|Cause of Death||
Sylvia Weald was a witch and a noblewoman of the Dark Kingdom, who remains loyal to the Night World after the witches secede to Circle Daybreak during the events of Black Dawn, serving as one of the novel's main antagonists. She is highly skilled in magic and is even able to seal the blue fire of the Wild Power, Delos Redfern, rendering him unable to use it without her permission. She was also the girlfriend of Miles Neely.
Sylvia was born seventeen years prior to the events of the series. Her father, Grandin, was a member of the Harman family, whilst her mother, Selene, was a member of Weald clan. Sylvia attempted to claim her Harman heritage; however, she was turned down due to her mother being a Weald, not a Harman - due to the matriarchal traditions of witches, lineage is passed down through the women in the family. As a result, Sylvia was not regarded as a true Harman. This enraged Sylvia, particularly due to the fact that lost Harmans (such as Gillian Lennox) were being welcomed into the family, despite having human fathers.
Feeling betrayed and excluded, Sylvia abandoned the Harmans and her witch heritage, allying herself with Hunter Redfern and joining the Dark Kingdom. Under Hunter's influence, Sylvia bound the Wild Power, Delos Redfern's blue fire using a magical arm brace. Sylvia hoped to gain prestige and recognition due to her loyalty to Hunter and sought vengeance on the Harmans for rejecting her.
At some point, Sylvia began dating the human, Miles Neely, presumably to toy with him (though it's implied she may have developed genuine feelings for Miles). Sylvia grew to despise his sister, Maggie, due to being unable to fool Maggie, and out of jealousy over Miles' affections for her.
When she and Miles go mountain climbing on Halloween, they stumble across a party of witches, most of whom were killed by an avalanche. Miles and she go to help, and Sylvia quickly realizes that one of the witches, still alive, is none other than Aradia, the Maiden of the Witches. Too excited over her discovery, Sylvia, who had intended to bring Miles to the Dark Kingdom in the first place, reveals her identity as a witch, hoping that he would be her consort once Hunter had removed Delos and after Miles was also converted into a Night Person.
However Miles is unenthusiastic about the prospect and rejects Sylvia's offer, as he prefers being with his family, especially Maggie. This enrages her, but she remains quiet until all three arrive at her apartment. There, Sylvia removes Aradia, whom Miles tries to protect. Aradia and Miles are knocked unconscious by Sylvia's friends, and her former boyfriend is taken by Gavin and Bern back to the Dark Kingdom where, on Sylvia's orders, Miles is punished; she is angry with him, but, having grown very fond of the human boy, she cannot bring herself to kill him, as Night World law would have allowed. Instead, she has him converted into a falcon shapeshifter against his will, becoming her personal hunting bird. To complete the penalty, she places an enchanted leather tie around Miles's talon to prevent him from ever changing into human form, keeping him as a falcon indefinitely.
As for Aradia, Sylvia has her interrogated at her apartment, but the Maiden has an allergic reaction to the truth serum Sylvia gives her, which makes her gravely ill. Ultimately, getting no information from Aradia, the silver-haired witch decides to send her as a bargaining chip to Hunter Redfern, as well as prevent her from getting to the vampire prince.
Sylvia returns to the mountains and pretends to have been stuck there, trapped by a storm, for three days; she is found by rangers and brought back to town, to tell Miles's family that he is "dead". She is convincing enough in her act to make almost everyone believe and "pity" her. However, her words and hysterics do not fool Maggie, who knows her brother better and realizes he would never have made any of the careless errors Sylvia was insisting he had made. Especially noting that Sylvia indirectly stated there was "no body", Maggie, believing Miles may still be alive, observes as Sylvia, having been told to wait in the squad car outside, instead quickly leaves the premises.
Maggie follows her to the apartment near the college campus, interrupting a party and finding Sylvia, standing near an incense burner. Sylvia admits that she had been lying but as Maggie tries to get more information, she begins to lose consciousness, as the incense being burned was actually enchanted to put Maggie into a deep sleep.
Back in the Dark Kingdom, Sylvia, while hunting with Delos and a party of nobles, learns from her shapeshifter henchman Gavin that Aradia, who had been placed with Maggie and two other human girls in a wagon coming to the castle, had escaped and was now missing. Sylvia mildly hides her concern, confident she will recapture the Maiden. She is active in deceiving Delos about Hunter's schemes and his own weakening blue fire, and works hard to conceal the presence of Aradia from him. However, she is wary that Delos might be employing spies.
When the witch is left alone with Hunter, Maggie witnesses Sylvia being manipulated by the lamia patriarch, who reveals the source of Sylvia's underlying anger. Upon learning the witches have left the Night World council, Sylvia reacts with immense shock. However, upon being questioned of her loyalties by Hunter, she adamantly asserts her affiliation with the Night World, claiming she is a "spellcaster" but no longer a witch after she was cast out from the Harmans. She shows Hunter a basket of ingredients required to complete the spell on Delos's arm, acquired from a witch of Circle Midnight, and confirms that once the spell in placed on the prince, he will not be able to summon his power unless only Sylvia allows him.
Delos enters, and Maggie watches angrily as she places the spell on the unsuspecting lamia. However, Delos, who can sense Maggie's presence, prevents Sylvia from walking in on her; blocked, Sylvia departs from the room.
