Messenger

Kira Character Analysis

Kira is Seer's daughter; she was the protagonist of Messenger’s prequel, Gathering Blue. She lives in a village a week's walk away from Village, has a "crooked leg" and so walks with a cane, and is a skilled textile artist. She insisted on staying in her hometown years ago, but agreed to one day join Seer in Village. Kira is bright, happy, and confident in what she can do, both in terms of her physical abilities and her artistic abilities. She shows Matty that her crooked leg is part of her identity and makes her who she is, and allowing him to "fix" her leg would mean a massive upheaval in her sense of self. Kira identifies herself instead with her weaving and embroidery. She has the gift of "seeing ahead," which means that when she embroiders and weaves, she can create pictures of the future. Because of this, she's expecting Matty when he arrives and is ready to follow him to Village when he asks her to come. Optimistic by nature, Kira doesn't pick up on the dangers posed by Forest until Matty finally points them out. To this end, she tries to good-naturedly ignore the warnings that Forest gives her until it's impossible to continue doing so. She saves herself and ultimately, Village and Forest by reaching out to Leader with her gift and telling Matty to use his gift to heal Forest.

Kira Quotes in Messenger

The Messenger quotes below are all either spoken by Kira or refer to Kira. 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:
Selfishness vs. the Collective Good Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt edition of Messenger published in 2004.
Chapter One Quotes

But here in Village, marks and failings were not considered flaws at all. They were valued. The blind man had been given the true name Seer and was respected for the special vision that he had behind his ruined eyes.

Related Characters: Matty, Kira, Mentor, Seer
Page Number: 7
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter Eleven Quotes

"She's quite lovely, isn't she?"

Matty shrugged. He understood that Leader was referring to Kira but the blind man's daughter was older than he. She had been like a big sister to him. No one in the old place had thought her lovely. They had been contemptuous of her weakness.

"She has a crooked leg," Matty reminded Leader. "She leans on a stick to walk."

Related Characters: Matty (speaker), Leader (speaker), Kira, Seer
Page Number: 108
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

Matty glanced over and saw that she was standing in front of the tapestry Kira had made for her father. Even from where he stood, he could see what Jean meant. The entire forest area, the hundreds of tiny stitches in shades of green, had darkened, and the threads had knotted and twisted in odd ways. The peaceful scene had changed into something no longer beautiful. It had an ominous feel to it, a feel of impenetrability.

Related Characters: Matty, Kira, Seer, Jean
Related Symbols: Forest
Page Number: 112
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter Fourteen Quotes

To his amazement, Kira said no. Not no to leaving—he hadn't suggested that to her, not yet—but a definite, unarguable no to the idea of a straightened, whole leg.

"This is who I am, Matty," she said. "It is who I have always been."

Related Characters: Kira (speaker), Matty
Page Number: 131
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

"You can use the time to become accustomed to being whole..."

"I am whole," she said defiantly.

"I meant to having two strong legs."

Related Characters: Matty (speaker), Kira (speaker)
Page Number: 135
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter Fifteen Quotes

He could see, too, that she was accustomed to her stick and twisted leg. A lifetime of walking in that way had made it, as she had pointed out, part of her. It was who she was. To become a fast-striding Kira with two straight legs would have been to become a different person. This was not a journey Matty could undertake with a stranger.

Related Characters: Matty, Kira
Page Number: 144
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter Seventeen Quotes

When the sinister, curling stem—in appearance not unlike the pea vines that grew in early summer in their garden—reached his ankle, it began to curl tightly around his flesh. Quickly he reached down and severed it with the small blade. Within seconds it turned brown and fell away from him, lifeless.

But there seemed no victory to it. Only a pause in a battle he was bound to lose.

Related Characters: Matty, Kira
Related Symbols: Forest
Page Number: 166-67
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter Twenty-One Quotes

He saw Forest and understood what Seer had meant. It was an illusion. It was a tangled knot of fears and deceits and dark struggles for power that had disguised itself and almost destroyed everything. Now it was unfolding, like a flower coming into bloom, radiant with possibility.

Related Characters: Matty, Leader, Kira, Mentor, Seer
Related Symbols: Forest
Page Number: 185
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
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Kira Character Timeline in Messenger

