I was looking through SJM’s ToG Pinterest board and I saw that she captioned this picture as Antica. Now that I think about it, what the hell do we even really know about freaking Antica?
Okay, so we all know that it’s the Southern continent’s stronghold. Chaol and Nesryn are going there to Torre Cesme to have his legs healed because of what happened in Queen of Shadows. Looking back at Assassin’s Blade, Celaena left money for Yrene Towers so she could go South to study and become a healer. THEY’RE PROBABLY GONNA MEET THAT IS GONNA BE SO EFFING AWESOME.
And since Torre Cesme is where healers study and Crochans live in hiding as healers, could they possibly be hiding in Antica? Dorian, Manon and the Thirteen are looking for the Crochans and the third wyrdkey, what if they all finally get together? SJM did say that characters from EoS will appear in ToD
BUT SERIOUSY WE KNOW SO LITTLE ABOUT THE SOUTHERN CONTINENT SO WE HAVE VERY LITTLE CONTENT TO WORK WITH
SJM did say that she loved writing and exploring this new place and its culture in ToD so that’s why the Chaol novella became an actual installment in the ToG Series. I guess we’ll learn much more about Antica soon enough, let’s theorize in the meantime and lemme just throw this shit out there.
Has anyone thought about what Chaol’s father is going to do in ToD? You know that prick won’t just let go of the oath Chaol made and then broke. I wouldn’t put it past that asshole to sail all the way down to the Torr Cesme and fuck up the progress Chaol is making with its rulers to ally with Aelin and Dorian.
A/N: I intended for this to be a short little head cannon, 300 words tops, about Aelin and Yrene’s future relationship….I may have gotten a little carried away. Sorry for crappy diction, multiple POVs, the present tense, and a whole mess of other things.
Aelin is physically broken after what Maeve’s cronies did to her.
Her back is completely skinned, arms full of scratches, face painted with bruises, and legs so weak that she is forced to a heavy limp.
The crew that comes to save her, tries to keep her as still as possible. Every unnecessary movement to her frame causes her to groan or yelp in pain. She insists that they return to Terrasen. Despite what they all think, they do not argue. Rowan is a mess at what has happened to his mate, but there is almost nothing that he, Gavriel, Fenrys, Connall, or Lorcan can do to fix her. Whatever they did to his wife, it caused her healing powers to be practically ineffective.
Their sailing back is one of speed and stealth. They want no one to know who is on their ship, but they want to ride as smooth of waters as possible. Rowan keeps a vigil over her, draining whatever healing powers he has to try and save her. Or at the very least, take away her pain and keep her asleep.
They sneak her into Terrasen in the night, hoping that no Valg soldiers get wind of the Queen returning. She needs time to heal, time that they do not have. Between Elide, Lorcan, Rowan, Fenrys, Connall, and Gavriel, they keep the injuries a secret.
But, Chaol wants his wife to meet the woman who gave her her freedom. He knows the real Aelin is home somewhere, and he scouts the castle trying to find her. It does not take long to deduce that she is the hallway that no one but Rowan frequents. Silently, he brings Yrene to the room he believes that they’re hiding Aelin. No one stops the Ambassador to the Southern Continent as he pries the door open.
The couple stops short.
The Queen of Terrasen, Heir of Mala Firebringer, Aelin Ashryver Galathynius does not look human.
Her eyes are swollen shut. Her breath is a wet wheeze. The white sheets wrapping around her are tinted pink and and yellow in places, hinting at infection.
Chaol stands shocked a her current state and doesn’t even register Yrene’s hand leaving his as she grabs the Queen’s face.
“She’s the one that you wanted me to meet?” Yrene asks, quietly.
Chaol barely manages to squeak out, “Yes. She’s the reason-”
Aelin turns her head towards Yrene, coughing as she does so. “D-D…Do I..?
“What are you doing here?” Rowan calls from the doorway.
“I just wanted Yrene to meet-” Chaol starts.
“Did she give me those coins?” Yrene asks, as she turns towards the two men.
Chaol feels his heart breaking looking at his wife, but it is Rowan who responds in exasperation, “She gave you enough money to go to the Torre Cesme.”
Chaol scoffs at Rowan, “How do you know about that?”
Rowan is very quiet when he says, “The bond still works.”
Neither of them notice that Yrene turned back to Aelin. Yrene lifts her hands above the mangled body, trying to use her powers to access the damage. Distantly, Yrene hears Chaol and Rowan engaged in a very tense and near silent conversation. Deep inside the Queen, Yrene can feel a fire, hotter than a thousand suns, waiting to be released. This woman is not a lost cause, and when, not if, she is healed, she will bring all those who wronged her to their knees. Yrene pulls her power back and looks at Rowan and Chaol.
“I am going to fix her.”
The intensity in her voice makes both of them stop.
“I will do everything I can to get her moving and back to normal,” she turns to her husband, “this will probably be as bad as what happened to you.”
“You’re most likely going to have to live in that wheelchair again.”
“I understand. Do whatever it takes.” For Chaol cannot let Aelin’s end be this.
The gratitude that washes over Rowan’s face almost knocks the breath out of Chaol.
