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We—Rhys, Cass, and I—will occasionally remind each other that what we think to be our greatest weakness can sometimes be our biggest strength. And that the most unlikely person can alter the course of history.

–Azriel in A Court of Wings and Ruin

Azriel (pronounced: Ahz-re-el[2]) is an Illyrian and member of the Night Court. He is the spymaster shadowsinger of Rhysand and belongs to his Inner Circle. He is a childhood friend of Rhysand and Cassian.

He is considered to be one of the most powerful Illyrians in Prythian history, along with Rhysand and Cassian.

History

Early Life

Azriel is the bastard son of an Illyrian lord. For eleven years he lived with his father, stepmother, and two older half-brothers. The two boys and their mother were cruel and spoiled. While living in his father's keep, his stepmother kept Azriel in a cell with no windows or light. He was allowed to come out only for an hour a day, and to see his mother for one hour every week. He was not allowed to train or fly, even when his Illyrian instincts urged him to do so.

When he was eight, his two cruel half-brothers decided it would be fun to see what happened when you mixed an Illyrian's quick healing gifts with oil and fire. They poured oil on his hands and lit them on fire. His father's warriors heard Azriel's screaming, and rescued him but not quick enough to save his hands, leaving them permanently scarred.

At the age of eleven, he was dumped in the Illyrian training camp, Windhaven, where he was well received by the camp lords due to his shadowsinging gifts. He eventually met Rhysand and Cassian, as they were training at the same camp. At this point, like Cassian, Rhysand's mother took him in, for she was a friend to Azriel's mother.

When Rhysand's father saw that his son had started to rival him in power and had allied with the two most powerful Illyrian warriors in history, he separated them in fear that they would eventually turn against him. Rhysand was given command over a legion, Azriel was kept as his personal shadowsinger, and Cassian was appointed as a foot soldier.

Once Rhysand became the High Lord of the Night Court, Azriel was appointed as spymaster and became part of his Inner Circle.[3]

A Court of Mist and Fury

TBA

A Court of Wings and Ruin

When Feyre Archeron, accompanied by Lucien Vanserra were making the return trip to the Night Court they had to cross the Autumn Court, where they were attacked by Lucien's Half-brothers: Eris and two other of his brothers at the request of their father, Beron, the High Lord of the Court. They managed to flee from the brothers and cross the border into the Winter Court but were once again attacked by Lucien's brothers and were only saved when Cassian and Azriel came to their rescue and took them to Velaris along with Morrigan.

Once on Velaris, they met with Rhysand and began to weigh their various possible allies.

In Velaris were Feyre's sisters, Nesta Archeron and Elain Archeron, who had been recently turned into High Fae but with peculiar powers, especially Nesta. The King of Hybern wanted back the power that Nesta took from the Cauldron and sent two of his Ravens to kidnap her, which they were unable to do and died trying.

Following the attack, Varian, the Prince of Adriata sent a message to Amren awarning her that the city was under attack by Hybern. Quickly Rhysand rallied his troops and alongside his Inner Circle, with the exception of Amren, marched to the Summer Court.

When the High Lords agreed to hold the meeting the event was at the Dawn Court Palace that belongs Thesan, the High Lord of the Dawn Court, as it was the place closest to the Middle. The meeting was attended by the seven High Lords with their delegations and after several discussions and altercations (Azriel almost killed Eris for insulting Mor) they agreed to join forces against Hybern, with the exception of the Autumn Court who left after Feyre showed them that when she was revived each of the High Lords gave her a bit of their power unknowingly.

During the second day of the meeting they heard a great roar and Nesta, who had a connection to the Cauldron, told them that the King had used it to destroy the Wall.

This was followed by a battle between Hybern and the joint armies of the Summer Court and the Night Court (the latter consisting of Ilyrians and the Darkbringers of the Hewn City) where the defenders of Prythian were victorious and at the end of the battle Tarquin drowned all the soldiers of Hybern who were still alive. After the conflict ended, they were informed that Hybern's next attack would be on the Winter Court so they glamoured the armies so that it seemed that they were still there and moved to the Winter Court for the new battle.

This new battle was bloodier and narrowly won by the Prythian forces. In this fight Cassian was seriously injured and Azriel was the one who took him to the camp to be seen urgently by a healer.

