🦇 Azriel Headcannons 🦇
He changed his last name to Rhys’s when he reached his majority.
Which is Darling change my mind
But Azriel doesn’t actively use any last name. He’s just Azriel but the Darling is there on paper.
Contrary to popular belief, his favorite color isn’t red or cobalt blue—it’s teal. He remembers his mother telling him that was her favorite color.
Teal low key a surprise tool for later innit 👀
He sings so rarely the inner circle jokes it happens once a century. When he does sing, Cassian—a la Stepbrothers—says “you are the song bird of your generation.”
Stupidly good at everything. He can watch a group of people playing a card game he’s never heard of, learn it in one round, then promptly beat their asses at the game.
A sore loser. Will angrily sulk.
He was scared of the dark as a child 😭
He became a Shadowsinger as a defense mechanism. The shadows sang to him for comfort and so he listened to their language and never forgot his only friends once he left that dark cell of his childhood.
He will never get over the smell of oil.
When he was left at Windhaven and Rhys’s mother took him in (whose name I headcannon as Haizea which means wind), Azriel didn’t speak for two months.
The first time he spoke was when Cassian asked what had happened to Az’s hands, to which he responded, “what happened to your bigass forehead?”
Because Cassian has a deep scar from the top of his head down his left eyebrow.
Rhys was delighted and laughed for hours.
To this day, when Azriel flies he still hears Cassian and Rhys’s voices in his head teaching him how to bank or fly through a rough patch of wind 🥺
Right before Rhys was imprisoned UtM, the bay boi’s got into a stupid fight. During the 49 years without their other brother, Azriel and Cassian spent almost every day together they felt so guilty.
Azriel is left handed.
He is a hella INTJ on the Myers Brigg.
Would never admit it, but has the biggest sweet-tooth. ￼
Is not enthused by flowers.
His personal love language is physical touch.
Would 10000000% join Nesta’s bookclub and become a romance bro.
I have soooo many Gwynriel headcannons that they will have to be their own post.
BUT. They are mates and they are lovely and they deserve each other 😩
Loves the beach. Has a dream of building a house that overlooks the coast of the Sidra.
^ To be continued in the Gwynriel post 👀
When Chris Evans said he’s an ass man, Azriel felt that.
^ he puts Shadow Hands Dorian to shame.
Whiskey > Wine
🎂 need I say more?
Is the Funny Friend
NOT the Responsible Friend
IS the Chaos Friend.
Need to bury a body? He’s your call. In a bar fight? He’s right behind you. In a jail cell? Sitting beside you.
Savage but we been knew.
His eyes are more brown then hazel, but sometimes you can catch the most gorgeous green.
The story of how Azriel got Truth-Teller is really fucking bloody and 😦 and like something out of game of thrones, but long story short Truth-Teller is a Shadowsinger blade and Azriel’s birth father was in possession of it through nefarious means. So, Azriel took it. (This happens during the punishment of Az’s half-brothers that Rhys alludes to)
^if anyone wants my full story on this I’d be happy to make another bloody, Shakespearean post about it.
Is actually a lightweight but has a great poker face so you’d never know he’s drunk until he’s DRUNK drunk.
He’s a chatty drunk and the biggest fucking gossip. Love that for him.
His favorite shows would be the Real Housewives franchise and Game of Thrones. There is no in between.
Obviously a Slytherin, also obviously I think he’s a type 6w5 on the enneagram.
If he could turn into an animal like the ToG fae, his other form (outside of the bat wings) would be a Great Grey Owl
Chaotic Neutral alignment
Sleeps like once a week.
He buys coffee beans from the Summer Court whenever he’s there because I headcannon that Summer farms beans. Is now addicted.
When teaching Feyre how to fly, he discovered that she indeed did have the biggest wingspan. He has yet to tell anyone.
(Here’s the Truth-Teller headcannon!)
(Here are the Gwynriel headcannons!)
