Cinder

by

Marissa Meyer

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Queen Levana Character Analysis

Queen Levana is the novel’s antagonist and the queen of Luna, the society on the moon. She uses her glamour (the power to telepathically manipulate other people’s thoughts and actions) to appear beautiful all the time. She appears with long, auburn hair, a pale, unblemished face, and deep red lips—but her perfection seems somewhat unnatural to others. Queen Levana is in her early thirties, and she assumed the throne after her older sister Queen Channary and Channary’s daughter Princess Selene died—and many Lunars believe that Queen Levana killed her family members in order to assume the throne. Queen Levana constantly uses her power to threaten innocent people and even attempt to destroy societies. Using her glamour, Levana brainwashes her citizens into obedience, robbing them of freedom. She also roots out shells (Lunar people who don’t possess glamour and are impervious to it), since they cannot be manipulated in the same way. She has her Lunar scientists research a letumosis antidote, but she withholds the cure until after Emperor Rikan dies because she hopes to negotiate with Prince Kai instead—and to marry him. And when she discovers that Prince Kai is searching for Princess Selene (whom many believe is still alive) in order to reinstate the princess as the rightful queen, she plots to kill Kai after marrying him. When Cinder warns Kai of this plot, Levana uses her glamour to manipulate Cinder, almost causing Cinder to shoot herself with a gun. Queen Levana’s desperate and horrific acts illustrate the problem with power: it can often cause people to become greedy for more influence or wealth, leading them to abuse their positions as Queen Levana does.

Queen Levana Quotes in Cinder

The Cinder quotes below are all either spoken by Queen Levana or refer to Queen Levana. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Bravery and Sacrifice Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Feiwel and Friends edition of Cinder published in 2012.
Chapter 4 Quotes

Lunars were a society that had evolved from an Earthen moon colony centuries ago, but they weren’t human anymore. People said Lunars could alter a person’s brain—make you see things you shouldn’t see, feel things you shouldn’t feel, do things you didn’t want to do. Their unnatural power had made them a greedy and violent race, and Queen Levana was the worst of all of them.

Page Number: 43
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 12 Quotes

“No, we’re talking about her daughter. Kai, the entire bloodline, every last one of them has been greedy, violent, corrupted by their own power. It’s in their blood. Believe me when I say that Princess Selene, even if she were alive, would be no better.”

Kai realized his arms were aching from squeezing them so hard, his skin gone white around his fingertips. “She can’t very well be worse,” he said. “And who knows? If the rumors are right, and she has been on Earth all this time, maybe she would be different. Maybe she would be sympathetic to us.”

Related Characters: Konn Torin (speaker), Prince Kai (speaker), Emperor Rikan, Cinder/Princess Selene, Queen Levana
Page Number: 114
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 19 Quotes

“It is why Queen Levana is so striking to look at. Some talented Lunars, such as the queen, keep their glamour up all the time. But just as she cannot trick the netscreens, neither can she trick a mirror.”

“So they don’t like mirrors because they don’t want to see themselves?”

“Vanity is a factor but it is more a question of control. It is easier to trick others into perceiving you as beautiful if you can convince yourself you are beautiful. But mirrors have an uncanny way of telling the truth.”

Related Characters: Dr. Erland (speaker), Cinder/Princess Selene (speaker), Queen Levana, Sybil Mira, Prince Kai
Related Symbols: Mirrors
Page Number: 172
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 20 Quotes

She was indeed beautiful, as if someone had taken the scientific measurements of perfection and used them to mold a single ideal specimen. Her face was slightly heart-shaped, with high cheekbones barely flushed. Auburn hair fell in silken ringlets to her waist and her unblemished ivory skin shimmered like mother-of-pearl in the sunshine. Her lips were red red red, looking like she’d just drunk a pint of blood.

A chill shook Kai from the inside out. She was unnatural.

Page Number: 183
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 23 Quotes

“It is a most useful trick,” said Sybil, sitting on the edge of the chaise lounge by the holographic fire. “Particularly when dealing with unruly citizens, which are never tolerated on Luna.”

“I’ve heard that when citizens are unruly, there’s usually a good reason for it,” said Kai. Torin flashed him a warning frown, but he ignored it. “And brainwashing doesn’t exactly seem like the proper solution.”