After the battle, while in the war camp, the Cauldron deceived Elain, posing as her ex-fiancé Graysen, and took her to the Hybern camp, from where she was rescued, along with Briar, by Feyre and Azriel with the help of Jurian (who proved he had never actually been on Hybern's side but was a spy) and Tamlin, who also turned out to be a spy. During the escape one of the King of Hybern's naga-hounds attacked Azriel, seriously injuring his wings.

When they learned that the final battle would take place in the Mortal Lands, the High Lords agreed to transfer as many mortals as possible to Adriata to save their lives. After that the armies marched to the battlefield, the Bone Carver and Bryaxis (recruited by Feyre) and Stryga, the Weaver (recruited by Rhys) also arrived to aid them in battle. Azriel was unable to participate in the battle as the healer, Madja, said that he would not be able to fly in the near future and therefore Rhys forbade him to fight. Shortly after, they are joined by the forces of the Spring Court and Autumn Court as well as an army of mortals led by Jurian and Graysen. During the course of the battle the King used the power of the Cauldron thus assassinating many defenders of Prythian (among them the Bone Carver) and soldiers of his own army. Cassian was saved from the destructive force of the Cauldron thanks to Nesta's scream, which made him turn away from where he was, which was where the blow occurred. When it seemed that their forces would be overwhelmed, reinforcements arrived from Cretea, the island of Drakon and Miryam and also mortals from the mainland led by Feyre's father and Vassa, the sixth mortal queen.

At the end of the battle he attended a meeting called by Feyre in the ruins of the Archeron's Estate to renegotiate a new Treaty between Fae and mortals.

He was last seen drinking at Velaris with his friends.

A Court of Frost and Starlight

After the end of the War against Hybern Azriel dedicated himself to ensuring that everything was in order in the Fae and mortal realms. He also had to investigate the wave of animosity that prevailed among the Ilyrians, who were furious at the casualties they had suffered in the War.

As Winter Solstice approached he had to look for gifts for others, something he was not very fond of. Elain, who had apparently developed a good relationship with him, spoke to Madja, Rhys's favorite healer, to make a powder as a gift for Azriel. This powder would help with his headaches, something she noticed when she saw him touch his forehead regularly, which left him astonished since the others had not noticed it. He also seemed more relaxed and open to joking, usually at the expense of Amren and her size.

A Court of Silver Flames

TBA

House of Sky and Breath

The following section contains details and spoilers for the Crescent City series
SPOILERS AHEAD!

After Bryce Quinlan manages to escape the Asteri by opening a gate to travel through the worlds to reach Hel in order to request aid from the Princes, she accidentally lands somewhere in Velaris near the Sidra River instead, carrying with her the Starsword. Azriel finds her, surprising her from behind presses a knife to her throat, and speaks to her but she doesn't recognize the language, as her powers are spent she cannot attack him with them. As he twists her to face him she mistakes him for a demon due to his wings and the fact that she believes herself to be in Hel. She repeatedly asks him to take her to Prince Aidas but he cannot understand her and vice versa. Azriel picks up her sword and pulls a scrap of black cloth, a blindfold, that he carries in a hidden pocket of his armor. He blindfolds her, carries her and flies to a residence.

When they go in, she trips, so he carries her over his shoulders all the way to the living room and sits her in a comfortable chair. Then, Bryce panics and tears the blindfold. A moment later, the doors to the foyer open and Amren, Cassian and Nesta enter the room. Bryce sees Amren first, then has the idea to try to communicate with them in the only other language she knew, the ancient language of the Fae, of the Starborn. Amren stagers back, surprised to hear her speak the language, as no one has spoken it in their world for fifteen thousand years, and the others gape. Amren notices the Starsword and nods to Azriel's knife, Truth-Teller, at his side. The knife is the twin to the sword as it glimmers with dark light in answer to the sword's white light. Amren whispers that the Starsword is actually Gwydion.

Bryce tells Amren she needs to find Prince Aidas or Apollion, the Prince of the Pit. She replies saying she doesn't know them and that their world is not Hel. At this moment, the front door opens again, Feyre enters the room, with Rhysand entering after her. Bryce pleads her case to Amren and she translates to the others. Feyre then asks Bryce for her name, and Amren translates the question. Bryce addresses Rhysand and Feyre, noticing they possess an air of authority, and tells them her name. Rhysand steps forward and introduces himself in the Old Language.

