This prediction deals with that “certain something” about Feyre that is mentioned but is never focused on in the first book. It is also based on great personal fascination with the “Beauty and the Beast” tale type, with which I am very familiar. However, if you are not familiar with the tale type or the original de Villeneuve version, this predication could be super-spoilery for you, so I am going to put most of it beneath the cut.
That “certain something” to which I am referring is mentioned at least twice that I have noticed, but it’s probably slipped in other places, too, because it is meant to be subtle. The first occurrence is on page 143 in my copy, and it takes place the day after the Suriel incident when Tamlin is offering to help Feyre write for the second time.
Passage 1 (P1)
“I’m not insulting you.” His quiet voice made it all the worse.
“I don’t need your help.”
“Clearly not,” he said with a half smile. But the smile faded. “A human who can take down a faerie in a wolf’s skin, who ensnared the Suriel and killed two naga on her own . . .” He choked on a laugh, and shook his head. The firelight danced along his mask. “They’re fools. Fools for not seeing it.” He winced. But his eyes held no mischief.
The second passage is at the very end of the book, during the final exchange between Feyre and Rhysand on page 415. Indeed, I felt the whole bargain between them was a bit strange, especially if the only reason Rhysand was interested in her had to do with making Tamlin angry. He would not go through so much trouble for someone he only lusted for, would he? There’s a particular moment during their final conversation that points again to this “certain something.”
Passage 2 (P2)
“Well, good-bye for now,” he said, rolling his neck as if we hadn’t been talking about anything important at all. He bowed at the waist, those wings vanishing entirely, and had begun to fade into the nearest shadow when he went rigid.
His eyes locked on mine, wide and wild, and his nostrils flared. Shock--pure shock flashed across his features at whatever he saw on my face, and he stumbled back a step. Actually stumbled.
“What is--” I began.
He disappeared--simply disappeared, not a shadow in sight--into the crisp air.
I have two very good ideas about what this “certain something” is. In fact, the what is less of a question for me. It’s more to do with the who. If you’re interested in finding out what and who I think Feyre is based on close familiarity with the “Beauty and the Beast” tale type, read below the jump!
Part 1: Beauty’s True Identity
Those who are only familiar with the Disney version of Beauty and the Beast or even with Mme. Le Prince de Beaumont’s version will not know why I’m so interested in this. Those who are familiar with Mme. de Villeneuve’s version, however, will know exactly where I’m going with it.
At the end of de Villeneuve’s novella-length story, from which all other popular versions were abridged or adapted, Beauty is about the marry the prince when the prince’s mother appears along with the good fairy who has been guiding Beauty. Though the queen expresses her gratefulness toward Beauty, she says that she cannot bless the marriage because Beauty is only a merchant’s daughter and her rank is not fitting for marriage to a prince.
The Good Fairy shames the queen for her preoccupation with rank, but reveals that she needn’t worry because Beauty is, in fact, a princess. She is the daughter of the King of the Fortunate Isles. Not only that, but Beauty is half-fairy. Her mother was the Good Fairy’s sister who married the king despite the great disapproval of the fairy council. One of the eldest fairies, called the Mother of the Seasons, condemned Beauty’s mother, stripping her of her powers and imprisoning her. She also declares that Beauty herself will marry a beast.
Meanwhile, the same fairy who cursed the Beast takes interest in Beauty father because of how lovingly Beauty’s mother spoke of him. She schemed enough to become Beauty’s stepmother, but eventually became so jealous that she sends Beauty into the wilderness to be eaten by wild animals when she is three years old. The Good Fairy, Beauty’s aunt, saves her and delivers her to be raised by the merchant. The Good Fairy becomes Beauty’s invisible benefactress, and it is she who arranges her arrival at the castle so that the curse placed on her by the Mother of the Seasons will also end the curse on the Beast.
Part 2: What Does This Mean for Feyre?
I hope that just by getting that short and sweet summary of Beauty’s backstory in the original novella, you’ll see what my big theory is about Feyre. If Beauty is a princess and is half-fairy, and Feyre is meant to be like Beauty, that means that Feyre is half-Fae.
I think even her name is a clue. We do not know what it means, but it even looks and sounds vaguely like faerie. Even Amarantha remarks on her name on pages 312-313:
Passage 3 (P3)
“Feyre,” Amarantha said, testing my name, the taste of the two syllables on her tongue. “And old name--from our earlier dialects. Well, Feyre,” she said. I could have wept with relief when she didn’t ask for my family name. “I promised you a riddle.”
Why would Feyre have a name from a faerie dialect? The human disdain for faeries altogether would make it unlikely for any human to knowingly name their child with a Fae name. However, we know next to nothing about Feyre’s mother. Could she be Fae? Or is it her father? I have two theories for who Feyre’s parents are and reasoning for each, so read on!
a) Feyre is the daughter of the King of Hybern
We see from the map at the beginning of ACOTAR that Hybern is divided from Prythian. We know very little about the King of Hybern except that he was cruel and fought against the humans during the Great War. This does not match the characterization of Beauty’s father in the novella, but de Villeneuve’s description of the Fortunate Isle is downright pastoral and wouldn’t translate well into a modern book about the fae, anyway. Could Feyre be the child of the King of Hybern? We do not know what he has been up to in the centuries since the Great War. Could he have dallied with humans? Feyre’s mother, even?
