|Warning! This article contains spoilers from A Court of Wings and Ruin.|
She and her two siblings are referred to as "death gods", because their powers allow them to eat life itself.
In the time before the Cauldron, the Mother and the creation of Prythian, Stryga crossed dimensions from another world (the text states that she "fell" into their world from her own, along with her twin brother, the Bone Carver, and their older brother, Koschei). The three siblings, who were immensely powerful by this world's standards, were set up as 'gods' by the ancient Fae living in the world, and they were then worshiped out of fear by those ancient Fae.
Stryga "delighted" in this worship, and reveled in it. She used the deaths of others to keep her body young by feasting on their life forces. It is implied that part of the worship she enjoyed involved living sacrifices made to her.
At some point, a lone female Fae warrior decided to put an end to Stryga's reign of terror, as well as the reign of horror created by her two brothers. Somehow, this female Fae managed to trick Stryga into "diminishing her power and being confined to the Middle" in a small cottage in the middle of a forest. Thus, Stryga became the "Weaver in the Wood", unable to leave that parcel of land of her own free will, imprisoned with only herself for company.
Tens of thousands of years later, Feyre Archeron was tasked by the High Lord of the Court of Night, Rhysand, to retrieve his dead mother's ring for him from the Weaver's treasure trove in A Court of Mist and Fury. The purpose of the test was to see if Feyre was able to discern hidden magical items, so that they might be able to find the Book when they infiltrated Tarquin's Summer Court.
When Feyre first approached the quiet, lovely cottage in the woods, she thought the place seemed harmless enough—a location one might stop if one needed shelter for the night or aid. Inside, Stryga's cottage was said to be filled with "bric-a-brac: books, shells, dolls, herbs, pottery, shoes, crystals, more books, jewels... From the ceiling hung all manner of chains, dead birds, dresses, ribbons, gnarled bits of wood, strands of pearls... A junk shop—of some immortal hoarder."
When she first sets eyes upon the Weaver, Stryga was working at her loom, weaving a soft, white hair that Feyre instinctively knew was not animal in nature.
Eventually, when Feyre found and took Rhysand's mother's ring from one of the cottage shelves, Stryga stopped singing and stopped weaving, realizing a thief had come into her home and stolen something. The Weaver could not see Feyre, however, due to her physical state of decay (as a result of her not feasting on other people's life force), but she smelled Feyre and sensed her magical soul (specifically, she noticed that Feyre was "like all, but unlike all" as a result of having been Made by pieces of all of the High Lords of Prythian).
Feyre escaped Stryga's clutches with the ring only after setting fire to the Weaver's stash of tanned skins and woven hair, dashing up the cottage's chimney and using it to crawl to freedom to the roof. She became stuck inside it, however, and hurled a loosened brick down at Stryga, who was attempting to come up after her. The brick smashed into the Weaver's face, crushing bone and causing a spray of black blood. Feyre then scrambled up the remaining length of the chimney and escaped onto the cottage's thatched roof (which is actually made up of scalped heads of hair from Stryga's victims), leaving Stryga screaming behind her, "WHERE ARE YOU?"
In A Court of Wings and Ruin, Rhysand had the idea that asking for help from the "Old Gods" in their war with Hybern might be their only chance of success. He sent Helion, High Lord of the Day Court, to act as his emissary to the Weaver, as Stryga knew him from before (that meeting was not described in the text, but the implication is that Rhysand and her do not get along). Helion made a deal on behalf of Rhysand: to free Stryga from her imprisonment in the Middle if she agreed to fight for him against Hybern. Stryga accepted the deal and the pact was sealed with both Rhysand and Stryga receiving magical tattoos on their left forearms.
Soon after that meeting, Feyre appeared at Stryga's cottage unexpectedly, leading Ianthe and two Hybern soldiers into the Weaver's cottage and trapping them inside Stryga's home. The Weaver ate Ianthe and the soldiers, and took Ianthe's crown as a prize for herself.
That feast bought Feyre some forgiveness from Stryga for her earlier theft of Rhysand's mother's ring.
During the final battle with Hybern, Stryga appeared in front of the combined Fae Court armies next to her twin brother, the Bone Carver, who she had not seen in millennia, and another monster known as Bryaxis. Stryga wore Ianthe's jeweled crown into battle, but carried no other weapons, nor did she wear any armor. She and the other two "Old Gods" were the first to march into Hybern's ranks.
She decimated Hybern's forces by magically devouring the life force from them, literally, turning them into mummified "husks". She was said to shred through Hybern's forces "in a tangle of black hair and white limbs".