Appearance

Azriel is described as classically beautiful, but near-unreadable. He is tall, with dark hair, golden-brown skin, and massive Illyrian wings. His eyes are hazel and the planes of his face are elegant. His Illyrian training is described to have shaped his body to be extremely powerful and muscular. He has brutal scars on both hands. Azriel is constantly surrounded by shadows as if even the light shied from him. A cocoon of silence seems to pulse around him.

Illyrian warriors typically wear one or two Siphons to channel their raw power into magic, but Azriel requires seven cobalt Siphons to maintain his power. He keeps his dagger, Truth-Teller sheathed at his thigh.

Powers and Abilities

Azriel is a shadowsinger and is physically powerful due to his Illyrian background. As a shadowsinger, he has the predisposition to hear and feel things others can't. He can merge into shadows and move throughout them. He is also the bearer of the magical knife, Truth-Teller.

Relationships

Morrigan

Azriel has a romantic interest in Mor, yet he has never acted upon his feelings. Mor told Feyre that his inhibitions are probably related to the fact that he believes he is not worthy of Mor.

However, his feelings aren't returned by Morrigan as she confessed to Feyre that she is bisexual and preferred the company of females to males. Azriel does not know this, however, and continues to quietly pine away for her.

Nuala and Cerridwen

The half-breed twins work as Rhysand's personal servants and spies. In A Court of Mist and Fury it is revealed by Amren that they also answer to Azriel as he trained them and the twins report to him on spymaster matters.

Elain Archeron

When the pair met in A Court of Mist and Fury, it was during a tense dinner with their respective siblings. Elain was still a human and was very frightened to be in the presence of Fae, yet she didn't appear to be as scared of Azriel, and they both tried to make polite conversation.

During A Court of Wings and Ruin, Elain and Azriel formed somewhat of a friendship. He kept her company while she recovered from being Made. Later, when Elain is captured by Hybern, Azriel risked his life to save her. When they got back to safety, Azriel was badly injured, but wouldn't let go of Elain and cradled her to his chest until Rhysand stepped in and took Elain. Elain kissed him on the cheek in gratitude. He even lent Elain Truth-Teller, which he had never let anyone so much as touch in his 500+ years of life. Elain finds an opportunity to stab the King of Hybern with the dagger then Nesta stepped in and beheaded him.

In A Court of Frost and Starlight, Elain gave Azriel a powder meant to treat the headaches he seems to get from his friends all the time as a Solstice gift. This caused Azriel to laugh and thank Elain, saying the gift would be invaluable. It was later revealed that, rather than use the power, Azriel would stare at it as he tried to fall asleep. The pair spent Solstice evening together talking in the sitting room as Elain explained to him her plans for expanding the garden.

In A Court of Silver Flames, during Solstice Azriel stands far away from everyone because of the scent of the Mating Bond between Lucien and Elain. Later that night, Azriel caught Elain trying to discreetly place her gift for him next to the other presents. She revealed the present to be a pair of earplugs, meant to help him sleep better with all the noise from Nesta and Cassian's nightly "activities", which made him laugh.

Azriel then gave her his own present, a glass rose charm necklace. She said it was beautiful and asked him to put it on for her. This lead to the pair sharing an almost-kiss before a furious Rhysand caught them, unbeknownst to Elain, and stopped Azriel demanding to meet in his office. Azriel retreats saying "this was a mistake". Elain is left confused and hurt as to why Azriel stopped and thinking she had misread his intentions, apologizes to him. He deflected the apology, saying she should never apologize to him before he disappeared without another word. In Rhys' office, Rhysand questioned him about his almost-kiss with Elain to which Azriel donned a frozen mask while being questioned. Rhys then asks about Mor, but Azriel ignored the question. He revealed that he wondered if the Cauldron had made a mistake and that he believes that Elain might've been meant for him if the other two sisters were his brothers' mates.