Okay, so some final thoughts on Tower of Dawn. Some of them are, well, painful, starting with what’s gonna happen when:
a) Falkhan and Nesryn finally get to Terrasen, the latter overjoyed to introduce the former to what could be his only remaining family member, only to find that when they get there, there is only “Aelin” standing in front of them. “Aelin” must stay that way or risk her ruse for the Queen of Terrasen being revealed. Nesryn steps forward slowly, with pleading eyes, asking who she thinks is Mala Fire-Bringer, “Where is Lysandra?” When the fleets arrive and the shapeshifter cannot look into her uncle’s eyes and say “It’s me”. Or…
b) Chaol and Yrene arrive and the former lays eyes on the woman who’s caused him so much heartache and love and he wants to speak with her. What will happen when Chaol tries to forgive her personally for her actions, perceived or true? What will happen when he apologizes for blaming her for every bad thing that’s come into his life, that he was wrong and she didnt deserve his wrath? When he tries to thank her for giving him the brightest thing in his life wholly on accident, for saving Yrene? When he leads his wife to Queen Aelin Ashryver Galathynius so that the healer can meet the woman that saved her life, learn her name, only to find that the Fire-Bringer has no clue. When Chaol recognizes that Prince Rowan Whitethorn is not there, that the shapeshifter took his friend’s place, asking “Where is Aelin?” leading into…
c) WHO THE HELL WILL BE TOLD ABOUT THE RUSE? The group from the Southern Continent comes, in tow with a land, aerial, and naval armies, with healers to save slaves, will Aedion and Lysandra deign to inform Chaol that Aelin has been stolen by Maeve? How will his knowledge about the Valg Queen change the Terrasen group’s motives of getting the real Aelin back? What about Chaol and Nesryn, wondering why Aelin is no longer labeled Queen by everyone but her squad? What will the Antica group do when they learn that Aelin sold herself, and still made good on her promise to provide an army to rattle the stars? All in the wake of Darrow banishing Aelin from Orynth? Who promised on her own blood and might, both of which she gave, that she would not turn her back on Terrasen when they call for aid like Darrow did on her? When they learn that Aelin, their Fireheart, sacrificed EVERYTHING so that they might have a chance, and that she did not expect them to come for her?
Along with that, what about all Chaol’s questions? What will Chaol think of Dorian flying off with Manon Blackbeak, what will he do when he learns that Aelin has been taken, in such a horrifying way by Maeve? What will he think of Manon as a Crochan Queen, looking to turn the tide in the war?
What about MY questions? What will happen between the Queen of the Wastes and the Master of the Silent Assassions?
Will Fleetfoot know that “Aelin” is the shapeshifter? What about Evangeline? What will happen when Aelin Galathynius, rightful Queen of Terrasen and heir of Mala Fire-Bringer, shows up on Darrow’s doorstep like a mockery of his claims, saying “Who’s done nothing now?”
What will Darrow do when he learns that Aelin sold herself for her kingdom? That he was so pitifully wrong? So shamefully arrogant?
What about the problems presented when people begin to assume that Aelin is part Valg? Even though Maeve shares no blood ties with Mab and Mora, only very select few people know that little tidbit. What will they do to counteract those fears of her?
Also, what EXACTLY are Maeve’s motives for changing the world if she gets the keys? She wanted to banish her husband and brothers back to the other realm, their demons with them, and that’s not awful. Maeve was dissatisfied with the Valg realm, the bleakness. The fell in love with the liveliness of Erilea, how it was everything that Valg realm wasn’t. Despite her blatant discrimination against half-breeds, Doranelle is a beautiful and seemingly fair kingdom that is well maintained. What, precisely, would she change with the wyrdkeys and Aelin?
How will Aelin react when she learns that her “aunt” is a demon Queen, like she suspected with Brannon on that rock a lifetime ago?
What will Yrene do when she learns that the assassin that saved her life is the biggest hope for the world and Queen of Terrasen? What will she do when she hears those two syllables that make up the name of the woman that saved her life, in every way that counted? That she’s been wondering about since the moment Yrene found that gold on her bed, the funds to follow her dreams, with a note that changed her life. “Wherever you need to go - and then some. The world needs more healers.” What will the two women do when they meet again, Yrene learning that Aelin only wanted to be a healer when she was young but turned into a Fire-Bringer instead, Aelin learning that Yrene made it, to do what she never could?
Will Fenrys help preserve what is left of Aelin? Will she be in that dark place she was after Endovier? Nehemia? What will Aelin do to convince everyone that she is broken? What about the people of Mistward? The King and Queen of Eyllwe?
Chaol Westfall, his body may be broken yet he still possesses an unwavering strength and loyalty to protect his friends. Chaol and Nesryn travel south toward Torre Cesme in Antica in the hopes of healing Chaol from his injuries he suffered to spare his friends from the King of Adarlan’s wrath.
The survival of Dorian and Aelin rests with Nesryn and Chaol to convince Torre Cesme’s people to ally with them. And they quickly discover there is more at stake as the looming war becomes a harsh reality.
Chaol and Nesryn can tip the scales and spare Erilea from dangers far fiercer than they ever imagined.
Y’know those memes where someone tells completely ridiculous story then says “and that person was (insert historical figure)”
That is literally Aelin Ashryver Galathynius
The crown prince of Adarlan danced with a stranger at a masquerade. And that stranger was Aelin Ashryver Galathynius.
A new scullery maid comes to Mistward. That girl’s name? Aelin Ashryver Galathynius.
A beat up stranger teaches a healer working as a barmaid self defence and leaves her enough money to travel to the Torre Cesme and become the heir of the healer on high and heal the hand of the king of Adarlan. That stranger was Aelin Ashryver Galathynius.