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#anti acosf
elucienschild · 6 minutes ago
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i refuse to believe lucien would ever act like as territorial as rhys or cass
i am sorry but if e/riel happen my headcanon is that lucien would be destroyed, but not mad, nor would try to kill azriel. he would let them because it would make elain happy. and that is why he is superior.
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daisybrekker · an hour ago
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Why SJM cutting out the 3some scene confirms Elriel
So I think it's pretty obvious from one scene with Nesta's thoughts that the 3some that SJM said she wrote but had to ultimately cut out was between Nesta, Cassian and Azriel.
Now, why did she cut it out? In an Instagram live with Steph, she says how not only was it "too filthy" but she also "didn't like how it moved some of the emotional threads in different ways" and therefore she'd have to deal with the repercussions of that.
Let's create a scenario, shall we?
If Nesta did have that 3some with Cassian and Azriel, it would obviously complicate stuff in the future books with Azriel's LI (At first I thought SJM might mean it would complicate Nessian but why would she have drama between them in books where they aren't the main focus anymore?) There would most likely be jealousy and even a slight sense of betrayal, right? So let's analyse this with both Elain and Gwyn
Elriel
Elain is Nesta's favoured sister as we have seen throughout the series. Despite the fact she's not in a relationship with Azriel, there are clearly mutual romantic feelings (to what extent, we don't yet know) Now, imagine Elriel happening in ACOTAR5 and Elain finds out her lover had a 3some with her own sister.
We know that she's a romantic so this would definitely hurt her to some extent, maybe even make her slightly insecure and as much as Nesta can sometimes be petty, she wouldn't do something like this to Elain, especially as she's noticed Azriel's "secret".
Gwyn
Nesta and Gwyn's friendship is clearly significant to both of them, but let's be honest, if Gwyn was Azriel's endgame and the 3some scene happened, Gwyn wouldn't exactly have as much right to be upset about it as Elain would. Why?
Nesta and Gwyn just recently became friends, it would be different if their friendship was going on for years
Try to put yourself in Nesta's shoes. What would be more hurtful and have severe consequences, sleeping with your friend's lover or sister's lover? (Yes I know that currently Azriel, Elain and Gwyn are all single, but we're thinking of the future right now)
Besides that, SJM made it clear there would be repercussions, and is Gwyn the type of person to be so upset with Nesta for sleeping with Azriel when they just met and neither girl owes eachother anything?
To finish this post, I want to make it clear that I'm not saying that the characters aren't allowed to explore their sexuality by sleeping with others (I mean, we literally had Nesta sleep with many people at the start of ACOSF and there's nothing wrong with that!) but I'm thinking of the bigger picture. What scenario would have the biggest consequences and drama that SJM wouldn't want to deal with?
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salalalala04 · 4 hours ago
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Unpopular Opinions for ACOSF:
There are soooo many things I hated about this book. And I am baffled about other people‘s opinions to be honest.
Opinion 1: Nesta‘s hype
Firstly, there’s the fact that people started loving Nesta after ACOSF. I really don’t get how or why. Yeah, we got some insight on her thoughts and whilst I felt sorry for her constant anger, it did not excuse any of her actions in my opinion.
This girl WANTED and LIKED to hurt people. She literally calculated the ways she could hurt them the worst, this includes both her mate and her sisters. And she did not even apologise properly. That scene at the end when she saves Feyre is cute, but it did not do much.
So I really don’t get how people started loving her.
Opinion 2: Feysand in ACOSF
I adored Feysand before ACOSF and I still adore them.
Feyre had zero malicious intent when she was trying to help Nesta. It is very obvious that she loves her sister and that seeing her destroy herself way too much for her. I get that her means may be a little controversial and debatable but I honestly couldn’t think of a better alternative to help her. Nesta herself even admitted that she had been destroying herself and that the training helped her.
So I don’t understand how people hated Feyre in this book. She was as kind and loving as usual.
Moving on to Rhys. I can totally understand why he hates Nesta. If someone was this terrible to your s/o would you treat them nicely? (I really hope you’ll say no). Yes, I don’t think he should have hidden the risk of the pregnancy from Feyre, however I do understand why he did it, as something like this can negative after a pregnancy and he did not want her to worry.
So was it justified? No. Was it understandable? Yes
Opinion 3: The Valkyries
I‘m going to be very blunt regarding this: the Valkyrie plot made me cringe. Hard.
While I do enjoy reading about woman power, this plot point was wayyyy to rushed.
No matter how talented you are, it is simply impossible and incredibly unrealistic to be able to defeat Illyrian warriors who dedicate their lives to training and fighting. Especially after only having trained for a few months.
I mean, I am aware that these kind of books are not meant to be realistic. But seriously? As if Emerie and Gwyn are the only People to climb to the top of Ramiel after centuries? It was sooooo cringy and unrealistic.
I would have much preferred it they had simply been able to reach the mountain and survive, as that is already really admirable after training for a few months.
Opinion 4: Elucien
So I know that people fight a lot about who’s going to end up with whom.
And while I ship Elriel, I do understand the appeal Gwynriel might hold to some.
But there’s no way I’ll ever understand why people STILL ship Elucien after ACOSF.
