“elain wasn’t set up to be the mc in acotar5 because she wasn’t enough in acosf”
i’ve seen a lot of gwynriels saying this and i think it’s quite interesting because they think gwyn is going to be the next mc because of her page time. gwyn was in the book a lot and that made sense with nesta’s storyline. same goes for azriel but i think we all know he’s going to have a pov in the next book.
now according to this logic this means that elain would have to be in acotar5 a lot. azriel and gwyn are both best friends to nesta so what role would elain play in acotar5 to set up her book? why would elain get massive screentime in a gwynriel book? gwyn doesn’t know elain and things between azriel and her are awkward as hell, i mean he’s literally ordered to stay away. so where does elain fit into this? how would elain be set up more in a gwynriel book than a nessian book?
as for elucien, literally HOW will elucien be set up if azriel and gwyn are the mcs? like i said gwyn doesn’t even know elain or lucien. she doesn’t know about their history. it would be very weird to see gwyn comment on a relationship she knows absolutely nothing about. now for azriel, HOW is azriel going to comment positively or even neutrally on eluciens relationship when we know he’s jealous and can’t stand the bond between them? he literally tries to avoid them together at all cost.
so yeah this whole comment is bullsh*t. we all know elain (and lucien too btw) would barely be present in a gwynriel book (a whole book about illyrian conflict apparently?) because it would be messy as hell with azriel’s feelings for elain while also having to fall in love with gwyn (?) and where does lucien come in all this? because u know he needs a lot of screentime to be the next mc 🤣
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Thank you so much for reading, liking, reblogging and/or commenting on any of my posts.
🗝 KEY 🗝
🌈 = Multi Chapter
💗 = Fluff
💙 = Angst
💔 = Hurt / Comfort
🌶 = 18+ / Sexy / Spicy / Smut
Historical AU 💙 🌶
Drunk And In Love 💙
Dark Academia 💙
I Will Take Your Pain 💙 🌶
Romeo And Juliet (Part 1) 💙 Teach Me How To Fly (Part 2) 💗
Harry Potter AU 💙 💔
Elriel Month 2021 Masterlist
THE GAME - A series of connected Elriel one-shots.
The Pre Game - Elain and Azriel friendship fluff.
Your Lips On My Scars 💗
Round One : Let the Games Begin - Azriel trains Elain in secret.
Just Breathe 💗
Traveling Together 💗
Your Sacrifice 💗
Round Two : Spy Games - Adventures in spy training.
Field of Flowers 💙
Spies At Work 💔
Playing With Shadows 💗
Round Three : Endgame - Set after the "Solstice Incident"
Hold Your Hand While Dancing 💙
Meet Me In The Silence 💙
Your Ivy Grows 💗
The Distance Between Us 💙
Depth Of Your Eyes 💙
Baby, Kiss It Better 🌶
Explosion of Power 💙
Discovery Of The Bond 💙
Invisible String 💙
Against Your Morning Skin 💗 🌶
You Are Cordially Invited 💗
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elain was definitely the biggest part of azriel’s pov.
if u split his bonus scene in 3 parts u have:
1. azriel’s scene with elain (+ rhys but it was about elain)
2. azriel’s scene with gwyn
3. azriel’s scene with clotho
now if u look at it, scene 1 is obviously elain centered, but scene 2 and scene 3 are both scenes that happen only because of elain and despite it being with different people, it still centers around her.
scene 2 we have azriel going to the training pit because of what happened with elain and rhys earlier.
He aimed for the training pit, giving in to the need to work off the temptation, the rage and frustration and writhing need.
so we know the only reason he has this scene with gwyn is because of elain. even during the quick training lesson he calls it a distraction because he’s still thinking about elain.
“Again,” he ordered, rubbing his hands against the cold, grateful for its bracing bite and the distraction of this impromptu lesson.
scene 3 we have azriel finding elain’s necklace returned. he’s clearly upset and doesn’t want to take it with him. again, the reason he has this scene with clotho is because elain returned the necklace. we then have a recycled line that was used in elain’s scene earlier too.
literally everything in his pov eventually circles back to elain. the 2 scenes that happen after elain’s and azriel’s scene are all because of something that elain did or has to do with elain. and in the end, because this necklace was for elain and bought with elain in mind, it will always come back to her. that isn’t something u can just forget.
also isn’t it kinda funny that if elain and azriel had kissed and rhys wouldn’t have noticed, azriel wouldn’t have that scene with gwyn or clotho. he wouldn’t have thought about gwyn at all (which i also find kinda sus btw) sorry but those 2 scenes are only there because of what happened between him and elain and in my opinion, that’s just a weak ship.
