Red Queen

by

Victoria Aveyard

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Blood Symbol Icon

Citizens of the Kingdom of Norta lead drastically different lives, depending on the color of their blood. Blood thus represents not only life and death but also social stratification. Those with silver blood have special talents of manipulating elements, and they use their power to denigrate and oppress those with red blood. Silvers live in the lap of luxury, and Reds live in extreme poverty. Mare Barrow is a Red who, as the novel’s plot unfolds, must come to masquerade as a Silver, and her life depends on concealing her true identity. This means that bleeding, or even a blush, could give her away. Her source of life, blood, thus becomes also a threat to her life.

Over the course of the novel, Mare discovers her own talent of manipulating and even generating electricity—a power that supposedly would be impossible for someone with red blood. As her case shows, blood is far more complicated than anyone in Norta thought, and there might be an entire subset of Reds with special abilities to overpower those of the Silvers. Paradoxically, then, Mare’s blood is both highly determinative of her life and not at all determinative of who she actually is as a person. Socially it has decided how she is viewed and treated by others, but biologically it hasn’t decided anything about her.

The discoveries Mare makes about her blood are illuminating to her and play an important part of her journey to understanding her own identity. However, even though the generally accepted truths about blood prove to be scientifically false, powerful authorities have colluded in order to conceal from the public that Reds might be just as powerful as Silvers. Mare might understand individually that her Red blood does not make her a lesser being than a Silver, but the rest of the world continues to operate under the false assumption that it does. Blood’s role in the novel thus demonstrates that power often depends on the manipulation and concealment of information. Even science is subject to political manipulation.

Blood Quotes in Red Queen

The Red Queen quotes below all refer to the symbol of Blood. 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:
Biological Determinism and Social Inequality Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Orion Books edition of Red Queen published in 2015.
Chapter 1 Quotes

Families can go years without hearing a thing, only to find their sons and daughters waiting on the front doorstep, home on leave or sometimes blissfully discharged. But usually you receive a letter made of heavy paper, stamped with the king’s crown seal below a short thank-you for your child’s life. Maybe you even get a few buttons from their torn, obliterated uniforms.

Related Characters: Mare Barrow (speaker), Shade Barrow, Tramy Barrow, Bree Barrow
Related Symbols: Blood
Page Number: 2
Explanation and Analysis:

This is the true division between Silvers and Reds: the color of our blood. This simple difference somehow makes them stronger, smarter, better than us.

Related Characters: Mare Barrow (speaker)
Related Symbols: Blood
Page Number: 9
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 4 Quotes

As more and more footage rolls, showing the marble façade of the courthouse explode into dust or a diamondglass wall withstanding a fireball, part of me feels happy. The Silvers are not invincible. They have enemies, enemies who can hurt them, and for once, they aren’t hiding behind a Red shield.

Related Characters: Mare Barrow (speaker)
Related Symbols: Blood
Page Number: 35
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 9 Quotes

Remember the person you’re supposed to be, and remember well…You are pretending to be raised Red, but you’re Silver by blood. You are now Red in the head, Silver in the heart….From now until the end of your days, you must lie. Your life depends on it, little lightning girl.

Related Characters: Queen Elara (speaker), Mare Barrow, Maven Calore, King Tiberias
Related Symbols: Blood
Page Number: 95
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 13 Quotes

Thinking all Silvers are evil is just as wrong as thinking all Reds are inferior….What my people are doing to you and yours is wrong to the deepest levels of humanity. Oppressing you, trapping you in an endless cycle of poverty and death, just because we think you are different from us? That is not right. And as any student of history can tell you, it will end poorly.

Related Characters: Mare Barrow
Related Symbols: Blood
Page Number: 131
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 17 Quotes

My legs move on their own, swinging out in a maneuver I’ve used in the back alleys of the Stilts a hundred times. Even on Kilorn once or twice. My foot connects with her leg, sweeping it out from under her, and she crashes to the floor next to me. I’m on her in a second, despite the exploding pain in my back. My hands crackle with hot energy, even as they collide against her face. Pain sears through my knuckle-bones but I keep going, wanting to see sweet silverblood.

