up on the fact that Azriel is written as cold, was called Death, the knife in the dark, while Elain Archeron is warmth, spring and golden sunlight personified. While poetic on its own, this imagery is significant in terms of the Dusk Court; dusk is the meeting point between light and dark, a “blend of the two,” if you will, which is why Elain and Azriel together appear to strike the right balance. After all, just like a slumbering beast, a hibernating court will need the warmth of a blooming spring to finally awaken.
The following comprises a brief - I tried, truly - selection of the examples scattered throughout the series with, I assume, the intention to place this imagery in the back of a reader’s mind, ready for that “ah ha!” moment in a future book. I have colour-coordinated the appropriate passages, blue for Azriel (cold, death, dark), pink for Elain (warmth, life, light) and purple for the Dusk Court (the Hewn City, a balance of Azriel and Elain).
First, we have our initial impression of the palace on top of the Hewn City, setting the scene.
Then the darkness vanished. I smelled jasmine first—then saw stars. A sea of stars flickering beyond glowing pillars of moonstone that framed the sweeping view of endless snowcapped mountains. “Welcome to the Night Court,” was all Rhys said. … It was the most beautiful place I’d ever seen. Whatever building we were in had been perched atop one of the gray-stoned mountains. The hall around us was open to the elements, no windows to be found, just towering pillars and gossamer curtains, swaying in that jasmine-scented breeze. It must be some magic, to keep the air warm in the dead of winter. Not to mention the altitude, or the snow coating the mountains, mighty winds sending veils of it drifting off the peaks like wandering mist. Little seating, dining, and work areas dotted the hall, sectioned off with those curtains or lush plants or thick rugs scattered over the moonstone floor. - ACOMAF, chapter 5
Window-side vigils is another theme that is strongly tied to both Azriel and Elain, which @suelky has discussed here, but I digress. After the scene was set by the passage above, we have plenty of examples of winter being dominant; again, some of these are related to Azriel and Elain, others just using the imagery in general, but all of them act to remind us of the importance of death and winter and dark being juxtaposed with life and spring and light.
I watched the light shift inside the sapphire Siphon instead, as if it were the great eye of some half-slumbering beast from a frozen wasteland. - ACOMAF, chapter 22
“She was shunned for bearing a child out of wedlock, and forced to give birth to me alone in a tent in the dead of winter.” - Cassian, ACOSF, chapter15
I was not frightened… Not of the roaring wind as we winnowed into a familiar, snow-capped mountain range refusing to yield to spring’s awakening kiss. - ACOMAF, chapter 42
Even in the middle of winter, she was a bloom of color and sunshine. - Feyre, about Elain, ACOFAS chapter 17
Amren had curled herself into an armchair, bundled in a gray fur coat, as if the nip in the air today were a blast of winter. No Elain, no Morrigan. - ACOSF, chapter 20
Then, to show progression, but again scattered throughout the series, to avoid arousing suspicion, we have hints of spring being on its way.
Her sister’s delicate scent of Jasmine and honey lingered in the red-stoned hall like a promise of spring, a sparkling river that she followed to the open doors of the chamber. - ACOSF, chapter 17
Patches of snow still crusted the hilly, open land, though the first buds and sprouts of spring poked through. - ACOSF, chapter 65
And lastly, we have winter retreating, and spring beginning once more. Significantly, the final chapter of ACOSF begins with "spring bloomed fully," which I suspect symbolises both Elain’s readiness for her own journey, and the fact that the Dusk Court is about to wake from its centuries long hibernation.
Spring dawned on Velaris. - ACOSF, chapter 62
A smile bloomed on Azriel’s mouth… - ACOMAF, chapter 24
Winter had indeed yielded to spring. - ACOMAF, chapter 43
Spring bloomed fully around Velaris. … The city spread before them, glowing in the spring sunshine… - ACOSF, chapter 80
Azriel and Elain are dark and light, winter and spring, death and rebirth. In short, they are Dusk made flesh.
Will the Sun Rise on the Dusk Court Once More?
As it inevitably happens, winter will eventually yield to spring, but the question is: to what extent? I have a feeling that Azriel and Elain will do something that awakens the scattered Dusk Court from its long hibernation, but what could that be?