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short part II of this x
a brief summary just in case you don’t have time to read it: some people, as usual, act like azriel is in “lust” only with elain and i explain why that’s not true at all.
i keep seeing a lot of the same stuff already adressed in my previous post, so what i wanted to add is: let’s say that, for some reason, all the elriel build up pre acosf doesn’t exist and it is true that azriel doesn’t care for elain and he only feels physical attraction for her. first of all, isn’t that how nessian started too? (i’m referring to their bonus chapter) actually, wings and embers was even worse imo. he doesn’t like nesta’s personality, he thinks multiple times that she’s a bitch, yes there are also obviously some hints that he feels/will feel more for her but in that chapter he’s mostly lusting after her and that’s it.
but let’s make another example. again, let’s say azriel feels lust only. do people honesly think that an author would write a story (or in this case, a bonus chapter) in which two women are pitted against each other and one will be used just for sex only -and that’s the only reason to include her in said chapter, to highlight that what the man feels for her is nothing but pent up sexual frustration- and the other (she’s different, “she’s not like other girls” bla bla bla) will be the man’s true love. because that’s what gwynriel as a ship is (mostly) based on (that, or lightsingers/whatever else gwyn is hints twisted as romantic content) most of them (not all of them, i hope) acknowledge that, yes, there was something there bewteen elain and azriel, but it is just him lusting for her and after he realizes that she’s nothing but a means to an end to relieve his sexual frustration and/or they hook up he’ll move on to another girl, in this case gwyn.
let’s take a moment to let that sink in.
the year is freaking 2021, the author is a feminist ... but the romance is based on reducing one woman to sex only while the other one will be oh so different. imagine how tired we are. if you really can’t wrap your head around the fact your crack ship will never happen, for the love of god, stop.twisting.canon.facts or at least have the decency to keep elain out of your misognystic headcanons.
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I can’t stop thinking about Elriel brushing hands and exchanging looks and going still when see each other and Elain making him laugh like Feyre never saw him do before and Elain looking at him shyly and Azriel softly smiling at Elain during dinner and them exchanging presents and I just love them so much
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Azriel: sharpening Truth-Teller like the 500 years old, tough warrior and spy he is
Elain: silently, stealthily comes behind him and kisses his cheek
Azriel *eyes go wild because he's never been sneak up on before*: blushes furiously and turns into a pile of smiling mush
Feyre watching that whole scene:
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mini-rant time (again)
“elain is useless / elain is too weak for azriel”
we shouldn’t even need to “debunk” those statements anyway, because who cares about what is “enough” for a man, a woman’s worth is certainly not based on that. also, useless? as stated in the text (i just love when things are canon and not twisted headcanons) elain, whenever she needs to, has enough “physical strength” to defent herself/others or to attack and, even if that weren’t the case, the point still stands: a woman is not “useless” just because she’s typically feminine instead of being the umpteenth cringey girl boss wannabe
“azriel’s scars bla bla bla elain and azriel are toxic”
again, not true, azriel’s self consciousness about his scars and whatever other issues he has are not caused by a woman, elain in this case, and they will not be “fixed” by another traumatized woman (i don’t even to specify who i’m referring to) because that’s not what a woman is supposed to do in a relationship , if he is so “damaged*” that he can’t be in a healthy relationship, he will first deal with it on his own and then he will pursue a relationship
* he is not anyway, he has his own shit going on just like rhys and cassian did at some point and that’s it, but some people make it seems like his current situation is way worse than it actually is because they need to pair him up with you know who by using those disgusting excuses that her trauma will be useful to “fix” and “help” azriel
“she’s the third sister / azriel wants her for the wrong reasons”
here are some of the romantic hints (azriel’s) that sjm planted in acowar and acofas = when feysand and nessian weren’t both together yet, only feysand were officially a couple at some point
i could go on for days, y’all can keep being intentionally obtuse, making things up and twisting canon facts just because you can’t stand that elain and azriel are obviously endgame ... meanwhile i’m just going to enjoy my canon content while waiting for their book
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Gwyn is a Lightsinger Part II: The Bonus Chapter
This post is a follow-up to this one, and is an in-depth analysis of every part of the bonus chapter that I think *might* be a hint that Gwyn is a lightsinger. I realize that some of this analysis might be a stretch, but I’m putting it all out there in this post. This post also includes a few crack theories, just FYI 🤣. Regardless, I believe Sarah might have put the scene with Gwyn in the bonus to plant more seeds that Gwyn is a lightsinger, and also to foreshadow for the reader that Gwyn and Az’s connection in the next book is going to be related to this (and not in a romantic way). (NB: **I fully recognize that this scene also might be hinting at Gwynriel as endgame, and that my theory about this scene might be wrong.)