Sybil folded her hands politely in her lap. “Proper is such a subjective word. This solution is effective, and that can hardly be argued with.”

Related Characters: Sybil Mira (speaker), Prince Kai (speaker), Queen Levana, Konn Torin
Page Number: 207
Explanation and Analysis:

Levana folded her hands in her lap. “That vial is your gift. I hope you will find it helpful, young prince. I believe it is in both of our interests to rid your planet of this disease. My scientists could have thousands of dosages prepared by month’s end. However, such an undertaking, coupled with six years’ worth of work and resources, has put quite a strain on my own country, and so I’m sure you’ll understand the need for compensation. That will require further negotiations.”

Kai’s lungs constricted. “You would withhold this? When so many are dying?” It was a stupid question. She’d already withheld it long enough—what was it to her if more Earthens suffered in the meantime?

Related Characters: Queen Levana (speaker), Prince Kai (speaker), Emperor Rikan
Page Number: 207
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 24 Quotes

Instead of kissing her, he whispered, “Imagine there was a cure, but finding it would cost you everything. It would completely ruin your life. What would. you do?”

The warm air enclosed her. So close, she could catch a faint soapy smell coming from him.

His eyes bored into hers, waiting, a tinge desperate.

Cinder wet her mouth. “Ruin my life to save a million others? It’s not much of a choice.”

His lips parted—she had no choice but to look at them and then immediately back into his eyes. She could almost count the black lashes around them. But then a sadness filtered into his gaze.

“You’re right. There’s no real choice.”

Related Characters: Prince Kai (speaker), Cinder/Princess Selene (speaker), Queen Levana, Nainsi, Dr. Erland, Peony
Page Number: 223
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 25 Quotes

Squinting, she jutted a finger at the doctor. “You did use your mind control on me. When we met. You…you brainwashed me, just like the queen. You made me trust you.”

“Be fair. You were attacking me with a wrench.”

Her anger wavered.

Dr. Erland opened his palms to her, “I assure you, Miss Linh, in the twelve years that I have been on Earth, I have not abused the gift once, and I am paying the price for that decision every day. My mental stability, my psychological health, my very senses are failing me because l refuse to manipulate the thoughts and feelings of those around me. Not all Lunars can be trusted—I know that as well as anyone—but you can trust me.”

Related Characters: Dr. Erland (speaker), Cinder/Princess Selene (speaker), Queen Levana, Prince Kai
Page Number: 241-242
Explanation and Analysis:

“Because she was a shell.” He picked his hat off the desk and analyzed it while he spoke, his fingers tracing the herringbone pattern. “I’d agreed with the laws in the past, thought the shells were dangerous. That our society would fall apart if they were allowed to live. But not my little girl.” An ironic smile twisted up his lips. “After she was born, I wanted to run away, to bring her to Earth, but my wife was even more devoted to Her Majesty than I had been. She wanted nothing to do with the child. And so my little Crescent Moon was taken away, like all the others. He stuffed the hat back onto his head and squinted up at Cinder. “She would be about your age now.”

Related Characters: Dr. Erland (speaker), Cinder/Princess Selene, Queen Levana
Page Number: 245
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 32 Quotes

Levana knew he had been searching for Princess Selene. She would kill him. She would take over the Commonwealth. She would wage war on…on the whole planet.

She grasped her head as the world spun around her.

She had to warn him. She couldn’t let him make the announcement.

She could send him a comm, but what were the chances he was checking them during the ball?

The ball.

Cinder peered down at her drab clothes. Her empty ankle. Peony’s dress. The old foot that Iko had saved. The silk gloves. Her head bobbed before she knew what she was agreeing to, and she used the shelves to pull herself to standing. “I’ll go,” she muttered, “I’ll find him.”

Related Characters: Cinder/Princess Selene (speaker), Prince Kai, Queen Levana, Iko, Peony, Adri
Related Symbols: Cinder’s Mechanical Foot
Page Number: 323
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 35 Quotes

Dropping his hand, Kai met Konn Torin’s gaze, his eyes hollow. “I know,” he said. “I will do what is best for them.”