Don’t get me wrong, I very briefly shipped them too, when I found out they were mates before reading ACOMAF. But after finishing that one and ACOWAR, it is impossible to ship them.
Elain‘s has both expressed orally and physically that she is uncomfortable in his presence. She can’t stand to be near him or talk to him.
She’s trying to avoid him at all costs and does not want to use his presents. She hates the fact that she’s his mate. And she clearly has feelings for Azriel.
I do get why people might like to read about them growing to love each other.
But anyone who has read SJM books properly would know the dynamic endgame couples might have, even if they can’t stand each other.
Rowaelin and Chaolx Yrene are Great examples for that.
They couldn’t stand each other in the beginning but they still had a certain dynamic and tension and it was obvious they would grow to love each other.
I really can’t see this happening with Elucien. Also, we see him be much happier and comfortable with Vassa. SJM dropped like a billion hints about the mating bond being rejected.
I get why people want Lucien to be happy, I do so, too. But I don’t think Elain is the Right Person for that.
If you have read my rant until here, you’re got my respect! I Mainly wrote it to get it off my chest since there is no one with whom I could talk about this in real life.
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abbyslay · 5 hours ago
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Invalidating an abuse victims thoughts and feelings in favor of their abuser. Hmm
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abbyslay · 5 hours ago
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When will y’all understand that nesta was just as underdeveloped as elain before her book. She was just loud.
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wildlyglittering · 6 hours ago
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My Gift to You
I received an anonymous request to write something about Nesta and Rhys’ relationship post ACOSF and them having a conversation. The requestor said that their relationship didn’t feel genuine enough and that they had a lot of work to do before they consider themselves brother/ sister.
I mean.... same anon. Same. The relationship was definitely not one of happy families in my eyes and personally Rhys buying Nesta gifts just felt like the cheapest way to close the lid on their ‘relationship.’
I don’t know if this is what anon wanted but I just can’t write a future where those two truly bond and get along. So this is Nesta and Rhys as I feel would be most appropriate.
***
‘Brother,’ she’d called Rhys. It was not a word which drifted from her lips as easily as it did from Feyre’s when she used the term to refer to Cassian, or for Cassian himself when he spoke of his kin.
Brother.
There had been no time for thinking, not with the screaming and shrieking and the copper tang of blood filling her nose. Rhys was losing his mind and the healer, Madja, was next to useless, pleading with Feyre to fight death - an act as impactful as a raindrop at the bottom of the ocean.
If fighting death were easy, everyone would win.
Nesta knew if you needed to beg for a life, you needed to beg to what could heed you.
The memory of what transpired for Nesta, when she stepped from one form into another, had faded over time like some strange fever dream.
There had been a presence swimming next to her, a shark with a sharp fin and razor teeth, twisting and arching, waiting to tear from her what she had torn out first. But something else was with her, someone else, with a golden light to illuminate Nesta’s way.
Something given and something gained. Those were the thoughts floating in her mind once she’d been present again.
Nesta sought out the opening of Feyre’s eyes, desperately listened for a new-born’s wail and thankfully, she received both.
Afterwards, in the calm, long after she’d embraced Rhys, Nesta wondered what she had meant by that word - brother.
Even as she cradled Nyx’s delicate head in the nook of her arm, stroking the tufts of downy black hair, she didn’t think of him as someone she shared with Rhys. No, despite the hair and sleepy violet eyes, he was someone Nesta shared with Feyre.
Sister. That was a stronger word.
The first infant Nesta ever held was Feyre. She remembered a scrunched up red face peeking behind a blanket as her new baby sister was placed in her arms while a toddler Elain sobbed in the background, upset at not being baby anymore.
I already have one of these.
That was her first thought, her first memory of Feyre.
“Look”, someone had said as Feyre opened her eyes, “they’re the same as yours, Nesta. The very same.”
For a long time, that’s all they had in common. The gift of the same eyes.
Perhaps Nesta had called Rhys brother because in that moment he was. He was her mirror counterpart, not a piece of her heart or soul the way Feyre, Elain and Cassian were but something prominent nonetheless. A shard of glass slicing into each other’s bones that they just couldn’t pull out.
Thank you, he’d said and she wanted to tell him not to say those words. She didn’t do anything requiring praise, she did what she did for the love of her sister and her sister’s child.
Do not thank me for my very nature.
They drifted into an uneasy peace. A gulf remained between Nesta and Elain which Nesta had no energy to remedy, but a bridge had been built between Nesta and Feyre and the connection was one Nesta strengthened as much as possible.
Nesta walked with Feyre around her gardens, joined at dinners and was polite and nodded and minded her manners and, when she had enough, she would return to the House of Wind and let Cassian love her.
As time passed, so did Nesta’s thoughts of Rhys as a brother.
Once again, he became her sister’s mate, her mate’s friend, her nephew’s father. Once again, he became High Lord. Ruler. Overseer.
Months after Nyx’s birth, Rhys and Feyre attended Winter to visit Viviane who had recently birthed her first child - a girl and rumours had followed of secret meetings between the High Lords. Rhys had purchased numerous furs; thick, luxurious pelts in sable, fawn and silver and sent them Nesta’s way.
