|“||You told me Dorian would fix the world, make it better. But if he's gone, if we made the mistake today in keeping him alive, then I will find another way to attain that future. And another one after that, if I have to. I will keep getting back up, no matter how many times those butchers shove me down.||”|
Nesryn was born in Balruhn, a city of the Southern Continent. When she was young, her father Sayed chose to move his immediate family to Adarlan. Nesryn grew up in Rifthold and was mistreated by others for her being a foreigner and having a different appearance. When she was old enough, she became a city guard because of the fact that none of them helped her as a child when she was attacked by others and screamed for help. To appear more serious in the eyes of her colleagues, she cut her hair short to shoulder-length, as she figured having a fancy hairstyle would not earn her much respect. Her sister Delara complained about this for a long time.
As a woman, Nesryn was passed over for promotions many times in her career in favour of less experienced male soldiers. However, she kept quiet about it because she knew that to say anything would result in her dismissal, and she valued her position for the good it allowed her to do.
During her early life, Nesryn worked hard to become an excellent archer and earned acclaim as Neith's Arrow, a title derived from the Goddess of the Hunt.
Queen of Shadows
Nesryn first appears when she finds Aelin running from a group of men. She takes Aelin to Chaol and waits while they have their awkward conversation. Aelin notes that Nesryn could rival Rowan for cold seriousness. Chaol tells Aelin that Nesryn's father owns bakeries in the city which made enough that he owns a farm in the country; Fleetfoot is there. Aelin has doubts about Nesryn's loyalty, but Chaol vouches for her.
Later on, Chaol and Nesryn meet and discuss Aelin. Chaol reflects on his past relationship with Nesryn and is happy that she doesn't seem to hold a grudge against him for cutting off their dalliance by going to Endovier. Nesryn attempts to talk about Aelin's claims that Dorian is lost to the Valg, angering Chaol. He tells her to drop it. She shifts to talking about Aelin and tells him what she did to the king's men. Nesryn tells him he should have known better than to get involved with her, prompting Chaol to take a shot at her own lack of suitors. Nesryn is amused rather than upset, and leaves.
Nesryn later joins Chaol on a trip to the Shadow Market. Aelin shows up at their meeting with Ress and Brullo. Brullo demands to see her with her hood down, and Nesryn quips that he has a wife at home to ogle at. Aelin remarks that she rather likes Nesryn.
Nesryn is part of the team that tries to rescue prisoners of Adarlan. She stays on the rooftops, watching everyone's movements, and shoots at the soldiers to cover the prisoners escapes. After the rescue succeeds, she goes home to wash and change and then go break the news of one of the soldier's deaths to his family.
During Aedion's rescue the next day, Nesryn watches Aelin and stops her from killing Dorian. Aelin tells her that her and Chaol are fools, and runs, leaving Nesryn to make her way to safety. She finds Chaol and tells him what Aelin tried to do. He and Aelin have a fight.
Later that night he finds Nesryn at one of her father's bakeries and they talk about the day's events. Chaol is grateful that she saved Dorian's life; she tries to bring up the issue of him being truly gone and Chaol snaps at her. She calmly tells him that she doesn't care about Dorian, but rather the future he represents. Chaol asks her why she became a guard and she tells him of how they never helped her as a child; she hopes Dorian will be able to change the lives of her family and people like her. She tells him to stop feeling sorry for himself and try again tomorrow.
They accompany Aelin to a meeting with Arobynn Hamel the next day, and help catch a Valg-possessed man. Chaol is shocked by the ordeal and speaks harshly to Nesryn.
She visits Aelin and Aedion at their apartment. Aelin comments on her relationship with Chaol but Nesryn dismisses him, saying he's content to be unhappy whereas she doesn't see the sense in brooding. Aedion remarks on her pretty face, and Aelin shuts down his advances.
The three of them go to a taproom for a night out. Nesryn reveals more about herself and her family. When they leave the tavern, Aedion picks up a sound; it's Rowan. Him and Aelin reunite. Nesryn bids them goodnight once Aedion and Rowan start sizing each other up. Aelin thinks that she must be lonely.
Nesryn goes with Chaol to rescue more prisoners being sent to Morath. He is worried that she is still angry with him for snapping at her the other night. They kill the Valg soldiers transporting the prisoners. The timing seems strange, so they rush back home and discover that the Shadow Market has been destroyed.
Nesryn later brings a message from Ren to Chaol, that the King has been building an army in Morath and training the Ironteeth Witches to ride in it as aerial cavalry.
After Lysandra is kidnapped by soldiers, Nesryn offers to take Evangeline to one of her father's bakeries and reassures Aelin that they'll find her. After Lysandra's rescue, she stays with her.
After spying on a meeting between the witches and Dorian, Rowan is injured and Nesryn leads the group to one of her father's farms in the countryside so he can get help from the midwife there. Chaol and Aelin have a conversation about Nesryn; Aelin mentions that Nesryn is interested in him and they should try to be together.
Later, after Chaol is paralyzed by the King of Adarlan, a newly freed Dorian makes Nesryn the temporary Captain of the Guard and she tells them about the Torre Cesme, and the healers that live on the Southern Continent. She then joins Chaol on his journey there, happy at the thought of seeing her homeland again.
