|“||Here's the thing, Barbie. I've already trapped him, and since I'm trying to play nice, this is me giving you fair warning. Back off before you get hurt||”|
— Ridley, threatening Savannah to stay away from Link, Beautiful Chaos
Ridley Duchannes (born Julia Duchannes) is a main character in The Caster Chronicles series. She is Lena's cousin and childhood ex-best friend as well as Link's on-again/off-again girlfriend. She became Dark on her 16th Moon and is a Siren, a seductress who can easily entrap human minds and squeeze information out of them and control them at will, also in addition make them infatuated with her.
She is shown to be wild and stubborn and doesn't like playing by the rules having gained a strong title for her rebellious attitude. She worked for Lena's Dark Caster mother, Sarafine, before getting caught betraying her by secretly aiding Ethan and Link and Liv to help find Lena in Beautiful Darkness. She is then, in punishment, stripped of her Siren powers and rendered a short-lived mortal (soon returning to her Siren form by the follow-up novel).
She falls in love with Ethan's childhood best friend, Link. In result, she grows to be somewhat possessive of him when he is around other girls. Her weaker side is also opened up when it comes to her love for him, however, she often tries to cover up this side of her by outright refusing to admit she loves Link and often brutally rejects his attempts at a real relationship together. This, in effect, often causes heavy complications in her and Link's continued on-again/off-again relationship; even though it is bluntly clear she cares and loves him. The two are in an unofficial relationship as implied in Beautiful Redemption.
She is the daughter of Delphine Duchannes and Barclay Kent and sister of Reece Duchannes, Ryan Duchannes, and Larkin Kent. She and Lena lived together and were very close to another, like sisters. However on her sixteenth birthday she left knowing she was going Dark, which Lena had suspected since Ridley's behavior was becoming darker and she was slowly becoming more rebellious.
Lena hadn't seen her since until the evennts of Beautiful Creatures when she shows up unannounced at Lena's house with Ethan in tow having used her powers on him. She is a Dark Caster as well as a Siren and she can make anyone do anything as long as she's armed with a red lollipop. Link, despite her crude behavior and her initially having used her Siren powers on him, truly falls in love with her. Despite his love, throughout the course of the series Rildey returns very little of the same feelings towards him having an on-again, off again relationship with him.
Despite her mistreatment of Link, it is heavily hinted that she is actually in love with him and just refuses to admit it under fear of showing such emotions. She worked for Lena's mother, Sarafine, for about half of the series up until the middle of Beautiful Darkness. After helping Ethan find Lena in Beautiful Darkness, she is stripped of her powers and Siren abilities. In Beautiful Chaos, she refuses to live life as a mortal longing for her old Siren abilities and is rather harsh towards Link who, despite her continued mistreatment of him, is still in love with her.
She vanishes from the story after furiously witnessing Link and Savannah share a kiss and returns for one final appearance in the novel, now returned to her Siren form after "begging for forgiveness and all that." She sneaks into an empty hallway to see Link with hopes of convincing him to spend one last night with her before taking off and out of town, but is rejected by him. She is heartbroken at Link's rejection of her and vows never to return, actually holding back tears, and flees from the room with a red lollipop rolling on the floor behind her.
Appearance and Personality
Ridley is described as being a blonde with Dark Caster eyes who usually wears provocative clothing and has hot pink strips of highlights in her hair and is almost always sucking on a red lollipop. She is extremely flirtatious hitting on every guy she sees and uses them to her advantage; such as when she and Lena were kids and Ridley was getting the hang of her Siren abilities, she would often have boys do her homework and help her out of sticky situations. She is shown to be extremely cocky and rebellious and manipulative. She often just uses others to get what she wants out of them and appears to be rather unfeeling.However, she has also displayed a caring side such as when she betrays Sarafine to help Ethan, Link and Liv save Lena and threatening to make Ethan her "slave" (when he refers to Liv as "L," which is Lena's nickname) if he so much as "thought" about hurting Lena, even referring to her as her cousin. The biggest confirmation that she isn't as cold and cocky as she appears is when it comes to Link, who is the first (and only) guy whom she has ever truly developed feelings for. Despite her claims that she does not care about him there are several scenes that make it blatantly clear she does care for him; her expressed concern when it appears as if he is harmed, her outright fury when it is revealed John Breed bit him endangering his life, getting savagely jealous when she sees other girls flirting with him to the point where she not only threatens Savannah (who flirts with Link the most) to stay away from him, but also purposely causes her to break her leg when catching her flirting with him after her threat. However the main factors that make it obvious that she loves him would have to be the scenes where Ridley literally screams in fury when she sees him kissing another girl and pure true heartbreak when he rejects her, even being pushed to the brink of near tears and running off before anyone could see them also making attempts to cover them.
Also in Beautiful Darkness when Link confides in Ethan that he still loved Ridley, it is revealed that when he and Ridley were together in Beautiful Creatures they had come very close to having sex many times. But when they would be about to actually have sex, it would be Ridley who would "slam the brakes on things," not Link (Due to him not being aware at the time that if a Caster and Mortal were to have sex, the mortal would die during the act of it). This most likely because Ridley did not want to risk hurting him, or worse, kill him. This showing she is actually a lot more caring than she makes herself out to be.