I will also be explaining how I think the bonus chapter shows that Gwyn lured Azriel with her powers.
As usual, if the Gwyn lightsinger theory isn’t your thing, please scroll past.
💡The scene starts with Az leaving the River House and going to the roof of the House of Wind to get away, but he encounters something unexpected when he gets there:
Gwyn is on the roof, but his shadows for some reason didn’t warn him she was there. He points this out because it’s odd to him—they must typically warn him of these things. So why didn’t they? I think there are two possible explanations:
They didn’t sense her because her lightsinger powers shield her from them; or
She wasn’t there before, and has just arrived. Cassian tells us that lightsingers appear when you are lost, and they appear as friendly faces. Azriel at this moment is very lost—he has just hurt Elain, and his brother and high lord has told him he must stay away from her. So what if (and this is a complete crack theory) Gwyn appeared on the roof right before Az got there because he was lost?
💡When he and Gwyn start talking, we see that his shadows are very curious about her:
It seems like this might be because she’s a lightsinger and they are drawn to her, or interested in her power. And she also smiles at the shadows—is this because she recognizes something in them too, a connection to them because of her power? Or is it possible she recognizes she can lure them or control them too?
💡Then we see his shadows react to her further:
One of Azriel’s shadows darts out to dance with Gwyn’s breath “like it heard some silent music.” So I think his shadows *did* hear some silent music. In fact, this bonus scene makes me suspect that Gwyn can emit silent music that lures people or things, and that she doesn’t have to be singing outloud to use her powers. Indeed, his shadows seem drawn to Gwyn, or maybe even lured by her, when they dart out to dance with her breath.
💡Later in the scene, we get this exchange:
First, it’s interesting that her hair is described as “shining like molten metal” here. I think this suggests that she is using her powers at this point. In ACOWAR, Lucien is described the same way at one point when his temper rises, almost like his power was rising in him.
Anyways, back to the bonus. So Gwyn asks Azriel if he sings, and she points out that he’s a shadowsinger and asks if that’s because he sings.
We all know Azriel is a shadowsinger, so at first glance this exchange seems odd. But I think the whole point of this exchange was for the reader—to remind us that Azriel is a shadowsinger, and that there are capital-S singers in this world. And that there might be a connection between his powers and singing. And, if you were paying close attention during ACOSF, it might remind you of another capital-S singer we learned of—lightsingers. LIGHTsingers. Whose powers might have a connection to singing and light. Sound like anyone we know?
So I think sarah might have put this exchange about singing into the bonus specifically to make the reader think about capital-S Singers and lightsingers in particular, to help the reader realize that Gwyn is in fact a capital-S singer too—she’s a lightsinger.
💡Az then proceeds to train Gwyn to help her cut the ribbon, and after she makes a joke about Cassian and Nesta, she smiles at him and thanks him, to which he reacts:
Something restless in him settles, and even his shadows calmed. Now of course this could be because training Gwyn and her irreverence have made him calm down. But I think it’s also possible she has lured him and his shadows to relax here. And that’s why his shadows are content to lounge on his shoulders and watch her—because they’re entranced (literally).
💡Azriel leaves shortly thereafter, and as he’s leaving, this occurs:
He could have sworn a faint, beautiful singing followed him, and that his shadows sang in answer. Azriel isn’t sure he even hears this music, which to me suggests it again might be silent music that he can only sense because he’s a shadowsinger, which allows him to hear things others cant. Is this another hint that gwyn can emit silent music and use her powers that way? Is she using her powers on Az and his shadows in this moment?
And here’s another crack (and I mean CRACK) theory: did Gwyn lure Az’s shadows to retrieve the necklace from Elain? If she (or whoever is controlling or manipulating her) wants the necklace, I could see a world in which this happened, though of course it seems much more likely that Elain returned the necklace because she felt hurt and rejected.
💡The next day Az spends the whole day intending to return the necklace.
The use of passive language here is interesting. He “found” himself at the library, almost as if he didn’t actively choose to go there, but instead was drawn or lured there. And he finds himself there at 7. Why did sarah tell us the time here of all places? Because the time matters. And that just so happens to be the time the priestesses started singing in chapter 52 (which would occur just before 7 here because the sun sets earliest on solstice). So gwyn would have started singing just before Azriel found himself at the library.
This seems like a big hint that he was lured there by gwyn’s singing.