This theory works best with the timeline and with other things mentioned in the text, particularly concerning Feyre’s appearance. It is made very clear at the beginning of the book that she looks a great deal like her sisters and has her mother’s eyes. The King of Hybern could have had a child with Feyre’s mother, leaving the resemblance explainable. There’s also no timeline limitation on this theory, as conceivably the King of Hybern could have crossed into the mortal realm at any time after the Great War.
There are a couple of reasons that this is not my preferred theory, however. One is that it is a reversal of the original story, with Feyre’s father being Fae and not her mother. Also, the King of Hybern was so cruel and vicious that it’s hard to believe him willingly engaging with a human at any point. So this leads me to my second theory, which is the one I prefer but which requires a little more magic.
b) Feyre is the child of Clythia and Jurian.
I find it really interesting that we received so much backstory about the love story between these two characters, and we only ever see Jurian’s eye (which conveniently disappears at the end of the book). We are told that Jurian betrayed Clythia and crucified her on an ash tree. But is it possible we’re getting a false version of the story?
We know very little about Jurian, but we know a lot about Amarantha and her cruelty. Is it possible that she was the one who crucified her sister for the crime of loving a human? I think the answer to that one is yes, it is definitely possible. And knowing Amarantha’s ability to trick and lie, I think it’s very possible that she was able to convince everyone that Jurian was responsible for killing Clythia. Also, her relationship with Jurian (i.e. her decision to keep his eyeball and finger bone) suggests that she, like the evil fairy in BATB, became obsessed with him.
Of course, there are a couple of tricky parts about this that are answered by the first theory but, like I said, can be made to fit this theory with a little bit of magic. The first is Feyre’s appearance, which as I said above matches her mortal mother’s. I think this can easily be explained by a glamour. If someone from Prythian intentionally hid Feyre, they would have glamoured her to fit in with the mortals. I think there’s support for this idea in the dynamics between Feyre and her sisters. We know that Nesta is not fooled by Tamlin’s glamour--is it possible she is not fooled by Feyre’s, either? What if she can see that Feyre is not her sister, but the rest of her family cannot? This would explain her additional coldness to Feyre but her affection toward Elain in a way that goes beyond the facts of their conversation in ACOTAR.
My other suspicion for the glamour idea comes from P2, when Rhys has that dramatic double-take. This is the first time they’ve spoken since Feyre became High Fae, and I think that her glamour weakened once she became fully Fae. Perhaps it’s even gone altogether. If this is the case, when Rhys looked at her he saw not Feyre-the-mortal, but Feyre, the child of Clythia and Jurian. Rhysand is old enough to remember what these two looked like, if he ever met them. If Feyre’s glamour has fallen, he would recognize them in her features. This could also fit with theory A, if as a High Fae Feyre takes on more of a resemblance to the King of Hybern.
The second tricky part about this theory is the timeline. Obviously, the Great War took place centuries ago, and Feyre is only nineteen. But let’s remember the magic we’re dealing with. If there’s enough magic to take away the power of the High Lords and do any number of the magical things that occur in this story, I think it is possible that Feyre could have been preserved in hiding as a child long enough to find her a place in the human world. Or, because she is half-Fae, her aging is slower and she’s been glamoured to look and feel nineteen.
I am reasonably sure that Feyre is half-Fae, but her parentage could go either way. Personally, I think it would be especially compelling for her to be Clythia and Jurian’s daughter, but only Sarah J. Maas knows for sure.
Part 3: Who Knows?
The final question is: who knows about Feyre’s identity? This is a question I think we’ll need to wait to find out the answer to, but I have a couple of suspicions. I think it’s clear that Rhysand figures it out in P2, but what about Tamlin in P1? Does he know who Feyre is?
I might be remembering it wrong, but am I the only one who noticed that Tamlin never compliments the way Feyre looks in specifics? He tells her that she’s beautiful in general, but he never says that he loves her eyes or the color of her hair. Is this because he is not glamoured and can see Feyre’s true appearance? P1 suggests that he knows something about her that not everyone knows. But does he know exactly who she is or does he just sense the Fae in her?
Amarantha clearly does not know who Feyre is, otherwise she would have killed her on the spot. So the glamour works on her. If Tamlin can see through her glamour but Amarantha can’t, is it possible that he was given the ability to see through it by the faerie who placed it on her? He is a High Lord, and that could be explanation enough, but Rhysand is also a High Lord and does not see through it at first, even though he’s dug around in her head. I am thinking it was either Tamlin’s mother or Rhysand’s that put the glamour on Feyre and hid her, regardless of who her parents are. We know Tamlin’s mother was not evil, even though his father fought against the humans. But, given the powers Rhysand possesses, I think there’s quite the possibility that his mother very much possessed the power necessary to pull off such a complex glamour and keep it hidden even from her son. We know Tamlin’s mother is dead, but I do not remember if we have found out what happened to Rhysand’s mother.
Either way, I think Feyre’s identity and background as half-Fae are going to play a huge role in the coming two books, and I cannot wait to find out what Sarah J. Maas plans to do.