Power and Abilities
Being a Siren, Ridley has the main power of seduction, seducing almost anybody she wants and puts them under a spell-like trance which makes them beyond attracted to her to where they almost worship her. Using this, she can get information out of them and have them do her deeds and dirty work and anything she wishes and commands them to do, no matter what the task may be. Ethan has been shown to be the only one who can just barely resist her powers when he is able to barely withhold an important piece of information from her in Beautiful Creatures even though it "took everything he had in him not to."
- Main article: Ridley and Link
Ridley's jealous side is seen for the first time in Beautiful Chaos when she begins to get viciously jealous when other girls hit on Link due to his growing masculine apperance due to his changing into an Incubus; her anger being directed at Savannah Snow who flirts with Link the most. Ridley even goes to the extent of not only threatening her to leave Link alone, but to even make an entire cheerleading pyramid fall on top of her, breaking her leg. But throughout the course of the novel, Ridley denies having any sort of feelings for Link claiming she won't ever love him; even going out with another guy to prove this to him; though her jealousy towards other girls who flirt with him continues to go completely unhinged.
She and Link, however, get into a fight resulting in Ridley yelling at him that she will never love him before storming off. Link finally gives up on Ridley just as Savannah comes up and kisses him and Link, seeing he has nothing left to lose, kisses her back. Ridley sees the 20 second long kiss some distance away when she turns around and in reaction, literally in an actual sense, screams in outright fury and others turn to stare at her as she literally screams in anger. In addition to her reaction to the kiss, she casts a furor spell; a spell of fury before storming off the property. This scenes then makes it completely clear that Ridley is in love with Link, but perhaps is just too stubborn to admit it.
She isn't seen again until towards the end of the novel when sneaking into an empty hallway to see Link, who is at his locker changing his shirt during the school dance. It is quickly revealed that she got her powers back when Link sees Ridley's golden eyes who then claims she only did it for him - for the first time returning Link's feelings openly - and them as a couple so they could be together (reasoning he'd get bored of her as a mortal and didn't want to risk that). She attempts to coax him into taking off with her for the night saying she only came back for him, seeming to truly mean it opening up a weak and vulnerable side never seen before. But she ends up losing him instead because of the selfishness of her choice to get her powers back from their enemies. In reaction to this, Ridley vows that would be the last time he would ever see her again, actually seeming sincerely dejected at Link's rejection of her. She then flees from the room clearly in distress, even seen to be fighting back tears, as her trade mark lollipop rolls on the ground behind her. After this, true to her word, she isn't seen again for the rest of the novel.
In Beautiful Redemption, the two meet once again after Lena saves Rildey when she was being imprisoned by Abraham in a cage and shackles. While the two seem initially hostile towards each other upon first seeing each other again, Lena takes note of how Ridley can't look Link in the eye, causing her to wonder what happened between them. Link and Ridley "fight" (aka flirting, this, in which, is obvious to everyone) with each other throughout the course of the novel together, but seem to gradually get on a more better note with each other. This shown in a scene where the two just simply talk instead of "fighting" and Link puts his arm around her shoulders, something Ridley doesn't seem to mind. Despite their bickering meant to appear as hostility, it only further implies their feelings for each other, even causing John Breed to tiredly insist if they'd ever "stop it" during a "fight" making both Link and Ridley to say in unison, "Stop what?" and seeming genuinely confused as to what he meant.
In the end of the novel, they sit next to each other at Dar-ee Karen's and talk a little bit about when they were together and when Link tells Ridley to admit she "loves" him (saying it in a somewhat joking manner) and she says that since she's a Siren, she cannot love anything. However, Link responds by directly telling her, "Except me" before kissing her on the cheek. This, in which, she doesn't deny.
Lena is Ridley's cousin and childhood best friend. She and Lena had been best friends and very close sharing a sisterly bond. However, when it was Ridley's time to be Claimed, Lena had grown suspicious that Ridley was going Dark noticing her dark change in behavior. Ridley, knowing she was going Dark, fled from town to avoid harming Lena and their family; Lena had not seen her since until Beautiful Creatures. Ever since then, Lena and Ridley's relationship has been strained due to Ridley's now cocky and manipulative behavior and how she uses her Siren powers on others to get what she wants.
Lena will often try to work things out with Ridley only to be rebuffed. Though despite Ridley's cocky facade, she is shown to genuinely care for Lena in Beautiful Darkness when she risks her life to help Ethan, Liv and Link save Lena and even betraying Sarafine to ensure her cousin's safety. Even, when suspecting Ethan to be developing feelings for Liv when he refers to her by Lena's nickname "L", threatening to make Ethan her "slave" if he so much as thought about "hurting her cousin" Hinting that Ridley truly does still care about Lena.
