|“||“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 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.
Azriel is described as classically beautiful, but near-unreadable. He is tall, with dark hair, tan 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.
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.
The twins work as Rhysand's personal servants and spies. Azriel trained them and the twins report to him on spymaster matters.
When the pair met in ACOMAF, 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. At the table, Elain clenched her fork as if she might protect herself with it, to which Azriel faintly smiled at. As Elain tried to defend Nesta against Cassian, explaining how they were taught to fear the fae and the stories of their kind being disorienting, Azriel was the only one to show his understanding with a polite smile - to which she visibly relaxed to. Although the entire meal was quite forced and strained, they both seemed to notice each other's less confrontational nature and Feyre even referred to them as "the only two civilized ones" as they both tried to make polite conversation. Elain asked Azriel if he and Cassian could truly fly and he told her they were born hearing the song of the wind, which she said was very beautiful. Elain also seemed to be reassured by Azriel's ease at the ending of the dinner, showing how she was already starting to trust him. Later in the book, when Feyre discussed with Rhys of how her sisters would fare in Velaris, she thought Elain would like Velaris though "she'd probably cling to Azriel" to have some peace and quiet. Feyre smiled at the the thought of how "handsome they would be together,"
During ACOWAR, Elain and Azriel formed somewhat of a friendship. He kept her company while she recovered from being Made. Feyre mentioned many times how she thinks the two would be a handsome couple if they ever got over the current obstacles in their way (Azriel's unrequited pining for Mor and Elain's broken heart over her ex-fiancé, Graysen). She went as far as to ask Rhysand why the Cauldron didn't make Elain and Azriel mates, rather than Elain and Lucien. Rhys explained that sometimes mates weren't right for each other and the bond could be rejected if that was the case. Later, when Elain is captured by Hybern, Azriel risked his life to save her, ignoring even Nesta's protests of how it would most likely cost him his life. Elain devoured the sight of him, and said, "you came for me." They had some trouble on their departure, and Elain kicked off some hounds that were harming Azriel as well as the rest of them and preventing them from leaving. 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. At the end of ACOWAR, she returns to Velaris with her sisters and the Inner Circle.
In ACOFAS, Azriel revealed that, despite being Rhys' spymaster, he did not keep tabs on Lucien because he was Elain's mate. Rhysand infers that it was because he didn't want to know if the pair ever seeked each other out. When Rhys prompted Azriel to elaborate, he just said that it would be an invasion of Elain's privacy, though Rhysand seemed unsure that that was the true reason. For Solstice, Elain gave Azriel a powder meant to treat the headaches he seems to get from his friends all the time as a gift. This caused Azriel to laugh with a joy Feyre had never heard before and he thanked 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 ACOSF, more hints are given towards romance between Azriel and Elain. When Cassian mentions Nesta's argument with Elain, he gets really worried and questions Cassian about what happened. During a meeting with the Inner Circle, Azriel mentions that Elain's shouldn't be exposed to the innate darkness of the fourth dead trove and worry shows externally. When Nesta and Elain get into an argument in front of the IC, Nesta says something very hurtful, and it is written that Azriel's shadows "coiled around him, snakes ready to strike," essentially showing that they have some protectiveness over Elain. During Solstice, Nesta notes that Azriel and Elain share a charged glance. That same night, Nesta catches Azriel standing far away from everyone, and he explains that his shadows didn't like the flames but Nesta guessed that it was because of who was sitting close by the fireplace (it was later confirmed in Azriel's POV extra chapter it was 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. It is shown that the two of them understand each other without needing to speak. They're both comfortable in each other's silence. It is revealed that the pair had shared little moments with each other, but it had never gotten as far as this moment. 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 that he meets in his office. Azriel retreats by forcing himself to say "this was a mistake," and he couldn't stand to see the bleakness in her face, so he disappeared. Azriel forced himself to pull away, saying that the almost-kiss 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 to 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 and sitting outside to "feel nothing and return to nothing". 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. The next day, Nesta noted that Azriel seemed more closed off and moody than usual.
It is unsure where Elain and Azriel's relationship stands after the events on Solstice and her returning his gift to him.
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 within moments. 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 and Cassian. Cassian noticed that during the training Gwyn had been distracted, one eye on the other side of the ring where Azriel is. Later, Gwyn and Azriel are often seen observing each other in admiration and amusement. It's been hinted that Azriel and Gwyn train together behind the scenes when Azriel winnowed Cassian and Nesta and told them he will be back in an hour because Gwyn wanted him to go over dagger-handling. After Nesta and Cassian return, Nesta notices a new wood beam that Gwyn was focused on tying a white silk ribbon on, she wonders how Gwyn could anchor the wood into the stone, it could be that Azriel helped her.
Gwyn and Azriel are both very competitive people. During training, Gwyn is very focused on winning to wipe off the smirks on Cassian and Azriel's faces, especially Azriel's. She is often seen challenging Azriel. After she passed the Blood Rite qualifier, she extends her hand to Azriel to demand for her win prize. Nesta winks at an amused Azriel, telling him he is Gwyn's new ribbon.
In the bonus chapter of A Court of Silver Flames, Azriel retreats to the training pit after his almost-kiss with Elain and Rhysand pulling him away and demanding he stay away from Elain. He lands in the pit and Azriel notices Gwyn training there, his shadows have not informed him of her presence. She greets him with a smile, though it is directed to his shadows. 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. Azriel notices his shadows peering at her, that one she exhaled a breath one of his shadows that went to dance with it. 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 corrected it. She thanks Azriel smiling broadly and Azriel sketches a bow and felt something restless settling in him. After he left he heard a faint beautiful singing following him and swore his shadows sang in answer.
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 but hides his reaction as to the memory flashed in his head of his father and mother. 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 but 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, and for whatever reason he could see it. The chapter ends with Azriel tucking away the thought, consciously erasing the slight smile that it brought to his face. He buried the image deep down where it glowed quietly, describing it as a thing of secret, lovely beauty.
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.
- 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. 
- 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.
- A Court of Mist and Fury (First appearance)
- A Court of Wings and Ruin
- A Court of Frost and Starlight
- A Court of Silver Flames
|Characters||Rhysand · Feyre Archeron · Amren · Morrigan · Cassian · Azriel · Nesta Archeron · Elain Archeron · Lucien Vanserra · Nuala · Cerridwen · Keir · Devlon · Clotho · Madja · Bryaxis · Sevenda · Rita · Thanatos · Thanatos's daughter · Rhysand's father † · Rhysand's mother † · Rhysand's sister † · Enalius|
|Locations||Cesere · Hewn City · Palace of Bone and Salt · Palace of Thread and Jewels · Rainbow of Velaris · Restaurant · Rita's · Sidra River · The Prison · Velaris · Western Isles|