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Ansel of Briarcliff

              Also known as Queen of the Western Wastes
              Ansel of Briarcliff, Defender of the Realm


Female | Human


Loyal to the Western Wastes
               Allied to Aelin Galanthynius of Terrasen
               Previously loyal to Silent Assassins


Lives in Briarcliff in the Flatlands
              Fortress of the Silent Assassin's (ages 12-18)
in Briarcliff in the Flatlands (birth to age 12)


Ages 18-20 | Birthday is Midsummers Eve | Alive

      Age 18 in The Assassin's Blade

House Briarcliff

              Lord of Briarcliff (Father)

              Unnamed Sister 


Love Interests
              Mikhail (The Assassin's Blade)

Physical Description

    Celaena describes Ansel as one of the most stunning people she has even beheld.  She has wine-red colored hair and mahogany (red-brown) eyes.  She has freckles across her nose and cheeks.  She is slightly taller than Celaena.

    She wears a very ornate set of armor.  The right shoulder is a snarling wolf's head, her helmet a wolfs head hunched over the nose guard, and a wolf's head on the pommel of a broadsword.  


    Celaena describes Ansel as having a strange, boyish carelessness about her.  She is very chatty, and only lasted two days after vowing to be silent for a whole month.  She seems to be a very organized person, even folding her underwear, which Celaena thought odd.  Celaena notes that despite the horrors of Ansel's past, she still seems carefree and keenly alive.

    Despite having many friends at the fortress, she was very closed off.  The Mute Master, who eventually figured out Ansel wasn't telling the truth as to why she was there, hoped that in time she would trust him, but the only person she eventually confides in is Celaena.  He tells Celaena that Ansel let her pain turn to hate, and that hate turned her into a person he doesn't think she wanted to be.


    Ansel is a strong and talented fighter, as she trained with the Silent Assassin's for six years before leaving.  When Celaena fights against Ansel, she is surprised by her strength.

    She is also very intelligent, and uses her beauty and charm to manipulate those around her when she needs to.  She is a strong leader, and took back the Western Wastes from her family's murderer.  She was willing to do anything to get her home back, even kill those she likes or even loves to get it.  While not seeming very loyal, when Aelin needs help the most, Ansel is instrumental in helping defeat the Valg and take back Terrasen.


    While Ansel is trained in the use of a multitude of weapons, the weapon she uses and carries on her is her father's broadsword, with a wolf's head on the pommel.

Before Book Events

    Ansel grew up in Briarcliff with her father, the Lord of Briarcliff, and her older sister. 

    When she was eight, she followed her sister and sisters best friend named Maddy went to a ruined watchtower that they heard about from a stable boy, who said that if you look through the archway on the summer solstice, you can see into another world.  When they get to the tower, Ansel didn't have a good feeling about it, so she hid behind a rock, while her sister and Maddy traveled on to explore.  After a while, Ansel hears screaming.  Her sister comes running back, grabs Ansel, and they run all the way back to Briarcliff.  Her sister tearfully tells Ansel that Maddy was pulled through the archway by an old woman with iron teeth.  When the Lord of Briarcliff and his men travelled to the towers to find Maddy the next morning, all they found was a young girls skeleton.  

    Four years later when Ansel was twelve, a lord had been taking over the surrounding Flatlands, and was demanding that her father give up Briarcliff to him, and swear allegiance to him as the High King of the Flatlands.  Her father refused.  Two weeks later, the lord came to Briarcliff, seizing the villages and people, before storming the castle.  Staff hid a terrified Ansel in a kitchen cupboard.  She watched as the staff were killed, and her father and sister were dragged into the kitchen where the lord was waiting.  He slit her older sisters throat before killing her father.  After he left, Ansel leaves the cupboard, and picks up her fathers sword from his body.

    She flees Briarcliff and runs all the way to the foothills of the White Fands Mountains, before collapsing at a campfire of an Ironteeth witch.  Too tired and heartbroken to care of the witch kills and eats her, she tells the witch so.  The witch tells her that it is not her fate to die there, feeds her, binds her wounded feet, and tells her she needs to go to the Silent Assassin's in the Red Desert, and there she would discover her fate.  After Ansel rests and heals, the witch gives her some gold and sends her on her way.

    On her way to the fortress, she stops and uses the gold to commission her armor, designed after her family symbol - the wolf.  She makes it to the fortress shortly after her thirteenth birthday, and admits to Celaena that she passed out within the second mile on her first run to the oasis, and the the masters son Ilias, who was on his way back from the oasis, picked her up and carried her back to the fortress.  

    When she was fifteen, she starts seeing another acolyte named Mikhail, who was eight years older than her.  She admits that she pursued him to get extra training, as the mute master wouldn't teach her.  

    She is eighteen when Celaena arrives at the fortress.

The Assassin's Blade

For full walkthrough, click here.

    Ansel is assigned to show Celaena around the fortress and share her room with her.  While Celaena is initially wary of Ansel, they quickly befriend each other.  They train with one another, and when they get in trouble for stealing Asterion horses, they serve their punishment together as well.   Ansel is sent to Xandria from time to time to negotiate peace with Lord Berick.  During a trip from the city, Ansel tells Celaena the truth about her past, and how she came to be at the fortress.  Celaena teaches her the constellations, and teaches her about the lord of the north.  Ansel deduces that Celaena is from Terrasen, and says that men will no longer take from them.  After their talk, Ansel tells Celaena that when she gets strong and fast enough, she plans to return to her home and retake it, and repay Lord Loch for what he did to her family with her father's sword.  When the Mute Master offers to begin personally training Celaena, Ansel starts a fight with Celaena, stemming from her bitterness of the Mute Master refusing to train her.  When they make up the next day, Ansel admits to Celaena that she is her first true friend.

    Ansel secretly plans an attack on the Silent Assassins with Lord Berick's men.  Wanting to save Celaena, she drugs her and leaves her in the middle of the desert, with a letter saying that the mute master wanted her gone, and she felt this was easier than telling her to her face.  Celaena eventually figures out that it was a lie and rushes back, and walks in just as Ansel is about to kill the Mute Master.  Celaena fights her, but Ansel asks her not to kill her, and Celaena shows mercy.  She gives Ansel twenty minutes to pack her things and get as far away as she can, because in 20 minutes, Celaena will shoot an arrow at her.  Ansel does leave, stepping over the Ilias, who she stabbed in the gut, and Mikhail, who she killed when he tried to stop her.  As Ansel rides from the fortress, counting the seconds, she knows Celaena granted her more mercy when the arrow lands just shy of the horses back hooves ... twenty-one minutes later.


  • Celaena detects remorse in Ansel's voice when she admits she killed Mikhail

  • Celaena considered Ansel a friend of the heart.

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