💡After he arrives at the library, he asks Clotho to give Gwyn the necklace, and the scene closes with this:
We have a lot of language suggesting lightsingers here. Something “sparked” in azriel’s chest. How Gwyn’s eyes might “light” upon seeing the necklace. The image “glowed” quietly deep inside him. Did sarah specifically choose these words to hint to us that Gwyn has lured him? Does the image “glow” because a lightsinger lured him into seeing the image?
I also think it’s important that he sees an “image” here. If you read part one, you’ll know that SJM uses the word “summon” to describe Gwyn’s singing. And here are the definitions of “summon”:
“To call an image to mind.” So did Gwyn summon this image to Azriel’s mind and cause him to see it, just like she appears to have summoned the vision of the harp to Nesta’s mind?
And again, we have passive language. “For whatever reason...he could see it.” He doesn’t understand why this image popped into his head or where it came from. And it seems to me that’s because the image was PUT in his head—he was lured into seeing it. So he doesn’t understand why it popped into his head because he didn’t think of it himself.
Finally, we have the last line. A thing of secret, lovely beauty. When Nesta first meets gwyn, she describes her as having a secret beneath her pretty face. Is this a nod to that line, and Gwyn’s secret—that she’s a lightsinger? And her secret, lovely beauty comes from her being a lightsinger?
So what does this mean?
If this theory is right, and Gwyn did lure Az into bringing her the necklace, I’m not sure why Gwyn lured him there.
Was it accidental because she doesn’t know she is a lightsinger?
If it was purposeful, did someone make gwyn lure him?
And is there a reason she or they want the necklace?
Finally, is Koschei involved in this? And is he going to use Gwyn to try to lure Az to him, since it seem that Koschei wants Az (maybe to find the fourth trove that’s hidden in the shadows?)?
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when's the next chapter coming out babe? no pressure, take your time tho💋💋
I am leaning towards this weekend for the next update. But, to tide you over, here's a rather long little snippet. Enjoy, lovely. 😘
“She bolted for the stairs and ended up in what we assume was the garage. None of the cameras in the stairwell work apparently.” The tone of his voice indicated enough about his attitude. He was just as pissed with the landlord. “But we did catch her running out from the garage towards the street.” The golden twin seemed to get stuck on his words.
Connall finished for him. “We think she was trying to get to us. But there was a fourth man with a van parked on the backside of the building.” He let out a harsh breath. “They overwhelmed her before they knocked her out.”
Azriel’s hands clenched into fists. The roaring in his blood was nearly sweltering. He would kill them. All of them for harming her—for touching her. He would gladly end all of them. “So, all of this was happening, and you’re going to tell me that nobody heard anything? Neighbors, people on the street?”
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🌸✨DEATH AND HIS LOVELY FAWN✨🌸
I wanted to share the stunning fanart I commissioned for Elriel! The amazing author behind this beautiful masterpiece is Mellendraws on Instagram! She was the sweetest! So please if you repost give credit to both me and her!
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And more Elriel today!! We are so blessed!! I am in love with this piece by @mellendraws on IG
Commissioned by the absolutely lovely @forget-me-not-s
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So, about Azriel lack of plans regarding Elain, I just wanted to make a quick comparison.
Cassian in acofas about Nesta:
“He very rarely allowed himself to think about her, anyway.”
And they still were endgame.
Azriel in his bonus chapter about Elain.
“He hadn’t gone that far with his planning.”
And I can’t help but wonder, if he had made plans, how many would still say that it was wrong...
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<<There was something rough-hewn about his features—like he’d been made of wind and earth and flame and all these civilized trappings were little more than an inconvenience.>>
<<But the second male, the more classically beautiful of the two … Even the light shied from the elegant planes of his face. With good reason. Beautiful, but near-unreadable.>>
Sorry but I really like this first look from Feyre at the appearances of both Illyrians and how it can relate to Nesta and Elain.
Sorry, but I really like this first look from Feyre at the appearances of both Illyrians and how he can relate to Nesta and Elain.
It's funny how Feyre chooses the words flames and the light moving away from Azriel's shadowy appearance, Nesta is so intrinsically related to the flames since Elain has been mentioned as bright (able to illuminate the shadows of Azriel on the other side of the room), it has already been compared as the light of dawn and its name refers to the same thing.
For me Cassian and Nesta are the same, they have the same fierceness, both come from the flames with a warrior spirit, on the other hand Azriel and Elain form a contrast that is continuously related: lights and shadows.
I just love these two couples (and Feysand too)
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Because Elriel is all about touching hands and stolen looks
These gifs though... 👀 I got a little inspired and wrote this on my phone. Ignore the typos. 😘
Azriel and Elain have kept their relationship a secret from the others. They just know how Rhys will react.