Related Symbols: Blood
Page Number: 205
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 26 Quotes

The king’s corpse lands with a thud, his head rolling to a stop a few feet away. Silverblood splashes across the floor in a mirrored puddle, lapping at Cal’s toes. He drops the melting sword, letting it clang against stone, before falling to his knees, his head in his hands. The crown clatters across the floor, circling through the blood, until it stops to rest at Maven’s feet, sharp points bright with liquid silver.

Related Symbols: Blood
Page Number: 341
Explanation and Analysis:
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Blood Symbol Timeline in Red Queen

The timeline below shows where the symbol Blood appears in Red Queen. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Biological Determinism and Social Inequality Theme Icon
Power and Degradation Theme Icon
Revolution vs. Stability Theme Icon
...Kilorn cheers as the match gets underway. Mare knows that he wants to see silver blood. This is what marks Silvers and Reds apart: Silvers have silver blood, while Reds have... (full context)
Chapter 8
Biological Determinism and Social Inequality Theme Icon
Trust and Betrayal Theme Icon
Power and Degradation Theme Icon
...mother and Gisa’s tears, and her father and her own silence. She also remembers red blood dripping onto Shade’s shirt from the poor ear-piercing job she did with the earrings Shade... (full context)
Biological Determinism and Social Inequality Theme Icon
Power and Degradation Theme Icon
Revolution vs. Stability Theme Icon
...at will. The queen reminds Mare that despite her ability of electrocution, she has red blood, not silver. The queen reveals that she has been sorting through Mare’s memories and nightmares... (full context)
Biological Determinism and Social Inequality Theme Icon
Trust and Betrayal Theme Icon
Power and Degradation Theme Icon
The king pulls out Mare’s identification card, on which her red blood was rubbed at birth. It contains all the information there is about her, including her... (full context)
Chapter 10
Biological Determinism and Social Inequality Theme Icon
Trust and Betrayal Theme Icon
Power and Degradation Theme Icon
Revolution vs. Stability Theme Icon
...digging her fingers into it just short of breaking the skin and spilling Mare’s red blood. Evangeline threatens to kill Mare, who she calls, “little lightning girl,” if Mare gets in... (full context)
Chapter 14
Biological Determinism and Social Inequality Theme Icon
Trust and Betrayal Theme Icon
Power and Degradation Theme Icon
...saying that Mare is her daughter. Mare offers to cut herself to show her red blood. Bree says that they all know who Mare is. Having gotten Cal’s silent permission to... (full context)
Chapter 16
Biological Determinism and Social Inequality Theme Icon
Trust and Betrayal Theme Icon
Power and Degradation Theme Icon
Revolution vs. Stability Theme Icon
...front taught him that the war is a foolish waste that unfairly preys on Red blood. His first real friend was a Red seventeen-year-old who he had to watch die. Maven... (full context)
Chapter 17
Biological Determinism and Social Inequality Theme Icon
Trust and Betrayal Theme Icon
Power and Degradation Theme Icon
...Mare’s face open. Cal and Maven rush to Mare’s aid, helping to hide her red blood from everyone, including the healer who tries to help her. (full context)
Chapter 20
Biological Determinism and Social Inequality Theme Icon
Trust and Betrayal Theme Icon
Power and Degradation Theme Icon
Revolution vs. Stability Theme Icon
...can escape. In the chaos, Mare stumbles upon the murdered bodies and notices the silver blood trickling from their bullet wounds. Mare cannot hold the lights off any longer and apologizes... (full context)
Trust and Betrayal Theme Icon
Power and Degradation Theme Icon
...comes in, obviously crying for her brother, followed by Cal, who is soaked in Red blood. They bring Mare with them to a prison cell containing four people, including Farley, Walsh,... (full context)
Biological Determinism and Social Inequality Theme Icon
Power and Degradation Theme Icon
