|“||Yeah but I'm tired. You know multiple life times tired. You realize that in over a hundred years in this planet I have never had even one day off. I just want a day...without vampires. One free day where I can feel the sun on my face, eat a cheeseburger, watch the ocean, enjoy a few simple pleasures for once...then go to sleep.||”|
— Rayna Cruz about herself in Somebody That I Used to Know
Rayna Cruz was a recurring character and the primary antagonist in the seventh season of The Vampire Diaries. She was a Shamanic Huntress hailing around the 19th Century, the daughter of Vicente Cruz, who was a member of the Brotherhood of the Five, and was a fierce vampire huntress whose sole purpose was to eradicate and incarcerate Vampires within the Phoenix Stone.
After being forced to kill her father by Julian, she became enhanced by a tribe of shamans to get vengeance on Julian, his Heretic family, and all vampires. Her main target was Stefan Salvatore as he was stabbed by her when she attempted to kill Damon, marking him with her sword, allowing her to find him anywhere and compelling her to kill him. She was willing to kill everyone, no matter the species, that dare to stand in her way. She also beared a striking resemblance to the late Elena Gilbert although she does not seem to be of any relation to Elena or any of her Doppelgängers. Rayna first appeared in a flashforward featured in Day One of Twenty-Two Thousand, Give or Take and made her first modern day appearance in Postcards from the Edge.
Rayna was born to a man named Vicente and an unknown mother in New Orleans but at some point relocated with her father to St. Malo, Louisiana. Her father was one of the Brotherhood of the Five. As he traced his tattoo for her to see, Rayna asked why she could not see the Mark, and when she would get hers, showing she admired her father and wanted to be a vampire hunter like him. Eventually, she convinced her father to train her as a vampire hunter, and Vicente gave her a short sword that would eventually be turned into the Phoenix Sword.
Saint Malo, Louisiana, 1857
When she was older, while training with her father and finally besting him in a moment in their sparring, Julian attacked the settlement they lived in. Her father tried to save the villagers, however, he lost against the old vampire. Rayna interrupted Julian before he could kill her father and told him her father was one of the Five, hoping the revelation would persuade the surprised Julian to spare Vicente in fear of being afflicted with the Hunter's Curse. Julian, realizing that if he spared Vicente that the hunter would never stop trying to kill him, found a loophole to his conundrum. Instead of killing her father, and receiving the Hunter's Curse, Julian compelled Rayna to kill him. Forced to execute her father, Rayna told her father she couldn't stop, and he told his daughter he knew she couldn't, not to blame herself for it was Julian's fault, and to remember what he taught her to carry on his legacy while he would always be with her. Rayna then stabbed her father with the sword he gave her years earlier.
In order to get revenge, Rayna teamed up with a group of Native American shamans who gave her a tea of protection, shielding Rayna from any magic used to harm her, then sacrificed themselves and cast a spell on Rayna, endowing her with powerful abilities that would allow her to kill vampires, such as increased strength to rival ancient vampires, slower aging, the urge to kill vampires, the ability to find any vampire she stabbed with her Phoenix Sword, and granting her multiple lives which allows her to come back from the dead. She was also bestowed with the Phoenix Sword, the sword her father gave her as a girl, which the shamans enchanted for her, turning the stone in the hilt into the Phoenix Stone. This granted Rayna with two powerful and mystical artifacts that when combined together can entrap any vampire's soul within the stone where they are forced to endure a personal hell for all eternity, and allows her to find any vampire she marked with her sword.
For a decade Rayna chased a vicious serial killer vampire named Ambrose within and outside of Memphis. During this time things got really personal between them with Ambrose framing Rayna for many of his violent massacres. He even went as far as to turn her boyfriend into a vampire which led to her having to stake him. She eventually was able to catch and kill Ambrose and achieve her revenge.
At some point in the mid-late 19th Century, she began to hunt the Heretics along with Julian and Lily Salvatore. She pursued them across Europe for decades and at some point, branding Beau with an "X" shaped scar and killing Julian, imprisoning his soul within the Phoenix Stone.
At some point before The Originals fled New Orleans, Rayna returned to her birthplace. Once back she wreaked havoc on the vampire community for years earning a fearsome reputation that even made Klaus himself fearful, as she killed many of his vampire friends and allies. She also came across The Strix at some point because Aya knew her.
Throughout The Vampire Diaries Series
In Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me, three years from now, Damon has been captured and chained up in a Dallas news station. He originally believes that his captor is his mother, Lily. However, it is later revealed that she was only a hallucination due to the effects of the werewolf toxin in his system. After informing him that his mother has been dead for years, Rayna kicks him in the face, knocking Damon unconscious.