But that doesn’t stop them from teasing each other with small touches and sly smiles when nobody’s paying attention.
Elain will casually brush a finger along Az’s wing as she passes him. She loves to do it when he’s speaking with his brother’s just to see how well he’ll hold his composure.
Sometimes they’ll sit next to each other at dinner just so they can subtly hold hands under the table.
She adores when he flips his hand over to lace their fingers together. His thumb will brush over the backside of her knuckles in soothing strokes that also set her skin aflame.
Azriel secretly loves when she runs her fingers over his scars. He never imagined he would enjoy somebody touching his hands, but when Elain does, it’s gentle and soft. Exploratory.
When he’s having a hard day, she’ll take his hands and kiss them, the palms, his fingers, his knuckles. It always seems to calm him down.
If Elain’s feeling frisky, she’ll shoot him sultry, bedroom eyes from across the room. It’s her way of saying she wants him to ravish her that night. And boy, does he. 👅
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In my opinion it just doesn’t make sense to not make Elriel endgame at this point. There’s just too much build-up for it: when Azriel and Feyre rescue Elain, when he lent Truth-Teller to her (which is a dagger he hasn’t let anyone touch EVER), the headache powder Elain gifted him in acofas and he laughed like nobody has ever seen him laugh, him being so affected by anything that concerns Elain...
There’s just too much for SJM to completely turn this around. She can’t say many times that Azriel is too closed off to let anyone touch a knife, make him give it to Elain and then make him go to another girl at the first obstacle in their way. She can’t insist on saying that there was never such joy in his eyes because of Elain, for him to just decide not to try to be with Elain when he knows his feelings are reciprocated and go to the first girl he sees after that. She can’t show Elain wanting to choose who she loves twice to then make her be rejected again and then end up with Lucien because what other choices does she have?
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Vigils + Windows
While doing research for another post of mine I noticed something interesting:
“He didn’t expect her to answer, and he gave himself all of one more minute before he’d rise from this chair and leave, hopefully avoiding Nesta’s return. But sunlight on gold caught his eye—and Elain slowly turned from her vigil at the window.” (ACOWAR - Chapter 24)
“Mor’s nostrils flared. Cassian ran a hand down the back of her hair. Azriel didn’t so much as turn from his vigil at the window, though I could have sworn his wings tucked in a bit tighter.” (ACOWAR - Chapter 47)
Y’know what they say, couples who hold vigils at windows together stay together. ;)
Note: Sarah has only used the word “vigil” three times throughout the entire series. I’ve listed the first two instances above, and the third use of the word happens in chapter 57 of ACOWAR - when Nesta is watching Cassian battle:
“By the time I strode away, Nesta had already faced the battle once more, rain plastering her hair to her head. Resuming her unending vigil of the general battling on the valley floor below.” (ACOWAR - Chapter 57)
So, the parallel between Elain + Azriel was definitely intentional (at least in my opinion).
Note x2: @suelky actually made a post on this topic, and windows as a whole, so go and check it out ! https://suelky.tumblr.com/post/649632049235476480/feelings-seen-through-the-windows-an-analysis-of
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gwynriels and eluciens have to be the dumbest people on this site STAY AWAY FROM ELAIN WEIRDOS
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Not gonna lie, never heard this expression before quite so much as I’ve been hearing it in this fandom!
Heard everything else--enemies to lovers, friends to lovers, roommates to lovers, neighbours to lovers, co-workers to lovers...
But ‘romantically coded’ is a new one. So let’s explore, shall we?
You know what’s ‘romantically coded’ - will they or won’t they? who’ll make the move first? do you think he’ll tell her? Doesn’t she realise that he loves her?
The reader KNOWS that something is going on. It might not be overt, but it’s not a secret. As a writer, you will write interactions that are easily interpreted by the reader. There might be some unanswered questions, it might be a slow burn, but the reader is keyed in to what’s happening.
Here is a romantically coded scene:
“Azriel emerged from the sitting room, a glass of wine in hand and wings tucked back to reveal his fine, yet simple black jacket and pants. I felt, more than saw, my sister go still as he approached. Her throat bobbed.”
Elain say to Azriel, “Hello.” Az said nothing. No, he just moved toward her. Mor tensed beside me. But Azriel only took Elain’s heavy dish of potatoes from her hands, his voice soft as night as he said, “Sit. I’ll take care of it.” Elain’s hands remained in midair, as if the ghost of the dish remained between them.