Revolution vs. Stability Theme Icon
On the way back to the throne room, Mare drips silver blood while Cal drips red. Mare asks Cal how many casualties there have been, and she... (full context)
Chapter 22
Biological Determinism and Social Inequality Theme Icon
Trust and Betrayal Theme Icon
Power and Degradation Theme Icon
Revolution vs. Stability Theme Icon
Mare is relieved until Maven tells her that answers are coming soon because red blood was found in the cell from which the prisoners escaped. The blood will be run... (full context)
Chapter 23
Biological Determinism and Social Inequality Theme Icon
Trust and Betrayal Theme Icon
Power and Degradation Theme Icon
Revolution vs. Stability Theme Icon
...their execution. This misplacement is unheard of. Julian asks for Mare’s forgiveness for comparing her blood to the blood of the missing soldiers. He found the same genetic mutation in all... (full context)
Biological Determinism and Social Inequality Theme Icon
Power and Degradation Theme Icon
Revolution vs. Stability Theme Icon
...to do is uphold his loyalty to his father’s legacy. Mare tells him that the blood the Scarlet Guard will spill is on his hands, privately thinking that it is also... (full context)
Trust and Betrayal Theme Icon
...her relief when he tells her that, at Maven’s proposal, all records of Mare’s Red blood have been destroyed. (full context)
Chapter 24
Biological Determinism and Social Inequality Theme Icon
Trust and Betrayal Theme Icon
Power and Degradation Theme Icon
Revolution vs. Stability Theme Icon
...wants to tell Maven about Julian’s secret message and to thank him for taking her blood out of the bloodbase, but there are too many people who might overhear. (full context)
Biological Determinism and Social Inequality Theme Icon
Trust and Betrayal Theme Icon
Power and Degradation Theme Icon
Revolution vs. Stability Theme Icon
...to kiss Maven but restrains herself, instead taking the opportunity to thank him for the bloodbase. (full context)
Chapter 25
Biological Determinism and Social Inequality Theme Icon
Trust and Betrayal Theme Icon
Revolution vs. Stability Theme Icon
...her an earring from Kilorn. Mare pierces her ear with the earring, letting it draw blood. The earring reminds her of Kilorn before he was a warrior, and the blood reminds... (full context)
Trust and Betrayal Theme Icon
Revolution vs. Stability Theme Icon
Mare feels that Cal will choose her. She confesses to him that it was her blood in the prison cell the night the prisoners escaped and tells him that if he... (full context)
Chapter 26
Biological Determinism and Social Inequality Theme Icon
Trust and Betrayal Theme Icon
Power and Degradation Theme Icon
Revolution vs. Stability Theme Icon
The king’s silver blood pools on the floor, and the crown rolls to a stop at Maven’s feet. Elara... (full context)
Chapter 27
Biological Determinism and Social Inequality Theme Icon
...that it will hurt and that it will be slow. Mare hopes that she will bleed so the world can see that she is a Red. Cal does not think that... (full context)
Trust and Betrayal Theme Icon
Power and Degradation Theme Icon
...and Mare feels powerful for once. She asks Maven how he will explain her Red blood to the kingdom. He insists that the truth is what he makes of it. He... (full context)
Chapter 28
Biological Determinism and Social Inequality Theme Icon
Power and Degradation Theme Icon
...thinking, Mare charges Evangeline and collides into her. Mare’s body scrapes along Evangeline’s armor and bleeds red for everyone to see, in person and over the broadcast. (full context)
Biological Determinism and Social Inequality Theme Icon
Power and Degradation Theme Icon
Maven screams for Mare to be killed, but the crowd has already seen her red blood and her lightning. She takes control of the shield to protect herself. Remembering how Julian... (full context)
Epilogue
Biological Determinism and Social Inequality Theme Icon
Trust and Betrayal Theme Icon
Revolution vs. Stability Theme Icon
...Maven has the list of the others like her and Shade, and will use the bloodbase to track them down. (full context)