In Things We Lost in the Fire, Nora Hildegard receives a card with a red "X" on it and tells Bonnie Bennett that it is the huntress' warning. Nora tells Bonnie that the huntress will be coming for Stefan, Julian, Beau and anyone else who has been marked by her sword. Three years from now, it is revealed that Matt Donovan is working for her.
In Postcards from the Edge, Bonnie and Nora locate Rayna by performing a locator spell and discover that she is in Ohio. On their journey, Nora reveals that shamans cast a spell on Rayna, transforming her into a powerful vampire huntress with a supernatural urge to kill vampires as well as enhanced strength and the Phoenix Sword. Arriving at Ohio, they discover along with Mary Louise that Rayna is in a mental asylum. She, however, is an old woman yearning to die, but pretends to be senile with no knowledge of the supernatural. Convinced that she is not the one they are searching for, the two vampires leave to search for the huntress under a different name, inadvertently leaving Bonnie alone with her. Rayna reveals her real identity to Bonnie and speaks about how the uncontrollable urge to kill vampires started to affect her mind and mental stability after she accidentally murdered a supermarket cashier, mistaking her for a vampire. Rayna asks for a cookie and when Bonnie attempts to feed it to her, Rayna brutally attacks her. However, Bonnie is saved when Enzo unexpectedly arrives and kills Rayna by throwing a knife into her throat. When Bonnie leaves to retrieve Nora and Mary Louise, Enzo takes the time to abduct and incarcerate Rayna's body in a incinerator. He reveals that he was the one who sent the cards with the red X to the Heretics in hope that they would lead him to Rayna. Minutes after he burns her body, Rayna is reincarnated from her ashes, just like that of the mythical phoenix, restoring her to her youth. But little does Enzo know, he has just revived the most dangerous and ruthless vampire huntress the world has ever seen. Three years from now, Matt injects Stefan with Vervain under orders from Rayna and is informed that he is free to go and wishes him a nice life. Meanwhile, Rayna looks at a weakened Damon tied to a chair with amusement.
In This Woman's Work, Rayna breaks free of from her holding cell and kidnaps Enzo. She uses him to retrieve her Phoenix Sword and makes her way to the Mystic Falls hospital to finish what she started with her previous victims. She kills Beau before he can flee for his life outside of the hospital and sends his soul into the Phoenix Stone. After she torches his body to ensure that he will never be able to return to it. Once inside the hospital she is intercepted by Damon and a fight ensues. Rayna quickly gains the upper hand and prepares to finish him off but the swords blow is blocked by Stefan who becomes marked. Stefan knocks her back momentarily and flees knowing full well she will chase after him.
In Moonlight on the Bayou, Rayna has stolen a motorcycle and pursues Stefan furiously. When he stops at a gas station for only a few moments she has already caught up to him and immediately attempts to kill him. However he is able to outrun her once more. Stefan finds St. James Infirmary in New Orleans, a magical safe haven, to prevent Rayna from finding him. Klaus enters and greets his old friend Stefan, all while suspicious of why Stefan is in New Orleans. After talking about the events that have gone on in Mystic Falls since he left, Klaus sees the X shaped wound on Stefan, shocked and enraged that Stefan made an enemy of Rayna Cruz. Klaus revealed she terrorized New Orleans and killed Klaus' close friends centuries ago, and she lived in the area centuries ago. Enraged his old friend lied about why he was there, and that he brought the vicious Rayna with him, Klaus banished Stefan from the city, saying Rayna would find him no matter where he goes. When Stefan is banished from the city by Klaus he is quickly tracked down by Rayna who pins him down and prepares to finish him off but is saved by Klaus who sends her flying with a surprise attack that temporarily kills her allowing them to escape. Klaus, having talked to Caroline on Stefan's phone, changed his mind and went to help his friend by killing Rayna for the time being. After he offers Stefan to meet his sister, a witch, to help against Rayna Cruz.