I think Elain likes Azriel. But Azriel, I mean he's clearly attracted to her, but I think his feelings stem from 2 reasons
1. Elain's sisters are mated to his brothers. And he wants what they have. Her sisters chose his brothers! Mating bond or no mating bond, This male has been alone and aloof for 500 years, he just wants someone to want him forever. That brings me to my second point
2. Elain shows interest in him. This added to the first point makes him think she's the one.
I do not think Az's shadows disappearing infront of Mor or Elain is a good thing. They are a part of him. And these 2 females are someone their master has feelings for but (I think) they make the shadows uncomfortable.
And that's nooott a good thing. When we read the parts with Gwyn, there's just soo much chemistry there.
Point number 1. Az is hella competitive and so is Gwyn. Her challenging him is something he finds amusing.
2. Say what you want but I think unknowingly Az is comfortable around Gwyn. His humour comes out around her. She makes him feel lighter.
3. Shadows! His shadows literally touch her breath. And when he leaves her, they're singing. Singing!
On a side note. It's been repeatedly mentioned how Elain doesn't fit well in the Night Court. She's literally described as a Ray of sunshine. Sunshine belongs in the day court!!
Ok so in regards to the Az POV chapter, I have some thoughts. This is super long and detailed and also tearing down ships, so uh, beware.
⚠️ACOSF spoilers (duh)⚠️
So I was re-reading the thing and as I was reading the conversation between Az and Rhys, it kind of hit me. I used to be an Elriel shipper until ACOSF, and I was really all for it.
But I don't think they're in love.
See, earlier in the chapter, Az is thinking about how jealous he is of the other couples. We know he isn't very lucky in love, and seeing Elain and her mate and their mating bond upsets him. I think he fancies Elain because she's beautiful and sweet, but I don't think he's in love with her. I think she's another thing he can't have, and he feels frustrated and it only makes him want her more. Because he thinks, why shouldn't he have her? Why is the Mother so cruel as to deny him love? And he thinks, "well all my other brothers have Archeron mates, why don't I? It must be a mistake!"
I think what Azriel's biggest issue is though, is that he wants love so bad, he's willing to risk it all for the first girl he feels attraction too. It also feels relevant that the primary thing we see in his POV is his physical attraction to her, his sexual attraction. We don't see much of how he thinks she's so sweet or so clever or so gentle, but instead how nice her tits are and how badly he wants to kiss and fuck her. I think he doesn't particularly want Elain, and while he likes her, I think what he really wants is love. True love, just like his brothers and friends. He thinks the Mother must be wrong because they both got Archeron sisters while he didn't, and his attraction to Elain makes him wish they were Mates so he could finally have that true love that's entirely his own.
But she's not. And he can't. I think what Azriel wants most isn't Elain. He wants her sexually, and he admires her and has a crush on her, but the thing he focuses on and gives him the most emotion is that she has a Mate and he doesn't, and that everyone does but him. I think he wants someone like Elain and wants to feel happy, but I think he doesn't exactly want Elain. When he thinks of her, he doesn't seem to be truly in love as we've seen other SJM couples are. And sure, it's early, but it's also been like— 2 years. I don't think they're in love sadly, I think Azriel just wants to move on from Mor and finally find love. He has a type, and when he found someone who loosely fit into the mold of his ideal partner, he jumped at it because he's desperate to have someone love him. All his life, he's struggled with self-love and love from others, and I think that it's deeply affected his relationship with love itself.
Physical attraction and desire and interest isn't love. And the idea of her being mated already only makes him mad— that of course the first girl he likes for the first time in 500 years, of course the girl that could help him move on from Mor, is mated. I think that only makes him feel more passionate towards her; and Rhys notes how he seems to think he has a claim to her, when he doesn't. It makes Az angry, not because Rhysand thinks he's being possessive and reckless, but because it's true. He genuinely can't have her.
As for Elain, I think she's far too hesitant to be with him. She reminds me of Daisy in The Great Gatsby, and how she claims to love Jay but she won't leave Tom, or jilt him. Now this is a different situation, because Daisy was selfish and didn't want to give up her comforts and stability and fame. Elain, on the other hand, doesn't seem ready to have a serious relationship with Az. I think she is still severely affected by Graysen's rejection, and is still clearly not over him. I don't think she's ready to accept Az fully and be with him, and I also don't think she's ready to reject her mating bond with Lucien.
I don't know 100% what's going on with Elain, but what I do know is that clearly she is intrigued by Lucien in some capacity. Ok Elriel shippers, don't come for me, but there are several scenes in which Elain seems to want to talk to Lucien, or whatever the heck. But also seems disinterested, like when she dismisses his Solstice gifts and doesn't speak to him.
However, I don't think she's resentful towards him exactly, or at least that isn't the main reason she's like this. While we know he was helping Tamlin lowkey, Feyre and the IC all understood he was on their side, and was their friend. So it seems kind of odd to still bear a grudge against him, but who knows.
But funnily enough, she has yet to reject their mating bond. If she's so disinterested, or hates him so much, why hasn't she turned him down? Mother, she's barely spoken to him at all. I think the obvious reason behind her disdain or distancing from Lucien is her connection to Graysen and her human life. Of all the sisters, Elain has not yet adapted to or accepted that she is Fae— or if she has, she's sure as hell not happy about it. Even Nesta in ACOSF mentioned how she actually likes her ears now, and we know Feyre has totally accepted being Fae. But with Elain, she had the most human connected life of them all, and to have it taken away from her is shitty.
