Thorn is an adult female SandWing who was introduced in The Brightest Night. She is the mother of Sunny and was formerly in a relationship with Stonemover, an animus dragon. She was formerly the leader of the Outclaws until she became Queen of the SandWing tribe during the events of The Brightest Night. She currently resides in the SandWing stronghold.
Thorn is small, wiry, and compact, looking as though she will stay that way no matter how long she lives. She has pale sandy yellow scales that are dappled with small brown sand like speckles along her spine and wings. A golden chain of flying dragons, crafted from twisted wires, encircles one of her upper forearms, and she wears a simple copper chain with a moonstone pendant around her neck. The Eye of Onyx hangs on a chain around her neck, with the onyx stone and the golden dragon wings in the center of her chest, bumping against the moonstone. She has kind, dark black eyes and warm, strong wings. She wears a toothy grin and wears an enchanted earring identical to Qibli's. Her voice is calm and clear.
Thorn is perceptive, reassuring, no-nonsense, astute, calmly certain, friendly, cheerful, levelheaded, empathetic, kind, alert, curious, calm, dangerous, serious, fierce, intelligent, and thoughtful. She walks like she has somewhere to be, with her eyes scanning her surroundings as if she is looking for something. She radiates an intense, burning energy, and Sunny caught herself wanting to follow Thorn wherever she went. She leads her tribe with ferocious strength and wisdom. She is smart and capable, and is willing to give anyone a voice; she does not act as though she is more important than her subjects. She has a reputation of someone that is impossible to corrupt, and Qibli thought of her as wise and good.
She has laughter in her eyes, and influential dragons are often afraid of her. She often reacts to difficult situations with anger. After killing Preyhunter in a fit of rage, Thorn glanced at Six-Claws ruefully, as though she regretted it. She is very direct and does not care much for rules and traditions, but she is polite. She is authoritative and queenly, causing other dragons to obey her orders, but when speaking to Snowfall, her voice was normal.
|Over seven years before the events of The Dragonet Prophecy, Thorn met a NightWing animus named Stonemover while he was planning a location for the NightWing tunnels in the Kingdom of Sand. Thorn fell in love with him, and after their initial meeting, Thorn continued to visit him, and eventually, Stonemover fell for her and confessed that he was an animus. No one but Dune, Armadillo, and Six-Claws knew of Thorn and Stonemover's relationship.
However, over time, Stonemover grew cold and distant (as he became more and more afraid of losing himself), and although Thorn was with Sunny's egg, she wanted to wait until he apologized to share the news. Shortly before Thorn laid her egg, Stonemover mysteriously vanished without a trace of his disappearance. While she was in the general area of the tunnels, she was approached by Morrowseer, who told her that Stonemover was never coming back and that it was her fault, triggering a reaction from Thorn, who spent the next six years searching for him so she could have vengeance.
In an attempt to keep her former relationship with Stonemover a secret, Thorn buried her egg out in the desert and entrusted Dune to protect it. He also helped Thorn come up with names for her unhatched dragonet, such as Sunny and Beetle. However, Dune was a member of the Talons of Peace, and once he discovered that Thorn's egg was due to hatch on the brightest night, he stole it for the Dragonet Prophecy. After Dune's disappearance and betrayal, Thorn posted several Wanted posters around the Scorpion Den, featuring Dune (dead or alive, for stealing her egg), Morrowseer (dead or alive, suspecting that he had done something to Stonemover), Stonemover (alive, as she missed him and wanted her dragonet's father to return), and any dragonet hatched with unusual features (as she was hoping to find her dragonet).Thorn later formed the Outclaws to bring law and order to the Scorpion Den. She also always hoped that becoming a vital authority figure in the Scorpion Den might allow her a better chance to cross paths with Dune, Morrowseer, Stonemover, or her missing dragonet.
The Dragonet Prophecy
|The Brightest Night|
|Thorn was introduced when Fierceteeth, Preyhunter, and Strongwings (followed by Sunny) arrived at the Scorpion Den with information on the whereabouts of the dragonets of destiny. Thorn ignored their attempt to bargain with her and instead asked if they had information on Dune, Morrowseer, or Stonemover. When Preyhunter claimed that Morrowseer was dead, Thorn reacted angrily, and after Preyhunter lashed out at her, she pinned him down and stabbed him through the heart with her tail barb, although afterward seemed to regret killing him. She then inquired about Morrowseer again.
