|“||If only it were that easy little one. Time you learn how complicated life can be.||„|
|~ Corrupted Cynder to her archenemy Spyro|
|“||Then I'm with you. I love you…||„|
|~ Real Cynder to her friend and then-boyfriend Spyro.|
Cynder is a black dragoness who appears as a character in The Legend of Spyro series. She becomes Spyro's love interest in the trilogy. She made her debut in The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning, where she was the primary antagonist of the game and a "loyal servant" to the Dark Master Malefor, an evil dragon.
The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning
The black dragon named Cynder is the main enemy in the game. The story reveals that she led Malefor's army of Apes in a war against the dragon race. When the Dragons seemed to be nearing victory in the war, Cynder appeared and one by one captured the Guardian dragons, but the last Guardian named Ignitus escaped. Over time, the Dragons lost the war against the Dark Armies. Cynder steadily hunted down and killed any dragon she came across, after taking control over the surrounding islands and realms and put them under her iron rule, all the while still searching for Ignitus.
One day, while looking for Ignitus, she receives news that a purple dragon named Spyro was spotted in the swamp. Spyro could hear Cynder roar while looking for him, but he ran away before she could see him. Cynder's first onscreen appearance was when Spyro was traveling through Dante's Freezer, she was seen from afar, leaving the island. Volteer, the electric Guardian, revealed that she had drained his powers, and left with a glowing crystal. She was later spotted leaving Tall Plains, again leaving with a crystal fueled by Cyril's powers.
Ignitus figures out that Cynder is draining the Guardian's powers to unlock the portal that leads to Malefor's prison so she can free him. Moments after Spyro frees Terrador at Munitions Forge, Cynder appears to pick up the crystal fueled with the Guardian's energy and effortlessly defeats the exhausted dragon. She then notices Spyro, and immediately pursues him relentlessly through Munition's Forge as the volcano Boyzitbig erupts. As Cynder was about to catch Spyro, she is attacked by Ignitus, who intervened to allow Spyro to escape, only to be overpowered and taken to the evil dragon's lair, Concurrent Skies, where Cynder began the process of draining the Fire Guardian's energy into a crystal.
After learning how to utilize Earth and overcome his fear of Cynder, Spyro ventures to her fortress to rescue Ignitus. Cynder soon became aware of Spyro's presence within her fortress and waits for the young dragon at the very peak of her lair where Ignitus was being held, stopping Spyro from destroying the crystal before engaging him in battle. After a brief fight, the evil dragon knocks away the purple dragon, revealing that she was holding back, and escaped to Convexity with the crystal after it was fully charged with Ignitus's elemental energy.
As she leaves, Spyro tells a weakened Ignitus, exhausted from getting his energy drained, that something about Cynder's eyes felt familiar. The elder dragon reveals that Cynder was born in the same clutch of eggs that Spyro was in, making her the same age as Spyro. Malefor needs a Dragon born in the Year of the dragon to free him, so her egg was stolen by a servant of Malefor, the Ape King Gaul, and Cynder was corrupted by Malefor's poisonous powers, which transformed her into a monstrous and horrific, adult dragon brainwashed to do the Dark Master's bidding.
Spyro realizes that Cynder is not truly evil; she is just another victim of the Dark Master, so he becomes determined to stop both her and Malefor and follows after Cynder into Convexity where the Dark Master's prison was held. The young dragon arrives too late to stop Cynder, as she had already triggered the portal and provided Malefor with a means of escape. Once she sees Spyro, Cynder engages him in a battle once more, declaring that she will show no mercy this time and was determined to get rid of the purple dragon once and for all.
They begin a fierce battle, during which Spyro takes the upper hand. Cynder, weakened and desperate to win, use as a Shadow Fire attack against Spyro. Rather than damaging him, however, the attack unlocks Spyro's Light Aether breath. Using it, Spyro defeats Cynder with a powerful Light Aether Fury which ultimately defeats her. The power of the Aether Fury had a side effect which frees Cynder from Malefor's control, returning her to her normal size of a young dragon, but she still exhausted from her battle. However, the gateway to Convexity starts to fall apart after Spyro and Cynder's fight. Despite a difference of opinion between Spyro and Sparx, Spyro rescues Cynder and flees from Convexity, making a narrow escape.
