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 Archeron is the sister of Feyre and Elain. They lived together alongside their father at the beginning of A Court of Thorns and Roses. She is the eldest of the Archeron sisters.

She was originally Mortal but was Made into High Fae after being thrown into the Cauldron by the King of Hybern. She is cold, calculating, the Archeron sister who felt it all too keenly, too sharply, a blade given form.

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 Mandray, 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 on 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 stepped 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 Mandray. Nesta's answer to her is "I realized he wouldn't 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 release. But she "had cared-beneath it she had cared, and perhaps loved more fiercely than I could comprehend, more deeply and loyally." (Feyre, Chapter 30 of A Court of Thorns and Roses). Nesta tells Feyre 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 I 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 to 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.

Nesta and Amren get along well due to the rage and fire they keep hidden. Amren gets along with Nesta due to her braveness and lack of fear when asking her questions and not submit to Amren's intimidating presence. Amren also sees herself in Nesta, "We are the same, you and I," Amren said. I wasn’t sure I was breathing. Through the bond, I wasn’t sure Rhys was, either,'Not in flesh, not in the thing that prowls beneath our skin and bones …' Amren’s remarkable eyes narrowed. “But … I see the kernel, girl.” Amren nodded, more to herself than anyone. 'You did not fit—the mold that they shoved you into. The path you were born upon and forced to walk. You tried, and yet you did not, could not, fit. And then the path changed.' A little nod. 'I know—what it is to be that way. I remember it, long ago as it was.'"

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 offers Nesta the job of being emissary to the human world. Right afterward when Cassian arrives, having not seen him after the battle, Nesta goes up to him and they share a moment holding hands before they are winnowed away to under to 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. During the conference the first day the conference, Nesta defends Cassian against Beron's harsh words, and as half of the high lords were going to leave enraged, Nesta gave a speech and convinced them to stay. On the second day of the conference, Nesta abruptly stood up in pain, 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. The Suriel tells Feyre to use Nesta's connection to the bones to track the cauldron in her mind. Nesta is able to do this with Feyre's help, Feyre describes her minds as, “If Elain’s mental gates were those of a sleeping garden, Nesta’s … They belonged to an ancient fortress, sharp and brutal. The sort I imagined they once impaled people upon.”

When she does so and they are able to rescue Elain the three Archeron sisters lay together embracing each other. 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.

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At this moment, she fights the King, both she and Cassian are badly wounded. Right before the King is about to hit them with a fatal blow, they declare their love for each other and wish that they had more time together, and share a kiss. The King of Hybern then attacks them, Cassian tells her to leave but she chooses to embrace a grievously wounded Cassian and face death with him rather than live without him. Suddenly, Elain appears to stab the King in the back, Nesta enraged strikes the killing blow, severing his head from his body, with her hands and face tainted with blood, she washed his head drop.

Nesta, though initially unwilling, eventually agrees to attend the meeting that Feyre has called to renegotiate 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

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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 behavior 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 'counseling'.

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 the 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, with who she seems to have had a falling out. Irritated by their interference in her life, she lashes out with her usual venom, angering Rhysand, who displays 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 behavior 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

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

Nesta is referred to by Feyre as a Queen without a throne, stoic, poised, regal, and judgemental. She confronted and did not back down from the Mortal Queens and High Lords of Prythian. She does not need to resort to violence or power to be intimidating and taken seriously.

Powers and Abilities

Nesta is an ambitious and authoritative character, whose powers are widely unknown. When Nesta was human, her strong-will and walls around her mind, allowed her to resist Tamlin's magic, Daemati mind magic, whilst her entire family succumbed to it. She has death-related powers and is considered to be a Death Goddess reincarnated.

Nesta is the Archeron that stole from the Cauldron when she became a High Fae. She took too much from it as revenge.

"I made it give something back." she said with terrifying quiet.

“Only Nesta would not just conquer Death—but pillage it.” - Rhysand

Nesta’s powers are associated with death, The Suriel tells Feyre to use Nesta to track the Cauldron, telling her that the bones will talk to Nesta. When the Book of Breathings meets the Archeron sisters and Amren, he introduces himself to Nesta by saying, "Hello... princess of Decay."

The Bone Carver, a Death-God, calls Nesta his sister, “What if I tell you what the rock and darkness and sea beyond whispered to me, Lord of Bloodshed (Cassian)? How they shuddered in fear, on that island across the sea. How they trembled when she emerged. She took something—something precious. She ripped it out with her teeth. What came out was not what went in." A rasping laugh as the Carver laid the shard of bone on the ground beside him. “How lovely she is—new as a fawn and yet ancient as the sea. How she calls to you. A queen, as my sister once was. Terrible and proud; beautiful as a winter sunrise. How the wind moans her name. Can you hear it, too? Nesta. Nesta. Nesta.””

Physical description

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Nesta is described as being devastatingly beautiful, with the same golden-brown hair as her sisters and sharp blue-grey eyes. She has full lips with defined features and a thinner build than both her sisters discounting her full breasts. She has an impeccable posture and stands very tall, often described as looking like a Queen in her own right.

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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