Empire of Storms Exclusive (WHSmith)
Nesryn and Chaol journey across the Narrow Sea to Antica. She battles with Chaol's new bitter attitude at his disability and attempts to be intimate with him at one point, which ends with Chaol becoming frustrated and pushing her away. Nesryn leaves him alone after that, though they still sleep in the same bed.
Tower of Dawn
Nesryn and Chaol arrive at Antica after three weeks at sea. She is mesmerised by being back in her homeland and takes in every detail with awe. The two are escorted to the Khagan's palace for an audience, and Nesryn is awestruck by being in his presence. She notes each of his children and runs through their names, and when questioned by the Khagan she explains that she was born in Balruhn but her father moved to Adarlan when she was young. She notices the white banners flying from the palace and realises that someone has died; this is later revealed to be the Khagan's youngest child, Tumelun.
When the Khagan reveals that Rifthold has been invaded and is under Valg rule, Nesryn goes into shock as she realises that her family might be dead. She regrets coming to Antica, and only calms down when she reads the letter her father sent to her uncle saying that her family escaped Rifthold, though their whereabouts are unknown.
During Chaol's sessions, Nesryn is generally absent and ends up hunting through the sewers of Antica alone for a Valg infiltrator who murders one of the healers of the Torre Cesme. Nesryn eventually befriends Prince Sartaq, one of the Khagan's children who commands the armies of the rukhin. They grow close and spend time together, with Sartaq even allowing her to ride with him on Kadara, his ruk. Sartaq also reveals that he has heard of her before, as Neith's Arrow.
At a party held by the Khagan's children, Nesryn sticks with Sartaq. After the party, Chaol asks to hear about her extended family that she previously visited. She spends the whole night talking about her aunt, uncle and various nieces and nephews that live in their home in the Runni Quarter. Chaol listens dutifully, though Nesryn knows that the only reason he asked is that he feels guilty.
Because of this, Nesryn decides to journey with Sartaq to the nests of the rukhin, a journey which will take three weeks. She leaves a simple note for Chaol that states she doesn't hold him to any promises.
Along the way, Nesryn is free to talk with Sartaq. They discuss their families and lives, and Nesryn deduces that Sartaq is something of a flirt.
Nesryn and Sartaq develop feelings for each other during their journey in the mountains. They learn more about the Valg, and even find a shifter called Falkan Ennar, who helps them fight the stygian spiders they encounter. Sartaq mobilizes the rukhin, and they return to Antica. He is named as the khagan's heir, and makes clear his intention to marry Nesryn in the future.
Nesryn and Chaol accept their new respective partners, and together with the khagan royals' armies sail back to Erilea to fight in the war against Erawan.
Kingdom of Ash
|"So good of you to find us additional help, Prince." |
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Nesryn is slender with black shoulder-length hair and olive skin. She first cut her hair to shoulder length at age 15 and jokes she cut it because she is so bad at braiding, though the real reason she keeps it short is ease of care, to make her sister mad, and to appear more warrior-like as a member of the Royal Guard. Her midnight eyes are always lightly lined with kohl, even on missions. She has been described as beautiful by Prince Sartaq.
Personality and traits
Nesryn is cold and unyielding. Aelin once thought that Nesryn could give Rowan a run for his money for her sheer iciness. Nesryn explains to Chaol during their journey that she has simply learned to hide her emotions well to avoid showing weakness. She actually has a rather sarcastic, dry humour.
She has a strong sense of honour and joined the city guard to protect other foreigners from the discrimination and abuse she experienced as a child.
Powers and abilities
- Archery: Nesryn is an outstanding archer. She is so skilled that people refer to her as Neith's Arrow, and her skill is known even outside of the Northern Continent.
- Combat: Nesryn is skilled in combat due to her career as a guard.
In Queen of Shadows, she and Chaol share an intimate moment before attacking the castle when they go to the sea god's temple and Chaol reaches for her hand. They promise each other that "once everything is over" they will figure out where home is. Chaol seems to officially end his relationship with Aelin. He chooses to be with Nesryn, wanting happiness for himself.
In Tower of Dawn, however, their relationship begins to deteriorate, Chaol balks at the idea of intimacy due to his condition. As the book progresses, Chaol kisses her and remarks that there is "no heat" to the kiss.
The distance between them continues to widen, especially after the party for Tehome's holiday when Chaol and Yrene kiss each other. Nesryn departs for the Tavan Mountains with Sartaq. Realising that she does not want to be a consolation prize, she simply sends Chaol a note conveying where she is going and the end of their romantic relationship, then departs for the Tavan Mountains with Sartaq.
When Chaol sends her an urgent message to return from Rorkhal, Nesryn and Sartaq fly quickly to Antica. On their way back, they entreat the healers for help and lead them to the tunnels under the Torre Cesme, where they encounter Yrene, Hafiza, Duva, and Chaol. Nesryn sheds tears when Yrene saves his life and grants him the ability to walk. She and Chaol embrace.
- Queen of Shadows (first appearance)
- Empire of Storms (mentioned only)
- Tower of Dawn
- Kingdom of Ash
- Nesryn can speak and understand Halha , the language of the Southern Continent.
- Neith is the Egyptian goddess of hunting (especially with bows) and bees.
- Nesryn has a beautiful singing voice, that she shares with close to no one until she is accepted into Sartaq's group.
- Delara, her sister, nearly fainted when Nesryn came home with short hair and continues to pout about it now that both women are adults.