|This article is about Aya, a character from Season Three of The Originals. You may be looking for Aja, a character from Season Four of The Vampire Diaries.|
|“||If your life was chained to a man who left you despite your devotion, what choice would you have but to break free?||”|
Aya Al-Rashid was a recurring character and an antagonist who first appeared in the third episode of the third season of The Originals. She was an ancient vampire and a former de facto leader of the Strix.
At some point in history, Aya was turned by Elijah and was invited to join the Strix. Over the years, the two grew fond of each other and eventually became lovers. However, Mikael along with a small army of his own, descended upon the Strix. They slaughtered many of the Strix and destroyed all of what Elijah built until none remained.
By then, Elijah decided to retreat to safety, but Aya was no coward and chose to stay, forcing them both to separate. Aya was eventually found by Tristan, who she started to view as a savior. Together, with Tristan's corrupted guidance, they made the Strix to what they are today. After some time, she was trained in combat by Mohinder, transforming herself into a fierce combatant. She ultimately became Tristan's second-in-command due to her abilities.
Throughout The Originals Series
In I'll See You in Hell or New Orleans, Aya arrived at Marcel's hideout where he and some of his vampires were gathered. She attempted to make a proposal to him, but he ordered his vampires to get her out. Aya beat down the young vampires easily despite their determination to defend themselves. Aya was impressed that Marcel was the last one standing and held his own despite that she was three times his age. She told him that she admired his determination to protect his home and reputation but that they'd speak somewhere more appropriate. She poisoned him with a toxin she'd made herself on a pointed ring, knocking him out.
Aya brought Marcel to a large house where she woke him up with water and gave him a blood bag to help his recovery. She told him that there was plenty more where it came from and that she and her friends could help his vampires get daylight rings as well, getting Marcel's attention. She explained that she knew his story and offered to help him turn New Orleans into what it should be, with him as the king. She told him that the group she belonged to was The Strix, an ancient society of vampires. Elijah appeared, revealing that he knew Aya intimately. Wanting to know what she was doing in New Orleans, he attacked her, shoving his hand into her chest before Tristan interrupted the reunion.
In A Walk on the Wild Side, as one of the most influential members of The Strix, she's at their gala and interacts with Marcel who is a special guest there. She steals his ring and gives to it her mentor. Marcel gains membership into The Strix by passing their hazing test.
In Beautiful Mistake, she is sent to take Rebekah Mikaelson down and bring her back to New Orleans. After killing Rebekah in Eva Sinclair's body, the original vampire woke up in her true body. Aya and many members of the Strix tried to take her down but failed miserably against the most powerful female vampire, although Rebekah was very weakened at this time due to not having blood for months. After killing all the vampires except Aya, more members of the Strix appeared and were defeated by her elder sister Freya. However, an unnamed Moroccan Witch locked Rebekah behind a wall, which gave Aya the chance to neutralize her.
Later Rebekah's body was stolen by vampires of Aurora's sireline.
In The Other Girl in New Orleans, she shows up at Marcel's Loft and accuses him of getting Davina shunned from her coven and her status as Regent revoked, of course, Marcel denies this. She puts his loyalty to the test by requesting his assistance in retrieving Tristan. Marcel makes her aware of how dangerous it would be to go to war with the Mikaelsons but she reminds him that they started the war when they took a fellow brethren. She hands him the Cursed Stake, a weapon powerful enough to subdue an original, she wants him to use it on Elijah. Aya assures him that it will work because she used one much like it on Rebekah. She tells Marcel if he succeeds then he will have proved his loyalty, however, if he fails, she'll kill him. She enters The Abattoir, stabs Freya with a knife and saves Tristan. Back at the loft, Marcel hands her a vile of Klaus' blood, to give to Tristan, they get ready to leave but Marcel confronts them on their loyalty, this almost leads to a confrontation between her and Marcel, but it doesn't come to that and Marcel is allowed to go with them.