So is this, even when it’s not between the two protagonists:
Azriel stiffened. “I know. I helped rescue Elain, after all.”
Az hadn’t so much as hesitated before going into the heart of Hybern’s war-camp.
Additionally, even romantically ‘coded’ scenes are observed by other characters in the book. That’s a way for the author to ‘confirm’ the reader’s suspicions, without being overt.
Examples: Feyre observing repeatedly the interactions between Elain and Azriel. From the very first time, when she is tending to Rhys’s wounds after he’s been shot by arrows, and her sisters aren’t even Made yet, she says that ‘Elain would cling to Azriel’.
When she sees them together, in the garden, the first thing she questions is the Cauldron and why they aren’t mates. (Remember who else questions the Cauldron? And why they aren’t mates? Yes, Azriel. Using almost the same wording as Feyre. But I digress).
Who else notices it? Nesta. Cassian (though is unable to put 2X2 together). Potentially Mor. Certainly Amren.
Finally, allow me to write a romantically coded scene:
Gwyn’s teal eyes flashed with alarm. “No! I mean, I don’t mind sharing the ring. I just...I know you like to be alone.” Her mouth quirked to the side, crinkling the freckles on her nose. “Is that why you came up here?”
Sort of. “I forgot something,” he reminded her.
“At two in the morning?”
He paused. The shadows danced and swirled between the two of them. Her teal eyes shone as she watched him, waiting.
He sighed. “Well, I meant to give it to you tomorrow...” his throat bobbed. If she didn’t know him better, she’d think that he was nervous. “But since we are here now,” he reached into the shadows and removed a long, narrow box. “Happy Solstice,” he said simply and handed her the box.
Her teal eyes flew open in awe and surprise. “For me?” she murmured, her sword forgotten.
“You’ve been practicing so much lately. And even when I am not here to assist, I thought that you could use it,” he explained, his midnight voice soft.
Inside the box, lay a simple, but finely made dagger. The hilt was carved ivory. The blade, sharp and honed to perfection, the steel gleaming in the moonlight.
“I, I,” she chocked, not knowing what to say. “I don’t have anything for you...I didn’t think,”
A smile touched the corners of his mouth. “It’s alright. I just wanted you to have something.”
“Happy Solstice,” she murmured, admiring the blade. “Thank you. It’s perfect.”
...Nesta’s gaze fell on the dagger. “New weapon, I see?”
Gwyn only nodded.
Not like her to be so quiet about a new dagger. Nesta waited for an explanation. At last, Gwyn bit her lip and then confessed, “It’s a gift’.
Nesta didn’t ask who it was from, but Gwyn’s quick glance to Azriel’s side of the ring was answer enough.
THIS would be a ‘romantically’ coded scene. It implies that he thought of her enough to get her a gift. It’s also something that she would enjoy and need, because he knows her well enough. He hints at their private lessons. He is a little nervous, but she is delighted.
Technically nothing happens. He just gives her a dagger. It’s not a romantic gift. But as a reader, you are able to read the signs, the body language and expressions. You are reading the ‘unsaid’. Lastly, another character is an observer and offers a silent confirmation to the reader’s thoughts.
Giving someone a personal gift intended for another woman through a third party is NOT romantic, not matter how much anyone tries to spin it.
When 98% of casual readers fail to see anything romantic between two characters and don’t understand the basis for a ship, then chances are, there isn’t anything romantic to indicate interest.
That’s all, folks! Take it as you like.
PS not everything needs to be romantic. We can just enjoy characters for what they are, without trying to fit them together, against their will.
Not every relationships must result in marriage and babies. Sometimes, friendship is more than enough.