I let them creep closer, sniffing around, as I said to Rhys, “Surely, my love, they would like to stand now.” Rhys smiled down at me, then at the crowd. “Rise.” They did. And some of those tendrils of power dared climb up the first step. I pounced. - Feyre at the Court of Nightmares, ACOWAR, chapter 25
Warning: minor Throne of Glass spoiler.
We were introduced to the concept of Calanmai in ACOTAR, an apparently important bit of Prythian lore that has been essentially forgotten ever since. Maybe the lack of Calanmai in the books since ACOTAR has been intentional - perhaps SJM is saving it for the sister who is most closely associated with spring?
“Fire Night signals the official start of spring -- in Prythian, as well as in the mortal world,” Lucien said. While his words were calm, they trembled slightly. I leaned against the wall of the hallway, forcing myself into a casualness that I didn’t feel. “Here, our crops depend upon the magic that we regenerate on Calanmai -- tonight.” … “We do this by conducting the Great Rite. Each of the seven High Lords of Prythian performs this every year, since their magic comes from the earth and returns to it at the end -- it’s a give-and-take.” … “The magic will seize control of his mind, his body, his soul, and turn him into the Hunter. It will fill him with his sole purpose: to find the Maiden. From their coupling, magic will be released and spread to the earth, where it will regenerate life for the year to come.” - ACOTAR, chapter 21
A crack theory of mine - even more of a crack theory than this entire post, really - is that if Azriel and Elain are together on Calanmai, their “give-and-take” could trigger the rise of the Dusk Court. If each of the seven High Lords partakes in some shape or form, and we have no reason to doubt Lucien’s information, then the hypothetical eighth High Lord would also do so. Many readers assume that ACOTAR’s Calanmai is at a similar time to the real-world Calan Mai, which occurs on the first of May; this seems to fit, time-wise, with Feyre’s comment that she and Rhys accepted their own mating bond on that night.
“No. When Calanmai came along, he refused. He flat-out refused to participate. I replaced him in the Rite, but…” I’d forgotten. Forgotten about Calanmai and the Rite. I did a mental tally of the days. No wonder I’d forgotten. I’d been in that cabin in the mountains. With Rhys buried in me. Perhaps we’d generated our own magic that night. - Lucien and Feyre, ACOWAR, chapter 3
While I assume that, like Nynsar and Starfall, the Courts’ individual celebrations of Calanmai/Fire Night could vary, it is interesting, at the very least, that while there was no official hunt of a white stag, Rhys did still have to hunt Feyre down, because Mor wouldn’t tell him where she was. Whether the union has to occur on Dusk land, or it just has to be between the heir of Dusk and a partner at any location, I’m not sure; we also don’t know whether the heir of the Court has to be the Hunter or the Maiden - which would be a twist I’d love to see, Elain as the Hunter, and Azriel as the stag, or Maiden! - but I suspect, if this crack theory eventuates, that Elain, spring personified, the lovely fawn with her “doe-eyes,” would make sense as both the stag and Maiden, while Azriel, warrior and spymaster, would appear to be the Hunter.
If I’ve interpreted dates correctly, Fire Night should be pretty soon after the final chapter of ACOSF, in which spring had “bloomed fully” around Velaris; blooms appearing subject to climate, and not the date. Depending on how close the start of Elain and Azriel’s book is until Calanmai, there might not be enough time for this to happen - like I said, it’s a crack theory - but I could imagine that, if Elain gets frustrated with being “stifled” in her further attempts to help her family with the search for the fourth Dread Trove item, as well as being in a worse place due to the stress of her situation with Azriel (she may think that she's lost him as a friend, after the events of solstice, if he has stuck - so far - to Rhys’ order to “stay away”), she may attempt to go after the final Trove item herself, with whatever skills she has been taught by Nuala and Cerridwen, and maybe Azriel himself, in the last two years. This could be the impetus that Azriel needs to throw off Rhys’ order and “get her back” once more, thereby hunting her down. If he finds Elain on Calanmai, and they give in to their feelings, then perhaps they could also unknowingly trigger the rise of the Dusk Court. This reawakening will probably be hinted at subtly throughout the book, perhaps in a similar manner to the kingsflame flower of Terrasen in SJM’s Throne of Glass series, but won't be fully realised until later on.
Will Azriel and Elain Move to Hybern?