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✨Gwynriel Headcannons 🦇
This got away from me and is super long so buckle in, mi gente 🤭 it’s more of how they become mates and less little things about them. I’ll have to make a pt. 2 at this point with the little things about them as mates because you know I am already strapped with those headcannons.
Azriel headcannons pt. 1 , pt. 2
Of all the mates in the inner circle, I think Gwyn and Azriel are the most complicated in terms of all the hurdles they will have to jump through.
Azriel’s entire life has been confusion. He loved Mor for 500+ years—
(anyone else think Azriel low key knew about Mor being Bi and kept her secret without her knowing he knew?)
— and then Elain comes into the picture and confuses him even more.
Azriel, at his core, is desperate for love. Moreover, I don’t believe he’d recognize true, healthy love because the “child weaned of love considers harm a comfort.” - Gillian Flynn. Case and point Mor and Elain.
Gwyn is also a survivor of a brutal attack and that healing journey is so commendable and has to be done without the idea of Azriel as a prize or her being “ready again” as a prize either.
Gwyn’s healing must not be centered around a romance plot because that is such a cheap way to “solve” a sexual assault.
That makes me think that Gwynriel will resemble Rowaelin very strongly in terms of creating a deep friendship rooted in understanding and shared secrets and trauma.
Their love and eventual realization of a mating bond will be really slow. Silver Flames has already started the ground work that Gwyn trusts Azriel.
That said, Azriel is the first to recognize the signs of the mating bond. Like Rowan, Azriel doesn’t/isn’t sure about it because of how utterly unexpected it is. He sees Gwyn as his friend, and even that bond is tentative at first because he understands her hesitancy with males.
Their friendship begins to form during private training sessions that happen accidentally. Gwyn prefers to train on the roof at night because “there is no safer place to fail than in darkness.” Azriel, our resident night owl and all around insomniac, is like damn girl you’re right.
Azriel also canonically trains at night, too. So, they begin to train together and Azriel helps Gwyn with all the maneuvers Cassian overlooked because he was too busy simping over Nesta’s ass in those Illyrian leathers.
Cassian and Nesta’s cool down was about silence and stillness of the mind. Azriel and Gwyn’s cool down is about stillness of the soul.
Stillness of the soul comes from sharing pain and grief—two things that demand to be witnessed. We release hardship and trauma when there is a friend with us in the dark who understands. This is the foundation of Gwynriel: a friend in the dark.
Azriel starts opening up about his childhood. Gwyn talks about her sister. Neither feel judged about how dark their souls truly go.
Gwyn, ever the chatterbox, begins to discover that our silent Shadowsinger isn’t all that shy or silent. Mans, to her utter shock, meets Gwyn’s chatter energy step for step. They can talk for hours. They do talk for hours.
When your soul feels seen it will sing and sing and sing.
Not that Azriel never felt understood by his brothers or the inner circle. It’s just different when you find your mate, the other side of your coin, the other end of your very long tunnel.
One night, under a clear sky full of stars, Gwyn sings a raunchy sea shanty about a crew of female pirates who, rum drunk, steal an entire treasure trove beneath the unsuspecting noses of a male rival pirate crew. The shanty is entirely inappropriate and absolutely hilarious.
It’s the first time Gwyn hears Azriel’s laugh.
Azriel, when he’s truly laughing, laughs from the stomach. It’s full and deep and loud with a musical lilt to it. Gwyn decides his laugh is her favorite song.
Gwyn is working on slowly leaving the House, and every time she does Nesta is there like a comforting panther ready to strike at any who approach. As comforting as a panther can be.
One day Nesta is away with Cassian on court business, but Gwyn is adamant on maintaining her schedule of acclimating herself to being away from the House. She goes by herself, and for a while she’s doing great, until she isn’t. She’s sweating, she’s breathing too hard, and she wants to hide hide hide.
Azriel doesn’t know why, but he feels the sudden urge to fly out to the side of the Sidra along the base of the House.
As Gwyn is focusing on her Mind Stilling, a shadow casts overhead. She hears a rush of wings, the soft landing of feet, and Azriel is suddenly beside her.