Ridley worked for Sarafine, Lena's mother, throughout the first novel and half of the second one. She assigned Ridley to make sure Lena did not go Light and went Dark since if Lena were to go Light, all Dark Casters in the family were to instantly die. Despite working and following Sarafine's commands, Ridley later reveals in Beautiful Darkness, when allowing Lena to go with John Breed to a false land and be ultimately captured by Sarafine, that she only obeys her orders since Sarafine threatens to kill her if she does not go with her orders. Despite this, she still went out of her way to aid Ethan, Link and Liv to rescue Lena and suffers the consequences by having Sarafine figure out Ridley's betrayal and removing her powers.
Ridley is Macon's niece. It is told that Macon tried to help her but Ridley, being the type of person she was, rebuffed him and took off accepting her Dark fate. Since Ridley allowed her Darkness to consume her, Macon is forced to sever ties with her knowing Ridley's bad influence (casting his land so she wouldn't be able to come to his home) on the family although Ridley still tries meet up with her family making an unannounced visit in a year after she left. Macon and Ridley's relationship eventually somewhat amends as the series progresses and he soon even lets her live with him and the family once again during her time as a mortal in Beautiful Chaos (under certain rules though much to Ridley's chagrin).
Ridley first meets Ethan on the basketball courts in the first novel of the series intending to use him to go see her Uncle and family since she was (basically) banned upon the use of a Cast to keep Dark Casters out. Also in which she uses her Siren powers to get information out of him about Lena and the situation revolving her circumstances. Ridley eventually gives him the nicknames "Boyfriend" and "Short Straw" (the first one to Ethan's annoyance) and initially just uses him to help her make Lena go Dark by getting information out of him when needed. Though Ridley does see Lena's love for him and even threatens to make him her "slave" if he even "thought about hurting her cousin." Ethan shows a tolerance for Ridley since he knows Link's feelings for her though he is against them since he hates how Ridley constantly plays with his best friend's head and emotions. Like everyone else, Ethan sometimes tries to cool Ridley down when her temper is high and the two are shown to eventually becoming something along the line of friends or acquaintances.
Ridley is shown to be annoyed with Liv. Even mockingly giving her the name "Mary Poppins" for her by-the-book and good-girl attitude. She often bickered with Liv throughout the course of the second novel showing a high irritation towards her due to her usual happy and smart personality. Ridley, though, shows to pick up on Liv's romantic tension with Ethan. This deeply worrying and concerning her for Lena's sake; aware of how her cousin felt towards Ethan. Which ultimately resulted in Ridley threatening Ethan and even treating Liv a bit more harshly. Ridley often makes sarcastic remarks towards Liv and and putting doubts her theories and ideas about whatever situation they may be in, often annoying Liv. Throughout the course of the third novel, Beautiful Chaos, Ridley continues to treat her the same as she did in the previous novel; though Liv make remarks back and defends herself this time, surprising Ridley.
- "Hey, Hot Rod."
- "Hey, Short Straw."
- "Don't call me Babe."
- "I knew she reminded me of a Barbie."
- “Take a good look, Hot Rod. This is the last time you’re ever gonna see me.”
- "I am not wearing this mass-produced piece of mall crap. I look like I belong on the Disney Channel."
- "I did it for us! If you can't see that, then you really are an idiot."
- "Got any big plans for your birthday, Cuz?"
- "Don't look so wounded. We had fun while it lasted."
- "You cast a Facies on me? Like I'm some kind of Mortal?"
- "Come with me. Tonight. I can't stay here, but I came back for you."
- "It's true. She really took my powers."
- “Are you kidding? I'm supposed to put my books in this filthy tin coffin?”
- "I don't remember anyone complaining when you and your little British Marian-in-training were Casting at the Great Barrier."
- "You think it's me? I'm always the one who gets blamed for everything that goes wrong around here!"
- "You should be careful who you talk to like that, Barbie."
- "Books? Carry?"
- "You loved my shoes."
It was announced on March 2, 2012 that she would be portrayed by Emmy Rossum in the film adaptation of Beautiful Creatures, who on April 1, 2012 dyed her hair blonde for the role. On July 19, 2012 the first official still of Emmy Rossum as Ridley was released. Fans have reacted positively to Rossum's portrayal of the role, saying how she has "badass" in the movie and loved her as Ridley.
Notes and Trivia
- She has a nickname for almost everyone: Ethan "Short Straw," Lena "Cuz," Link "Hot Rod," and "Shrinky Dink", Liv "Mary Poppins," etc.
- Despte her wild and flirtatious side, Link is shown to be the only guy Ridley has developed real feelings for and has genuinely loved; even wanting to spend one final night with him before she has to take off in Beautiful Chaos.
- After she went Dark, she'd left Lena and her family to avoid hurting anyone. Lena had not seen her since until the events of Beautiful Creatures where she finally makes a re-appearance in about a year.
- Her name was Julia (since all the Duchannes girls did not know their real names until they were Claimed and were given substitute-like names before their Claiming and discovery of their real names) before she found out it was Ridley.
- Her best known trade mark is probably her lollipop which she can almost always be seen sucking on.