“I don’t want these things he gives me,” she told Cassian soon after, standing in a room filled with Rhys’ tokens.
“The furs aren’t too bad,” Cassian replied. “They make the floor more comfortable,” he said, his mouth hot on her neck.
She allowed him to distract her but at night while Cassian slept, she walked around the House, grazing objects with her fingertips and glared at the ones which seemed to shimmer too bright, too long. The House itself rippled with unease.
“They’re all junk,” Nesta said to the darkened hallways. “Jewels and silks and throw cushions.”
Feyre and Rhys had told her once, not long ago, how embarrassed they were at the quantity of their money she’d spent on her path towards destruction. Her pulse jumped underneath her skin at the memory.
There had been no love for her life back then, no begging and pleading to a higher power. No, it had been their love for their finances, their concern for their reputation, their lack of control over Nesta which spiralled into entrapment.
Die, she’d heard. Just do so cheaply and in the dark.
Although the word ‘brother’ faded from her mind, Nesta let her animosity go with it. She had the sweetness of her nephew to immerse herself in and she marvelled at the smile on his gummy mouth and the way he wriggled across the floor on his belly towards her, perfect black wings tucked against his body.
One day he would use them to soar the skies and his freedom, his life, was the best gift Nesta had ever received.
His life was the best gift Nesta would ever give.
Nyx was shy of a year old when the whispers started. One day they didn’t exist and the next – they did. They held a metallic quality as though they being spoken through the clang of steel on steel.
High King.
One night, while Cassian rested on the furs, naked and sated, she trailed her fingertips up his knee, up his thigh to where his flesh lay, warm and re-hardening.
“Tell me,” she said, circling a finger around the tip, “what did Rhys speak to Kallias about all those months ago?”
Cassian exhaled a long breath. “Rhys wants Kallias to accept him as ruler.”
“Of the Night Court?”
“No, he – ah, don’t stop – of Prythian.”
“And what was their arrangement? How could Rhys obtain Kallias’ agreement?”
Cassian’s gasps filled her ears. “Through Nyx,” he forced out, “a promise he would marry Kallias’ daughter.”
After that she listened more to what the clanging whispers told her across the breeze, to what the House told her, to what she heard outside closed doors in Rhys’ home on visits to her sister.
Nesta was as serene as the Mother herself when she drifted to Rhys’ study and lingered by the locked door where he and Amren held counsel.
“They are the same as before, inert and useless.”
“Get her to the blacksmith, boy.”
“Her ability is gone.”
“Possibly, but test her to be sure. If she forges a hundred thousand swords then at least one might be Made.”
“She won’t do it.”
“Ban her from seeing the child until she does. She’ll forge then.”
Nesta closed her eyes, clenching her fists until her nails dug into her palms and blood trickled through her knuckles.
For a moment Nesta became a blade, sharp and dangerous, mounted on a wall and viewing Rhys and Amren from a height. The shadows danced from the lit hearth onto Rhys making his face sunken and hollow. For the first time, Rhys looked every inch the ancient creature he was.
Amren walked to the blade that was Ataraxia, that was Nesta, her silver eyes reflected in the shining metal, a palm splayed outwards with the reverence a worshipper showed their god.
“Turns out she wasn’t a pathetic waste of life after all.”
From then on Nesta would listen to what the blades told her.
Rhys took them from their mounts and held them, caressed them as he should his sleeping mate, his violet eyes passing from hilt to blade tip as his pupils grew fat with want.
They spoke to him but they didn’t listen and Rhys struggled with the push and pull every time he lifted a blade from the wall.
He practiced with them in the safety of his study but the blades were too heavy and made him clumsy, leaving the usually graceful High Lord stumbling over his feet. A ripple spread through the metal almost as though the sword were laughing.
We are no advantage to him, the whispers told her and Nesta knew they were infused with the anger she held towards Rhys when she Made them. Now, they said, now he believes himself your brother and he would like a new gift.
Instead that was what she asked him for, next time she was at his home.
“Hello, sister,” and his smile was akin to a wolf’s as it waited in the field for lambs.
“Rhys.”
He agreed vigorously to her request before she even named her price. Maybe Rhys thought he could eventually turn the bee itself into honey.
“I’ve given some thought,” she said, “and I’d like something back. Eris has the dagger but you have two swords remaining in your possession. Keep the small one but Ataraxia, I would like her to be mine. I will never ask anything else from you.”
The smile on his face froze into place as though he’d gone into the depths of Winter and been lost.
Though the blade wasn’t his, he didn’t want it to be hers.
“I don’t think so,” his voice soft. “What if someone tries to take advantage of you and steals the sword away?”
“I’d destroy it first.” However much the thought pained her, Ataraxia’s destruction had been considered - a gift to the other High Lords, one they would never know they’d received.
Rhys shook his head, his eyes dark. “No,” he said, “I need them.” Despite their resistance they were the only Made weapons in his hold.
“Why?”
He said nothing.
Nesta’s lip curled into a sneer. “To be High King, Rhys?”
He glowered at her.
“You know you’re starting a war among incredibly powerful High Lords?”
“I’m the most powerful.”
“There are more of them, they will combine their powers.”
