“You [Trish] might have her face, but you'll never have [Eva's] fire!”
Welcome to Seeds of Love, a tiny tribute to Eva from the original video game series Devil May Cry.
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The series revolves around Dante, one of the sons of Eva, a human, and Sparda, a devil, twarthing the plans of devils trying to invade the human world to presumably kill as many humans as possible and have fun while doing it. Eva herself does not appear in the series, outside a picture on Dante's desk in Devil May Cry 1, and isn't even talked about in the compilation artbook. She still plays a vital role in the series, as she is the mother of both the protagonist Dante and the antagonist Vergil; her death is the motivation behind Devil May Cry 3's entire chain of events, jumpstarting Dante's lifelong career and Vergil's fall.
Eva's appearance is only known through a bust picture found on Dante's desk in Devil May Cry 1. She has Caucasian skin, long blond hair and is pictured wearing a long-sleeved, black top with a red shawl on her shoulders. The colour of her eyes is impossible to pinpoint from the picture, but they are presumably blue, as Trish's are.
To say we know next to nothing about Eva as a person is a nice euphemism. Despite the plot of Devil May Cry 1 hinging on the fact that Trish's appearance is identical to Eva's before her untimely death, and Devil May Cry 3's plot relying on the grief of both Dante and Vergil for their mother, there is remarkably little information about Eva herself, and the entirety of it is though Dante's point of view. According to Dante, she “had fire” and “risked her life for him”, and... that's mostly it. Dante seems to retain only good memories of his exceptional mother, so we can assume that, like Sparda, she was a good person, but that's about it. Eva is given no chance at all to prove her own awesomeness.
Still, in the world of Devil May Cry, I don't think having children with a devil is something you do lightly, so both Sparda and Eva must have been exceptional to take this decision; Eva because Sparda deemed her worth the risk it must have represented, and Sparda because Eva deemed the inherent risks worthy as well to embark on a pregnancy that must not have been quite what the medical textbooks describe. It's a good thing neither twins were born with horns. As far as we know, anyway.
In a flashback, we learn that Eva gave the each twin a half of Sparda's amulet when they were younger. This amulet is part of the key sealing the passage between the Underworld and the human world. Despite the risks, Eva must have felt her supernatural sons would be stronger guardians for the key than she could hope to be, as a mere human in Devil May Cry's world. At the same time, it was a memento from their father, whom they have little left of, if anything at all.
Eva is, obviously enough, from the name of the first woman, Eve. Is it because she's the first mother of half-devil children? I personally think so.
Trish and Eva never meet; however, in the first game, Mundus creates Trish to be the perfect clone, in appearance, of Eva, to better lure Dante out to his entry point into the world to kill him. It works at first, and Trish even savagely attacks Dante, but instead of killing her, Dante curses her out for being soulless and not having his mother's fire in her. This helps Trish make her Heel Face Turn and save Dante from Mundus. Dante then acknowledges that she, like his mother, has risked his life, and lost it, to save him. He then puts the complete amulet and the Sparda sword by her side, wishing her a peaceful rest with his parents.
Of course she's not actually dead, and she later comes back to help Dante banuish Mundus anew, but it was sweet when it lasted.
In Devil May Cry 4, Trish is shown to have grown into her own person, with a different haircut and a sense of humour all her own.
If one cannot build a shrine to Sparda without mentionning Eva, then one can even cannot even imagine an Eva shrine without mentionning Sparda.
Surprisingly little is known about Eva in canon. We know she is the mother of Dante and Vergil. We also know she thought of Sparda as a righteous man who fought for the weak. We know she was “lost to evil” 20 years ago when Devil May Cry 1 starts. A photo of her in Dante’s office shows her as a kind-looking woman with long blond hair, dressed in a black dress and red shawl. And that’s about it. We don’t know if she was a devil hunter, a widely accepted fanon of her. We don’t know if Sparda and her were married. We don’t know where she came from, who she was, how she met Sparda, how long they were together, if Sparda’s chidren with her were his first. We don’t even know which one of them was the literature geek who named the boys Dante and Vergil.
Although the canon is limited, things can be inferred about Eva and her relationship with Sparda. Sparda was still fighting evil in the human world, so he must have known full well what kind of danger Eva exposed herself to just by being with him. Yet he had twin sons with her. Either Sparda did not care about Eva, which would contradict Eva’s opinion of him and his own backstory, or he thought her strong enough to bear and raise his half-devil children. Furthermore, he gave Eva his amulet, which we learn in the following games that not only is it the key to unlocking Force Edge’s true power, the Sparda sword, but also the key to opening the passage to the Underworld in the Temen-Ni-Gru tower, sealed by Sparda’s blood and the blood of a human priestess. He wouldn’t have given this to Eva if he hadn’t thought her able to protect it.
Speaking of that priestess who helped Sparda seal the Temen-Ni-Gru’s passage, there seems to be confusion in the fandom over her identity. That priestess was not Eva. She was, however, the ancestor of Kalina Ann, Lady's mother, whom Arkham tracked down, married and had a child with for the purpose of sacrificing her to open the Underworld. Devil May Cry is all about tragic, fucked-up families.
Sparda seems to have died not too long after the twins’ birth, given that Dante’s memories of him seem to be through his mother talking about him, and for all of Vergil’s idealisation of him, it's doubtful he remembers the man that Sparda was. Still, Eva continued to raise his children lovingly, until she, too, was “lost to evil”. In her case, sadly, it most probably means she is dead. Hopefully, in the afterlife, she has been reunited with her kind devil.
Dante clearly adores his mother. Trish showing up at his shop is more than enough for him to follow her wherever she leads, and when he gets mad at Trish's betrayal, he berates her for not being like his mother and threatens to shoot her. He can't, however, because Trish has his mother's face, and he probably cannot bear to see her die again. Which also explains his anguished reaction when Trish sacrifices herself to save him, like his mother did.
Eva's death, like for Vergil, hits him like a ton of brick. Unlike Vergil, however, he takes refuge in depression and apathy. Only after Devil May Cry 3 does he crawl out of the hole he had dug for himself and cry for his lost family, which allows him to move forward as a person.
Vergil is, I believe, the twin who loves Eva the most, or at least the one for whom her death had the most negative impact. Her death sends him spiralling down into grief, but he never gets past the anger stage. He is pretty much livid that his mother could be taken away from him by devils, and I think that, deep down, he hopes the might of a devil just might allow him to bring her back.
I admit it. I'm a big romantic. The big devil knight falling head over heels for a very human woman struck a chord with me. It shows that Eva didn't have to be the ultimate warrior badass to be elevated to "strong woman" status. Accepting what it meant to be with Sparda, bearing his children, defending them from evil, she did all this while being a squishy human being, and that makes her special to me.
Thanks go to Amassment for enabling me into making these tributes! I built this one for the Dynamic Duo challenge. Its partner shrine is my shrine to Sparda.
Link back to http://nyx.nightbringer.net/eva/
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Site opened on February 23rd, 2016. Last updated on February 23rd, 2016. Reopened on September 11th, 2017.