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I see you. You are brother of tulkun... you are one of us now.
Tsireya to an upset Lo'ak

Tsireya, nicknamed Reya, is the thirteen-year-old Tsakarem of the Metkayina clan and is the daughter of the clan leaders, Ronal and Tonowari, as well as the younger sister of Aonung.

When Jake Sully and his family came to the Metkayina clan, her father assigned the task of training the Sully children to her. Tsireya, having a calm and welcoming presence, agreed with pleasure. She taught them The Way of Water and how to free-dive. Tsireya formed a good friendship with the family and a close bond with Lo'ak. She assisted the Sully family when they were being targeted by the RDA.

Biography[]

Teaching the Sully children[]

Tsireya looking at Lo'ak

Tsireya sees Lo'ak for the first time

When the Sully family arrived at the Awa'atlu village seeking refuge, Tsireya appeared when she came out of the water which caught Lo'ak's attention. Seeing her brother Aonung and his friend Rotxo mock Lo'ak and Neteyam for their tails, Tsireya scolded them. Once her father granted the family uturu and assigned her and Aonung to train the Sully children, Tsireya was glad to do so and led the family to their new home, helping to carry their possessions.

Tsireya taught the Sully children to free dive with Aonung and Rotxo. While they were swimming, her brother and Rotxo began to make fun of them because they did not know how to swim well underwater, but Tsireya showed empathy. She reminded Aonung and Rotxo that they were learning. She also taught them to ride the ilu and how to breathe deeply before a dive, and showed Tuktirey how to feed and care for the ilu.

ReyaPride

Tsireya joyed by Lo'ak's progress

Lo'ak had trouble controlling his heart rate during practice due to Tsireya's presence, which led to amused faces among the other participants. Tsireya gave Lo'ak many private lessons, teaching him how to breathe underwater, as well as the philosophy of Metkayina's close relationship with the ocean. During one of them, she tasked him with fishing for a shell, which she tossed into deep water, and when he did, Tsireya was quite proud of him.

Rotxo with Tsireya and Lo'ak

Tsireya telling Lo'ak about Payakan

One day, Tsireya overheard Lo'ak with the others telling them about the tulkun who had saved his life at Three Brothers Rock, where Aonung had previously abandoned Lo'ak. She realized that he was talking about Payakan, a male tulkun who was exiled for being a murderer, something Lo'ak refused to believe.

During nighttime, Tsireya and Rotxo took Neteyam, Kiri and Tuk to the Cove of the Ancestors, which is the most sacred place of the Metkayina and the location of the Spirit Tree. After diving down to the tree, Tsireya invited them to bond with the tree, but when Kiri had a seizure after seeing her birth mother, Tsireya and the other children immediately rescued her and took her back to the village. She was shown carrying medicine with her mother to help her.

Tsireya scolded

Tsireya being scolded by her father for not stopping Lo'ak from being linked to Payakan.

When an alarm went off in the clan, Tsireya told the Sully family that the tulkun had returned. Riding on an ilu with Lo'ak, she presented her spirit sister. Exchanging stories with her spirit sister, Tsireya told her that she met a boy. After that, Tsireya, Neteyam, Aonung and Rotxo followed Lo'ak and witnessed how he was chosen by the tulkun Payakan, she being very proud. But by doing so lead to Tsireya becoming chastised by her parents along with Lo'ak for allowing the latter to bond with the outcast, with her father calling her actions disappointing. Tonowari demands everyone to sit down and explained the Tulkun Way and why Payakan was an outcast.

The Way of Water Tsireya Still

Tsireya telling Lo'ak she sees him

Later, Tsireya told Lo'ak how proud she was of him for bonding with a tulkun. After witnessing Payakan's memories through Tsaheylu, Lo'ak explained to her why Payakan is not a murderer, though she replied that by the Tulkun Way, Payakan bears the deaths that were the result of his actions. Tsireya insisted that they try to convince Tonowari, but Lo'ak refused, saying neither of their fathers would understand them. Lo'ak was frustrated and felt rejected by the Metkayina clan due to sharing human traits just like his father Jake. Tsireya showed her compassionate side. She replied "I see you" and insisted that by becoming the spirit brother of the tulkun, he had become one of the reef people.