She glares daggers, knives, and swords at him. “I’m fine.”
Azriel’s face is impassive. His eyes stray to her sweat soaked nose and Gwyn wants to shove him when he says, “Of course.”
She doesn’t ask him to leave and he doesn’t offer to. Neither talk and Gwyn finds she can breathe a little easier.
She hears male laughter and her whole body tenses. Azriel steps closer, his eyes straight ahead. She knows she is safe. She knows anyone who tries to take her on is asking to take on the famed and feared Shadowsinger and the entire might of the Inner Circle. Hell, if anyone harmed her they’d have Nesta to answer to. But she is still afraid.
She hates it. She hates her own fear. She is a Valkyrie godsdamn it. Males should fear her.
But she is still afraid.
Beside her, Azriel hums.
It’s not a song she knows and she knows every song. His voice is low and deep and Gwyn finds herself harmonizing. They continue like this for quite sometime until Gwyn realizes this is the farthest she’s ever gone. Her grin and whoop of glee echoes around her and in the corner of her eye she sees Azriel watch and smile, too.
Later, Gwyn will realize that she has never harmonized with anyone as well as she did with Azriel.
Later, Azriel will realize the same.
It’s Nesta’s birthday and to everyone’s shock she wants to celebrate at the River House.
Gwyn asks about Nesta’s decision in private and Nesta says, “There were so many parties I avoided or ruined at that house. I want to cover those memories with new ones. I want to laugh with Feyre and tease Rhysand for how lavishly he gives me gifts. I want to play with my nephew and know that I belong.”
Gwyn decides that she will not miss Nesta’s birthday. Emerie is with her as she leaves the House and they walk together to the River House.
Nesta is glowing. She’s laughing, she’s chasing Nyx, she’s happy. Cassian has an arm around her and Nesta leans into it. They kiss they laugh and the look in their eyes...
It makes Gwyn want to be happy, too. So, when Nesta asks her to sing Gwyn gladly does.
The inner circle sings along and sometimes she sings alone, but Gwyn is having the time of her life.
There is a grand piano that Rhys doesn’t know how to play but purchased because it looks aesthetically beautiful, and for the occasional Azriel serenade.
When Azriel sits on the piano bench he raises a challenging brow to her. Gwyn lifts her chin and feels the way she did towards that white ribbon. As Azriel starts the beginning notes of a familiar song, Gwyn follows with a vibrato.
Their duet is like nothing he’s ever felt. Azriel enjoys singing. He does it all the time even though his brothers only think he does it once every few hundred years. He sings when he flies, when he needs to think, when he feels alone.
But singing has never felt like this. He goes low and Gwyn instinctively knows whether to join his note or go high. He drags a note and she follows. She changes the key and he adjusts quickly to her. His fingers on the piano keys answer her quickening pace. Their voices are so in tune he’s never felt so complimented before.
It feels like a challenge. It feels like an answer. It feels like something has come to a climactic completion.
They end a song on the same note, on the same breath, and they are both panting, both wide eyed and delighted.
Nesta smirks to herself.
Mor, a glass of wine in hand, holds it out in cheers when she and Azriel catch each other’s eye.
Cassian and Rhys secretly watch with shock and excitement because Azriel has never played or sung without being prompted. When Cassian whispers something in Rhys’s ear, Rhys grins and shakes Cassian’s hand.
Elain, in a chair with Nyx, frowns.
But Azriel and Gwyn don’t notice. They stare at each other and they catch their breath. They grin.
Trouble is stirring at the Summer Court and Tarquin suspects he has human spies trying to infiltrate his court. Rhys, in a display of friendship, sends Azriel, Cassian, and our three Valkyrie baddies.
Cassian cannot go anywhere unsupervised.
During this trip, Gwyn finds out about the Elain-Necklace-Re-gift.
Things do not go well.