For Elain, her happiness seems to come from a love of gardening, of family, of people. She has very little human things to hold onto, and adding a Mating bond to the mix right as she's made Fae is like she's had all her humanity stripped. She doesn't hate Lucien, she hates the bond. She dislikes that it's chained her to someone and taken away her choices, which we know is a big deal for the sisters after being imprisoned, kidnapped, and Made. I think Elriel is an infatuation, because even though she doesn't love Az, he's helping her rebound from Graysen (and giving her control and power over her love life). He's a choice she (can't really) make, but a choice nonetheless. With Lucien, she feels she has no choice with him, and no control over her obvious attraction I say obvious because mates have a primal attraction of some level to each other , and is probably afraid that accepting the Mating bond will remove any last connections she has to who she used to be, and the human she feels she really is.
But she also hasn't rejected it, because I think she realizes that Lucien is a genuine and kind and hot guy, and that rejecting him would be a stupid idea. He's been very patient and very kind and accepting, and has always given her the freedom of choice when it comes to the bond. I think Lucien is the kind of guy that would be very easy to fall in love with, and I think Elain sees that and knows it.
Also, I think with ACOSF, it feels relevant that Cassian pointed out specifically how Elain looked beautiful in black at the ball, but it looked horribly wrong on her. With SJM the devil is always in the details, and I think it was a clearly accentuated bit of symbolism. Although Elain looks beautiful, the black dress wasn't for her. And although Elriel is very sweet, it won't work out. She won't thrive in the Night Court, or with Azriel. Az doesn't challenge her or meet her as an equal (like all other SJM ships), and they don't push each other to be better or to accept themselves or whatever etc etc.
And I really used to like Elriel, but I think that surprisingly, Elain will be the one who says "stop, I can't do this" to Az. I think she knows she isn't ready, and I think she knows they aren't meant to be. Even if a Mating bond was put in place between her and Lucien, I still think their relationship wouldn't work because they're both too insecure, too closed off, too non-communicative, and too stagnant together to be a healthy or good match. I think with Elain they would struggle to understand each other even if they were fond of each other and can relate on some level, but at its rawest form I think they won't truly be able to be themselves with each other.
With Elain, Azriel's shadows— a key part of him— disappear. While I initially thought, awww that's so cute, she's a light in his life, I soon realized I was wrong. Az's shadows are not just a part of him, they're an extension of him, of his will and subconscious and emotions. So Elain chasing them away, while chasing away the shadows and darkness seems cute, isn't a good thing. Most of the time with shadows, we think "ew bad!" Because they have an inherent connotation of negativity or sorrow or depression or darkness etc etc. And while this is partially true, Azriel's shadows and darkness are a part of him. His sadness and struggles are a part of him. And his shadows aren't just representative of that, they're also a representation of how he overcame his abuse and turned that fire (pun unintended) and anger and trauma into something beautiful and powerful and a weapon. I think they can serve as an armor and a shield, and while that's not good, I also don't think they should fully disappear.
More on that: with Azriel's shadows, we know they're a part of him, right? So I think an important part of self is self-regulation. Rather than be consumed entirely by shadow, or totally exposed to the light, I think he just needs his shadows to be calm and present, but not controlling or hiding. I think the whole "Elain bringing him out of the shadows" bit sounds cute at first, but then you have to think of it like this. In order to be with Elain, he would have to change. He couldn't be a spy or a shadowsinger or a torturer, and he couldn't be dark and introverted. With her, he has to push that aside. Those are key parts of him, key parts that would have a big impact on their relationship. Elain can't be with someone with so much blood on their hands or a history of violence or darkness. We know that, because we know that sort of thing upsets her and she doesn't like it.
Azriel can't just be himself with her, he has to become someone else. And while he's attracted enough to not care, after awhile, that grows exhausting. Being in love and not being your true self, all of it, is exhausting. And while some might argue "why can't he be his true self?!" well my slime, I think we both know that even if we wanted him to, Elain would be silently resigned about it. I don't think— no, I know— Elain can't be with someone like Azriel. Even if they have feelings, even if they have lust or affection, it isn't love. They aren't in love, and they won't work out no matter how much we want it to.
Onto Elain: with Elain, this all ties back to what Cassian said in Hewn City. She looks beautiful in black, but it's wholly wrong for her. The Night Court is wrong for her, and darkness is wrong for her. While some yin-yang relationship tropes can work very well, I don't think this will. She doesn't like the darkness or accept it, and she doesn't want to be a part of it. I think the Night Court is good and happy for her when she makes her own little garden world, and only then, really. It's like living in the middle of the desert and only thinking of the beach: it's not the right place for her.
I think the Spring Court needs her, and I think she needs it. Here's more on that.