Sunny stepped forward and confirmed that Morrowseer was indeed dead. After asking about Stonemover's whereabouts, Fierceteeth and Strongwings were dismissed to be locked up. Thorn took Sunny into a back room, where they were followed protectively by Qibli. Thorn told Sunny that she was her mother and planned a welcome party for her arrival. Sunny asks why she killed Preyhunter and she answered that sometimes you have to show your claws if you want to lead dragons. However, she soon had to leave to deal with reports of a dragonbite viper found near an orphanage. Sunny was then kidnapped by Addax and several other SandWings who had been thrown out from the SandWing army and taken to the SandWing stronghold as a gift for Burn in exchange for a place in the army. The nonexistent dragonbite viper was merely a distraction devised by Addax and his cohorts so that they could take Sunny without Thorn's interference.
Thorn led the Outclaws in an assault on the stronghold and managed to get inside with the help of Peril. She had Smolder bring her to see the stuffed NightWing in Burn's collection, which, to her relief, was not Stonemover. Afterward, Smolder brought them to the library filled with intercepted notes and letters, claiming that one of them was for Thorn. Proving that Smolder was not lying, they found the slate after a short search, which contained a message to Thorn from Stonemover about why he had left her. When another SandWing came by to tell them that Burn was coming back, Smolder locked Thorn and Sunny inside to await Burn's return; he was not taking any chances to be killed for letting prisoners escape. Luckily, Sunny was able to burn through the doors without setting fire to the surrounding papers, and they fled, reuniting with the rest of the Outclaws and promptly retreating to the Scorpion Den.
Later, Thorn was one of the SandWings present when Burn, Blister, Blaze, and all the dragon tribes met at Burn's stronghold. After a dragonbite viper killed Burn, she helped hold down Clay when the same snake bit him and also helped dig up the skeleton of Queen Oasis, at Flower's instruction. Sunny discovered the precious treasure, the Eye of Onyx, in the jaws of Queen Oasis's skeleton and was faced with a choice between Blister and Blaze. She gave it to Thorn instead, the eye killing Blister when she snatched it out of her talons. Thorn whispered to Sunny that it was all very strange and hoped that Sunny would be around to help her with her new responsibilities.Approximately one month later, Thorn made her way with the dragonets to Jade Mountain to visit Stonemover. Sunny described their meeting as "awkward."
The Jade Mountain Prophecy
|Qibli briefly mentioned Thorn a few times, consulting to himself, "What would Thorn think?" and, "What would Thorn do?". He was extremely loyal to her when Onyx questioned Thorn's right to the throne, defending her place. When asked whether he would leave or stay at the academy, he said that Thorn sent him there to learn and that she would want him to stay.|
|Qibli formally introduced himself as Thorn's adviser when the Jade Winglet was in the rainforest at Glory's Pavilion. After being attacked by a scavenger weapon, Qibli wondered if they could make it for Thorn's palace. Later in Possibility, Qibli commented on Mayfly's garden and wanted to tell Thorn about the glass structure there.|
|While arguing over Darkstalker's scroll with Winter, Qibli said that Thorn should be given the scroll.|
|Talons of Power|
|She was mentioned in the epilogue when three oases were bombed. Dragons growled about why their queen was not protecting them.|
|Darkness of Dragons|
|She was mentioned by Vulture when he spoke to Qibli, attempting to get his grandson on his side. He claimed that Thorn only cared about herself and was not helping to investigate the attacks, which Qibli objects to. Qibli later gave her an earring, explaining the situation with Darkstalker once she put it on. After hearing about the IceWing plague from Typhoon, the group figured out Darkstalker's enchantment on the IceWings, and Thorn had Qibli create earrings for all of the IceWings, then the SandWings. Qibli then has her arrest his mother, Cobra, for attempted murder. When Vulture and Onyx tried to seize power, she captured Onyx and prepared to fight an arena battle against her, which was interrupted by a sandstorm created by Qibli. After the sandstorm, she ventured into the dungeons to look for Onyx and Smolder. After finding them, Six-Claws and Ostrich found their way in, and Thorn ordered them to get a doctor for the injured Onyx. Before Qibli and Winter left for the Night Kingdom, the three used the Obsidian Mirror to check on Queen Glacier and Darkstalker.|
The Lost Continent Prophecy
|The Poison Jungle|
|Thorn is mentioned by Snowfall while telling Jerboa to not tell Thorn about the fleeing Pantalan dragons heading to the Ice Kingdom, with Jerboa replying that she has never spoken with Thorn before.|
|The Dangerous Gift|
|Snowfall thought of Thorn wanting alliances, mentioning how it was annoying. Thorn is the first queen to meet Snowfall politely. When Snowfall has a vision, Thorn tells the nosy dragons to leave Snowfall be and goes on a fly with her to help her feel better and give her advice. Later, at the Queen summit, she reluctantly chooses Qibli to be the SandWing representative on the journey to Pantala.|
|Thorn, though not mentioned by name, led the battle against the SandWings at the stronghold, and Rose later mentions to Wren that she saw a SandWing destroying items in the weirdling tower and rescuing "the cute golden dragon."|
|While being held in prison in the Kingdom of Sand and communicating with Saguaro through letters, Fierceteeth deduces that Saguaro was not as accepting of Thorn being queen of the SandWings like most SandWings and was conspiring to replace Thorn with someone else. While writing down the backstory about her relationship with Strongwings, Fierceteeth claims that she enjoys wasting the lamp oil provided by Thorn. Near the end, Fierceteeth threatens to expose Saguaro's treachery to Thorn if she did not agree to free herself and Strongwings.|
Not much is known about Thorn and Armadillo's relationship except that Armadillo is one of Thorn's most trusted dragons. Along with Dune and Six-Claws, they are one of the few dragons to know about Stonemover.