In A Ghost Along the Mississippi, Aya shoves a wolfsbane dart in Hayley's shoulder and they start to fight, with Hayley having the upper hand. While Hayley is distracted, Aya puts her in a chokehold and two more darts are shot, causing Hayley to pass out. When the Mikaelsons arrive at Patrick's Dock, they are in a stare-off with Marcel, Tristan, and Aya. After Tristan is locked in the container, he commands them to do something and Elijah addresses them. Aya scoffs at this and says they're all ancient vampires, almost as strong as him. Elijah tells them that he is not their enemy and he can take them out of existence, Aya looks torn but looks like she's getting ready to fight regardless. Marcel steps in front of them and tells her it's done and be smarter. Aya tells the others to stand down, despite being displeased with Marcel ordering her around. Aya walks towards Tristan and with a regretful look, tells him it's a shame it has to end like that and then puts a hand over heart, saying "May the ghosts of our fallen keep you company", and then walks away with the rest of the Strix.
In Wild at Heart, Aya is seen hosting a dinner with The Strix in honor of Tristan. Marcel and the others raise their glasses, while Aya gives him a suspicious look. Aya continues her speech and Ariane soon comes into the room. She tells the group she has brought her in for an assessment. There is a card on each plate and each one reveals a Knight of Pentacles. Before Marcel's card is shown, another member of the Strix gets and tells Aya he owes no allegiance to her. She sneers at him and then decapitates him. She tells everyone she will not tolerate anyone conspiring for a power grab in their present circumstance. She then asks Marcel if he too seeks to betray her, and despite being nervous, he turns the card over and it is a Knight of Pentacles. Aya then sighs, but looks relieved, and says that they need to be certain of each other. She says despite what Elijah may have them believe, they need to be committed to their survival and she then picks up her glass of champagne while not taking her eyes off Marcel. Aya then calls Elijah and suggests they put their efforts together. She says that Alexis left clues in a cryptic puzzle and Aya says she had the means of putting it together. Aya brings Davina where The Sisters are and shows her the parchment scroll that the coven is capable of doing. Aya asks Davina for her vow of fealty and asks if she's willing to pay the price if she joins. Aya leads Elijah to the room where the Sisters were and calls Ariane forward. When Elijah shows hesitation with what Ariane wants to do, Aya reassures him and says that it's like a crash course into his mind. After the mind penetration, Aya impatiently asks if she saw the weapon and when Ariane says the worst is yet to come, Elijah and Aya are shocked by what she said.
In Dead Angels, Aya is standing in the doorway to the pool room and when Davina walks in, she realizes what Aya is looking at. She tells Davina that Elijah killed Ariane since she knew of the weapon. Aya tells Davina that she and the others are going to channel her, search her mind and find the weapon. She tells Davina that she knows how dangerous Elijah can be and her life, plus the Strix, are tied to his. She moves Davina's hair in a threatening gesture and in a mocking tone, she tells her that she will not rest until the weapon is found. Aya then leaves the room and walks out the front door, and is then confronted by Marcel. Marcel is not happy that she recruited a witch from his city and she tells him it was a shame that Davina joined until after she was shunned. When she attempts to leave, he tells her he's not going to let Davina become her puppet. She sneers at him and yanks her arm out of his grasp, then tells him that he is in no position to make demands. She tells him that she has a plan that will keep them alive and tells him that he should focus on proving himself essential to the plan, and then walks away. She later gathers the Strix in the ballroom and announces to them that her witches have made a discovery and says that they will not rest until the weapon is under their control. Elijah then walks in with a smug look and a scroll in hand, while Aya looks extremely unhappy to see him. He says that leadership has to be by his consent, and says he's taking back leadership. He holds up the scroll in front of Aya. She then responds with the invocation of the rite of Ludum Regale. She reveals that she helped write the rules and challenges him to a duel of strength and cunning. They go to the workout at St. Anne's, and they begin to get ready for their battle. They begin their fight and they seem to be on par with each other, and they begin to spat off about loyalty. He then puts her in a choke hold against the fence, and before he can finish her off, Marcel vamp speeds in, the two are then thrown out of the cage entirely, and Marcel grabs the charter. He then says they have to catch him by midnight, if they don't, he'll take leadership, which makes both Elijah and Aya to look at each other in shock at the surprising turn of events. At St. James Infirmary, Aya comes in looking unhappy and asks why Elijah didn't finish her off when he could at the gym. He tells her not to be too concerned and that if the opportunity arises again, he'll be certain to finish it, which leaves Aya scowling. Before Elijah goes into the house where Marcel is at, he looks behind him and sees Aya standing across the street on the corner, staring at him. She declares that it's midnight and by their laws, the contest is complete. When Elijah has his hand in Marcel's chest, Marcel tells him he's in violation of his own laws, and Aya tells him that Marcel is right, and Elijah lets him go. When Marcel is done with speech, Aya declares that Marcel has won and is the new leader, and then tells Elijah he'll just be an afterthought, as she would rather stand with Marcel than him. While at St. James, she realizes that Marcel doesn't know where to begin and ask how he'll navigate the threat that is to their sires. She reveals to him that there is a reason why they recruited Davina, as she knew about the unlinking spell, and Aya then asks him if he'll lead the Strix to freedom.