So we've seen the set up and execution of the fall of the Spring Court. We know that it's in shambles and is weak and needs a new/better leader than Tampon. I feel like SJM is setting things up for a new book focused in the Spring Court, because in a lot of ways, it's becoming the centerpiece for action in Prythian (aside from the Night Court). I genuinely believe that as Tamlin's second, Lucien will take over the Spring Court as High Lord. He doesn't fit in with Autumn, didn't fit in with Night, and wasn't really a part of Spring. But with Spring, it was where he was happy, where he felt safe, and the home he chose. Chosen homes and chosen families are a big deal for SJM, and I think that Lucien will return to the Spring Court to try and help it, because Mother knows it needs it. I think Elain belongs there, not only because she needs to be in an environment suited to her, but because she needs to heal.
We've seen a theme of helping others heal in order to heal ourselves, and I think a good book idea (and what I think an Elain book would be about), is healing the Spring Court and helping it. Elain is a gardener. She wants to see things grow and blossom, wants to get her hands dirty and dig in! But she can't do that in the NC. I think she needs something new and fresh and blossoming that she can help and tend to, and I think the person that can be at her side for that is Lucien. I think with Azriel, she can't see growth and life and flowers. He's a different kind of person, far too different, and the two wouldn't mesh well. Elain isn't like Persephone and Azriel isn't like Hades; although she's flowers and he's death and they're attracted to each other, they don't fully accept those roles and cross into each other's. Elain could never be a killer or someone who wears black or thrives in a darker place, and Azriel couldn't be someone who is in the full heat of the light and wear bright colors and be cheerful and flowery. In a dream world, yes, but I think in this one, no. SJM loves to create realistic relationships and realistic relationship conflict, and I think we'll see this here. Even though they want it to work, and in theory it should, it won't. I think they know it too. Azriel's shadows vanish when she's around, and Elain struggles to feel comfortable in the darkness and Night Court, and fit in with the others in the black dress that is wholly un-Elain.
I also think that this relationship doesn't bring development to the table. The forbidden love concept is adorable and a trope I love, but this love isn't one that will push them to grow. Azriel can feel loved and happy, but can he feel fully accepted? Can he stop being ashamed of his shadows, of his violence? Of who he is? Can Elain break out of her shelf and be more assertive, and truly grow and change? Can she be herself and be happy? The answer is a sad no. Their relationship is sweet and cute, but it won't truly work. I genuinely believe Lucien is a better match for Elain, and while the Cauldron isn't always right (like Rhysand's parents), it usually is. If he isn't, then I'm all for independent Elain.
Now onto the moment you've all been waiting for: who should Az be with?
Some friends and I were discussing this the other day so I thought I would put all of our ramblings into a post and share our thoughts with the fandom. I apologize for the randomness of it all and if someone else also pointed this out. I have to credit @hey_itsjoanna on Tik Tok, @silverlinedeyes @sciencebaetch and @psychee92 for helping with the screenshots.
In ACOSF we have Nesta recall this conversation with her mother.
Mama Archeron says that Nesta is going to marry for conquest, so my mind immediately went to Cassian, her mate. As general he's used to conquering and even during one of their sexy scenes Nesta desribes Cassian as a "warrior poised to conquer". Nesta also shows potential of becoming a general herself and conquering Ramiel.
We have plenty of scenes where Cassian's powers in battle are shown. I could pull a lot of quotes from ACOWAR but here are some small scenes.
Now onto Elain's part of the quote: Mama Archeron says "Elain shall wed for love and beauty". Where have we seen this being referenced before?! In Azriel's exclusive POV chapter, when he gives Elain her solstice present. A rose necklace. He describes it as "A thing of secret, lovely beauty". You can see how both are similar, could this quote of Mama Archeron have been a foreshadowing bread crumb that Sarah's has left for us, or is just serendipity?
The secret part of that quote could mean how part of Azriel's and Elain's interaction have been behind scenes or how it's going to be a forbidden love trope, as it has been hinted at Azriel's chapter with Rhys catching and forbidding Azriel to be with Elain due to the political repercussions and Lucien invoquing the blood duel.
Mama Archeron wouldn't be the only Archeron who could have some premonition quotes. If we look into Feyre's dresser, the one she painted before the events of ACOTAR, we see evidence of how those paintings have had impact in the overall narrative.
First, we have Feyre painting the night sky before she even knew of Rhysand's existence. Cassian and even Feyre herself discuss how concidential this is as seen in the next ss.
Not only Feyre tells Rhys how Nesta and Amren would be friends, which actually end up happening in ACOWAR and forwards books, but how Elain would be closer with Azriel to have some peace and quiet, she also smiles at the thought of Elriel being together and how handsome they would be. Feyre also mentions how that would be beautiful if Azriel would ever stop loving Mor. We jump to ACOSF where Cassian does point out that it seems like Azriel has given up on Mor.
Nesta's drawer is painted by flames and her powers during ACOSF not to mention the actual name of the book are silver flames.
Elain's drawer in the dresser shows different flowers that have been changed during the different books as shown in the ss.
But the flowers they have in common are ROSES. Elain being a gardener, would be a given as to why Feyre painted flowers for her sister's drawer but, in laters books we see some roses elements that also connect to Azriel. The first thing that comes to mind is that he gifted Elain a rose necklace and the second would be that he also has a state called Rosehall, as mentioned by Rhys during
Moving onto the next possible foreshadowing coming from one of the Archerons, during ACOFAS Elain bakes a cake with the help of Nuala and Cerridwen for Feyre's birthday. In that cake the decorating theme is again the family dresser. What I would like to point out from this scene is the order of the cake.
