|“||She used it to put Julian in the stone, along with thousands of other vampires. She's ruthless. Once you've been marked by her sword, she never stops hunting you. That's how Beau got his scar. She'll come for him now. She'll come for all of us.||”|
Rayna Cruz is a recurring character and primary antagonist in the seventh season of The Vampire Diaries. She first appears in a flashforward featured in Day One of Twenty-Two Thousand, Give or Take and makes her first modern day appearance in Postcards from the Edge. She is an immortal and extremely powerful vampire hunter who won't rest until she has eradicated the vampire species and imprisoned their souls within the Phoenix Stone for all eternity.
Not much is known about Rayna's history except that long ago shamans from an unknown place cast a spell on Rayna, endowing her with powerful gifts and abilities that would allow her to hunt vampires. She was also bestowed with the Phoenix Stone and The Phoenix Sword which when used together allowed her to "kill" any vampire. At some point in the mid-late 19th century she began hunting the Heretics along with Julian and Lily. She chased them across Europe for decades at some point branding Beau with an X shaped mark and killing Julian.
Throughout The Vampire Diaries SeriesEdit
In Never Let Me Go, three years from now, Rayna shot Tony in the neck and Caroline was shot with the stake while been unseen.
In Mommie Dearest, three years from now, Rayna takes Damon hostage after shooting him with multiple vervain darts.
In Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me, three years from now, Damon has been captured and chained up in a Dallas news station. He originally believes his captor to be his mother, Lily Salvatore. However, it was later revealed that she was only a hallucination due to the werewolf toxin in his system. After telling him that his mother has been dead for years, Rayna kicks him in the face, knocking Damon out.
In Things We Lost in the Fire, Nora receives a card with a red "X" on it and she tells Bonnie that it is Rayna's warning. She tells her that she'll be coming for Stefan, Julian, Beau and anyone else who has been stabbed with her sword. In the flashforward, it is revealed that Matt is working with her.
In Postcards from the Edge, Rayna was found by Bonnie, Nora and Mary Louise. Rayna looked old and pretended to be a senile old lady with no knowledge of the supernatural. Believing she wasn't the one they were looking for, the two vampires left, leaving Bonnie with her Rayna attacked Bonnie after convincing her to give her a cookie, Bonnie was saved when Enzo throws a knife into Rayna's neck, later her body burns and she returns to life much younger. In a flashforward Matt injects vervain in Stefan and Rayna tells him that he his free to go and wishes him a nice life.
According to Nora, Rayna is ruthless and will stop at nothing until she has killed the vampires that have been marked by her sword, other vampires, and people involved with said vampires.
She is shown to be to have some sort of mental instability as she killed a human cashier in a supermarket, mistaking them for a vampire. She is also shown to be quite good at feigning being senile with Mary Louise, Nora and Bonnie. Until the two heretics leave, she shows her true colors to Bonnie and attempts to strangle her so she can be released.
As a young woman, Rayna has long, wavy, black hair and dark brown eyes. According to Damon, she looks like Elena and her three doppelgangers. She is seen wearing a dark leather jacket in the flashforward.
As an elderly woman, Rayna had medium length white hair and wore a mental patient's attire.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
- Enhanced Strength: According to Nora, the Shamans endowed Rayna with enhanced strength. This was shown when she, at the age of eighty, was able to grab Bonnie with her bare hands and hold her and choke her. The strength also aided her in capturing vampires such as Julian into the phoenix stone.
- Immunity to Magic: Through unknown means, Rayna herself stated that magic does not work on her. This was proven to true after Bonnie tried use pain infliction on her but to no avail.
- Longevity: Rayna ages at a slower rate and hence has an extended lifespan.
- Immortality: Though not much is known about this ability yet, it seems that should Rayna be killed, her body will magically be restored. Despite whatever age she was at the time of her death, her body's physical age will be reversed, returning her to a more youthful appearance. This was first demonstrated when Enzo stabbed her in the neck, and hours later her body became engulfed in flames, only for her to rise once more in both restored youth and perfect health. Akin to a Phoenix rising from the ashes, after her death Rayna is engulfed in flames and is reborn from the ashes to her physical prime.
- Age: Rayna is immortal although she ages at a very slow rate. She can be killed like any other human but will revive shortly afterwards.
- Vampire killing urge: Rayna appears to suffer from the same compulsion to kill vampires as the Brotherhood of the Five, and is described as a burning desire to kill any vampire regardless of personal feelings. This condition worsens with age with Rayna having accidentally staked a human when she got older, leading to her being placed and confined into a secure psychiatric hospital.
- Doppelganger Blood: It is unknown if Shamanism is innately a form of traditional magic or not, but if not, the blood of the last two doppelgangers (Stefan and Elena) could strip her of her magic in combination with the traveler's spell.
- Siphoning: It is currently unknown if the Phoenix Huntress is vulnerable to Siphoning.
- Day One of Twenty-Two Thousand, Give or Take (Flashforward)
- Never Let Me Go (Unseen/Flashforward)
- Age of Innocence (Mentioned)
- Live Through This (Mentioned)
- Mommie Dearest (Unseen/Flashforward)
- Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me (Flashforward)
- Cold as Ice (Mentioned)
- Things We Lost in the Fire (Mentioned)
- Postcards from the Edge
- This Woman's Work
- Moonlight on the Bayou
- I Would for You
- 7x16 
- Rayna is either a Bulgarian form of "Regina", meaning "queen" in Latin, or a feminine form of "Rayno", meaning "happy, willing" in Slavic.
- Cruz is Spanish and means "cross".
- Her original casting call name was "Hannah".
- It is most likely that her name, Rayna is a reference to the video games BloodRayne which ironically are about a vampire hunter named Rayne.
- She is a dangerous vampire hunter who returns to the world of the living after being taken out by her enemies, and “fierce, driven, smart and confident – a deadly legend who literally cannot rest until her vengeance is complete.”
- According to her casting sides (which tend to be false and loosely based on the character's actual story), she was being chased by Julian in 1860 and Julian kills her father and she vows to kill Julian with presumably the phoenix stone sword. And she also vows to kill everyone Julian knows and she is in a situation where Damon traps her but she has Stefan captured underwater struggling to breathe.
- Based on the actress's background and her last name, it's very likely she is of Filipino descent.
- As Mikael was feared the world over as The Vampire Who Hunts Vampires, or The Hunter, Rayna is feared as The Huntress. They are both immensely powerful vampire hunters, as Mikael was an Original Vampire, and Rayna was spelled by shamans to be a powerful vampire hunter, who Nora describes as unstoppable.
- According to Nora Hildegard, the Phoenix Sword was custom made just for her.
- Like the Brotherhood of the Five, Rayna was spelled by witches to be a powerful vampire hunter, giving her increased strength and powers, as well as the urge to kill vampires.
- Unlike the Five, when Rayna is killed, her body is engulfed in flames and Rayna's youth is restored, like a phoenix rising from the ashes after its death.
- The process of Rayna's rebirth is the opposite of an Original Vampire's death. When an Original dies, their body becomes lifeless when it dies and is consumed by fire. Rayna, however, dies, is engulfed in fire, then reverts to a younger appearance and rises, going from lifeless to alive from the flames.