Nesta is enraged for both the sister of her heart and the one of her blood. Nesta approaches Azriel with every intent to beat his ass, but Cassian interjects. That is until Nesta challenges Azriel to a Blood Duel.
A Blood Duel is a Valkyrie custom that is a contained and controlled fued-letting. The challenger decides how many cuts they wish to inflict, and if the challenged party accepts, the duel cannot end until the number is exacted.
Nesta only asks for three. One for Elain, one for Gwyn, and the last is for Azriel himself because he has to decide to stop doing things that harm him.
The Blood Duel is private and the two fight for three hours.
Nesta is floored when Azriel, after the three landed cuts, cries.
He feels like his father who was terrible to his mother. He feels like Eris who was terrible to Mor. He feels like Tamlin who was terrible to Feyre. Azriel just feels terrible and worthless and horrified.
Nesta, who understands this all too well, doesn’t tell him he isn’t. She knows that when a person is this low, when they hate themselves this much, they don’t want to be proven wrong. They just want to stand back up again. So, Nesta only asks Azriel this one thing, “What do you want to do about it?”
Azriel does not feel shamed or judged by Nesta when he says he doesn’t know. When he admits he’s never had to apologize for his actions and doesn’t know how to start now.
And this is when Azriel realizes that he is beginning to heal because Gwyn is no longer the only person he shares his hurt with. That Azriel was able to look at someone other than his brothers, other than Gwyn and whatever she was becoming to him, and show the side of him that felt regret.
Azriel later finds Gwyn on a private beach. The dammed necklace dangles between her fingers, her red hair ruffles in the salt breeze, and Azriel feels his knees falter.
He cannot remember the last time that has happened to him.
They are quiet for long moments. The waves break on the shore, palm branches scratch above, and there is a haunting hum in the way the sea ebbs and flows.
“It wasn’t about the necklace,” Azriel finally says. “It wasn’t about Elain, either. It was about how I felt discarded. How I’ve always felt that way. Giving you the necklace was giving you the last piece of me I had to offer—the piece that desperately wanted someone to choose it, to love it.”
Gwyn’s throat is painfully tight and she doesn’t respond for a moment. Azriel’s tight face is drawn and so so sad when she asks, “How badly did Nesta get you?”
It’s not what he was expecting, but Azriel huffs out a small chuckle when he shows his left arm. The gash is the deepest one and hurts like a motherfucker. It is the gash she said was for him.
“I think Nesta is one decade away from taking over the world,” Azriel says.
Gwyn’s lips twitch. “More like half that.”
The necklace catches a glimmer of moonlight and they both watch the charm spin.
Gwyn takes a deep breath and releases it into the sea breeze. She looks fully into Azriel’s eyes and says without hesitancy or a tremor, “I do choose you, Azriel.”
His eyes gutter. His chest feels like it’s concaving in relief and disbelief because he doesn’t deserve this. He doesn’t deserve the hand Gwyn extends to him as she stands, doesn’t deserve the way she gives a small squeeze when he takes hers.
“But I don’t choose only this,” she says to the necklace she holds up. “I choose all of it.”
And then she puts the necklace in his hand.
“So, I don’t need it.” Azriel is shocked he doesn’t fight the hand that cups his face, is shocked he leans into it. “But I think you need it. You need to choose yourself, Azriel.”
He hears Nesta’s voice in his head. What do you want to do about it?
He hears his father’s horrible voice. He hears his mother. He hears his screams as his hands were burned. He hears Mor’s laughter as she avoided his eye for so many centuries. He hears everything and it’s too much.
But he also hears a song. A soft crescendo of courage and friendship, a raunchy sea shanty, a duet that was both an answer and a challenge. He hears Gwyn. He hears himself.
With the entire force of his body, Azriel throws the necklace into the ocean.
Gwyn is a steady presence beside him and in the space between their souls, something that feels like a shore begins to form.
I could write an entire fic about their time at the Summer Court, but the Valkyrie’s accidentally decimate TWO buildings in a skirmish and Cassian, bless, takes the blame for Nesta.