Personally this could be an easter egg for the order of the books. Elain explains that she used Feyre's layer as the base of the cake, because she has always been the foundation, the one that has always lifted them. The first three books in the series are from Feyre's point of view, then we follow with the second layer, flames for Nesta, and guess what? The first book in the new series is told from her point of view. Now one would assume that having Elain be the last layer of the cake would mean that her point of view is next, so it seems logical to hope for ACOTAR 5 to be Elain's book. Also at the end of ACOSF we see Nesta leaving a wooden carved rose belonging to Elain in their father's grave, another hint of Elain's book being next? As for who the male point of view would be personally all hints point to Azriel.
Elain's quote of Feyre being the foundation could also foreshadow the couples, as if she hadn't met Rhysand none of the sisters would have met their significant others. Yes three sisters with three brothers. But it's funny how three powerful made females exist at the same time as the three powerful Illyrians (potentially the three powerful males).
Sarah normally writes her couples as being equals:
Feysand are the rules, as High Lord and High Lady of the Night Court.
Nessian the generals as shown in ACOSF.
Elriel potentially being the spymasters or with their shadow powers combined (as I explained in my previous post).
One of the things I love most about Sarah's writing is that if you read closely you can point all this easter eggs or breadcrumbs she leaves for future books. Again this could all be serendipity or actual foreshadowing, who knows. These are speculations but I thought I would share my crazy thoughts on the matter. Also English isn’t my first language so I might not be the most eloquent. I tried my best to explain my crazy train of thoughts. Please let me know what you think about this.
I am rereading the book, and planning to read the bonus chapters in context.
I thought it would be useful to throw the data points out there of where in ACOSF the two bonus chapters fall.
So if you are rereading the book...
When you finish ACOSF Chapter 21, then read the Feyre POV bonus chapter...
...then continue on to ACOSF Chapter 22, and so on, until...
When you finish ACOSF Chapter 58, then read the Azriel POV bonus chapter...
...then continue on to ACOSF Chapter 59, and so on through the end of the book.
Why this matters:
I think seeing how the characters in the bonus chapters act after the bonus chapters take place is an important detail, and one that is hard to look closely at when reading the bonus chapters as standalones.
I'll probably post separately about anything I notice on this slower reread by reading these in order.
(There are technically no ACOSF SPOILERS in this post, but fair warning there may be some in replies and comments, so I'm still tagging it as such.)
That’s the part she never told anyone about. That’s the part Eris keeps alluding to. That’s why she is willing to take Feyre and even Nesta away when they first discover their own mates. She rejects the bond, and she never told anyone about it. That’s part of why she avoids Eris through ACOSF, she doesn’t want anyone to scent the bond if they’re together. That’s part of why she’s so on edge anytime they’re near each other. Maybe Azriel could tell during the high lord meeting and that was why she was so scared when he attacked Eris.
Remember when Deanna possessed Aelin in EoS and the magic was described as “silver flame”? And then the “silver flame” was also “the cold of the stars, the cold of stolen light. Moonfire.”
The Illyrians thought Nesta was a witch, and Amren defined witches as those who, “amass power beyond their natural reserve.” If Nesta’s stealing light and power from the stars and moon is the silver flame, then it would make sense the Illyrians thought she was a witch.
Plus, with stars and the moon being such an integral part of acotar, Nesta’s silver flames being tied to the night sky, in the Night Court makes a lo of sense. And SJM uses similar language and magic across all the worlds in the multiverse, I don’t believe she would have two different versions of “silver flames”. In this essay I will-
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So I saw someone joke on Twitter that Feyre would paint the whole description that she made when Azriel gave Elain his Truth-Teller as some anniversary gift for Elriel.
I saw the painting in my mind: the lovely fawn, blooming spring vibrant behind her. Standing before Death, shadows and terrors lurking over his shoulder. Light and dark, the space between their bodies a blend of the two. The only bridge of connection...that knife.
But, can we please go back to look at what Elriel gave Feyre individually as Solstice gifts in ACOFAS?
"From Azriel: rare, vibrant paint from the continent."
"From Elain: fine brushes monogrammed with my initials and the Night Court insignia on the handle."
What if SJM did this on purpose so that Feyre will actually create the painting using the gifts from Elain & Azriel?
If it’s certain the next book is Azriel’s is good to afirm then that Gwynriel is endgame (since Elain is getting her own book - will be a MC)?
It’s just that I always saw so many people saying there is no way SJM will put Azriel as a MC since she never put Rhysand (her favorite) or Cassian as MC (only LI) so it’s certain that Elain is next and Azriel will only be a LI like the others bat boys
*slaps ruler against chalkboard*
Listen, class. Today, we are learning about alternating narratives.
Silver Flames did this with Nesta and Cassian, and the majority of Throne of Glass did this as well.
Alternating narratives have characters with separate plot points that anchor their story arc and eventually come together to form one plot. One character is tied to the macro plot of the book, and the other is tied to the micro. Both feed into the other.
Azriel will not just be another love interest like Rhys and Cassian, because Rhys and Cassian were not just love interests. They have narratives outside of Feyre and Nesta.