In I Would for You, she awakens in New Orleans naked and goes towards a tent with a clothesline and steals the clothes, and then grabs her sword. She then saves Matt and Penny from Krystal and her vampires, and then tells them that they owe her a favor and asks if they know of Stefan. She then interrogates a vampire and tells both Matt and Penny how to do it. She is then interrupted by Damon and is shot by Matt, who chose Damon's side, and Damon then extracts her heart. Rayna is then seen in an empty well with all of her body parts separated, and the regeneration process then begins again. After regenerating, Damon throws in some clothes and tells her that she needs to stop hunting his brother as he will be going away, and she tells him how she made a vow to her father about getting rid of all vampires, and will keep it. He begins to talk to her more and asks if there was a "Mr. Hunter", and when she remains quiet, Damon realizes there was. After he gets a text from Bonnie on how Rayna's life is tied to the Eight Everlasting, with two remaining, Damon decides to shoot her, giving her one life left. He decides to bury her so she can suffocate and end her last life, but when he gets word that her life is tied to the sword and all the vampires that have been marked will die with her, Damon digs her out of the ground. He is relieved she is still breathing, but she throws him and says she'll give a head start to kill him as he saved her life. He then senses something and asks about the "Mr. Hunter". She tells him that her lover was a vampire and she eventually killed him. Before she can do anything, she is shot at by the members of the Armory with tranquilizer darts and it takes many to put her out.
In the flashforward, she is seen talking to Stefan, who is tied in a chair, and asks him who he came for, his brother or Caroline. He doesn't answer and she tells him he can keep his secrets. She then walks up to him and tells him that she doesn't want to kill him. She tells him he doesn't deserve it and that his brother should take his place. Stefan thinks she's trying to put the brothers against each other, but Damon comes out and says that it was his idea instead.
In Days of Future Past, she tells Stefan that his time is running out and he then takes her sword, escaping from her. Damon then begins to strangle her with cords and she tells him that if she dies, Stefan dies with her. He tells her he's giving Stefan to time and she proceeds to stab Damon in the neck with a tranquilizer. After he comes to, Rayna is stitching up her arm and tells Damon he's being noble for having the mark transferred to him instead. She then tells him that when she gets old and dies, Elena will most likely be up from her slumber, and she then finishes her stitching, and goes after Stefan. She gives chase to Stefan in a car and calls him from Caroline's work phone. She tells him that she can feel his emotions and see what he is doing as she has a connection with all of her targets thanks to the stone and sword. After catching up to him, Stefan throws her sword into the car she's driving and she tells him that he's being pretty stupid in what he is doing. She tells him that he began to grow on her while she was in captivity in the Armory and that he's actually a pretty decent guy. While at the airport, she appears in front of Stefan and she tells him that she can hear the stone urging her all the time and it's telling her that Stefan still needs to be in there as he's still not letting Damon go. After asking him if he's ready to let Damon go, Stefan tells her "yes" and she proceeds to stab and put his soul in the stone. She then throws her sword through the back windshield of Nora and Mary Louise's car and begins a chase with them. As they are doing a spell to destroy the sword, she can feel it being destroyed and when the girls' car blows up along with the stone, she yells "No!!" at them and looks away, horrified.
In I Went to the Woods, Rayna discovers that when the stone was destroyed by Nora and Mary Louise, every soul within it escaped. And because Rayna had burnt the bodies of her victims, that means that vampire souls are inhabiting random corpses, both vampire and human, all over the world. And she has connection due to connection between her and Phoenix Stone's victims. As Matt sends Valerie and Rayna to Alaric's Home, Rayna might be more concerned with hunting down some of the most evil vampires of the past 200 years, but Valerie quickly makes it clear that Stefan is their top priority.
In One Way or Another, Rayna is seen sitting on the back seat of the car driven by an unknown man, while the images of vampire souls extracted from the Phoenix Stone keep popping up in her mind. A few moments later, Enzo appears out of nowhere, shooting Rayna with sleeping-bullets and pulling her unconscious body out of the car. Later, after Damon and Alaric found out that Enzo took Rayna and is leading her towards the Armory, Damon asked Enzo to bring Rayna back as she could be the key to bring Stefan back to his own body. Rayna woke up in Enzo's car, and stated that she'd rather strangle herself with the seat belt than go back to the Armory cell. Enzo revealed that he has no intentions in locking her up inside the Armory again and that he needs her help on how to reverse the effects of the pills made from her blood, which are proven to be lethal to witches. Rayna realized that he must've done something to someone he cares about, such as Bonnie Bennett, who's been taking the pills in order to keep herself hidden from the Armory. In burst of rage, Enzo pulled out a gun and threatened to finish her off once and for all.
In Somebody That I Used to Know, Rayna is seen scribbling names and doodles onto book pages. These were the vampires that needed to be killed in Enzo's abandoned cabin storm cellar where Damon tries make a deal to Bonnie's life by offering to kill vampires escaped from Phoenix Stone in exchange for transferring her everlasting spell to Bonnie.At end of episode Rayna is seen passed out in storm cellar with papers written about vampires escaped Phoenix Stone all over the room.