Cinder gathered up the material of her skirt in both hands, hope stirring inside of her. He understood her warnings. He understood the mistake he would be making if he agreed to marry Levana. She had succeeded.

But then he turned toward her, and the hope shattered at seeing the helplessness etched in deep lines across his brow.

“Thank you for warning me, Cinder. At least I won’t be going into this blindly.”

Related Characters: Prince Kai (speaker), Cinder/Princess Selene, Queen Levana, Konn Torin
Page Number: 347
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 36 Quotes

On the fifth step, she heard the bolts snap. The wires tore loose, like tendons stretched to the max. She felt the loss of power at the base of her calf, sending a blinding warning signal up to her brain.

She fell, screaming, and tried to block her fall with her left hand. A shock of pain jolted up her shoulder and into her spine. Metal clattered against stone as she crashed down to the gravel pathway. […]

His eyes drunk her in—a gleam of metal fingers, the wires sparking at the end of her battered metal leg. His jaw fell, and he looked momentarily as if he might be sick.

Related Symbols: Cinder’s Mechanical Foot
Page Number: 365-366
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 38 Quotes

Releasing the new prosthesis, Cinder covered her ears and buried her face against her knee. The draft. All those cyborgs. So many people convinced that it was the right thing. That it was better them than humans. Once a science project, always a science project.

And he’d only wanted to find her.

Page Number: 382
Explanation and Analysis:

If she didn’t try to stop Levana, what would happen to Kai? Though she tried to block out the question, it continued to plague her, echoing in her thoughts.
Maybe Dr. Erland was right. Maybe she had to run. Maybe she had to try.

She felt for the prosthetic limbs in her lap and wrapped her hands around them. Lifting her head, she looked up at the grate in the prison door. The guard had never closed it.

A tingle passed down her spine. A strange new electricity was thrumming beneath her skin, telling her she wasn’t just a cyborg anymore. She was Lunar now. She could make people see things that weren’t there. Feel things they shouldn’t feel. Do things they didn’t mean to do.

Page Number: 386
Explanation and Analysis:

As her hands stopped shaking, she slid the stiletto knife out from the new titanium-plated finger and maneuvered the blade against her wrist. The cut was still fresh where she’d started to remove her ID chip before, so they would not be able to track her. This time, there was no hesitation.

Soon, the whole world would be searching for her—Linh Cinder.

A deformed cyborg with a missing foot.

A Lunar with a stolen identity.

A mechanic with no one to run to, nowhere to go. But they would be looking for a ghost.

Related Symbols: Cinder’s Mechanical Foot
Page Number: 387
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Cinder LitChart as a printable PDF.
Cinder PDF