Sylvia and Hunter allow Delos into the dungeon where he had placed Maggie, to listen in on him. They ambush Delos when he relents wanting to side with Hunter; Sylvia "squeak[s]" and quickly leaves when Delos attacks Hunter in an effort to get away.
Death and RedemptionEdit
The next day, Delos, Maggie, Aradia, and two human slaves (P.J. and Jeanne McCartney) are brought before Hunter and the traitorous nobles of the kingdom to be executed by a blood-hunt. When Delos tries to appeal to the nobles, which causes a slight reaction among them, Hunter angrily commands Sylvia to silence him, though the girl is uneasy about doing so, even with guards protecting her. She approaches Delos with her basket, but as Hunter preaches to the nobles, Aradia addresses Sylvia directly.
Initially, Sylvia insists that the Maiden leave her be, angrily affirming she is not a witch anymore, but Aradia goes on, addressing Sylvia's birthright as a witch and a sister of the witches. The Maiden, suddenly taking on the likeness of Hellewise, directs Sylvia to remove the spell from him. Maggie additionally appeals to Sylvia, who is stricken at seeing her ancestress. Awed and having a change of heart, Sylvia obeys the commandment and releases Delos. However, before Delos can take action, Hunter roars for Sylvia to be killed, and she is fatally impaled through the heart by an iron lance, iron being the lethal element to all witches.
After destroying Hunter and the nobility, Delos offers to save Sylvia by changing her into a vampire, but she refuses, especially because the shaft of the lance, made of wood, had splintered inside of her body - even if Delos had been successful, the wood inside her would have killed her anyway. As she lay dying, she asks for Maggie, and tells her that she had lied about Miles being dead, speaking of her own jealousy over how much Maggie and Miles cared for each other. She informs the group that she had Miles changed into a shapeshifter, kept in his animal form deliberately by her with an enchanted band, although it can be removed by anyone. She dies in Maggie's arms; the human girl proceeds to weep for her, in spite of their mutual loathing throughout the adventure. Sylvia is acknowledged as the one who saved them all, and is given a blessing by Aradia, closing the silver-haired girl's eyes in death and affirming her as a true daughter of Hellewise.
Other novels Edit
Sylvia is briefly mentioned in Witchlight as once being a potential candidate of the Wild Power prophecies, due to the lines stating that all the Wild Powers were born "in the year of the Blind Maiden's vision" (Aradia, the 'Blind Maiden', could still physically see when she was a year old, meaning all the Wild Powers are seventeen) and that one of the Wild Powers would come from "the hearth which still holds the spark" (referring to the Harman family). This however, was disproven, given Sylvia's death, the fact she never displayed the ability to use blue fire and, because she was technically not a 'true' Harman, she didn't fulfil the necessary aspects of the prophecy.
Physical Appearance Edit
Sylvia is often described as being very beautiful, a trait common to all witches, being "tall but willowy, fragile looking". Her Harman blood is shown in her features; she shares the silvery-blond hair and "eyes the exact color of wood violets" of this prestigious clan.
Maggie states that Sylvia often dresses in the latest fashions, yet upon seeing her in medieval attire in the Dark Kingdom, the girl notes Sylvia's comfort and beauty in such clothing.
Sylvia retains the philosophy of the Night People, feeling that all humans are inferior vermin, and has no problem kidnapping them and bringing them to the Dark Kingdom as slaves. She is also quite cunning and opportunistic, with a tendency for making people who do not go along with her plans pay for their disagreement (as seen with the human Miles Neely and Aradia)
However, Sylvia is not without a sympathetic aspect: she appears to have a very deep need for acceptance, ironic in light of her own intolerance for human beings. Despite being raised a full-blooded witch, due to her father being of the Harman family instead of her mother, Sylvia is not counted as one of the direct descendants of Hellewise (though as a witch she is considered linked to Hellewise generally, like all other witches). Furthermore, to her undying fury, she witnesses lost witches (including her distant cousin Gillian Lennox and likely others) take their place in the Harman lineage in spite of having human fathers, as their mothers and grandmothers are Harmans. This begins Sylvia's extreme bitterness against the witches for overlooking her, and dictates many of her actions, which stem more from this pain than actual evil intent (this attitude of feeling betrayed is utilized by the vampire Hunter Redfern to keep Sylvia working under him for his own purposes).
Sylvia is also highly adept at deception; when lying she manages to easily fool people (this fails to work on Maggie Neely, however). She is also extremely jealous of Miles's affection for Maggie, despite her attachment to him, insisting she "hated" Maggie for it.
- There is a strong implication that, despite her Night World loyalties, Sylvia might have been in love with Miles. If so, in addition to telling him the truth about who she was, Sylvia would have broken the two cardinal laws of the Night World, both being punishable by death (although this may have been mitigated by Sylvia's intention to make Miles a Nightperson all along)
- It is possible that Sylvia is a relative or pupil of the witch noblewoman who first bound Delos's powers with the arm brace under King Tormentil's instruction.
- Hunter Redfern states that Sylvia is his "own eighth-great-granddaughter", but it is not known if this is through his youngest daughter Roseclear, or if another Harman had married a Redfern in Sylvia's bloodline.
- Sylvia's name comes from the Latin word for "Forest" or "Woods", which is suitable as she often wears green outfits with silver accents. Her surname Weald also translates to "woodland" in Old English.
- It's possible (though unlikely) that Sylvia was the "witch who isn't a witch" responsible for awakening the dragons.