In Kill 'Em All, Rayna's connection to the phoenix stone vampires are fading as the Armory takes them out. Having completed Rayna's side of the bargain, she offers her last life up to Bonnie. She, Damon and the last descendant of The Eight Everlastings come together and perform the transfer spell. Thought unknown to Damon, the Shaman, at Rayna's request, also transfers the title of Huntress to Bonnie, giving her not only a renewed life but a hatred for vampires. At the end of the spell, Rayna plunges a dagger through her heart, finishing the spell.
Throughout The Originals Series
In A Streetcar Named Desire, Stefan purposefully removes the magical paste patch Freya used to stop Rayna from sensing him, so that she can hopefully charge through The Strix's legions of ancient vampires in an attempt to reach him as a distraction tactic for Stefan, Hayley, and Marcel to rescue Elijah and Klaus. Rayna arrives at the gates of the compound and quickly dispatches the guards allowing her to enter the building. She is quickly confronted by Aya and her backup of vampires and begins to battle them. Rayna does battle with them and is able to wound and kill an unknown number of them before being killed. She possibly killed all present but Aya, as Aya, who's shoulder was stabbed by the Phoenix Sword, making Aya a future target for Rayna, dragged in Rayna Cruz's corpse alone. Hayley, however, staked Aya in the heart as revenge for Jackson's murder.
|“||You two watch and learn. The key is to treat them like a wild animal. Respecting the danger but recognizing that they are beneath you, and that they serve a purpose.||”|
Rayna is ruthless and unstoppable. She also seems to have a pathological hatred of vampires. Stefan Salvatore, who she is increasingly obsessed with destroying, has become her number one priority in hunting due to his constant success in eluding her, so much so that all other vampires don't even matter to her. This is revealed to be because the shamans who made her, also gave her a relentless supernatural urge to hunt down and kill vampires that have been marked by her mystical sword, any other vampires that dare to cross her path, and any people (regardless of the species) who dare to involve themselves with vampires she hunts, much like the hunter's instinct present in members of the Brotherhood of the Five.This seems to make her mentally unstable as she gets old, as she accidentally murdered a supermarket cashier, mistaking her for a vampire. She felt compelled to kill her due to the hunter's instinct she was spelled with. She is also skilled at manipulating people as she comes across as a senile old woman to Mary Louise, Nora and Bonnie. Only after the two Heretics leave, does she reveal her true nature to Bonnie and attempts to strangle her to get Bonnie to free her, showing annoyance for Bonnie associating with vampires. She is also very stoic and taciturn as she doesn't display much emotion and rarely speaks.
Though it should be noted that Rayna does not appear to hate all vampires, just ones that are like the one who ruined her life, as she mentions briefly that she had a vampire lover once. But also believes that vampire-human relationships do not work out in the long run, as she ended up staking him in the heart for unknown reasons. So she apparently is very capable of looking past her own hated of vampires and capable of feeling about them in a positive way on occasion.
In the flash forwards, Rayna still appears to be obsessed with hunting Stefan. Even if she has to take someone he cares for hostage to lure him to her. She even successfully captures and holds Damon hostage, as he tried to get there and stop her before Stefan wandered into her trap. Once Stefan was captured she admitted she was exhausted chasing him, and gloated over her victory. But when she approached for the kill Rayna admitted she was reluctant to go through with it. Once again showing that she does not view all vampires in the same light, openly admitting that she does not actually want to kill Stefan even after all the trouble she had to go through of hunting and catching him. Saying instead that she knows that he does not deserve that mark he has and is even willing to transfer it to a more deserving vampire.
- Rayna and Vicente (Father and Daughter/Close relationship/Former Allies)
- Rayna and the Heretics (Enemies)
- Rayna and Julian (Enemies)
- Rayna and Stefan (Enemies)
- Matt and Rayna (Allies/Enemies)
- Rayna and The Strix (Enemies)
- Rayna and Damon (Enemies/Allies)
As a young woman, Rayna has long black/dark brown hair and dark brown eyes. According to Damon, she bears a resemblance to Elena Gilbert and her three doppelgangers. She also seems to have a very dark exterior and wears a dark leather jacket in a flashforward of Postcards from the Edge.
As an old woman, Rayna had medium length gray hair and wore a mental patient's attire.
- The Phoenix Stone Sword: Rayna once wielded the Phoenix Sword that was custom made just for her, supposedly by shamans that allowed her to trap the soul of any vampire she killed within the Phoenix Stone where they are forced to endure a personal hell of a past memory. The stone acts similar to the Hunter's Curse in which escapees are haunted by horrifying hallucinations from their personal hell, where they do the most despicable things in order to free themselves from the stone's influence without being fully aware of their own actions. Rayna's spirit is connected to the Sword and its stone. While in physical contact with the sword, she can sense any vampire that was marked by the sword and track them down to where ever they may hide as she can sense their location. As she draws closer to that vampire, old scarred wounds from that sword will open back up as the marked vampire's healing powers are dampened by the power of Rayna when in contact with the sword.