During the fighting, she became separated from her brother and Bryaxis, who took on different flanks of Hybern's army. As a result, she was not close enough to her brother to save his life when death finally came for him.
Just before Hybern unleashed the Cauldron's intense heat wave into the midst of his own forces, intending upon burning up them just so he could finish off the Bone Carver, Stryga seemed to have had a vision of her twin's death. She let out a horrified scream at the prediction, one that Feyre heard even across the noise of battle. When the Cauldron's intense heat and light did, in fact, smash into the Bone Carver, he was instantly turned to ash. Enraged and mourning her twin, despite their long separation, Stryga fought on against Hybern.
Eventually, she faced the King of Hybern personally, in an effort to distract him from Feyre and Amren who were sneaking into his camp to destroy the Cauldron. By then, all of the lives she had eaten had made her withered form revert into its more youthful, attractive form. Hybern commented on her beauty, in fact. Stryga replied simply that he was to bow to her, "as it was once done." That comment made it clear to the King of Hybern that she would not be joining forces with him, no matter his flattery (that he should, in fact, just give up and become her servant). Hybern seemed to understand that unspoken message, for he simply smiled at her, closed the distance between them, and before she could stop him, he snapped her neck.
Feyre believed that wound alone might not have killed Stryga, as she was a "death god" and not like the Fae. However, when Hybern threw Stryga's broken body down for his naga-hounds to rend and eat, Feyre knew there was no coming back from that.
In the end, Stryga, the Weaver of the Wood—an outsider and one of the 'greatest monsters' in Prythian's history—died a heroine, fighting for its people. Her days as a terrifying, awe-inspiring goddess of death, however, remained her legacy.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Like her brother, the Bone Carver, Stryga appears to have the power of divination, but only for events that will happen in the immediate future. Furthermore, like her twin, she also has an innate power to "see" or "hear on the wind" magically what is happening in the world at all times in the present (the exception being she can't "see" the Cauldron, although she can "hear" it). This gives her a vast amount of knowledge, which others seek to possess. However, her knowledge does them no good, as the price for obtaining it is their lives. Stryga's 'death goddess' abilities are magical in nature, and they allow her to literally harvest the life force of other entities, taking it into her own body, and use it to make herself stronger, younger, and more powerful. She literally eats life to subsist. When she does not have access to such sustenance, she ages (her skin sags and withers, taking on a grey pallor, her nose partially caves in, her teeth rot becoming "jagged stumps", and she goes blind, her eyes becoming "rotting, black pits" in her skull). She does not die of old age, as she is an immortal, but her body suffers the consequences when she doesn't feed on others.
Stryga also seems to have a telekinetic ability or a magic that can perform such for her, as when she is in her cottage in the Middle, she can shut and lock the door and window to it using only her magic or her mind to do so. Once shut, the door and window won't open again until Stryga wills it.
The Middle where Stryga resides is a wild place with no Court or High Lord to rule it. Rhysand tells Feyre that there "the law is made by who is strongest, meanest, most cunning. And the Weaver of the Wood is at the top of their food chain". As such, she is the alpha monster in the Middle, and all others living there fear her.
Stryga maintains a treasure hoard within her cottage in the Middle. There are various instruments and items of power within that hoard, according to Rhysand.
She is bound by oath to Rhysand during the final battle against Hybern's forces. The tattoo marking their deal appears on her white forearm as a crescent moon, inked in black. With that deal, she was able to leave her imprisonment in her cottage to walk Prythian once more.
|Amarantha · Amren · Azriel · Cassian · Elain Archeron · Feyre Archeron · King of Hybern · Lucien · Morrigan · Nesta Archeron · Rhysand · Tamlin|
|Minor and supporting characters|
|Alis · Andras · Beron · Bron · Cerridwen · Clare Beddor · Cresseida · Devlon · Eris · Graysen · Feyre's father · Hart · Helion · Ianthe · Isaac Hale · Isaac Hale's wife · Jurian · Kallias · Keir · Mercenary · Miryam · Mortal Queens · Mrs. Laurent · Naga · Nuala · Unnamed Summer Court Faerie · Tarquin · The Bogge · The Bone Carver · The Suriel · Thesan · Tomas Mandray · Varian · Weaver|
|Aunt Ripleigh · Dark Mother · Drakon · Feyre's mother · Ianthe's father · Ianthe's mother · Ianthe's sisters · Miryam's father · Miryam's mother · Mother · Rhysand's father · Rhysand's mother · Rhysand's sister · Nostrus · Queen of the Black Land · Tamlin's mother · Tamlin's father|