Cynder is returned to the Dragon Temple, where the four Guardians apologize to her for having failed to protect her egg and welcome her to the temple. That night, Spyro goes to the temple's balcony, looking for any sign of Malefor's return, and Cynder soon joins him, as they both feared that Malefor was not defeated yet.
The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night
During a few weeks, Cynder lived in the Dragon Temple, until the guilt of everything she had done while under Malefor's control drives her to run away in the middle of the night and find her place in the world. Sparx saw her leaving and told Spyro. Spyro, who had developed feelings for Cynder, immediately went to find Cynder and tried to convince her to stay and that no one blames her for what she did in the past. However regardless, Cynder left the Temple.
Sometime later, Cynder is captured by a group of Skavengers, who recognized her as the evil dragon she was in A New Beginning, and immediately set her up as a combatant in their arena of Fellmuth. Cynder was soon called into the arena to face Spyro, who was also captured by the Skaveners and had fought other combatants they had thrown at him. Despite appearing to be evil again, Cynder reassures Spyro by telling him to fake the fight so that they could figure out what to do next. However, the fight is interrupted by Gaul's Ape army, and Cynder is captured by the Dark Armies once again.
Shortly afterwards, Spyro also escapes the Skavengers and is contacted by the Chronicler in his dreams. There, Spyro angrily demands the Chronicler to tell him what happened to Cynder. The Chronicler does not answer but instead shows him a vision. In the vision, Gaul captured Cynder to leave her fate in the hands of the Dark Master, Malefor. The Ape King mockingly welcomes her as a traitor and told Cynder that when Malefor returns, he would either take her back for being a "faithful servant", or she will be first to perish by his hand. Cynder tricks the Apes into thinking she was willingly to return to Malefor's side.
While Spyro travels to the White Isle, he is told to face his biggest fear, which turns out to be a vision of Cynder in her days as Malefor's monsters. When Spyro meets the Chronicler in person, he once again asks to learn what Cynder's fate will be. The Chronicler is reluctant, but Spyro stubbornly insists. He reveals that when Malefor returns, Cynder will return to the Dark Master's side, as her entire life has been spent in shadow and she knows no other path. Spyro refuses to accept this as the truth and goes to the Mountain of Malefor to rescue Cynder. When he arrives at the mountain fortress and confronts Gaul, the Ape King orders Cynder to destroy Spyro, and the black dragon apparently wants to fight him. However, this is proven to be another act when she tells Spyro to line her up with Gaul's staff, As the fight starts, Cynder makes an effort to snatch the staff, but Gaul catches her by the neck and knocks her unconscious by throwing her to a nearby wall.
As Gaul and Spyro fight, the floor gives way underneath them and they fall to a lower level. The moons eclipse each other, and its evil energy zaps through Spyro, allowing Malefor to corrupt him just like he had corrupted Cynder, transforming him into Dark Spyro, who ultimately kills Gaul. After Spyro flies back up, Cynder is horrified to see his dark form and rescues him from the Lunar Alignment's dark energy by knocking him out of the beam, which returns him to normal. Spyro apologizes for his actions though Cynder forgives him, saying that he is with friends. However, as a result of Spyro's battle with Gaul, the Mountain of Malefor begins to collapse around Spyro, Cynder, and Sparx. Spyro tells Cynder to go away, but she refuses to leave without him, unfortunately, their argument takes too long and a cave blocks their only way out. Spyro recalls the Chronicler's advice to hide from Malefor, and he utilizes his Time Fury to freeze Cynder, Sparx, and himself inside a crystal, protecting them from harm as the mountain crumbles.
The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon
In The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon, Cynder becomes a hero alongside Spyro and is a playable character. Because of the change in game developers and art style, Cynder underwent a graphical change in design, becoming a teenager with a bigger wingspan.
The game begins with Spyro and Cynder being broken free of their crystal in the ruins of the Well of Souls by a group of Grublins. A pair of magical, snake-like necklaces are attached to them whilst they lie unconscious, linking the two dragons together and preventing them from being able to move freely or away from each other. Shortly afterward, they wake up from their 3-year slumber only to realize that they are shackled to the floor and forced to fight waves of grublins until a large Golem arrives and scares the Grublins away.