Tarquin near has a whole ass aneurism and makes a decree forever banning Cassian from Summer. The decree is sealed with a Sea Gem engraved with Cassian’s name—it is the second highest threat below the Blood Rubies.
There is a noticeable difference between Gwyn and Azriel when they return from Summer.
They walk together most every day.
Every day they make it further and further into the city and every day that shore between their souls becomes a little more clear.
One day, they make it to Azriel’s favorite bakery. Azriel orders them chocolate croissants and coffee and when Gwyn offers him a bite of the vanilla bean macaroon she’s eating he PANICS.
He doesn’t know know but there’s something instinctual in him that leaps at the idea of accepting her offer of food. There’s also the part of him that deeply loves and respects the friendship they’ve built so taking the macaroon from her hand without her understanding what it would mean, without him fully understanding what it means, is a betrayal.
He shrugs off the macaroon. “Not a fan of vanilla bean.” A lie. He loves it. Has had that macaroon plenty of times.
If Gwyn notices Azriel acting off the next few weeks she doesn’t mention it.
But Azriel’s brothers sure do.
“The fuck is up with you?” Cassian asks bluntly.
Rhys, with the more gentle approach, says, “you’ve had this look of having a branch of ash wood up your ass that last few weeks.”
They’re at the River House and Nyx is crawling around their feet on the grass. Azriel has known Rhys for over 500 years and has never seen the look on his brothers face as he watches his son. Rhys didn’t even look this way around Feyre. This was the face of a father besotted with his son—who was looking more and more like Rhys every day.
“I want to build a house,” Azriel avoids their questions.
His brothers look at him bewildered. Even Nyx pauses and blinks up at Azriel.
Cassian raises a brow. “I am genuinely worried about you.”
“You and your big ass forehead can keep your worrying to yourself,” Azriel retorts.
Cassian bellows in laughter at the call back to Azriel’s first words to Cassian when they were children. Nyx claps along with Cassian’s laughter and Rhys just watches Azriel with that infuriating Rhys look.
Of everyone Azriel has ever known, Rhys has always known him best. That is, expect for Gwyn. Stars wink in those violet eyes and Azriel wants to punch his brother for that damn knowing look. Rhys always fucking knew.
Cassian shoots a look at Rhys but he’s already grabbing his son and heading inside.
Cassian glares at Azriel. “I have a feeling you just lost me a shit ton of money.”
Azriel shrugs. “You’ve always been a terrible gambler.”
And then Cassian gives Azriel a look that surprises him. A look that says Cassian knows more than he lets on. “Do you want to know what I bet Rhys?”
Azriel looks long and hard into his brother’s eyes and sees the answer in them.
He looks away. “No.”
A month later, Azriel lands on the roof of the House and is bone tired. True to his word, Rhys and Cassian helped Azriel build the house on the shore. The little spit of land he’d had his eye on for years. He’s exhausted from the labor of building the whole damn thing with his own hands and doesn’t notice the shadowy shape in the distance until his own shadows leap and dance around him as Gwyn nears.
“You’ve been hiding.”
There’s no reproach in her voice and her stunning teal eyes are only curious. Worried. For him, he realizes.
He scratches the back of his neck. “I’ve been...”
“Building a house,” she supplies with a raised brow.
Azriel stammers for an explanation but Gwyn raises a hand. “You don’t have to explain. But, I have missed you.”
She doesn’t know what those words do to him, but Azriel doesn’t know what his absence has done to her.
He wants to tell her the house on the shore is almost done and he’s built it with her in mind the entire time.
She wants to tell him she walks alone now and doesn’t feel afraid.
He wants to tell her she helped him find his voice.
She wants to tell him he helped her find her courage.
He wants to tell her that this is love.
She wants to tell him that this is love.
He looks at her and that shore in his soul is singing. His chest aches.
She looks at him and feels safe.
“You know where to find me whenever you’re ready,” and then she’s gone. He’s alone on the roof and his shadows for the first time feel lonely and he wants to scream what he’s feeling, what he’s suspecting.