In Heart Shaped Box, Aya walks in on Davina who is looking at the unlinking spell for the sires and is slightly annoyed to see her. She asks why she isn't working with the others and Davina tells her that they just slow her down. Aya gives her a fake smile and says as her life depends on the completion of the spell, her coven will verify Davina's work. She asks if she's finished and Davina tells her all she needs is a binding agent. Aya tells Davina that she is treading with her life, Davina tells her that she may never find the missing ingredient and Aya then walks over to a chest across the room. She grabs an object and it's revealed to be the Hand of Glory, which when lit, it will allow anyone to open any window, i.e. the Afterlife or the Ancestral Plane. Aya then walks in as Kol has materialized and Kol makes a snide remark about how he would've thought someone would've killed her by now. He tells her that he'll talk, but he'll only talk to Davina about the binding agent. While in the other room, Aya tells Marcel that they can hear what Kol and Davina are talking about, and he asks if they could have some type of privacy, to which Aya says she doesn't give a damn as they have a task, and they should finish it. Aya sees on the piece of paper that the Sisters wrote and it's revealed that the missing ingredient is the heart of an unsired vampire, to which Marcel realizes that it's Hayley, and Aya snaps his neck and tells the Sisters to locate Hayley. Aya then arrives at the church and confronts Hayley. She tells Hayley that she values her life above hers and lunges for Hayley's heart. Aya takes the upper hand and Marcel arrives to stop her. He tells her that she'll start a war with the Mikaelsons and the Crescents and asks for some time to find an alternative. She tells him to bring her a solution by midnight or she'll rip his heart right before she comes back and takes Hayley's. She scoffs at Marcel and the alternative solution he has found, which is Jackson's heart instead. He tells her that Hayley and Jackson's hearts became after the wedding. She tells him that he's finally starting to learn commitment is a goal as strong a bond as family. Aya follows Aurora in the Bayou and asks for an alliance that could help both out, and they both smile.
In A Streetcar Named Desire, Aya puts herself in charge of unlinking the sirelines. Aya tries her hardest to unlink herself from Elijah Mikaelson. Aya even leads a group of vampires to stop Rayna Cruz from disrupting the magical event. Aya feels as though she failed despite the successful unlinking of Klaus Mikaelson's sireline. Elijah was still linked to her and Aya felt that death was the only choice for her then. Aya begs Elijah to kill her, but before he could, Hayley stakes her from behind.
Aya was a mysterious, yet tough woman. She had a no-nonsense attitude and was loyal to her organization. Aya also displayed a cunning sense of game (a reference to stealing Marcel's daylight ring) and as well as displaying physical technique. Aya was ruthless and pragmatic in nature, she also didn't tolerate betrayal, as shown when she decapitated a Strix member for his disloyalty.
Aya was also proven to be resourceful. This is evident because she collected and recruited wayward and shunned witches powerful enough to provide her useful visions that may gain her information and advantage against any threats to her organization. This demonstrated her ability to strategize and use multiple tactics rather than just rely on the brute strength of the Strix.