While many would love to see the Dusk Court rise to its full former glory - assuming that it was, in fact, glorious at one point in time - both for the people of Hybern, who have been suffering - "stifled" - and for the suspected Dusk Court faeries who may be trapped inside multiple mounds, both literally and figuratively, I don’t think that SJM has the time - or the pages - to properly explore a peaceful ascension to the Dusk Court’s throne, let alone one that is barred by Hybern’s current ruling class, or whatever remains after the end of ACOWAR; SJM’s Throne of Glass, which contained similar themes, had more than one book to do so.
Azriel and Elain taking control of the Court of Nightmares would be a good compromise, as it would symbolise their place as the - again, hypothetical - presumptive High Lord and High Lady to the Dusk Court, while not adding in more events than SJM has the space to write about in their book, while moving the overall Koschei plot along, and leave the possibility open for future books. It would also mean that the sisters all remain together, in the same court, at least for the foreseeable future.
I will interpret the lack of two thrones to be due to the fact that this visit came upon you quickly,” Rhys said with lethal calm… Our loyal subjects,” he added, smiling faintly. - ACOWAR, chapter 25
The Prince and Princess of the Hewn City
Back in ACOWAR, when Mor was discussing the lack of a romantic relationship between herself and Azriel with Feyre, she said:
“ … but it won’t matter if Rhys makes him the Prince of Velaris -- he’ll see himself as a bastard-born nobody, and not good enough for anyone. Especially me.” - Mor, referring to Azriel, ACOWAR, chapter 52
Nesta also told Cassian that, while she was never her father’s princess, Elain was:
“We weren’t always poor. Until I was fourteen, my father was as rich as a king. They called him the Prince of Merchants.” He gave her a tentative smile. “And you were his princess?” Ice cracked through her. “No. Elain was his princess…” - Cassian and Nesta, ACOSF, chapter 14
Further evidence of Azriel and Elain's potential positions of power was provided in ACOFAS, when Azriel stopped their entire family from eating until Elain had returned, at which point Elain sat at the head of the table. Not only this, but Elain is canonically caring and wise, but willing and able to act to defend her people when required - all traits that would make a good ruler.
@mrspettyferr has delved much deeper into this, but Azriel and Elain ending up as the Prince and Princess of the Hewn City appears to have been foreshadowed throughout the series so far.
In parting, I will leave you with one of my favourite quotes about Elain, which I believe both demonstrates her innate goodness, strength and potential, and is also suggestive of the themes with which we have come to associate both her and Azriel.
Days passed. The shadow within me didn’t lighten, and even the thought of painting was abhorrent. Instead I spent most of my time with Elain in her little garden. I was content to listen to her talk about every bud and bloom, about her plans to start another garden by the greenhouse, perhaps a vegetable garden, if she could learn enough about it over the next few months. She had come alive here, and her joy was infectious. There wasn’t a servant or gardener who didn’t smile at her, and even the brusque head cook found excuses to bring her plates of cookies and tarts at various points in the day. I marveled at it, actually -- that those years of poverty hadn’t stripped away that light from Elain. Perhaps buried it a bit, but she was generous, loving, and kind -- a woman I found myself proud to know, to call sister. - ACOTAR, chapter 29
It appears that SJM may have set up Elain’s future arc all the way back in ACOTAR, and it looks like it was always meant to include both Azriel and the Dusk Court.
If you’ve read all the way through this monster, then thank you for your time; if you want to read any more of my thoughts on the Dusk Court, then I have more posts on the way.
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starry-lu · 8 hours ago
Nesta: words cannot describe how hot you are
Cassian: awwww
Nesta: but numbers can. -50/10
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silver-flames · 8 hours ago
Hey, just wanted to ask, for acotar, are we only getting 2 more books and a novella or is it not certain yet? (As in, we might get more)
As far as I believe yes, the next era of the series is three books, (obvs we got ACOSF) and then a Novella somewhere in between...
I think there is a lot of potential for a spin off series from this series tbh with Eris, Gwyn, Jurian, all the high lords in general there is content to be used for sure! One can only hope heehe
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silver-flames · 8 hours ago
Our princess Elain wearing these dresses because she is cute
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These are stunning, all the colours and styles are so Elain!
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I need it all ♥
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