Queen Levana Character Timeline in Cinder

The timeline below shows where the character Queen Levana appears in Cinder. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4
Power, Greed, and Evil Theme Icon
Stereotypes and Discrimination Theme Icon
...a bride at the ball. She also mentions another rumor—that he’s going to marry Queen Levana for a political alliance—but Cinder thinks this is absurd. Cinder looks up at the moon,... (full context)
Power, Greed, and Evil Theme Icon
Secrecy and Manipulation Theme Icon
There are other rumors about Queen Levana: that she murdered her older sister Queen Channary to take the throne away from her,... (full context)
Chapter 12
Secrecy and Manipulation Theme Icon
...says that this is particularly bad timing, given the alliance discussions that Rikan and Queen Levana were in the midst of. Sybil hopes that Kai will be more amenable to their... (full context)
Bravery and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Kai and Torin leave Sybil, and Torin suggests that Kai should formulate a plan about Levana. Kai insists that he will not marry the Queen—she would turn Earthens into slaves. Torin... (full context)
Bravery and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Stereotypes and Discrimination Theme Icon
...whole bloodline is greedy and violent, so Kai shouldn’t marry any of them. If Queen Levana found out that he’s searching for Princess Selene, it would destroy their chance at a... (full context)
Chapter 16
Bravery and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...as his father. At that moment, the netscreen starts broadcasting an incoming communication from Queen Levana. (full context)
Secrecy and Manipulation Theme Icon
The screen shows only Queen Levana’s outline, as her “glamour”—the ability to manipulate people’s brainwaves and see her as divinely beautiful—doesn’t... (full context)
Chapter 18
Bravery and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...she offers her sympathy. Kai tells Cinder that his father’s death isn’t his only issue—Queen Levana is visiting Earth that day. Kai then asks if Cinder can fix Nainsi as soon... (full context)
Chapter 19
Stereotypes and Discrimination Theme Icon
Secrecy and Manipulation Theme Icon
...why Cinder is so interested in the Lunars, and Cinder replies that Kai said Queen Levana is visiting that day. The doctor is aghast and tells Cinder that she has to... (full context)
Stereotypes and Discrimination Theme Icon
Secrecy and Manipulation Theme Icon
...cyborg makes her a complete outcast. Dr. Erland tells Cinder that she can’t let Queen Levana see her, because the Queen hates shells, whom she can’t control, and that the Queen... (full context)
Chapter 20
Secrecy and Manipulation Theme Icon
Kai watches as Queen Levana descends from her Lunar spacecraft. She wears a long white veil and dress, and she... (full context)
Chapter 22
Bravery and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Secrecy and Manipulation Theme Icon
As Cinder travels back to the palace, she remembers Dr. Erland’s warnings about Queen Levana, but she feels she has to deliver Nainsi back to Kai. On the road to... (full context)
Stereotypes and Discrimination Theme Icon
Secrecy and Manipulation Theme Icon
Suddenly, the crowd stops chanting, and Queen Levana appears on the balcony. Cinder starts to back away, until she realizes that Queen Levana... (full context)
Chapter 23
Bravery and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Power, Greed, and Evil Theme Icon
Kai is unsettled as he watches Queen Levana easily quiet the crowd. He comments to Sybil Mira that brainwashing isn’t the way to... (full context)
Power, Greed, and Evil Theme Icon
The conversation turns to Kai’s coronation: Queen Levana has brought him a gift. She presents him with a vial, explaining that she’s been... (full context)
Secrecy and Manipulation Theme Icon
Just then, Nainsi appears, and Kai coldly thanks Queen Levana for the gift and leaves. In the hall, he lets out a scream and slams... (full context)
Chapter 24
Secrecy and Manipulation Theme Icon
Cinder crouches against the palace wall, confused as to why Levana’s glamour affected her the same as everyone else. She wonders if Dr. Erland lied to... (full context)
Stereotypes and Discrimination Theme Icon
...Kai and Cinder get into the elevator, Cinder asks how things are going with Queen Levana. Kai explains that he hates her more than anyone else, and their talks aren’t going... (full context)
Stereotypes and Discrimination Theme Icon
Secrecy and Manipulation Theme Icon
...Cinder asks why her, he says he can’t go alone, and he can’t go with Levana. Cinder protests that there are thousands of single girls in the city, but Kai asks... (full context)
Bravery and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Kai returns the conversation to Levana—he’s worried that he’s going to destroy the country. Cinder assures him that he’ll be a... (full context)
Chapter 25
Stereotypes and Discrimination Theme Icon
...Kai leaves, Dr. Erland angrily asks what Cinder is doing at the palace, because Queen Levana might see her. Cinder says that she had to deliver Nainsi to Kai, and that... (full context)
Bravery and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Power, Greed, and Evil Theme Icon
Stereotypes and Discrimination Theme Icon
...self-serving. She asks why he decided to run away, and Dr. Erland reveals that Queen Levana killed his daughter because she was a shell. Dr. Erland then says that Cinder’s gift... (full context)
