- "Our great mother does not take sides, Jake. She protects the balance of life."
- ―Neytiri to Jake, on the eve of battle with the RDA.
|Name:||Neytiri te Tskaha Mo'at'ite|
|Behind The Scenes|
|Portrayed By:||Zoe Saldana|
Neytiri stands at average height for a Na'vi with the willowy, athletic build of one who knows well the ways of Pandora's perilous forests. She keeps her black hair at medium length in myriad thin braids, often decorating them with colorful feathers and beaded clasps. She possesses the signature tiger-striped skin pattern, though their contrasting azure shades blend together on her face and belly, with bioluminescent markings appearing like a dusting of freckles across her cheeks, nose and forehead. Other marks appear as gently curving lines running down the sides of her chest and stomach and the undersides of her arms. Her golden eyes are intent and piercing.
Though ordained to follow in her mother's footsteps as the spiritual guide for her people, Neytiri's temperament is more suited to a natural hunter or warrior. Willful and decisive in conflict, she trusts her own instincts and practiced abilities. She is a creature of great passion, saying exactly what is on her mind, and is more inclined to lead with her heart than with logic. This can make her quick to anger and slow to trust, but she is a stalwart friend and loving confidante once that barrier is crossed. While not above questioning her own people's beliefs and traditions, Neytiri's love for Eywa is unshakable and deeply personal.
Neytiri was born the younger of two girls to Eytukan and Mo'at of the Omaticaya clan. From an early age, she was raised and trained in the ways of her people, of the forest where they made their home, then hunt and the kill, the song and celebration of life, with nurturing Eywa resting at the heart of all her lessons. She had always been told of the destiny that awaited her, and attended closely to that training, but hers was a nature not content merely with peaceful meditation and communion. She freely embraced the more dangerous aspects of Na'vi life, sometimes at the risk of upsetting her parents, but her earnest desire to know all the faces of her home and therefore better know Eywa swayed them.
Her growing skills as a hunter also endeared her to Tsu'tey, the young male who had long ago been selected to be Eytukan's successor. Neytiri grew alongside Tsu'tey and respected his prowess as a warrior, but with little affection for his stoic and brash demeanor. Though she trusted the wisdom of her parents' decision, thoughts of her future life with him sent her seeking solace alone within the canopy of the forest on more than one occasion.
And even then, she was not always alone. Neytiri's older sister Sylwanin was a constant source of comfort while growing up. She always had a kind word ready to bolster Neytiri's spirits or a humorous story to alleviate the greatest worry. Storytelling was Sylwanin's gift, and some of Neytiri's fondest memories were of evenings spent curled up at her sister's feet, listening to old tales made new.
When the Sky People first made their presence known to the Omaticaya, Neytiri was intrigued by these strange beings and eagerly accepted the idea of learning at Grace Augustine's school. Both she and Sylwanin enjoyed the lessons, but seeing more of the Sky People made Neytiri realize that not many humans possessed the same kindness and respect for Eywa's gifts that Grace had. Disputes broke out between the Na'vi and the Sky People over the mistreatment of the land. Neytiri worried, but continued her lessons and friendship with Grace, convinced that understanding between the two races was still possible.
But sweet Sylwanin grew angrier with the Sky People's behavior and refused to be consoled. She stopped attending the school and began to verbally lash out against the humans. The breaking point finally came when Sylwanin and several other Na'vi youths set fire to one of the towering metal beasts in the human camp. Neytiri was sitting in Grace's school when her sister, wide-eyed with fear, burst into the room, followed closely by enraged shouting and a sound like thunder...
After the death of the children, Eytukan declared that the Omaticaya would have nothing further to do with the Sky People. Neytiri's sadness at losing her friendship with Grace was eclipsed by her grief for her sister, and anger at the humans that had taken her. She spent more time alone than ever after that, hunting in the forest or flying with her banshee Seze, eager to carry out her father's commands should any of the outsiders cross into Omaticaya lands.
