Since I have three girls who had long hair, I learned how to braid–although the extent of my ability was a simple french braid. Intrigued with the intricate braids of the Khaleesi, the Dothrakian queen in Game of Thrones, and the simple diagonal braid of Katniss in Hunger Games, I wanted my hero, Trinidad, to communicate something about herself in Daystealer.
Considering braids, I felt they’d already been done. Then one day while researching nautical knots, I realized that the simple twist of long hair wouldn’t need pins or bands to hold in place. I borrowed some of the nautical names that intrigued me but went a step further; I gave the knots significance.
When Trinidad raises from the sea, she knots her hair in two specific knots in the hopes to communicate with Friendship Knots. Any Nadirian would understand and recognize her as one of them. Later, she encounters a pair of Daystealers who wear Grapevine Knots to signify their loyalty to each other. If you and your partner wear this knot, it is clear you are taken.
A Blood Knot says you’re promised but not as committed as a Grapevine Knot which can’t be broken. A Water Knot, which Trinidad wears most of the time around Rick, signifies that she’s interested in someone specific. Rick’s clueless, but the Nightstealer surely understands and would rather her wear a Hunter’s Knot to show she’s just available.
Nadirian men sometimes knot their hair with leather strips if they wish to communicate something specific, but this is considered aggressive for males. One particular Daystealer has shaved his head in protest of the archaic custom.
My research of hair knots reaped various candidates for the different knots. To date I haven’t decided which one represents a specific communication. Maybe you can help. From the collage below, which knot do you like and would match to the relationship?
Grapevine (committed), Blood (promised), Water (interested), Hunter (looking), or Friendship.