|SPOILER WARNING: This article has important plot information. Caution is advised!|
Stryga, also known as the Weaver or Weaver of the Wood, is a chthonic immortal being of immense power from another dimension who lives in the very heart of Prythian in a cottage made from the bones, fat, and hair of those who dare to enter her domain and are discovered. She is the twin sister of the Bone Carver and has an older brother named Koschei and due to her powers they are known as the Old Gods by the Prythian Fae.
Because her powers allow her to feed on life itself she is considered a Death-god.
In the time before the Cauldron, the Mother, and the creation of Prythian, Stryga crossed dimensions from another world (the text states that she "fell" into their world from her own, along with her twin brother, the Bone Carver, and their older brother, Koschei). The three siblings, who were immensely powerful by this world's standards, were set up as 'gods' by the ancient Fae living in the world, and they were then worshiped out of fear by those ancient Fae.
Stryga "delighted" in this worship, and reveled in it. She used the deaths of others to keep her body young by feasting on their life forces. It is implied that part of the worship she enjoyed involved living sacrifices made to her.
At some point, a lone female Fae warrior decided to put an end to Stryga's reign of terror, as well as the reign of horror created by her two brothers. Somehow, this female Fae managed to trick Stryga into "diminishing her power and becoming confined to the Middle" in a small cottage in the middle of a forest. Thus, Stryga became the "Weaver in the Wood", unable to leave that parcel of land of her own free will, imprisoned with only herself for company.
High Lords are not to interfere with her, no matter the direness of the situation. Most of her treasures will never be retrieved, because the High Lords do not dare be caught, thanks to the laws that protect her and her wrath. Any thieves on their behalf either do not return or are never sent, for fear of it leading back to their High Lord.
Feyre Archeron is tasked by Rhysand to retrieve his mother's ring for him from the Weaver. The purpose of the test was to see if Feyre was able to discern hidden magical items, so that they might be able to find the half of the Book of Breathings when they infiltrate the Summer Court.
When Feyre first approaches the quiet, lovely cottage in the woods, she thinks the place seems harmless enough—a location one might stop if one needed shelter for the night or aid. Inside, Stryga's cottage is filled with "bric-a-brac: books, shells, dolls, herbs, pottery, shoes, crystals, more books, jewels... From the ceiling hung all manner of chains, dead birds, dresses, ribbons, gnarled bits of wood, strands of pearls... A junk shop—of some immortal hoarder."
When she first sets eyes upon the Weaver, Stryga is singing and working at her loom, weaving soft, white yarn that Feyre instinctively knew was not animal in nature.
When Feyre finds and takes Rhysand's mother's ring from one of the cottage shelves, Stryga stops singing and weaving, realizing a thief has come into her home and stole something. The Weaver can not see Feyre, as she is blind, but she smells Feyre and senses her magical soul. Specifically, she notices that Feyre is "like all, but unlike all" as a result of having been Made by the High Lords of Prythian.
Feyre escapes Stryga's clutches with the ring only after setting fire to the Weaver's stash of tanned skins and woven hair, dashing up the cottage's chimney, and using it to crawl to freedom on the roof. She becomes stuck inside the chimney, and hurls a loosened brick down at Stryga, who is attempting to come up after her. The brick smashes into the Weaver's face, crushing bone and causing a spray of black blood. Feyre then scrambles up the remaining length of the chimney and escapes onto the cottage's thatched roof. She discovers it is actually made up of scalped heads of hair from Stryga's victims. She leaves, Stryga screaming behind her.
Rhysand has the idea that asking for help from the Old Gods in their war with Hybern might be their only chance of success. He sends Helion, High Lord of the Day Court, to act as his emissary to the Weaver, as Stryga knew him from before (that meeting was not described in the text, but the implication is that Rhysand and her do not get along). Helion makes a deal on behalf of Rhysand: to free Stryga from her imprisonment in the Middle if she agrees to fight for him against Hybern. Stryga accepts the deal and the pact is sealed with both Rhysand and Stryga receiving magical tattoos on their left forearms.
Soon after that meeting, Feyre appears at Stryga's cottage unexpectedly, leading Ianthe and two Hybern soldiers into the Weaver's cottage and trapping them inside Stryga's home. The Weaver eats Ianthe and the soldiers, and takes Ianthe's circlet as a prize for herself.
