Motifs are recurring structures, contrasts, or literary devices that can help to develop and inform the text’s major themes. 

Resurrection and Immortality 

Literal resurrection and immortality form a motif that contrasts with the theme of physical and emotional transformation. Feyre’s special status as a mortal who died and was remade as a faerie makes her a sought-after pawn in the power dynamics of Prythian and Hybern. She shares this distinction with Amren, who is a monstrous creature from another dimension and was remade in the body of a faerie, giving her extraordinary powers. Jurian, Nesta, and Elain are all reborn in the Cauldron so the King of Hybern can use them in his plot to destroy the wall. To mortals, resurrection as immortals can be considered a curse or a miracle since, while it offers power, it also severs connections with the mortal realm. For example, before Nesta and Elain are reborn, Feyre realizes with horror that she will remain young while her sisters age. Likewise, Elain realizes she will likely never be able to marry her mortal suitor. The mortal queens bargain away their realms to be reborn as immortals, hoping to gain indefinite power over their mortal subjects. The magical process of resurrection is a metaphor for Feyre’s transformation from a passive, weak character into a fiercely independent individual with immense power.   


The gradual recovery of Feyre’s desire to paint is an important indication that she is beginning to process and heal from what happened Under the Mountain. She can’t bear being in her old painting studio in the Spring Court, where she used to spend hours pouring out feelings that she no longer possesses. When Tamlin gives her a painting kit, the red reminds her of blood, and the blue matches the eyes of the female faerie she was forced to kill. Compared to what she needs, the painting set seems trivial and useless, proof that Tamlin doesn’t understand her. When Feyre first begins exploring Velaris, she can’t bring herself to enter the artists’ quarter because it represents an important part of herself that she believes has died. As Feyre regains her strength and learns to wield her powers, she begins to see the world around her as she would paint it, starting with an image of Azriel and Rhysand sparring. These flashes of artistic insight become more common as she processes her trauma, but she only begins to paint again after she learns of her mating bond with Rhysand. Recognizing the joy she feels, she covers the walls of the cabin with paintings of Rhysand and her new friends, who have helped her move past her trauma and find herself.  

Faerie Rituals  

Not only do faerie rituals and religious traditions form a crucial background motif, but they also mark the passage of time in the narrative. In the Spring Court, the season never changes, so various rituals, like the Summer and Winter Solstices, Tithing, and Calanmai provide rhythm and tradition. Nynsar is celebrated in most courts, but the Night Court instead celebrates Starfall, an annual migration of spirits that look like falling stars. While no one knows the reason for Starfall’s coincidence with Nynsar, it holds significance to Feyre as the moment she fell in love with Rhysand. Calanmai is another important date for them since it marks their first meeting. It makes sense that immortals would organize time differently than humans, because for them counting the years is futile. Since some faerie courts have no discernible seasons, observing ancient rituals and traditions offers meaning and continuity across generations.