Powers and Abilities
- Enhanced Strength: According to Nora, shamans endowed Rayna with enhanced strength that greatly increases every time she resurrects. This is proven due to the thousands of vampires she has defeated and sealed in the stone. Her strength seems to be able to match that of even the most ancient vampires in the world as she was able to fight and slaughter many Strix members and even frighten Klaus himself. Her strength also doesn't falter with old age, even as an old woman, she is able to restrain Bonnie with one hand while attempting to strangle her. After her resurrection she proceeded to hit the glass cell she was in to no effect, leaving her hand bloodied. However, she broke free moments later, bursting from the cell, leaving it obliterated in the wake of her escape. She is shown to be strong enough to toss Damon through the air with just one hand in a seated position, immediately after being resuscitated. Each life Rayna loses makes her stronger and was able to easily overpower a vampire with one hand when she was down to her last life.
- Enhanced Reflexes: Rayna is able to react to vampires even while they are using their superior speed, enough so that she is capable of catching them unaware. She was able to wipe out numerous members of the Strix, even catching two of them off guard and immediately killing them. She was also able to shoot several of Julian's vampires, killing them without them even being able to react.
- Immunity to Magic: Through the power of the Shamans, direct offensive magic does not work on her. This is proven to be true after Bonnie tries to use telekinesis on her when the latter attempts to kill her, but to no avail. This Immunity also seemed to be a work of the Tea of Protection. However, this immunity did not prevent Nora and Bonnie from using a locator spell to find her nor did it hinder a Shaman from transferring her life and abilities to Bonnie. In addition, Rayna could not track Stefan when his scar was blocked by the disruption spell placed on St. James Infirmary.
- Poisonous Blood: As revealed by the Armory during their experiments on Mary Louise, Rayna's blood is poisonous to witches, even those that are immortal such as a vampire-witch hybrid. Pills made from it can block a witch's power and if taken daily for a period of time, the pills will eventually kill the witch in question. This fatal effect on witches probably comes from Rayna's immunity to witchcraft.
- Marking: Through the Phoenix Sword, Rayna can mark her victims by stabbing them.
- Tracking: She can sense and track down vampires who have been marked by the Phoenix Sword.
- Link to Victims: Rayna can concentrate her connection with anyone who has been marked with the phoenix sword. This allows her to see their every move, and feel their every emotion. Once she is down to her last life, anyone still marked by her will die when she dies.
- Self-Resurrection: Rayna has the ability to continually resurrect from the dead, similar to users of the Gilbert Ring, a total of eight times. Moments after her death, her body spontaneously self-combusts only to reborn from the ashes to the age when the Shamans originally blessed her, akin to a phoenix rising from the ashes. This is achieve through the self-sacrifice of the Eight Shamans who gave their lives to her with their bodies preserved and each of her deaths would cause one of them to decay.
- Longevity: Rayna ages, just like an ordinary human, but at a slower rate and therefore has an extended lifespan.
- Herbs: Certain herbs, when applied as a paste on the scars, can mask the signal that allows a Supernatural Huntress to find their marked victims.
- Hunter Instinct: Rayna appears to suffer from the same supernatural urge to kill vampires as the Brotherhood of the Five. The more vampires she kills, the more stronger the urge becomes. This urge is purely instinctual and seems to worsen with age and begin to affect the mind. As the desire to kill vampires has had a huge impact on Rayna's mental stability in which she accidentally mistaken a supermarket cashier for a vampire, who she staked, leading to her being confined into a secure psychiatric hospital as an old woman.
- Eighth Life: She only has eight lives, and would die permanently if she dies eight times.
- Mortality: Despite her enhanced physical attributes, Rayna is still human and shares many of the same weaknesses as a non-supernatural being (e.g. age, decapitation, disease, heart-failure, suffocation, etc.) only to be reborn later.
- Link to the Everlastings: Should all of the bodies of the Eight Everlastings be destroyed, the spell that keeps her as a Supernatural Huntress would unravel and she would revert to as they were before.
- Victim Connection: Rayna is connected to the ones she killed using the Phoenix Stone Sword and sometimes she is hunted by them, their minds. Now that the spirits are free is a big weaknesses.
- Rayna is either a Bulgarian form of "Regina" meaning "queen" in Latin or a feminine form of "Rayno" meaning "happy, willing" in Slavic.
- Cruz is Spanish and means "cross".