But Azriel deep down doesn’t believe he deserves this.
His brother always knows when he needs him and always has a way of sneaking up on him.
Azriel sinks to the ground and lays on his back. “I’ve done heinous things, Rhys.”
Rhys lays beside him. “Same.”
“I’m not a good person.”
“Perspective,” Rhys retorts. “And whatever awful things you think you can’t be forgiven for, I’ve been beside you while you’ve done them or have given the order. If it’s hell you’re afraid of, then be at peace. Your brother is the king of it.”
“So are you, brother.”
They watch the stars in the sort of companionable silence that comes with being family until Azriel says, “I think...I think Gwyn is my mate.”
The truth of it is soft sand. It is the sea under a night sky. It is serendipitous and it is half a duet, waiting for its partner.
“I know,” Rhys says softly.
“How do I tell her?”
“What makes you think she does not already suspect?”
Azriel whirls up into a sitting position, wide eyed.
“She sees Nesta with Cassian. She knows what a mating bond is. She’s intelligent.” Rhys sits up. “And mates know when they are bonded.”
Azriel is breathless as he asks, “Has she said anything?”
“Not that I know of,” and then Rhys raises a brow. “But neither have you. All I know is she’s asking questions and you should be the one to answer them with her.”
Azriel is about to run to her but the panic sets in. What if she doesn’t want me?
Rhys claps a hand on his shoulder. You owe to both of you to try.
He waits until nightfall the next day to find her because it is always safest to fail in darkness, as she once told him.
He watches her severe a white ribbon with ease. He wants to clap.
“You can come out now.”
He’s not surprised she knows he’s been there the whole time, finding his courage.
He doesn’t know where to start. The space between them has never felt so cavernous. He settles for, “Do you want to see the house?”
Gwyn tilts her head. She studies him for a moment. “You want to talk about the house you’re building?”
“No, I want to show you it.”
She rolls her eyes. “Semantics.”
He quirks a challenging brow. “Perspective.”
He holds out a scarred hand and she does not hesitate to take it.
He winnows them to the house on the shore and he’s not sure who leans into whom, but they’re embracing and neither immediately notice when they arrive. They only know the other’s arms around them, the shared breath, and the mutual feeling of arriving home after a long, long time away.
Gwyn nods toward the house behind them, her nose brushes his. “Show me what you’ve ditched me for.”
He laughs. From the stomach. And it feels really fucking good.
It’s easy taking her hand, it’s easy falling in step with her. It’s easy showing her the beach he picked and telling her why. It’s easy telling her he’s always wanted a home he created for himself. It’s easy sharing his hopes and dreams and deepest fears. It’s easy because she does it, too. It’s easy because she is his friend in the dark.
The next step is not easy. He sees everyone who has ever turned away from him.
But Gwyn is not them.
She beats him to it. “Tell me about mating bonds.”
He falters. He literally crumbles. His hands shake as he runs them through his hair and Gwyn is kneeling beside him, patient.
He tells her about the history of the bond, of Rhys and Feyre, and Nesta and Cassian. But more importantly he tells her about them. About how the bond between them feels like a shore. About the music between them. About the way his shadows and soul sing of and for her. How she had snuck up on him and somehow become his dearest friend.
He tells her of all the little moments that were arrows pointing him to her, to the truth of their bond. He tells her of the vanilla bean macaroon and she cackles.
She tells him that was when she suspected, too. She tells him of that shore between them, how she’s seen it, too.
She tells him of the friend she found in him. Of the strength in her voice and soul when she thought of him. She tells him that they can take their time.
She tells him that she chooses this—him.
“So,” she looks around them. “You panicked at the realization of having a mate and responded by building said mate a house.”
Azriel laughs and leans his head against hers. “Got any vanilla bean macaroons on you?”
And that’s my Gwynriel! Hope you liked it, hope you have a friend in the dark and if you don’t then here’s my hand 👋🏽
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