Spyro and Cynder manage to break free of the floor but remain tethered together, and they try to repel the Golem. When they fail to defeat it, Hunter saves them, revealing to Spyro and Cynder that he had been sent to find them by Ignitus three years ago, much to their disbelief. He begins to take them to the dragon city of Warfang, but along the way, they encounter an old hermit, who Cynder does not recognize. The Hermit insists that he knows her, however, recognizing her as the monstrous dragon from A New Beginning, telling her that even though her appearance has changed, her eyes remain the same. The Hermit proceeds to warn Cynder that she will share the Apes' fate for serving Malefor and that she cannot run nor hide from the Dark Master. She appears visibly upset over this, but Spyro reassures her and tells her not to listen.
When they arrive at Warfang, Cynder assists in the defense of Warfang. When the Golem is defeated, Spyro and Cynder are happily reunited with Ignitus and the other Dragon Guardians. She then asks Ignitus for a way to get rid of the chain she and Spyro still wear, though the great dragon replies that it is irremovable. But he also says that the chain is more than a hindrance, but a reminder of the bond Spyro and Cynder share, and their destinies are intertwined. Cynder and Spyro turn to each other and share what seems to be a loving glance, which indicates that she is starting to fall in love with Spyro.
After Malefor declares his plan to end the world and lets loose the Destroyer, Cynder comes up with a plan to stop the immense Golem: destroying a dam holding back the water from a valley. With the Destroyer momentarily halted, as a result, Spyro and Cynder destroy the crystal controlling it, only to find that Malefor kept a backup crystal on his lair. They decide the only other course of action is to face Malefor himself.
Ignitus takes the two through the Ring of fire, sacrificing himself in the process. Spyro is upset over this and nearly makes a vain attempt to rescue his mentor which would've resulted in killing himself and Cynder, transforming into Dark Spyro in his grief. However, Cynder brings him back to his senses and comforts him in his despair by nuzzling up to him, reminding him that he's not alone. Together, they venture through the wastelands. Along the way, Cynder wants to give up at first, but Spyro reminds her that they must not otherwise their journey would all for nothing. She agrees on his behalf but claims that she's only coming to rid herself of the snake chain, presumably to hide her real reason (which is her love for him). Soon, the two dragons make their way out of the Burned Lands and finally arrive at Malefor's Lair. Cynder tells Spyro that she's scared but despite that they both venture on after Spyro tells her to stay close to him.
Once inside the Dark Master's lair, Malefor welcomes his 'guests' and states that he and Spyro have more similar qualities than just their color. Spyro immediately begins to deny Malefor's words, and Cynder tells the young dragon to not listen to anything Malefor says. The Dark Master proceeds to release him and Cynder from the magical chain linking them as a way to "thank" Cynder for her services. Spyro defends Cynder saying that Malefor was using her, but he challenges his claims by saying that Cynder had used Spyro as well by tricking him to the Well of Souls so Spyro could release Malefor. The black dragons then begin unsure of her actions in the past, which allowed Malefor to take control of Cynder once more.
Under Malefor's influence, Cynder begins to attack Spyro, who is only struck around whilst Malefor continues to talk, claiming that there had been many purple dragons before them and that their purpose was to destroy the world, not save it. He goes on to say that, during each age, the purple dragon would call upon the golems of the deep and bring about the "Great Cleansing", and that the destiny of the purple dragon was to destroy the world. Spyro refuses to believe him, while Cynder continues to attack Spyro relentlessly, Spyro refuses to attack her. After striking him several times, she demands to know why he would not fight back. Disheartened, Spyro tells her that losing her has left him nothing to fight for. Upon hearing those words and discovering Spyro's feelings for her, Cynder breaks free of Malefor's hold and lovingly replies that there is always something. Enraged by the turn of events, the Dark Master chains Cynder back to Spyro and declares that she will share his fate.
During their battle, the Destroyer manages to throw itself back into the Volcano from whence it came, thus completing its journey and initiating the world's destruction. Spyro, Cynder, and Malefor continue to fight, however, and the Dark Master is soon thrown down to the planet's heart, a giant purple crystal, by a joint attack by Spyro and Cynder. He declares that he is eternal, unable to be defeated. However, the spirits of the Ancients, the dragons who taught him all he knew, emerge from the purple crystal upon these words and then proceed to drag Malefor into the planet's heart, much to his dismay and the awe of Spyro and Cynder.