Thorn and Burn did not have a good relationship, as shown when Thorn did not hesitate to attack the stronghold, to save her daughter, Sunny during The Brightest Night. Many dragons who lived in the Scorpion Den were there to avoid military service in Burn's army, so while Thorn was the leader of the city, she seems to have worked to keep the princess away. She also mentioned that she always wanted to invade the stronghold.
Dune was once loyal to Thorn and had her trust. He helped suggest names for her dragonet (who was eventually named Sunny). He severed their relationship upon finding out her egg would hatch on the brightest night, as he betrayed her and stole her egg to give it to the Talons of Peace. Thorn hated Dune since then with a burning passion and offered a reward for his capture. She was disappointed to learn that he had died before she had gotten the chance to kill him.
Though Thorn had only met the NightWing once, she heavily disliked him. Morrowseer had approached her near the enchanted tunnel, telling her that Stonemover, missing at the time, was never returning because of her. This caused Thorn to spend the next six years searching for Stonemover and was disappointed to hear that Morrowseer had died before she had gotten the chance to kill him. She had also put up bounties for Morrowseer, along with other dragons in the Scorpion Den, as was shown in The Brightest Night.
Qibli looks at Thorn as though she has the eyes he trusts the most. Thorn brought Qibli as her SandWing advisor during a meeting with her fellow queens, and although she looked worried when Qibli suggested traveling to Pantala, she agreed that he was the best choice. Qibli thinks of himself as Thorn's second-in-command. Thorn unofficially adopted him as a young dragonet, and assured him that while he was under her care, he would be wanted and cared for. She is friendly towards him, and after she complimented his cleverness, she won his eternal undying loyalty. Thorn trusts him and he is filled with rage whenever she is spoken negatively of. He refused to betray her, even by pretending to, despite being threatened by Vulture and his Talons of Power, and she has taught him things that have made him stronger. He wants to protect Thorn at all costs, and her face lights up when she sees him, although she can also be stern in certain circumstances. She is his leader and his friend, and she changed his life. Thorn believes in him very strongly, encouraging him to use his own resources instead of tampering with dangerous magic. He believes that Thorn is wise and good.
Six-Claws is one of the few dragons Thorn could trust. Six-Claws is also incredibly loyal to her, and their relationship is mutual. He became her top general after she became queen, and often fought alongside her in battles. Alone with Dune, Qibli, and Armadillo, Six-Claws is one of the dragons Thorn trust the most, even with secrets like her relationship with Stonemover.
When they first met, Thorn did not particularly trust Smolder, giving him a suspicious look after he offered to get Thorn's letter from the library. After Smolder had tricked them into getting trapped in the library, Thorn became hostile to him, even threatening to kill him.
After The Brightest Night however, Thorn and Smolder developed a very teasing relationship, but Smolder is clearly affectionate towards her. His body reacts subconsciously by leaning closer to her, and Qibli wondered when it was that they had fallen for one another. She hides her worry for him under exasperation, and she likes him very much; she cried out in joy when she found him unharmed after a sandstorm, and he smiled weakly at her despite being terrified. They worry for one another, but are cautious with public affection, as if they do not want to become too emotional in front of witnesses.
Stonemover was Thorn's first partner and fell in love upon meeting him. He gifted her a moonstone necklace she wears. Their relationship was secret and trusting, and he eventually told her he was an animus. When Thorn said to him that she was with egg, she describes Stonemover as cold and different, most probably because of the loss of his soul. She was upset to hear about his disappearance and was relieved to see that Burn's stuffed NightWing was not him. Thorn became outraged upon learning that Stonemover had not been captured, but rather stuck at Jade Mountain the whole time. She was annoyed that Stonemover had not tried harder to let Thorn know that he was alive. They later had an awkward reunion after the end of the war and were quick to realize how little the two had in common anymore.