“I have allies.”
“You have enemies.”
“I have friends.”
Nesta sighed and looked to the two swords, the metal glinting as though caught by firelight although the fire was unlit. Her name was murmured, the rasp of metal on metal.
“They’re your friends now but you’re demanding they give up their people, their lands and heritage to you and for what? Why would they do that willingly?”
She turned away from him and stood before the mounted blades. Her reflection was as clear as though they were mirrors, as was Rhys’ behind her, a dark mist forming over his skin.
“This is a war your son will likely reach adulthood in,” she continued, “do you want that for him?”
“I’m doing this for him,” Rhys spat, “you’re no mother, you wouldn’t understand. This is his legacy. My gift to him.”
A calm transcended over Nesta, as though she were wading through the clear waters of a pool, a loving hand on her back reminding her of their presence.
“Your gift to him should be allowing him to live his life. To allow him to care for the people of the Night Court, to give him the chance to fall in love and choose a partner of his own calling.”
“You don’t understand,” Rhys said again, “you had power for mere months and you think you’re the authority of giving it up. It’s a choice you wouldn’t have made if you understood what powerlessness meant.”
Once, when she wore another body, she could count the ribs underneath her skin by tracing them with her fingertips.
Once, in that same body, a man had pressed himself against her, his tongue forced into her mouth.
Once, Fae had ripped away her bedsheet and dragged her from her bed while Elain’s screams echoed in the dark hallway. She had drowned in the depths of the Cauldron, she’d watched her father’s blood spray across the grass, and she’d been dragged from her bed once more to be drugged and bound with her new body useless.
“If you say so.”
Nesta repeated Amren’s actions and traced her finger against the blade, Ataraxia shivered as though Nesta were running a finger down the spine of a lover. The sword moved, almost imperceptibly, but Nesta saw and wondered if Rhys did.
She’d bargained for the lives of his mate and son and yet Rhys wasn’t satisfied. Nesta was his mirror and so he gave her gifts believing she would want them as much as he did, because he continually sought out tokens to keep. He believed she would never be satisfied because he never was.
Nesta left, leaving him with the blades. They would be no benefit for him anyway and it wouldn’t be long before Ataraxia came back to her. Nesta understood now that Ataraxia had been her gift to herself.
All gone now, the Inner Circle assumed. After saving Feyre’s life, Nesta’s gift from the Cauldron is exhausted.
Lies, she thought as she walked the paths of Velaris to head home. All lies. The Cauldron had never gifted Nesta with anything. Everything she held had been stolen, ripped from something that never intended her to have it.
The sky was black, the fae lights of the taverns and restaurants glowing amber against the pitch and the happy chatter of the city revellers emerged from behind doors. All these fae living their lives as best they could, trusting in the protection of their High Lord.
They weren’t the same, her and Rhys, they were mirrored on the surface only.
Yes, they both stole power from those who never intended to gift it but she would die for those she loved while Rhys would kill for them.
The cold air was sharp and drew Nesta’s thoughts from the corners of her mind like a knife drew blood when sliced against skin. She drew her cloak around her shoulders and wrapped her arms around her middle.
There had been screaming and blood and Nesta’s pleas. There had been the dark slithering laughter of something taking something back. But there had also been the warmth of a hand, ethereal and eternal on her back and a golden magic which poured into Nesta until it overflowed.
Daughter.  
The Mother had welcomed Nesta and received her gift with open arms, re-gifting to her in return.
Death transmuted into life. Quieter but no less powerful. No less valuable in the future to come.
This is yours, Nesta was told, and will remain so until the end. This is my gift to you.
TAGGING
@live-the-fangirl-life
@champanheandluxxury
@dontgetsalmonella
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leiaorrganna · 14 hours ago
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i know that it doesn't make sense but i was looking at these gifs and sophie and howl gave me gwyn and azriel vibes 💀
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worldsnotsaid · 18 hours ago
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A Court of Silver Flames Thoughts etc. (pt. 2.2)
I just wanted to point out the last disturbing moments from end of the first six chapters, which I’ve had the unpleasant experience of reading.
tw: gaslighting, abuse, s*assualt
(1) Feyre and Rhys use Nesta’s intervention as…Foreplay?
“Is Feyre going to kick your ass for what you said earlier?”
“I already told the servants to clear out for the rest of the day as soon as you take Nesta up to the House.
[a few beats later] The clock chimed ten thirty, and Cassian rose. “Enjoy your not-fighting.”
Uhh, for one, Rhysand just expects that Feyre will forgive him. Like he doesn’t believe that he’s done anything wrong, and he doesn’t actually expect Feyre to anything about his actions.  That’s not holding your partner accountable that’s just Rhysand doing things because he knows Feyre won’t actually care if he does them. I don’t even think I’m surprised at this point. 
