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What’s the Mystery Behind Ava? – Borderlands 3

Who is Ava you might ask? Well, she is the little girl that tags along with Maya. Most of us speculate that she is a Siren. However, when you ask the Gearbox Software developers about this they will only give you the answer that you are asking the right questions. So why are they so mysterious about her? Well in this article I hope to shine done light to that.
The Mystery Behind Ava in Borderlands 3
The Mystery Behind Ava in Borderlands 3

Where is Ava?

Ava is the little girl that can be seen next to Maya in the Borderlands 3 trailers. However, during the presentation of Sanctuary 3 at the gameplay reveal event, Ava wasn’t in Maya’s room. Therefore, I think we will meet up with her on the planet Athenas because this is where we keep seeing her next to Maya.  Athenas is the home planet of Maya. We saw our first glimpse of the planet in the E3  2019 Tech Demo.

Is Ava a Siren?

This is the big question that everyone is asking. Most of the Borderlands fans expect her to be a Siren. However, the Gearbox Devs will not confirm this at the time of writing this article. Ava is a teenager, her exact age isn’t confirmed. Since time jumps between the Borderlands games are exactly the same as the game’s releases. Therefore, we know how much each character has aged. This is why must theorists place the birth of Ava at the end of Borderlands 1. Because there is a 10-year gap between BL1  and BL3. However, during an interview, I learned that Ava was alive before the events of the original Borderlands. So this would mean, that if Sirens are born, Ava can’t be the Siren that rose up after commandant Steele. In case you are not aware of the events of the original Borderlands game. Commandant Steele was the main antagonist of that game and died from one of the tentacles of the destroyer when she opened the first vault on Pandora.

Teaching moment

There is deffinitly a teaching moment

Randy Varnell

During the E3 trailer breakdown by IGN, they asked about the relationship between Maya and Ava, and if the little girl has Siren powers. Paul Sage and Randy Varnell were cryptic with their answers.

On the question, if Maya is training Ava, Paul mentions that “as much as she can she is, yes.” This doesn’t give us any definitive answers due to the inclusion of “as much as she can”.  However, IGN follows up and asks if Sirens can be trained. To which Randy replies that they don’t want to go into spoiler territory and that Borderlands 3 will go in-depth on the Siren lore. He does mention that Ava is Maya’s protegé and that there is a teaching moment going on there.

First of all, Randy Varnell says the word protegé, why does he use this word? He is a massive Star Wars fan, I would assume he would grab every chance to say “apprentice” instead of “protagé”. I can go into a whole breakdown of how this could imply something else. However, in Maya’s cosplay guide, we do get the confirmation that Maya is training an apprentice.

Maya passing on the book of knowledge to Ava - Borderlands 3
Maya passing on the book of knowledge to Ava – Borderlands 3

In the Mask of Mayhem artwork, you can spot Maya passing on a book to Ava. Maya’s class mod has always been a  book, however, that one has enforced edges this one doesn’t. So this doesn’t give us any more answers. We know that Maya went back to Athenas, to learn more about Sirens and to protect the Order. Is this book part of the Order of the Impending Storm and does it contain knowledge about the Sirens?

The Rise of Siren Powers

Currently, the big question about Sirens is, how do they get their powers, are Sirens born, are Sirens trained, do their powers manifest in another body when the host dies? In an interview with Borderlands 3 writer, Danny Homan, ScreenRant asked ‘if existing people can become Sirens’.

Um, that’s an interesting question. I mean, there’s a lot of ways that someone can become a Siren. It’s not a de facto X-Men kind of thing. There’s some different conditions that kind of arise. Yeah, Sirens are unique and I feel like we like to keep it a little amorphous. What we like the most is when fans kind of create their own myths and stories about how this kind of stuff happens. As a writer we try not to definitively say one thing because there’s a lot possible.

Danny Homan

Again no definitive answers here. While I like getting the answer to the questions, this also reminds me of Star Wars. Back when Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace – was released, George Lucas tried to explain the origins of the ‘Force’ and not everyone was happy with the whole midi-chlorian count thing. Leaving it in the middle and not defining it is probably a good thing.

Siren Tattoos

Sirens are defined by their tattoos. You can clearly see them on Maya, we even saw them fade away from Lilith in the E3 Trailer. In the case of Ava, we are left in the dark. Her outfit is covering up the body parts where we normally find these markings. With Gearbox being all mysterious about it leaves a lot of room for thought. However, Gearbox actually gave the answer and I don’t know if they intended this.

During my play session at the Borderlands 3 gameplay reveal event, I discovered a vehicle skin called Maya. The skin adds a Siren-like tattoo on the vehicle. Which is pretty cool but the description of this paint job gave the answer I was looking for.

Ava will love this one! So will Maya’ numerous fans.

Catch-a-Ride Station


Ava doesn’t have Siren Tattoos or powers for that manner. Judging from the Maya vehicle skin, Ava clearly wants these Siren markings but doesn’t have them (yet). With Gearbox leaving all possibilities open on how Sirens come into existence, Ava’s character arc can be very interesting. Can people learn how to become a Siren or is this a children’s tale on how to make the right choices in life (insert Spiderman quote; with great powers come great responsibilities).

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I'm a Content Creator by day and a BattleBread Baker at night. I'll provide you with your recommended slice of entertainment! I'm a Gearbox Community Badass and a proud member of the official Borderlands & Tiny Tina's Wonderlands Creator Team (2K Games / NextMakers).

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