Thorn is very caring towards Sunny and planned a welcome party for her daughter's arrival, starting a whole organization, the Outclaws, just to find her. She also named her "Beetle" when she was still in her egg and searched the entire Scorpion Den to find her daughter. Her love for Sunny also led to an assault on Burn's stronghold to rescue her. She told Sunny that she was not ashamed of Sunny nor her origins and thought she was perfect the way she was. Sunny eventually chose her to be the queen of the SandWings, much to her surprise, and ended the Great War.
- "NightWings. […] Well, well, well. We haven't had any of you visit our fine city in about seven years."
- ― to Fierceteeth, Preyhunter, and Strongwings (The Brightest Night, page 62)
- "He didn't find you. […] He stole you. He knew where I'd hidden you for your own safety, and he betrayed me."
- ― to Sunny, about Dune (The Brightest Night, page 73)
- "It's not my favorite part of the role, but if you want to lead dragons, you have to show them your claws sometimes, beetle."
- ― to Sunny (The Brightest Night, page 76)
- "Perhaps not, but it'll accomplish three things. […] First, it'll relieve the tension out there — all those dragons wondering what'll happen with a prophecy dragonet in our midst. Second, it'll let everyone know you're my daughter, so they'll treat you with respect and not just curiosity. And third, it'll make it very clear that you're under Outclaw protection, which you're going to need in this city."
- ― to Sunny, about throwing her a welcome party (The Brightest Night, page 76-77)
- "Act smart, stay alive, stick together — but don't be an idiot. Those are our basic rules."
- ― to Sunny, about the Outclaws (The Brightest Night, page 158)
- "Listen to me. […] I don't tell everyone about my past because I like my privacy, and there isn't much of that when you lead a band of outlaws. But I'm not ashamed of you or of where you came from. If other dragons have a problem with it, that's their problem. It's not against the law to be with a dragon from another tribe. It just … hardly ever happens, that's all. Usually each tribe keeps to itself. Which makes you rare but not illegal or taboo or horrifying or anything like that. Don't ever let any dragon make you feel like you shouldn't exist. You understand?"
- ― to Sunny, about her origins (The Brightest Night, page 152)
- "Ordinary dragons do important things all the time. […] Or perhaps I just want him to steal me some coconuts. You don't need to worry about it, because you won't be seeing him again."
- ― to Cobra, about Qibli (Darkness of Dragons, page 11)
- "You will be safe with me. […] And wanted. And cared for."
- ― to Qibli (Darkness of Dragons, page 12)
- "I am the queen, you camel-chewing, snore-a-minute son of a toad."
- ― to Smolder (Darkness of Dragons, page 134)
- "I think I am a good queen. […] And I guess if I'm ever not, it should be comforting that there's a way for me to find out. It would be nice if I could bargain with it, though. Like, hey, Eye of Onyx, instead of blowing me up, could you just send me a note that's like, Time to stop being queen, crazyclaws, and then I could happily retire? If I had an animus of my own, I'd probably get them working on that."
- ― to Qibli (Darkness of Dragons, page 176)
- "We'll come back and try again. […] Now that we know who you are and what happened — we'll bring someone you can talk to. We'll get you back to the sunlight. I promise."
- ― to Prickle (Darkness of Dragons, page 186)
- "You just shut them down whenever you need to. […] You are a queen. But remember that of course they're curious and worried about their friends, so that's why they want to know more."
- ― to Snowfall (The Dangerous Gift, page 190)
- "I think what we're all saying […] is that it would be tough to justify sending our soldiers into such a dangerous situation, when it sounds like they could have their minds taken over exactly like your dragons have. Isn't that right?"
- ― to Hazel (The Dangerous Gift, page 206)
- ""Fourth moons and fireballs." [...] "Me? Are you sure?""
- ― to Sunny ( The Brightest Night, page 295)
- Thorn takes swordleaf root whenever she gets a headache.
- Thorn dislikes visiting the dungeons within the SandWing stronghold.
- One of the names that Thorn considered for Sunny was Beetle, and what she called her inside her head before finding her.
Present: Addax • Agave • Armadillo • Camel • Capybara • Cereus • Cobra • Dune • Horizon • Jerboa III • Kindle • Meerkat • Needle • Ocotillo • Ostrich • Palm • Parch • Prickle • Quicksand • Rattlesnake • Saguaro • Sandstorm • Sirocco • Six-Claws • Tawny • Torch • Viper • Vulture