Skirmish at the Three Brothers[]

Tsireya Drizzle

Tsireya saddened by Ro'a's death

When her parents discovered that Ro'a, her mother's spirit sister and her calf had been killed by the RDA, Tsireya was saddened by their deaths and also worried about the threat endangering her own spirit sister. She was shown crying and presumably not agreeing to attack the Sky People, while the rest of the clan including her brother were determined to attack them for revenge. When Jake tells them that they should tell their tulkuns to leave so they won't be killed as well, Tsireya is shown agreeing to follow his words. However, instead of warning her spirit sister, she followed Lo'ak who went to Three Brothers Rocks to find Payakan to warn him about the tulkun assassins.

Lo'ak, Tuktirey and Tsireya as hostages

Tsireya, Lo'ak and Tuk handcuffed to the SeaDragon

Along with Aonung, Rotxo, Neteyam, Kiri, and Tuk, she helped to free Payakan of the tracking device that Mick Scoresby and his tulkun hunters use to mark their targets. However, she and the other children were spotted by the RDA. Lo'ak, Tsireya and Tuk were captured by a Mako sub using a net, which was lifted out of the sea by Quaritch's ikran and brought aboard the RDA carrier. She was handcuffed to the SeaDragon's railing. When her parents and the warriors arrived to save them, Quaritch threatened to shoot the children if they attacked and only ordered Jake to surrender.

Tsireya crying

Tsireya weeping for Neteyam

Fortunately, Payakan attacked the ship, allowing Tsireya, Lo'ak and Tuk to be saved by Neteyam. Unfortunately, Neteyam was shot while escaping from the deck, while Tuktirey was recaptured while trying to save Kiri with Tsireya. The latter was thrown into the water by Quaritch. Tsireya, Lo'ak, and Spider took Neteyam to a rocky island, where Jake and Neytiri soon arrived. Neteyam perished and Tsireya was saddened by the turn of events.

Lo'ak comforts Tsireya

Lo'ak comforting Tsireya

She and Lo'ak stayed behind while Jake and Neytiri returned to save Tuk and Kiri, although Lo'ak disobeyed and followed the two, leaving Tsireya alone. When the whole family returned after the sinking, Tsireya hugged Lo'ak, who was still crying over Neteyam's death. Tsireya later attended Neteyam's funeral arranged shortly after, during which she was comforted by Aonung.

Personality[]

Tsireya is graceful and has a passion for the ocean. She is very kind, warm, and sees the best in people.[3] For example, she told her peers to go easy on the Sully children when they were learning how to swim and scolded her brother Aonung and his friend Rotxo for making fun of the Sully family when they first arrived. She is also shown to be an adept tutor in teaching the Sully children how to free dive. She can see the potential in others and how they can contribute to the clan.[4]

Unlike most clan members, Tsireya is the only one who treats the Sullys with boundless patience and understanding. Despite her brother and his friends bullying the Sully children and teasing them for being "weird", Tsireya understands that they are anatomically adapted to life in the forest and need time and special training to master their lessons. As a teacher, she puts a lot of effort into teaching them in the most effective way possible.

In addition, she thinks flexibly and is open to changes, while her mother is ruthlessly faithful to traditions and expresses an open distaste for the new family. Despite being a potential threat, Tsireya tries to understand each side's point of view. As shown by Lo'ak's friendship with Payakan, they are seen as outcasts to their own races who have been recognized as such by a fatal misunderstanding.

It is also noteworthy that Tsireya seems to be afraid of confronting and challenging authoritative figures, something Lo'ak is able to do. When her parents begin chastising her and Lo'ak, she is speechless and does not try to defend herself. She adopts a very shameful demeanor, while Lo'ak refuses to be silent and he defends Payakan during a short-lived debate with Tonowari. Whether or not Tsireya will develop a more confrontational and rebellious personality is yet to be seen. Another example of Tsireya's passivity is when Tuktirey goes back to rescue Kiri; all Tsireya does is say it's not a good idea and follows her anyway, but Tsireya does not put her foot down and demand Tuk leave with her. The situation backfires when Tuktirey ends up being held hostage as well which could have been prevented if Tsireya was more confrontational.