Two, how the hell do you undercut the intervention scene with this? Like everyone is immediately just okay with what they’ve done. I just do not understand why they don’t let Nesta just leave the court? They are very close allies with Hellion — someone who actually doesn’t dislike or insult Nesta — why not let her stay there? Why? Because politically Nesta does not have to be there, she’s not a member of the court. Could she not just train with someone in the Day Court? You know — the people who even more equipped in spells and magic? She’s not training with Amren, and the next best thing would be someone in Helion’s Court, because they totally specialize in wards, magic, and all that sort of stuff. The problem the only motivation anyone has for helping Nesta is for Feyre’s sake. And if you want, you can read the other portions where I compare Feyre’s actions to Tamlin, but here again is yet another parallel. It’s quite mad, because SJM disgusts me with her use of abuse. Tamlin is an abuser, so Feyre using the exact same tactics, reasonings are also abusive. So very ugly for her to do this to Feyre’s charcter.
And I don’t understand why Cassian, or Rhysand believes that Nesta would harm Feyre physically? She has literally left her alone for a year, Feyre has been the one who has continually initiated contact, Nesta has never used her powers, or reverted to physical assault, why is everyone treating her like a wild dog. And this whole story starts with Feyre and the IC bringing Nesta to the estate. Nesta hasn’t had contact with them before this. Unless…SJM acknowledges to some degree that the intervention is wrong. That any logical person would see the IC’s behavior as an attack. Even then, Nesta has never physically hurt anyone before this, so this attitude is just stupid. You know who has physically harmed someone when they got angry? Both Rhys and Feyre. Both have attacked people and harmed others in the process. Nesta is mean, but she isn’t irrational. 
“In the months leading to and during the war, Nesta had managed. Had stepped into this world, with these people, and started to see it—a future.”
So, SJM acknowledges that Nesta pulled her weight in WAR, but then she still insists on punishing Nesta? That’s literally what this book is, Nesta being punished. You don’t have to ‘Stan’ someone to see this as bad. 
[Mor]“We’d be better off throwing Nesta into the Court of Nightmares. She’d thrive there.”
Ah, so Nesta deserves to be abused in the CoN? Because she’s mean? I hate Rhysand, I really do, but I wouldn’t dare say that he deserved to be abused because he’s a bad person. The same with Feyre, Amren, or even Tamlin. But it’s disgusting for SJM to imply that Nesta deserves to be in the same place Mor survived. That’s ugly, and honestly showcases what SJM thinks of women who aren’t nice or some symbol of virtue. 
Cassian clenched his jaw, both at the insult and the truth.
Cassian could honestly just vanish. Worst love interest ever. I officially unship Nessian.
“Those pants were going to kill him. Brutally, thoroughly kill him.”
At some point, we have to have the conversation about Cassian being the one to train Nesta, and the implication of them having s*x while Nesta is still in the mental space she is in. When Feyre and Tamlin were both just having s*x and not talking (about feelings, nightmares) this was rightfully deemed toxic (and toxic for them both) When Cassian and Nesta do it, it’s okay? Cassian should not have been her trainer. But, that’s a discussion for another time. 
Lastly this: 
“Dark fire simmered in Morrigan’s eyes. “I knew plenty of people like you once.” Her hand drifted to her abdomen. “You never deserve the benefit of the doubt that good people like him give you.”
Nesta was well aware of that. And knew what manner of people Morrigan referred to—those who dwelled in the Court of Nightmares in the Hewn City. Feyre had never told her the full story, but Nesta knew the bare details: the monsters who had tormented and brutalized Morrigan until she was thrown to the wolves.”
(1) Mor, Nesta has done more than enough for this stupid ass court (2) Okay, so SJM basically implies that Nesta should be “tormented and brutalized”? Nesta, a 25 year old girl, should be abused because of a span of five years? Like people actively judge Nesta from five years of her life. Should we judge Feyre for eternity then? For violating Tarquin’s mind? For assaulting the Lady of the Autumn Court? For getting an innocent man whipped? For destroying the Spring Court? For implementing her sisters in the war? How about Rhysand? Should we judge him for actively murdering and enslaving people on Amarantha’s behalf? For drugging Feyre? S*xually assaulting Feyre? Mentally and Physically assaulting Feyre? For assaulting Keir?
Should Feyre’s bad actions define her? People sure ass hell don’t hold Rhysand’s bad actions against him. 
Do Feyre or Rhysand deserved to be abused because they’ve done bad things/are crappy people? HELL NO.
So why the hell does Nesta deserve to be judged and abused for her mistakes? That’s absolutely a disgusting message to push. And it’s crazy because you can tell SJM believes this, hence the abusive, gaslighting journey she has Nesta take.
This is very ugly SJM, you should’ve kept this in the drafts. 
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heyovivi · 18 hours ago
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So I’m going to be completely honest. Before I read Azriel’s bonus chapter in ACOSF I didn’t actually read ACOSF yet—I didn’t even have the book yet. Like a lot of people I read it online or on Tumblr where you find the book pages posted so you could read it. From the start I wasn’t an avid supporter for e//riel only because I just could not see it happening. Like it felt so...perfect? No not perfect. Boring. But perfect. Like it’s one of those things where if they got together the story would kinda just seem bland. Like there would be no flavor, no story—they would just simply exist together as a couple.
In my honest opinion I didn’t think Elain would challenge him and I thought Azriel would coddle her. Which doesn’t make for a good story or plot for either of them.
Like at all.