Rhysand then tells Azriel to stay away from Elain and forbade him from pursuing her in fear of the political repercussions it would have if Lucien, as Elain's mate, decided to declare a Blood Duel. Azriel refused and argued that she didn't want Lucien and that he could easily defeat the male if they did have a Blood Duel. This angered Rhysand even more, and using his authority as High Lord, forbade Azriel from pursuing Elain and threatened that if he did he would regret it. The meeting ended with Azriel stalking out of the room. When Azriel returned from the House of Wind to the River house to collect his solstice presents, he saw the rose necklace he'd gifted Elain resting next to the rest of his presents. He pocketed it, planning on returning it to the shop he'd bought it from, but later decided to anonymously re-gift it to Gwyn.

Gwyneth Berdara

Gwyneth and Azriel first met two years prior in Sangravah when Hybern attacked the Temple. She was sexually assaulted by a Hybern General. She was about to be forced against her will once again as the soldiers gathered but Azriel arrived and slaughtered all of them. He wrapped her in his cloak and was then taken by Mor to live with the priestesses in the Library.

They met a second time when Gwyn started training with Nesta as they were trained by Cassian and Azriel.

In the bonus chapter of A Court of Silver Flames, Azriel retreats to the training pit after his almost-kiss with Elain and Rhysand demanding he stay away from her. Azriel is surprised to see Gwyn training there, his shadows have not informed him of her presence. She wishes Azriel a happy Solstice as he jokingly asks if she was kicking him out. She says she doesn't mind sharing the ring but knows that he likes to be alone. She then asks Azriel if he is called a Shadowsinger because he sings, which he confirms with a chuckle. He then instructs her on how to handle the dagger until she corrects it.

The next day, he was planning on returning the necklace he bought for Elain to the shop but he found himself in the library beneath the House of Wind. He stood in front of Clotho's desk and slid the small box asking her to give this to Gwyn. Clotho asks him if it is a Solstice gift but he asks her to not reveal that it was from him. Clotho asks him why but he replies with she doesn't have to know or she could say it was from Rhys. Clotho tells him that it would be a lie which slightly annoys Azriel. To deflect the situation and avoid Gwyn knowing it was a gift from him, he asks Clotho to give it to another priestess who might appreciate it as he is not taking the box when he leaves.

Clotho agrees that she will give the gift to Gwyneth telling her that it's from a friend. Azriel thought that he wouldn't go as far as calling Gwyneth his friend but thanks Clotho anyways. As he was ascending the stairs he was picturing how Gwyn's teal eyes would light upon seeing the necklace. He tucks away the thought, consciously erasing the slight smile that it brought to his face, burying the image deep down where it glowed quietly, describing it as "a thing of secret, lovely beauty".

Feyre Archeron

Feyre met Azriel for the first time at the House of Wind, where Rhysand took her to meet his Inner Circle after she left the Spring Court. They developed a good friendship. It's strengthened when Azriel offered to train Feyre on how to fly, saying that because he also learned later in his life, he knows what mental blocks can happen.

Feyre and Azriel have trained together to practice her flying. He admires the wings that she has created from her shapeshifting powers. They form an understanding. Considering the fact that she's his High Lady, he respects her. He went to go save Feyre with Cassian from Eris and his brothers. During the High Lord meeting, Feyre is the one that tells him to calm down when his shadows are attacking Eris. She tells him to go sit next to her.

Trivia

  • The name Azriel means "my help is God", derived from the Hebrew עָזַר ('azar) "help" and אֵל ('el) "God". This was the name of three minor characters in the Old Testament.[4]
    • The name Azrael, closely resembles Azriel. Azrael is the name of an angel who separated the soul from the body upon death. He is sometimes referred to as the Angel of Death.[5]
  • In A Court of Wings and Ruin Feyre says that Azriel smells like night-chilled mist and cedar.
  • Azriel's voice is described as dark, smooth, and cold as shadows given form. It is low, almost flat.
  • It is said, by Mor, that Azriel has the biggest wingspan out of Cassian, Rhysand, and him.
  • According to Sarah J. Maas “Azriel is a freak in bed”.
  • In a bonus chapter of A Court of Silver Flames, he reveals to Gwyn that he can sing.
  • It is a tradition between Rhys, Cassian and Azriel since they were children to go on the morning of Winter Solstice to the Cabin and build forts out of snow. Then they would have a snowball fight all morning. On the Winter Solstice day after the end of the War with Hybern Azriel achieved his 199th victory.
  • Sarah J. Maas stated that Azriel would be a Ravenclaw if he attended Hogwarts.[6]

