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Why should I be scared of an oversized bat who likes to throw temper tantrums?

Nesta to Cassian in A Court of Wings and Ruin

Nesta is Feyre's sister who lived with Elain and their father at the beginning of A Court of Thorns and Roses. She is the eldest of the Archeron sisters.

Biography

A Court of Thorns and Roses

Nesta appears briefly at the beginning of ACOTAR. She is shown to be selfish, cold, and distant. She does nothing to help Feyre provide for her family and tries to spend the money they do earn on frivolous items such as a new cloak or pair of shoes. She informs Feyre of her intention to marry Tomas Mandry, to which Feyre advises her against twice. When Feyre arrives at her family's new manor after spending time in Prythian, Nesta reveals to Feyre that Tamlin's glamour didn't work on her as it did Elain and their father, leaving Nesta with full memories of what happened.  Because of this, Nesta had ventured into the village and hired the mercenary Feyre previously engaged  with to take her to the Prythian to rescue Feyre. The plan does not work though, because she couldn't find a hole in the wall.  This surprises Feyre because after never having step foot in the woods, she trekked two days there and two days back through the winter woods for her sister. Then Feyre asks about Tomas Mandry. Nesta's answer to her is "I realized he wouldnt have gone with me to save you from Prythian"  which causes her to see her sister in a new light. She realized that after their mother died, "the anger had been a lifeline, the cruelty a realse. But she had cared-beneath it she had cared, and perhaps loved more fiercely than I could comphrehend, more deeply and loyally." (Feyre, Chapter 30 of A Court of Thorns and Roses). Nesta tells her to tell her everything that happened, and after Feyre was done, Nesta asked her to teach her how to paint. She also explains that the reason she spent every copper Feyre got was to see if their father would fight for them. She also explains that she hates him for letting their mother die, and when Feyre objects she says "You would have gone to the ends of the Earth to save your High Lord" and to that Feyre agrees. Feyre keeps thinking about what Nesta said, and this gives her the courage and perspective to go into Prythian when she realizes what happened to Clare. Nesta helps her get ready to leave and let her know that they don't need her and they can take care of themselves. Feyre says "once might have seen it as an insult but now I understood-understood what a gift she was offering me". Feyre then lets her know that if things are ever better she will find her again, but Nesta says don't bother and that she doesn't think she would be particularly fond of Faeries. She does ask her to send word if she is safe though, and with that Feyre departs. 

A Court of Mist and Fury

Nesta is not pleased that Feyre has been turned into a Fae and she is not pleased to have Rhys, Cassian and Azriel in their lives because it puts Elain and her engagement in danger. She comes to be more tolerant towards the members of the Night Court in order to do her part in saving the human realm, but remains cold and cruel. Cassian and Nesta bicker incessantly throughout the book. In the ACOMAF Target Edition short story, it is revealed that Nesta wanted to starve to death to try and guilt her father into helping their family. It is also revealed that Thomas Mandray once ripped apart her dress in an attempt to rape her, but Nesta was able to escape. This incident incenses Cassian and causes him to feel inclined defend her. Nesta teases Cassian and he retaliates, hoping to anger Nesta into opening up. Nesta then pretends that she is going to kiss him, only to kick him square in the nuts and leave him alone in the room to try and sort through his jumbled feelings. Cassian later promises Nesta that he would be willing to die protecting her and Elain in front of Rhys' Inner Circle and two of the mortal queens. It is also noted that Nesta doesn't flinch from Cassian's touch. Feyre and Cassian later have a short conversation about Nesta, in which Feyre says that she believes Nesta feels emotions stronger than most people, and as such, walls herself off from the world to try and spare herself the hurt. Feyre also speculates that the only person she thinks Nesta truly loves at that point is Elain, whom she would do anything, give anything, and be anything for.

Nesta is kidnapped by Ianthe along with Elain. Once the King of Hybern's plan to demonstrate the Cauldron's abilities by turning the sisters into Fae is revealed, he decides to turn Elain, whom he refers to as "the pretty one," first. Nesta reacts violently, thrashing and screaming, fighting to save her sister against impossible odds. Cassian, despite being critically injured and nearly unconscious, reacts desperately to hearing Nesta's cries. When Nesta herself is put in, she fights "like a wildcat", and as she is being submerged, points a finger at the King of Hybern in a "death-promise," unnerving him. When Nesta emerges from the Cauldron, Feyre immediately notices that "she is different," implying that she is in some way apart from most High Fae—if a true High Fae at all—and has probably acquired some special abilities as a result. She immediately runs to Elain's side and forcefully shoves Lucien away from her. When Lucien states that Elain is his mate, she responds with anger. Before Elain is given a chance to react, Mor winnows the sisters out of Hybern to somewhere safe and secret within the Night Court.

A Court of Wings and Ruin

Nesta is seen in ACOWAR when Feyre visits them after having arrived back at the Night Court. Nesta is described to be "devastatingly" beautiful as a Fae. She is initially very resentful and spiteful towards Feyre and her Inner Circle and seems only to care about Elain. She refuses Cassian's offer to train her yet agrees to practice her magic with Amren. As time goes on, she bonds with Feyre over their shared concern for Elain. Nesta agrees to go with the Inner Circle to the Court of Nightmares, and after that slowly becomes warmer, though her relationship with Cassian is still shown to be rocky.

After the battle in the Summer Court, when Cassian returns a few days later than his friends, Nesta is noticeably concerned and worried for him, and Mor reacts to this possessively.