So when I read the bonus chapter and actually started to skim over the e//riel scene during solstice (trying my best not roll me eyes) I was kinda sitting there thinking, “well I guess this is gonna happen”. I was so unenthusiastic about the ship and scene and literally was over it the moment it began.
You know in leading up to the book with so much excitement about ACOSF and Azriel’s bonus chapter I did a lot of thinking over Az’s character. I never really did before because my favorites were always Rhysand, Cassian, and Lucien—I love Azriel but I felt like I never knew him like I did the other characters because he wasn’t given as much spotlight. But then I thought of who his love interest would be and...Elain? It all felt too easy for it to be Elain. In imagining his love interest I always imagined them to be someone who was badass and kept him on his toes. Elain just didn’t come off as that type of character to me seeing how the most interactions we got from the pair were glances and blushes—literally that’s all. In fact I even contemplated that people who shipped him and Lucien together are on to something.
Then, when I continued skimming the chapter I was convinced that Azriel’s and Elain’s story would merge into a forbidden love trope and honestly it was just so...stupid. It felt so stupid to me. Like they addressed the problems that e//riel was to have during the scene with Rhysand and not only that but I was picking up some major red flags from Azriel during this chapter with the specific wording used during his interaction with Elain and his conversation with Rhysand. And for a second I was thinking that the next book would be like a fifty shades of gray type of book with SJM admitting that Az was a freak and all and that he and Elain would adventure into the world of BSDM or something after caving into their sexual attraction to each other.
But then finally I met Gwyn. Again, I didn’t read the book yet so I didn’t know new characters were going to be introduced. The interaction was brief but come on...HIS SHADOWS DANCED WITH HER BREATH LIKE WHAT? When I read that I was so confused. I didn’t read the book. Didn’t know who Gwyn was or what role she played. But here she is, the curious little weirdo 😚, asking him questions and making him all caught of guard. The way she immediately put his mind at ease with just a brief conversation. How he described her smile at the end of the chapter as a thing of secret lovely beauty. (Though he’s an ass for regifting the necklace)
Then I finally read the book, finally bought a copy at my local Target. Then I read about Nesta’s journey, Cassian’s journey. I got to know who the Valkyries were and what their role was and the potential plot lines for the next books in the series.
And by the way, the way Elain invalidates Nesta’s trauma? Like when I read that, that’s when I knew I didn’t ship her with Azriel. It just seems like he’s so scarred and so traumatized and I feel like that in order to keep things the way they are, Elain would just ignore it like how she did Nesta and she would tell him to cope in a way that isn’t healthy, like ignore it or push it down. In my honest opinion I think Azriel needs someone who would put him straight, and tell him when he’s wrong, and tell him that he needs help and that they were going to help him.
When I met Gwyn, ngl she was super arrogant, but I think that was a reaction she had to Nesta’s attitude when they first met. But then when we see her more in the book and she’s kind of just doing her own thing like she’s skipping around the library and she’s dancing and singing to herself I think it is the most adorable thing in the world. She helps Nesta, she becomes her friend and then joins her in training (LITERALLY I SCREAMED WHEN NESTA FOUND GWYN’S NAME WRITTEN ON THE SIGN UP SHEET) and then when she meets Emerie she just immediately right off the bat shoots questions at her and honestly their whole interaction was just so wholesome because at first I saw Emerie as this prickly hard-shelled person who was being questioned by this curious little softie (then by the end of the book we realize that when Em gets close to people she shows this side where she’s that kind of friend who is reliable, sweet, and open (especially when she opened her doors to Nesta after her fight with Cassian), while with Gwyn we see her ambition, strength, and competitive side).
Finally, Azriel joins training. And I found it extremely odd how SJM was putting specific little moments between Azriel and Gwyn. Like during training she would sometimes peers over at him and gazes at him, or she would stand next to him, or sometimes it was mentioned that he would do extra training with her. like when I read those passages, I felt like they were planting seeds for a potential ship. Which then made the Azriel bonus chapter make much more sense if Sarah was planning to make them a couple in one of her future books.
But the moment I was completely sold on Gwynriel was when the Valkyries were at the base of the mountain and Gwyn was finally opening up about her backstory and her trauma before she was at the library. these two have history, and I think in Gwyn’s story, Azriel will play a large part because he’s already seen her at her lowest point and he can help her rise up into a newer, stronger, and better person. As for the other way around, I think Gwyn will really challenge Azriel in a way that not many people do because a lot of people are just scared of him, and I think he needs someone who’s going to call him on his shit and who’s going to really stand up to him.  Gwyn, from what we know is an outspoken character and I feel like when she gets close to Azriel she isn’t going to give him the space he wants because leaving him alone is what leads to these moments in the shadows or in the dark where he is brooding or where he is training because he’s just so frustrated not only at the world but also at himself. I feel like she would stay in those moments, she wouldn’t give him that space and she would help him through the darkness. We’ve seen in ACOSF that she’s going to be there for her friends in their moment of need, which is why she took a big step by leaving the library and going to Illyria to be there for Nesta.
So by now, I am literally in love with Azriel. My list is topped with Lucien, Azriel is my runner up then it’s Rhys and Cassian . But I’m so invested in Gwyn’s story because we don’t get a lot of characters like her with her little quirks and bright personality. I’m definitely pegging their story as a friends to lover type of deal and am so excited to see what SJM has planned for these characters in the future. 