In I'll See You in Hell or New Orleans, Elijah Mikaelson described her as "Five-foot-seven, built like a goddess, vicious as a viper". Aya was a gorgeous, young-looking, woman of African descent in her 20s with natural black short hair, dark brown wide eyes and full lips. Aya carried herself like royalty, with straight posture and usually looks down on everyone with the exception of her fallen leader, Tristan de Martel.
She was only seen in dark brown or black clothing, that never showed too much skin. Her clothes were always classy, yet allowed her to fight without being constricted. She also seemed to favor earrings, as she was seen wearing them on multiple occasions.
Powers and Abilities
Aya possessed all the standard powers and abilities of a non-Original vampire.
However, being over 900 years of age affords her more power than most vampires making her more powerful than the likes of Sage as far as physical matters go. She is also trained in fighting opponents larger than her. Aya is skilled in battle and poisons being able to use them effectively against her opponents with deadly consequences. She also managed to fight with Rebekah for a while, although, she had other vampires helping her.
In terms of fighting technique, Aya is shown to be more skilled than Rebekah. It's possible that If Aya had possessed the same power as an Original Vampire, Aya could have likely defeated her in a one-on-one fight. However, even in Rebekah's weakened state, she (Rebekah) showed greater physical strength as she pulled Aya's hand from her throat, this is due to Rebekah being an Original vampire. In terms of tactics, Aya employs pragmatic methods, especially against foes that have an advantage over her in some way, Rebekah being more powerful and Hayley who can administer werewolf venom.
Aya was able to hold her own against Elijah in a duel for leadership of The Strix, while the latter naturally dominated the fight, Aya very briefly managed to get the better of him and pinned him to the cage wall, however, he quickly got out of this and in turn pinned her by the throat. During this fight, Aya once again demonstrated considerable fighting skills, utilizing martial arts.
Aya had the typical weaknesses of a non-Original vampire.
- Aya and Marcel (Former Allies/Frenemies)
- Rebekah and Aya (Enemies)
- Tristan and Aya (Boss/Employee/Former Allies)
- Elijah and Aya (Sire/Ex-Lovers/Enemies)
- Aya and Mohinder (Former Mentor/Student)
- Freya and Aya (Enemies)
- Aya and Aurora (Former Allies)
- Aya is a female name with bases in many languages, in Japanese, it means "design", "colorful" or "beautiful", in Arabic, it means "miracle", while in Old German it means "sword".
- Al-Rashid could refer to "Ar-Rashid", one of the names of God in Islam. The meaning of the name is "guide to the right path". 
- She was originally supposed to appear in Season 2's episode, Ashes to Ashes, along with a character named Mystery Man, but their scenes were eventually removed from the episode and used for the Comic-Con 2015 trailer.
- During a fight with Marcel Gerard, she mentioned that she is three times his age.
- She is adept at using poison.
- She was able to fight against a newly awakened Rebekah on even terms.
- However, it should be noted that Rebekah had not fed in months, and was thus weaker.
- Aya is referred as Elijah's little protégé in Beautiful Mistake and Elijah's ex in Savior by Rebekah.
- In the producer's preview for The Other Girl in New Orleans, Michael Narducci described Aya as the second-in-command of the Strix.
- Aya had fought two Originals in physical combat without the element of surprise and lived. The only other vampires to do this was Marcel, who had fought Klaus and briefly Mikael. Damon has attempted to fight an Original, but only with the advantage of surprise when it came to Kol and unusual circumstances when he fought Alaric.
- Tracy, the actress who plays Aya, also appears as a second-in-command in an episode of Hawaii Five-0 to the main recurring villain. She was also the villain's torture consultant who favored black clothing.
- She knew of Rayna Cruz.
- She was marked by her sword. However, she was killed by Hayley Marshall-Kenner before being hunted down.
- With the Other Side's collapse and destruction of Hell, she either found peace or went to a dimension similar to Hell, if one exists.