References

  1. In A Court of Thorns and Roses it is said that the War occurred 500 years before the events of the book and in A Court of Mist and Fury Rhysand says that he began his training at the age of 8, which lasted 20 years and then the War broke out. He was 28 years old when the War began and it lasted 7 years, so if we add the 500 years from the end of the war to the beginning of the series, plus the additional year from the beginning of A Court of Thorns and Roses until A Court of Mist and Fury we can say that Rhysand was 536 years old in A Court of Mist and Fury. In the same book it is said that when Rhys was 9 years old Azriel was 11 so he is 2 years older than Rhys, which makes him 538 years old. This deduction is practically confirmed by Azriel in the book when he tells Feyre that he was almost five and a half centuries old.
  2. World of Sarah J. Maas' Youtube: Pronunciation Guide
  3. A Court of Mist and Fury
  4. Behind the name: Azriel
  5. Behind the Name: Azrael
  6. A Court of Wings and Ruin Q&A session


Characters
Main Characters Feyre Archeron · Rhysand · Nesta Archeron · Cassian · Azriel · Elain Archeron · Tamlin · Lucien Vanserra · Morrigan · Amren · Amarantha · King of Hybern
Supporting Characters Alis · Andras · Beron · Bogge · Bone Carver · Bron · Cerridwen · Clare Beddor · Cresseida · Drakon · Devlon · Emerie · Eris · Graysen · Gwyneth Berdara · Feyre's Father · Hart · Helion · Ianthe · Isaac Hale · Isaac Hale's Wife · Jurian · Kallias · Keir · Koschei · Mercenary · Miryam · Mortal Queens · Mrs. Laurent · Naga · Nuala · Unnamed Summer Court Faerie · Tarquin · Suriel · Thesan · Tomas Mandray · Varian · Vassa · Weaver
Mentioned Characters Aunt Ripleigh · Dark Mother · Feyre's Mother · Mother · Rhysand's Father · Rhysand's Mother · Rhysand's Sister · Nostrus · Queen of the Black Land · See more...
Night Court
Velaris Feyre Archeron · Rhysand · Nesta Archeron · Cassian · Elain Archeron · Azriel · Amren · Morrigan · Nyx · Lucien · Gwyneth Berdara · Nuala · Cerridwen · Ananke · Aranea · Aranea's Husband † · Bryaxis · Clotho · Deirdre · Ilana · Lorelei · Madja · Merrill · Neve · Polina † · Polina's Sister · Ressina · Rhysand's Father † · Rhysand's Grandfather † · Rhysand's Mother † · Rhysand's Sister † · Rita · Riven · Roslin · Sevenda · Unnamed Healer · Young Faerie Boy · Young Faerie Girl · Polina's Nieces · Polina's Nephews
Hewn City Darkbringers · Keir · Morrigan's Mother · Thanatos · Thanatos's Daughter
Illyria Azriel's Father · Azriel's Half-brothers · Azriel's Stepmother · Balthazar · Bellius † · Camp-mother · Cassian's Mother † · Cassian's Father · Devlon · Emerie · Emerie's Brother † · Emerie's Mother † · Enalius · Kallon † · Kallon's Father · Proteus
Locations Amphitheater · Amren's Apartment · Aranea's Gallery · Athelwood · Cesere · Dunmere · Emerie's Shop · Feyre's Studio · Hewn City · House of Wind · Illyria · Illyrian Mountains · Illyrian Steppes · Ironcrest Camp · Lucien's Apartment · Moonstone Palace · Mr. Archeron's Gravesite · Myrmidons · Nesta's Apartment · Neve's Shop · Night Court Inn · Night Court Lake · Palace of Bone and Salt · Palace of Hoof and Leaf · Palace of Thread and Jewels · Rainbow of Velaris · Ramiel · Ressina's Studio · Restaurant · Rhysand's Mother's House · Rhysand's Treasure Chamber · Rita's · River House · Sidra River · The Cabin · The Four Market Squares · The Library · The Prison · The Town House · Velaris · Velaris Lingerie Shop · War-Camps · Western Isles · Windhaven Camp · Wolf's Den
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