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bookofmirth · 20 hours ago
What are your thoughts on why Azriel’s shadows disappear around Elain? Cause I see a lot of people claiming it’s romantic that he doesn’t need them with her while others say it hints at something more sinister like Dark!Elain. I can’t see either one tbh cause his shadows are a part of him. He’s had them to protect and guide him so why would they disappear around Elain if she was a threat? And why do they swoon and dance with Gwyn if Az and Elain are possibly romantic? My thought was maybe it’s because Elain and sunshine may be closer than we think which makes shadows disappear, but idk. Like maybe her seer power was tapping into her mate’s power without realizing it cause they’re bound? Is this one of those things where we’re reading too much into it when it’s just SJM just being herself and nothing is that deep? Help me Obi Les Kenobi, you’re my only hope.
I love youuuu I lol’d at the end of this. It got pretty long so part of it is under the cut.
Okay so this is going to be my whole half-assed attempt at talking about his shadows. I’m not going to get too deep with it because we have 3.5 books of his shadows doing their thing and that is TOO MUCH for me to sort through. However, I do have an idea.
(as usual, idfk what other people are saying about this, I’m just basing these ideas off of my reading and my previous thoughts about the characters.)
The first thing that came to mind is that Azriel’s shadows know not only what he needs, but what the people around him need. I know that sjm said that we won’t find out if they are sentient until we get his book story, but I think they are a bit of both - an extension of him, not totally in his control but privy to his needs and thoughts in a way nothing and no one else is. 
In acomaf, Azriel tried right away to make human Elain comfortable, for pragmatic reasons - they needed to use her house, and Nesta would be convinced if Elain could be convinced. “Elain can convince anyone to do anything with a few smiles”, Feyre tells Rhys, Cassian, and Azriel right before they all meet for dinner. Enter handsome, non-threatening Azriel, the nice little bat boy who would never hurt a fly (which we know is a lie, but Elain doesn’t need to know that, ever). He creates a persona for her that he know will be convincing. Elain is convinced. She talks to Nesta. They all get the mortal queen meeting Chez Archeron.
Tl;dr for this whole post if no one wants to click is that Azriel can be himself around Gwyn, to the point of sharing personal secrets. He can’t be himself around Elain, and his shadows are a part of him. But read on for more explanation.
During this meeting, Feyre also notes, and is grateful, that Az’s shadows are nowhere to be found. This would fit the idea of them being an extension of him and knowing what he and the people around him need. Fae shadows? Will be creepy to humans. Best put them away.
Okay, just glancing through acomaf I noticed that Elain is getting married to Graysen five months after Feyre returns. That means that she met Az, and then four months later slept with Graysen, and then months after that was still mourning him. Just saying.
So based on that reading, and the way that Azriel generally fades into the background until he is needed to put on one of his “personas”, the shadows play a big role in which “Azriel” people get to see. Azriel met Elain with his shadows hidden because he needed to appear non-threatening. As best they can, they continue to stay away from her when Az is around. 
In acosf I know that people are hung up on the fact that the shadows seem to want to protect Elain when she and Nesta are fighting. Now we know that Nesta would never truly, mortally hurt Elain. No matter how mad they are at each other, there was no real danger there. It was either a gross overreaction, or Az is actually overstepping his bounds. He acts the same way around Mor, too.
So people have noted that generally, the shadows disappear around Elain, yes? Elain, light personified, who basks in the sun, whose main personality trait is “likes outside and gardens”, wouldn’t be comfortable if Azriel’s shadows were around constantly. It’s kinda what you said, anon, I think it’s to do with Elain thriving in light, and Azriel’s shadows, which are a huge part of him, threatening that light.
Az and the shadows are aware of that. She’s still the sister of his High Lord and High Lady. She deserves respect. She deserves to be at ease, especially given what she has gone through. It’s a perfectly normal thing for us to have a persona around one person, but then to be open and free and our full selves with other people. I notice this difference in myself even among my friends.
While I don’t think this means that anyone, Gwyn or Elain, are evil, I think that Az cannot be his full self around Elain. He told Gwyn, “I AM a shadowsinger”, which means that there is a whole piece of him that does not feel comfortable in Elain’s presence because it would make her uncomfortable. I don’t think that it’s fear, or her being secretly evil, or anything beyond the shadows’ (and by extension Azriel’s) acknowledgement of the fact that he has a persona or role to play with Elain, and he must maintain that.
Re: Elain - Azriel can’t be himself around her. She doesn’t know the full extent of his job or the torture, and he tries to make his shadows less threatening, too.
Now, Gywn! Our little Carynthian Valkyrie. 
I’ve seen an idea that Azriel’s shadows dance to her lure???? Like????? His shadows have done nothing except protect him, and so if there was anything wrong with Gwyn, the shadows would have warned him. 
I see the way that the shadows react around Gwyn as indicating basically the opposite of what it indicates for Elain. Azriel is comfortable around her to the point where his shadows don’t feel the need to observe, to be defensive. They are playful, which is something that we never seen from Azriel himself, and so I am now headcanoning that eventually their playfulness will rub off on him?