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SJM’s newsletter post-ACOFAS:
“Elain—Elain—had taken up Azriel’s dagger and killed the King of Hybern instead.” (ACOFAS - Chapter 2)
“You honestly think he’d ever give up Truth-Teller?” “He gave it to Elain,” Mor said, admiring a moonstone necklace in the counter’s glass case. “She gave it back,” I amended, failing to block out the image of the black blade piercing through the King of Hybern’s throat. But Elain had given it back—had pressed it into Azriel’s hands after the battle, just as he had pressed it into hers before. And then walked away without looking back.” (ACOFAS - Chapter 4)
“Send Lucien, then. As our human emissary.” I studied the tenseness in Azriel’s shoulders, the shadows veiling half of him from the sunlight. “Lucien is away right now.” Az’s brows rose. “Where?” I winked at him. “You’re my spymaster. Shouldn’t you know?” Az crossed his arms, face as elegant and cold as the legendary dagger at his side. “I don’t make a point of looking after his movements.” “Why?” Not a flicker of emotion. “He is Elain’s mate.” I waited. “It would be an invasion of her privacy to track him.” To know when and if Lucien sought her out. What they did together. “You sure about that?” I asked quietly. Azriel’s Siphons guttered, the stones turning as dark and foreboding as the deepest sea.” (ACOFAS - Chapter 7)
“Do you think he can handle being around Graysen?” Az’s expressionless face was precisely the reason he’d never lost to us at cards. “Why should I be the judge of that?” “You mean to tell me that you weren’t bluffing when you said you didn’t track Lucien’s every movement?” Nothing. Absolutely nothing on that face, on his scent. The shadows, whatever the hell they were, hid too well. Too much. Azriel only said coldly, “If Lucien kills Graysen, then good riddance.” (ACOFAS - Chapter 7)
“Az ran a hand through his dark hair. “Are we …” Unusual for him to stumble with words. “Are we supposed to get the sisters presents?” “No,” I said, and meant it. Az seemed to loose a sigh of relief. Seemed to, since all but a breath of air passed from his lips.” (ACOFAS - Chapter 7)
“Don’t,” Elain said flatly, starting once more into a walk, veils of steam drifting past her shoulders from the roasted rosemary potatoes in her hands, as if they were Azriel’s shadows.” (ACOFAS - Chapter 12)
“Azriel emerged from the sitting room, a glass of wine in hand and wings tucked back to reveal his fine, yet simple black jacket and pants. I felt, more than saw, my sister go still as he approached. Her throat bobbed. “Are you just going to hold that chicken all night?” Cassian asked me from the table. Scowling, I stomped toward him, plunking the platter onto the wooden surface. “I spat in it,” I said sweetly. “Makes it all the more delicious,” Cassian crooned, smiling right back. Rhys snickered, drinking deeply from his wine. But I strode to my seat—nestled between Amren and Mor—in time to see Elain say to Azriel, “Hello.” Az said nothing. No, he just moved toward her. Mor tensed beside me. But Azriel only took Elain’s heavy dish of potatoes from her hands, his voice soft as night as he said, “Sit. I’ll take care of it.” Elain’s hands remained in midair, as if the ghost of the dish remained between them. With a blink, she lowered them, and noticed her apron. “I—I’ll be right back,” she murmured, and hurried down the hall before I could explain that no one cared if she showed up to dinner covered in flour and that she should just sit. Azriel set the potatoes in the center of the table, Cassian diving right in. Or he tried to. One moment, his hand was spearing toward the serving spoon. The next, it was stopped, Azriel’s scarred fingers wrapped around his wrist. “Wait,” Azriel said, nothing but command in his voice.” (ACOFAS - Chapter 12)
“Elain’s face reddened further, her back straightening. But she didn’t bolt. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I’d never heard Elain’s voice so cold. I glanced at the others. Rhys was frowning, Cassian and Mor were both grimacing, and Azriel … It was pity on his beautiful face. Pity and sorrow as he watched my sister.” (ACOFAS - Chapter 12)
“Pick on someone your own size,” Cassian said to Amren, shoveling roast chicken into his mouth. “I’d feel bad for the mice,” Azriel muttered. Mor and Cassian howled, earning a blush from Azriel and a grateful smile from Elain—and no shortage of scowling from Amren. But something in me eased at that laughter, at the light that returned to Elain’s eyes.” (ACOFAS - Chapter 12)
“Beyond the windows, darkness had indeed fallen. The longest night of the year. I found Elain studying it, beautiful in her amethyst-colored gown. I made to move toward her, but someone beat me to it. The shadowsinger was clad in a black jacket and pants similar to Rhysand’s—the fabric immaculately tailored and built to fit his wings. He still wore his Siphons atop either hand, and shadows trailed his footsteps, curling like swirled embers, but there was little sign of the warrior otherwise. Especially as he gently said to my sister, “Happy Solstice.” Elain turned from the snow falling in the darkness beyond and smiled slightly. “I’ve never participated in one of these.” (ACOFAS - Chapter 19)
“From Azriel: rare, vibrant paint from the continent. From Cassian: a proper leather sheath for a blade, to be set down the groove of my spine like a true Illyrian warrior. From Elain: fine brushes monogrammed with my initials and the Night Court insignia on the handles.” (ACOFAS - Chapter 20)
(Matching gifts, anyone ? 👀)
“There was a tiny box left on the table by the window—a box that Mor lifted, squinted at the name tag, and said, “Az, this one’s for you.” The shadowsinger’s brows lifted, but his scarred hand extended to take the present. Elain turned from where she’d been speaking to Nesta. “Oh, that’s from me.” Azriel’s face didn’t so much as shift at the words. Not even a smile as he opened the present and revealed— “I had Madja make it for me,” Elain explained. Azriel’s brows narrowed at the mention of the family’s preferred healer. “It’s a powder to mix in with any drink.” Silence. Elain bit her lip and then smiled sheepishly. “It’s for the headaches everyone always gives you. Since you rub your temples so often.” Silence again. Then Azriel tipped his head back and laughed. I’d never heard such a sound, deep and joyous. Cassian and Rhys joined him, the former grabbing the glass bottle from Azriel’s hand and examining it. “Brilliant,” Cassian said. Elain smiled again, ducking her head. Azriel mastered himself enough to say, “Thank you.” I’d never seen his hazel eyes so bright, the hues of green amid the brown and gray like veins of emerald. “This will be invaluable.” (ACOFAS - Chapter 20)
“Azriel and Elain remained in the sitting room, my sister showing him the plans she’d sketched to expand the garden in the back of the town house, using the seeds and tools my family had given her tonight. Whether he cared about such things, I had no idea, but I sent him a silent prayer of thanks for his kindness before Rhys and I slipped upstairs.” (ACOFAS - Chapter 22)
ACOFAS was truly a gift to us all.