Later in the book, Rhysand offered Nesta the job of being emissary to the human world, for the Night Court when she is inspired by Feyre to go to a meeting of the High Lords in the Dawn Court. There, during the two-day conference, she is able to sense that the Cauldron is being used and that the wall had been shattered. This is where everyone realizes that she is connected to the Cauldron and is able to sense its movements and when it's being used. This connection comes into handy both when in battle and also when Elain is kidnapped.

At her last battle, Nesta cannot stop crying when she hears mention of her father by Drakon and learns that—for the first time since their family's downfall—he has not let them down, having brought troops and even freed the Queen of the Black Land, the mortal Queen Vassa. She risks her life alongside Cassian by distracting the King of Hybern so that Feyre and Amren are able to nullify the Cauldron. At this moment, she attempts to fight the King but both she and Cassian are badly wounded. Nesta is moved by her father's declaration of love in his last moments before he is killed by the King of Hybern. The King of Hybern then attacks them, and instead of fleeing, she chooses to embrace a grievously wounded Cassian and face death with him rather than live without him. They are expressing their regrets at not having spent enough time together when, suddenly, Elain appears to stab the King in the back, giving Nesta the opportunity to strike the killing blow, which severs his head from his body.

Nesta and Cassian

Nesta, though initially unwilling, eventually agrees to attend the meeting that Feyre has called for the purpose of renegotiating the treaty. Prior to this meeting, she treats the Vassa, the sixth mortal queen, harshly and stiffens upon seeing her with Feyre. When Vassa tells Nesta about how her father loved her and how he was a good man, having treated her better than her own father—and that she would live her entire life in gratitude to him—Nesta shows no reaction and instead stares her down coldly.

Back at the Night Court, Nesta is seen to be very withdrawn and upset due to the death of her father and the apology he gave prior to his murder at the hands of the King of Hybern. She is so visibly shaken that she does not even visit Cassian on his recovery bed. She retreats her rooms as the rest of the Inner Circle drinks wine and makes merry together.

A Court of Frost and Starlight

In the time since the end of the war with Hybern, Nesta's emotional health takes a turn for the worse. Her lingering trauma over her father's death and her forced transformation into High Fae causes her to become depressed and reclusive, to "feel nothing". She begins to lose control over the power she took from the Cauldron.

In an effort to feel something, Nesta begins drinking often and having one-night stands with Fae males. When her behaviour is questioned, she angrily replies that they have their lives, and she has her own.

Towards the beginning, Feyre expresses concern over Nesta's seclusion, as she has been refusing invites to the Town House and the House of Wind, and has moved to an apartment in one of the poorest suburbs of Velaris. To her surprise, Feyre finds that Nesta has become close with Amren, allowing her some small relief that she is gathering some form of 'counselling'.

Feyre attempts to reach out to Nesta, and visits her apartment, but she isn't home. Rhysand uses his power to find her and winnow them both to the Wolf's Den, a seedy tavern. Nesta isn't pleased with Feyre's arrival, as she disturbs her card game. Feyre dismisses the males she is drinking with, and tries to get Nesta to agree to attend the Winter Solstice. Nesta is cold and withdrawn throughout the conversation, offering flat responses and refusing to attend, questioning why she has to be part of the group.

Nesta is relatively civil until Feyre tries to use their father in her argument, at which point she becomes agitated and tense, and tells her to leave. On the way out, she mentions that her rent is due and Feyre says it will be delivered if she attends the party.

Nesta and Cassian have a tense chat about her being distant from him on the day of Winter Solstice, and Cassian throws her gift into the Sidra when she tells him to leave.

In the sneak peek chapters to Sarah's spin-off series, her behavior has worsened. After a night spent with an unnamed male, Nesta is annoyed when Cassian arrives and tells her that her presence has been requested at the new river house. She dismisses the male and goes with Cassian.

At the house, Nesta is slightly hurt to see that her portrait has not being included on the walls with everyone else. She expresses something like disappointment that her sisters and the circle no longer try to invite her anywhere. She is met by a gathering of Feyre and everyone else, including Amren, who she seems to have had a falling out with. Irritated by their interference in her life, she lashes out with her usual venom, angering Rhysand, who displays an uncharacteristic cruelty and uses his authority as High Lord to rudely force her to sit, which she manages to resist until Feyre snaps at him to stop.

Feyre then tells her that her behaviour has become unacceptable, and she doesn't want her in Velaris anymore. Shocked, Nesta asks where she is supposed to go and Cassian announces that she will be accompanying him to the Illyrian mountains.

Personality

Nesta is portrayed as irritable, guarded, and hot-headed, having built an impenetrable facade over her emotions. Feyre believes that she sees and feels so much that she must shield her heart with the fiery anger she emits. She is fiercely loyal to those she loves, namely Elain, and would do anything to protect them.

Physical description

Nesta is described as being incredibly beautiful. She has the same golden brown hair as her sisters and defined features. She has blue-grey eyes. She also has impeccable posture and stands very tall, and has a slim build.

Nesta is always seen in a dress, both when her family was poor and after their affluence has returned.

Trivia

  • The name, Nesta, is the Welsh diminutive of the name Agnes,[2] meaning "pure". [3]
  • Sarah J. Maas revealed that she originally intended for Nesta to be a stereotypical fairy tale evil sister, but after writing Nesta back at the estate in ACOTAR, Nesta's character development and potential exploded, leading to the Nesta we know today.
  • Sarah J. Maas originally intended to pair Nesta up with Lucien but later realized that these characters would "tear each other apart, and not in a good way."
  • Enjoys romance novels.
  • Since the Cauldron, Nesta can’t endure baths or small spaces.

Appearances

References

Night Court
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
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