And then in this scene Az reveals something intensely private about himself. This is about 130 pages before the end of the book and there is never a change in behavior from him or the shadows. (Sidenote, Elain asking Az if he can fly is NOT the same, I love her but what a stupid fucking question, he has giant ass wings. And that’s not something about himself that he would try to guard from the rest of the world, it’s pretty obvious.)
So anyway, I hope that all makes sense. I’ve never really put thought into his shadows before and I based this on what the book says, rather than trying to created some extended interpretation that relies on interpretations of interpretations of theories etc etc. I might add onto it as I think of more things! I could go more into the whole Az persona thing if people want. I’m kinda enjoying this whole being able to share my thoughts about him! Since for the past four years I knew I’d get hate for it. 
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dreaminginvelaris · 21 hours ago
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how is gwyn a side character and elain a main character? it doesn’t make sense. just bc shes an archeron doesnt mean shit. we barely got anything out of her in the past 5 fucking books and one book with gwyn and we got a whole ass story and beautiful character with substance. sjm literally gave gwyn everything to become a future main character.
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vidalinav · 23 hours ago
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Well... Happy almost Mother’s Day to Feyre and Nesta in one to two books probably.
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nesemryn · a day ago
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Did I just see an Elriel on Instagram use the "I can hear your heart beating" quote for Elriel fan art. First it was the "secret loving beauty" quote now this!! Was the full inner text of Azriel wanting to fuck Elain not enough. Eluciens barely get content for their ship as it is and even when we do, it's usually something heartbreaking that leaves others still skeptical of the ship. We can't have one thing can we.
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silvernesta · a day ago
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friendly reminder that "a thing of secret, lovely beauty" is a gwynriel quote and one thing y'all ain't gone do is use it for elri*l
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I think elriels forget that we don’t think gwyn and az are in love. they clearly don’t have feelings for each other and are not in a relationship.
however, the point is we want to see their relationship develop. yeah we get it y’all like ur romances to be off page and irrelevant. but we want az and gwyn to become friends, to get to know each other, and then eventually fall in love. I want to see that happen in a book.
acosf already established a sort of connection and symmetry between these two characters that makes people ship them. sjm gave them moments and groundwork that she can build a relationship on. they have history and an easiness that is compelling. you guys can keep your small glances that are apparently the epitome of love and we’ll keep our banter and potential.
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feysandandnyx · a day ago
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I hate sjm for making feysand suffer in acosf. I hate her for making Rhysand see Nyx stillborn, for making him see Feyre dying again, for giving Rhysand such deep pain that he made him scream. I hate this. Even though I know they were saved, I can only think of the pain they felt. I cannot romanticize people who have suffered so much by going through sufferings that could be avoided. I just wonder how this is not going to contribute to them having more nightmares and fear of losing each other. Sjm managed to turn a moment I always wanted to read into something bitter and traumatic and I will never forgive her for it.
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dreaminginvelaris · a day ago
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the way sjm made cassian a therapist/trainer/fuck buddy instead of giving him an actual fucking story, where we learn about his past, his character, who he is when hes not cassian, the general. but no. his dick was more important than giving him an actual character arc. him making nesta orgasm was more important. sjm preaches about equality between two characters but she did such a disservice to cassian.
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dreaminginvelaris · a day ago
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Feyre shipping elriel is her only flaw. i said what i said.
im sorry to my mutuals/followers who love elriel. just ignore this one lol
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bakingandbooks3 · a day ago
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So like... interesting take. (Or maybe not, whatever). I’m an older sister right? So most of my distaste for Elain comes with experience- not because I have a sister like Elain, but because I understand what it’s like to be the older one.
Imagine holding your siblings hand through the worst of times, having their back always, protecting them in every way possible and sheltering them as best you could even if it might’ve been *too* much. Imagine fighting like hell to make sure they don’t get caught in the crossfires and even when you’re breaking you prioritize them.
And then one day, they’re suddenly fine. They’ve found some semblance of peace, even if they’re not completely healed you know you did good supporting them.
But then you’re breaking, and you don’t know how to cope because emotionally you’re the one ready to take on everyone else’s burden, but the second it’s yours you panic. You don’t know how to cope, you don’t know how to react, you’ve never been taught to love yourself and fight because you’ve been raised to sell yourself off like cattle.
You’ve lost the body that survived so much, and you don’t have a scrap of your old life to hold on to. This manifests into bitter heart wrenching grief. And all you want is your sister to hold your hand like you did hers. But instead, she rips apart your place of solitude like everyone else.
This is completely text based- I often critique Maas on how she writes the sisters but THIS- THIS she hit the nail on the head. Any sibling WOULD feel that cutting betrayal (if that’s what you’d call it).
I’m like Nesta in which I would give ANYTHING to protect my little sister, we fight, we laugh, we have a HUGE age gap. She is my number one girl and I take so much pride in her, if she ever did anything like Elain did to Nesta? Yeah, I would feel betrayed.
So many people have come to the conclusion that if you don’t like Elain you don’t like soft characters. Nah, I don’t like Elain (at the moment) because no matter how far I, or my sister, fell I would NEVER do what she did.
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