And then came the day when she met Jake Sully...
A New EraEdit
With the defeat of the RDA's destructive forces that marched on the Tree of Souls, it seemed to Neytiri that life had begun anew. The Omaticaya mourned their lost ones but looked eagerly upon the horizon for days spent in peace. They found a new Hometree and put down their roots; they exchanged pledges of loyalty and friendship with the humans that had fought at their side. And now, Neytiri was mated to a man whom she deeply loved, a man who was of the People in spirit... and now too in body. At last, the world was healing.
The arrival of a whole new group of humans gave her pause. Would they open themselves to alliance with the Na'vi, or would they seek to claim ownership of the land through greed and violence? Neytiri chose to stay with the clan, hoping to calm the more anxious members while Jake met with these RDA forces. The humans seemed open to peace and agreed to the Na'vi's terms, but in her heart Neytiri worried that their hard-won serenity would soon be threatened.
The Sky People were also not the only concern. A sickness that had been spreading through animal populations since the last battle began to affect the plant life... and then the Omaticaya. As the Tsahik successor, Neytiri's place was with Mo'at and the healers, tending to the sick and petitioning Eywa's wisdom and guidance.
The Melbourne CrisisEdit
Weeks passed. Relations with the humans continued to worsen, in seeming reflection with the weakening strength of the Na'vi who had fallen ill. The suffering reminded Neytiri of the loss of Hometree, and the hopelessness that had touched all of them before Jake had raised their spirits again. With her mate focusing his efforts in dealing with the humans, Neytiri relied more and more on Mo'at to get through the days.
Until the Omaticaya Tsahik began to show signs of sickness.
Neytiri broke that night. All of the pain and heartache she had been holding at bay, combined with the fear that she was about to lose her mother and would be expected to take her place--all of it boiled over. Jakesully became the unlucky target. She raged at him with tears streaming down her cheeks, cursing the humans that surely were the cause of all their misery. The night ended with her sobbing herself into exhaustion in his arms. She ended up sleeping through most of the day and part of the next night.
When she awoke, she was calmer and remorseful over her behavior. Jake forgave, and the two of them talked. About the illness. About the humans. About what to do.
It was decided. Jakesully would go to the humans and petition for aid. Neytiri stayed behind with her mother and the rest of the sick. Throughout the day she smiled and tended the hurts, silently and continually praying to Eywa that she not be made Tsahik, that she was not ready, not yet.
Jake returned to Hometree with grave news. The humans possessed a cure for the disease, but would only bargain for it, at a price that was simply too high for the Na'vi to stand. Their Tipani allies took up the call to war at once, and the healthy Omaticaya warriors wanted to throw in their support. Neytiri realized that another battle with the Sky People was the last thing she wanted, but they were faced with no other choice. Gathering all their strength, they marched on Hell's Gate.
Neytiri kept away from the worst of the fighting, but she joined her mate in the final push of the battle, when the Na'vi forced one of the great machines into the Operations Center. The fight was swift and brutal, but the humans could not long withstand the Na'vi while battling in a poisonous cloud.
Much to Neytiri's joy, Mo'at was among the fortunate who recovered when the cure was brought back to Hometree. She confided in her mother about how her anger had swamped her, and for the first time in her life she feared that she was unprepared to fill the role of Tsahik once the duties passed to her. Mo'at replied that Eywa knew Neytiri's heart and had chosen her since the day she was born to be her connection to the Omaticaya, to trust her wisdom. As the days passed and the clan once again undertook the rebuilding, Neytiri focused her efforts on training as Tsahik. Though her fear has not yet fully abated, it has diminished a little every day.
An Uncertain FutureEdit
After the events of the Melbourne Crisis, it quietly began to fade into memory for the Na'vi but not forgotten. However such a moment of peace could not mend the wounds that divided the Na'vi and the Sky People.