Tsireya also may be interpreted as being a bit naive, claiming Jake will understand Lo'ak. Lo'ak retorts Jake will not. While Tsireya is well-intentioned, she may be seen as being biased here and drawing from her own relationship with her own father, rather than seeing the dynamic between Lo'ak and Jake. Thus, Tsireya may also be viewed as a wishful thinker. For example, when Neteyam dies, Tsireya can be seen glancing away from his body, as if she can not believe what just happened and does not want to process it.

Abilities[]

Tsireya swimming

Tsireya effortlessly swimming

Tsireya is a graceful, agile and strong swimmer. She has been described as the "young Neytiri of the oceans". She is a renowned underwater dancer, which she demonstrates not only in ceremonial circumstances, but also in everyday life. She has also perfected many of her clan's skills (including diving, breathing, meditation, ilu riding and underwater sign language) to the point of teaching them to others.[2]

Relationships[]

Trivia[]

  • In the original script, Lo'ak wants Tsireya to teach him sign language, specifically the phrase "We are from different worlds, but we have a connection." This makes Tsireya blush and become flustered during this exchange:
    • Lo'ak: "Cool. Now if only I could understand his answers."
    • Tsireya: "This is for Payakan?"
    • Lo'ak: "Yeah, who’d you think it was for?"
    • Tsireya: "...Nobody. Never mind."
  • Also in the original script, when Lo'ak vents to Tsireya about Payakan, she kisses him. Lo'ak is surprised and pulls away after, but he decides to kiss her back.
  • Bailey Bass confirmed that Tsireya is thirteen years old which makes her younger than Spider, Neteyam, Aonung, Lo'ak and Kiri.[1]
  • Tsireya does not actually have two hair braids on her forehead; they are actually woven seagrass.[2]
  • When she emerges from the water when she first appears, if one looks closely at her eyes, it can be seen that her eyes have a translucent membrane which opens up. It is also known as the nictitating membrane or "third eyelid" which members of her clan have evolved to help them see underwater.[2]
  • Tsireya squirms

    Tsireya can be seen squirming.

    There is some characterization through body language which shows how much Tsireya cares about Lo'ak. When Quaritch threatens to shoot Lo'ak in the head, Tsireya can be seen squirming in the background and trying to get off the rail, instead of freezing in fear. This suggests her seeing Lo'ak in danger was such a horrifying enough sight to make her momentarily forget she was tied up, and also that she was willing to risk, or even sacrifice her life, to physically defend Lo'ak from Quaritch at this point. While one could subconsciously interpret her squirming and inability to get off the rail as a sign of weakness, it actually speaks about her character by showing her intense bravery and selflessness.
    • Additionally, it is unlikely Tsireya knew what was going on in this scene; it is likely she does not know English, and thus did not know that Quaritch was negotiating a trade deal with Jake. In her mind, she most likely thought that Quaritch was genuinely going to kill Lo'ak at that moment.

Memorable Quotes[]

  • Come, I'll show you our village. - To Lo'ak and Neteyam
  • Stop. They're learning. - to Aonung and Rotxo when the Sully children lag behind as they swim
  • You must slow down your heartbeat. Breathe in... breathe from down here. Breathe out slowly. Lo'ak, your heartbeat is fast. Try to focus. - Trying to teach Lo'ak how to breathe for diving
  • The way of water has no beginning and no end. The sea is around you and in you. The sea is your home before your birth and after your death. Our hearts beat in the womb of the world. Our breath burns in the shadows of the deep. The sea gives and the sea takes. Water connects all things, life to death. Darkness to light. - Tsireya teaching Lo'ak the ways of Metkayina
  • It gives breath underwater. - teaching Tuk and Kiri to use the Gill Mantle
  • The tulkun have returned! Everybody, our Brothers and Sisters have returned. - Tsireya notifying the clan of the return of the tulkuns.
  • Look, it's my spirit sister! - Tsireya introduces Lo'ak to her spiritual sister
  • I met a boy. - Tsireya to her spiritual sister
  • Tuk... This is not a good idea. Tuk! - when Tuk goes to the SeaDragon to help Kiri

References[]

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