With Malefor gone, the chain around Spyro and Cynder's necks disappears, but Malefor's plan is still underway as the planet began to break itself apart. Cynder apologizes to Spyro for her past actions, but Spyro forgives her, telling her that she should not be sorry now that it is all over. With Ignitus' words in his head, Spyro decides to sacrifice his life to restore the world and asks Cynder to leave and save herself. Not wanting to lose Spyro, she refuses to leave him, and, as Spyro uses his powers to try and prevent the world's end, Cynder whispers "I love you" to him right before the two dragons die together. At the very end of the game, it is shown that Ignitus is now the Chronicler of the new age, and Spyro and Cynder are revealed to have survived, flying above the Valley of Avalar and finally earning their happily ever after.
While under Malefor's control, Cynder was the classic femme fatale; unstable, alternately calm, but explosive, caring about nothing but the return of her master. She was rather malevolent, arrogant and cruel, underestimating Spyro due to his small size.
After being freed from the Dark Master's influence, she becomes guilty for all of the evil things that she had done and strives to find her own destiny and help fight against her former master. In Dawn of the Dragon, she is revealed to be strong, authentic, independent and assertive, as she dislikes being a "damsel in distress". She is determined to prove that she is no longer evil, with her jewelry acting as a way to show that she is not afraid of Malefor anymore. Despite that, she was still afraid of him to a certain level, as Malefor quickly made her feel suspicious, doubtful and guilty, and which allowed him to easily corrupt her again.
After being freed from Malefor, she develops a small friendship with Spyro. As they spent more time together, she slowly begins to warm up to the purple dragon, realizing that he truly cares about her, and eventually their friendship evolves into developing feelings for each other. Cynder's feelings for Spyro become strong enough for her to resist Malefor's corruption upon realizing that he returned her feelings, and just before they were seemingly going to die at the world's core, she admitted loving him.
Powers and Abilities
In A New Beginning, Cynder was controlled by Malefor, making her his puppet. Due to her exposure to his dark energies, she was an adult-sized dragon in spite of her age and was endowed with several unnatural powers. Namely, she had control over Poison, Fear, Wind, and Shadow, although this was not shown until Dawn of the Dragon. She also possessed the ability to breathe fire (although hers had a darker color than usual) and Convexity. She also had enough strength to best a Guardian Dragon, shown when she managed to defeat and capture Ignitus.
In The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon, it is revealed she was given abilities that are unnatural amongst other dragons due to being exposed to Malefor's corruption. She was given control over Poison, Fear, Wind, and Shadow, and she could still use the Aether breath. However, she lost the ability to breathe Shadow Fire, after she was defeated by Spyro.
- For Poison, she can shoot venom at her enemies to poison them, slowly taking away health. She can also do a Scorpion Strike where she imbues her tail with poison and spins at the enemy to slash them with it repeatedly
- For Fear, she can use a Siren Scream to stop the enemies in their tracks. She can also paralyze enemies by shooting projectiles at them.
- For Wind, she has a powerful exhale attack. She can also create cyclones to send enemies flying into the air.
- For Shadow, she can go into the ground, then come out of the ground and perform a Shadow Strike. She can also breathe dark fire which suffocates the enemy.
She also has a blade on the tip of her tail which she can sometimes slash her enemies with. Like Spyro, she also attacks with her claws and horns. Like all dragons, she is also able to fly.
- Cynder is one of two roles in The Legend of Spyro series to be constantly recast (the other being Sparx). She is voiced by Cree Summer in A New Beginning, Mae Whitman in The Eternal Night, and Christina Ricci in Dawn of the Dragon.
- Just like her voice actress, her role and physical appearance are different in each game.
- Although Cynder is a black dragon, and still stated as such, her scales were suddenly made dark purple in Dawn of the Dragon with no explanation. It is revealed that this was because of the change in art style and direction, and Dawn of the Dragon's game director Jean-Marie Nazaret chose Cynder's dark purple colors.
- Cynder is one of the many playable characters in the Skylanders franchise, being represented as a violet dragon in the Undead element.
- Her backstory as being Malefor's corrupted minion is referenced in the Skylanders franchise where she is mostly interpreted in her normal, heroic form.
- Cynder is Spyro's very first love interest.