That feast bought Feyre some forgiveness from Stryga for her earlier theft of Rhysand's mother's ring.
During the final battle with Hybern, Stryga appears in front of the combined Fae Court armies next to her twin brother, the Bone Carver, who she has not seen in millennia, and another monster known as Bryaxis. Stryga wears Ianthe's circlet into battle, but carries no other weapons, nor did she wear any armor. She and the other two Old Gods are the first to march into Hybern's ranks.
She decimates Hybern's forces by magically devouring the life force from them, literally, turning them into mummified "husks". She is said to shred through Hybern's forces "in a tangle of black hair and white limbs".
During the fighting, she is separated from her brother and Bryaxis, who take on different flanks of Hybern's army. As a result, she is not close enough to her brother to save his life when death finally comes for him.
Just before Hybern unleashes the Cauldron's intense heatwave into the midst of his own forces, intending upon burning up them just so he can finish off the Bone Carver, Stryga seems to have had a vision of her twin's death. She lets out a horrified scream at the prediction, one that Feyre hears even across the noise of battle. When the Cauldron's intense heat and light did, in fact, smash into the Bone Carver, he is instantly turned to ash. Enraged and mourning her twin, despite their long separation, Stryga fights on against Hybern.
Eventually, she faces the King of Hybern personally, in an effort to distract him from Feyre and Amren who are sneaking into his camp to destroy the Cauldron. By then, all of the lives she has eaten have made her withered form revert into its more youthful, attractive form. Hybern comments on her beauty, in fact. Stryga replies simply that he is to bow to her, "as it was once done". That comment makes it clear to the King of Hybern that she will not be joining forces with him, no matter his flattery (that he should, in fact, just give up and become her servant). Hybern seems to understand that unspoken message, for he simply smiles at her, closes the distance between them, and before she can stop him, he snaps her neck.
Feyre believes that wound alone might not have killed Stryga, as she was a death god and not like the Fae. However, when Hybern throws Stryga's broken body down for his naga-hounds to rend and eat, Feyre knows there was no coming back from that.
In the end, Stryga, the Weaver of the Wood—an outsider and one of the 'greatest monsters' in Prythian's history—died a heroine, fighting for her people. Her days as a terrifying, awe-inspiring goddess of death, however, remained her legacy.
The Weaver has extremely white skin and long, inky-black hair. Her skin is parched and withered and she is blind, which makes her other senses very acute.
She has a crescent moon tattoo on her forearm from her bargain with Rhysand.
Powers and Abilities
Like her brother, the Bone Carver, Stryga appears to have the power of divination, but only for events that will happen in the immediate future. Furthermore, like her twin, she also has an innate power to "see" or "hear on the wind" magically what is happening in the world at all times in the present (the exception being she can't "see" the Cauldron, although she can "hear" it). This gives her a vast amount of knowledge, which others seek to possess. However, her knowledge does them no good, as the price for obtaining it is their lives.
Stryga's death-goddess abilities are magical in nature, and they allow her to literally harvest the life force of other entities, taking it into her own body, and use it to make herself stronger, younger, and more powerful. She literally eats life to subsist. When she does not have access to such sustenance, she ages (her skin sags and withers, taking on a grey pallor, her nose partially caves in, her teeth rot becoming "jagged stumps", and she goes blind, her eyes becoming "rotting, black pits" in her skull). She does not die of old age, as she is an immortal, but her body suffers the consequences when she doesn't feed on others.
Stryga also seems to have a telekinetic ability or a magic that can perform as such for her, as when she is in her cottage in the Middle, she can shut and lock the door and window to it using only her magic or her mind to do so. Once shut, the door and window won't open again until Stryga wills it.
The Middle where Stryga resides is a wild place with no Court or High Lord to rule it. Rhysand tells Feyre that there "the law is made by who is strongest, meanest, most cunning. And the Weaver of the Wood is at the top of their food chain". As such, she is the alpha monster in the Middle, and all others living there fear her.
Stryga maintains a treasure hoard within her cottage in the Middle. There are various instruments and items of power within that hoard, according to Rhysand.
She is bound by oath to Rhysand during the final battle against Hybern's forces. The tattoo marking their deal appears on her white forearm as a crescent moon, inked in black. With that deal, she was able to leave her imprisonment in her cottage to walk Prythian once more.
|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...|