Note: I apologize if I’ve made a post similar to this before. I couldn’t remember if I had so I just made this one. 😅😂
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"Elain only shrank further into herself, no trace of that newfound boldness to be seen."
Or, four examples of the word "shrank" being used in the ACOTAR series to imply some level of discomfort.
Please don’t screenshot this post without credit.
Disclaimer: This post is purely my own interpretation of the text, and makes no claim of being canon.
This post is also not an attempt to tell people not to like any particular ship - rather, it's more of an attempt to explain why many of us read Elain’s response to Lucien as indicative of her discomfort.
Please note that I am not suggesting that Lucien has done anything to warrant Elain’s response other than being forced into their bond, as Elain was. I believe Elain’s discomfort is due to their bond, and not Lucien himself.
The word "shrank" has been used four times to date in the ACOTAR series; once in ACOTAR itself, and the next three uses in ACOSF. Each time, it has been employed by SJM in a situation in which the shrinking person appears to be experiencing emotions ranging from discomfort to intimidation to outright fear.
Given we know that SJM uses repetitions of three to show significance - to make us pay attention - I don't believe it is a coincidence that the third use of "shrank" in ACOSF was describing Elain’s reaction to Lucien (read: their bond) at solstice.
The Acolyte - ACOTAR, chapter 3
In this scene, Nesta’s outrage at the acolyte of the Children of the Blessed, who wanted to spread Word of the benevolent High Fae who lived above the Wall, resulted in the girl shrinking back from Nesta’s posture and words. Nesta - a "queen without a throne," in Feyre's opinion - was apparently so intimidating that the young acolyte then took a further step back on seeing the iron bracelet that Nesta wore on her wrist.
Tamlin - ACOSF, chapter 43
After rightfully tearing into Tamlin over his involvement with both Hybern and her family's trauma, Nesta’s anger made the ground shake. While Cassian only swore, Tamlin was so wary of Nesta that he shrank from the finger she pointed at him, remembering what happened to the King of Hybern.
Lanthys - ACOSF, chapter 54
Lanthys, a true immortal, feared more than death itself by the Lord of Bloodshed, was so intimidated by Nesta and Ataraxia that he shrank back from them. And rightly so, as she slew him not long after.
Elain - ACOSF, chapter 58
Finally, we come to Elain Archeron; the ultimate usage of "shrank" in ACOSF was to explain her reaction to Lucien at solstice. Elain only shrank further into herself on receiving a solstice gift from Lucien, for the second year in a row, which instantly brings to mind some level of discomfort, however, to make sure we understood her intent, SJM added that Elain also lost all trace of her newfound boldness. We were rejoicing at the hints of Elain’s apparent growth in ACOSF, so it was disheartening to see her regression.
Given Elain’s obvious discomfort about her bond with Lucien, as a human-turned-fae who never grew up wanting a bond (and who has since fallen for Azriel), not to mention Lucien’s pain, as a fae who grew up learning to revere the bond, but the reality of which hasn't turned out as he would have hoped - why does he show more true signs of interest in Vassa than his Cauldron-gifted mate? It must be confusing him no end - I think that interpreting Elain’s reaction as being demonstrative of her discomfort with their bond is more than plausible.
Edit: Whoops! Tumblr posted an older saved version. It's refinished now.
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