The Professor is getting exhausted of seeing the arguments that Azriel can’t hold his own as a leading character because this has literally no standing. It’s a lazy argument with no points to back it up.
Anyways, Azriel is going to be a leading character and hoes mad.
(I mainly created this post as I saw some people trying to say that Gwynriel has this trope😭)
I saw the painting in my mind: the lovely fawn, blooming spring vibrant behind her. Standing before Death, shadows and terrors lurking over his shoulder. Light and dark, the space between their bodies a blend of the two. The only bridge of connection...that knife.
That smile grew, bright enough that it lit up even Azriel's shadows across the room.
Perhaps that was why she now kept all the curtains open. To fill the void that existed where all of the light had once been.
The faelights gilded Elain's unbound hair, making her glow like the sun at dawn.
Elain is continuously described as this lovely, kind character meanwhile Azriel is basically death incarnate. They are literally opposites. (Opposites attract🤭)
In ACOMAF, when Rhys found Feyre at the cabin, Feyre brought Azriel’s issue of self-worth up when thinking of Rhys - one of the many parallels between the two males - but, interestingly, she said that Azriel thought that he "didn't deserve someone like Mor," not that he felt he "didn't deserve Mor."
This isn't the only time that SJM has used this trick; in ACOSF, Nesta noted that the Spring Court would be perfect for someone like Elain, but again, she did not say Elain herself.
Unfortunately, Nesta’s thought has been used in many ways, mostly to separate Elain from her family, which I doubt was SJM's intention. But I digress.
Whom do we know who is often discussed in similar terms as Mor? Elain Archeron.
Mor and Elain are both written with imagery that evokes feelings of warmth, and bringing light into the dark; in ACOSF, they are even listed next to each other as being notably absent when the air was wintry cold.
The above parallel was even made just after Azriel was noted as leaning against the mantel, which was setting up for the scene at solstice, where he lied to Nesta, telling her that he wasn't with his family by the fire because his shadows didn't like the flames; Nesta then acknowledged that it wasn't the flames that kept him away, but rather the person next to them - Elain - who was "his secret to tell, never hers."
This was then confirmed in Azriel’s bonus chapter.
I've said before that Azriel has a type, and it is someone who is full of sunshine and warmth, who can meet him half-way into the darkness. For this reason, I think that the following passage, which conveniently followed Feyre and Rhys' mate bond rejection discussion - in which Feyre mentioned that Elain and Azriel would be a good match, again - in chapter 24 of ACOWAR, is significant.
Why would Az suspect that Mor was a good enough match for him to be his mate, if she wasn't? It's an interesting thought to put out there for no reason. What if Mor was close, but his actual mate was always meant to be someone "like" Mor, not Mor herself? What if Elain was meant to be his mate, before the disaster that was their trip to Hybern? Elain, who is sunshine, warmth and spring personified, but also matches Azriel’s energy.
The fact that Feyre "rose" after talking about Az and Mor with Rhys served to bring Elain back into mind, rounding off the conversation that began with her. Taking this a step further - and others have mentioned this before - Mor told Feyre that she could stand naked in front of Azriel, and "he wouldn't move an inch."
I've discussed Azriel’s feelings of unworthiness before, and this is another example of them manifesting. However, compare Mor's prediction above to Azriel’s ACOSF solstice night POV with Elain, where he was ready to kiss her while she was fully clothed - wanted to taste her - even though they were in the middle of the hall, where anyone could see them.
Azriel only stopped because his High Lord ordered him to, before warning him of the potential political ramifications of his pursuing a relationship with Elain, and forbidding him from doing so. However, as Azriel said to Rhys, "You can't order me to do that." After reading the ACOSF bonus chapter, the following line from Mor in ACOMAF now seems more like foreshadowing than ever.
Do we really think that Azriel, who has defied orders before - we all remember "chain me to a tree, Rhys!" - will stay away? Unlikely.
The Spymaster - the finder of secrets - having a secret romance with the Seer, who has even him beat at secret keeping? Sounds appropriate to me.
I know that the “I can hear your heart beating through the stone” comment is a very heavily debated topic right now, and I don’t want to fan the fire, but I noticed this and I can’t NOT share.
Here is the quote in question:
She looked away—toward the windows. “I can hear your heart,” she said quietly.
He wasn’t sure how to respond, so he said nothing, and drained his tea, even as it burned his mouth.
“When I sleep,” she murmured, “I can hear your heart beating through the stone.” She angled her head, as if the city view held some answer. “Can you hear mine?”
He wasn’t sure if she truly meant to address him, but he said, “No, lady. I cannot.”
There is a lot to point out about this scene, and it’s possible significance, but I’m only going to focus on the bolded parts.
Before I explain, I need to throw in another quote. This is from later on in ACOWAR, a scene that I nearly cry just rereading for this🥲:
That thing that rose and fell with each breath. That echoed each heartbeat.
The mating bond.
It wasn’t there. It was gone.
Because his own chest ... it was not moving.
And Rhys was dead.
These quotes point out something interesting to me.