Secrecy and Manipulation Theme Icon
...Dr. Erland says, she must promise not to come to the palace again while Queen Levana is there. (full context)
Chapter 26
Bravery and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...been strained for many years—they need to find a way to prevent a war. Queen Levana’s talks indicate that she wants a marriage alliance with Kai, but Torin says that Emperor... (full context)
Bravery and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Kai then informs the other officials that Queen Levana claims to have found a cure for letumosis—his research team is investigating a dose she... (full context)
Chapter 28
Bravery and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Power, Greed, and Evil Theme Icon
At dinner, Kai forces himself not to look at Levana, though the task is difficult. Levana starts to talk about the annual festival and ball,... (full context)
Secrecy and Manipulation Theme Icon
Suddenly, Queen Levana screams—under the platter that was served to her lay a small hand mirror. Levana demands... (full context)
Bravery and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Power, Greed, and Evil Theme Icon
Secrecy and Manipulation Theme Icon
...noticing that the handle is made of a sparkling material—Lunar material. Torin deduces that Queen Levana was testing Kai. Just then, Kai receives an urgent message from the Secretary of Public... (full context)
Chapter 30
Bravery and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...her that he has real feelings for her, but he will have to marry Queen Levana to get the letumosis antidote and to maintain peace. (full context)
Chapter 31
Bravery and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...it takes to ensure the well-being of his country. As the camera pans to Queen Levana, Cinder notes her smug expression. (full context)
Chapter 32
Bravery and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Power, Greed, and Evil Theme Icon
Resourcefulness, Kindness, and Perseverance Theme Icon
The girl reveals that Levana knows that Princess Selene is alive, and that Kai is searching for her. Once Kai... (full context)
Chapter 33
Resourcefulness, Kindness, and Perseverance Theme Icon
...into the ballroom. From the top of the steps, she notices Kai dancing with Queen Levana. All she has to do is find a way to speak with him. (full context)
Resourcefulness, Kindness, and Perseverance Theme Icon
When the music ends, Kai and Levana separate, and Cinder thinks that this is her chance. But then she notices Pearl approach... (full context)
Chapter 34
Bravery and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...Kai’s jaw drops, and Cinder feels guilty for embarrassing him. She also realizes that Queen Levana is likely watching her and will probably try to kill her. Still, she makes her... (full context)
Bravery and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...away her disappointment and explains that she came to tell Kai something: he can’t marry Levana. Levana knows the information about Princess Selene that Kai was looking for, and if they... (full context)
Chapter 35
Bravery and Sacrifice Theme Icon
After Cinder’s revelation, Kai tells Cinder sadly that he has to marry Levana, even though he knows she’ll likely kill him or start a war anyway. In desperation,... (full context)
Stereotypes and Discrimination Theme Icon
Secrecy and Manipulation Theme Icon
...Warnings flash on Cinders retina display as she feels a spike of adrenaline. She tells Levana that if she had not been brought to Earth, she would be a slave under... (full context)
Chapter 36
Bravery and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Power, Greed, and Evil Theme Icon
Secrecy and Manipulation Theme Icon
Queen Levana tells Kai that Cinder can live if he marries her, and Cinder pleads with him... (full context)
Power, Greed, and Evil Theme Icon
Stereotypes and Discrimination Theme Icon
Suddenly, Cinder gasps as she starts to see pasts Queen Levana’s glamour—she isn’t beautiful at all. Levana steps forward, telepathically forcing Cinder to snatch the gun... (full context)
Resourcefulness, Kindness, and Perseverance Theme Icon
...over—she feels like she’s on fire. Her glove begins to melt away in front of Levana and Kai. Cinder then takes the gun and points it at the queen. But when... (full context)
Secrecy and Manipulation Theme Icon
Sybil and Levana join Kai on the balcony, commenting that Cinder isn’t a shell after all. Kai sneaks... (full context)
Chapter 37
Bravery and Sacrifice Theme Icon
...happened at the ball, and Dr. Erland says that Kai made the right choice—particularly because Levana probably wouldn’t have let Cinder live long anyway if they married. (full context)
Secrecy and Manipulation Theme Icon
...hidden flashlight, knife, gun, and a screwdriver. Cinder reminds Dr. Erland that if she leaves, Levana will start a war—and she’s not worth starting one over. Dr. Erland replies that Cinder... (full context)
Chapter 38
Secrecy and Manipulation Theme Icon
Cinder shocked to learn that she’s Queen Levana’s niece, but she knows that Dr. Erland is telling the truth. Dr. Erland tells her... (full context)
Bravery and Sacrifice Theme Icon
Resourcefulness, Kindness, and Perseverance Theme Icon
Cinder asks if Queen Levana knows who she is, and Dr. Erland says that Levana likely does, but she wants... (full context)