The timeline below shows where the character Kira appears in Messenger. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter Ten
Selfishness vs. the Collective Good Theme Icon
Identity and Difference Theme Icon
...because everyone in Village helped him when he first arrived. Seer says that his daughter Kira also has a gift. He sits down, and urgently says that the border is closing... (full context)
Chapter Eleven
Youth, Memory, and the Future Theme Icon
Identity and Difference Theme Icon
...with Village. Leader asks Matty if Seer mentioned Leader's gift to see beyond. They discuss Kira and that Seer says that she has a gift too. Matty wonders if Leader knows... (full context)
Youth, Memory, and the Future Theme Icon
Humans and Nature Theme Icon
...Leader saw, but Leader explains that he was trying to look through Forest to see Kira, and he couldn't push through. He says that Matty shouldn't go; it's not safe in... (full context)
Selfishness vs. the Collective Good Theme Icon
Youth, Memory, and the Future Theme Icon
Identity and Difference Theme Icon
Matty is momentarily disappointed, but then says he has to go—he promised to bring Kira to Seer. Leader asks if Kira will want to come, and Matty assures him that... (full context)
Humans and Nature Theme Icon
...in his blanket as Seer packs food in a backpack. Seer asks Matty to tell Kira about the homeplace and their flower garden, but Matty insists that since Kira has a... (full context)
Selfishness vs. the Collective Good Theme Icon
Humans and Nature Theme Icon
...not use his gift. Jean calls for Matty's attention and points to the tapestry that Kira made. She says it's different, and Matty sees what she means: the threads that create... (full context)
Chapter Twelve
Selfishness vs. the Collective Good Theme Icon
Humans and Nature Theme Icon
Identity and Difference Theme Icon
...of what he was like as a little boy. He was a fierce child and Kira's good friend. (full context)
Chapter Thirteen
Identity and Difference Theme Icon
...However, there was also a gentle side to him. He befriended his dog and eventually, Kira. Kira taught him to bathe and showed him he could be better. Matty spent his... (full context)
Humans and Nature Theme Icon
...has kicked him out. Looking through the trees, he knows that the return journey with Kira will be his last trip. Matty calculates how many days he has and thinks that... (full context)
Selfishness vs. the Collective Good Theme Icon
Youth, Memory, and the Future Theme Icon
Matty admires Kira's large garden and wishes he knew what some of the flowers are called so he... (full context)
Identity and Difference Theme Icon
Kira sits with Matty, offers him bread, and then talks about how sweet Frolic is. Matty... (full context)
Chapter Fourteen
Youth, Memory, and the Future Theme Icon
Identity and Difference Theme Icon
That evening, Kira says no to the notion of a “straightened, whole leg,” and says that this is... (full context)
Youth, Memory, and the Future Theme Icon
Humans and Nature Theme Icon
Identity and Difference Theme Icon
Matty suggests that Kira lie on the couch so he can fix her leg. He moves his chair over,... (full context)
Selfishness vs. the Collective Good Theme Icon
Humans and Nature Theme Icon
Identity and Difference Theme Icon
As Kira works, her hands vibrate and shimmer. Her eyes closed, she embroiders and then tells Matty... (full context)
Chapter Fifteen
Selfishness vs. the Collective Good Theme Icon
Identity and Difference Theme Icon
Kira and Matty wake up early the next morning. Kira straps a large bundle containing her... (full context)
Selfishness vs. the Collective Good Theme Icon
As they walk, Kira notes that though she's walked a forest path between her cottage and the center of... (full context)
Selfishness vs. the Collective Good Theme Icon
Humans and Nature Theme Icon
Back in Village, Leader tells Seer that Kira and Matty have entered Forest. Seer is relieved that Kira agreed to come, but Leader... (full context)
Chapter Sixteen
Selfishness vs. the Collective Good Theme Icon
Humans and Nature Theme Icon
When Matty and Kira stop for the night, Matty explains that Kira should eat as much as she wants,... (full context)
Humans and Nature Theme Icon
...of Forest's center. He's surprised to smell it from such a distance. In the morning, Kira bandages her feet and declares that she'll be comfortable. Matty asks her to say something... (full context)
Selfishness vs. the Collective Good Theme Icon
Humans and Nature Theme Icon
Kira and Matty finally make it past the thick vines and stop to rest. Matty inspects... (full context)
Selfishness vs. the Collective Good Theme Icon
...tells Seer that all is going well. Seer is cheerful and happy to hear that Kira and Matty are on their way. Leader doesn't say that he saw Kira's bleeding feet... (full context)
Chapter Seventeen
Selfishness vs. the Collective Good Theme Icon
Identity and Difference Theme Icon
By that evening, Matty is in unspeakable pain. He tells Kira the truth and admits that he doesn't know what to do. He says they can't... (full context)
Identity and Difference Theme Icon
On the other side of the swamp, Matty pulls Kira out of the thick mud and notices that the mud has coated his feet and... (full context)
Youth, Memory, and the Future Theme Icon
Matty begins to hallucinate that he's floating above his body and Kira. He likes escaping the pain, but he wishes he could help himself and Kira. At... (full context)
Selfishness vs. the Collective Good Theme Icon
Humans and Nature Theme Icon
Kira and Matty examine their wounds. Matty remembers how in Village, people would happily help those... (full context)
Selfishness vs. the Collective Good Theme Icon
Youth, Memory, and the Future Theme Icon
Kira begins to pull things out of her pack and ignores Matty's warning that it's too... (full context)
Chapter Eighteen
Selfishness vs. the Collective Good Theme Icon
Identity and Difference Theme Icon
Seer sits alone at home, afraid. Yesterday, he started to dig Kira's garden and told Jean happily that Matty and Kira would arrive soon. Earlier this morning,... (full context)
Chapter Nineteen
Youth, Memory, and the Future Theme Icon
A few mornings later, Matty and Kira wake up. Matty is surprised they're still alive. Kira can barely see, and Matty discovers... (full context)
Chapter Twenty
Selfishness vs. the Collective Good Theme Icon
Matty asks Kira what she sees, but she doesn't reply. He lies down and pulls Frolic close, feeling... (full context)
Selfishness vs. the Collective Good Theme Icon
Identity and Difference Theme Icon
Leader stands still as the vine wraps around his ankle and looks beyond to Kira. He finds her in "the place called Beyond," and his consciousness meets hers. They both... (full context)
Chapter Twenty-One
Selfishness vs. the Collective Good Theme Icon
Humans and Nature Theme Icon
Identity and Difference Theme Icon
...for his gift and scrabbles at the ground. Matty knows he's been chosen for this. Kira starts to breathe and falls asleep, while Leader discovers that the vine is no longer... (full context)
Selfishness vs. the Collective Good Theme Icon
Youth, Memory, and the Future Theme Icon
Humans and Nature Theme Icon
...grabs, but now, it's blooming. Matty sighs, lets go of life, and watches Leader find Kira. (full context)
Selfishness vs. the Collective Good Theme Icon
Youth, Memory, and the Future Theme Icon
Humans and Nature Theme Icon
Identity and Difference Theme Icon
Kira wets a cloth and with a sob, bathes Matty's arms. They're unblemished now. She tells... (full context)