Elain’s visions were often confusing and odd. It’s why they thought she was crazy. The ravens turning out to be two Hybern soldiers is the most notable example of this. I don’t necessarily think this was a vision (though since she added it’s when she sleeps, it’s totally plausible as well), but her mind was a very jumbled place at the time because of the visions, so she may not be thinking straight—most likely isn’t, actually—and could have also meant it as more than what is actively stated.
I believe she may have actually been referencing the mating bond in this scene, NOT Lucien (or anyone’s) actual heartbeat. Just as Feyre describes the mating bond to echo each heartbeat, Elain may have mistaken it to be such, or she may have known it was the mating bond—which is why she asks Lucien this question.
However, Lucien’s response is rather telling. He didn’t lie to her—we were in his head at the time, and Feyre would’ve noticed if he was lying. He meant it. He does not feel a heartbeat—nor anything similar enough to have caught her meaning. Which is odd, considering that Feyre only didn’t feel it after Rhysand had died. (You could argue it’s because Lucien and Elain haven’t accepted the bond, but in this context, it would be ignoring the fact that Elain was hearing it but Lucien wasn’t despite both of them having felt and been aware of the bond).
So my theory for this is that the heartbeat she is hearing is a mating bond to someone else—her true mating bond, to Azriel, while the one to Lucien is more likely a spell from the Cauldron. Not real. That could be a stretch, but with the mate behavior Azriel has exhibited (others have done a post on this, and I can too if people want to see it!) I don’t think it’s unlikely.
This is just a random thing I noticed, and completely my own interpretation! This scene is definitely a very interesting one, so it makes a lot of sense that it’s such a heavily debated topic, and it could have many hidden meanings. We don’t know what the true one is until SJM herself confirms it.
Full warning - this may be a crack theory. But a logical one.
Anyways, I’m a big proponent of the true mate/two mate theories. The gist of that theory is when Elain was made, the Cauldron (because it loves Elain) or Hyburn (for his own amusement) gave Elain a second mate, Lucien, but Azriel is Elain’s true mate. Azriel’s reactions to Elain really lend credence to this theory. Check out posts on that here, here, and here (the third link has major TOG spoilers).
WHAT IF the moment Elain went into the Cauldron, a spell was cast, a thread was made, that tricked Lucien’s instincts into believing that a mating bond was created?
Spells throughout the series are described as threads.
Helion describing how his spell-cleaving abilities work:
Feyre looking for a thread of Helion’s powers to undo a spell:
Helion looking for threads to undo a spell/curse:
So what if the mating bonds are spells?
Nesta and Cassian when the mating bond snapped:
Cassian describing the mating bond:
Feyre & Rhysand’s bond locking into place:
So this brings me to my point - the mating bonds are between the souls.
Rhysand, Feyre, Nesta, and Cassian have constantly described the mating bond as one that is between their souls. The bond is described as gold, as light - an indicator of magic. Once it locks into place, their scents, their selves merge as one. It’s as if the bond is woven into the very essence of their souls.
As Majda states:
Hyburn could not cleave Feyre and Rhysand’s mating bond
But the bargain between them (described as a thread):
That’s what Hyburn undid. He sought the bond between them and undid the first thread connecting them. Could Hyburn have even undone the mating bond?
Amren seems to think it’s impossible:
Mating bonds cannot be undone. Can you truly rip apart a thread connecting souls? A thread that seems to be determined at birth (see Rhys & Feyre - I saw you in my dreams; Kallias & Vivianne - in love for their whole lives; Cassian & Nesta - drawn to each other from their first meeting).
If a mating bond cannot be undone, then can it even be created?
But Elain and Lucien’s bond...
Elain and Lucien’s bond always struck me as odd.
It isn’t until after Elain is thrown into the cauldron that Lucien seems to tap into Helion’s powers, his instincts, to help Elain:
Like that instinct didn’t exist before.
[As a side note, I believe it’s Helion’s powers because Lucien broke Hyburn’s spell on the restraints after Elain was tossed into the cauldron - after the bond was made. Before that, we had no indication that Lucien had those powers. This is a direct nod to his parentage.]
Even Rhys, while Under the Mountain, was going to die for Feyre before the bond snapped into place. He tried to kill Amarantha.
The mates in ACOTAR all suspected the bond way before it locked into place. Rhys suspected it when he first met Feyre and again Under the Mountain. Cassian had an idea after the first few times of meeting Nesta. It existed for them when Feyre and Nesta were humans.
If they were mates prior to Elain being tossed into the Cauldron, wouldn’t Lucien have tapped into his instincts? Would’ve he have done more?
Hyburn’s remark made it seem like the “bond” wasn’t created until after Elain was made:
I think that maybe Elain and Azriel are true mates and maybe, the Cauldron saw Azriel dying and decided to give Elain another mate - since it loved her so much.
Check out these posts here for mate parallels between Elain and Azriel and the other mating pairs: one, two, three
More on Elain and Lucien’s Bond...
Throughout the last four books, Elain has shown no interest in Lucien and Lucien appears to try to honor the bond (due to tradition, maybe) but his reactions seem instinctual rather than personal (especially compared to the way Rhysand and Cassian act).
These snippets solidify my opinion:
Further, look at the way their bonds are described:
A thread tied to a rib.
Wholly different than a thread or threads between the souls.
And Lucien... Lucien says it’s a real thread. Almost like he’s convincing himself.